Fringes Records News

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23five (US) :

GUM “Vinyl Anthology” [2cd] Philip Jeck. Janek Schaeffer. Otomo Yoshihide. Thomas Brinkman. Saule. These have been some of the recent crop of avant-turntablists whose praises we’ve sung in the recent past; yet the use of the turntable with experimental music is nothing as novel as the current infatuation would indicate. Turntablism could be traced back to John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape (1939), but perhaps a better historical jumping off point for those artists’ delirious collage work would be with the early work of Christian Marclay and Non, who both reconfigured the noise and disembodied cultural reference from skipping records in the late ’70s. It was that environment of Industrial culture that spawned Gum — the Australian avant-turntablist duo which began quite literally with a skipping Brian Eno record. While Gum’s Andrew Curtis and Philip Samartzis shared a common interest in Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and Whitehouse, their work centered upon the volatility of surface noise from cheap turntables that they rescued from thrift stores and junk shops. At the same time, Gum balanced their destructive pursuit of tumultuous noise and electrically charged static with a clinical disembodiment. Even when disco-grooves from the Bee-Gees or porno climaxes get mangled in their Frankensteinian aggregates of loops and layers, it’s hardly funky or sexy… rather a wonderfully disturbing mess. Having only a couple of singles on RRR and Korm Plastics as well as two self-released LPs, Gum had remained a secret history within the prolific oeuvre of Australian sound art; and now, thanks to this Vinyl Anthology compendium which features the bulk of their recorded works, the ecstatic expressionism of Gum can now be rediscovered for what it really is: precocious genius.
Euro 20,00

Die Stadt (Germany) :

The Anti Group “Psychoegoautocratical Auditory Physiogomy Delineated” [cd ep] Die Stadt is delighted to announce the first new release by the mysterious and legendary project THE ANTI GROUP / T.A.G.C. in 10 years. The single ca. 17 min. long track on this CD is a wonderful example of their ability to create ‘mind-altering’ music, but as some of their past releases proved, Care should be taken when listening to this CD at high volume. The line up for this release may have included: A.M. Mckenzie of THE HAFLER TRIO (‘P.A.P.D.’ was first heard at some h3o live shows in 2003) and original members of the group M. Hogg and R. Baker. The CD comes in an silver embossed digisleeve and includes a 16 pages booklet with extensive texts. Edition of 600 copies.
“The original idea for The Anti Group was devised by A. Newton and S. J. Turner (of CLOCK DVA) as early as 1978, with the intention of the formation of a multi-dimensional research & development project active in many related areas. Research and development of sound, film, video and performance and the documentation of each project was the fundamental “modus operandi”. Underlying this basic idea is the deeper philosophical and theoretical conceptuality; The Anti Group could be any given number of collaborators or participants. In this respect The Anti Group are free from the formats that have built in limitations, operating within this context The Anti Group are also free from the erroneous problems of Ego.”
Euro 15,00

Organum / Z’ev “Tocsin -6 Thru +2” [cd] Following their maxi CD ‘Tinnitus Vu’ on Touch in 2004 ‘Tocsin’ is the first full lenght album produced together by these two renowned sound artists. Whereas ‘Tinnitus VU’ was mostly the result of Z’EV reworking material by Jackman, ‘Tocsin’ is the result of the artists agreeing to meet and work together in the studio. They created and recorded sounds from a piano (which can be found at RMS Studios London) and a stainless steel instrument (built by Z’ev circa 1989), over the course of several hours. They then took the recordings home, and after a period of each one mixing these sounds by themselves came up with what can be heard on this CD. Two distinct sets of work which formed this multilayered and fascinating album.
Graphic design: David Jackman. Graphics engineer: Jonathan Coleclough.
Edition of 600 copies in full colour 4 panel digisleeve.
Euro 17,00

