Before I start just a reminder that Friday is the last day of half price for the digital version of qd11 Cat Tyson Hughes - just been an incredible response to the album, thanks so much for all the kind words and support!
So as it's the season for end of year lists, I thought I'd share with you some of the releases I loved from the artists that have been part of qd this year.
I'm so deeply grateful to each and every one of them for trusting me and contributing to the label, many saying yes before we started - it's been the biggest honour to share their music with you and see the wonderful directions they took the quiet details idea - huge thanks to all of them xxx
In chronological order:
qd01 the humble bee
Craig Tattersall is a genius - no doubt about it. One of the first people I asked to be on the label, his endless creativity is shown perfectly in "apropos territory I - territory mapping" released on his umbrella publishing - musicality, sound-design and art of the highest form. From the release page:
the initial work was undertaken in the winter of 2021-22 around the hours of sunset recording the transition between light and dark.
whilst out running along waterways and industrial heritage sites 4 selected locations were documented.
data was collected in both sonic and visual representations, using field recordings and 35mm long exposure photography,
subsequently the gathered information was processed and responded to in the studio creating a body of work that comprises 4 audio works and 16 photographic prints.
qd02 Field Lines Cartographer
FLC, or Mark Burford, is a synthesist and musician with a command of his chosen instruments with few parallels, shown on "Phases of This and Other Moons" (Castles in Space) - where he uses only the legendary Buchla 208C Easel Command to create a album of stunning beauty. From the release page:
This album features just one synthesizer - a Buchla 208C Easel Command, processed with various effects pedals. It enabled a minimalist approach, focusing purely on tone and atmosphere. Something about the raw sound of this amazing instrument led to thoughts of moons in our solar system: there's something utterly otherworldly and yet oddly familiar about the sound of the Easel - it often sounds more organic than electronic and is simultaneously beautiful and mysterious, huge and delicate.
qd03 Luke Sanger
The range Luke has is astonishing, just this year releasing music in many different styles, so it was hard to pick. "Shared System Research Project" shows Luke at arguably his most creative, focusing only on a Make Noise Shared System (a self-contained modular set-up from one of the best manufacturers out there) - trademark woozy synth jams and overlapping harmonies see his improvisational skills at their best. From the release page:
After a couple of years intensely researching, saving (and selling), in 2015 I finally ordered this instrument. The excitement was real and I was totally ready for a complete paradigm shift in making and performing music and the Shared System filled that role, inspiring many records and live shows in the process. However in that time, I haven’t made a full release completely focused on it.
All the tracks on this album were recorded in single takes using the Make Noise Shared System and an external spring reverb.
Composed in June - August 2023, the motive for recording this album was to expand and build on ideas that would only briefly surface during fleeting moments in a live performance or undocumented jam, giving priority and space to develop those themes.
Brock Van Wey makes music like nobody else, and luckily for us, he's extremely prolific. Every release wears its heart on its sleeve and will pin you back in your seat - deeply powerful and emotive, none more so than the brilliant Destroyesterday (AY Records, distributed by PITP), made in collaboration with Inquiri (Lacey Harris) - massive, enveloping and gorgeous. From the release page:
I've tried for the past untold amount of time to come up with some kind of poetic words for this, as is normally my way. And I still don't really know what to say.
Without Lacey, none of this would ever have happened. Besides the obvious reason that she wrote and sang every lyric you hear.
We started as artist and fan.
Then we became friends.
Now she is one of my best friends in the world.
...(find the rest on the album page)
Aside - tonight they're hosting a listening party, highly recommended - RSVP and find the music here:
and the physical here:
qd05 The Lifted Index
Daniel DeWitt has a way of making some of the most subtle and heartfelt music, using his deft guitar playing and synthesiser manipulations, so it was a treat to see him return to Seil Records with "Dawn Recursion" - delicate and evolving, calm and luminous. From the release page:
Made with guitar, synthesizer, voice, and effects.
