Light

A 4 track electronic ep (23m 24s) — released April 30th 2001 on Touch
4 new tracks from the 3 audio artists who make up the forthcoming Touch Tour [UK, May 2001]. All are exclusive tracks recorded specifically for this CD, released for the tour. Taking the everyday world as source material and inspiration, the three international collaborations between electronic sound artists and visual artists present a vivid introduction to the work of Touch, the ground-breaking audio-visual label, in its twentieth year. Hazard [Benny Jonas Nilsen, Sweden] - has recorded albums for the Swedish dark industrial label, Cold Meat Industry, and Ash International [Ash 4.5 and 5.5]. His forthcoming album, Wind [Ash 6.5], draws on recordings made by Chris Watson. Hazard's compositions evoke extreme climatic conditions and the perception of time and space as experienced through sound. Filmic in scope, his environmental sounds take the listener to another place, sending images cascading through the mind and captivating in an almost hypnotic way. 'Soundtracks for spaces where, for a while, humans have not trodden.' - (Vital, The Netherlands). Fennesz [Christian Fennesz, Austria] - has made two solo recordings for Touch and two for Mego, including Endless Summer, to be released in May. Fennesz uses guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sounds of enormous range and complex musicality. 'Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language.' - (City Newspaper, USA). His lush and luminous computer experiments are emotive digital compositions. They resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences. Biosphere [Geir Jenssen, Norway] - recorded Cirque for Touch in 2000 and in May is releasing Substrata 2; a remastering of his 1997 classic, 'Substrata' and a bonus CD with two tracks from the Japanese edition [unreleased in the west], and 'A Man with a Camera', 9 unreleased compositions from the soundtrack for the movie of the same name, first shown at the International Film Festival in Tromso in 1997. Biosphere's music is an intimate reflection of the space and climate of his Arctic base in Tromso. 'The music draws you in and makes you want to listen and feel. It acts on a very emotional level, one that encourages you to drift away into a haze of images and scenes where spectacular beauty hides unseen danger. Intense and moving' (Grooves, USA). Here there are two new versions of two tracks from Cirque, When I Leave and Algae and Fungi. The CD is 25 minutes long, with photography and design by Jon Wozencroft.'

Ash International specialises in recordings of natural and, occasionally supernatural, phenomena. If the merest glimmer of curiosity or desire for truly ecxtraordinary sounds still exists in your enervated, pill-fucked cranium, we urge you to investigate them further. Sweden's Hazard also features on 'Light' alongside Austrian laptop auteur Fennesz and Norwegian ambient pioneer Biosphere and his soundtracks for northern lights. All three are touring the UK in late May. We won't tell you again. - Tom Mugridge Muzik

On 'Light', three of the UK Touch label's current flagship electronica merchants conjoin in a showcase collection of fine bruits, klangs and samples. This 29 minute CD 'calling card' coincided with the label's May 2001 tour to promote 20 years of the Touch label. Through the 1980s, Touch issued surveys of international musics in a series of cleverly packaged Travel Tapes, which could be seen as 'aural postcards' and perhaps aides to 'mental journeys' for the meditative listener. Some cassettes arrived wrapped in map-like graphics to emphasise this geographical conceit. Touch's agenda has since developed to the enhanced stage we find here, using music, image and typography to present the exotic details of foreign climes with a crystal-sharp virtual reality. The photographs and sleeve designs of Jon Wozencroft are crucial to the project. Hazard's last release of environmental-based recordings made me think I was 'hearing' the grain of an old tree in the forest; Wozencroft's strong, simple images helped to inscribe this false memory. Here, Hazard (aka Sweden's Benny Jonas Nilsen) has extracted a more physical presence from his usual intangible fogginess, and generated sounds as solid as mechanical rollers processing molten sheet metal. Meanwhile, Vienna's Christian Fennesz (who now has more releases on Touch than on his 'home' label Mego) discovers lyricism in the urban chaos. His chattering episode 'C-Street' is an imaginary soundtrack for a 1950s office block; even on a short cut like this, the sheer clarity and intelligence of his productions cement his reputation as a kind of Brian Wilson of digital music. Biosphere's second offering here is fairly routine, but 'When I Leave' should satisfy your need for a daily quota of twisted beats and queasy synth tones. His clever voice samples connect 'Stairway To Heaven' to 'The Matrix' and the love lives of Greek gods; at least, that's what I hear. Join the dots together of yourself. - Ed Pinsent The Wire

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