|Villa Claustrobphobia is the debut release by Jesse Poe's Tanakh, a layering of sound and structure that combines songwriting sensibilty and improvisational abstractions that are as thick and rich as they are minimalist.|
|Shalabi effect||The Trial of St-Orange||CD|
|With a duration just shy of an hour, this disc continues in the exploration of Middle Eastern-influenced psychedelia. Between their two releases the band has certainly become more radical in terms of their experimentation with different sounds, and this is clearly evident on their sophomore disc. It is incredibly rich in texture and boasts a very organic feel. This is psychedelic music done in the way that is incredibly rare these days; the band focuses on creating lush atmosphere rather than rocking out.|
|Francisco Lopez||Untitled #123||CD|
|Untitled #123 follows the very successful Untitled #104, Lopez's death metal release. While devoid of any connection to metal, it has the same power and intense climaxes found in Untitled #104 and in Lopez's live performances and was prepared with sounds recorded in Grain Silo #5, in Montreal, Quebec.|
|Sam Shalabi||on hashish||CD|
|Sam Shalabi is the most active player in Montreal's music scene and has been documented on recordings by Shalabi Effect, Detention, Molasses and A Silver Mt. Zion. Inspired by the writing, ideas and life of German historian and critic, Walter Benjamin, On Hashish highlights Shalabi's compositional skills|
|set fire to flames||sings reign rebuilder||CD|
|set fire to flames is a collective of thirteen musicians from the musical community of Montreal who gathered together to create a recording over a five day period in the summer of 2000. Brooding and beautiful, haunted and haunting, sings reign rebuilder is so stunningly / lovingly played and skillfully assembled, infused throughout with a massive sense of slow-burning tension and periods of weighty, rousing release|
|kristian, shalabi, st-onge||CD|
|Up until now only a few hundred people have ever heard this Montreal improv supergroup on the two occassions they performed live. Composed of David Kristian on synth, Sam Shalabi on oud and Alexandre St-Onge on double bass, the trio recorded several times over the course of a few months at Kristian's Mermaid Room studio. This CD is the result of those sessions, an amazing blend of analog electronics and acoustic instruments.|
|haino Keiji||Abandon all words at a stroke so that prayer can come spilling out||2CD|
|Keiji Haino is easily one of the most exciting live performers of our time, exuding a passion and intensity rarely matched. This double CD includes two new recordings by Haino, focussing on hurdy-gurdy and electronic perscussion. Recently was voted "out" record of 2001 by Wire magazine.|
|Artificial memerory trace/brume||1st Encounter||CD|
|An electroacoustic masterpiece which unites the talents of France's Christof Renou (Brume) and Belgium's Slavik Kwi (AMT). Each artist has constructed and deconstructed the other's original material, and through this process they have created beautiful fluid collaborations.|
|A 131-minute psychedelic blowout! Presenting Shalabi Effect, one of the most interesting acts to emerge from the montreal underground.|
|Monstre is one of the most interesting live acts currently operating in the bustling Montreal underground, with performances ranging from full-on noise assaults, to Balinese style jams, quirky electro-pop to psychedelic-style freak outs. Easily stands up to works by the likes of Patton, Eye etc. 5x merzbow space metal cd. A full length studio effort entitled Space Metalizer from the genre's undisputed master, putting synths and theremins to tasks only he could have imagined. Ambient space effects derived from Moogs and Theremins make this quite different from the previous endurance-test record of 1996 (Akasha Gulva.) Loads of change ups make it a very catchy Merzbow release. It feature beautiful full-colour packaging.|
|A full length studio effort entitled Space Metalizer from the genre's undisputed master, putting synths and theremins to tasks only he could have imagined. Ambient space effects derived from Moogs and Theremins make this quite different from the previous endurance-test record of 1996 (Akasha Gulva.) Loads of change ups make it a very catchy Merzbow release. It feature beautiful full-colour packaging.|
|incorporates the use of sampled drums, lifted from the likes Soft Machine, L'Orme and others for a more rhythmic album.|
|On Immaterial Jirku embodies headphone minimalism through a blend of very subtle, quiet passages constructed from field recordings, drones and stereo effects, combined with layers of his signature minimal-click dub sound.|
|tim hecker||haunt me||CD|
|Tim Hecker is also known under the name of his alter ego, techno maverick Jetone. This latest recording explores the artist's interest in structured ambient sound. Here he has constructed strong ambient pieces using lap top, guitar and piano.|
|Francisco López||untitled # 104||CD|
|Alien8 Recordings has undertaken a return to the extreme with an
explosive new offering from Spain’s Francisco López. Finally, a studio
recording that captures the awesome power of his live performances, without the
requirement a massive pa.
