9 Outstanding vinyl records you might have missed unless you were a That Special Record member
Kevin Verwijmeren - Those Glorious Heights LP / Icarus Records (2016)
Kevin Verwijmeren is a 23 year old science student, living in Delft, Holland. Since 2013, he creates musical patterns and melodies, which he combines into contemplative landscapes of sound. Inspired by the sound and emotion of Loscil, Tim Hecker and Pan American, Verwijmeren constructs a musical cocoon to imagine a vision of a different world. Through his dark but beautiful soundscapes, he tries to break daily routine and accept the dark side of life.
Kevin Verwijmeren - Those Glorious Heights was featured in That Special Record's April 2016 boxes.
Ariel Kalma– Interfrequence LP / Black Sweat Records (2016)
After the exploit of Osmose in 1978, Kalma returns into the studio in 1980 with Interfrequence, an ambient space library record. Interfrequence is a continuation of his personal research based on the combination of electronic machines with natural sounds and acoustic instrumentation. The french musician fully wears the robe of master of ceremonies of the synths. However, the path taken is not that symphonic of the minimalist and galactic suites composed by other standard bearers like Richard Pinas and Klaus Schulze. Here, we find 18 short pictures sound (few of them in collaboration of M. Saclays) that emanate a variety of ideas and ethno-cultural influences unparalleled. A distinctive compositional style always returns an crescendo of ecstatic emotions, a reflection on the hidden and secret aspects of the micro and macro cosmos. If in Osmose the sampling sound from the mother Gaia was more explicit, here the Nature is investigated not only in terms of pure tones, but especially in the dynamics of flows and movements dictated by the frequency of moogs and organs and embellished with hyper-space flutes, saxophones and clarinets. Kalma wrote yet another chapter of his personal saga of a new world of sound imagery.
Ariel Kalma– Interfrequence was featured in That Special Record's March 2016 boxes.
Steve Roach – Tape-Recordings - Now (Extended) LP / VOD Records (2015)
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach (born 1955 in California) is definatley a longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, drew on the beauty and power of the earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. At the age of 20 and inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis he taught himself to play synthesizer.
After being a band-member of Doug Lynner’s Moebius in late 70’s and early 80’s he went on to record as a solo-artist debuting in 1982 with his self-released and Eurock-distributed classic-album-release ‚Now’. One year later Steve released another classic recording on Domino Records called Traveller. As with Don Slepian, Steve then signed to Fortuna Records releasing several Lp’s and Tapes With Structure from Silence his music began taking enormous strides, the album's expansive and mysterious atmosphere inspired directly by the natural beauty of the southwestern U.S. Subsequent works including 1986's three-volume Quiet Music series honed Roach's approach, his dense, swirling textures and hypnotic rhythms akin to environmental sound sculptures. In 1988, inspired by the Peter Weir film The Last Wave, Roach journeyed to the Australian outback, with field recordings of aboriginal life inspiring his acknowledged masterpiece, the double-album Dreamtime Return. A year later, he teamed with percussionist Michael Shrieve and guitarist David Torn for The Leaving Time, an experiment in ambient jazz. After relocating to the desert outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, Roach established his own recording studio, Timeroom, and in the years to follow grew increasingly prolific, creating both as a solo artist and in tandem with artists including Robert Rich, Michael Stearns, Jorge Reyes and Kevin Braheny -- in all, close to two dozen major works in the 1990s alone, all of them located at different points on the space-time continuum separating modern technology and primitive music. This LP includes all the tracks from the legendary Debut-Tape ‚Now’ plus a previously unreleased Bonus-Track called 'Emotion Revealed’.
Steve Roach – Tape-Recordings - Now (Extended) was featured in That Special Record's December 2015 boxes.
Marc Barreca - Tape Recordings 1977-1983 LP / VOD Records (2015)
Marc Barreca is an American synthesist and multi-instrumentalist and one of the pioneers of American cassette culture. Inspired by Brian Eno and the ambient school, he began recording his own music in the mid-'70s. By 1980 he already recorded three tapes: In a Foreign Land(1977), Raw Fish and Green Tea (1979/'80), and Currents(1979/'80) -- all three only released and distributed via Eurock in an extremely low quantity. In 1980 he released his first LP,Twilight, on K. Leimer's Palace of Lights label; a tape calledMusic Works for Industry would follow three years later on Palace of Lights, and another, The Sleeper Wakes, three years later on Jeff Greinke's Intrepid label. Besides performing together with James Husted and Roland Barker as the Seattle-based electronic music group Young Scientist in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was also a member of K. Leimer's studio group Savant. Barreca uses digital and analog synthesizers, digital samplers, environmental field recordings, and computer-processed audio loops to create multi-layered audio compositions. He employs similar techniques to those used in his audio recordings to create multilayered abstract visual compositions from digital photos and video source material. This LP includes tracks from Raw Fish and Green Tea(1979/'80), Currents (1979/'80), Music Works for Industry(1983), and In a Foreign Land (1977).
Marc Barreca - Tape Recordings 1977-1983 was featured in That Special Record's December 2015 boxes.
