Touch Isolation And Rejection

Hello you. It’s a very special edition of Resonance FM’s Fog Cast this week, focusing on two albums that have been produced in direct response to our current worldly state of affairs: Isolation And Rejection Vol. 1 from Manchester’s Front And Follow that I mentioned last week; and Touch:Isolation, the subscription-based compilation from the long-running London imprint that I mentioned last month (or at least I think it was around then – the dates are getting increasingly hazy as the weeks roll by).

Both albums are united by their championing of new, exclusive content from an astonishing wealth of talent that only serves to underline the rude health of our bedevilled music scene in 2020 (in spite of everything), and also by the sheer quantity of excellence on offer – together they offer over FIVE HOURS of original music and there’s not a single duff track to be found amongst the forty-eight on offer. Plus it would appear that Front And Follow are planning another FOUR volumes in this series, so the age of ‘Isolation Inspiration’ is only just beginning. As a result, this week’s show can only offer a light, tantalising dusting of the treasures on offer, but it’s still a truly sublime experience – even by regular Fog Cast standards!

ELEH – Still, Not Waiting [from Touch:Isolation, Touch, 2020]
Claire M Singer
– Rionnag a Tuath [from Touch:Isolation, Touch, 2020]
Zachary Paul – Aeolus [from Touch:Isolation, Touch, 2020]
Hybernation – Fragile Times [from Isolation And Rejection vol. 1, Front And Follow, 2020]
K – Failure Of Presence [from Isolation And Rejection vol. 1, Front And Follow, 2020]
Yellow6 – Work1 [from Isolation And Rejection vol. 1, Front And Follow, 2020]
Yumah – Escape [from Isolation And Rejection vol. 1, Front And Follow, 2020]
Bethan Kellough – Lines of Flight [from Touch:Isolation, Touch, 2020]

The Spun Out Rejection Selection

Hello, you. Ready for another quietly spectacular edition of Fog Cast? Of course you are. And this week it’s an absolute humdinger, featuring two recent albums from the ever-dependable Spun Out Of Control label and another visit to Mark Vernon’s An Anontated Phonography Of Chance, an album that almost seems to have been designed specifically with Fog Cast in mind! Plus there’s an exclusive nugget from Long Meadows, so pop on your headphones and let’s roll.

Hattie Cooke – Chamber / Emerging / Ladders / Run / Something’s Watching You [from The Sleepers, Spun Out Of Control, 2019]
Long Meadows – Dungeness Pt. 1 [unreleased, 2020]
Steve Nolan & Grey Frequency – Been / The End Or The Exit / In Private / Not So Distant [from Intercept, Spun Out Of Control, 2020]
Mark VernonAspen House / Megalithic Circuit / Shrouded Yagis / Simmer Dim [from An Annotated Phonography Of Chance, Misanthropic Agenda, 2019]

An old friend of these pages, of course, Grey Frequency makes another appearance this week with the launch of this rather fantastic new fundraising compilation Isolation and Rejection vol.1. It’s the first in a planned series from a rejuvenated Front And Follow, emerging from hibernation to do some good in these troubled times, and featuring twenty tracks for a mere fiver. Lovely to see this label back in action, albeit temporarily, and this first outing boasts a predictably killer lineup, with contributions from old friends Time Attendant, Ekoplekz, Kemper Norton and many more.

Isolation and Rejection was born out of thinking about what happened to all the tracks that didn’t make it onto those fancy compilations, and is now turning into an ongoing project to collect, collate and promote rejected sounds. This is not an isolation project – it’s a rejection project. All income raised will go to The Brick in Wigan, a fantastic charity on the front line of supporting those most in need, seeking to address the inequalities across our country exacerbated by COVID-19, but there all along.

A superb compilation for a thoroughly worthy cause, then. Front and Follow have already raised an impressive £600 with volume one alone and further editions are on the way, one of which will feature an exclusive Howlround track. Dig deep, friends, this will surely be another future classic in what has already been a vintage year for experimental music and an absolutely rubbish year in absolutely every other respect. Compilations such as this and Castles In Space’s excellent Isolation Tapes offer hope for us all – and some new ear candy to enjoy while studiously avoiding everyone else. More isolation action next week!

