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!

 

Resonant Oscillations – Fog Cast Episode 4 + Treasure Down The Kaleidoscope

Hello You. Though I say so myself, this week’s Fog Cast on Resonance FM is a special occasion even by normal standards! We’re celebrating the imminent arrival of new albums by Oscillatorial Binnage on Sub Rosa, Drew Mulholland on Castles In Space, Lea Burtucci and Wonderful Beasts. Four LPs I’m very excited about, though I should point out that on this occasion I’m actually playing extracts from Lea’s previous effort, 2018’s Resonant Field, partly because it’s a truly sublime piece of work and partly because I still haven’t got my grubby mitts on the new vinyl yet.

Oscillatorial Binnage – Lamppostian Fronds [from Agitations, Sub Rosa, 2020]
Lea Burtucci – Wind Piece [from Resonant Field, NNA Tapes, 2018]
Drew Mulholland – Under Signal Control / To The Saltmarsh, Shingle & / The Black Beacon
[from A Haunted Strip Of Marshland, Castles In Space, 2020]
Oscillatorial Binnage – Wok Tones [from Agitations, Sub Rosa, 2020]
Lea Burtucci – Resonant Field [from Resonant Field, NNA Tapes, 2018]
Wonderful Beasts – Love Her [from The Art Of Whisper, Wormhole World, 2020]
DJ Food – Hour Glass / Shattered Glass (Early Version) [unreleased, rec. 2000]
Wonderful Beasts – She Is Sweet [from The Art Of Whisper, Wormhole World, 2020]

I’m also excited to announce that nestled in amongst all this exciting new material is an unreleased archive classic from DJ Food, included here to mark the anniversary of seminal LP Kaleidoscope, released 20 years ago this month. How time flies, seems only yesterday I was spacing out to this landmark album in my student bedroom. Besides being a Neo-Noir classic in its own right, Kaleidoscope introduced me to so much other music as well – the Bedazzed OST, the start of an obsession with the work of Ken Nordine, Mr. Geets Romo and How To Speak Hip – a perfect combination of the ridiculously sublime and the sublimely ridiculous. The version of ‘Hour Glass / Shattered Glass’ included here is an alternate unreleased version of a track from album companion The Quadraplex EP that until earlier this month had been buried deep in the Food vaults, never having seen the light of day. I’m very chuffed to be able to give it an airing here!

To further celebrate this momentous anniversary, Strictly Kev and PC (DJ Food was a duo back when Kaleidoscope was recorded) have been rummaging around in the archives and provided a pair of companion mixtapes, full-to-bursting with further unreleased content: alternate mixes, early versions, demos, outtakes and previously unheard tracks. It’s all something of a revelation for anyone familiar with the original album, and a throbbingly good listen for anyone yet to succumb to its pleasures. I was particularly excited by the further alternate versions of Quadraplex tracks edited together into an extended suite that builds to a pummelling climax. But that’s in the second part. For now, have a listen to Part 1 above (curated by PC) and then head over to the official DJ Food page for Kev’s mix and extensive additional sleevenotes. Top work, chaps and congratulations – all over again!

In other news, Buried Treasure, the label that brought us The Delaware Road, Revbjelde and all manner of splendid library, folk-horror vinyl weirdness are currently holding a lockdown sale, with the last few remaining copies of some of their back-catalogue now on offer for what label head Alan Gubby describes as ‘silly money‘. And with four classic LPs for a mere £30, he’s not kidding. If I didn’t basically own the entire kit and caboodle already, I’d be jumping on these like they were on fire. There’s even a tiny handful of the original Delaware Road still available for a mere fiver. Diehard Howlround fans (I’m sure we have at least a token handful) will remember that most excellent compilation, particularly its opening track, surely?

