No ‘scarcity’ of . . . wallspace

When I purchased the Robert Fripp project, The Wine of Silence (18 years ago!), the U.K. mail package cam with 5 postcards of paintings by artist John Miller (who passed in 2002).

I’ve always liked them — but they’ve been sitting in the same mailing envelope all these years . . .

. . . until now. I was at a Michael’s arts & crafts store, went wandering through their frame section and bought a suitable frame for my office wall.

And now they’re here (4 of the 5) — the small strip in the middle is something I drew on my iPad for a Robert Fripp themed mix; Fripp_2015.

aufbruch [an emergence]

a u f b r u c h [an emergence] | post-rock/noise/glitch/soft-techno/ambient | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77:29

A remix or, more precisely, a repositioning of several of the tracks from the J. Peter Schwalm/Markus Reuter release (our review of the album can be found here); mixed with some new Robert Fripp/Grid, Rain Dogs (thanks Gareth), Nicola Di Croce (from 901 Editions), Iluiteq (courtesy of n5MD) & several other newer releases (as well as a few older chestnuts) that have hit the studio’s inbox as of late.

The f-l-o-w & installation of music always has to make sense to me: that usually takes the form of slow-to-fast, & softest-to-loudest — and this follows a similarly pattered pathway of aural exploration.

Thanks to Lee @ RareNoise Records for the promo pack that allowed me to steep in this while selecting the five tracks utilized for the project. The goal was to create a tribute to the album, while at the same time crafting a stand-alone mix/podcast; hopefully we have achieved those ends.


01 Atmospheric Disturbances – Yuichiro’s Pupils Dilated Rapidly
02 Robert Fripp/Ambient Landscape – Water Music (swag+vocal edit)
03 Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno – Signals
04 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Lebewohl
05 The Rain Dogs – Colour Fields ii
06 The Grid & Robert Fripp – Empire
07 Nicola Di Croce – Tone IV (excerpt)
08 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Von Anbeginn (excerpt)
09 Iluiteq – Glacier Ice Falling into the Sea
10 Robert Fripp & The Grid – Milkwood
11 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Abbau
12 David Torn – O.K. Shorty
13 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Der lange Weg
14 Ümlaut – To Leave it as It Is
15 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Der Aufbruch

(D/L link embedded in podcast time-stamp, above)

The Undivided Five, by A Winged Victory for the Sullen

Purveyors of contemporary ambient and electronic inspired music, A Winged Victory for the Sullen make a bold return on new album “The Undivided Five”. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have created iconic film scores and forward-thinking ambient groups, releasing a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. On “The Undivided Five” they rekindle their unique partnership for only their second piece of original music outside of film, TV and stage commissions, creating an album that channels ritual, higher powers and unspoken creative energies. Their fifth release (following their debut album, two scores and an EP), they embraced the serendipitous role of the number five, inspired by artist Hilma af Klint and the recurrence of the perfect fifth chord.

This album sees them create bold new work built on their foundations in ambient and neoclassical. Since their 2011 self-titled debut, the duo have emerged as part of a much-lauded scene alongside peers like Max Richter, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Tim Hecker and Fennesz. Their 2014 album “Atomos” was the product of a commission to score a new performance by Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor, while 2016’s “Iris” was the score for director Jalil Lespert’s thriller, “In the Shadow of Iris”. They count the likes of Jon Hopkins among their fans, who included ‘Requiem For The Static King Part One’ on his 2015 Late Night Tales compilation. They composed the score for Invisible Cities, a specially-created performance to herald 2019’s Manchester International Festival, and have played some of the world’s most celebrated venues, including a sold out Boiler Room performance at London’s Barbican, and a 2015 BBC Proms show curated by Mary Anne Hobbs at the Royal Albert Hall.