The Art Of Reciprocal Phonography – Fog Cast Turns 13

Hello you. It’s Fog Cast 13 this week, but Resonance FM’s premier late night isolation soundscape show is feeling very lucky indeed to be hosting another stellar line up, much of which is freshly arrived on the block, proving that while this cursed year or 2020 does inherently suck, there is still a huge amount of remarkable sounds out there, just waiting to be discovered. It’s an observation I tend to make most weeks, but what can I tell you? I’m constantly being surprised anew with the depth and quality on display out there! And of course the search continues – I’m always looking for new material to include in subsequent programmes, so if you have something to consider, do get in touch either by email or Twitter.

In fact, the presence of art, culture and music on this increasingly right-wing little rock in a time of austerity and pandemic has been one of the few things that has kept me sane over the last few months and years, so if you feel the same I would ask you – as ever – to bung some cash towards the artists responsible for the fine musical selections in this week’s episode. Furthermore, I would ask you to consider signing THIS ONLINE PETITION calling upon the government to consider emergency funding for the arts. ‘The government should look to the aftermath of the second world war when the UK along with many other countries invested large sums in the arts as part of their plans to rebuild society’, its authors claim, entirely commendably. This is also a moment to review arts funding as a whole and to turn away from the discredited austerity, privatisation and private funding model that has dominated Culture and public services more widely.’ I have no dog in this particular fight, other than having a lot of artist friends who are really struggling to make ends meet right now. I’ve signed and I hope you’ll consider doing so as well. And once you’ve done so, reward yourself by strapping on your ear goggles, fixing yourself a stiff one and sliding head-first into another inviting sonic stew…

Mark Vernon – Succulent Gros / Overflown Ellipsis / The Larum Of The Living / The Consensus Is To Delete / Nossos Ossos / Revolving Rivers [from An Annotated Phonography Of Chance, Misanthropic Agenda, 2019]
Marina Rosenfeld & Ben Vida – VERTICE (Extract) [from the forthcoming album VERTICE, Phantom Limb, 2020]
Lo Five – Raising Awareness / Amor Fati [from The Art Of Living, Lo Five, 2020]
Simon Klee – Gamma Escape Sequence / Temporal Transmutation / Darkening Skies [from The Reciprocal Second, SubExotic, 2020]
Correlations – Xibalba [from Mayan Gods, Castles In Space, 2020]
Lo Five – Caught Between Lives / Ataraxia [from The Art Of Living, Lo Five, 2020]
Michael O’Shea – Voices / Anfa Dásachtach [rec. 1981, from Michael O’Shea, Allchival, 2019]

Winter, Whistlers And Wood Pigeons – Fog Cast Goes Further


Hello you. We’re travelling to some very remote locations on Resonance FM’s Fog Cast this week, starting with the sounds of space captured by the British Antarctic Survey, then moving on to the remote Finnish ireland of Örö; before returning home to a silenced lockdown London, which in its own way feels like a distant world now that so many people appear to have completely forgotten we’re in the middle of a pandemic! Not to worry, though, it’s a sublime listen for those of you still stuck in isolation – though be warned it’s not always an easy one! Here’s the tracklist: 

Sounds of Space Project – Sonic Rain 4.45 AM / In the Heart of the Storm 8.00 PM [from Aurora Musicalis, Sounds of Space Project, 2020]
Amy Cutler –  a childish attempt to read the immense ineffable riddle of the world [from Örö Tape- Fieldtrips of the Damned, Fractal Meat Cuts, 2020]
Stubbleman – 6am – Chorus / 8 am – Soliloquy [from The Blackbird Tapes EP, Crammed, 2020]
Amy Cutler –  vigil for örö (one month of fieldtrip sounds – radar, bird calls, bunker bell system, ice, rust, swamp) / ghost antler lichen [from Örö Tape- Fieldtrips of the Damned, Fractal Meat Cuts, 2020]
Stubbleman – 4 am – Conversation – Soliloquy [from The Blackbird Tapes EP, Crammed, 2020]
Amy Cutler – moth examination station [from Örö Tape- Fieldtrips of the Damned, Fractal Meat Cuts, 2020]
Sounds of Space Project – Aurora Musicalis Compilation Sounds only [from Aurora Musicalis, Sounds of Space Project, 2020]

