Aberdeen-based philosopher/producer Bob Plant returns to Concrète Tapes with a second collection of slow moving, lush and blown-out post-everything electronica.
Continuing where last year’s debut tape Living With Animals left off, Play Nicely presents a further nine tracks mining the same rich seam that earned the first album so many fans – long, slow progressions, gorgeous swelling synth lines and hypnotic repetition – as well as stepping up a gear with a few beats creeping in here and there.
The album is available from our Bandcamp on a pea-green cassette with a wrap around card sleeve, hand printed with a lino cut designed by Concrète’s Joe Maclaren. The cassette features an additional track which is not available to download, and is limited to 30 – you can get it from Bandcamp, from us at one of our nights, or from Action Records in Preston.
Last year, Concrète Tapes released a compilation of tracks culled from the Stefano Leproto archive – a box of reel-to-reel tapes discovered on Preston car boot sale by our label boss – to great acclaim. One of the reels was the multi-tracks of a pop-disco number, and we thought: why not pass it round some friend and associates, and let them give it a modern twist?
This tape is the result of that idea – 70 minutes of sometimes radical interpretations of Stefano Leproto’s Disco Diablo, from a stellar cast of stars from the tape underground and beyond.
From a warped fuzzy ambient reworking by Polypores to a banging EBM mix from Bail; an abstract techno version from Joseph Curwen’s JC Blackley guise to a dark ambient edit from Concrète’s own Lorentzian, this tape covers all the bases.
Originally released for DJs only, we’ve managed to secure some copies which are available from the bandcamp page.
We’ve been knocking out tapes for a year now (actually a little longer… but let’s call it a year, for the sake of the album title) – so we’re releasing a low-cost label sampler: new tracks by artists we’ve released over the last 12 months, and new tracks by artists we’re going to be releasing in the coming year. It’s pay what you like on download, and £4 for the tape – tape colour depends on what shells we’ve got available, but for now at least they’re on a lovely turquoise shell, with hand printed labels and the usual. Track by track details below:
- Portland Vows – Mobile Bob Plant’s meditative musical explorations were one of our biggest hits this year, and his new stuff is going to please the fans he made (and make a whole load of new fans too, we reckon). Mobile develops the warm & repetitive formula laid down on Living With Animals – plenty more to follow with the new album in the spring too.
- Stefano Leproto – Theme from Goblinvore The first collection of tracks culled from a stack of reel-to-reels we found on the car boot caused a stir in the spring: some even thought we were taking the piss, but no-one doubted the quality of the tunes. Some further recordings have cropped up elsewhere (out on reverbworship a few months ago – I’m not sure if there’s any left, or even how to order them, but it’s a great album), and here’s another to whet your appetite – it’s a bit battered from the tapes being poorly stored all these years, but it’s a banger. We also found some multitracks of another tune, which has been circulated among some friends who’ve done a load of remixes… also out in the spring.
- Field Lines Cartographer – Magnetic Anomaly (Impulse Array Remix) Field Lines Cartographer released an album of lush, fuzzy slow-burning ambient trax back in the summer (still a few copies left, you should grab one if you haven’t already): here his techno alter-ego Impulse Array gives the title track a big-room techno refit – like a 9-minute rush on fine MDMA.
- Preston Field Audio – Finches Foray We’ve just heard the Preston Field Audio album is one of The Quietus’ top 10 tapes of the year – totally deserved. This is a lolloping bass & fuzz heavy monster that we could actually see working well in a dark room with flashing lights. We’re working hard on making that a reality (also, Carl is working on a new album – keep your eyes peeled in 2017)
- Yehoshua – Corrections Yehoshua’s recent EP of intense drones & stumbling house beats is still on regular rotation in the car – here he refines his sound even further with some warm, enveloping synths and minimalist guitar lines.
- St James Infirmary – Wooden Baroque St James Infirmary has been a feature of the north-east underground for decades, and we’ve recently taken delivery of the masters for a truly uncategorisable album of his recent work, which we’ll be issuing next year. For the sampler he’s provided a louche and sleazy easy listening cover of his compatriot Richard Dawson’s ‘Wooden Bag’, which we love.
- Hyberus – Accelerating Towards Synchronicity Hyberus were one of the first artists we released in 2015, a wildly varied collection of drones, bleeps and white noise (an attitude they carried on to their next release, a self pressed LP you can find here). For the sampler they’ve switched again, and turned in a post-punk-cosmic-disco epic. You probably didn’t see that coming…
- Turantula – Harp Kino First album of 2017 is going to be an album of deep & banging techno from Turantula, latest guise of long-time Preston based producer Andy Bunting (listen to some of his more house-shaped productions as Viva Shade here). Harp Kino is a more subdued affair, marrying harp samples with low slung beats to head-nodding effect.
- Polypores – Sleep Logic We’re loving the direction Polypores has taken his sound since his first album on Concrète in 2015, and hope he carried on in this direction: Sleep Logic is deep and icy Detroit-esqe techno, perfect for soundtracking late-night drives through post industrial wastelands. We’ll probably need as much of that as we can get over the coming years, hmm?
