The Big Eyes Family Players
It is three years since the last Big Eyes album ('Folk Songs II' on Static Caravan), and a whole six years since they released an album of original material (not including 2011's 'Family Favourites' reworked best-of). In that time, a lot has changed. The group is now a slimmed-down 5-piece (featuring folk-singer and songwriter Sharron Kraus). Rather than being a collaborative album, this set of recordings is the fruit of a band crafting their new music in the studio. The other big difference now is that the album consists mainly of self-penned, vocal-led songs, written by James Green and Heather Ditch, rather than the instrumentals or folk songs they are perhaps best known for.
Themes range from family dysfunction to hauntings to fictional historical events. 'Reeves' Lament' is an ode to a furniture store destroyed in the London Riots of 2011; 'Desert Queen' an imagining of Queen Elizabeth I stranded in an American desert; 'Joyce' is the centrepiece of the album, and concerns the true story of Joyce Vincent, who was found dead in her flat in London three years after she died, her TV set still on, unopened Christmas presents at her feet. There is one cover on the album, 'Song For Thirza', a little-known song by Lal Waterson; a true-story about a girl who lived with the Waterson family, rescued from the workhouse back in the 1950's.
The sound of the album is perhaps best described as psychedelic pop, with fizzing organs and droning synths, flutes, reverbed guitars and bass and playful drums swirling around Heather's vocals. The album was recorded at Red Cloud Studios and The Bowling Green in Sheffield, UK, and produced by well-known Sheffield music-maestro Dean Honer. Dean's own groups include I Monster and Eccentronic Research Council/Moonlandingz, and he is critical in giving this album a strange and intense atmosphere. Also guesting on the album is viola and saw-player Aby Vulliamy (National Jazz Trio of Scotland/Trembling Bells/Aidan Moffat). References; perhaps artists like Cocteau Twins, Tindersticks, Broadcast, United States Of America.
The Big Eyes Family Players 'Oh!' is due for release late 2015/early 2016.
Peptalk is Michael Carter (electronics), Shayna Dunkelman (percussion) and Angelica Negron (voice). Peptalk's visceral music combines many exotic instruments with lush electronic sounds and ethereal vocals. They are "obsessed with creating a hyperreal world both sonically and visually by blending bits of memory from their lives in Tokyo, San Juan and Los Angeles".
Each member plays with bands and artists such as Yoko Ono, Glasser, Xiu Xiu, Thurston Moore, Balun, and Tyondai Braxton, but by joining forces, they create rich musical arrangements of various percussion, accordion, strings, harp and voice accompanied by layers of synths, samples and electronics beats. Themes of solitude, escapism, and cultural curiosity are expressed through their songs that drift between intimate lyrical moments, dreamy sound textures, and grooves, the culmination of which can be heard on their highly original debut album, 'Islet'.
The Declining Winter
The Declining Winter is the brainchild of Hood co-founder Richard Adams. 'Home For Lost Souls' is his fourth full length album following the earlier 'Goodbye Minnesota' (2008), 'Haunt the Upper Hallways' (2009) and 'Lost Songs' (2014).
Though utilising a band moniker, Adams now records alone in his North Yorkshire hideaway and describes The Declining Winter as "just the stuff that comes out of me, the sound of tinkering around and ideas forming". He also plays in chamber folk trio Memory Drawings.
"Alongside his brother Chris as the motivating force behind English pastoral rock outfit Hood, Richard Adams extends that group's late-period move into gentle electronica, warping and glitching minimal folk-pop melodies played on bedroom guitars and drums. The quietly resigned tenor gesturing toward emotional troubles that remain just out of focus". UNCUT
Jimmy Pizarro (Insecto) has been working for some time in the field of digital arts in his native Chile, where he is Director of the Chile Advanced Music Festival.
Mainly composing and producing experimental and modern electronic music, his works have been published around the globe on labels such as Pueblo Nuevo (CL), Impar (CL), Filtro (MX) and Mobeer (UK).
His delicate electronic compositions have a hi-fi, glitch-centric feel using clicks and cuts, delays, micro samples and syncopated beats. His work brings to mind the classic era of Mille Plateaux although melody is of strong importance to Pizzaro and his sound has a bright, sonorous feel culminating in a highly listenable, disciplined take on the textural, headphone micro beat compositions that can be found in the work of the likes of Mark Fell/SND, Oval and Shuttle 358.
After contributing a number of remixes to previous releases on the label, Home Assembly Music is proud to present his first full length domestic release here in the UK - 'Post-Edit De Un Cromosoma'.