Our proceedings kick off this week with The Sounds of Space Project, a trio consisting of the British Antarctic Survey’s Nigel Meredith who supplied the space sounds, composer and pianist Kim Cunio, and Diana Scarborough who produced this very fine accompanying video. Their debut album Aurora Musicalis is available for free online and very splendid it is too, combining ambient piano with recordings captured by a Very Low Frequency (VLF) receiver at Halley Research Station in Antarctica to striking effect. The accompanying notes to this release claim it to be ‘partly an imagining of what it would be like to stay at the Halley station with a grand piano’, though to my ears the glacial celestial ambience on display is in no way redolent of the kind of logistical nightmare such a task might entail (for one thing the temperatures would surely play havoc with the tuning?)! A fascinating listen, anyway. I’ve featured two tracks here plus the bonus recording of unadulterated space sounds which closes both their album and today’s show, and would heartily recommend further immersion.

Someone else who is sensibly not travelling with a grand piano (unless I’ve missed something) is sound artist, writer and cultural geographer Dr. Amy Cutler, who spent an isolated month at the end of 2019 on the remote uninhabited Finnish island of Örö and has just released a new album of field recordings, spoken word and cut-up concréte poetry culled from her experiences on Graham Dunning’s Fractal Meat Cuts label (at the time of writing there are only TWO copies left, so go man GO!). Örö Tape: Fieldtrips of the Damned has been described by the artist as ‘audio for a final fieldtrip, or vigil, in a world becoming haunted […] a tape cassette of pathetic fallacy / emotional spectrums of atmosphere / the walk-through or play-through of a “last man” winter outpost / your heart turning to ice as extinction sets in’ and to my ears it’s as beautiful and austere as the wintery island that inspired it. Dive in and feel that Baltic chill!

 

Also featured on the show this week is The Blackbird Tapes, a brand new digital EP of London lockdown ambience by veteran producer and sound engineer Pascal Gabriel, trading here as Stubbleman but with an artistic CV as long as your arm. A sequel to last 2019’s Mountains And Plains LP, it’s a trio of new works that Pascal claims have been ‘inspired by the increase in birdsong floating in through the top floor window of my London home’ and it’s recordings like these that are pretty much the reason I launched Fog Cast in the first place. ‘Each of the three tracks is based on a field recording of blackbirds and their friends singing at different times of day over three weeks during the London lockdown in April 2020’, Pascal continues, ‘I’ve taken the melodies and atmospheres evoked by the recordings and used a minimalist arrangement, simply overlaid with upright piano and analogue synth, to create these meditative compositions’. In some ways it’s a shame to think that this quiet stillness has disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, but hopefully Stubbleman has some more of this wondrous works up his sleeve. In the meantime this EP is out now on Crammed Discs.

Really quite a trip this week, wasn’t it? I do hope you’re enjoying Fog Cast as a series so far. If so, please consider making a donation to the ever redoubtable Resonance FM who have remained on air throughout the entire lockdown to ease isolation. All programme makers and engineers happily donate their time and resources for free and the station depends almost entirely on the generosity of its listeners, so why not visit https://www.resonancefm.com/donate and do what feels natural? They’ll thank you for it and so will I!