- Otherchannels – Checkmate (Live) We’ve been keen on hearing more from Otherchannels since they played at Concrète a couple of years ago – Carl Brown (of PFA) and Tim Crompton’s live show for Christmas 2014 remains one of our very favourite gigs wer’ve put on – so we were delighted when this dropped into our inbox – a lovely slow-evolving ambient track built on a repeating, plaintive sample. Great news that Tim will be playing an Otherchannels set at our Christmas party with Them There Records on the 23rd – more like this please.
You can find the sampler here, and I’ll drop some into Action in the next few days – we’ll also have copies of all available releases at the Conti on the 23rd…
This Christmas, Concrète are teaming up with our comrades Them There Records to bring you a bumper seasonal bash at The Continental. Four live acts, two from Concrète and two from Them There, plus DJ support from Carl Brown of Them There. We’ll also have merch from both of us – tapes, records and the like – for your last minute Christmas purchases.
Check out the lineup:
In the Concrète corner, we have Yehoshua and Lorentzian – Yehoshua’s recent release on our label offered a sideways glance at immersive drones, bleeps and broken techno – expect more besides from his live show. Lorentzian’s live performances at Concrète in the past have veered from beatless cosmische to wild percussive techno – we can’t wait to hear what he has in store this time round.
Limbering up in the Them There corner are label co-founder Crook, and star of our Christmas show a couple of years back, Otherchannels. Crook promises us ‘A deconstructed collage of samples and synths, field recordings and blown out beats, accompanied by fuzzy, transient visuals exploring visions of isolation, decay and days gone by.’ Otherchannels’ show in 2014 remains one of our favourites – lush, warm ambient fuzz of the highest order – while we’d happily have a re-run of that, we’re sure this is going to be a further step up.
Carl Brown (the other co-founder of Them There) will also be dropping tunes, and we’ve put together a Them There / Concrète soundclash mixtape featuring exclusive tracks from both labels and tunes we love for the first 20 people through the door, so get down early.
It’s a no-brainer isn’t it really? Come and hide from the black Friday part-time drinkers and help us see in the holidays. £3 on the door. The facebook event is here…
Last year I was at an evening showing of Hitchcock’s Vertigo at Preston’s Harris Museum. There was a sculpture made of several glass parts hanging in the floor above – movements in the air made the parts knock gently together, and during quiet passages of the film the sound this made came cascading down to the audience below – it sounded glorious.
Which got me thinking: how would that work as a performance space? Musicians could be arrayed round the circular balcony, with the audience ‘in the round’ in the coffee shop beneath – the music would tumble down from above and from all directions, immersing the audience in a world of sound… and what better piece of music to do this with than Terry Riley’s masterpiece In C?
This is the result of the plan hatched that night, thanks to Josh and John and Uclan Music, who were excited to take the idea and turn it into reality.
Performances will be at 2pm and 6pm on Monday 5th January, and entry is FREE. More details on the facebook event here: please do come.
Four new tracks of icy sonic explorations, Concrète Tapes’ latest release comes from the hand of Preston based musical auteur Josh Horsley.
Sometimes live takes, sometimes sequenced, yehoshua’s /prəˌnʌn.siˈeɪ.ʃən-s is a hardware driven exploration of minimalist gestures within dense sonic landscapes.
Explaining the process used to create the pieces of music on the EP, Josh says ‘One of the main external influences was Bergson’s (1889) Time and Free Will – I wanted to attempt to communicate some interpretation of his ‘pure duration’ whereby each track was unfolding but maintaining some semblance of its original self throughout that process.’
Josh’s tools were a Microbrute, Werkstatt, OP-1, Tempest, Monome, and Max/MSP for processing.
Previous work includes Catharsis, a composition documenting the systematic destruction of an upright piano and has been performed acousmatically over 4 and 8 channels within the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, and Ingmar Bergman’s cinema in Uppsala. He’s also worked with Ex Easter Island Head as part of the 2nd large electric ensemble, and delivered papers on sonification at conferences in Europe and north America.
The EP is available from bandcamp on a limited run of 40 grey-shell tapes with a cardboard fold around sleeve hand screen-printed by fine artist Magda Stawarska-Beavan.
We’re very pleased to note that the first two artist we released on Concrète Tapes – Polypores and Hyberus – have graduated to wax. Both acts have LPs out, with Polypores launching his new album The Fialka Transmissions at Concrète this weekend. It’s available from bandcamp right now, or there’ll be some for sale on the night (we note that currently it’s also the number 1 bestseller at Norman Records, above the Avelanches. Crikey). Scroll down to check out the glorious splatter vinyl – can’t wait to get our mitts on this…
Support on the night will come from Lo Five – don of Liverpool’s fantastic Emotion Wave night – and Bail (Beats of Rage) will be spinning tunes inbetween the live acts.
We’ve also got a few copies of Hyberus’ new offering Machine Intelligence which We’ll have for sale on Sunday – the tracks are all versions of pieces Hyberus have performed live at Concrète over the last year – we’re particularly impressed with the track sys loop receptor superfamily – check it out here.