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Out now on FOIL – Tape Pieces Vol. 1

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FOIL – Tape Pieces Vol. 1

Tape Pieces Vol. 1 represents the first in its series — a collaboration between composer Chris Child (Kodomo) and sound artist (Puremagnetik owner) Micah Frank. 

The EP began with a question: “How can we move away from Puremagnetik’s familiar tools that govern the structure and precision of creating loop-based music?” While the DAW offers virtually limitless control, it can also be stifling, leading to predictable working methods and results.

The answer became apparent through Frank’s four-track cassette recorder. The two decided to use the four-track as the main recording mechanism, creating tape loops in the studio from a few hand-played synths, a Rhodes, and a piano.  The loops were naturally asynchronous due to the lack of control over time and tempo. 

The tape loops were then layered and re-recorded through effects pedals, building up a slow, hypnotic mass of sound.  The artifacts introduced from the tape-shaped the sound of the pieces, giving them a warm and nostalgic quality. Frank and Child also made use of their time field recording in and around Portland, weaving the ambiances into the music. Both artists were inspired by the landscapes, light, and slowness of the environment.  

High Bias Cassette Tape featuring artwork from Bryan Graf. Only 100 copies are available! The first 25 sold will ship with a 10.5″ W x 13″ L poster print featuring the cover art “Swamp Things” by Bryan Graf. All poster prints will be signed and numbered by the artist and by Chris & Micah.

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[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=4002434401 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]

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Micah Frank

Noontide by Micah Frank

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Noontide by Micah Frank

Noontide​ is a product of the now; “The entire thing,” Frank explains, “was composed during the coronavirus quarantine months of March and April” in New York City. “I think the pacing of the pieces was very much determined by the uncertainty and social inactivity of that period.”

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“A Plume Apart,” the opening track, sets the emotional and aesthetic mood; motion comes in slow waves, timbres expand horizontally while the shape both rises and drops. One gesture moves in place of another, emptying the stage of the imagination for something expansive to arrive. The pace is slow but always flowing.

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Biting, tangy sounds rub and sway against each other in “An Orbit Unfolds,” while chords slide across the landscape of “Needle at the Bottom of the Sea.” ​Noontide​ ​is​ ​Frank’s​ ​contemplation of locked-down moments that seemed, for everyone, to lead to nowhere.

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The album was realized mostly through physical, analog means. Software use was minimal, nothing other than EQ and compression, and some of the music was “printed to tape,” Frank notes. The warm, palpable sounds come from an Oberheim Xpander and a Make Noise Shared System, often working in tandem across generative synth patches. Frank built the tracks out of small segments that balance between repetition and change.

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“Some tracks have simple motifs,” Frank explains, “while others are more ambient beds or electronic experimental.” That experimental sense runs throughout, but it’s not about musical form as much as it is about stasis and uncertainty. Uncertainty and social inactivity became, for so many, an experiment in living, in finding what figurative and literal internal life might be like with society as a whole mostly shut down. The question for Frank was less “What might music sound like?” than “What might life feel like?”.

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Noontide​ suggests that life might feel like the sound of the past time-warped into the present. The unmistakable, evocative sounds of the Xpander, and the hardware-based generative means, evoke the classic production of John Carpenter and Vangelis’s early soundtracks.

Frank hopes that ​Noontide​ “provides an abstract but cohesive experience that takes the listener on a bit of an adventure.” The simplest, shortest lone journey can be an adventure, especially in a time when it’s not even clear where you can go, and what the world might look like next month, or even tomorrow. ​Noontide​ is a guide from the past into the future. 

All tracks written, produced and performed by Micah Frank
Artwork by John Whitlock
Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k
Copy by George Grella

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1050168130 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

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Seil Records

Gestures by Hainbach – 2nd Edition Dark Transparent Cassettes

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Gestures by Hainbach 2nd Edition Dark Transparent Cassettes

2nd Edition Cassette of Gestures (Hainbach)

Seil Records launched a 2nd Edition Cassette of Gestures. It is a limited edition of 80 cassettes

READ BELOW FOR THE CURRENT SHIPPING SITUATION DUE TO COVID-19++ Dark transparent cassettes with white on-body printing. (These are darker than the first edition)

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2nd Edition Cassette of Gestures (Hainbach) includes unlimited streaming of Gestures via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC, and more.

Gestures is an album of disappearing and acceptance. The sense of loss is lifted by interweaving piano phrases, harmonized by fragile oscillators. Gentle movements above radio antennas guided the recording process, adding an incorporeal, dreamlike feel.

Wonderfully executed, incredibly unique and entirely Hainbach.

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Ambience

All the Roads by Larum – Micah Frank & Chet Doxas

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All the Roads Limited Edition Cassette

All the Roads Released

All the Roads by Larum – Micah Frank & Chet Doxas is now available as a digital download or Limited Edition Cassette.

The word larum means, “sound of warning or danger; a commotion”. You probably don’t know it. An early, archaic form of the word “alarm“ it becomes more recognizable, doesn’t it?

Brooklyn Amalgamated Magnet Concern

William Gilbert, Chairman of North American Bureau of Magnetic Innovation describes the music as :

The architects of Larum — Micah Frank & Chet Doxas — met in deep Brooklyn, working at the Brooklyn Amalgamated Magnet Concern. One of the leading magnetic research facilities on the east coast, BAMC was established during World War II and for over 70 years has attracted people from around the world for its top-secret research and development. It’s a revered part of Brooklyn geography and history, though it remains one of the great mysteries of this borough.

In many ways, BAMC still operates as it did during wartime. A whistle blows each day at shift change, and those in employ gather each day for lunch at the company automat. It was in that room where, on a working day like any other, these two met.

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Doxas, who had recently been hired to work in the Department of Alloys & Alchemy, sat down across from Frank. His department, Magnetic Malleability & Manipulation, is on the opposite side of the facility from Doxas, and it’s unlikely they would’ve crossed paths anywhere but in the automat. But as they unwrapped their lunches, a conversation began about their lives outside of work. That conversation became more heated as they continued talking, spiraling into an argument: how could their work in magnets be used in communication? Doxas envisioned an analog broadcast array, using sound waves and metallic transistors. Frank’s vision was more digital, based on repetition and patterns.

Despite their different backgrounds and visions, these were two of the most innovative people working in their respective fields. They proposed a new direction and collaboration to me through the Bureau of Magnetic Innovation, which was approved in short order, letting their audio work commence. This memo is my way of saying their discoveries are some of the most exciting we’ve heard in some time.

Magnets are as intrinsic to our lives as the Earth itself, and any innovation in the field is both difficult and noteworthy. As these two began their work together, they faced the same challenge of every artist, scientist, and explorer: how do we do this work together, while also making something new? Hence the name Larum — it conveys the urgency and ancient roots that these two were after.

Micah Frank, Chet Doxas music is a rare mix of the archaic and contemporary, the analog and electronic, the accessible and atonal. Larum is the product of two people who came together by chance, in a strange place and have gone on to discover their own new place and sound. Fortunately for me, they’ve shared their discovery with me.

All the Roads
Artwork by Dan Meth

Artists

All tracks were written and produced by Micah Frank & Chet Doxas. Sound design, tape loops, and synthesizers performed by Micah Frank.

MicahFrank

Micah Frank is a Brooklyn based electronic music and sound artist. Much of his work incorporates field recordings, hand-built software, and real-time synthesis techniques.

Saxophone and clarinet performed by Chet Doxas. Mastering by Taylor Deupree at 12k

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Availability

You can order the digital track now there is also a Limited edition cassette which will begin shipping around October 17th.

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