Isolation Gulag – Fog Cast Gets The Tapes Out

Zyklus – Colophon, 1998 / Wasteland, 1983 / A Thought is a Wave, 1989 / Another Flood, 1987 [from Gumbo Gulag, Buried Treasure, 2020]
Jude Cowan Montague – Moog – Church African – Red Gold [unreleased, 2020]
Plone –  Circler / Red Kite [from Puzzlewood), Ghost Box, 2020]
Long Meadow – Just Wait Until Spring [unreleased, 2020]
Not Quite So – This Nice Man [from 37 Minutes, Not Quite So, 2020]
Kemper Norton – Treliske [from The Isolation Tapes (Cassette Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Ffion – This Limbo [from The Isolation Tapes (Compact Disc Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
The New Obsolescents – Glass Sphere [from The Isolation Tapes (Compact Disc Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Polypores – Abstract Gardening [from The Isolation Tapes (Compact Disc Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Hawksmoor – La Peste [from The Isolation Tapes (Cassette Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Jonathan Sharp – The World Without Us [from The Isolation Tapes (Compact Disc Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan – Public Health and Wellbeing – Prog. 314 Meditation for Insomniacs [from The Isolation Tapes (Compact Disc Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Field Lines Cartographer – Time Crystals [from bonus ‘Side 3’ of The Isolation Tapes (Cassette Edition), Castles In Space, 2020]
Drunk Keith! – Keep This Frequency Clear! [from the forthcoming album The Death Of Drunk Keith!, Drunk Keith!, 2020]

Hello you. Rather later than usual this week, please enjoy the latest edition of Fog Cast for Resonance FM, much of which is given over to celebrating the release of volumes one and two of The Isolation Tapes on Castles In Space, boasting a whopping 66 tracks from the cream of weird electronics and psychedelic pastoralism; and also Gumbo Gulag, a retrospective of library and production music from Zyklus on Buried Treasure Recordings that’s full of the kind of grainy lo-fi synth goodness I get very excited about. Listen to 1983’s ‘Wasteland’ (second track on the show) and you could almost be watching the title sequence of some badly-interlaced, tenth generation video nasty on VHS. This is a very high compliment of course – and not just because I’ve been watching an awful lot of trashy B-movies lately. Although I can’t deny that has helped…

Anyway, both releases deal with specific time-spans, but at rather opposite ends of the spectrum – everything that appears on the two volumes of The Isolation Tapes was created in a single month under lockdown, whereas Gumbo Gulag runs from 1982 to 2004. All are highly deserving of your attention and selling fast, so I’d jump and secure yourself copies right away. Plus all proceeds from The Isolation Tapes are going towards The Cavell Nurses’ Trust, so it’s a thoroughly worthy cause too.

As we’re now halfway through the year, I thought it might also be nice to look both backwards and forwards at some of 2020’s other offerings. The show is rounded off with exclusive new and unreleased material from Resonance’s own Jude Cowan Montague, the ever-affable Long Meadow, those charming chaps from Not Quite So and also the tipsy splendour of Drunk Keith!, a new project from the artist formerly known as The Protagonist! (exclamation marks his own – I’m not shouting). Plus I couldn’t have a mid-year show without including something from my very favourite LP of 2020 so far, the life-affirmingly joyous Puzzlewood by Plone. It’s been a rotten year for so many, but all this amazing music – and finally having a little more spare time to actually listen to it  – has been one small reason for good cheer. The lathe cuts of Howlround’s new EP with Merkaba Macabre selling out in under half an hour has been another, rumours of forthcoming releases by The Twelve Hour Foundation and Concretism another still. We might just all survive the year with our sanities intact after-all…

Cantor Dust And Monster Curve – Bandcamp Friday 7″ Special

**UPDATE: The physical stock sold out in under half an hour! Wow! But the EP is still available digitally and 100% of all proceeds are still going towards helping out Iklectik in these unprecedented times, so dig deep and let’s help our friends out!**

Hello you. Very excited to announce that Howlround and Merkaba Macabre are dropping Cantor Dust And Monster Curve, a brand new fundraising release for #BandcampFriday, launching tomorrow on 5th June with 100% of proceeds going to help support imperilled south London arts venue Iklectik. It’s a four-track EP of ‘Tape Loop Techno Meets Modular Madness’, containing some of the music we’ve been creating in collaboration over the past year, which started of course with our debut performance at The Delaware Road back in summer 2019.

Working with Ben Soundhog’s newly-minted Plastidisk outfit, we’ve created an edition of twenty lathe-cut 7″ singles, hand-made and hand-numbered with full colour labels and original artwork. Each side of the disc contains one heavyweight banger, expertly cut by Ben to get the loudest, most dynamic sound possible, and the release is rounded off by two more digital tracks of pounding beats and pulsing electronics. Plus of course every copy comes with a full digital download for the entire EP. There are only 20 physical copies available for the world and that’s all – no repress, no second editions, first come, first served! The release is now live. Don’t sleep on this!