Generally speaking Francisco López falls into the school of sound being referred to as silent or quiet music. In fact up until this point López could go head to head with the likes of Bernhard Günter for the crown of silence. Both artists participate in a genre that requires plenty of attention, ear phones and absolute silence in order to make sense of the nearly inaudible soundscapes. To the untrained ear many of their recordings wouldn’t even register. We can assure you that this is not the case with untitled # 104. This release has more resemblance to our releases by Masonna and Merzbow, not in terms of sound, but power.
Untitled # 104 was premiered in Barcelona this past summer at the hip Sonar event to a completely stunned audience. Onlookers that were expecting to have to strain themselves to hear López’s ultra silent environmental collages were shocked by what turned out to be the most intense performance of the festival. His releases rarely indicate which particular sound sources are being used. He is very open about the fact that he is often working with the sounds of insects, rain, wind and industrial spaces etc., but rarely reveals what sources are being used on which recordings. In fact the artist feels strongly about the idea of sound itself being the only thing of real importance within his work. During his live performances, López demands that all lights are turned off and blindfolds are then passed out to members of the audience. The outcome of the performance is an unforgettable listening experience.
Keeping with the idea held by López that the less the listener knows the better, we have decided to not blow the surprise. Untitled # 104 features a similar approach to many of his recorded works, although he is using a radically different sound source, not comparable with any of his previous efforts.
Francisco has the very same opinions about artwork and packaging for his music. He would prefer to have his music released with absolutely no artwork, other than the essential information found on the cd itself. Respecting the vision of this incredible artist we have packaged Untitled # 104 in a slim jewel case, with no artwork.
|We are very pleased to introduce Tomas Jirku, a fantastic newcomer to the
IDM and minimal techno movements.
Jirku's sound is an excellent and really fresh approach to the minimal techno genre. At times it seems highly influenced by the Cologne scene, with very slow throbbing minimal dub and plenty of electronic glitches, scratches, noises and echoes. It's also reminiscent of material from the Chain Reaction label, only far more enjoyable for people who find that imprint's style too housey much of the time. Jirku works solely with computers, giving him a very rich and modern sound, with a lot of punch.
We discovered Jirku via MP3 label, Notype (www.notype.com), and were lucky enough to be passed one of only 20 copies of his CDR release, Immaterial. The Immaterial MP3s were generating so much attention, that even Spin mentioned notice of Jirku and the Notype site.
After Immaterial, Jirku started experimenting with pieces he called "variants". As he would complete new pieces, or rather, new variants, he would upload them to the Notype web site. Throughout this process, Jirku created 59 compositions at a furious pace and just as quickly deleted them, making it difficult for people to keep up with the project. Each "variant" within a "group" is a remake/restructuring/refinement of those that preceded it, while the first piece in each group is a new idea all together. Jirku undertook the project to expose his creative process.
We approached Tomas about the idea of releasing some of his work and he came up with the idea of reworking his favourite results from the Variants research.
At times Variants is reminiscent of Pole, with dense production and dub-like beats, but the end result is not nearly as dubby as that overly hyped German act. Imagine if Mego artists started doing minimal techno and then you're beginning to get the idea. Jirku's work is all the more enjoyable for his restraint: he doesn't over-work his tracks, or feel the need to keep adding extra sounds to them. Rather, he manages to construct really solid bouncy bass backgrounds, that are very rich in sound. The minimal nature of the recordings are what really makes Variants interesting on a more experimental electronics level, with beats that are really catchy and current.
Variants is recommended for fans of SND, David Kristian, Pole, Porter Ricks, Senking, and Vladislav Delay.
|Bastard Noise||The Analysis of Self-Destruction||CD|
|In the works for nearly a year and a half, Bastard Noise's The Analysis
of Self–Destruction marks our second release with an American artist. We are
the first Canadian label to document this super unit, featuring multiple members
of the almighty Man is the Bastard [M.I.T.B.], including Barnes, founding member
of the Amps for Christ project. Bastard Noise come from California and for a
long time were considered a side project of the legendary sludgers Man is the
Bastard. During the production of The Analysis of Self–Destruction things came
to a halt for Man is the Bastard. The line up for the recording is main man Wood
with participation from Barnes [Amps for Christ], Connell [M.I.T.B.] and Baker.
The Analysis of Self–Destruction serves perfectly as the soundtrack for man’s destruction of the earth, with an orchestra of home spun instruments and loads of lo-fi electronics, field recordings and power electronics. Bastard Noise are in top form on this recording and the production is excellent. Throughout this six track odyssey they coax the sounds of animals and birds out of cheap electronics, fused with cascading washes of ambient noise to create imaginary rain forests. It also features voice samples and an absolutely terrifying use of seemingly inhuman vocals.
