Hello, you. Compilation albums are like buses, aren’t they? You wait simply ages and then an unprecedented three of them turn up at once! Back in action after a couple of weeks recuperating from a busy summer, I’m now delighted to announce a trio of new and exclusive Howlround tracks, each part of an different long-player imminently about to drop on one of my favourite labels! Despite the pure coincidence of these three releases occurring within a few weeks of one another, the new works are actually about as varied and differing as our output has ever been, running the gamut from cold, dark ambience to armageddon operatics and back again. Further proof of just how easy it is to fall down rabbit holes then turn them into wormholes when you’re working with tape!
First off is ‘East Tower Stairwell Gathering (Alternate Edit)’, part of the double CD compilation Lessons from our friends at Front And Follow. To celebrate 10 years and an impressive 50 releases (including The Blow vol. 2, our 2016 split cassette with Time Attendant), the Manchester label is presenting a bumper 25 exclusive tracks across two discs, featuring the likes of Leyland Kirby, Pye Corner Audio, Kemper Norton, Ekoplekz and Laura Cannell to name but a few. Available for pre-order here, you can discover more by perusing this article from The Quietus and enjoying the video teaser below.
Next up is The Quietened Cosmologists, the latest release from A Year In The Country, adding to the impressive string of lovingly-crafted limited edition albums already under their belt, including Howlround’s Torridon Gate from 2014 (of which there are still a few CD copies left if you hurry). As part of this latest in their ongoing series of themed compilations, we’ve contributed ‘Night Call, Collect’, an ambient miniature inspired by a classic Ray Bradbury short story both in name and in its attempt to conjure up a both the foreboding dark expanses of deep space and the dwindling of humankind’s optimistic dreams of exploring them.
The Quietened Cosmologists is a reflection on space exploration projects that have been abandoned and/or that were never realised, of connected lost or imagined futures and dreams, the intrigue and sometimes melancholia of related derelict sites and technological remnants that lie scattered and forgotten. It takes as its initial starting points the shape of the future’s past via the discarded British space program of the 1950s to 1970s; the sometimes statuesque and startling derelict artifacts and infrastructure from the Soviet Union’s once far reaching space projects; the way in which manned spaceflight beyond Earth’s orbit/to the moon and the associated sense of a coming space age came to be largely put to one side after the 1969 to 1972 US Apollo flights.
It’s certainly one of the more glacial and sombre pieces in our recent back catalogue, but sits perfectly alongside exclusive work from the likes of Grey Frequency, Time Attendant (him again!), Polypores and Pulselovers. The album is released in October but will be available for for pre-order in the next few days, so why not whet your appetite with this playlist of teaser clips the label has put together?
And finally, legendary cassette-only label The Tapeworm are celebrating their own landmark release with the unveiling of A Can Of Worms, its centennial edition featuring no less than 36 exclusive new pieces from label alumni such as Mark Van Hoen, Philip Marshall, Christian Vogel, John Butcher and many more; spread liberally across a limited edition C120 with cover artwork by Savage Pencil. Howlround contribute ‘Untitled (080417 Demo 4)’, a rather abrasive slice of distorted electronics that will hopefully offer some insight into a newer, noisier direction that I’m currently exploring and may even be the subject of a new LP early next year. But you might have to bear with me, this is one rabbit-hole I’m still digging…
A Can Of Worms will be released in a horribly limited edition of only 150 on 29th September, so the best way to ensure you bag a copy is to come along to the Tapeworm’s launch party taking place at Iklecktik that very evening. We’ll be doing a turn of the loops alongside album stars Dale Cornish & Phil Julian, Simon Fisher Turner, Marta de Pascalis, rough music, Laura Agnusdei and Parker, so it’s a pretty stellar line-up. Tickets come with a complimentary copy of the cassette and can be purchased here. Come hang out with some of ‘your favourite worms’ and help us raise a glass to the next hundred releases!