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Takuroku

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

how do i get / from a to b / from a to base /from a to u / a to be / a to base / a to aide /aide to base / base to brr / base to / br /base to breath / hh / arbours / arbr / hh /another great / unhoming From A to B Sonoscura’s slow, immersive soundtrack of voices, landscapes, and spoken text is organised into five connecting and echoing parts. The meandering energy creates inner repose and sharpened awareness. It was conceived and created in response to the eerie and brutal global confinement of Spring 2020. One of the pieces reframes Caroline Bergvall’s online public writing event Night & Refuge between five UK-based poets, live on zoom and twitter across five timezones, 20 May 2020, 6.00PM- 9.00PM BST. Sonoscura was also developed as a film-poem, filmed by Andrew Delaney and commissioned by Planet P berlin: lockdown version 21. poesiefestival berlin. Premiered online, 9 June 2020. -- Written, created, performed, recorded, edited, and produced during the Spring 2020 lockdown.Mixed and mastered by Jamie Hamilton. Produced by Caroline Bergvall. Cover image: Andrew Delaney, video-still from film-poem Sonoscura. Thank you to the poets and all the voices for their contributions. Special thanks: Jamie Hamilton, Andrew Delaney, Matthias Kniep, Michaela Freeman, Harriet Cook, Angharad Cooper, Erin Moure, Fielding Hope. Caroline Bergvall 2020A Sonic Atlas Project

Caroline Bergvall – SONOSCURA

Fragile strength is what i've been Radiant resilience Changing before your very eyes Though often unseen- (from 'Trilogy') As Takuroku hits the milestone of 100 releases over the past 6 months, we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than a debut solo release (yes, the first ever!) by Maggie Nicols. Maggie has been a familiar name around OTO over our 13 year history, lending her voice and talents to a series of unforgettable performances, including a session with Joëlle Leandre and Roger Turner, which remains one of our favourite archived live performances to this day. While she might be best known as an improviser, most notably in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Feminist Improvising Group and more recently with the likes of 'Les Diaboliques', her talents stretch into song, dance, poetry, performance and composition. This release, modestly recorded on her computer after teaching herself how to use Garageband during lock-down, brings forth her doubts, anxieties, loves and desires in a 13-part musical journey. Webbed through piano ballads, playful improvised ditties, stories, poetry and multi-layered vocal arrangements, 'Creative Contradiction' feels like a long-overdue catch up with a close friend. There's reminiscing, there's laughter, there's tears, there's chatter that floats on and off topic, there's things shared you don't feel comfortable sharing with others. When the world around us makes these sorts of relationships difficult or rendered void, intimacy through art can feel like an act of generosity: a hand outstretched in the darkness. Thank you Maggie for gifting us just that. --  Maggie Nicols:  voice, piano, electric keyboard and ceremonial drum    -- Recorded at home in 2020Mastered by Oliver Barrett Photo from a workshop a ‘Learning, Transformation and Technique weekend at ‘Hecate’s Haven' What needs Nourishing’ guided by Portia Wintersduring Additional musicians on Track 8:  Katerina Koblizek - voice & Olitar (guitar made out of a Palestinian Olive oil can by cellist and guitarist Steve Moyes)  Ludek Salac - guitar

Maggie Nicols – Creative Contradiction: Poetry, Story, Song & Sound

A Self-titled split album, featuring the debut recording from new band Not Usurper, and a new recording from old band Usurper. Just like Nietzsche’s studies on what constitutes Good and Evil, what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in Usurper’s world of aural mischief is hard to decipher. Over the past two decades Ali and Malcy have made clear their love for aural detritus, absurdist humour and Beckett-esque excursions, manifesting their activities in cd-rs, tapes, comic books and life-altering live performances. Sounds unfurl less as musical signifiers and more as moments of micro-theatre, cogs in motion, rainfalls of assorted junk and muttering from the sewer upwards.While ‘WRONG’ gives the duo space to explore the nooks and crannies and assorted miscellanea in the respective abodes, ‘RIGHT’ seems to give them some purpose. Scissors and paper are in their hands, they seem to be wrapping something, but what are they wrapping? Are they doing it ‘right’? Are they ‘right’? Does it sound ‘right’? Does it look ‘right’? Is what they are making ‘right’? Wait a minute, is that Malcy, or is that Ali? Or is Ali Malcy and is Malcy Ali? Does it matter? What is ‘wrong’ after all? Is wrong right, or is right wrong? But what does ‘right’ mean? Is it correct, or is it a start - ‘right’ now? Let’s do it right, right now, ‘right’? Leave that up to Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff, or not Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff. Or Usurper, or Not Usurper. -- Not Usurper isn't Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff Usurper is Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff -- Recorded in 2020 Artwork by Malcy Duff Mastered by Oliver Barrett

