Sunday, March 15, 2015

Presenting ... "dronescape 025 (waag_drs025)" by Cousin Silas





In a recent blog post, Joseph Mosby of josephmosby.com talked about using music to get “into the zone” … the zone being that point when we have complete concentration, complete focus. In his post he quotes Arkansas psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis who wrote a book called “On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind” that tangentially delves into this question … how does music on repeat help people to get focussed. This is what she says:

“Musical repetition gets us mentally imagining or singing through the bit we expect to come next… A sense of shared subjectivity with the music can arise. In descriptions of their most intense experiences of music, people often talk about a sense that the boundary between the music and themselves has dissolved.”

I regularly have one or two tracks on repeat too when trying to focus albeit the tracks I turn to tend to be post-70 minute monsters … longform drones that allow me to dissolve into the music. I get lost in the soundscapes and paradoxically find myself anew: I am able to focus and get stuff done by letting the curious part of my being wander in environments that feel simultaneously both new and familiar. It really does sound nuts and all a bit “out there” but it works for me … and for others … and I guess that’s the point.

The twenty-fifth dronescape from Cousin Silas is another belter of a journey: think dusk in a vast, open space where the darkness has yet to arrive and I am free to explore … calls are heard in the near-distance … I am not alone and yet I do not feel unsafe … the sun’s warmth is still prevalent and I feel at peace.

I really hope you enjoy “dronescape 025 (waag_drs025)” as much as I have … and it provides those looking for focus with what you so desperately seek.

A 320kbps version of this release is available over on Archive for free with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’ which does include ‘free’. If you decide to download this album here for free, and you can with our best wishes, then all we ask is that you please tell people about it.

Tx



https://archive.org/details/waag_drs025



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Presenting ... Cousin Silas David Gerard (waag_rel065) by Cousin Silas & David Gerard





Cousin Silas is the reason weareallghosts exists. Not only is he our greatest patron, his music is the label's answer to the question "why?" ... Why did waag come into being? To release the music of Dave Hughes aka Cousin Silas. We've grown since those formative days ... we now exist to release the kind of experimental ambient electronic soundscapes that get little attention elsewhere & to do it in a manner that makes it accessible to all who want it.

I used to wonder why Cousin Silas collaborates so much & then I realised: it is his way of learning so he can progress to the next level. He soaks in every interaction and takes all he has gleaned and brings it to his next engagement. It really is fascinating to watch.

It is with all of this in mind that I present "Cousin Silas David Gerard (waag_rel065)", a meeting of minds and sounds from Cousin Silas and Dave Gerard, an album that ticks all my boxes. I found it immersive and deeply engaging. I found I couldn't identify where one man stops and the other starts. I can pinpoint sounds and textures used by both men now, after repeated listens, but I do consider this to be a truly seamless musical expression, one that has soundtracked my life and, in particular, my commute to and from Glasgow over the last few weeks.

We’ve experienced, first hand, when Cousin Silas clicks with someone: his collaborations with Kevin Lyons are remarkable and when you throw Ade Hodges into the mix, something truly magical appears. Something similar has happened here, in my opinion: two greats in the field of ambient electronic expression have some together to make something beautiful. From the opening of “Afternoon Reprise” (which makes me think of the opening to “where the streets have no name” by U2) to the final refrain of “Metamorphoses”, this is 76 minutes of sheer unadulterated ambient delight.

"Cousin Silas David Gerard (waag_rel065)" will sit prominently in the bodies of work of both men: an exemplary collaboration that shows the power and majesty when people work so selflessly together. The synergy on display is to be marvelled and cherished. It certainly will be by me.

I really do hope you enjoy "Cousin Silas David Gerard (waag_rel065)" as much as I do.

An MP3 version of this album is available for free on Archive or a lossless version available on Bandcamp for 'pay what you want' which does include £0 ... and remember, paying supporters on Bandcamp also get unlimited mobile access to the album using the free Bandcamp listening app.

If you do decide to download this album for free then all we ask in return is that you tell your friends, tweet a link or post it on Facebook, write a review and spread the word.

- Tx

---

Cousin Silas and I have been friends and admirers of each other’s music – when preparing for my 16th solo release, Homage, I wrote a piece dedicated to him called (what else?) “For My Cousin, Silas.” David told me he felt I did a nice tribute to him, and would’ve been proud to put his name on it. That got me to thinking, “Hey! We should work on something.” After all, Silas has collaborated with a bunch of folks before (particularly on his “and friends” series of albums), and I think our styles are individual, yet simpatico. We started recording tracks in November of last year, while both multi-tasking on other album projects, and yet, things gelled instantly between David and I, and we were able to put a full recording together in an amazingly short time period – I guess we were both “in the zone” and feeding off of each other’s creativity. At the end of the day, you can say we created a musical work that we’re proud of, and had a blast doing. I suspect you’ve haven’t heard the last from us.

- David Gerard



https://archive.org/details/waag_rel065



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Presenting ... Sound then Silence (waag_rel064) by Matthew VandenBrook





“Sound then Silence (waag_rel064)” from Matthew VandenBrook is a wonderfully inventive album that brings a new dimension of sound to weareallghosts, something uniquely expressive and engaging.

