Friday 4 October 2019, 7.30pm
"We live in a musical era defined by historical reappraisal - a noble moment which has rescued a near countless number of incredible albums from lingering neglect and loss. As wonderful and exciting as this is, it has come with an unexpected, but increasingly acknowledged consequence. With so many eyes on what was, we risk allowing history to repeat, subjecting today’s artists to the same forms neglect which plagued the past. It’s becoming increasingly rare to encounter record labels which entirely dedicate their energies to our contemporary landscape of sound, but this is what the French / English imprint, Hands in the Dark, has done - taking it a step further with an emphasis on those discrete, subtle, and understated efforts which take time to percolate and unfold." (text is courtesy of Soundohm)
Bridging the worlds of Modern Classical composition, musique concrète, electronic and electroacoustic music, organic jazz and minimalism while fitting comfortably in none, for more than a decade Piotr Kurek has remained a slow and elusive fixture in the sonic landscape, creating an entirely singular, almost lawless world of his own. After a series of records made in collaboration with others, and solo efforts under different monikers, the Warsaw based musician released the LP Poygome on Hands In The Dark in Spring 2019. Filled with surprise and unstable ground for which Kurek has unquestionably become known, it parallels his sumptuous live shows.
Parisian Matthias Puech released his debut for Hands In The Dark in Autumn 2018, the unique album ‘Alpestres’. A researcher by day, he transforms into a nocturnal narrator of sound travel by night, his album seemingly taking us on a mythical, magical hike up to the inaccessible heights of the Alps. Puech creates a vast collection of untouched electronica landscapes with modular synthesisers built by his own hands. With his various devices, he emulates the sounds of nature and gives sonic form to feelings, forming an alternate reality. The invitation to immerse yourself here brings with it a share of paradoxes: sublime nature can be as fragile as it is violent, and the intimacy of finding yourself alone in the face of it contrasts with the multitude of rare, silent creatures that inhabit such places.
Papivores is French violinist Agathe Max and British musician and producer Tom Relleen. Both have been leaving their mark on the field of contemporary music for a number of years - Max within numerous solo and collaborative projects - Kuro, Mésange, etc, and Relleen as half of Tomaga. Death And Spring marks the duo’s debut, offering a incongruous and unexpected, yet somehow entirely logical collision of highly individualised creative worlds. A sweeping, scratching, deconstructed melodic realm of depth and ambience - acoustic timbres, textures, rhythms , and tones basking in an electronic expanse, Death And Spring unfolds as an immersive conversation, ranging from tense and uneasy, to the hormonic and sublime. Growing from a fascinating conceptual approach to writing, using a novel by Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda as its departure point, it folds the author’s magical realist reverie into questions which address oppression and authoritarianism, becoming, in Papivores’ hands, a politicised spectrum of sound which unveils the rich sense possibility for human concern, still possible and evolving within the world of experimental music.