Outsider / Art Brut
Folk / Song
"'Lost In Shadows' is American composer/performer Ashley Paul's bewitching Slip debut: an expansive, deeply personal excavation of recent motherhood, told through songs dissolving and re-crystallising at the threshold of free improvisation. At the LP's heart is Paul's mercurial multi-instrumental style, which renders the primal wails, clunks, and twangs of clarinet, saxophone, percussion, and guitar uncannily melodic, alchemised by frank, vulnerable vocals. The deft negotiation of the fragile and the coruscating evidenced on Paul's ‘Line The Clouds’ (2013) and ‘Heat Source’ (2014) has now reached a kind of hesitant sublime.
Recorded over 3 weeks at a FUGA residency in Zaragoza, Spain in December 2016, 'Lost In Shadows' documents a cathartic outpouring; the first time Paul had been able to write since the birth of her daughter 11 months earlier. The record is completely influenced by "many hours spent awake at night in a dream like state of half consciousness, darkness and solitude; an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and exhaustion made light by a profound new love", with Paul's solo playing bolstered by additional baritone saxophone, cello, tuba, and percussion. This ensemble set-up, which premiered much of this work at 2017's Counterflows festival, gives the LP a fresh sense of luxuriousness, bounce, and rich possibility.'"
Artwork by Gayle Paul. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.
Ashley Paul - Lost in Shadows
"'111 angelic MIDI cascade' is Ralph Cumbers' exquisite Slip debut: a finely forged collection of joyous electronic music built to surge and heal. This is Cumbers' first deliberate Bass Clef album since 2012's 'Reeling Skullways' on Bristol institution Punch Drunk, and a forceful departure from the bubbling, rogue club 12"s since issued on The Trilogy Tapes, PAN, and Idle Hands.
Drums are almost entirely absent, making way for a braiding of soaring machine melodies, and taut harmonic threads. To be clear: this is no ambient record. No drifty clouds, no cocoons, no sonic platitudes.Recorded in Rotterdam in August 2018, amidst an immersion in the history of clairaudience, scrying, and natural philosophy, '111' is a leap into pinpoint mysticism, with Bass Clef as happy alchemist."
Written and Recorded by Bass Clef. Mastered by Stephen Bishop.
Bass Clef - 111 angelic MIDI cascade
"'brace, brace' is Julia Reidy’s soaring Slip return: a dread-tinged incantation unfurling from breath-down-the-neck field recordings, auto-murmured voice, synthetic hum, and irrepressible guitar kinetics.
Reidy’s signature 12-string playing - precise, burrowing, rhapsodic - dominates the LP's outer cuts, framing a plaintive electric centre. Blooms of arpeggiations and desolate strums re-inflect slow-moving pitch sequences; the music feels at once on fire and graceful, inevitable.Perhaps most surprising is how organic 'brace, brace'’s expanded palette feels. Reidy’s electronics are subtly eerie extensions, alien resonances of her playing, both embedding her instrument and making it somehow unreal. This strange smear of body and apparition is neatly nailed in Reidy’s sung-to-herself vocals, coaxed out and encroached upon by autotune
Succeeding recent issues of her work by Feeding Tube and Room 40’s A Guide To Saints, 'brace, brace' is a definitive statement from a blazing, restless talent.The LP tours with visuals from Suze Whaites. Whaites’projection environment is built from the coruscant light sources and surface reflections with which her video footage is made, creating mutable vistas at once microscopic and panoramic, domestic and sublime."
Mixed and recorded by Sam Slater. Mastered by Joe Talia. Artwork by Suze Whaites.
Julia Reidy - brace, brace
Dawning On is Australian, Berlin-based guitarist Julia Reidy’s Slip debut: a razor-sharp précis of pent-up, blazing melancholy on a lone 12-string guitar. Reidy’s playing is lucid and poised, teasing out elegant inflections from half-melodies, rugged strums, and curious tunings. Her compositions are lingering streams: barely-shackled attacks give way to introspective arpeggiations before resurging again, all spurred on by a yearning, nervous energy.
