Ash 11.4, by Simon Scott, is now on sale in the TouchShop as CD with exclusive bonus downloads, and also as a 24-bit digital file.
The download is available now, with the CD shipping on 4th September. When you buy the CD version from TouchShop, you receive two bonus tracks not available elsewhere:
1. 'Into Birch' (Pipe organ and electric guitar)
2. 'Mere' (Acoustic 6 string)
(both 24 bit, mastered by Denis Blackham)
“Insomni” sees Cambridgeshire man Simon Scott embrace a broader range of moods and timbres than on his previous album “Below Sea Level”, at times harking back to the heavier sounds of his early solo work for Miasmah. Although he cut his teeth as a drummer, the music released under his own name is mostly guitar- and synth-based, with the field recordings used to such great effect on “Below Sea Level” also making themselves heard on the new record. The title refers in part to the sources of many of these recordings, no longer limited to the natural world: unable to sleep, Scott’s ears tuned in to “the hum of the fridge… the fish tank, dvd player, a broken laptop…”
While “Below Sea Level” was a tribute to the wide open spaces and hidden aquatic and avian lives of Scott’s native Fens, “Insomni” traces a route through more mountainous terrain. While the late summer haze of the previous album is sometimes felt, this time round the music spans a season of torrential downpours and biting wind as well as moments of warmth and light. From the dense and rough to the light and buoyant, the wide range of timbres and intensities create a more dramatic scenery, with strong contrasts between epic grandeur and quiet intimacy. Tone and harmony are still important, but the music becomes increasingly melody-driven as the album progresses, with pace and rhythm, fleet-footed yet urgent, replacing the steady surge of the drone.
Indeed, “Insomni” is a record of two halves: the first drone-heavy, with harmony and texture the key developing principles; the second more melodic and foregrounding Scott’s skills as a guitarist. In this sense, the music cuts deep into time and sound to encompass a sedimentation of moments and influences that have led Scott to this point. Like a journey with many different waystations along the route, the album offers a range of different vistas and pleasures. Though no clear final destination is arrived at, a red line nonetheless draws itself through each of the album’s points, linking them together: a gaze from a train window as the worlds of the world roll by.
Slowdive's Simon Scott swallows us whole with the majestic 'Insomni', his debut for Ash International. As the album title implies, this album deals with sleep, or a lack of it, and most particularly the liminal spaces between light/dark, waking/dreams, and natural/noumenal realms. In Scott's own words "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…" And thus unfolds a 40 minute inward/outward journey, diffusing guitars, Buddha Machine and location recordings thru Max MSP, Supercollider and LogicPro to render a nebulous, dynamic sound field seamelessly strung between sheeting shoegaze and blistering ambience contrasting sharply with relatively shocking pockets and planes of naked acoustic guitar. Still, few can do this sound quite like the Slowdive man.
Ash 11.9 - DRONE T-shirt now available to pre-order
We are delighted to announce the forthcoming release of “I Am Here” by Jóhann Jóhannsson & BJNilsen on limited edition vinyl. This release is now in production and we are expecting finished copies before the end of November 2014.
Based on the original score for the film “I Am Here” (due to be released in 2015), written and directed by Anders Morgenthaler, starring Kim Basinger, Jordan Prentice and Sebastian Schipper. All music written and produced by Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen.
This is the first collaboration between Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen… very much a mix between their two worlds (you can hear both their signatures) and with the help of additional musicians, including Hildur Guðnadóttir on cello and the remarkable voices of Elfa Margrét Ingvadóttir and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson, they together create a world of great beauty and mystery.
Lagowski's three Ash International S.E.T.I. releases are now available digitally. They are joined by a fourth; a new digital reissue, "The Geometry of Night" [Ash 10.9]. S.E.T.I.'s releases ostensibly explore the darkness of space, but Geometry of Night also advises us to keep a wary eye on the dark side of human nature; it's already watching us via modern technology.
“I’m not sure how many people have listened to this ep, but I hope that it gets the exposure, love and critical praise it should – because listening to music doesn’t get much more stimulating and enjoyable than this.”
Apparently there is some dude, Michael Johnson, who is using the name “Ash International Records” to sting aspiring musicians for money with promises of a contract in the music business, and with threats he will destroy you if you don't sign. He is called Michael Johnson.
***UPDATE*** He know seems to be calling himself "Ash Records int.", but any approach from anyone calling themselves any variation of this name should be treated as fraudulent.
Ash International is not part of the “music business”, is not a record company and we never “sign bands”.