100% of all proceeds raised will be going straight to help South London’s finest venue. And I do mean 100% as we’re donating the manufacturing costs as well, so any and all monies raised are going directly to help Iklectik during these unprecedented times. It’s been a hugely valuable platform, meeting place and social haven for so many artists and musicians over the last few years, and now’s the time to pull together and give something back: we’re hoping this highly desirable item will be just the thing. Plus you can always make a standalone donation anytime by visiting https://iklectikartlab.com/support-us/ or indeed just clicking on the image above.

Secret Songs Of Birds – Siberian Rubythroat (at 50% speed) [from Secret Songs Of Birds, British Library, 2010]
Jim Fassett – A Revelation In Birdsong Patterns [from Symphony Of The Birds, Ficker Records, 1960]
Secret Songs Of Birds –  Grasshopper Warbler (at 35% speed) / Pacific Winter Wren (at 30%) / Eurasian Reed Warbler (at 50%) [from Secret Songs Of Birds), British Library, 2010]
Ljuben Dimkaroski – Zvočni Pogovori [from Zvočni Pogovori / Sound Dialgoues, Ljuben Dimkaroski, 2009]
Jim Fassett – Symphony Of The Birds (Three Movements) [from Symphony Of The Birds, Ficker Records, 1960]

In other news, this week’s episode of Fog Cast takes to the sky with an avian theme, opening and closing with Jim Fassett’s truly remarkable slice of early tape manipulation Symphony Of The Birds and featuring several extracts of specially treated birdsong from the British Library’s collection. There’s also an extended piece by the Macedonian composer Ljuben Dimkaroski where he plays along with the dawn chorus (it sounds like it, anyway, the sleeve notes are unclear – and in Slovenian) using a Tidldibab, a recreation of a 60,000 year old Neanderthal flute found in Slovenia. It’s a curious truth that while birdsong is generally considered to be relaxing by the kind of people that peddle CDs of running water and rainforest noises in your local garden centre, this tenth episode of Resonance FM’s soundtrack to our current era of Isolation is perhaps the harshest listen yet. The slowed-down tracks have a strangely abrasive, alien feel to them, particularly on Fassett’s sixty year old recordings which occasionally show their age – not that they’re any less sublime for all that, mind you, we basically live in the world he and so many other pioneers created! Dimkaroski’s work is an intriguing affair as well, taken from a CD I picked up in Ljubljana while visiting a fascinating exhibition of prehistoric instruments, though despite his being a respected veteran composer I’m afraid I can’t find much more information or a link to the CD online! Perhaps a trip to Slovenia is in order, once lockdown is lifted? It’s a beautiful city and the food is magnificent. I’m now dreaming of these things as only a person who hasn’t left Penge in three months can…

Slither Hither – Fog Cast Episode 9 + Block Busting Beats

Christine Ott –  Sirius / Burning [from Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot), NAHAL Recordings, 2020]
Oscillatorial Binnage – Mechanised Mirage / Wokfinger Unfanfare / Subharmonic Ghost Suite / Applause Round [from Agitations: Post Electronic Sounds, Sub Rosa, 2020]
The Central Office Of Information – Surface Noise / Banishing Ritual [from The Central Office Of Information, Castles In Space, 2019]
A’Bear – Slither / Light Up My Gloom [from Ear Of The Heart, A’Bear, 2020]
Robert Worby – Night, Without Edges or Face [from Fractious Airs, Persistence Of Sound, 2019]
Pascal Savy – The Slow Cancellation Of The Future / Echoes Of A Black Hole Eating A Star [from Dislocations, Experimedia, 2018]
Christine Ott –  Comma [from Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot), NAHAL Recordings, 2020]