With the album’s single-track A-side clocking in at just under half-an-hour, this is by some measure Julia’s most comprehensive solo statement to date, and a luxurious listen which revels in the 12-string’s generous resonance. For our money, it’s up there with the finest work of her fellow Aussies The Necks, Anthony Pateras, and Jon Rose.
Julia Reidy - Dawning On
'Solo' [SLP016] is the Slip debut of Berlin-based composer Andreas Dzialocha: a collection of lilting electric bass melodies refracted through a tangled network of live computer processing. 'Solo'‘s ruptured nocturnes are intimate duets between instrument and machine, with Dzialocha eloquently responding to randomised pulsing reverbs, filters, and compressors, which snatch his delicate motifs into virtual space in real time. Andreas studied art history, musicology, and computer science, and is founder and director of Berlin-based Serenus Zeitblom Oktett, and upstart publishing platform BLATT 3000. 'Solo' interactive website: solo.andreasdzialocha.com
---Mastered by Hannes Fritsch. Artwork by Rian Treanor
Andreas Dzialocha - Solo
“’Got Gills?' [SLP015] is the exigent Slip debut of Manchester-based Otto Willberg, and a commanding introduction to the double bassist’s assertive, heady style. This unhinged collection of live acoustic takes (no amps, no overdubs) marries rasping grit and mesmeric repetition, and announces the arrival of a precocious instrumental talent.
Otto is a double bass player living in Manchester, interested in improvisation, experimental and contemporary music. He is a core component of caustic psych outfit Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, and of Manchester's ever-blooming underground.”
Otto Willberg - Got Gills?
'PROSEGUR' is the obliterating Slip debut of North-Eastern security force Bad@Maths: pulped voices scrawled on wasted digital clatter.
The voices of Elvin Brandhi and Odie Ji Ghast have stamped themselves inexorably on the Slip catalogue - Ghast's swoops and blabbers and Brandhi's doosmday swaggers all over pairings with bassist Otto Willberg and pop-garbler Mykl Jaxn (as Yeah You) respectively.
As Bad@Maths, the duo's inimitable speaking-in-tongues practice lurches through electronic daggers and gunge. Elvin and Odie's roaming productions are a smash-and-grab on the furthest reaches of contemporary trap and grime, their voices re-animating 'net-culled spirits amongst whipslap beats. Modern mores, nasty drift.
BAD@MATHS - PROSEGUR
WHATSAPPITE is the batty collaborative debut from Mancunian long-time sparring partners Otto Willberg and Odie Ji Ghast: a bewildering assemblage of feral double bass and vocal vignettes spliced with rabid interjections from a handpicked cast of eccentrics.
Willberg and Ghast’s cuts ditch polish, finesse and good taste in favour of animal propulsion, taking base, off-the-cuff melodies and rhythms on a skew-wiff joy ride.
Bolstered by brain farts from Gwilly Edmondez, Elvin Brandhi, THF Drenching, Rachel Margetts, Sam Andreae, Arshon, and Biz, WHATSAPPITE marries proper abandon with unabashed ears for a hook.
Artwork by Odie Ji Ghast. Mastered by Owen Roberts. Tapes dubbed by Otto Willberg.
Ode Ji Ghast & Otto Willberg - WHATSAPPITE
"Competition's Slip debut: laser-etched micro-songs of bruised vocals, sample grabs, and tenderised chamber MIDI. Competition is Newcastle-based Craig Pollard, whose confessional productions also spill into curation and a wider visual art practice (much of it, recently, as one third of the 'Wild Pop' crew)
This mini-album sees Craig atomise songcraft, probing its remnants for signs of soul. Like the post-mushroom recall from which it takes its title, ‘You Turned Into A Painting’ is a queasy scavenging of the mundane. Pollard's voice achingly wears as he circles through lilting observations; his arrangements squeeze something unctuous from innocuous browser snatches and lowly sample packs, eschewing tricksiness in favour of low-key, loving twists."