If you wish to contact Michael Johnson directly, here are his details:
Ash International Records
Téléphone /Telephone : +44 (0)7937447553
…but please remember he has nothing to do with us, Ash International.
Anyone who has contacted or been contacted by this Michael Johnson of "Ash International Records", please email firstname.lastname@example.org - we are trying to get a picture of how many people have been affected and build a case to report to the FBI and other international anti-spam fraud agencies…
BJ Nilsen's "Draught #1" - digital download now available
Cassette in an edition of 500 copies.
Cover: ‘Dead Flowerz One’ – the first in a series of six by SAVX.
Cover: ‘Dead Flowerz Two’ – the second in a series of six by SAVX.
A: Live at the ICA, London, 17th May 2008 - 40:07
Recorded by Charlie Poulet
B: Live at Puzzle, Caen, 26th November 2008 - 31:50
Recorded by Anna Cruise
"Arrive early. Dress appropriately. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Tune up before and during the performance. Don’t be a statue. Avoid “dead air”. Be flexible. Learn to play through bad stage sound. Never stop part way through a song, no matter how badly you’ve screwed up. Be prepared to socialise and mingle with the audience members. Have fun."
Christian Fennesz returns with "AUN - The Beginning and the End of All Things". This CD is the soundtrack to the film AUN, directed by Edgar Honetschläger, and features 12 previously unreleased Fennesz compositions.
Release date: 25.6.12 - pre-order now in the TouchShop…
Christian Fennesz’s 15-song soundtrack to the film AUN, directed by Edgar Honetschläger, is scheduled to be released on 25th June 2012 [Ash International # Ash 9.5]. As a taster, we offer you "Hikari", the final track from the album, for free download.
Touch.30 makes a two-date trip to Germany in April. Both performances will be supported by The Ash International Sound System making a noise…
Touch writes: "The resurgence of vinyl in recent years is a phenomenon which has not gone unnoticed; as CD declines sharply, its audio limitations exposed not only by advances in other technologies, but also by the myths propagated at the inception of digital exposed, so artists explore and demand other formats to express their work. Although a business model is still some way off the traditional artist » label » distribution » shop paradigm, it is clear this is being radically overhauled and replaced by online sales platforms set up by the artists themselves. But vinyl seems to have escaped this process, and continues to grow. Why is that?"
12" Vinyl EP + 320kbps mp3 downloads of the tracks
4 tracks - 20:55
Cut: Jason @ Transition Studios, London
Cover: Philip Marshall
Four new tracks from Purity Supreme. Purity Supreme is a collaboration between French musician, composer and producer Christophe Van Huffel and American writer, musician and composer Leslie Winer. Always Already was recorded in France at Studio7Love in May 2011.
Joachim Nordwall is deeply interested in the power of sound, and how sound can create certain states of mind - but also the other way around; how certain states of mind can create sound. Since his teens in the late 80s, growing up in the remote, crude south east Sweden, he has experimented with something he prefers to call 'Psychic Broadcasting' rather than composition, at first in the still almost active analogue synth drone duo Alvars Orkester ["Interference" - Ash International # Ash 6.9, 2006]. Nordwall went on to play in various experimental music projects, spent time in Paris and London. Back in Sweden he formed iDEAL Recordings in 1998 and joined the sweaty avant punk rock group Kid Commando the year after, touring like mad, eventually hitting rock bottom in 2005. After the death of KC, he formed the ritual rock/drone band The Skull Defekts which has kept him busy ever since (recently releasing records on Chicago-based Thrill Jockey Records). In 2006 his first solo album was released under his 'The Idealist' moniker, entitled "I Am The Fire". A few years in the making, the album offered was a deep study of Nordwall's interior life, during a time when everything was pitch black inside. Today, Joachim Nordwall is very active curating his iDEAL label and organisation for festivals, concert series and sound art exhibitions. He is also the chairman of the legendary Stockholm venue for experimental stage art, Fylkingen. Nordwall is a man that lives and breathes sound.
A few years have passed and "Ignition" is here, Joachim Nordwall's second solo album. Recorded under brighter circumstances but still with many shadows present. "Ignition" is on one hand a solid, highly electronic trip, on the other hand a very sensitive, analogue and warm drone symphony. "Ignition" was released (and is still available) on cassette - also on Ash International, in 2010, thus asserting the primacy of the analogue format.
"6, we find our mode. On the other hand we play records all night & write unambitious 6 bad books of poetry in those disastrous last 8 years."
Christophe Van Huffel & Leslie Winer are Purity Supreme. "Famous Inhabitants of Louth" is the third track on "Always Already" - released on 24.10.11 as a vinyl EP and a digital download. Video & images by Sébastien Chou & Anna Paola Guerra.