Not Usurper / Usurper – Not Usurper / Usurper

With the tools of field recordings, cello, whip and tape manipulation in hand, Lia Mazzari and Tom White tease the temporality and geography of domestic and outdoor spaces during various parts of 2020 lock-down, rupturing a sonic space where they are both passive and active subjects. Rather than relishing in the new found silence of lock-down, Lia and Tom amplify sounds that are normally drowned out by the buzz of everyday life and activity. On 'The Unending Attraction of Crowd', they delve their curiosity into aural events during the initial lockdown phase in spring 2020. In it, the clatter of industrial work and manufacturing in London is processed alongside the snap of Lia's whip and recordings at a football match, where they captured the artificial crowd noise piped into the field, as well as the chants of fans watching from the side of the stadium before they were dispersed by police. On Lettura di un’ onda (reading a wave) they explore the duality between city and countryside in post-lockdown summer, both juxtaposing and transmuting aural components in a fizzing aural mesh. On Lia's trip to France, scurrying cicadas, covid-19 safety announcements and cello drones elapse in and out of the frame, meeting Tom's domestic rumblings in a slow panning organic and synthetic sound world. Together and apart, they form a hybridised sonic ecology, exploring the beauty, alienation and acute loneliness of their own lives and others locked down. -- Lia Mazzari - whip, cello, field recordings Tom White - field recordings, digital manipulation, tape manipulation -- Mastered by Oliver Barrett

Lia Mazzari & Tom White – Lettura di un' onda

Lament in Three Parts was improvised and recorded on April 30th in the quiet bunker-esque venue, Ausland, just 20 doors down from where I live in Berlin. Additional processes and editing were completed on May 1st 2020. Special thanks to Cafe Oto, Ausland, Billy Steiger and Petter Eldh for their part in the making of this release, and especially to Sophie Fetokaki for her generous writing in response to the music. Her foreword and Billy Steiger's artwork accompany this release. I would also like to acknowledge Catherine Lamb, Rebecca Lane and Johnny Chang whose music, playing and friendship has made a significant mark on my own meanderings in to new musical territories in recent years. Extract from the foreword, 'Thoughts for Lucy: a foreword to Lament in Three Parts' - by Sophie Fetokaki: "...What is it about the telling that provides comfort or consolation? Perhaps it's partly in the curative power of naming, an act that can bring our experience into relief and ward off the depressive forces of nothingness, formlessness, and monstrous plasticity. There are also other forms of telling that are not lexical, and our too-easy separation of sound and speech, music and words, belies the existence of something deeply healing and transformational that grounds and unifies them both." - read the full text here (pdf). www.lucyrailton.comwww.sophiefetokaki.comwww.billysteiger.com

Lucy Railton – Lament in Three Parts

“The real world appears in the image as it were between parentheses” - Emmanuel Levinas Tesserae interprets Indian Classical music at the intersection and interstices of cultures to imagine a trans-cultural musical space that reflects the contemporary migratory world. It draws from Western Classical music, Western experimental music tradition, and electronic music making techniques to imagine new possibilities for Indian Classical music, and creates a liminal space where such categories enter into a conversation with themselves and each other to be constantly challenged, negotiated with, modified, and reinscribed with new meanings. The works are mosaics of generative patterns where numerous recorded vocal phrases intersect and glide over one another to form colourful images of a multidimensional musical space unbounded by traditional, cultural, geographical, or categorical borders. Anudhatthamudhatthassvaritham is a compound word formed from Anudhattham, Udhattham, and Svaritham, the three notes from which Indian Classical music is believed to have originated. Oscillators generate new notes and sounds from these originary notes by modulating each other in a partially controlled environment, which in turn feed into an artistic imagination leading to their assembly into the Carnatic raga Sindhubhairavi. The artistic and electronic interpretations are in conversation with each other throughout the process of conception, construction, and production to fashion hybrid formations that reimagine and renew the past in a space of cultural hybridity. The vocal phrases that constitute Ten Thousand Dancing Shivas and the singing style can neither be conveniently classified as Hindustani nor Carnatic. However, as in the artforms, gamakas, or the movements between notes, become as important as the notes themselves to form hybrid entities that are in perpetual motion through pitch-space and time. These entities gradually begin to intersect and glide over one another in a partially controlled chance-based environment where harmonies are no longer fixed or stable, but fluid and malleable. The intersecting vocal phrases and the harmonies they form conjure a musical space that reflects the intimacy of cultures in the contemporary migratory world and celebrates the possibilities afforded by cultural hybridity in enriching our traditions and modes of thought. -- All vocals by Nakul Krishnamurthy. -- Track 1 uses Tom Mudd's Gutter Synth.Vocals in track 2 recorded at Crescendo Studios, Palakkad.Special thanks to: Jimmy Bunch, Alasdair Campbell, Santhosh Chirackal, Fayez Fazil, Mark Fell, Adam Greig, Tom Knapp, Namita Krishnamurthy, Oliver Pitt, Rohini Rajan, Rian Treanor, and Jeremy Woodruff.Artwork design & mastering by Oliver Barrett

Nakul Krishnamurthy – Tesserae