Plus if you still haven’t picked up this year’s Hooha Hubbub from Revbjelde, now is the time as stocks are dwindling fast. It’s a stark, angry, fuzzy, yet surprisingly groovy affair that to my ears is a mere dry cough away from perfectly encapsulating this blighted year of 2020. But nowhere near as bad as that makes it sound…

Deep Cuts – Fog Cast Episode 3 + Isolation Tapes Aplenty


Hello you. Hope you and yours are safe and well. First off, absolutely thrilled to bits with this week’s FogCast on Resonance 104.4FM, despite it being a sombre affair after the recent passing of Mandy Wilson aka Kassia Flux. My favourite track from last year’s Ergot In The Wine features prominently and I’m intending to include more in subsequent editions. There’s also an exclusive new work from Matt Atkins and a book-ending live performance from Raxil 4 and Alistair Smith, recorded at one of the STEEP events at St. Mary’s Tower – yet another institution that I’m very much looking forward to frequenting once again when all this is over. Intimate Spaces – and indeed packing a large number of people into any form of confinement – is of course not really the done thing at the moment, but I’m as convinced as ever that good times will come again. In the meantime, here’s an hour of amazing sounds, made by talented friends to keep us going!

Alistair Smith – Gong Solo [Extract, The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]
Matt Atkins – As The Glowing Embers Fade To White [unreleased, 2020]
Kassia Flux – Luthier Levitate [from Ergot In The Wine, Linear Obsessional, 2019]
Raxil 4 & Alistair Smith – Duo [from The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]
Thomas Köner – Andenes [from Teimo, Barooni, 1992]
Alistair Smith – Gong Solo [2nd Extract, from The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]

Seriously, the more I think about how much amazing music continues to get made in spite of the rotten state of affairs, the more positive I feel about both the cultural state of our nation and the great fortitude of all the people creating it. Proof arrived last week with the latest issue of Electronic Sound coming through my letterbox along with Parapsychedelia, the fabulous new collaborative album on Castles In Space from The Heartwood Institute & Panaminte Manse:

Normal service is still a long way from being resumed, but little nuggets like this continuing to make their way through offer a sense that we’ll all find a way to muddle through somehow.  Indeed, I was so excited at the arrival of the aforementioned Electronics periodical that I somehow managed to bash myself right over the nose with it. And it’s quite a hefty volume, a fact that will be readily attested to by anyone who is either a regular subscriber or who happened to be present on that other occasion when I dropped a copy spine-first on my big toe. One advantage of lockdown, however, is that few will get to see the bruising. Or be disturbed by the rich and varied collection of profanities I habitually invoke in the moments that follow such occasions. I’m confident of a full recovery. Anyway, you can order your beautiful black and red LP here, secure in the knowledge that even in the post is a bit slow, you’ll have an instant download to enjoy while waiting. Just look at this cover art!

Exciting news now from a quiet corner of Wales, where redoubtable producer, DJ and sartorial elegance embodiment Ben Soundhog has gone into the lathe-cutting business with his new venture Plastidisc. Though only a couple of weeks out of the trap, he’s cut records for Drew Mulholland, a Revbjelde 7″ that sold out in about five minutes and 100 copies of a superb new 3-track EP from Clocolan, a copy of which turned up on my doorstep last week, causing as much excitement as Electronic Sound, but with less physical injury.

I can certainly vouch for the quality of the cut – and the music too! Bag one of the very last remaining copies here. Then visit the Plastidisc website and get him to cut some treats for you. I’m making plans already!

Finally, while Castles In Space-related activities have quite rightly commanded a good share of this week’s post, I couldn’t end our business here today without drawing your attention to the cover art for their forthcoming compilation The Isolation Tapes, which was posted online this morning. The deadline for submissions for tracks to this collection of tracks recorded by artists in lockdown passed last night and I have it on good authority that it’s going to be a very special affair indeed. More details will follow, but I certainly hope they’ll be do some prints of the sleeve or something. It’s a thing of absolute beauty, even by their own high standards:

Allowing The Light – Fog Cast Episode 2 + Touch Isolation

Hello you. Presented here for your approval, the second episode of Fog Cast, my new series of deep listening, isolationist soundscapes for Resonance 104.4FM. Broadcast Wednesday night at 11pm and repeated Sunday morning at 2.30am, this is aimed at anyone looking to find some kind of aural balm during our current lockdown situation. This week’s show features predominantly recent work, including a new unreleased piece recorded in the Brunel Tunnel, but there’s room for a couple of throwbacks as well, of course. As ever, I really want this programme to be a platform for contemporary artists to showcase new work, so please do get in touch with any suggestions of what should feature on future shows!

