TAPU 25 Anniversary Mix

This mix is especially created to celebrate the 25th release on Michel Banabila’s Tapu Records (which will be released later this year).

In this mix (in fact a follow up of Streets, Dreams and Memories), all tracks & samples are chosen from the Tapu Records catalogue and so it displays the versatility of Banabila’s work – as solo artist as well as in collaboration with others.

A limited edition (100) physical Audio CD with this mix will be included with every physical release order from Banabila’s Bandcamp

Also, a VIDEO version (presenting the covers in sync with the mix, as well as including the impressive Geert Mulvideo for Crowds‘), can be downloaded for free (link below).

Oe + Coniglio; Yannick Franck; Tone Color

Taalem is a Paris-based label – “exploring the different sides of ambient music through 3” CD-R’s and FLAC downloads – with a somewhat different release policy:
“As we’re tired of all these ultra-limited & ultra-expensive releases, taâlem discs are unlimited editions. As long as the demand exists, every release is available.” Some fine examples from their recent releases:

21 Minutes (2 Tracks) of Glacial ambient created by ∅e (Fabio Perletta: guitar, loops) and Enrico Coniglio (guitar, field recordings, sampler).
The (december 2013) release was especially postponed because the music perfectly fits the winter season. The opening sounds of a harsh winter storm might give you some extra chills.
But in summer, this wide musical landscape full of fascinating details may help you cool down when desired!

Various Artists – 15 Shades of White

In their relatively short existence (about 1.5 year now), the Moscow based Dronarivm label (curated by Bartosz ‘Pleq’ Dziadosz) has quickly worked itself to the upper category of quality labels focussing on contemporary ambient and modern classical music.

15 Shades of White“, a collection of 15 tracks (or 17, counting the bonus tracks with the digital download) – “different in atmosphere and sound but united by a common winter mood” – demonstrates why.

William Basinski and Richard Chartier

Aurora Liminalis cover

With about 60 releases since 2000, the LINE (L-NE) IMPRINT label has built a firm reputation as “a programmatic sound platform with a strong inclination towards the visual arts and multimedia, born from the desire to take the tactile qualities of audio installations from the gallery space to listeners’ living rooms.”

Curated by Richard Chartier, LINE not only releases impressive sound art CD’s, but also DVD’s and Artwork Prints.

With its focus on audio/multimedia installations, mostly electronic by nature, LINE aims at the more ‘serious’ –  investigative – listener: this is definitely no ‘pop-ambient’ label. If you insist on comparisions, the label may be best compared to Raster-Noton, in style and artistic approach.  

At the start of 2013, LINE announced an impressive series of new releases, of which the new collaboration by William Basinski and Richard Chartier may obtain the most attention.
But in fact, the other releases deserve your attention as much. I’ve combined the four latest releases in these two posts, demonstrating the versatile output of the LINE label.

Maps and Diagrams – Get Lost

The traditional record industry is still having major trouble finding its place in the new age of music distribution.
But while they’re fighting what seems to be a death struggle, the artists that did not rely on this business in the first place seem to have settled for two different kinds of distribution.
The first is of course DIY independent digital distribution: you may have noticed that most of the releases mentioned here are distributed through Bandcamp.
On the other hand, there are the ‘labour of love’ labels, run by people definitely not into it “for the money”, releasing extremely limited physical releases mostly packed in hand-crafted artwork so delicate and complex that it would be impossible to create more than 50 copies of a release. 

One of these labels is Time Released Sound  –  “a lovingly hand made, limited edition release music label that is as much an art project as it is a musical outlet”. 
“Focusing primarily on classically infused and folk based ambient and electroacoustic sounds by the artists we know, love and admire, we will be striving at all times to produce visuals and packaging for these fine releases that are as original and uniquely beautiful as the music itself.” 

If you take some time to look at the TRS Releases, you will understand why most of these releases sell out very quick!
This may be frustrating for collectors that find out too late … but fortunately the limited releases are followed by a less limited digipack release.

Such as this particular example: Maps and Diagram‘s “Get Lost”  (which was TRS’s fifth release).

Various Artists – "Hidden Landscapes"

Hidden Landscapes

The Audio Gourmet netlabel, run by Harry Towell – a.k.a.Spheruleus- quickly became one of the major netlabels on the ambient music scene.  At time of writing, their impressive catalogue presents about 30 releases, most of them E.P.’s, around 15 minutes long, and thus created to fit your daily coffee/tea break perfectly. 

Though Audio Gourmet have a clear policy about what they want and what they don’t want (no beats!), the musical horizon broadens with every release. For example, the forthcoming release by Paper Relics  (Harry and Stuart Towell), ‘Recovered Artefact’would be better described as ‘improv folk guitar’ than ambient music.

Ian Hawgood – Slow Films in Low Light

Headphone Commute recently published a beautiful mix created entirely of tracks published on the Home Normal label. Although all tracks in the mix are interesting enhough to check out the full CD’s, I had to restrain myself when visiting the label website. 

So I decided to start by ordering the latest release by Ian Hawgood (also Home Normal’s label owner): “Slow Films in Low Light“.