For the pursuers.
qd06 't Geruis
It's hard to describe the music of 't Geruis - hypnotic, textural, canorous - it lives in a world of its own and is unique to this enigmatic artist. "A Thousand Branches, A Thousand Arms" is an evolution of the sound with maximalist approach - a very fine thing it is too. From the release page:
I always have a certain world in mind with 't Geruis, certain stories, ideas and feelings, these are very specific. Sometimes a sound, a single sound, sometimes a whole melody or even bigger gestures than that. Sometimes it is enough to convey a certain feeling, an indication, a suggestion, which someone listening can possibly fill in further, or color in themselves.
This album can be seen as the most maximalist version of this sound and this idea. Especially compared to the albums I released previously "Vast" and "Terre, Poussière", the shapes here are clearer, the stories pronounced and the colors more apparent.
Uwe Zahn is a true master of sound - he lives and breathes it. Not many people have the ability to craft such precise forms and structures, all the while truly making music, not only sound-art. "Sinter" (laaps) is a prime example of this - using every corner of the frequency range and countless unknown yet familiar elements - this is phenomenal piece of work. From the release page:
Sintering or frittage is the process of compacting and forming a solid mass of material by heat or pressure without melting it to the point of liquefaction. (…) The material produced by sintering is called sinter. The word sinter comes from the Middle High German sinter, a cognate of English cinder.
When I think of my definition of true ambient, now a word that can describe many forms of music, Brad Deschamps is one of the first people that comes to mind. Vast and endless music that soothes the mind, he does it so well. 'mainland' (Archives Spain) is ethereal and eases every fibre of your being. No words on the release page, the music says it all.
Ian Hawgood and Craig Tattersall - what more can I say? Inspiring, boundlessly inventive and completely original artists on their own - together they make some of my favourite music of all of time. "autumn diffusion - winter seclusion" (Dauw) is the fourth album they've made together and, like the others, I love it deeply. So so good. From the release page:
Both being experts in the use of tape in their productions, it’s no surprise that sending loops back and forth was the starting point of this fourth album. On ‘autumn diffusion – winter seclusion’, we hear 2 longform pieces consisting of several tape-collages in which harmonium, voice and electronics weave together and form structures on which crackling piano sounds can do their magic. A new episode in their growing catalog and one which truly displays the strength of their collaboration.
qd10 Tape Loop Orchestra
It's been a great year for the multi-talented Andrew Hargreaves, showing his diversity with TLO and self-titled albums and also in the band The Mistys - massive achievement to cover so much musical ground which such assuredness and success. "Drones In The Air" came before and was connected conceptually to qd10, different yet equally mesmerising in its approach. From the release page:
This album is a confluence of various interest that have coalesced to form Drones In The Air. These are my first experiments using just intonation, more intuitive intonation in all honesty, colliding frequencies from the oscillators to create beating movements and rich overtones.
Using broadcast test equipment to create this work made me think of all the radio frequencies floating all around us and where these signal originated from. This lead me to think of amateur broadcasts and how this has changed with the advent of video sharing and social media, and how private home videos from the past are now available for an unintended audience. The album as a whole is inspired by my continued fascination with the work of Glenn Branca, who has been an influence on my practice since my teenage years.
qd11 Cat Tyson Hughes
Finally, someone who's music has touched the hearts of many of you with its gentle and soulful honesty, Cat Tyson Hughes. Her nuanced and vibrant approach is on full display in "Crossing Water" (Past Inside the Present), an album that stops you in your tracks with its purity and charm. From the release page:
‘Crossing Water’ is a fragile and delicate affair that balances gentle instrumentation and voice textures against a backdrop of beautiful field recordings. You will find each aural snapshot of sound incredibly patient and elegantly placed. Nature and natural sound permeate throughout the duration of this recording, yet the subtle melodies of these free structured arrangements gently brush a refined beauty to minimal sound design.
So much more to discover too from these amazing artists, please check out everything they release - the more we support them the more they can do what they do x
A few shout-outs to finish - support the scene by supporting these stars:
Read the rest on the newsletter
Extremely generous words from Neil Mason - label of the year from a journalist of his stature - mind-blowing..
Thanks so much for reading, know that was a long one :) More soon!
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