Gnod: Live at Concrète / AYN SOF: Gong Gallery

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Salford’s Gnod are riding a wave right now: recently celebrating a decade of ecstatic, ever changing live shows and constant releases, their latest album JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT​-​WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE has been hailed everywhere as a career highlight: and the current tour in support has been earning similar plaudits.

So we’re honoured that the latest releases on Concrète Tapes are both from the Gnod stable: a recording of Gnod’s recent live electronic set at the Concrète stage at Vernal Equinox; and a set of acoustic gong drones from Gnod mainstay Paddy Shine.

Taking in treated sitar, mind-warping bass frequencies, feedback and rave hoovers, Gnod: Live at Concrète captures one of the band’s rare improvised electronic sets: uncompromising and heavy as fuck. We’re sure you’ll love it.

The initial release is 50 copies on a racing green cassette shell, with a hand printed insert, made to a design by James Kitchingman. Half of the run will be available from us, and the other half will be going on tour with Gnod, and can be picked up at their shows.

The AYN SOF tape, Gong Gallery is a much more subdued affair, being a longform acoustic drone piece created using four gongs and the unique acoustics of the Islington Mill gallery space – the ideal way to come down from the tense & heavy effects of the Gnod tape, we think…

Again, the initial release is 50 copies split between us and the Gnod merch stall, this time on a red shell. Prints etc as before.

Both tapes are available from our bandcamp to pre-order, shipping at the weekend.

https://concretetapes.bandcamp.com/album/gnod-live-at-concrete

https://concretetapes.bandcamp.com/album/ayn-sof-gong-gallery

Thurs 18th May – Qujaku / Locean / Lorentzian

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Qujaku are a heavy psychedelic four-piece from Shizouka in Japan: much admired in Japan for the intensity of their live shows, they’re now ready to conquer the UK. Think heavy, noisy psychedelic garage rock with fuzzed up post-rock/shoegaze edges and you’re touching on their live sound. They’ve got a packed itinerary while they’re in the UK, clocking up appearances at Raw Power & Fatout festivals as well as an extensive tour.

LOCEAN 
We’ve been desperate to put on Manchester’s Locean for months – their overwhelming psych/noise/spoken word shows are always something to behold. Featuring Neil from Terminal Cheesecake & Gnod and a righteous rhythm section, ruled over by captivating frontwoman Lauren Bolger, we can guarantee you will love their support slot. It’s a mystery that Locean aren’t massive: they probably will be soon.
LORENTZIAN
Kicking off the night will be Preston based electronica producer Lorentzian – previous shows have featured pummelling, Autechre-like beats and synth, or soothing ambience – we aren’t sure which we’ll get tonight, but we can be sure it’ll be great. Get down early.
Doors at 8, £5 in.
Advance tickets from Skiddle, SEE Tickets, WeGotTickets
Also in person from Continental bar (01772 499 425) & Action Records (01772 884 772)  

21st April at The Ferret: Horse Lords, Cloud Becomes Her Hand, Polypores

Horselords

We’re teaming up again with Tuff Life Boogie, this time for a last minute booking with two castaways from the recently cancelled Safe As Milk festival, and our very own Polypores. This is going to be so good, do not miss it. Facebook event is here.


Last minute show with two ground-breaking American acts that were due to play the sadly- cancelled Safe As Milk festival, Horse Lords and Cloud Becomes Your Hand plus support from Preston synth auteur Polypores. Both strain at the edges of a thrillingly unquantifiable number of genres in a trance-inducing mash of prepared tuning and polyrhythms that absolutely has to be experienced live. Basically anyone who’s ever dug Philip Glass, Steve Reich or any sort of Velvets/Beefheart/techno drone wig-out should get down to this show, a not-to-be-missed opportunity to catch some mind-blowing avant garde noise in Preston!

Advance tickets: £6 here http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397015

Horse Lords

Baltimore quartet Horse Lords blew minds with their first two releases of repetitious polyrhythmic rock, but those now seem like they were priming ears for their powerful and hypnotic new album, Interventions. Using modified instruments and just intonation tuning, Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums) have produced a bold instrumental rock suite. The band’s Northern Spy debut is also the first Horse Lords album to explore the classic studio-as-weaponry strategies of yore, mapping the quartet’s raw Baltimore lightning onto the experimental musique concrète territory surveyed by elder heads like Faust and This Heat.

The guitars are sharp but never shrill, the saxophone strong but not skronk. There’s a hint of West African rhythms and a few detours into electronic noise, but mostly Horse Lords come off like the house band at a Terry Riley loft party. They’ve won rave reviews for their albums and especially their live performances, the two drummer lineup holding down a groove longer than most audience members can keep dancing. Mark E. Smith said “Repetition in the music and we’re never gonna lose it,” but he could never have imagined how far Horse Lords would take that mantra.

https://horselords.bandcamp.com/
http://horselords.tumblr.com/

Cloud Becomes Your Hand

The Brooklyn based sextet Cloud Becomes Your Hand, led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Stephe (pronounced ‘Steve’) Cooper, took their name from a stage direction from a “theatrical stage experiment” performance project devised by Cooper and MIDI-triggered MalletKat percussionist Sam Sowyrda. Theatrical is also a good description of their music, which spans Canterbury psych and the angular agitation of Oingo Boingo and early Devo. However, the group’s Bandcamp page prefers such labels as “avant prog bumping insect rock ’n’ roll”, “glowing dino” and “snail lick”, which is probably the lite version of licking hallucinogenic toads.
After a few home recordings in the early 2010s, they signed to Northern Spy, the label that is also home to Baltimore’s equally chaotic Horse Lords, and Rest In Fleas is their second full-length release for the label, following 2014’s Rocks Or Cakes. While they may look like deranged children’s television presenters-escapees from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, perhaps – and their surreal animated videos could easily pass for interstitial segments on that show, the Cloud Becomes Your Hand project blends psychedelic whimsy with grown-up seriousness and melancholy, especially on the album’s closing ballad “Made Of Teak”.

https://cloudbecomesyourhand.bandcamp.com/
http://cloudbecomesyourhand.com/

Polypores

Polypores, aka Stephen James Buckley, is based in a tiny home studio in Preston, and makes haunted space music using an ever-expanding mound of synthesizers, samplers, and old tape recorders. Bleak, icy drones give way to 1970’s Sci-Fi synth lines, throbbing bass rumbles ominously beneath a psychedelic haze of wistful melody and disembodied voices
Polypores’ first physical release, “A Shunned Place” combined Carpenter-esque synths with slo-mo electronica and Radiophonic tape weirdness, and was released on Concréte Tapes in October 2015. 2016 saw his first vinyl release,”The Fialka Transmissions” on Polytechnic Youth Records, which sold out all 300 copies in a week. He has self released a number of EP’s and albums digitally, and regularly contributes to compilations on boutique label A Year In The Country. In late 2016 his “Timeholes” CD sold out within a couple of hours.
In early 2017 the “Wastes” EP was released on Concréte Tapes, and will be followed by 2 more albums on vinyl for Polytechnic Youth later in the year. He is also working on soundtracks for 3 films, and numerous other side projects.
https://www.facebook.com/polypores/

Portland Vows – Play Nicely

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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.

Concrète Disco Mix Club Vol. 1: Stefano Leproto’s Disco Diablo

 

 

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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.

First Annual Report

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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:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. 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…
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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…

Concrète & Them There’s Christmas Show: 23rd December at The Continental

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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…