Asmus Tietchens “Litia” [cd] Fifth part in the ongoing rerelease series of all early vinyl albums by Tietchens on CD. This one from 1983 marks the end of his Sky ‘phase’ and was the last to feature his very own version of ‘Synthesizer Pop Music’ for some time (he’d only return to this music with the release of his HEMATIC SUNSETS albums in the late 1990’s). The CD also feat. the rare ‘Rattenheu’ 10inch only release plus one unreleased archive track and comes in a transparent jewel-case with full colour poster booklet feat. a reproduction of the original cover art and extra photos. Edition of 1000 copies.
ASMUS TIETCHENS Litia’ (Sky Records 087) 1983
“The years 1982 and 1983 proved to be a time of extreme musical schizophrenia for me. On the one hand I could not let go of the rhythmic synthie-etudes. On the other, and at the same time, I had already turned to ‘Industrial Music’. The latter manifested itself in the release of four cassettes between 1981-1983. But for one last time I was intrigued by some new gadgets. I felt that with their help I could take my rhythmic work much further: namely, one of the first digital, programmed rythmn machines (MFB521) and the Korg Polysix polyphonic synthesizer. With the help of these two machines I was able to create structures, I simply could not make with the other machines available at the time. But while working on LITIA, I reflected on the growing imbalance between my own creative input and the possibilities of the factory sounds (presets, sequencer, sound colours, ect.), with the result that my early fascination with these gradually disappeared and a more thoughtful attitude emerged. More and more I was impressed by the machines but less and less was my own creativity involved. It was high time for me to re-consider and to come to terms with this situation with regard to my own view of human dignity. Nevertheless, I wanted one more album to be released on Sky, and with the above instruments and an even more complex studio set-up it was recorded in no time. This had to be the finale, though. The bonus tracks 11-15 on this CD, which belong to the LITIA series, and which were released in 1996 as a 10inch entitled “Rattenheu”, are to be viewed more as a kind of musical joke, one which would only be heard again at the Aroma Club in 1998. With the issuing of LITIA a four-year release period reached its end, a period which was marked by the use rhythmic and harmonic preset sounds and by flashy-coloured LP sleeves. The above-mentioned and long-ago completed aesthetic shift to an utterly different musical attitude, coupled with a partial throw-back to musical experiences of the late 1960’s, would be made public in the album releases which followed. Again, I would like to give my warm thanks to Günter Körber (Sky Records) for his friendly co-operation.
Take care, Günter !”  Asmus Tietchens 2004
Euro 17,50

Elevator Bath (US) :

Barbed “pocket reminders / rolf o.d” [7″] Alex McKechnie and Alex Burrow are Barbed. Based in London, the Alexes are known for their witty audio collage work (see Barbed’s 1994 full-length CD, released by These Records). Since the time of their debut, they have contributed to numerous compilation releases, including those for Lo Recordings, Staalplaat, Leaf, Kleptones, and RRRecords, among others. Most recently, Barbed have appeared on the People Like Us”remix” album doing what they do best. Barbed’s 7″ for Elevator Bath (their first ever single release, and their first new individual release in quite some time) features two brand new pieces. On black vinyl with full-color jackets, in an edition of 800 copies.
Euro 6,00

Andrew Deutsch / Tony Conrad
Marc Schulz / Ilya Monosov “s/t” [Pic-Lp] This special picture disc LP features a live performance from Andrew Deutsch and Tony Conrad on side A (originally issued on CDR by Deutsch a few years back in an edition of 150 copies). The flip side contains two re-worked versions of the original AD/TC recording by sound artists Marc Schulz and Ilya Monosov.
“Andrew Deutsch, Tony Conrad, and about 30 other audience members and performers including Peer Bode, Peter Artin Pam Hawkins, etc…. This is the documentation of a ‘sound happening’ initiated by Andrew Deutsch at Alfred University in celebration of Tony Conrad’s NYSCA residency at the Institute for Electronic Arts. The original source tapes were recorded on VHS in mono and Deutsch has re-worked them here adding what was lost in the original recordings, that is, bass, space, warmth, energy and grain. Tony’s violin is right up front as it should be. After the happening, Tony traded pants with a very pretty girl, she got his florescent orange slacks and he her black denims.” ? (Andrew Deutsch)
Special edition of 200 numbered copies.
Euro 22,00