They were first introduced by mutual friend Francesco Donadello in 2007, a close collaborator who’s gone on to mix all of the AWVFTS records. O’Halloran launched his reputation with two acclaimed solo piano albums, attracting the attention of director Sofia Coppola, who asked him to score her 2006 film Marie Antoinette, and he has since won an Emmy for his 2015 theme song for Jill Soloway’s Transparent series, and been nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for his 2017 score with Hauschka for Garth Davis’ Lion. Wiltzie, meanwhile, founder of iconic drone outfit Stars of the Lid, has scored Hollywood films including Kevin MacDonald’s “Whitney”, Jake Scott’s “American Woman” and collaborated with Jóhann Jóhannsson for 2014’s The Theory of Everything.

This album sees them pay greater heed to the small details in their sound than previously, something they say has been encouraged by the move to a new label. It’s been their first opportunity since their debut to create something that’s solely guided by their ideas, and it represented an opportunity to call back to that first outing while also building on the various ways in which they’ve grown. “We understand that times have changed,” they say. “We have evolved, but we also didn’t want to forget the beginning.”

They channel influences such as Debussy, nodded to in the opening track, whose big chords and complicated arrangements inform a lot of their approach – parts that sound simple but require great skill to execute. Likewise, the artist Hilma af Klint – one of the first abstract Western artists – informed their ideas about drawing on spiritual influences to shape their work. “It’s like an invisible hand guiding things,” they say.

The start of recording sessions for the album were marred by the death of one of their closest friends. Within weeks after the funeral O’Halloran found out that he would be expecting his first child, and it was soon after that a visit to see the art of af Klint brought home a profound realisation of life, death, the afterlife, and the spaces in between. She belonged to a group called “The Five”, a circle of five women with a shared belief in the importance of trying to make contact with spirits, often by way of séances. This chimed with the duo’s unspoken approach to collaboration, and nudged them to return to their writing process centered around the harmonic perfect fifth; the five senses, the divine interval – The Undivided Five.

The album was also shaped by the breadth of locations in which it was created, helping to shape its nuanced sonics. In addition to O’Halloran and Wiltzie’s respective Berlin and Brussels studios, the record took shape across six different sites. They recorded orchestral samples in Budapest’s Magyar Rádió Studio 22, re-recorded album parts in Brussels’ Eglise Du Beguinage’s unique, reverb-heavy surrounds (where Wiltzie has performed with Stars of the Lid and, in 2018, organised a tribute concert for Jóhann Jóhannsson), experimented with overdubs in Ben Frost’s Reykjavik studio, and recorded grand piano parts in a remote woodland studio in northern Italy. The duo pay close attention to the micro-level of sound, and each of these places was chosen for the qualities which could enrich the finished product. And it’s in Francesco Donadello’s studio in Berlin, where all of the previous AWVFTS material has been mixed, that the album was run through the studio’s analog board, binding the record’s different parts together.

It was their connection to Jóhannsson which partly shaped the direction of their new album. They were asked to create a remix for him, which he heard before his death in 2018, where they unlocked a new process in terms of how they work. They recomposed the strings, using modular synthesis, old synths and string and piano arrangements, a method they applied to album opener ‘Our Lord Debussy’. “It’s about going into the DNA of music and taking different strands,” they say.

The album is their debut for Ninja Tune, and comes as change is underway for O’Halloran, moving from Berlin – hence the title of ‘Keep It Dark, Deutschland’ – after a decade in the German capital. He’s headed to Iceland, the country where the pair shot their latest press photos and which is an important locale for both of them. The wide-spanning connections which have shaped the record are testament to their deep roots as artists. This album’s powerful energy is driven by the deep-rooted bond between them. 