A New Line (Related)
A New Line (Related) is the first solo venture from much loved husband and father of one Andrew Johnson. Andrew was an early and longstanding member of Domino records' artcore crew Hood before, (along with bedroom cdr luminarie Craig Tattersall), forming the breakaway bedroomelectronic duo, theremoteviewer.
With his own record label Moteer pretty much put to (under the) bed Andrew now has concentrated his diminishing enthusiam into a set of basic, repetititive and medium fidelty workings. The songs display/suggest elements of deepish house, krautrockish repetiton and melancholy sunset sessions but are left just sparse enough to not really sound like the sum of their influences.
Utilising tools from the early days of home produced underground dance music (such as SK5 sampler keyboards and ancient drum machines) Andrew has unearthed a series of hauntingly evocative techno-influenced tracks. Pressed to double vinyl for maxium volume and dancefloor action.
From the industrial heartland of the Ukraine, Yuri Lugovskoy remains that rarest of things, a genuinely mysterious and enigmatic figure working in the field of underground, electronic composition. Not a great deal is known about Yuri, internet searches revealing nothing more than a blurred image of a cowled, bearded figure prowling woodland.
His previous album on Moteer though captured the hearts of the great and good, with tastemakers Boomkat calling it "an enormously enjoyable collection of atmospheric, minimalist meditations, all very much evocative of the raw, experimental sound designs of early electronic music".
Two years later, Yuri is back with a similarly untitled work, concocting an album of exquisitely deconstructed takes rooted in Berlin based dub techno. Stripping the sound to it's barest bones and removing all but the faintest trace of beats, Yuri wrings supreme melancholy and a warm, rhythmically pastoral sound from the most basic of sources. Due for release in November 2012, the album comes packaged in a double, fold-out digipak with a bonus CD of remixes from the likes of Strategy, The Humble Bee, Brave Timbers and Chessie.
Northerner is Bradford based artist, Martin Cummings.
With one well received EP "There'll Be Other Holiday's" released on the Misplaced Music imprint early in 2008 and contributions to The Declining Winter's "Goodbye Minnesota" long player, he released his debut album "The Ridings" in February 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. A further EP entitled '1976' was issued on Hibernate Recordings in October 2009.
His second full length album, 'I Am On Your Side', was released in March 2012 and saw Cummings expanding his sound to take in elements of Balearic funk, hip hop, dub and techno in an album that may have come as a surprise to fans of his earlier works, with Norman Records describing it as "an impressive, highly original album which importantly unfurls more of its charms on each play".
His sound has been described as "ranging from lovingly constructed neo-classical evocations to haunting electronic lullabies and Arthur Russell influenced minimalist techno". Misplaced Music
The Green Kingdom
The Green Kingdom is Michael Cottone , a graphic designer and sound artist based in Michigan. A self-taught musician, he began learning the guitar and progressed to a variety of instruments, eventually incorporating digital sound design and production methods.
Interested in creating compositions which blur the lines between soundscape and structure while keeping a sharp focus on melody, his skill is in using a variety of digitally manipulated acoustic and electronic sources, sampled textures, noise and field recordings. Imbued with a sense of 'optimistic nostalgia', his soundworlds encourage introspective exploration and provide an escape from our sometimes hectic lives.
Following releases on the SEM, Smallfish and Own labels, he released the album, 'Prismatic' on Home Assembly Music in September 2010 which was issued with a bonus CD or remixes from the likes of bvdub, The Boats, Part Timer and inch-time. "....presenting whirled electroacoustics and quiet, melodious drones across forty-five wonderful minutes....getting that all-important balance between harmony and texture just right". Boomkat
Fieldhead is Paul Elam, a resident of Leeds, UK and latterly Vancouver, Canada. He produces ambient/electronic music that delights in tape hiss, geography, bleak landscapes and decaying analogue loops. He is also a full time member of The Declining Winter and a part time member of Glissando's Fleeting Glimpse Ensemble. He released his debut EP, 'Introductions' in 2008. A split EP with Copenhagen's Iris to Hypnos was released on Static Caravan in late 2009, with a further mini album "Riser" being released on 10" vinyl courtesy of Gizeh Records. He has toured quite extensively throughout Europe and the UK alongside such names as Jasper TX and Grouper.
The debut album from Fieldhead, entitled 'They Shook Hands For Hours' was released in November 2009 on Home Assembly Music with a limited bonus CD of remixes from the likes of Machinefabriek, Pausal, Jasper TX and Seaworthy.
"Whether it is through found sounds, processed loops, or instrumentation, the creation of rich melodies is what drives the album, an approach that recalls the likes of Boards of Canada and Fennesz". The Silent Ballet