Havergal “Trash” [10″] The five instrumental compositions, which comprise this EP from 1999, are contemplative and melodic sound experiments. Traditional instrumentation (guitar, percussion, etc.) mixes with found sounds and samples to create wisely restrained, yet emotional music. The material occasionally approaches “post rock,” but ultimately opts for something far more relevant.
On transparent vinyl with clear plastic sleeves, in an edition of 550 copies.
Euro 12,00

Ilya Monosov “vinyl document #1” [Lp] Ilya Monosov’s debut LP release,Vinyl Document #1, is a most surprising artifact. Conceptually the record focuses on sounds derived from broken or otherwise mistreated machines. This is not “glitch” music, however, in the (all too) common sense of the term. This is true sound experimentation with astonishingly beautiful results.
The LP’s A-side showcases Ilya’s magical, unadulterated organ-based recordings . While the B-side features a wonderful reworking of Ilya’s recent catalogue by electronic composer Andrew Deutsch. Deutsch’s unique interpretation includes accordion drones from none other than Pauline Oliveros, and hence, these three distinct performers come together, in essence, for a lovely, truly remarkable finale.
On black 180-gram vinyl with lovely black & white jackets in an edition of 400 copies. Very last copies.
Euro 15,00

Public Works “Numbers” [9″] In their new EP entitled ‘Numbers’, PUBLIC WORKS logs their second release, their first since 1997’s ‘Matter’ (Staalplaat). The group debuted with the latter title, exhibiting a markedly different sound and temperament from the Tape-beatles, from whose ranks Public Works sprang. ‘Numbers’ follows the release of the Tape-beatles’ 1999 CD ‘Good Times’ (Staalplaat), in which both members of Public Works participated.
With regard to ‘Numbers’, a few key observations can be made. Intuition, it seems clear, reaches conclusions that logic cannot. The same can be said of Public Works’ manner of working. The strength of ‘Numbers’ lies in its ability to invoke draughts of apparently coded meaning, without necessarily rendering these too clearly; as if to say that in excessive amounts, clarity can serve to stifle the full development of intellectual flavor, presenting a less rounded impression of the form and volume occupied by the phenomenon in question. What better, indeed clearer, way is there to encapsulate the essence of the humankind’s contemporary predicament? We know so much, and yet so little. We are masters of minutiae, and slaves to an ignorance of its ramifying effects. And further, it has always been like that!
‘Numbers’ finds mysteries in the playful particles that turn the ossified intentions of humans (their machines) toward unexplainable flights of poetry. It is as if the airwaves are alive, breathing ghostly voices. It is as if the electrical grid throbs with intelligence, its organs and circulatory systems negotiating remarkable levels of complexity and touching everyone. It is a hesitant affirmation that mathematics and magic are one and the same. By shaping mechanisms that capture thought, one gets the sense that a supernatural transubstantiation of intellectual energies is taking place. We can easily imagine that some excess heat leaks out of this process and accounts for otherwise unexplained — perhaps unexplainable — phenomena. We don’t know, and we don’t aim, really, to find out. Instead, we present our sonic impressions of the landscape we dimly see in our more lucid moments. Ultimately, this may be the best way to get close to it and sense its contours, and even understand it better. And, like the music, if these words become too precise, then their significance begins to fade. Special 9″ record on transparent vinyl in an edition of 800 copies. Packaged in beautiful full-color heavy paper sleeves.
Euro 12,00

Colin Andrew Sheffield “In Between” [10″] in between is an atmospheric new piece in two parts. It is possible that Colin’s work is best listened to peripherally, perhaps while writing or (as is the case with in between) while reading…. The evocative writings which grace the record’s jacket come provided by this acclaimed poet from Texas. On transparent vinyl with lovely text-only jackets, in an edition of 295 copies.
Euro 12,00