Released November 1, 2019

Raum, by An Moku & Stephan Schmidt

the first chapter of the „raum“-trilogy by dominik grenzler aka an moku and stefan schmidt. Finely crafted ambient / soundscapes using bass, cello, electronics and field recordings.

the album:
as for many musicians, if there was anything positive about the lockdown in the spring of 2020, it was having more time to create music, to experiment and to maybe even start a completely new project with someone you may never have worked with before. when dominik grenzler aka an moku, a sound artist and bass player based in zurich, approached stefan schmidt (guitarist, composer and improviser from baden-baden) with the idea of collaborating, it turned out the initial spark for a fruitful process and artistic exchange: within just a couple of weeks they managed to craft an album which turned out edgy and harmonic at the same time. despite its abstractionism, „raum“ has a very organic feeling to it, provides a richness of details and finely processed sounds of different origins like bass, cello, field recordings and a vast array of electronic equipment. according to the 2 musicians, the process of creating the ten tracks was a smooth and intuitive one with hardly any need to discuss the concept or details, the communication took place within the music and the exchanged files.

the musicians:
dominik grenzler (born 1977) is a sound artist and bass guitar player with a spot for experimental and ambient soundscapes. In 2008, after years of playing e-bass in several bands or being hired for concert tours, he began with the initial recording sessions for an moku. the literal translation of the japanese word “anmoku” is “tacit, unsaid, implicit” conveying that an idea or thought cannot be put into words but is subconsciously understood. inspired and animated, with this approach, dominik’s abstract, cinematic music gives the listener room for imagination and interpretation. his approach to ambient is highly personal, as he manages to generate tension with a hidden musicality, drowned in a miasma of organic, yet manipulated sounds. dominik often describes an moku as distinctive atonal madness.
privately, dominik grenzler lives and works in his adopted hometown of zurich where he co-owns a café with an artisan cake bakery section.

stefan schmidt (born 1974) is a guitarist, composer, improviser and teacher. he gathered his first musical experiences as a member of various punk bands and later studied classical guitar at the
hochschule für musik trossingen with professor andreas higi and at the conservatorio juan josé castro in buenos aires with victor villadangos. while early projects (e.g. farang) and several collaborations put focus on distorted sounds and rhythms, recent works center on slowly evolving structures, sound design and free improvisation, giving more emphasis on his main instrument, the classical guitar, and the exploration of other stringed instruments such as tenor ukulele, fretless bass ukulele, fretless classical guitar, electric guitar, [d]ronin & ronin, stringed psalter, cello and baroque lute.

Released May 14, 2021

All tracks composed and produced by an moku and stefan schmidt
mastered by weldroid
cover artwork by stefan schmidt
electronics, field recordings, bass guitar by an moku
electronics, field recordings, cello, vocals by stefan schmidt

Frame (20th Anniversary Edition) by Shuttle358

Often cited as the most classic and groundbreaking of all of 12k’s releases, Shuttle358’s Frame ushered in an era of humanism, melody and organics in the era of Microsound and the Clicks and Cuts movement at the turn of the century. While it was still steeped in digital sound and the magnification of error as intention, Frame somehow managed to fuse emotion into what had become a very structuralist and cold musical movement.

12k is very happy to present Frame, after 20 years, for the first time on vinyl released as a double LP with a D-Side full of previously unreleased masterial from the era of Frame’s creation. This version of Frame was mixed throughout 2020 by Shuttle358’s Dan Abrams using a hand-painted spectrum reconstrution method on the original tracks and remastered for vinyl by Taylor Deupree.


Frame is the much anticipated follow up release to 1999’s debut optimal.lp, a compact disc which caused quite a bit of critical stir as a very impressive and original work for a new artist. Dan Abrams (aka: shuttle358) seamlessly blends stark textures/drones with digital disfunction. Clicks, skips and tiny mechanized rhythms intertwine in hypnotic form that Abrams allows to evolve in a very organic way. Frame picks up where optimal.lp left off. a bit more distant with excursions into deeper realms of Abrams’ signature skittish minimalist rhythmic work.