“Sound then Silence (waag_rel064)” explores more electronic and IDM-related genres, and does so in a manner that doesn’t negate VandenBrook’s ambient, drone-influenced, origins. In fact, tracks 6, 7 and 9 - “Reincarnation”, “Metempsychosis” and the title track “Sound then Silence” respectively - are the most delightful of ambient soundscapes. However, his use of percussive elements, found-sounds, sequencers and vocal samples to complement his emotive ambient electronic soundscapes on the remains really caught my attention and left me wanting more.

From the opening chords of “Ashes from the Sky” I knew I was in for a treat and I am delighted to say Matthew VandenBrook did not let me down. I cannot recommend “Sound then Silence (waag_rel064)” enough, it really has a hold of me and I hope it finds a place of prominence in your collection.

An MP3 version of this album is available for free on Archive or a lossless version available on Bandcamp for 'pay what you want' which does include £0 ... and remember, paying supporters on Bandcamp also get unlimited mobile access to the album using the free Bandcamp listening app.

If you do decide to download this album for free then all we ask in return is that you tell your friends, tweet a link or post it on Facebook, write a review and spread the word.

- Tx



https://archive.org/details/waag_rel064


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Presenting ... “Night Visions (waag_rel063)” by Kevin Lyons





Releasing Kevin Lyons’ music on weareallghosts is one of my proudest achievements with the netlabel. If ever there was someone who deserved to be heard, it is him!

He has an approach to his craft that makes my heart sing: he is wonderfully imaginative and channels the whole of his very interesting life into his innovative expression.

“Night Visions (waag_rel063)” is an utter delight, opening with one of my favourite longform pieces - “Like City Lights, Receding” - a track I would have happily released on it’s own and one that tips it’s porkpie hat to the one and only Cousin Silas, through whom Lyons and I met.

I would have happily settled with just this opener but, like the man himself, you get so much more than simply enough: 12 tracks that  are so alive, 12 tracks that are packed to the brim with the kind of experimental ambient & electronic IDM expression that I can not get enough of. These individual soundscapes could  effortlessly back the most visionary sci-fi films and I, for one, can not think of reading William Gibson without Lyons’ music in my ears. In fact, “Night Visions” is currently soundtracking my reading of “The Peripheral”, Gibson’s latest novel.

Sometimes I like to shuffle the music on my iPhone or iPod. Each and every time I do so I am surprised by a piece of music that sounds so fresh and inviting. More often than not it is Lyons’ music that catches me out in this way: he certainly does know his onions! I just wish more folk knew of his music.

I really do hope “Night Visions (waag_rel063)” catches you as it has me.

An MP3 version of this album is available for free on Archive or a lossless version available on Bandcamp for 'pay what you want' which does include £0 ... and remember, paying supporters on Bandcamp also get unlimited mobile access to the album using the free Bandcamp listening app.

If you do decide to download this album for free then all we ask in return is that you tell your friends, tweet a link or post it on Facebook, write a review and spread the word.

- Tx



https://archive.org/details/waag_rel063


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Presenting ... dronescape 024 (waag_drs024) by Cousin Silas





When I started wearallghosts nearly 3 years ago, the plan was always to give back: give back to the musicians who had given me so much with their music, in particular Cousin Silas.

Lately, I’ve been able to give back in other ways … supporting new or established ventures, and even raising over £150 for HOSPICE UK through our recent ‘end of year’ compilation (an amount that will be doubled by my employer).

I love the community that weareallghosts is part of … the DIY ambient music community that listens and promotes each other’s music; it is one that builds upon an initial idea raised, and focusses on the common good that brings us together rather than the things that divide us as people.

Rick Chase is a prime example of this common good. A chap who through his superb depository for videos on Youtube and his FB group - Ambiofusion - has always been highly encouraging and enthusiastic about ambient music and the community as a whole. Chase is, specifically, a big fan of Cousin Silas and, in Dave’s own words, he felt “compelled to help the lad” and thought it was time to give back.

And give back we will … via dronescape 024 (waag_drs024).

Cousin Silas is very generous with his music and puts everything he can on Archive or Bandcamp for free (PWYW). It is his way of ensuring everyone has access to his music and I fully endorse this rationale. Dronescape 024 (waag_drs024) is different, however. It will ONLY be available on Bandcamp and will cost you the minimum of £1. This isn’t to raise funds for wearellghosts but to raise funds for Rick Chase. This is Cousin Silas’ way of giving back.

A couple of weeks ago, Rick’s wife - Kelly - died of a rare form of cancer. Rick is left with two daughters … and a considerable medical bill to repay. As Dave said in recent correspondence, ‘Our donations are pitiful, but we are trying”.

Every single penny donated will go to Rick Chase. I will do my bit by covering the Bandcamp and Paypal costs … however, I will struggle if someone donates a £1,000. That aside, let’s see if we can raise something for Rick … and show him that the weareallghosts community cares and cares enough to help.

