Touch Newsletter #136

Welcome to the 136th Touch Newsletter. Now on sale, a new TOUCHLINE release from Mark Van Hoen, “Artefacts l”. An audio-visual work which examines the inner beauty of artifacts - or side effects - in the process of making electronic music and video. More info below. The last few copies of his cassette “The Worcester Tapes, 1983-1987", just released on The Tapeworm, can be found on the TouchShop too.

Philip Jeck’s “Cardinal” is now shipping. “It’s an immense work, deep, rich and evocative.” [Aural Aggravation]. This double gatefold vinyl comes with a free download of Philip Jeck “Live in Caen”, (as well as the full album) recorded by Franck Dubois on 28th February 2015 at Impressions Multiples #4 (ésam Caen/Cherbourg). Jeck launches the album at St John at Hackney tonight, October 15th…

Bethan Parkes performed her first live concert in Los Angeles last month at Resonant Forms. You can hear the recording on the latest TouchRadio broadcast.

"The discrimination of his ear and the vivid concision of the ideas he’s transposed into music sets his work apart.” (Dalston Sound) – Simon Scott’s “Insomni” CD, released by Ash International last month, has gathered some interesting reviews, which can be read by clicking here. The album is also available as a 24bit download in the TouchShop.

In live news: Tonight, Philip Jeck, Oren Ambarchi and Will Guthrie (performing “Knots”) and Arnold Dreyblatt perform live at St John at Hackney (St Johns Sessions). Oren and Will also perform “Knots” at Kantine am Berghain, Berlin on Wednesday 28th October. Christian Fennesz plays with King Midas Sound live in London on October 30th, also at St John at Hackney.

In November, Claire M Singer and The Eternal Chord play live at Kunst-Station, Sankt Peter, Cologne, Germany on 6th November, followed by Touch live in Amsterdam on November 9th with Philip Jeck, Thomas Ankersmit, Claire M Singer & The Eternal Chord at the Muziekgebouw.

There will also be a Touch night at Cafe Oto with Mark Van Hoen, Simon Scott and Tony Myatt on January 31st 2016… The 16th Spire takes place at The Unitarian Church, in Cambridge on February 26th… Watch this space for further news.

TouchLine 4 | Mark Van Hoen “Artefacts l”

Digital Download - One track (.mov) - 10:03
2pp PDF booklet of photographs and text

Electronic music composer Mark Van Hoen’s first release for Touchline is the first in a series of video works which examines the inner beauty of artifacts - or side effects - in the process of making electronic music & video. This concept is of course not new, even Van Hoen himself has been exploring the idea of imperfection in electronic sound since the early 80’s after having been influenced by the audio and video of Cabaret Voltaire and others. ‘Artifacts I’ essentially started from a live performance for a Touch event at Re:Sound in Vallejo, California. The audio was mixed from a collection of recordings prepared at his studio for the live performance, and was generated by a combination of analog sound generation & processing equipment and DSP processing in Native Instruments ‘Reaktor’ software. The resulting soundtrack was then connected to audio inputs in Vidvox’s ‘VDMX’ modular video software, and then used to modulate colours, space and interference patterns on a ‘found’ video clip downloaded from the internet.

The video was then output to an analog video processor, where further modulations derived from the audio were implemented. The result is a video & soundtrack that are tied firmly together, not by editing but by modulations that show visually the very essence of the artifacts within the audio itself. It is recommended that the video be given full attention, and that the audio is either played back by high quality headphones or a suitable full frequency range audio system with the left and right speakers placed either side of a TV/Monitor capable of 16:9 playback.

Buy Mark Van Hoen “Artefacts l” [download] in the TouchShop

TO:98V | Philip Jeck “Cardinal”

Vinyl Gatefold 2xLP + full album download, and a free download of Philip Jeck “Live in Caen”, recorded by Franck Dubois on 28th February 2015 at Impressions Multiples #4 (ésam Caen/Cherbourg), with thanks to Thierry Weyd.

Photography and artwork by Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition

Track listing:
Side 1.
Saint Pancras
Barrow in Furness (open thy hand wide)
Reverse Jersey
Side 2.
…bend the knee 1
Called In
Side 3.
Broke Up
…bend the knee 5
Called Again
Side 4.
And Over Again
The Station View
Saint Pancras (the one that holds everything)

Philip Jeck writes:

"To make this record I used Fidelity record players, Casio Keyboards, Ibanez bass guitar, Sony minidisc players, Ibanez and Zoom effects pedals, assorted percussion, a Behringer mixer and it was edited it at home with minidisc players and on a laptop computer."

"…and they sparkled like burnished brass"

"Out of the depths of our complaints, it could be all so simple. To be never fooled by the finesse of a long-yearned for solidity, but in the momentary aplomb of a sleepy walk threading through familiar streets we'd hum our way, alto, baritone and tenor toward some harmonious end. An effect like some wonderful recollection of one or other of those technicolour movies. Not real for sure, but if you are in the mood…

"I would like to acknowledge the influence the writer Marilynne Robinson has had on this work. I would recommend reading any/all of her four novels and also "When I was a Child I Read Books" [Virago, 2012]. This collection of essays include "Austerity as Ideology", which dissects prevailing economic thinking, and "Open Thy Hand Wide...;" which continues with a celebration of liberal thinking as Generosity (and also turned over my received knowledge of Calvinism). Her ability to convey a love of humanity and sense of wonder about the great mystery of existence in her writing has, since I first read a book of hers, found a way into the way I think about my work - not illustrating but meditating upon." (April 2015)

Buy Philip Jeck “Cardinal” [2xLP + download] in the TouchShop

TTW#80 | Mark Van Hoen “The Worcester Tapes, 1983-1987”