Brotherhood - Execution Style features Bastard Noise at their smallest yet, with only Wood contributing to the track. An Obstacle to Murder bears a very strange resemblance to the dark minimal piano parts in the Eye's Wide Shut soundtrack, but is perhaps the hidden gem on The Analysis of Self–Destruction. Repeated listening reveals a multitude of layers and previously unnoticed sounds.
Bastard Noise have released material on quite a few different labels often splitting releases with other artists. They have only released a couple of full length releases thus far and have collaborated with the likes of Merzbow, Spastic Colon, Bizzare Uproar and Hermit.
Exquisitely packaged in a shit brown card stock gatefold jacket, with the Man is the Bastard and Bastard Noise trademark skull logo printed in blood red foil.
|We are very pleased to announce the debut solo release from one of
Canada's most exciting free music/experimental artists, Alexandre St-Onge. The
three track debut experiments with extremely subtle changes, with great
importance being placed on the contrasts between noise and silence. Admirers of
sound sculptors such as Bernhard Gunter, Alan Lamb and Francisco Lopez should
enjoy this body of work. St-Onge's debut can be compared to, or at least
resembles in some respects some of Jim O'Rourke's electroacoustic outings, such
as Terminal Pharmacy and others. At the same time it displays a very subtle
ferocity, comparable to that of John Duncan, Daniel Menche, and the gentler side
Image/Négation is a concept recording right down to it's unusual packaging. It is packaged in a jewel case with a transparent acetate tray card and including a 4" piece of 1/8 inch copper wire. The packaging was inspired in part by Table of the Elements' untitled release by Francisco Lopez. The idea of including an actual tangible object was that of the artist.
This recording will be our first to focus on concrete music, the parallel universe to harsh noise. We are very pleased and equally confident to debut in this area of sound with Alexandre St-Onge. Also look for his contribution of bowed bass, as part of the Shalabi Effect, on the new upcoming split cd release with Constellation/Kranky's Godspeed You Black Emperor! St-Onge has already recorded and performed with the likes of David Kristian, Martin Tétreault and Christof Migone and begins a tutelage with AMM's Keith Rowe in Paris, this spring. Also, Klaxon Guelle, a free jazz trio featuring Alexandre St-Onge will perform this spring at the very prestigious Festival Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville, Quebec.
Image/Négation opens with an epic track of incredibly dense mixture of rhythmic rumbles and various field recordings beautifully sewn together. An absolutely moving experience on headphones or very powerful sound systems. The remaining two tracks are less subtle in their sensory attack. Strong influences of electroacoustic and musique concrete intertwined with a positive use of noise, result in a very rewarding listening experience.
|David Kristian||Room Tone||CD|
|Canadian electronic composer David Kristian returns with his fifth
release for Alien8 Recordings, Room Tone. This latest offering from the
critically acclaimed composer is comprised of further experimentations in the
vein of his Tacoma Narrows Bridge recording. It was largely inspired by his
recent interest in cinematic sound design. These are the imaginary soundtracks
to scenes residing in the head of the composer.
Kristian has created a fascinating release which highlights many of his trademark sounds. It features incredibly dense ambient movements, and very subtle low-end minimal beats layered with actual field recordings. At times Room Tone hints at the Mego sound and it also gives a nod towards dark ambient.
Kristian spent a fair part of last winter collecting various field recordings around Montreal. Featured on this recording are underground parking lots, freezers, tunnels, bridges, basements and boston terriers. He recorded the bulk of the recordings straight to mini disc and then processed and mixed the recordings using a digital multitracker. The outcome is quite fascinating. Very complex structures unfold from what at first seems to be minimal drones.
David Kristian has been receiving critical acclaim since his arrival at Alien8 Recordings. His first release, Cricklewood, shocked many people without a beat in sight, but was admired in the experimental electronics world.
David Kristian highlighted his interest in live sound most recently at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, along with others like Jim O'Rourke/Gunter Muller, ISO and Merzbow. Kristian is perhaps the most purely electronic artist to have been invited to the prestigious festival thus far. He rarely performs live, but has performed with the likes of Autechre, godspeed you black emperor, Granular Synthesis, Haino Keiji, Pan Sonic, Pole, Sensorband, Solvent and Martin Tetreault.