Hello you. Another hasty update this week to bring you another classic edition of Fog Cast on Resonance FM (though I say so myself), featuring tracks from Christine Ott‘s magnificent new LP of compositions for Ondes Martenot, new tracks from COI and Robert Worby and a number of tracks from albums that have featured on the show before, but I felt deserved another delving – Osciallatorial Binnage, Pascal Savy and Janine A’Bear, three of my favourite recent releases. A’Bear’s ‘Slither’ also has this rather super new video out this week, directed by my old sparring partner Steven McInerney:

Speaking of Steve, we’re plotting something together for Bandcamp Friday, which is happening next week on Friday 5th June. We’re planning for something quite special but VERY limited. More details to arrive imminently. In the meantime, this short video clip from Instagram has almost nothing to do it, other than a silly in-joke with lathe-cutting supremo Ben Soundhog based on an even sillier game played on the long drive back from The Delaware Road last year. Mind you, I’m sure that the revelation of my many hours spent giggling at childish obscurities will come as little surprise.

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

PS Respect is due to anyone who saw the title  of this blog post and immediately thought ‘SPOOK!!‘. The obscure references just keep rolling on…

Will Get Spooled Again – Howlround Live Return, Isolation Tapes And A Fog Cast Double Bubble

Hello you. Double bill of Fog Cast this week due to my tardiness in updating these pages, caused by a minor lapse in health, thankfully not caused by what one friend has described as ‘the trendy virus’. Turns out staring at a screen with your headphones on all day, every day isn’t terribly good for you. Which is a shame as I’m about to ask you to strap on your ear-goggles and receive an extra helping of Resonance FM‘s late-night, deep-listening isolation service. Fortunately the quality of both programmes is impeccable, with our first episode featuring perhaps the three tracks that actually inspired me to create Fog Casts in the first place. Plus the fact that Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s stunning piece was recorded using Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures squares this particular circle rather admirably!

Episode 7:

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe –  Untitled [from Levitation Praxis Pt. 4, DDS, 2017]
Oliveros / Dempster / Panaiotis – Lear [from Deep Listening, New Albion, 1989]
Harry Bertoia – Energyzing [rec 1978, from Sonambient  – Complete Collection, Important Records, 2016]

This week’s latest episode featured not one but TWO newly released LPs from legendary Argentinian composer Beatriz Ferreyra, plus a rather super new cassette from School of the Arts and an extended work from Luke Seomore’s Blessed are the hearts that bleed project. I know 2020 is proving a pretty rotten year, but good grief, don’t the rich musical pickings continue apace?!

Episode 8:

Beatriz Ferreyra –  L’autre … Ou le chant des marecages [rec 1987, from Echos+, Room 40, 2020]
Maria Bertel & Maria Diekmann – Duo 2 / Diekman Solo 1 / Diekman Solo 3 [from Live in Murmansk, School Of The Arts, 2020]
Beatriz Ferreyra – La Ba-Balle du Chien-Chien à la mé-mère [from Huellas Entreveradas, Persistence of Sound, 2020]
Blessed Are the Hearts that Bend – Milk [from The limitless sweet love of precious suffering, 2020]

Indeed the rich musical pickings continue with two volumes of Isolation Tapes from Castles In Space, available to pre-order as of today and featuring a head-spinning number of tracks from a whopping contingent of the contemporary electronic music community. All tracks were produced under lockdown between 23rd March and 17th April, and the speed with which this compilation has emerged and the talent on display is testament to the genius of label head Mr. Colin Morrison. All proceeds are going to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, so it’s a fabulous double album for a good cause. What’s not to like? It also contains the first fruits of a secret new collaborative project that due to an oversight might actually no longer be a secret at all, whoops-a-daisy. But more on that later. Probably…

In other news, I’ll be dusting off the tape machines and doing a live-streamed performance for Iklectik on Saturday 23rd May (tomorrow night at the time of writing), in a triple-bill with Zeno Van Der Broek and SW1n-HUNTER. I’m presenting an experimental new piece that I’ve been working on involving one tape loop stretched across two machines. It’s at the proverbial ‘interesting stage’ and the loop hasn’t snapped on me yet, so do please consider joining me on this journey of discovery. Plus Zeno’s Breach LP was one of my favourite releases of last year, so we’re set for a great evening whatever happens! You should be able to watch the performance live using the window below, the Iklectik youtube channel (where you’ll also find lots of lots of other live-streamed performances to enjoy) or you can buy a ‘ticket’ here and help support both artists and venue. See you then!