Rob Mullender-Ross – Ex-Voto [unreleased, 2020]
Graham Dunning – The Tracing of a Single Tide [from Something About Still Trying, Flaming Pines, 2020]
Pascal Savy – Allow the Light [from Dislocations, Experimedia, 2018]
BJ Nilsen – The Sound of Two Hands [from Focus Intensity Power, Moving Furniture, 2018]
Pascal Savy – Shadows Out of Time [from Dislocations, Experimedia, 2018]
Carl Matthews – Harmony Through Conflict [from Call For World Saviours, Mirage, 1984]
Jon Brooks – Violet Tide [from Walberswick, More Than Human, 2015]
Lasos – Formentera Sunset Clouds [from Inter-Dimensional Music, Unity Records, 1975]

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Also on the subject of Lockdown, I’m excited to announce that Howlround have contributed to a brand new project from the Touch stable, the long-running label founded by Mike Harding and Jon Wozencroft that recently celebrated its 38th birthday – and of course put out our sixth LP The Debatable Lands last year. Touch Isolation is a new subscription series that will feature twenty exclusive tracks by the label’s impressive roster of artists, each to be gradually unveiled over the coming weeks together with bonus content and other surprises too. £20 will get you all of these tracks and more, plus the warm fuzzy feeling that you’re directly helping to support the artists in a time where, needless to say, performance and revenue opportunities have been severely compromised. Any income generated will be shared equally between the artists and I’m planning to donate Howlround’s portion to Iklectik, the Lambeth-based arts venue that has been forced to close its doors and will be increasingly in need of support in the coming months. Our contribution ‘Insula Acid’ was recorded a fortnight ago while self-isolating and fittingly contains nothing but closed-input recordings from a single tape machine, produced in under an hour. Plus it sits alongside other new and exclusive works from Chris Watson, ELEH, Jana Winderen, Zachary Paul, Philip Jeck, Bana Haffar to name but a few – what a line-up!

The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.

We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.

These new and exclusive interventions will include works by Oren Ambarchi, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmers manual, Fennesz, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen and others to be confirmed – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.

We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition […] The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.

So, a great project for a good cause. What’s not to like? Click here to sign up!

Isolation Soundtracks – Introducing Fog Cast

Hello You. It’s been just over a month since I last updated this site and you won’t be needing me to tell you that in that short time just about everything has changed. Half the world is in lockdown, all venues are closed, all gigs, performances, releases, music and good times in general postponed for the foreseeable future. The vast majority of the populace are stuck in isolation, friends and families are estranged and concern continues to grow for vulnerable loved ones. It’s a sad and strange time and looks set to continue for a little while yet. But there is always hope. I deliberately used the word ‘postponed’ above, because, thanks to a curious strain of optimism I wasn’t previously aware of, I remain firmly convinced that happy days will come again. In the meantime we’ve all just got to sit tight and look out for each other.

While there are of course much bigger things to concern ourselves with in the current climate, I cannot overstate how much music has helped me get through the past few weeks and an awful lot of people I’ve been speaking to have said the same. If there is one small glow of positivity in amongst all this (other than the freshly-baked loaf of my Dad’s homemade soda bread that unexpectedly turned up in the post last Tuesday), I finally have the time to do an awful lot of listening. It never ceases to amaze me just how much astonishing music, old and new, continues to come my way, even now in this blighted year of 2020, so I decided that the best thing to do while stuck at home for months on end would be to start putting the thousands of recordings lining the walls here at Fog Towers to good use. To that end I’m launching FogCast, a new series of ambient, deep listening soundtracks for our current age of isolation, which will hopefully act as a kind of aural balm for friends and comrades stuck at home in troubled times. Designed for solitary listening on headphones, each episode will be broadcast 11pm Wednesdays on Resonance 104.4FM, then available online via the station’s Mixcloud page – and obviously I’ll be sharing them here too, along with a full tracklist. Here’s episode 1, which sets the scene  rather nicely by mixing recent works with older classics:

BJ Nilsen – Beam Finder [from Focus Intensity Power, Moving Furniture, 2018]
Merkaba Macabre – Iridescent [Forthcoming on Psyché Tropes, 2020]
Carl Matthews – Approach [Call For World Saviours, Mirage, 1984]
François Bayle – Toupie Dans Le Ciel [rec 1979, from Tremblements, GRM, 2018]
A’Bear – Involution [Unreleased, 2020]
Morgan Fisher – On the Brink [rec 1997, from Water Music, Tiger Bay, 2019]