Artwork by Grace Whitfield. Mastered by Stephen Bishop.
Competition - You turned into a painting
Lawrence Lek’s Unreal Estate is a speculative simulation in which London’s Royal Academy of Arts has been sold off as a luxury playboy mansion to an anonymous Chinese billionaire. First shown at the RA itself in 2015, and available to play online as part of Lek’s ‘Bonus Levels’ series, this dystopian and poignantly funny piece was the winner of the ICA Tenderflix award and the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artist Award.
Unreal Estate’s eerie landscape is underpinned by a soundtrack from cellist and composer Oliver Coates. Coates’ cello chorales are both tender and stark; glossy Reichian quavers, elephantine bass lines and cultivated waltzes reverberate within the gallery’s imaginary walls. Interspersed amongst Coates’ themes are selections from Unreal Estate’s narrator, whose advice to potential investors comes from a found text from Russian Tatler, translated into Mandarin by Joni Zhu.
The result is a music concrete mixture of snatched vocal samples, effluent drones and tear-heavy harmonics.
“…one of the most immersive ambient albums you are likely to hear this year…” – Bleep
“…the music is as grand and boldly delineated as any computer game soundtrack, making it a perfect fit for Lek’s virtual world…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
Lawrence Lek & Oliver Coates - Unreal Estate OST
"The Godfather of Wild Pop."
"'Trouble Number' is a major retrospective of four decades of peerless, visionary, and feral production from Gwilly Edmondez - the dad from Yeah You. This 90 minute package cherry picks from hundreds upon hundreds of hours of psychoanalysis through pop waste, performed by Gwilly upon himself since the founding of his '80s outfit Radioactive Sparrow. Bewildering and basically incomparable in its entirety, 'Trouble Number' mongrelises strains of hip-hop, black metal, folk, power balladry, more more more, with a properly prophetic, popwise soul. Pay your respects."
Gwilly Edmondez just grew as a character project in the mid-1980s, offshoot from the to’l-spon/non-com/pop-kak invention-pool that was/is Radioactive Sparrow, itself founded by a group of Bridgend (13-year-old/non-voter) elements in 1980. Gwilly is a solo/collaborative improvisation that started out making fake, unwritten rock, then progressed in the 1990s to real unaccompanied rock, before settling into a mode of practice defined by sampling, tapes and vocals. Over many years, Gwilly has struck up many material partnerships and misadventurist associations of, with the likes of James Joys, Val Persona, Faye MacCalman, Karl D’Silva, Tobias Illingworth, Laura Late-Girl, b-cátt, Odie Ji Ghast, THF Drenching, Tony Gage, Richard Bowers, People Like Us... But in the end none more so than Elvin Brandhi. ‘Gnarlage of Self’, the C30 album, was made on Newcastle’s hottest day in 2017, in an upstairs room in Heaton, recorded by Dario Lozano Thornton with Schoeps MK2/MK8 pair to Sonodore preamps in one take subsequently edited and disorganized by Dario. ‘Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself’ started out as a kind of slapstick/slapdash best of... but quickly became its own entanglement of old stuff, new-but-unused stuff made for the C30, and bits of recent live sets. The first half, side one, tries to bungle blindly into the nature of supplication, confession and self-condemning introspection – find the self then kill it; side two starts on the other side of death inhaling wafts of cheap air freshener as a means to hallucinate a personal history that never could’ve happened anyway, before scrambling back through the rear end of personality only to be consigned to liturgical palliatives in a manner carried out by his countless forebears of the cloth. It could only end with “Walken’s Kiss”, a sardonically pronounced cliffhanger.
Music & Artwork by Gwilly Edmondez. Mix and Edits by Dario Lozano Thornton and Gwilly Edmondez.