Lastly, as an attempt to get myself match-fit again after the recent lack of live performance action, I made a new track yesterday afternoon and have now posted it onto my long-dormant Soundcloud account with the subtitle ‘felt cute, might delete later’. It was created by layering a number of closed input feedback loops produced by ‘Daphne’, my UHER 6000 on top of one another in rapid succession, working quickly and embracing chance. I like how the different elements shift around each other and keep forming into new patterns, although Father Fog says he thinks the ending is a bit weak. It’s probably best not to disagree with Fog Snr. if I want those deliveries of homemade soda bread to continue, but for what it’s worth I think it works surprisingly well as a composition, given the deliberately random way it was thrown together. Have a listen below and see which generation of my bloodline you’re in agreement with, but do bear in mind there’s no baked produce in it for you:

Inner Space Journeys – Fog Cast Episode 6 + Insula Acid

Hello you. It’s an exciting week here at Fog Towers for a number of reasons. Partly because the latest episode of Fog Cast on Resonance FM is the first to feature exclusively brand new content from albums that are either newly released or imminently arriving, and a jolly fine lot they are too. Who says there’s no new music in 2020?

Correlations –  Ixmacane / Och-Kan / Ixazaluoh [from Mayan Gods, Castles In Space, 2020]
Nad Spiro – Machinet / Espero / Foixarda [from forthcoming LP Pederes, 2020]
Li Yilei – Tracking a Smile of Familiarity / Sound Unbound / Flow Scale / Chirping Contemplation [from Unabled Form, LTR Records, 2020]
Cloud Diameter – Noise Floor / Sequence Of Blinking Instruments / Saturation Bell [from Cloud Diameter 2, Cloud Diameter, 2020]
Correlations –  Ahau-Chamahez / Cit-Bolon-Tum [from Mayan Gods, Castles In Space, 2020]

I’m also delighted and proud to present the first of a series of videos from the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project entitled Sounds From Home, in which we embark on an exciting journey into outer space and back in time – all without leaving the house! With so much of our outreach work postponed for the foreseeable future and with the vast majority of the population stuck in isolation, we thought it might be fun to set people the challenge of trying to unlock the sonic potential of their own homes – and all you need to join in are a few household items and a sense of adventure!

The inspiration from this video came from Creating Music In Class, a 1976 box set discovered in the archive of the Inner London Education Authority; containing several miniature spools of tape filled with strange sounds, a collection of graphic scores – and a certain John Baker listed as ‘Audio Editor / Producer’ in the credits, surely none other than the Radiophonic Workshop legend himself? Intrigued by such a forward-thinking approach – it’s easy to forget that this box set was originally aimed at children aged 10-13 – we’re how hoping to use it to inspire a new generation of music makers. For this video I’ve taken one of the graphic scores from the box entitled ‘The Space Journey’ and attempted to realise it using only items sourced from around my own home. Well, I ended up choosing only one item in the end, but it was so rich in sonic potential that little else was needed: 

Of course this video is only intended as an introduction and the next stage is up to you, the audience. We’re really hoping that people will take this idea, run with it and then produce new works of their own – and as a chap with so many talented, musical friends I’m rather counting on you all help spread the word! Please share this video far and wide and help us carry the visionary spirit of Creating Music In Class forwards! Get your implements out! Get your kids involved! Follow this score or create one of your own. And when you’re finished, share them with the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage team, either by tagging us or using the hashtag #SaveOurSOunds. Let’s fill this lockdown with strange sonic adventures!

Finally, Howlround’s contribution to the recently launched Touch:Isolation dropped yesterday and is now available to all subscribers. I do so love using aeronautical terminology to describe the arrival of new music like this, don’t you? Really feels empowering. You’ll notice on this occasion I’ve used ‘dropped’ rather than the more conventional ‘landed’ because I wanted to make this event feel particularly seismic: ‘Insula Acid’ is one of Howlround’s heaviest works to date.