I’m really hoping this will become a platform for like-minded artists and musicians currently without an outlet (or indeed an income), so recommendations and new works that fit the ambient, deep listening, drifting (but not necessarily soothing!) soundscape remit are warmly encouraged. If you have a piece that you’d like to be considered for inclusion in a future episode, do please get in touch, either on social media or by emailing robinthefog at gmail dot com. Thanks to everyone who has already made submissions and suggestions – and for the kind words this opening episode has received! It goes without saying that if you are enjoying this show or any future episodes, you might want to consider making a donation, either to Resonance FM or to the artists responsible. They’ll need our help more than ever in the weeks and months to come – and we’ll need them!

In other news, I’m very grateful to Laima Lisauskienė for including Howlround’s 2019 track ‘Heavy Works’ in this rather killer new mix. Produced last year for Musicity Global x Culture Mile’s collaborative project commissioning geo-located soundworks that reimagined the various spaces of the Barbican complex, its appearance here is most timely – unless you live in the immediate area or  possess a cassette of the resulting compilation album (which I still don’t, come to think of it), this is pretty much the only way you can listen to it until the London barricades are lifted! Chuffed to be in such auspicious company such as Tom Richards, Felix Kubin and Stockhausen as well!

On a sad note, I was very sorry to hear that fellow Barbican artist Many Wilson aka Kassia Flux passed away this week. A lovely and gifted composer whose two recent albums on Linear Obsessional are well worth a listen. I’ll be featuring extracts from her most recent work Ergot In The Wine in a forthcoming edition of Fog Cast and it seems a third posthumous release may surface some point in the future. RIP.

Naturally there’s not a huge amount of other business at the moment, but I’m sitting tight and working on a couple of secret projects that I’m very excited about and hope to be sharing with you once we all emerge blinking into the sunlight after the madness is over. As a trusted advisor said to me recently ‘imagine all the art that’s going to get made!’ and thinking along those lines over the last few weeks (plus the occasional loaf of fresh bread arriving in the post) has really kept me going. But to finish this post on an upbeat note, it suddenly occurred to me that I never shared these photos taken by the great Beth Arzy of my collaborative performance with Zachary Paul for Touch Presents… event at Cafe Oto back in February.

An absolutely fantastic night surrounded by great music and many friends, not least fellow performers Unica Zürn and Bill Thompson. Zach and I had fabulous fun pitting his violin against my tape machines and I honestly think this was one of my favourite live shows of the past year. I really hope we’ll get to share the recording of it that’s currently sat on my harddrive with you all in the not too distant future.

It all makes for a very happy, not-too-distant memory that’s helping keep me going Surely it won’t be too long before we get to do all these things again? Maybe we’ll have to wait until summer or even a little later – but there is so much great music and great art out there, not to mention great fellowship, that I can’t believe it could ever completely disappear, even in the teeth of a global pandemic! Until then, just sit tight and make sure you have plenty of access to good friends and a decent soundtrack.

Take care of yourselves, my friends. We shall overcome!

Touch, Transmissions And Tangles – Time For A Tidy?

Hello you. Hope you all had a good weekend, avoided the weather and spent as many hours in dimly-lit studios as I did? Of course, but now it’s time to put aside all that chaotic fun and emerge blinking into the dawn of a new week, where you’ll find plenty of intriguing goings on in the offing. First and most importantly, please do come and join us at Cafe Oto this Tuesday evening for a very special Touch Presents… night featuring a live performance from Howlround, as well as UnicaZürn, Bill Thompson and a special guest in the shape of Zachary Paul, joining us all the way from LA. Rumour has it that Zach and Howlround will be duetting, which is an exciting and also nerve-wracking prospect. On the one hand his album A Meditation On Discord was a personal highlight of last year, on the other the entire Howlround live set up has somehow become an unfathomable tangle at the bottom of my suitcase. This is partly due to a hurried trip up to Tottenham Hale on Saturday morning at the behest of Stephan and Adam of Littoral Transmissions, who asked me to be a guest performer on the latest edition of their Threads Radio show. 

