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Takuroku

Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.

Re-engaging with a traumatic experience in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, the narrator of Roy Claire Potter's Entrance Song; last time tells their story through foggy wisps of memory, it's a refracted portal laid out and rendered hybrid in form. An ominous, experimental cross-artform publication brought to life by spoken text passages, recorded sound/music and additional visual PDF document. Rather than directly recounting their experience, the story's narrator focuses instead on Gothic Quarter's architecture, topography, history and people. These details unfurl as weighted shadows of the exterior world that loom over a corrupted memory: a memory that cannot be directly accessed. Accompanying and adding to the text are glimpses of music and field recordings. A piano performance of a piece of sheet music found during a research trip to the Abbey of Santa Maria De Montserrat, field recordings of a violin practice by a fountain and a hidden bass track gift a third eye to the dissociative memory and its surroundings, as well as breathe tonal hues to proceedings. A PDF document includes notes and edits of the text, as well as pictures of the towering churches and spires of the city: overwhelming pieces of architecture with spiked edges and webbed partitions. A fly-trap where words don't tread. A story instigated and evacuated, one last time. -- Entrance Song; last time was written, read and produced by Roy Claire Potter and includes the following field recordings by Lisa Lavery: Courtyard violin practice drippy fountain Rome; Calle de las Cortesías; Train platform bell Sicily. Hidden track Bass Piece was written, performed and recorded by Lisa Lavery. With special thanks to Bridget Hayden for piano instruction and Sam Mcloughlin for recording advice. Proceeds from the sale of this album will go to Rape Crisis UK and Safenet, a domestic abuse charity in Burnley.

Roy Claire Potter – Entrance song; last time

While neighbouring city Glasgow prides itself with the self-endowed banner 'People Make Glasgow', the cobbled street capital of Edinburgh lives under the cursed aphorism of 'Inspiring Capital'.  The biggest financial accumulator the city has each year, the Edinburgh Festival, is representative of this apparent 'inspiration': tourists arrive in their droves, Air B'n'b prices sky-rocket, corporate pop-up bars & restaurants lace the streets and the overwhelming majority of local residents get understandably disgruntled.Tucked in a spot in Lochend End Park, 2 of the usually disgruntled locals -  Ali Robertson & Firas Khnaisser - relish in the festival's covid-induced absence over the course of two days, engaging in a delectable jumble of scrape, rattle, pop, twang and whizz. The park is just 0.4 miles from Ali's house and 0.7 miles from Firas's , and it's clear they picked a space for comfy communion. Firas gently plucks shards of melodies and sheets of detuned wonder, while Ali creates tactile moments of intrigue and mischief with his menagerie of objects. Conversations are shared with chip-thieving feathered friends, who hover over the tumbling sound world, clearly intrigued with whatever its ardent creators are serving up. Who needs the Edinburgh festival when you can have a musical picnic with your pals instead?  -- Firas Khnaisser - classical guitar, drum and objects Ali Robertson - amplified objects -- Record live on zoom with almost no edits 0.4 Miles was recorded on 20.07.20, and 0.7 Miles on 24.07.20

Firas Khnaisser & Ali Robertson – Inspiring Capital

One of our favourite videos from OTO archive is a duo set by Makoto Oshiro and Takahiro Kawaguchi from Multitap Festival in 2014 . Embracing improvisation with a sense of mischief, the duo fill the space with motorised kinetic objects, hand-crafted instruments and a small mountain of inanimate miscellanea, transforming junk yard objects and erecting them into a hissing, buzzing and writhing rickety super structure. Created at home on his own, Makoto has kindly presented this new work for us, rendering both the imaginative tactility and sense of wonder of his practice in hypnotic audio form: "The sounds on this track are made by my hand-crafted instruments that I call "Kachi Kachi." They are quite simple; an electro-magnetic relay, which is an electronic component / physical switch driven by a coil and makes a "click (kachi)" sound, combined with a variable timer circuit that controls the frequency of the clicks.  These small components are commonly displayed in front of many market stalls selling electronics in Tokyo's Akihabara area, and they are usually sold in different variations from large to small. I'm using three different types for different textures, and place them on materials that resonate such as wooden boards and boxes. I think of them as acoustic oscillators, but at the same time, the outcome of the performance has a polyrhythmic, or parallel-rhythmic factor." - Makoto Oshiro -- Makoto Oshiro - various objects & machines -- Ryo Fujishima - artwork photography Oliver Barret - artwork design

