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Takuroku

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

London-based Aircode (Julia Svensson) weaves radical autonomist Marxist feminist ideology with her stripped back avant-electronics. Elapsed bass notes rumble over a dank tunnel exterior, as if the last remaining memories of a night at the club. Discordant jazz piano notes appear like little matches being lit in a thick fog of darkness, while dubbed percussion and electronic counterpoints are phased in a series of dulled hues. The singular narrative of exploration in opaque space is sustained throughout, and is brought to an end by Julia - manipulating her voice through a series of mutated fx - reading an extended passage by Silvia Federici: “With the demise of the subsistence economy that had prevailed in pre-capitalist Europe, the unity of production and reproduction which has been typical of all societies based production-for-use came to an end, as these activities became the carriers of different social relations and were sexually differentiated. In the new monetary regime, only production-for-market was defined as a value-creating activity, whereas the reproduction of the worker began to be considered as valueless from an economic viewpoint and even ceased to be considered as work. Reproductive work continued to be paid - though at the lowest rates when performed for the master class or outside the home. But the economic function in the accumulation of capital became invisible, being mystified as a natural vocation and labelled “women’s labor.” […]Most importantly, the separation of production from reproduction created a class of proletarian women who were as dispossessed as men but, unlike their relatives, in a society that was becoming increasingly monetarized, had almost no access to wages, thus being forced into a condition of chronic poverty, economic dependence, and invisibility as workers. As we will see, the devaluation and feminisation of reproductive labor was a disaster also for male workers, for the devaluation of reproductive labor inevitably devalued its product: labor-power. But there is no doubt that in the “transition from feudalism to capitalism” women suffered a unique process of social degradation that was fundamental to the accumulation of capital and has remained so ever since.Also in view of these developments, we cannot say, then, that the separation of the worker from the land and the advent of a money-economy realised the struggle which the medieval serfs had fought to free themselves from bondage. It was not the workers - male or female - who were liberated by land privatization. What was “liberated” was capital, as the land was now “free” to function as a means of accumulation and exploitation, rather than as a means of substance. Liberated were the landlords, who now could unload onto the workers most of the cost of their reproduction, giving them access to some means of subsistence only when directly employed.”- Silvia Federici, 2004: 74-75. Caliban and The Witch -- Julia Svensson (aircode) - all music & recording -- Text: Silvia Federici - Caliban and The Witch, available to purchase here Artwork design by Oliver Barrett 

aircode – tunnel vision

「Small Stone」  "In Japan during the Covid-19 lock down we saw a movement. It was created from a woman who raised her voice to say NO via SNS to one of the controversial bills, a revision of the public prosecutor's office law* that was about to go through the Lower House without a fair public hearing. This tiny voice of hers went viral and formed an online demonstration to protect our democracy. It is very rare in Japan for the public to be actively involved in any policies. Alas the bill was temporarily suspended because many finally stood up. When we threw lots of small stones, the mountain got moved a little. However we shouldn’t celebrate yet. We need to be calm and grounded and observe what the government will do.” says Kyoko Koizumi, an actress and a producer whom I respect dearly. Her phrases sums up things that do not change so easily.  *A proposed legal revision that would raise the retirement age for prosecutors became the centre of controversy this week when it was taken up by the Lower House. Unlike officials in other administrative organizations, prosecutors have wide powers to investigate, arrest and indict anyone, even prime ministers and other high officials. They must remain highly neutral and independent from other authorities and political powers. Since the proposed revision could allow the Cabinet to intervene in the personnel affairs of prosecutors’ offices, many experts fear it could jeopardize the independence of prosecutors and the separation of powers.   「Serene」 The music of Eric Dolphy lives with Breathing. We never forget the day May 25th 2020 for the world we can freely breath in and out.  「Two Blue Kites」 June 4th 1989 , it is a very memorable day for me.  31 years ago I took part in a demonstration for the first time ever in my life. It was a small resistance held in Tokyo. I was with the Chinese people raising my voice out loud in the crowd. I couldn’t do anything but I felt that I had to do something.  In the beginning of the 90s I was going back and forth between Tokyo and Hong Kong making music. I was offered to make music for a film portrait the night before the Chinese Cultural Revolution called “ The Blue Kite”. The producer of this film invited me to make the music for the film. The film director was banned from making this film in mainland China and he escaped to Japan via Hong Kong. The film was finally completed in Japan. Hong Kong was still in British colony then. This film made my film music career begin.  June 4th 2020 The Hong Kong government banned the public to organise and attend the candlelight rallies to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre. Despite the harsh policing and the Covid-19 regulation many people (still) defied the ban and tried to attend the commemoration. I was thinking of many of my friends there at the moment.   I wonder how this little country, Hong Kong, that “brought me up” and “ shaped me who I am today” will be from now. My heart is full of concern for its future. The film The Blue Kite is still banned in China to this date." - Otomo Yoshihide In Japanese / 日本語訳 「Small Stone」 日本では、ステイホームの期間中の5月8日、一人の女性の発言をきっかけに、現政権がやろうとしていた三権分立をゆるがすようなひどい法案(検察庁法改正案)に対し多くの人々がSNSを使って異を唱え、それがデモのような効果をもたらし、5月18日国会での法案決議を阻止するに至った。 「小さな石をたくさん投げたら山が少し動いた。が、浮き足立ってはいけない。冷静に誰が何を言い、どんな行動を取るのか見守りたい。」 敬愛する女優でありプロデューサーの小泉今日子が5月19日にSNSで呟いたこの発言は、そのうねりのことと同時に、しかしそう簡単に現状は変わらないことも表している。 「Serene」 エリック・ドルフィーが作る曲は呼吸とともにある。2020年5月25日は忘れてはならない日だ。 みなが伸び伸びと息ができる世界のために。 「Two Blue Kites」   6月4日は個人的にも忘れられない日だ。31年前のこの日、わたしは初めてデモに参加した。東京でおこなわれた小さなデモだった。東京に住む中国人たちと一緒にわたしも声をあげていた。いてもたってもいられなかったのだ。 90年代初頭、わたしは香港と東京を行き来して音楽をつくっていた。そんな中1993年、文化大革命前夜の北京を描いた「The Blue Kite」という中国映画の音楽を作ることになったのが、わたしが映画の世界に入る切っ掛けだった。中国で作ることを禁じられ、香港経由でフィルムを持って日本に脱出した監督が東京で完成させた映画で、香港のプロデューサーがわたしを誘ってくれたのだ。当時香港はまだイギリス領だった。 2020年6月4日、香港では天安門事件31周年の集会が新型コロナを理由に禁止されていたにも関わらず、多くの人たちが集まり追悼集会が開かれていた。きっと多くの友人もそこにいるのだろう。わたしを育ててくれた香港はどうなっていくのだろうか。 「The Blue Kite」は今でも中国での上映が禁止されている。