Gwilly Edmondez - Trouble Number
"Yeah You's black-hearted return to Slip: poisonous, weaponised pop, spat out on the roam. Father-daughter Mykl Jaxn-Elvin Brandhi's defiantly other improvisations tangle up defouling sermons with ragged beats, gnashing bass, and ear-worm synths. Recorded in a black Renault Clio in Holland and Germany, and at Aurora, Budapest throughout early 2017, 'KRUTCH' is the 'You at a freshly terrifying apex, filtering the desperation of black metal through an unerring pop nous."
“The music and letting-go part of it is already sort of social suicide – and then on top of that I’m doing it with my dad.” – Elvin Brandhi interview with Tristan Bath for the Quietus
“...the best father/daughter duo sinceSerge and Charlotte...” – Boomkat
Artwork by Elvin Brandhi. Mastered by Stephen Bishop.
Yeah You - Krutch
"Newcastle outfit Yeah You’s Slip debut: a stack of crackpot situationist pop forged in the fire of free improvisation. Mykl Jaxn and Elvin Brandhi are relentlessly producing instinctive, chewed-up tunes on the fly. Culled from sessions crammed into weekly drives to yoga, idle moments in the trolley park of Bridgend Tesco, and a late-night wander in Brussels, 'Id Vendor' captures the father/daughter duo in superlative form off the back of knockout 2016 shows at Kraak, Borealis, and Counterflows. A wicked onslaught of blunted beats, rudimentary synth contortions, and haphazard vocals as relentless as it is unpredictable as it is bloody wild."
Mastering by Owen Roberts. Artwork by Elvin Brandhi. Originally released on cassette in June 2016.
Yeah You - Id Vendor
Heat, War, Sweat, Law is British composer Laurie Tompkins’ debut solo recording: a desperate stomp on the bones of Heaven 17’s ‘The Height Of The Fighting’, replete with rabid voices, cracked pots, faltering pipes, spent IKEA bags and egg shakers, and spasmodic ghosts of Martyn Ware synths. Part foaming rant, part exercise routine, HWSL’s incessant shaking, hammering and yelling wear down soloist, tools, and the tolerance of an audience put upon by a dispersed mob seeking to recruit them in their inane howls and claps.
“…Glenn Gregory’s suave croons are a world away from these giddy bagatelles, evoking as they do a hurricane in a Sheffield charity shop…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords“…he cries meaningless bloody murder in nine tracks that resemble surreal playground games as much as they do compositions…” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus“…the receding hairline of an overwhelmed sound guy paying off the interest on his mic set case while pulling out hair…” – Tiny Mix Tapes
Mixed and mastered by Owen Roberts. Video for “Sweat” by Joel Wycherley.
Laurie Tompkins - Heat, War, Sweat, Law
Debut release of material from both Tom Rose and Caroline Haines (Chaines). Both composers working within electronic and contemporary composition, the pair’s music form a dialogue testament to sharing the same stage countless times over the past year. Chaines’ two offerings are evidence of an idiosyncratic vision embracing dislocated drums, swathes of distortion, and freakish manipulations of her own voice. There is a nagging sense of some submerged narrative – in Transverberation, the “bells and smells” of religious ceremony are evoked, while Speak Gentle Words is something like catching glimpses of distant shorelines. Tom Rose navigates the alternating interzones with three cuts that dismantle the base of Chaines’ music, as dry synthetic drums coalesce into toppling patterns and waves of synthesiser become caked in debris.The final track includes contributions from ‘cellist Tom Bayman, whose string sounds become stretched in an extended rumination upon Chaines’ unexpected violin solo.
Music by Caroline Haines / Tom Rose. Mastered by Peter Harris
Chaines / Tom Rose - SPLIT
The King is Chaines’ commanding return to Slip: a claustrophobic, dank book of abstracted torch songs, festering in an uneasy grandeur.