Makoto Oshiro – Kachi Kachi

A feature length film, directed by Tori Kudo (Mahar Shalal Hash Baz) This film is made by digital images from the early 00s to 2019, when I started taking pictures with cellular phones. You can see that upgrades in resolution have drastically changed "l'imaginaire" , as we move to smartphones. Most of the images are taken by myself, but my portraits are taken by others. I can't name all of them exactly. But if I had to name who, among them, are working as photographers in their honor, it would be Seiichi Sugita and Maki Abe.- Tori Kudo -- The cover of this release was selected from one of six images sent to us by Tori of a sculpture incorporating layered photographs made by his mother. Tori wrote to us saying: "These six photographs are almost like my mother’s posthumous work. The photographs show a Mobius ring of sheet iron onto which she sticked old photographs on top of each other. My mother’s father, my grandfather, was a painter who lived in Paris before the war. His style of painting was that he would layer paint very thickly. Georges Rouault scraped off layers of paint so he could create flat paintings. My grandfather’s paintings have 1cm thickness but they seemed more like 3D works rather than the perspective paintings. My mother piles up photographs on top of each other. So in a way her style resembles my grandfather’s technique from that point of view. It is quite interesting that I was doing something similar to my mother with the film I made for TakuRoku during lockdown. However in my case I displayed my photos side by side not on top of each other. All is shown, no layering, nothing hidden underneath. It may mean that I still have an attachment to this life. Archiving seems to be a theme of this time. The thing is what do we archive from history. “You could see the movement of power in the erased history “- I think Jacques Derrida was talking about something like that… Freud on the other hand, hated the idea of archiving…he said “it’s the end of one’s life once one started making their own autobiographical anthology.. that kind of wrapping up one’s life while you are still alive.” Yet recently I had an idea of looking into archiving from the perspective of a dead person looking back at their life. And this could fit into this time of pandemic as everyone is facing more or less this issue so I made this film. The first half of this year since the lock down I had done nothing as I received a state grant but the offer from TakuRoku label encouraged me to finish this work. It has been a good practice for me." -- Tori Kudo - film & direction -- Kota Takeuchi - Font for the title at the endhttp://kota-takeuchi.net/ Tori Kudo - The song "archive" that plays in the end roll. Recorded in March 2020. Oliver Barrett - artwork design

Tori Kudo – Archive

For this rare solo audio release, multi-disciplinary artist Phoebe Collings-James lays out, overlaps and tangles a curious and often contradictory selection of material over a bed of slowly tumbling electronics. Like picking up someone's phone and briefly eavesdropping on their photos, diary notes, recordings & what they've been watching or listening to ‘Can You Move Towards Yourself Without Flinching?' renders an aural tapestry with a bracing question . Like her compelling collaborative work 'Sound as Weapon, Sounds 4 Survival' with SERAFINE1369, Phoebe's placement and arrangement of audio is masterful in its sleight of hand, inviting numerous interpretations, without losing its ability to beguile. -- In a diary entry for 2019 I found this question which I struggle to answer. I creep toward it, in a wish to catch a glimpse of myself - without hesitation. If I do catch it, to find an unbearable balm, a suckling connection of love without dread - what would I hear? I invited friends to answer the question with their own sounds. They did so in myriad ways, all of which were woven into the piece. For my production i work in a collaging style, using sound libraries, adhoc recordings from my daily journeys, alongside live recording with musicians and poets. When sharing the track this week, I encouraged it to be listened to while laying down, comfortable. Ideally on good speakers or headphones. Allowing the scene to unfold into the space like an elaborate, sonic pop-up book. -- Phoebe Collings-James - music, arrangement & cover artwork -- Contributors (& Cameos): Ain Bailey, percussion. Rox Devlin Horton, drums. Sandeep Salter, song. Serefina 1369, lyrics. Zezi Ifore, lyrics. Secrets & Lies. Beau. Lancaut echo. Naeem Dxvis. Mario. Lynette Nylander. Adam Bainbridge.