This release eschews our traditional jewel case packaging for the time being and instead uses our new custom packaging, which is similar to a miniature gatefold double lp, with two pockets opening on the outer edges.
|Molasses||Trilogie: Toil and Peaceful Life||CD|
|A celebrated Canadian playwright, expatriate of Michigan’s 1960s art
underground, wrote upon hearing Molasses for the first time, "...art from
the heart...freight trains derailing in the back of somebody’s head while
bones rain down from the overpass and cats tied to tin cans tumble over the
grating." That description, with allusions to movement, confusion and din,
is an apt introduction to the music that comprises the second Molasses release,
Trilogie: Toil & Peaceful Life on Fancy. Following Molasses’ acclaimed
debut, You’ll Never Be Well No More, these recordings are lush proof of the
band’s unique vision, bruises and all. More bleak, beautiful music: the
strange signature marriage of folk-noir with order and disorder, improv and
noise; mystery and minimalism with enormous orchestral violence; acoustic and
electric instruments creating movements that tie the organic to the
experimental; vocal drone and broken poetry which answer Chopin’s adage that
"nothing is more odious than music without hidden meaning.
Trilogie: Toil & Peaceful Life takes the first half of its name from the French word for "trilogy" as a tribute to Montréal, the city in which it was made. The second half is an expression coined by fiercely religious Russian peasants known as Old Believers - or Doukhobors - who were ancestors of Molasses songwriter, Scott Chernoff, and whose belief in salvation through suffering shrouds each of Trilogie’s songs.
With the addition of a new violin player, Molasses’ six original members present three epic-length pieces, with found sounds capturing the spirit and setting the music was conceived in: “Saint Catherine” begins by conjuring the rats of a Montréal morning and ends with a recording of trains in theMont-Royal subway station that bears the city’s name; Lisa’s Waltz (featuring experimental composers Alexandre St-Onge and Martin Arnold on electronics and hurdy-gurdy respectively) chronicles Scott’s emigration from California to Québec and ends with a vintage recording of his great-aunt singing a Russian hymn; and a stunning 14 minute adaptation of Amazing Grace penned by reformed slaver Captain John Newton — continues the theme of the record as a denouncement of history and sin. An untreated recording of the steeple bells at Montréal’s Notre-Dame cathedral acts as a haunting and hypnotic introduction to the trilogy.
The CD and a hand-lettered lyric sheet are packaged in a beautiful forest green triple-gatefold sleeve that is embossed, stickered with Doukhobor portraits and housed in a translucent gold envelope.
Molasses recently returned home from a successful second tour of the United States where it performed with Mick Turner, Pillow, Cerberus Shoal, Shannon Wright and Loren MazzaCane Connors’ Haunted House. The band will begin recording sessions for its next full-length this winter.
|Molasses||you'll never be well no more||CD|
|Alien8 Recordings is pleased to present You'll Never Be Well No More by
Molasses on Fancy, a first release from one of the most eclectic, enigmatic
musical ensembles in Montreal — a city renowned as a center for daring
experimental music and notorious as the dilapidated home of beautiful losers.
This recording captures the energy, despair, beauty and chaos of that
This is music made in a place where pitch and dissonance meet — lyric-based music in which song and structure occur amidst a kind of improvised instrumental anarchy. It's been variously described as: a polyphonic soundtrack to a suicide... slow and droning... haunted, sinister and frightening... sad and ethereal... One player in Montreal's avant-garde jazz community calls Molasses the only band in a musical genre he's dubbed folk-actuelle — a genre fusing traditional North American folk aesthetics with the free ethos of musique actuelle. Molasses' influences include electro-acoustics, rural country & blues, hobo composition, contemporary noise, trash punk, abstract jazz and street poetry. But for everything which informs it, the music is a unique and unusual invention from a group of musicians at the vanguard of underground music in Montreal.
Molasses has become well-known locally over the past 16 months for intimate, elaborate live performances, with seven core members playing more than a dozen instruments: guitars, banjos, oud, organs, piano, upright bass, cello, violin, drums, scrap-metal, saws, accordion and harmonica. Shows are eerily candlelit and often include silent film projections. An ongoing free concert series, one which included a midnight mass and soup kitchen on Christmas Day 1998, consistently draws over-capacity crowds to Montreal's infamous Bar Miami. Molasses has played with Smog, godspeed you black emperor! (with whom it shares members), Sackville, Wooden Stars, the Eyesores and Fly Pan Am. A tour in the Eastern US and Canada is planned for the fall. Also in the works is a vinyl EP for Fancy as well as inclusion on compilations by Alien8 Recordings and Mag Wheel.
You'll Never Be Well No More was recorded and mixed at the mighty Hotel2Tango, a loft space used by Molasses and godspeed as a place to rehearse, record and perform. Five original compositions precede 13 minutes of silence before the hidden track — a chilling 8 1/2 minute version of Skip James' Sickbed Blues — begins. The album is available as a limited edition CD in elegant packaging designed and hand-built by band members. A 16-page booklet, silk-screened in silver-on-gray, is bound by fine black card-stock and twine and slips into a custom over-size envelope.