Colin Andrew Sheffield “spring (time) / the bridge ” [7″] Colin’s sophomore effort from 1999 continues in a vein similar to that of his first record. The digital, mechanical sounds are still present but are now intertwined with deep tones and hidden half-melodies. On transparent vinyl with lovely inner and outer jackets, in an edition of 300 copies.
Euro 6,00

Colin Andrew Sheffield  “Side One / Side Two” [7″] This is Colin’s debut (as well as the first for Elevator Bath), released in 1998. The record consists of two short pieces, each of which utilizes highly amplified machine sounds. On transparent vinyl with fold-out covers, in an edition of 475 copies.
Euro 6,00

Colin Andrew Sheffield / James Rippie?”Vessel” [cdr] Vessel is the title of a sound installation by Colin Andrew Sheffield and James Eck Rippie which was first presented in Dallas, Texas on September 14, 2002. The accompanying CDR release of the same name consists of one 20-minute piece, a new recording utilizing water as its only sound source.
Vessel is presented in an edition of 50 copies; each one is numbered and signed by the artists.
Euro 10,00

Helen Scarsdale (US) :

Coelacanth “The Chronograph ” [cd] Sound much more than visual culture or the poetics of language often eludes the self-explanation of from demonstrative signifiers. In categorizing sound within the semiotic realm, contemporary post-structuralist theories and utopian ideologies may add baroque flourishes to the sound work at hand; but such overemphasis upon intention over execution has the potential to leave the work aesthetically hollow. Thus it is not uncommon to find within experimental musics that meaning is assigned to the work before an audience can develop a critical reading for themselves. Collaborating under the moniker Coelacanth, Loren Chasse and Jim Haynes have intentionally reversed this dialogue to put the aesthetic process ahead of a conceptual manifestation by favoring evocation, empathy, and transcendence through sound. Initially, Coelacanth’s quest may have been to engage the drone supreme, an aesthetic previously sought by C.M. von Hausswolff, Morton Feldman, and :zoviet*france:. Yet, the duo is known to get distracted by the minutiae of sound itself, or some instantaneous revelation about the history of decay, or simply the sublime beauty of nature. The drone in fact does go on, but it’s course is quite circuitous.
The Chronograph is the debut release from Coelacanth. The album opens with an lengthy passage of creakingly creepy submariner ambience as if the oxidization process itself had been amplified within the realm of the audible. Spiked electrical surges and controlled feedback oscillations build the intensity of the album, until Coelacanth unleashes their symphony of tiny whirring machines, gritty textual striations, and clattering pulsations. The Chronograph then descends into a blissful tone float of dense bell reverberations and oceanic washes of shortwave. Independent of each other, both Haynes and Chasse have qualified this album as ‘phosphorescent’.
Euro 15,50