Phoebe Collings-James – Can You Move Towards Yourself Without Flinching?

Nour Mobarak is a compelling new artist from Los Angeles whose work, as she describes "excavates violence and desire – the compulsions, and glitches in both a person or nation state." We fell in love with what she does thanks to her 2019 album 'Father Fugue', released on Sean McCann's Recital label. In it, the left channel of the audio documents conversations with her father Jean Mobarak - a polyglot who has a 30-second memory and lives in the mountains of Lebanon - while the right channel is composed simply of improvised song. The result conjures a similar effect that of Godard's 'Numéro deux' - whereby documented, composed and improvised elements are projected through two channels, then coagulate to form a multi-faceted, beguiling whole. To understand Nour as a film-maker - someone who acts behind and in-front of the lens - is perhaps easier than that of a musician. When we asked Nour to do a release for Takuroku she kindly responded by offering us compositions used in her multi-disciplinary, multi-channel live performances over the past 2 years, mixed down to stereo as self-contained works. What we hear is just one part of her overall projection, but that of which delves deep; investigating the voices of others, her own voice and vocal material that forms human languages. It's poetry, a Cassavetes set piece, a walk in the park, a voice in abandon, a philosophical meditation on voice, agency and human beings - but of course much more than ideas projected on a flat canvas. Each piece moves and shakes, creating rhythms emanating from the syntax and intonation of language and the voice. Toothtone sounds like rippling streams of water running concurrently, splashing into themselves and overlapping one another. Allophone Movement and its arrangement of voices captures the immediacy of machine-funk sampling techniques, whipping the immediacy of vocal expression into a composition that swings back and forth, like a Ron Hardy edit stripped to its bones. On Phoneme Movement her own vocals take centre stage with spirals, gurgles, purrs and cries that reach ecstatic heights: the voice excavated from its bodily origins. Hopefully we'll be able to present Nour's work in Cafe OTO some time in the not too distant future. -- All music & recording by Nour Mobarak Photo: Performance of “Phoneme Movement II”, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, December 8, 2018. Photo by Marco Kane Braunschweiler, design by Oli Barrett. “Allophone Movement” samples sourced from the UCLA Phonetics Archive. “Toothtone” voices recorded in Pershing Square, Los Angeles, September 2019.This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Editing technical assistance for “Allophone Movement” and “Toothtone” by Sean McCann & Juliette Amoroso

Nour Mobarak – 3 Performance Works

Cara Tolmie's practice centres itself upon the voice, the body and the complex ties between the two. All at once subjective as well as socially determined, she explores voice and body as two codependent entities able to prompt as well as contradict one another.  Here, on her debut release, her vocal ruminations explore a practice of sounding on both the inhale and exhale as well as a self-soothing touch strategy she developed in reaction to symptoms triggered by post-concussion syndrome. In an attempt to displace vocality towards and through parts of the body extraneous to the mouth, Cara lets sounds forge paths and encircle the body's inner topography, soaking her voice through a labyrinth of pumping blood, organs and the touch of skin. The result is a music that offers snapshots of the body tempered by different conditions; resting, moving, listening, pleasure, strain and sensitivity. Cara invokes waves of sound; sometimes calm and meditative, sometimes teetering on discomfort; sometimes falling into an anxious refrain. 'Lit by a Car' offers the space and time to come to terms with these feelings and give them life - letting the breath of voice twist and turn in compellingly peculiar new directions. -- All music & recording by Cara Tolmie -- Artwork design by Oliver Barrett Special thanks to Nisse Bergman, Stine Janvin, Gavin Maycroft, Kimberley O'Neill, Duncan Marquiss, Deirdre J. Humphrys, Frida Sandström, Birk Gjerlufsen and Susanna Jablonski for lending their ears

Cara Tolmie – LIT BY A CAR