This song is about someone. “If you want to call someone a thieving pig fucker, you’d better be prepared to produce the pig.” — Hunter S. Thompson
Leslie Winer writes: "Purity Supreme is a project named after a particularly & spectacularly filthy supermarket that was near my grandmother's house in the 70s. Here's a little piece of honeybaked ham covered in hair and sidewalk salt jamming the wheels of your shopping cart. Purity Supreme."
"This one's for the twisted sister, lives down the lane"
"The more specific you get, the more general you’ll be – what you notice is the flaw. 16 unexplained views & the partial skeleton of a small reptile – it’s nice."
Christophe Van Huffel & Leslie Winer are Purity Supreme. "Milk St." is the first track on "Always Already" - released on 24.10.11 as a vinyl EP and a digital download. Video & images by Sébastien Chou & Anna Paola Guerra.
Leslie Winer notes: "May or may not be of some interest: This was recorded on the same desk as Paint It Black. Nice."
Thomas Ankersmit's "Live in Utrecht" album has made the PopMatters "Best Experimental Music of 2010" list, at position #4. They write: "This Dutch-born Berliner has produced a recording that perhaps sets a new bar for live electronic performance. While many drone or noise acts might fail to stimulate the non-converted, Live in Utrecht is intriguing enough as an artistic statement to attract those uninitiated to this kind of music."
The latest issue of The Wire features a four page article on EVP and Ash 9.4/PARC 4 - CM von Hausswolff's and Michael Esposito's "The Ghosts of Effingham".
The Wire writes: "Revisiting his family farm with Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Michael Esposito captured the sounds of his ancestors for their wax cylinder project, "The Ghosts of Effingham". Ken Hollings spools back to the days of Thomas Edison to investigate how obsolete recording devices and the dead voices captured on them have changed our perceptions of the material world."
The Medium: In 1877, Thomas Edison was trying to develop a telegraph inscription machine that would transcribe telegraph messages into indentations on a paper strip so the message could be replayed at will. From this he surmised that a telephone message could be recorded in a similar way. Using a diaphragm with an embossing point against rapidly moving paraffin paper, he achieved a certain amount of success. Edison changed the paper to a tin foil wrapped cylinder and added a second diaphragm needle unit for playback. Edison finished the plans for the machine on August 9, 1877. He gave the sketch of the machine to his engineer John Kreusi, who built it in only 30 hours. The first test of the machine was performed on August 12, 1877 with Edison reciting the now-famous "Mary Had a Little Lamb" nursery rhyme.
Exactly 133 years later, between 9th August 2010 and 12th August 2010 the first Luminescent Phonograph Cylinder Record was editioned. To accentuate a point, the cylinder contains recorded voices of unknown origins, possibly spirits of the dead. This is pertinent because late in Edison's life, he believed that he might be able to one day develop a recording device sensitive enough to record spirits of the dead. This was inspired with the loss of his wife Mary Stilwell Edison due to a brain tumour on 9th August 1884. Exactly 126 years later, the world's first cylinders containing voices of the dead were released.
The Media: "The Ghosts of Effingham" was created using EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) captured at the family farm of Michael Esposito, "The Vail", in Effingham, Illinois (established 1927). Carl Michael von Hausswolff lent composition and frequencies based on Friedrich Jürgenson's work. Two MP3s are supplied with each Cylinder purchase. The first of which is the original track. The second is of the cylinder as played on an Edison Fireside (1909) Model A with a Diamond B reproducer and a Cygnet horn. The result is a sonic testament to the work dreams and desires of man to record the sound of his own voice in life and even in death.
BJ Nilsen's "Draught #1" features two live recordings from 2008, housed in a splendid Savage Pencil cover.
Joachim Nordwall's "Ignition" - his debut solo album, to be released later in 2010 on CD - features five tracks, received and recorded in Brooklyn, Chicago, Gothenberg and Stockholm between 2006 and 2010. Equipment used: analogue synthesizers, effects and computer. This cassette was mastered by BJNilsen. Joachim Nordwall runs iDEAL Recordings and is a member of Skull Defekts.
We are proud to announce the release by Thomas Ankersmit of his concert performed in Utrecht late in 2007. Here is some info about Thomas, who has no other solo CDs available at this time… in fact, Live in Utrecht is his first official CD album release.