The LP collects work diligently amassed in the 3 years since the British composer/producer’s Slip debut ‘OST’, which housed contributions from ‘cellist Oliver Coates and artist Mary Stark within melancholic, uncannily tactile productions. The intervening period has seen Chaines collaborate extensively with the London Contemporary Orchestra, with commissions performed at The Roundhouse, Union Chapel, Printworks, and Tate Modern.
The King sees Chaines’ eccentric, singular language grasp a fresh immediacy and emotive potency. Chaines’ voice is more present than ever – creepy, seductive and pained on the Scott-Walker-does-ASMR of “Eraserhead”, and diva-ghost of “Population 5120” – and their arrangements dissolve the symphonic into freakish forms – “Carpathia” and “Knockturning” spike pastoral organs and flutes with industrial menace and convulsing beatwork.
"Three years ago, Chaines’s debut OST, featuring Oliver Coates on cello and the voice of Mary Stark, was an early jewel in the crown of the imprint. The King represents the sum of Manchester based composer/producer Cee Haines’s work since. And what a piece of work it is. Heaving and shimmering with the strings and winds of The London Contemporary Orchestra, slaphappy with its own electronic convolutions and twisted rhythmatics, vast in scope, rich in execution. The King could stand its own in any royal rumble." - The Wire
Chaines - The King
OST [SLP017], the staggering solo debut from British musician Caroline Haines, AKA Chaines, gathers studio realisations of three commissions completed since 2013’s SPLIT, with Tom Rose. Though written for specific occasions, the pieces are united by a sense of uneasy melodrama, and hallucinogenic flow.
Lead cut ‘OST’ is a 20-minute epic written in collaboration with visual artist Mary Stark (vocals) where cartoonish, Rammstein-style aggression, plaintive guitar lines, and clunking glitch form an impish portrait of the UK’s north-eastern industry. But ‘OST’ is also a sincere love-letter to analogue film, with plush orchestral samples, and Stark’s disembodied voice tenderly blooming from the rubble.
'OST'’s remaining works frame its centrepiece. ‘Here’ - written for Laurie Tompkins’ 2013 Handy tour - is a whistled ode to twilight inebriation, accompanied by faint keys, revving cars, and Badalamenti synths. On ‘I Found This’, Chaines’ warbled melodies merge with Oliver Coates’ muted cello, offset by tickling percussion and recorder chorales. Though OST operates in a place entirely its own, it is perhaps best compared with the work of similarly iconoclastic contemporaries such as Elysia Crampton, Mica Levi, and Dean Blunt.
1. Here - 5:052. OST1 - 7:243. OST2 - 3:154. OST3 - 10:045. I Found This - 5:44
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux
Chaines - OST
'Ample Profanity' is composer Laurie Tompkins and cellist Oliver Coates' collaborative debut: coagulated gristle surfacing from a Beal, Brooklyn-brown, Ray V, Bangs, GAN, Rugs and Works acid bath. The EP collects 5 pieces composed by Laurie and then co-edited and performed with Olly. The former plays keys, tape player, and samples, the latter cello with effects. Both sing.
Here is grazed, contorted classicism, here post-binge hallucinations, here gunky funk.
"I met [Laurie] when I was 16, at school. I don’t know where along the way he’s found that he can make a piece out of flower pots and shouting, and it can be genuinely moving. With Laurie, there’s this thing with Netflix culture and tropes in the promotion of electronic dance music. Like, “you must all listen to footwork now” because they market that at you. Ample Profanity is all about awkward juxtapositions: bits of music from House Of Cards coupled with RP Boo. That’s the headspace he’s in and he’s trying to articulate these as cello rhythms. I find that really satisfying. It looks really spidery and architectural on the page. You’ve got to repeat it 17 times and then shout the next thing, so it’s absurdly difficult to play. To play it physically, the energy of playing it, that’s why I do it." - Oliver Coates, The Wire, September 2018.
Laurie Tompkins / vocals, keys, tape player, samples
Oliver Coates / vocals, cello, effects
--- Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Laurie Tompkins and Suze Whaites.
Laurie & Olly - Ample Profanity