Due to restricted space in the studio and having to set up as quickly as possible, I was forced to improvise with my choice of temporary tape loop storage, but I hope you’ll agree the resulting hour made the perfect ambient soundtrack to staying under the duvet and avoiding the weather. It’s now available online to anyone who missed the live broadcast and can be checked out below.

Thanks to everyone who put in a bid for one of the three limited-edition white vinyl Howlround 7” singles made for this year’s ResonanceFM Auction – I can reveal that ‘Yosemite’ raised a total of just over £244, all of which will go towards keeping London’s greatest radio station on air for another year. Once again we’re indebted to Dan from OneCutVinyl.com, who donated his time and resources for free and is an absolute champ. Splendid company down the pub too!

Some Howlround single activity of a slightly less amenable nature now, as my recent Anti-Brexit track ‘UnEngland’ with Dolly Dolly is reviewed in this month’s edition of The Wire. I was a bit surprised at the mention of synths and helicopters (I’ve sworn off both – all the sounds were generated by tape), but it’s certainly a more thoughtful summation than that one review we had on Facebook where we got flatly accused of racism for using the term GAMMON.

Fist-shaking Little-Englanders and the threat of official complaints notwithstanding, the track is still available, though due to an administrative error it has up to now has been the original demo mix that was being downloaded, not the version splendidly mastered by Jez Butler. This has now been corrected and the person responsible for this oversight has been sacked – email me if you’ve already purchased and need a replacement.. We’re still donating the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion, which also seems to have made a few other people quite cross – keeping everyone happy is certainly a challenge when you’re ensconced in a ‘clueless liberal metropolitan bubble’.

SUCH A GOOD IDEA at SHIVERS: HUSBAND AND WIFE, 22nd Nov 2019 from Sam Enthoven on Vimeo.

Let’s cheer ourselves up by leaving that bubble and heading for a remote house in the countryside, where all is clearly not going well for a short-tempered academic and his long-suffering wife. I am of course referring to last year’s SHIVERS performance at St. Mary’s Tower in Hornsey, where Sam Enthoven and I provided an appropriately eerie soundtrack to Lara DeBelder’s reading of Andrea Newman’s contemporary chiller ‘Such A Good Idea’. A video of the performance has now surfaced and can be enjoyed here in full, with thanks to the ever affable Andy Page for the camerawork! If that’s whetted your appetite for more, an audio recording of the evening’s other story, Conan-Doyle’s ‘The Case Of Lady Sannox’ has also been uploaded to Soundcloud:

In other news, Buried Treasure boss and Delaware Road chief strategist Alan Gubby has just dropped a second LP by his group Revbjelde and it’s an absolute blinder.

Hoohah Hubbub is available now as a strictly limited LP with beautiful artwork and a bonus CD of additional material. A perfect release for our fractured and dissenting age, it’s one of my albums of the year already and I predict it won’t stray far from the Foggy turntable for some time yet. It’s reviewed by none other than Bob Fischer in the latest Electronic Sound Magazine, who clearly approves:

This month’s edition of that most esteemed periodical also features Carlisle’s Vinyl Cafe, my joint all-time-favourite record store in in their regular ‘Talking Shop’ feature. Genial proprietor Mr. James Brown talks about the trials and tribulations of running a record store in my dear old hometown and the scene that has grown up around the shop over the last few years, including all manner of live shows by acts from near and far – including repeat visits by everyone’s favourite tape loop quartet and Cockermouth’s finest Hauntologist, lest we forget. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you had told me a decade ago that one day I could walk into a shop in Carlisle and buy LPs by Meredith Monk, Suzanne Ciani, Cabaret Voltaire, Sun Ra and the rest, I’d have branded you a hopeless idealist or mad. Five years and three editions of Winter Solstice Soundscapes later and here we are. Long life Vinyl Cafe!

   

Long live magazines that come with a four-track Joe Meek EP as well!