Described as ‘Quite Savage’ by non other than Ben Soundhog himself, its auditory audacity feels all the more remarkable when you consider that it was produced under lockdown, in two takes and without upsetting any neighbours or flatmates (well, none that I’m aware of, at least). So yeah, it dropped alright. Fell to Earth like a big sonic stone. If I was feeling really emphatic, I might talk of how the skies roared, the heavens opened and a shiny new digital file thundered into inboxes all over the planet. But that would be getting carried away. Regardless, for the bargain price of a mere £20 subscribers will receive this track and (at least) 19 others from a fantastic line-up including Unica Zürn, Yann Novak, Jana Winderen, Chris Watson – the list goes on. All proceeds will be split equally between the artists and as previously mentioned I’m donating the Howlround share to supporting imperilled London arts venue Iklectik. Subscribing is of course the only way to hear ‘Insula Acid’ in full, but there is a 30 second clip hidden in the middle of this project sampler. Have a listen and see if you can spot it:

Playing For The Home Crowds – Fog Cast Episode 5 + Off Site Sessions

Caterina Barbieri – Bestie Infinite [from Bestie Infinite / Wear Patterns, Important, 2018]
Il Santo Bevitore / An Trinse – Interferenze Possibili (An Trinse Remix) [from An Trinse And Il Santo Bevitore, An Trinse, 2020]
Jim O’Rourke – And A 1,2,3,4 [from I’m Happy And I’m Singing And A 1,2,3,4, Editions Mego, 2001]
Jóhann Jóhannsson & BJNilsen – I Am Here, Part Two [from I Am Here, Ash International, 2014]

Hello you. Hasty report this week to present the latest edition of Resonance FM’s Fog Cast for your approval, and to wish that magnificent station and all who sail in her a VERY HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY! Probably not quite the time for a proper celebration, things being as they are, but their pledge to keep going right the way through lockdown has certainly bought some much-needed joy to many! Friday 1st May is the official anniversary and Resonance will be celebrating with a special day of programming, so do tune in and then go visit Resonancefm.com and make a donation – perhaps even a regular monthly one? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, London and life in general would be a lot duller without them.

Speaking of places that are continuing to contribute to cultural life under lockdown, South London’s finest venue Iklectik have been putting on a fabulous series of Off-Site live performances on their youtube channel. Subscribe for future updates and then seriously consider bunging them some cash too.

Like so many others, Iklectik have had their income decimated by the Corona pandemic and face a seriously imperilled future. You can make a donation on their website as well as check out a number of fundraising releases donated by some of the performers that have graced their stage over the last few years, a gladdening reminder of just what a special place this venue is for so many, myself included. Most importantly, on Friday 1st May Bandcamp are waiving their revenue share from all sales, so that artists get 100% of all money they make on that day. I’m donating all digital sales of Howlround releases on The Fog Signals (sadly the physical merch has long since sold out) on 1st May to Iklectik, as well as my share of any revenue from the Touch Isolation subscription project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t yet signed up for this bargain tour-de-force of the Touch roster then Friday 1st May would absolutely be the right time to do so! Howlround’s contribution ‘Insula Acid’ will be surfacing very soon, but there’s plenty of classic material being served up already…

Meanwhile, the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project continues apace, despite our nationwide task force being almost entirely grounded under lockdown. While the initial aim of digitising half a million rare and at risk analogue recordings has of course been put to one side for the time being, outreach is also a hugely important part of the #SaveOurSounds project, so team members from up and down the UK have been coming up with novel and interesting ways to engage with the public while keeping everyone involved safely ensconced at home. I’ve been working with my own team at London Metropolitan Archives on something rather exciting that I really hope is going to capture a few imaginations when we launch it next week, so do watch this space. Here’s a sneak preview to whet your appetite in the meanwhile:

Join us next week for a sonic adventure into the outer reaches of your house… #SaveOurSounds https://t.co/oGV9D2MMqg

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And, most excitingly of all, THIS happened. There are another eighteen minutes of this recording that I hope to be able to share with you in the not too distant future. Until then, stay safe – and support your lockdown art institutions!