Touch 25

A 25 track minimal/glitch album (1h 19m 29s) — released July 17th 2006 on Touch
TOUCH 25th Anniversary edition CD with exclusive tracks from: Oren Ambarchi | Biosphere | Fennesz | Bruce Gilbert | Ryoji Ikeda | Philip Jeck | Jóhann Jóhannsson | Jacob Kirkegaard | Mother Tongue | BJNilsen | Pan Sonic | Rosy Parlane | Peter Rehberg | Rafael Toral | Mark Van Hoen | Chris Watson | There are also several insert recordings and a live edit from Hild Sofie Tafjord & Tanja Orning Touch was conceived by Jon Wozencroft in 1981, and released its first cassette magazine 'Feature Mist' in 1982 [more information on the early cassette releases can be found at www.touchmusic.org.uk/catalogue/first.html]. This compilation was produced initially for the magazine, His Voice, to promote new music in the Czech and Slovak Republics. www.touchmusic.org.uk www.touchshop.org'

Touch 25 is an audio and visual celebration of the touch label's 25 years in existence. They are one of the most respected and quality consistent labels in the sound work, ambient, electronics fields. On offer here are exclusive tracks from the likes of Biosphere, Fennesz, pan sonic, Philip Jeck and many more. Working more like a collection of audio snapshots then a conventional compilation, this makes it the more approachable as an all-in-one audio experience, which neatly fits together. As usual with all touch productions, the design and artwork is unparalleled, each track has its own photo in the accompanying booklet and the digpak is constructed as a piece of art, as well as holding the cd nice and safe. They?ve also managed to fill the cd length near to the top just short of 80mins, so you can really let the experience float over you, undisturbed. BJNilsen opens the compilation with Gotland, which offers up the wonderfully calming ambience of slow crashing wave, like tones. The piece turns out to have been recorded on the southwest coast of Gotland, during an icey stay there. Later on Chris Watson's conversations is just that, but it?s between the creaking and dragging of chains of a huge dredger, as rolls its way along the river Clyde. Ryoji Ikeda's untitled # 25 ushers the listener into a room full of opening flower drones, that develop slowly into head- drilling pitches of sound giving a strangle hypnotic feel, that seems to still be imprinted in your mind, long after the track has ended. Almost a slight feel of woozy off-balance, tinged with a clinical air. All I can say is, I advise the listener to be seated when playing it. Biosphere mangers once again to merge natural sounds into a breath-taking ambient canvas. Pulling together the sound of fire crackle and wolves, along with rushing water, and as the track develops he adds bird song in such a captivating manner. Fennesz's Tree offers up a tranquil piece of guitar work, sailing with exquisite brushstrokes along the surface of a pond of ambience. One can imagine watching a tree's heavy limbs stroking a stream of water, making a wonderfully track to drift off to. A captivating and invigorating mix of sound, music and sight. An enchanting sound photo album, on to which you can imprint your own visions and memories. More than a compilation, it?s a piece of art. [Roger Batty] - Music Machine

Touching the Void Touch 25 offers eulogy for cassettes Most of us probably can't remember when we last bought a commercially released cassette tape. Even hip-hop's ubiquitous "mixtapes" are a misnomer, existing almost exclusively on CD; in North America, aside from an underground DIY scene, the format has been definitively phased out. Luckily, England's iconoclastic label Touch is giving us all one more chance to wrap our hands around one of the rattling plastic bricks with the release of Touch 25 ? a compilation celebrating 25 years of the label's history that will be made available on both CD and cassette. (Many of Touch's early releases were in the form of so-called "cassette magazines," and with CDs becoming available in 1982 and tapes phased out in 2006, the two formats effectively bookend the label's history to date.) Touch 25 presents exclusive tracks from label mainstays like Biosphere, Ryoji Ikeda, Philip Jeck, and Pan Sonic; interstitial elements, such as Touch founder Jon Wozencroft's 1984 recording of his flat's plumbing, complete the compilation. Typically for the uncompromising audio-visual imprint, the album aspires to be more than a mere collection of songs, ranging as it does from field recordings to spoken word. Pan Sonic and Ikeda, meanwhile, "have managed to condense their whole approach into two five-minute pieces that make you reappreciate their past innovations," according to Wozencroft. Rounding out the project, Touch 25 screensavers for computers and mobile phones are also available for free download, along with a free Touch 25ringtone. [PS] - EarPlug

The compilation's a well-curated sonic collage -

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