Stilluppsteypa / B.J. Nilsen “Vikinga Brennivin” [cd] Brennivin is an Icelandic liquor vulcanized from the humble potato and flavored with cumin, although you’d be hard pressed to taste much beyond the astringent burn that it leaves in your mouth. Bottled in matte black glass and stamped with ominously simple labels, brennivin appears less like something to imbibe and more like poison; and in that creeping slow death kind of way, it is. For the Icelandic electro-absurdist outfit Stilluppsteypa, brennivin has soaked into every fiber of their being; and as a result, oozes out of their terminal drones, sputtered rhythms, and atomic fractures. As much brennivin (and mind-altering chemicals in general have been a muse for Stilluppsteypa, they are also a curse; Stilluppsteypa’s oblique Dada expressionism and devilish black humour erupt with megalomaniacal invincibility that comes with a few too many drinks; but at the same time, Stilluppsteypa has developed a parallel ethos of clinical minimalism the reflects the introspection, headaches, and melancholia of the morning after.
In their poetically abject celebration of brennivin, Stilluppsteypa (comprised of Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson) accepted the invitation from Swedish composer BJ Nilsen to collaborate upon an album related to alcohol and its mind-numbing effects. Nilsen has been working in various constellations of experimental music, best known for his recordings as Hazard published through Touch and Ash International. Focusing the perception of natural sounds through a reconstruction of time and space, Nilsen has rendered the commonplace sounds of wind, rain, and snow as stealthfully seductive and quietly menacing drifts of frozen sound. Their resultant collaboration is an existentialist allegory in which the three drunkenly stumble out in a Scandinavian winter night and spiral toward the inevitable point in which they blackout. Lest this be construed as a derelict piece of method acting, the craft that Nilsen, Sigmarsson, and Thorsson brought to Vikinga Brennivin is impeccable, as the extended soundfields breath with the majesty of distant fog horns and sparkle with the delicate light of countless stars cast down from the black heavens onto the frozen tundra below. Frightening and barren, yet hauntingly compelling, Vikinga Brennivin is an isolationist masterpiece.
The first edition of Vikinga Brennivín was strictly limited to 300 copies due to the elaborate artwork. The Helen Scarsdale Agency commissioned its in-house fabricator Jim Haynes to produce the exquisite packaging of hand-manipulated copper foil with silkscreened text. Now Completely sold out from the label (second edition with regular artwork will appear soon).
Euro 15,50

ICR (Uk) :

Nurse With Wound “Shipwreck Radio Volume One” [2cd] The last performance of Nurse With Wound was back in the early ’80s. Due to the fact that NWW mastermind Steven Stapleton considered the performance a failure, he has turned down all subsequent invitations for live performances that have come his way. As of December 2005, rumors had been floating around that Stapleton may change his tune, given his recent appearances at record release parties arranged by the Beta-Lactam label up in Portland. While it remains to be seen if Stapleton will ever make that long-awaited return to the stage, he did accept a artist-in-residency invitation from the Lofoten International Art Festival curated by Rob Young and Anne Hilde-Neste of The Wire. So in the summer of 2004, Stapleton and his trusted engineer / collaborator Colin Potter made the trek up to the Norwegian fishing village of Svolvaer, with limited recording equipment and no musical instruments to produce a series of recording based on the environmental sounds of that tiny fishing village. Upon completing these recordings, the two then broadcast them upon the maritime radio channels at unannounced intervals, probably to the dismay of the Norwegian fisherman. Nurse With Wound made twenty-four of such transmissions during their Norwegian sabbatical. And perhaps this marks the first in a series drawn from those very fertile recording sessions. Shipwreck Radio Volume One features a precursor to what may be the infamous forthcoming Nurse With Wound hip-hop album with some crunchy breakbeats crafted from the clanging of fishing trawlers; but the bulk of the album follows with the ominous hypno-drone that Stapleton put forth on Salt Marie Celeste and Soliloquy For Lilith. Sonar blips and vocal utterances (some comical, but most mutated beyond decipherability) dot the lunar drones, noxious tea-kettle whistlings, and lumbering swells of sound that sway with motion sickness. The midnight sun never sounded so good.
Euro 24,00

L’Innomable (Slovenia) :

Michael Renkel / Luca Venitucci “Still” [cdr] Michael Renkel- acoustic guitar, zither, preparations, Luca Venitucci- accordion, flight-case, objects. Recorded in Berlin, October 2002 by Michael Renkel. Limited edition of 150 copies.
Euro 12,00

Lapilli (Uk) :

Daniel Menche “Dunk Gods” [cd] “Timestretched whirrs, large insect buzzes, boats bumping into each other in a stormy harbour, muffled mechanical loops, a distressed organ like tone that mutates into a buzz saw before changing again in to a thousand factory horns. These are some of the sounds and associations delivered up in this intense, 20 minute work by Oregon based sound artist, Daniel Menche. ‘Drunk Gods’ is a piece of savage, physical beauty.”
Euro 11,00


Giuseppe Ielasi – Fringes Recordings