“If you put an empty frame against a blank wall, you suddenly notice the the color, the patterns, the imperfections in the plaster. The frame is like a window of perception. It takes the wall outside time. The frame draws attention to what is within it—it magnifies it, you focus on it, it begins to symbolize the whole wall.” 
~Dan Abrams


–Released June 18, 2021
–Originally written and produced by Dan Abrams in 2000 in Pasadena, California, with guidance from Albert Tan and track selection with Taylor Deupree.
–Bonus Material (Side D) taken from original sessions
–Tracks 1, 4, 5, 8 and 9 and bonus tracks created on a Waldorf Microwave XT and sequenced in Cakewalk Pro. Tracks 2, 3, 7 and 10 created with custom instruments coded in Native Instruments Generator. Hidden track created with Generator and physical DAT munging. Recorded on Micron Gobook via PCMCIA.
–This version mixed by Dan Abrams In Los Angeles, California throughout 2020 using a hand-painted spectrum reconstruction method on the original tracks.
–Mastered by Taylor Deupree


tone+texture | 78:15

Glitch, phonography & minimalism, laced with experimental ambient.

We went searching . . . looking for a sound . . . a context . . . an atmosphere . . .

. . . and we found it!

Track one is stacked & echoed alongside a reversed version of itself; all other edits come in the form of excerpts.
As for the rest of the mix, tracks 4, 5, 7, 8 & 11 were added, post-production (in other words, it kept growing, virtually doubling the project’s length).

Track 4 thanks to n5MD, tracks 3, 6 & 9 courtesy of 901 Editions; track 11 is from the forthcoming (7/16) Aufbruch, by Schwalm & Reuter.

01 Richard Chartier – [6] (remixed reverse edit
. . . w/ Dan Heggie’s 4’33-³ as window dressing)
02 Kris Force – Smoking Mountain (excerpt)
03 Asmus Tietchens – L10RC
04 Iluiteq – Ocean Ghosts
05 Forrest – Bend in Time
06 Giovanni Di Domenico – Dust Bunnies (excerpt)
07 Fictions and Poetics – Uninhabited
08 Cymphonic – The Passage
09 Nicola Di Croce – Tone(s) II & III
10 Towers of Emptiness – Mourn4.33hel
11 J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter – Rückzug
12 Stereolab – Golden Ball

Download via Bandcamp

Listen via Mixcloud

遠き火、遠き雲’ ​(​A Distant Fire​,​ A Distant Cloud)

by Stijn Hüwels + Tomoyoshi Date

遠き火、遠き雲 (Tōki Hi, Tōki Kumo / A Distant Fire, A Distant Cloud) is the second collaboration by Tomoyoshi Date and Stijn Hüwels.

The album was commissioned by Laaps.

Tomoyoshi Date and Stijn Hüwels met for the first time in 2015 in Tokyo, being introduced to each other by Chihei Hatakeyama. That same evening, they recorded what would later become Hochu-Ekki-Tou, their first album, released on Home Normal in 2019.
For “Tōki hi, tōki kumo”, they teamed up again to create a slow and bright album, using field recordings, processed guitar, piano and synth. The title refers to a poem by Tadahito Ichinoseko, recited by the poet on the album as well.

Tomoyoshi Date creates acoustic and organic sounds with a little touch of digital processing. He began to create electronic music in 1998. In 2003, he forms the group Opitope with Chihei Hatakeyama (released by SPEKK), in 2012 the group ILLUHA with Corey Fuller (released by 12k), and the group Melodia with Federico Durand (Home Normal). His solo albums were released from Flyrec (2009, Japan) and Own Records (2011, Luxembourg). Also he worked as emergency doctor until 2014, and started his ambient oriental medical clinic “Tsuyukusa Clinic” in Tokyo since 2014. Tomoyoshi currently resides in Narita, close to Tokyo.

Stijn Hüwels has a profound fascination for minimalism. He’s using mainly layers of processed guitar and field recordings. He released on Dauw, mAtter, Eilean Rec., Home Normal, White Paddy Mountain and Slowcraft/Lifelines. He released albums in collaboration with Chihei Hatakeyama, Norihito Suda, An Moku and Ian Hawgood. Together with James Murray he forms Silent Vigils. Stijn lives and works in Leuven and Brussels, Belgium. He’s also curating Slaapwel Records since 2014, a label dedicated to music to fall asleep with.