I am an unabashed fan of Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – an imprint that focuses on minimal music, but has evolved over the years. I frequently listen to Shuttle358, Sawako, Steinbruchel and others from the roster as I write. Taylor has made an hour-long mix of tracks For all the things we did in May which has just come out as a stream on Fluid Radio (of which I’m also a fan). The mix is wonderfully low-key, beginning with one of my favourite pieces, Shuttle358’s “Gone”, then progressing fairly organically through tracks I’m familiar with, and some I’d never heard.
A wonderful introduction to 12k’s roster and style.
I listened to The Sleeping Morning, a 21 minute ep, last night while I edited a new story. Two of the four tracks include vocals, which is a bit different to the usual stuff from 12k, and different to what I’d normally write to, but it works. The tracks are quite distinct, minimal and controlled. Ysatis and Deupree have worked together a lot over the last decade or so, with some long gaps – this came out after quite a long gap (many years), and they have worked again more recently on another piece – hourglass – which is available on vinyl, but also (as with Sleeping Morning) as a download through itunes. Definitely worth checking out.
Some writers write with children and dogs clambering and slobbering over them while the television blares and the elevated train blasts by the window every eight minutes and the neighbours down below argue about fishing trips and meter money. Others write in silence. I’m closer to the latter, but I do have music on pretty much always as I write. Sometimes it’s very mellow, other times a little more edgy. Here’s a selection of music which has sustained me through the task of drafting my novel.
Woob 1194 – a seminal ambient album that I’m lucky enough to actually own a copy of. Paul Frankland, the artist, has recently made the album, and some other tracks available again through bandcamp. Also listened to other em:t releases like Woob 4495, Gas 0095 and Undark 3396, as well some of the compilations.
S.E.T.I. – The Geometry of Night. This extraordinary album is somewhere between ambient and dance and science fiction. Some of the most startling rhythm patterns I’ve ever enjoyed. This is hard to find on CD, but it looks like he’s made it available on bandcamptoo.
Taylor Deupree – Northern. Taylor was part of the other S.E.T.I., not to be confused with the above (even though some sites do). Northern is minimal music, but as rich and full as can be, almost ambient but not quite. The original pressing (which I have) sold out, but Taylor did a re-issue which was a kind of re-visioning – reloading the original files with missing plug-ins so the sound is different, though I haven’t heard the new version.
Pitch Boys – O.S.T.. One of many remarkable releases on the Test Tube Netlabel (full disclosure, the Venus Vulture album Stick With Me Giselle, Things Can Only Get Better was released on Test Tube last year). O.S.T. is an hour-plus excursion into new realms.
Next post – rock.