Baumann & Koek - Baumann/Koek LP / Bureau B Records (2016)
Rumours persist that Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream is behind the Baumann/Koek project. Indeed, the music might bear a certain resemblance and the song entitled “TD-Mem” might be seen as a clue. But the rumour is just that, a rumour, with no bearing on the truth. In actual fact, Baumann/Koek can unequivocally be identified as Wolfgang Baumann (no, not the MPS record cover artist), born in Kempten in 1950 and his friend Ata Koek (Köktürk, to be precise), born in Istanbul in 1956. Wolfgang Baumann was 15 years old when he learned to play the electric organ. Some ten years later, he had grown tired of the limited range of sounds the instrument offered and he sold it on the spot. Wolfgang and his friend Ata were determined to explore new tones and musical structures— with a synthesizer. Together, they made the trip from Kempten to Bonn with the singular aim of visiting the legendary Synthesizerstudio Bonn, the very same store where Kraftwerk and countless other electronic icons went shopping for their equipment. The duo purchased a secondhand ARP 2600 and immediately began experimenting with the synth. They soon realized, however, that they needed more gear to create the music they dreamed of. Before long they had added an ARP sequencer, a Solina String keyboard and an EKO Compurhythm drum computer to their arsenal. Last but not least, they acquired a four track recorder and were ready to commit their music to tape. Without a record label to back them, they pressed up 1000 copies and paid the production costs themselves. Having recorded all the music on the four track machine at home, the pair went to the expense of booking Conny Plank’s studio for the mix. The album was well received and the Swabian wholesaler Jaguar Records stepped in for worldwide distribution pressing another 5000 LPs. Japan proved to be a particularly popular territory, with radio stations picking up on the record. Sadly, Jaguar Records went bankrupt shortly afterwards. Baumann and Koek were disinclined to take on any further financial risk and decided against a follow-up record. The music clearly references the Berlin School: a hypnotic maelstrom of sequencer patterns and swirling tapestries of mostly minor chords, underpinned at times by a computer beat. What really sets the music apart from comparable productions is the subtle influence of Arabian tonality which saw Ata Koek consciously introduce just a hint of Oriental flavour. If Baumann and Koek considered their “modest” equipment to be a hindrance, their music sounded all the better for it. There is a raw, unpolished quality to the tracks, a clarity which draws the listener closer, far more so than the bombastic productions of contemporaries like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze et al.
Baumann & Koek - Baumann/Koek was featured in That Special Record's March 2016 boxes.
ISORINNE - No Strength of Sun EP / Yerevan Tapes (2016)
Stockholm-born Bandhagen-resident Michel Isorinne started his solo career with a couple of tapes that mainly consisted of lo-fi ambient music leaning towards the organic and experimental. More known for his part in D.Å.R.F.D.H.S. together with Varg, under which they have produced a dozen releases the past few years, in 2014 he debuted with Varseblivning on the Northern Electronics sub label Blodörn and followed up two tapes (1980 & 2061) on Rimini-based Mixed-Up. More recent fame came from his vinyl debut on Dutch label Field with the Recollections of Forgotten Dreams EP. No Strength of Sun is his second release in 2016 and his first ever for Yerevan Tapes. Features four new journeys through imaginary northen landscapes, juxtaposing ethereal melodies with noisier passages, underwater lullabies and dungeon-like abstractions.
ISORINNE - No Strength of Sun EP was featured in That Special Record's June 2016 boxes.
Personal Mythologies - Los Dinosaurios EP / Hooded Records (2016)
Slow, raw techno on A-side, and a gorgeous 14 minutes ambient odyssey on B-side. ‘’We live in a age of dinosaurs. All around us enormous, social, economic, and political behemoths lumber through destroyed environments, casting life threatening shadows over the entire planet. there is a titanic struggle taking place in our communities as Capitalist-Rex and State-asaurus struggle to fill their bellies with more resources and power while fending off the claws of competing species such as the newly savage Pterror-dacyls. The battle between these giants is terrible and rages on, but it cannot last. Evolution is against these doomed tyrants. Already their sun is dimming and the bright eyes of others gleam in the darkness, demanding something else.''
Anarchy in the age of dinosaurs - Curious George Brigade.
Personal Mythologies - Los Dinosaurios was featured in That Special Record's March 2016 boxes. This was a Limited edition pressed exclusively to That Special Record members - 100 copies (white vinyl). Not sold anywhere else.
Tim Robertson - Outer Planetary Church Music LP / Aguirre Records (2015)
Aguirre records stumbled upon something quite special with this record. These are 7 tracks with no name, but with a story behind them. Tim Robertson was born in Honduras, but moved out of there when he was a kid to travel the World with his parents, who were devoted to some sort of religious organisation and were spreading the Lord's word all around the World. During this period he was a church organist. Later in his life, after returning to Barcelona following a few years in Niger and Ethiopia, Tim bought an old 4 track recorder and spent two years obsessed with the idea of creating music "for future temples on Neptune and Saturn." Tim Robertson had a strange vision: to compose the perfect soundtrack for the buildings where future space travelers would praise the lord. Eventually, this bizarre phase passed and Tim decided to throw all those tapes to the bin, except for two tapes he kept as a gift for his parents. Sadly his parents passed away, and Tim decided to keep these tapes as memory of this crazy period of his life. 20 years later, those 7 surreal sonic experiments have now finally been released thanks to chance meeting in a thrift store in Barcelona. This is spacey new-age keyboard ambient music, on milky white vinyl. What not to love about it?
Tim Robertson - Outer Planetary Church Music was featured in That Special Record's July 2015 boxes.
Wanda Group – We All Mutate Around The Mountain LP / Second Sleep (2015)
Louis Johnstone's Wanda Group project is on continuos evolving, a continuous research, aimed at expanding each time its borders. The result is a complex work, both musically and emotionally. We all mutate around the mountain is a dense march where the memories, the common sounds around us, are manipulated and rearranged to create a new story that draws liberally from real life. With his vocabulary and moods it has gone away forcefully, taking place in an abstract and timeless territory.
Wanda Group – We All Mutate Around The Mountain was featured in That Special Record's August 2015 boxes.
That Special Record helps you discover exceptional vinyl records from under the radar ambient, drone, house and techno record labels.