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What are you supposed to do with a stray dog? From the smallest acts of kindness to the grandest acts of love, every single variation on an empathetic response to this question ends up becoming the same: you find them a space in which they can live. Stray Dog is one of these spaces, within which a disparate cast of artists, designers, poets and musicians gather around a shared tension between displacement and connection, otherworldliness and physicality. To dream of life is to dwell in the liminal beauty of earthly transience, to float free from waking reality while keeping an eye on the world below. A dream of life might amplify that which is other, shine gauzy light on the strange and surreal while gesturing towards some ecstatic truth, trapped under the weight of the eye’s closed lid. Here, lysergic collage unfolds onto a colossal cloud bank, rendered even more impossibly enormous by an errant shred of tobacco, caught precariously in the instant of a scan. Distorted figures herald alien landscapes scraped from Google Earth, “lifewithallitsbeauty.” Quotidian scenes are brushed with a milky patina, bio-mechanical entities, smudged in alchemical smoke, haunt dreamlike scenes of weird familiarity, nostalgia bleeding into deja vu. Skeletal details are scratched in ink spindle, a bone, a thread and an arrow all woven together in delicate lines. Lynchian visions run into narcotic prophesies, Rorschach angels, printed thick, spark up against pale wraiths captured in alabaster shades. Leather, latex and rough-hewn rope are stretched taut, while someone, somewhere, is tending to an ancient garden, another space in which a stray might live, even if only for a moment. We close with another dream, “How good it would be / If I lived in a world where meaning does not become meaning.” If nothing else, Stray Dog offers a space in which to explore whether such a world is possible, a space in which to search and to stray.’ (Henry Bruce-Jones)

Straydog 2

Steps on the Turning Year marks the second release from Nottingham, UK based artist, composer and musician Bredbeddle, aka, Rebecca Lee. The four long form tracks here form a scrapbook built with snippets from Lee’s music collection from found sounds, amateur viol consorts and more. Drawing connections between different sounds creates odd narratives as loops mingle and glitch against each other. Although vinyl, CDs and turntables are part at the heart of the Bredbeddle process, Lee sees herself as a collagist, not a DJ or turntablist. “I’m interested in mixing pre-existing recordings, and their cultural worlds together to suggest new types of song or story,” says Lee. “I have a stack of records with post-it-notes on them, to remind me of the sounds I want to use.” The quirks of her set up: laptop, turntable, and CD player end up shaping the sound. “While it’s possible to play loops on a turntable, it’s harder on a CD. With my old CD player, all I can do is keep skipping back to the start of the track, but that limitation becomes an effect in itself.” The four pieces have been assembled with a delicate attention to detail. There are echoes of Christian Marclay or Joseph Hammer in the process, but the sheer breadth of materials Lee uses, from early music to BBC sound effects records and recycled recordings from her previous musical projects, makes Steps on the Turning Year a uniquely rich tapestry. “I find connections between textures or moments in different pieces of music. Sometimes it’ll be similar chords, or a quality to the voice, the beginning of a phrase, or even the broken down and looped vowels of a spoken-word record. It means that early music gets combined with something much more contemporary, found and noisy sounds with studio albums.” The result is an album of looping, meandering constructions, as sounds overlap before fluttering away from each other. “It’s not about deconstruction, but trying to assemble something new from these different recordings,” Lee explains. “I don’t think too much about whether a sound is particularly uncool, or fits a grid. It’s about letting them evolve and interact with each other.” The artwork for the tape comes from conversations between Lee and designer Anna Peaker. "I really liked Anna’s use of icons and images in her work - the way she brings a variety of materials together into one space - it connected to the way the tracks are formed," Lee explains. "So I tried to map out references for each piece drawing on sounds in the tracks, or the art work from the source music I used. Together we found and made materials that could be used and Anna worked with this collection to develop the design. The tape sleeves have become kind of weird landscapes and the O sleeve is (as you’d hope), a loop of its own." Released June 11, 2021

Bredbeddle – Steps on the Turning Year

The Incredible Years is the new solo album from London based musician and composer Gareth JS Thomas (guitarist in USA Nails, and formerly of Silent Front and Sly and the Family Drone). Contrasting intimate recordings on an old family piano with pounding drums tracked on a digital recorder in a London practice room, the record exists between the comfort of home and a frustration at lost momentum. “Around Christmas 2017 I started tracking the piano parts at my mum's old house down on the south coast,” explains Gareth. “This is the same piano that I used to noodle on as a little kid, it's maybe the first instrument I ever touched.” “I'd intended to finish the tracks off at home in the following weeks but in January 2018 I was in a serious road accident while on tour with my old band (Silent Front), which meant I ended up housebound for a few months. I continued to work on them while I was stuck at home recovering, as I had little else to do, I added the drums in London the summer of 2018.” The grey metallic hues of Gareth’s previous Bezirk release, Cruising Hits, remain – yet the synthetic palette of that album has been switched for a mix of organic, acoustic instruments. The result is five tracks that switch between smothering claustrophobia and minimalist ecstasy. “I added big live drums partly to celebrate the freedom I felt when I was able to finally leave the house and use my body again post-accident” he reveals. “The making of this record spanned a very significant period in my life, where I was processing a lot of trauma but also learning to cherish a lot of the things I'd previously taken for granted. I guess it's only natural that that has been reflected in it.” The album is accompanied by a video for Hyphen British. Made by Gareth, its source material is CT scans and X-rays that were taken just after the road accident. “They show me at my most unglamorously vulnerable,” he explains. “You can see all the broken bones, it might be more than some people want to see, but it felt appropriate.” Released January 24, 2020

Gareth JS Thomas – The Incredible Years

The debut release from Taw, Truce Terms is an uncanny mix of discrete cacophonies and Fisher Price musique concrete, using nothing but the contents of a child’s toy box for instruments. Taw (pronunciation – rhymes with plough Welsh for the imperative form of 'quiet', as in 'shush!), is the duo of Simon Proffitt (The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor, Exotic Spresm) and Owen Martell. The five tracks, recorded by the pair over a single evening in 2017, playfully float from super slow toy xylophone fragments into rattled percussion and whistle melodies. “My son was 18 months old at the time, and we'd accumulated quite a few toys that make various sounds - as one does with toddlers,” says Proffitt. “It occurred to me that it'd be a fun experiment to see whether we could improvise interesting and credible music using only these toys, so I collected together all the toys in the house that made any sort of sound. We put everything in a big pile on the living room floor, set the portable recorder going, played for an hour or so and then pressed stop.” The five pieces skim around solid forms and instead seem to tap into the fundamentals of our relationship with sound generating tools. Creating something that at points sounds like it could be field recordings from an isolated rainforest community. “Thinking about it afterwards, and especially when listening back to the recording, it became clear that the whole thing is about play, but serious play. As adults, I think we all too often confuse play with silliness, but they can be very different things.” pronunciation/translation notes:A1: pronounced 'jex' - the truce term I used at primary school (although to be effective it had to be said while tapping your chest. It only provided short-lived immunity, so for a longer truce you had to say 'jecs-all-my-life' instead of just jecs)A2: pronounced 'dye' - Welsh for 'two'.A4: hehb thim (voiced th) uhn yown - 'and nothing right'B1: KUH-mod - 'reconciliation' Please note that the track order on tape and digital is slightly different Released July 31, 2020

Taw – Truce Terms

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