Thomas Ankersmit is a 30 year old saxophonist, electronic musician and installation artist born and raised in the Netherlands and now primarily based in Berlin who combines abstract, intensely focused saxophone playing with hyper-kinetic analogue synth and computer improvisation. He also creates installation pieces that use sound, infrasound and "modifications to the acoustic characters of spaces" that disrupt the viewer/listener's perception of the exhibition space and their presence within it. He frequently works together with New York minimalist Phill Niblock and Sicilian electroacoustic improviser Valerio Tricoli, and other collaborators, mostly for live performances, have included Tony Conrad, Maryanne Amacher, Jim O'Rourke, Kevin Drumm and Borbetomagus.
Jana Winderen's "The Noisiest Guys on the Planet" has been re-editioned, with reworked cover art. It is on sale now in the TouchShop.
Cassette only, in an edition of 500 copies.
Second edition, with alternate inlay.
“The Noisiest Guys on the Planet” was recorded by Jana Winderen, who also provided the illustration. Thanks to: Institute of Marine Research and the crew on Johan Hjort.
The decapods or Decapoda (literally means “ten footed”) are an order of crustaceans within the class Malacostraca, including many familiar groups, such as crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Most decapods are scavengers.
As their name implies, all decapods have ten legs; these are the last five of the eight pairs of thoracic appendages characteristic of crustaceans. The front three pairs function as mouthparts and are generally referred to as maxillipeds, the remainder being pereiopods. In many decapods, however, one pair of legs has enlarged pincers; the claws are called chelae, so those legs may be called chelipeds.
Video footage of a reading/performance in Brixton library, dated 04/05/06, by The Skull Defekts with Mike Harding, presented as part of the 2006 Lyrics in Libraries season. Curated by J.G. Thirlwell.
Lyrics in Libraries is an annual arts & literature festival which has been running since 2003. It is a partnership initiative between OpenHaus Arts and London Borough of Merton Library & Heritage Service.
On Sunday 18th October 2009, BBC Radio 4 broadcasts Runaway Train: “March 9th 1987 began as a normal day for railwayman Wesley MacDonald as he made up a train of 50 cars of ore at a mine in northern Canada. But that all changed when the brakes failed to hold the load and Wesley suddenly found himself aboard a runaway train. This programme tells the story of what happened next, featuring actual audio footage of the radio communication between him and the rail traffic controller as he wrestles with the decision on whether to jump or take his chances onboard.”
Ash International released the full recording of the conversations that took place between Wesley, the driver of the runaway train, and Alfie, his controller, in 1994 as Ash 1.9. This vinyl edition is deleted, but the audio may be downloaded as a MP3 by clicking here.
Three-track 7" of The National Anthem of Elgaland-Vargaland #6.
This 7” is the fourth in a series of vinyl acoustic versions of the National Anthems of Elgaland-Vargaland. See also the Mariachi version [Ash 7.2], the Klezmer and Afrobeat versions [Ash 7.4], and the Norwegian School Marching Band and Underwater versions [Ash 7.6], issued between 2007 – 2008 by Ash International. All four are available as a 4x7" Bundle in TouchShop…
These recordings were regally made during the unofficial inauguration of the KREV Ministry of Bankrupt Shopping Malls in Porto, Portugal, on October 10, 2008, in the presence of the KREV Ambassadors Mike Harding and Heitor Alvelos. Mixed by: Anselmo Canha, Heitor Alvelos, Mike Harding and Philip Marshall. Cut by Jason at Transition. Sleeve photography: Heitor Alvelos and Anselmo Canha.
Genuflections to the Future Places digital media festival, University of Porto Masters in Image Design and the University of Texas in Austin, and Transmedia Brussels.
PARC was established in Autumn 1998. As a cooperative effort, PARC consists of many members who willingly contribute to the project or concept under development. The results of this are then archived, documented, and then finally published. PARC is constantly looking for new and interesting forms of acoustic indifference, whether it be paranormal, or just abnormal.
In 1999 they published, in association with Ash International, their first CD which investigated research into the paranormal phenomena known as EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Developed out of a healthy interest in all matters paranormal, The Ghost Orchid was the first project that allowed PARC to make contact with some of the most renowned researchers involved in the recording of EVP.
Among the participants of Utopics, the 11th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, the Kings Carl Michael von Hausswolff of Vargaland and Leif Elggren of Elgaland annexed the language boundary in Biel/Bienne. Biel/Bienne is bilingual, a French and German speaking city, called Biel in German and Bienne in French. To announce the assimilation of the language boundary, the Jugenorchester (youth orchestra) Biel/Bienne performed the National Anthem of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland.
Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding and visit www.vernissage.tv to hear the Anthem.