Otomo Yoshihide – 「Small Stone」

“Nostalgia (from nostos – return home, and algia – longing) is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images – of home and abroad, past and present, dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.” - Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia” “I’m not deliberately out to antagonise an audience or spite them or anything like that, but if they adopt the attitude of ‘This isn’t what we expected’, then yippee, I’m gonna wallow in that, because you shouldn’t sit back and expect anything at all.” - John Lydon, “Anger is an Energy” Spring time. Three period instruments from the turn of the century: Yamaha CS1X, Korg MonoSynth 2000, MicroKorg Synth Vocoder. Fingers fumble, sounds happen - obnoxious, unapologetic, fragile like a wobbly cassette that you’ve listened to a million times on the Walkman you dropped before you could afford a Discman. I’m not playing the instruments, they are playing themselves, they are playing me and there is no forcing or fighting them. Faded-photograph sunshine sounds of ’90s electronica, caramelised sweetened condensed milk, the beach, rage, DIY chamber music for cats. Then, it stops: the end of nostalgia and the end of the world as you know it. We are getting old and the sounds have lost their innocence. Thank you to Ed (Teddy) Bennett, Michael Keeney and Hannah Peel for the synth love.  -- Xenia Pestova Bennett - composition / performance / recording / mixing -- Ed Bennett, production / creative & artistic concept Antony Ryan (RedRedPaw), mastering Oliver Barrett, cover design from a photo by Xenia Pestova Bennett

Xenia Pestova Bennett – Atonal Electronic Chamber Music For Cats

Ecka Mordecai is a relatively new figure in the London experimental music scene. After a nomadic creative life in the North of England, forming relationships with the likes of Andrew Chalk, Tom Scott, Holly Jarvis and Kate Armitage, 'Critique & Prosper' is her first solo album and presents the most recent development of her solo practice. Melodic mantras, wandering improvised passages and refracted blues vocalisations find each other in her domestic world, revealing glimmers of sensual songcraft that opens outward. Critique + Prosper was developed and compiled within a collaborative project facilitated by artist-curator Katherine Ka Yi Liu and with artist Clarinda Tse. The text is a listening-response to the album as written by Clarinda Tse.  "Compass needle frantically spins near irregular electric fields of ghosts, and phones too. Receiving metallic frequencies of interconnected ghosts, stroked by scratchy fingers 1. astroturf melts into tufty faux fur. Strands of memory vibrate towards an open wound, lightly tapping on the soft box that withholds 2. mouth-a-boundary, finding space across fibres of a dried throat. The closure of lips contains a transcending hum, sealed an inhale but released an exhale into sweaty sticky-crisp air. Rubbery skins rub against each other in attempt to open 3. hot tarmax. We have to acknowledge skin as our biggest organ, shields against the losing of the individual, forming pockets of space in arrangement of skipping stones stirred into a dark glistening puddle. Before we notice, we are thrown off gravity and stuck onto some unknown surface, breathing with inflamed lungs. Outer fear unleash the voice of 4. critique + prosper to disjoin the cells of inner comfort. With wind brushing our eyes, we found a few hairs on the largest grassy rug, traces of inhabitation or passing. Consistency of domination. Air that passes through our head phones and ears, 5. did begun we hear or listen. Transmitting signals to the cell tower - Unarmed! Dismantle! 6. Show up or shut up in our library. Clashes of volatile shells, nails, the undead in the transparent vessel of bodily fluids." - Clarinda Tse https://clarindatse.com/http://www.katherinekayiliu.com/ -- Written, performed, recorded and produced by Ecka Mordecai   --     Mastered by Miles Whittaker Artwork design by Olver Barrett -- Track 4 (Critique + Propser) recorded by Guillaume Dujat'

Ecka Mordecai – Critique + Prosper