As for what you are getting for your £1: you are getting an intriguing 77 minute aural adventure, one that demonstrates how adept Cousin Silas is getting at post-60 minute pieces. This highly immersive piece is ideal for kicking back on a Sunday afternoon albeit you may not find the rest you need but, instead, discover somewhere new on the edges of perception.

In closing, this dronescape is dedicated to Kelly. It is also dedicated to Edgar Froese, a giant in the realm of expressive instrumental music and a genuine inspiration for the music of Cousin Silas and the work I do. Herr Froese may be gone but he will never be forgotten.

- Tx





Sunday, January 11, 2015

Presenting ... "Dronescape 023 (waag_drs023)" from Cousin Silas





A new year and a new Dronescape, Cousin Silas’ twenty-third to be exact … if you discount the mini-dronescape on “the Sound of Silas”.

When Cousin Silas sent the .wav file through he described his latest endeavour as rather dark … “’tis a bit dark, m’ lad” was his exact phrase.

I have come to expect that when my favourite Cousin says “dark” he means wonderfully atmospheric, haunting soundscapes that thrill and engage me, the listener. Dronescape 023 is no exception.

This isn’t a truly dark, disturbing noisescape but rather it is the soundtrack to your dreams, your Cylopean dreams in places and spaces not of this Earth, at least not of this time on Earth.

This is food for the imagination … and I, for one, cannot get enough. I really do hope you enjoy this dronescape as much as I do!

Tx

---

Please Note: 
A 320kbps version of this release is available over on Archive for free with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’ which does include ‘free’. If you decide to download this album here for free, and you can with our best wishes, then all we ask is that you please tell people about it.



https://archive.org/details/waag_drs023



Monday, January 5, 2015

Presenting … ending the year on a high 2014 (waag_com003)





Presenting … ending the year on a high 2014. A compilation album that features twenty tracks from some of my most favourite people in independent ambient electronic music. There is well over 2 hours of music here to be consumed, music that I personally find tremendously inspirational and deeply thought provoking.

I have spoken, at length, about the power of ambient music to give the mind space to wander and the music presented here does just that. The music created by the folks on weareallghosts is truly exceptional - music from Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado, Brother Saturn and Kevin Lyons, Stephen Briggs and Tim Rowe, Negative Spectrum and Sound Awakener, Delicate Apparatus and Scott Lawlor, William Spivey, Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow, Mystified and Microvolt;

The tracks demonstrate the breadth of talent from further afield too - the music presented from the likes of Orbit Over Luna, ├ąpne sinn, Row Boat, Daniel Prendiville, and Twin Cities; is truly awe-inspiring. I cannot thank each and every artist enough for their contributions.

Normally I would put this compilation out for free as a wee token of appreciation to our faithful supporters and fans, but this year I would like to try something different: I have set a minimum price of £5 or 25p per track. ALL PROCEEDS from this album will go to the charity HOSPICE UK (formerly HELP THE HOSPICES), a charity that supports the development of hospice care in the UK and internationally.

weareallghosts is my main side-project and something I do for the love of it. My main employment is as a Business Analyst in Glasgow, Scotland; my current employer actively and generously supports HOSPICE UK and doubles any donation made by her staff - by donating for this album I will hopefully be able to raise some money for a really great cause and give a little good back into the world.

My sincere thanks to all the artists who have contributed to the making of this album - they have given their time and, more importantly, their music for free to aid this worthy cause.

Whilst it would be wrong of me to single any individual artist out, I have to mention a generous gift provided by Mark Wardale aka Row Boat. He has offered his exceptional post-rock album - In Between (https://enjoyrowboat.bandcamp.com/album/in-between-2) - for FREE to the first twenty people who pay MORE THAN £5 for this album. I am indebted to Wardale for his generosity!

This album will NOT be available on Archive.

Tx






TRACKLISTING

01. Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado - Elysian Fields | 06:36
02. Orbit Over Luna - It Seems A Small Thing | 06:37
03. Christopher Alvarado - The Amity Order | 04:26
04. ├ąpne sinn - Auspice | 10:34
05. Cousin Silas - Recollections | 06:02
06. Row Boat - Draugen | 06:23
07. Brother Saturn - God Never Skips A Beat (Space Dimension 9) | 08:32
08. Kevin Lyons - The Burning Sky | 05:48
09. Daniel Prendiville - Floaty Floaty | 02:52
10. Stephen Briggs - Fuzz And Karbonades mk2 | 12:30
11. Tim Rowe - Orange | 06:26
12. twincities - Minim | 03:10
13. Negative Spectrum - Now You Know Where I Come From | 10:12
14. Sound Awakener - Sketching | 01:46
15. Delicate Apparatus - We Are Celestial | 04:21
16. Scott Lawlor - Night Terrors In The Darkness Of Space (Tribute to H.R. Giger) | 14:00
17. William Spivey - A December's Wish | 04:02
18. Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow - Innocent | 01:59
19. Mystified - Perseverance | 04:27
20. Microvolt - Raintown | 03:35