Ash International has the Royal Seal of approval for issuing the National Anthems of Elgaland-Vargaland. Please visit the TouchShop to peruse the Vinyl and CD Anthems already available. A new Vinyl version of the Anthem, Ash 7.8, will be unleashed soon…
The first “In Dreams” T-shirt [Ash International # Ash 8.3] has been presented to the dreamer Rebekah Staton at Savoir Faire, New Oxford St., London on 5th May 2009. Continue reading for photographic evidence.
freq_out - "Dreamlands"
[Touch # freq_out 1]
A3 print + digital download – a TouchShop exclusive, unavailable elsewhere!
Features an image by Finnbogi Pétursson, output onto high quality heavyweight matte paper. Free P&P - dispatched in robust poster tube.
320 kpbs MP3, available only when purchasing the freq_out print...
freq_out - "Dreamlands" 31:01
Recorded by Jana Winderen at Mucsarnok, Budapest, 23rd February 2007. With thanks to Livia Paldi.
Featured artists: Tommi Grönlund/Petteri Nisunen (FI) Finnbogi Pétursson (IS) Franz Pomassl (AT) BJNilsen (SE) Jacob Kirkegaard (DK) Mike Harding (UK) Kent Tankred (SE) JG Thirlwell (US) PerMagnus Lindborg (SE) Jana Winderen (NO) Maia Urstad (NO) Brandon LaBelle (US), all curated and organised by CM von Hausswolff (SE)
Presenting an essay written by Jana Winderen, in support of her Ash International cassette, The Noisiest Guys on the Planet, “an ongoing investigation into the use and production of sound by decapods”.
An edited version of the track "Ghost", commissioned as part of "The Space Between Seeing and Knowing is Haunted," an exhibition curated by D–L Alvarez at Exile and Arratia, Beer, Berlin [07.02.2009 – 04.04.2009]. Arranged and produced by Philip Marshall. Voices sourced from "The Ghost Orchid – an Introduction to EVP" [PARC, 1999]. Rain recordings courtesy of Dale Cornish.
Official Opening of cabaret voltaire as Embassy of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland for Zurich and Designation of Adrian Notz as Ambassador of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargland for Zurich on Monday, May 26th 2008 8:00 pm at cabaret voltaire, Zurich, (formerly a part of Switzerland). Annexation of the Bodensee by the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland on Wednesday, May, 28th 2008 7:00 pm at the Harbour of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland (Departure).
Sunday 27 May
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland will celebrate their 15th anniversary at Gasworks on the closing day of the show. The National Anthem will be broadcast on ResonanceFM from 11am-12pm. Carl Michael von Hausswolff and his UK Ambassador will give an audience to subjects and tourists at 3pm at Gasworks.
A new version of the National Anthem will be released on 7" vinyl at this event... watch this space for further news
Wednesday 4 April, 6.30pm
During the preview, the annexing of Gasworks by The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland will be officially declared, with a ceremonial address by Carl Michael von Hausswolff, King of Vargaland.
The approaching journey, with six climbers and one sherpa, was made from Katmandu into Tibet, taking one week to reach Basecamp. This period also included acclimatisation, which involves stopping at regular intervals for training for height climbing: "climb high, sleep low", they say. Once at Basecamp, climbing commences at once involving the same process. Equipment would be left at Camp 1, then the climbers would return to Basecamp to sleep. This reduces the likelihood of altitude sickness, which is caused by too speedy an ascent.
The Ash International label was founded in 1993 as an audio-visual organization by Mike Harding and Robin Rimbaud – a kind of sub-label to Touch. For 13 years, Ash International has been putting the limits of audio art to the test. Electronic communications, radio emissions and other natural frequencies are an endless source of material.
Ash International relaunches in its 13th year with a new release by Alvars Orkester. A celebration of the 13th anniversary will be held at Fylkingen, Stockholm, on 26th February 2006. You can hear a track here.
Carl Michael von Hausswolff - As Quiet As A Campfire or Analogue Motoric And Electro-Magnetic Silence Disturbed By Intuitive Slumber / Mingling or Dodekaphonic Drones Interfered By Known And Unknown Digital Phenomena
Track 1 - Dedicated to John Cage
AS QUIET AS A CAMPFIRE or ANALOGUE MOTORIC AND
ELECTRO-MAGNETIC SILENCE DISTURBED BY INTUITIVE SLUMBER
Track 2 - Dedicated to Arnold Schoenberg
MINGLING or DODEKAPHONIC DRONES INTERFERED BY KNOWN
AND UNKNOWN DIGITAL PHENOMENA