Anyway, hopefully see you on Tuesday. I’m very much looking forward to the show and promise to have all my tape loops, audio cables and power supplies extracted from the bundle in good time. Join us, won’t you? They’ll become entangled again almost immediately afterwards, so you might as well enjoy the spectacle while it lasts. Years from now we’ll both be able to say we were there for that briefest of periods where everything was in some semblance of order… 

For Six Ears Only – Exclusive Howlround 7″ For Resonance FM Fundraiser! 3 Copies Only! Bid Now!

Hello you. It’s Resonance FM fundraising season once again as the greatest community arts radio station on Earth attempts to raise enough cash to support another year of broadcasting ceaselessly independent, radical and uncompromising music, documentary, discussion and experimentation; all mercifully free from adverts and sponsorship. All life is here – programmes for London’s Pensioners and Congolese community rubbing shoulders with experimental composers, hastily-formed punk bands, Grime MCs – it’s a wondrous, inclusive cacophony. In our current blighted landscape I’m sure you’ll agree we need them more than ever and it truly is a cause for celebration that Resonance turns eighteen years old in 2020. But unfortunately the cake and bunting will have to be put on hold as redevelopment plans for their Borough High Street HQ means that the station is in urgent need of moving to new premises – and frankly that’s going to cost.

Fortunately there are lots of ways you can help ‘to make to make this fascinating and successful experiment a sustainable, on-going concern’, all of which can be accessed via the Fundraiser.Resonance.FM website. You can set up a regular donation, attend one of the numerous fundraising galas occurring over the next couple of weeks, or you can bid for all kinds of highly desirable items and experiences as part of the station’s Fundraising Auction – which I’m delighted to say features another exclusive offering by Howlround!

This year we have a lathe-cut 7″ single up for grabs on beautiful white vinyl, only three copies in existence and featuring two tracks exclusive to this release. All three are being auctioned off for the fundraiser and the only way to properly hear their contents is to make a winning bid – there will be no repress, no reissue and no digital. Truth be told I’m actually shooting myself in the foot a little bit with this ‘for six ears only’ ruling as both tracks are very fine indeed, featuring field recordings made in a remote log cabin in Yosemite, California and intended for release back in 2015 as part of the Creak In Time sessions (or failing that, part of some lavish boxset for that future moment when I suddenly remember I don’t have a pension). No offcuts here, my friends, this is pure tape loop gold!

The singles have been produced by our friends at OneCutVinyl.com, who have once again kindly donated their time and resources for free. You’ll find each listed separately on Ebay and you have until just after 19.00 GMT on Sunday 16th February to put in a bid. Each can be accessed through the Auction page of the Fundraiser website, but for the sake of convenience number one can be found here, number two here and number three here. All proceeds go straight to keeping Resonance FM on air, so please dig deep. London would be a duller, greyer place without it…

UnEngland – The Anti-Gammon Anthem

Greetings fellow denizens of our newly-formed Island prison. Here’s a little something to drown out the sound of all that gloating Gammon in this new age of isolationism: a new single by myself and Dolly Dolly, our first ever actual collaboration. All words by that most redoubtable wordsmith and all sounds created by Daphne the UHER 6000 and a spot of Wendy the B77 thrown in for good measure – using a closed-input feedback loop, which seems oddly fitting, doesn’t it? Expertly mastered by Jez Butler from The Twelve Hour Foundation, the whole thing was produced and mixed in one frantic hour the night before Britain left the EU and was officially released at ‘the unmagic moment’ of departure on 11pm on Friday 31st January – where it at least managed to make more noise than Big Ben did. It’s digital-only for the moment, but may find some physical form in the not too distant future, especially as I need to get this next album finished. In the meantime, it’s £1 a pop and 100% of the money raised will be donated to the so-called ‘Terrorist Organisation’ Extinction Rebellion. This fact, plus liberal use of the ‘G-word’ appears to have already made a couple of random strangers on social media VERY upset, though on the plus side the fact that they came across it at all must mean that our ‘reach’ as a brand is getting better, or something. Seriously, though, what is it about being on the winning team that makes some people so very angry?

GAMMON, FEEL THE NOIZE!!

Anyway, good luck, everyone and let’s continue to be kind and supportive to one-another where possible. I was contemplating ending with ‘Let’s be careful out there’, but then I remembered that’s how Alistair Stewart used to sign off episodes of ‘Police, Camera Action’ and decided against it. Somehow in the current climate it didn’t feel right…