Cassette only – limited edition of 150 copies

Track listing
A: Fortified Hill (1987)
B1: Music For Dancers In Disguise (1983)
B2: Riverboats (1983)
B3: Enigma Codes (1984)
B4: Truancy (1983)
B5: Reports (1984)
B6: Passage Abroad (1986)
B7: Old Men’s Wars (1983)
B8: The Stone Fiddle (1983)
B9: Dispelling (1984)
B10: Vomit (1985)

Mark Van Hoen was born in London, England and grew up in the industrial Midlands of England. He began to create electronic music in 1981, later releasing his debut LP on Belgian label R&S in 1993. Since then, Van Hoen has had a succession of highly regarded releases and live performances, ranging from minimalist drone-based material (“Aurobindo: Involution” issued by Ash International in 1994) through the dark, foreboding and pulsating – sometimes abrasive – early Locust albums, to the more recent succession of releases on Editions Mego. Most recently, a composition released via TouchRadio marks a return to the esteemed audio-visual label Touch, after a long absence following the release of several albums in the 90s.

The Tapeworm release “The Worcester Tapes” comprise recordings made as a teenager in the 80s, after Mark moved to the historical English city. These tracks feature his first synthesiser and tape recorder, from 1983; tape loop experiments; and several tracks utilising the Roland S-10, Mark’s first digital sampler… The tape opens with a recently rediscovered 30 minute ambient piece from 1987, “Fortified Hill”. All of these recordings were originally mastered on cassette, and all titles are released here on a physical format for the first and only time. A fascinating snapshot of Mark’s early music, made some 7-10 years before his first official releases.

Buy Mark Van Hoen “The Worcester Tapes, 1983-1987” in the TouchShop
More information on

Touch Radio 117 | Bethan Parkes

22.09.15 - Bethan Parkes - Live in Los Angeles - 24:00 - 320 kbps

Performed live at Resonant Forms on 11th September 2015 in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Also live that night were Simon Scott & Jen Boyd. With thanks to Volume, Rafa Esparza and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play Bethan Parkes “Live in Los Angeles”

Ash 11.4 | Simon Scott “Insomni”

CD - 42min

Photography: Simon Scott. Design: Philip Marshall.
Mastered by Denis Blackham

You can hear extracts here and here.

Track listing & timings (plays as one track):
0.00 An Angel From The Sea Kissed Me
6.59 Holme Posts
9.00 Confusion In Her Eyes
15.12 Relapse
16.42 Oaks Grow Strong
21.47 Ternal
22.36 Nettle Bed
25.40 Fen Drove
28.06 Nember
31.46 Far From The Tree
37.30 Swanbark

Couldn't sleep...; arose to forage for sound. The hum of the fridge encouraged further investigation of hidden, domestic sounds; the fish tank, dvd player, a broken laptop...;

Dawn and morning light allowed more sound and the guitar, in its case, beckoned...;

From darkness to light...;

Guitars: Guild 12 string D-125 & Vintage Guild 6 string GF-25
Mics: Induction coil pick up & Hydrophones
Buddha Machine pre-recorded and mixed, then re-recorded at Holme Fen Posts using mobile speakers
Recording device: Edirol r-09
Radio: static between stations
Software: Max MSP (self-programmed), Supercollider & Logic Pro

Simon Scott (b. 1971) is a British multi-instrumentalist who is currently based in Cambridge, UK. Insomni is his fourth album and his debut for Ash International and is published by Touch. His music is a fusion of digital signal manipulation combined with an aesthetic of compositional collaboration with environmental sounds and organic acoustic textures. He is inspired by his interests in sound ecology, music technology, the natural world, illustration, photography, composition and sonic art.

Below Sea Level, originally presented live in quadraphonic sound, was released on TOUCHLINE in March 2015, after 12k originally released the album in 2012 as an 80-page journal and seven track CD. It explores the aesthetics of active listening, sound ecology and the subjective distinction of compositional materials and sound timbres. Critically applauded for creating juxtapositions of analogue and digital timbres, the man-made and natural world sounds, captured in his local sunken landscape of The Fens in East Anglia, create a fusion of digital signal manipulation combined with organic acoustic textures.

Since the late 1990's Scott's solo work has been featured in a variety of international films, sonic art exhibitions, dance productions, television productions and digital multi-media projects.

He has toured worldwide since 1988 and he is the drummer for UK band Slowdive, who worked with Brian Eno on 1993 'Souvlaki ' album. His track "Für Betty" was included on the German label Kompakt's 'Pop Ambient' (2014) compilation series and his solo music has also been previously released on recording labels 12k, Morr Music, Miasmah, Sonic Pieces and Ghostly International.

Scott is also a freelance composer and sound recordist for film and television and recently appeared on the BBC program 'Springwatch Unsprung' recording aquatic wildlife and discussing his work with presenter Chris Packham. He has taught Music Technology and sound recording in Cambridgeshire and lectured at Cambridge University.

In 2008 he established the KESH recording label, releasing global artists audio and visual projects and he has also collaborated on various projects with Taylor Deupree, Nils Frahm, Machinefabriek, The Sight Below, Isan and James Blackshaw..

Buy Simon Scott “Insomni” [CD] in the TouchShop
…also available as 24-bit download

Guerrilla Audio

Guerrilla Audio is a new series of audio raids by Simon Fisher Turner.

noun: guerilla
a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces.

Each audio edit will be posted for 14 days and then removed from the site, although the information about each guerrilla activity will be archived, but without the audio. There will be two postings per month with the first (also featuring Klara Lewis & Rainier Lericolais) on 1st August 2015, so please check in regularly to listen to the latest offering.

Guerrilla Audio

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