December 27, 2015
Holiday surprise, as without warning I’m putting out this album featuring some of my own texture-focused ambient electronic tracks. I’d been sitting on it for a while and the time felt right…heck, it’s Spectropol’s 40th album!
Winding is a collection of tracks recorded between 2009 and 2012. Despite marked contrasts between them they comprise a coherent playlist of “ambient” electronic music. Some of the pieces work well for meditation, others are themselves meditations on sounds or ideas. Many of the works employ continuous slow-change forms and drones, others are keyboard-centered and have faster moving harmonies; some employ field recordings and most embrace noise. Microtonal elements are also present throughout, in different forms, including just intonation (this, muuf, window, furse, koni); mixed tunings (hoomz, hae, ronqq), and micro-inflections (elegy, furse, ronqq, dropov). As a whole I think of it as an ambient album realized with an avant-garde electroacoustic aesthetic.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri.
It’s available now as a name-your-price download. You can also purchase ($10+s/h) an extremely limited edition CD-R (shipping in January).
October 29, 2015
Hypnotic new music from UK composer Joe Evans. Stream it from the bandcamp site, where you can also purchase a download or limited edition CDR+DL.
If you like it as much as we do, check out Evans’ 2014 Spectropol release, Septimal.
October 25, 2015
Spectropol is pleased to announce the October 29 release of Elemental States, a new album by UK composer/sound artist Joe Evans.
As with his 2014 release on Spectropol (“Septimal”), Evans merges poetic and scientific ideas into compelling music that transcends its extramusical guides. In this case the “classical elements” are paired with the states of matter and prime numbers, the music realized with metallic pitch sources and juxtaposed field recordings for the first four tracks, and with synthesis in the fifth.
Elemental States is a mostly meditative experience, sonically rich and gently paced, yet full of surprises to the attentive listener. We’ve been blasting it nonstop at Spectropol headquarters! It will be available as a $7 download or $11 CDR (w/download) on 10/29. You can stream the first track at the bandcamp site or at soundcloud.
August 8, 2014
We are delighted to provide the wider international release of Iranian composer/electronic musician Ehsan Saboohi’s Chaos in the Cosmos. The album is available as a digital download and comprises two fascinating experimental tracks, microtonal and hypnotic, weaving tapestries of sculpted sound.
From Mr. Saboohi: “Chaos in the Cosmos” (Shahr-âshub in Persian) is an experimental music inspired by the well-known components of Iranian culture such as literature, miniatures, calligraphies and the art of carpet. Being aware that meta narratives have no place in today’s world, it is aimed to be a micro narrative of the Persian traditional poetry and music.
Chaos (Âshub) is a metaphor for the invention and discovering the new disciplines and Cosmos (Shahr) is a metaphor for the established disciplines.
We respect other nations’ music and believe that what constitutes the future of the music is a dialogue between the contemporary and traditional music. Thus, we look at the western music from the second half of 20th century (from1950 onward) and consciously bracket all the appeal of tonal music in order to rediscover the harmonics and non-harmonics of the music by itself.
May 21, 2014
The Digipaks of Joe Evans’ compelling new Spectropol release are here and ready to ship. Designed by Evans, the CDR packages are very attractive and sell for only $11 plus shipping (includes digital download).
Have a listen below.
May 20, 2014
The third installment in Spectropol’s microtonal compilation series, this collection is another highly varied snapshot of current xenharmonic practice from international artists. As with the previous albums in the series, the stylistically diverse tracks here explore just intonation, equal divisions of the octave, mixed tunings, fretless instruments, and extended playing techniques.
The music here ranges from chamber ensemble spectralism to catchy electronica, from surreal soundscapes to strange funk, intimate classical guitar work to electric feedback, and from free improvisation to evolving drones.
With contributions from Taylor Brook, Paulo Chagas, Brendan Byrnes, Susan Ann Brewster, Greg Hooper, Jon Lyle Smith, Agustín Castilla-Ávila/Giacomo Fiore, Elis Czerniak, MonoNeon, Ben Wylie and Peter Nagle.
We hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we do; please share widely!
SpecT 32, May 2014
May 10, 2014
Spectropol Records is delighted to announce the release of Septimal by UK composer Joe Evans. A 46-minute album available as a Digipak CDR and high quality download, Septimal features fourteen superlative tracks that explore the sonic and expressive potential of the autoharp.
Joe Evans writes: “While I initially conceived of Septimal as a study of microtonal harmony, it has developed into something far more complex and personal.
The word Septimal, meaning “Pertaining to all things Seven” is not widely used outside of the world of scales and temperaments, where it refers to intervals derived from the 7th harmonic. These intervals are often poor relations of intervals derived from the 3rd & 5th Harmonics, fighting for space on an otherwise occupied keyboard. By removing any notes derived from the 5th harmonic, the space opens up to allow the character of septimal intervals to shine, a coup within the harmonic series, perhaps?
Septimal was created from recordings of improvisations on the autoharp. Each piece attempts to explore the nature of the scale as well as the character of the instrument. Each note (string) is independently tunable, making it ideal for experimental scales. In Addition, the instrument lends itself to other experiments, exploring sonic possibilities such as taps, bumps, string scrapes and other mechanical noises of the instrument that make up so much of its character. This has led to a number of pieces where the tuning is far less relevant or even obscured, although always present.
From the early stages of this project, a potential narrative became apparent, hinted at in the track titles. While I think this is better left open to interpretation, themes of abuse, tyranny and war are clearly stated.
The tracks “The Front” and “Forget me not” were among the last produced and are reflections on the war time losses of my family during World Wars 1 & 2.”
Stream or download it now! CDR ships May 20.
April 12, 2014
Spectropol is excited about the release of Marcus Rubio’s “I don’t think I see a difference” next Saturday (April 19). It’s a compelling album of banjo/voice-centered deconstructed pop songs that’s as pleasing as it is challenging.
Here’s a tiny teaser:
Here’s a cool piece on Marcus from last summer.
Meanwhile, here’s a nice review of LiL’s THE SPACE BETWEEN from What’s Up! Magazine.
And here are some thoughts on the tracks of Possible Worlds Vol. 2 from the esteemed Music Street Journal.
Get the albums here:
January 16, 2014
Soundtrack to Travels With H: a series of short films by Raeshma Razvi
A beautiful collection of tracks from instrument maker and microtonalist composer Paul Rubenstein.
Stream the album or purchase the download or CDR from the bandcamp release page.
Check out the films here.
“I was very excited to work with Raeshma on this project. We had worked together some years before on her documentary film, “Home”. “Travels with H” is about the continuing influence of the medieval Persian Sufi poet, Hafiz. It is less a portrait of Hafiz and his work directly than it is about contemporary people and how his work resonates through their lives today. I attempt to mirror this in the music by drawing on Persian scales and technique and filtering it through a modern lens through the choice of instruments, use of electronic effects and drawing on other musical styles.
This project gave me the opportunity to re-visit musical ideas from my time in Bakshish, my collaboration with Viren Kamdar in the 1990s in Seattle. “The Garden Still Sleeps” is a look back at one of our pieces from that time, “Sleeping Garden”. “Alice’s Journey” is a tribute to Alice Coltrane, especially the work she did in the 1970s with Pharoah Sanders, particularly “Journey in Satchidananda”, one of my favorite albums of all time.
I am very grateful to Raeshma for the opportunity to create this music, and for her generous hospitality, and thanks to her husband Raj as well. ”
Check out his earlier Spectropol release (Solo Trios) here.
December 26, 2013
Here’s a round-up of some recent reviews.
Andrea Borghi – Musica per Nastro in Wonderful Wooden Reasons and in Kathodik (Italian)
C Dufallo/P Derivaz – Bass Violin, & Vincent Bergeron – Il y a seulement des apparitions in Monsieur Délire
J.C. Combs – Gazing, Andrew Young – Inkplaces, & Joel Taylor – Night Stories in Vital Weekly
Get the albums: