“…expertly sequenced; short soundscapes drift and merge into one another, while intricate beats, deft samples, and obscured field recordings are woven into the mix… Yesterday acts as a poignant snapshot of nostalgic (and often forgotten) memories amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. ” – Sonic Frontiers
A drifting, organic space in which to lose yourself completely, Cheekbone’s masterful ambient electronica is guaranteed to appeal to anyone with an interest in the possibilities of synthesized sound.
Luscious, disorientating and utterly enchanting, Cheekbone’s debut EP Yesterday is essential listening.
Cheekbone’s agile, amorphous brand of ambient electronica is constantly transforming, evoking the growth of nature and the decay of light across space, agitated by human activity and the background chatter and clang of everyday life. Yesterday expresses an aching sense of nostalgic melancholy, pining for something that only exists as memory and imagination. The EP’s experimentation with melody and texture work to create luminous new soundscapes evoking seminal British electronic acts such as Aphex Twin, Plaid and Boards of Canada whilst carving its own unique space.
Inspired by psychedelic German rock, Kouichi Moriuchi began making music in the mid-’90s using guitar, organ, theremin and tapes. From these initial explorations, the luscious three-dimensional soundworld of Cheekbone began to take shape. In 2002, Kouichi began using a laptop, stirring in a whole host of sounds and influences, ranging from early favourites such as Neu, Cluster and Tangerine Dream, to noisemakers Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, and ambient pioneer Brian Eno.
Cheekbone’s agile, amorphous brand of ambient electronica is constantly transforming, evoking the growth of nature and the decay of light across space, agitated by human activity and the background chatter and clang of everyday life. But rather than being inspired by real world events, this music expresses an aching sense of nostalgic melancholy, pining for something that only exists as memory and imagination.
Kuoichi’s experimentation with melody and texture to create luminous new soundscapes evokes seminal British electronic acts such as Aphex Twin, Plaid and Boards of Canada whilst carving his own unique space. He has recently remixed a track by Italian band Port-Royal, and improvises live with laptop and synthesizer in his hometown of Nara, Japan.
Hidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.
From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.
Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.
Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists. For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).
Hidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.
Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!
Here we present the MixTape version of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed compilations from Hidden Shoal. The album showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.
Long Range Transmissions is also available as a free downloadable album via BandCamp.
We’re excited to announce the release of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed, freely downloadable compilations. Long Range Transmissions showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the Hidden Shoal catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.
The albums is freely downloadable via BandCamp and can also be streamed at SoundCloud and MixCloud. The album also features gorgeous artwork by Gabrielle Harcourt, with the Bandcamp download coming with a bundled PDF booklet.
Throughout the month of May 2012, Hidden Shoal Recordings is celebrating its sixth birthday. Later in the month will be the release of the latest free sampler album, Triangulating Nature, which compiles 12 singles released over the last 12 months. Other delicious surprises will be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.
Since starting up in Perth, Western Australia in 2006, Hidden Shoal has developed an enviable roster of genre-defying global and local recording artists. With 40+ acts from 10+ different countries, ranging from British ambient artist Antonymes through to American musical experimentalist Todd Tobias and beyond, the committed team at Hidden Shoal continues to play an integral role in promoting exciting new independent music.
Head over to the wonderful Headphone Commute and check out this exclusive Hidden Shoal mix. The mix features 16 tracks lovingly curated and sequenced from the Hidden Shoal catalogue by the label’s manager Cam Merton. Stream, download, enjoy!
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, during the month of May we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 40% discount. Flavoursome!
In 2007, Hidden Shoal pushed onward with a ridiculously full release schedule and tons of new signings. The label continued its expansion internationally with 2007 seeing releases from a diverse and beautiful spectrum of artists based in Germany (Sankt Otten and Jumpel), France (Beautiful Lunar Landscape), the US (Slow Dancing Society, The Hero Cycle, Iretsu, Wes Willenbring, Monocle), Belgium (Colour Kane) and Japan (Cheekbone, The Retail Sectors).
Locally, 2007 saw releases from ambient duo Moongoat, a new album from Chris Mason and an EP under his My Majestic Star moniker, plus an EP from Melbourne instrumental quartet Bury The Sound (with HSR’s Tim Clarke on guitar).
In May 2007 we were proud to celebrate our first birthday with the release of the second volume in our free download compilation series, The Garden of Forking Paths. And if that wasn’t enough, we saw out the end of the year with the release of a third compilation, Limit of Maps, rounding up tracks from the second half of 2007 and also featuring a sneak preview of a few 2008 releases, too.
However, perhaps the crowning achievement of a busy year was being named one of Textura’s 10 favourite labels of 2007. The feeling’s mutual – Textura is easily one of our favourite music sites. To be just one year in and be acknowledged like that felt like quite an honour.
HSR013: Moongoat Moongoat EP
HSR014: My Majestic Star Fining EP
HSR015: Sankt Otten Wir Koennen Ja Freunde Bleiben
HSR016: The Hero Cycle Lakes and Ponds EP
HSR017: Colour Kane A Taste Of
HSR018: Wes Willenbring Somewhere Someone Else
HSR019: Various artists The Garden of Forking Paths
HSR020: Bury The Sound Autumn Magnets EP
HSR021: Chris Mason Restless
HSR022: Jumpel Samuel Jason Lies on the Beach
HSR023: Cheekbone Yesterday EP
HSR024: Beautiful Lunar Landscape Alone in this Dark Romantic Night EP
HSR025: Iretsu The Moon and Stars Remain in the Morning Sky
HSR026: Slow Dancing Society The Slow and Steady Winter
HSR027: Monocle Outer Sunset
HSR028: The Retail Sectors Foregone Conclusion
HSR029: Sankt Otten Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder
HSR030: Various artists Limit of Maps
Check out the latest edition of the wonderful Inside The Label show at New York’s awesome Breakthru Radio (home of the mighty DJ Mojo!). The show features an hour of tracks selected from across the Hidden Shoal catalogue. Lurvly!
Hidden Shoal Recordings is pleased to announce the official release of compilation album Crushed and Reminded, the fifth installment in its free sampler album series. Whilst the keen eyed amongst you may have already noted that this has has been available for a few weeks now, we thought we’d allow some breathing space before making the official announcement (busy month!!!)
Crushed and Reminded takes the listener on a multi-dimensional sonic rollercoaster ride, showcasing tracks from recent 2009 HSR releases. Moving from bitcrushed remixes through cinematic instrumental rock to deliciously mellow ambient electronica, Crushed and Reminded shines a new light across the breadth and depth of the Hidden Shoal landscape.
It includes stunning songs from 11 Hidden Shoal artists and bands: The Caribbean, HC-B, Sankt Otten, Hotels, Down Review, Tangled Star, Apricot Rail, Tarcutta, Sleeping Me, Elisa Luu and Jumpel. Dip in, then explore each artist’s album and EP releases to experience their full splendour.
“a gripping, adventurous and touching journey across their catalogue of ambient, shoegaze, post-rock and indie-rock releases. The perfect introduction for the artists and bands, or alternatively, the perfect sampler for those who cannot decide which of these fantastic bands to pay attention to at the moment” – Post Rock Community review of Limit of Maps, volume 3 in the free sampler album series.
Hidden Shoal is proud to announce its 3rd-birthday celebrations! With a roster of 30+ acts from 8 different countries – ranging from the epic ambient-rock cinematics of Italy’s HC-B through to the genius space-pop of one of Seattle’s bright lights, Hotels –Hidden Shoal has earned a special place in the new musical landscape.
“Finding Hidden Shoal Recordings could rightly claim to be in the top 10 best things that ever happened to me, such is the quality and diversity of their roster”– Boring Machine Disturbs Sleep
“they continually showcase new, innovative artists to the masses” —The Silent Ballet
“This generation’s 4AD” – New York radio host and promoter DJ Mojo
The label will host a birthday bash at the Velvet Lounge in Mt Lawley, Perth on the 13th of May. Special guest DJs will be spinning sets curated from the Hidden Shoal catalogue, including previews of some exciting upcoming releases. There will be giveaways, CDs available, and a bevy of local HSR artists to touch! The evening will also feature a special performance by the wonderful pairing of Tristen Parr (Fall Electric, Schvendes) and Stina Thomas (Fall Electric, Stina).
During May the label will be running a number of promotions, including CD giveaways and HSR Store vouchers, as well as in conjunction with a number of other music sites and radio stations. Mailing list subscribers will be in for an extra special range of treats so be sure to sign up and get ready for the goods. All details will be revealed during the month, so stay tuned!
Read a full press release here.
“Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again.
One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected.
Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring electronic sound and with Nilsson’s guitar and piano providing a counterpoint to Mehr’s swirling atmospherics. The ambient chill of City Of Satellites is given an added gloss by Tim Manzano, although I’m not so sure what he’s actually done with the track – it does sound a lot like the City Of Satellites I know from their Machine Is My Animal album, although as the track progresses and the rhythm and bass begin to disintegrate into a dubby conclusion it seems more apparent where Manzano has left his mark. Arc Lab’s “Through The Burning Glass” is remixed by Glanko, beginning with a club-level bassline before levelling into a noir tinged synth epic. And just when you thought the tracks on Eat Your Friends were entirely instrumentals, Rew perform a cover version of Umpire’s “Green Light District” and they do it with a vocal, alongside the strings and crashing cymbals and haltingly uncertain rhythms, a highlight of an album each of whose tracks is in one or another way remarkable.”
“I am an unabashed Hidden Shoal fan. The Australian label has been pumping out releases of lush, cinematic aspirations of ambient and neo-classical artists for a better part of it’s existence that, at times, is overcome by its eclectic output ranging from conspiracy-punks to 90’s slowcore revivalists to every deriviation of weirdos (Australian and otherwise) in between. Long Distance Transmissions, however, is a surprisingly cohesive collection of sprawling ambient, electro-acoustic, post-classical and just about ever derivation (Australian and otherwise) of lushly produced, slightly melancholic, wordless music in between. Highlights include Markus Mehr’s Tim Hecker-meets-Heinz Riegler meditative distorted synth composition “Hubble, the chopped and glitched electro-acoustic number by Kryshe, the minor key minimalist techno of Cheekbone and the emotional heft of the 80’s nostalgia of Slow Dancing Society’s bubbling arpeggios and soundtrack-worthy dynamics. It makes sense that Hidden Shoal also exists as a licensing company, many of these compositions, if not already, seem to soundtrack some deeply resonant scenes in films (never made).”
“Happened across this as we were turning it in for the night, a new name your price downloadable compilation by Australia’s finest purveyors of elegantly drawn dream pop Hidden Shoals. Entitled ‘long range transmissions’ it features a gathering of talents, some familiar – Antonymes, Markus Mehr, Slow Dancing Society et al along with some not so such as gilded and cheekbone. However what attracted us apart from the obvious as ever high quality seductive ambience tonalities literally peeling from the grooves was a delightful little thing from Elisa Luu entitled ‘chromatic sigh’. A breathlessly beautiful slice of porcelain noir classicism, an all too brief heavenly visitation, the slow shift into focus of the sound of a celestial calling emerging into the open to bathe all in the tingling shower of warming radiance, an out of body astral gliding odyssey which for a moment utterly transfixes its delicately balanced and perfectly poised gaze to fix and fill you with ethereal enchantment. And so to something familiar, regular visitors to these pages will be all too aware of our affection for Chloe March who here with ‘old tree, mon coeur’ doesn’t disappoint in the slightest and into the bargain offers up this sweetly mesmerising rustic ghost light, a fairy dust sprayed dream draped lost in the moment beguiling bouquet that shyly treads in the kind of amorphous star twinkled worlds of Musetta albeit as though aided and abetted by a soiree of siren sighs from a chill tripped Laetita and Mary from Stereolab.”
“You might recognise Hidden Shoal from our piece on Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs, the latest album from REW<<. The label has recently released Long Range Transmissions, the first in a series of themed compilations which showcase the ambient/neo-classical acts in their catalogue. It’s the perfect place to introduce yourself to a diverse and interesting collective of musicians.
While the collection comes from a particular genre, there is still room for much variation across the thirteen tracks. Antonymes and Kryshe favour fragile, graceful piano, Cheekbone push a sci-fi inspired electronica and Chloe March creates a lush chamber pop. Todd Tobias evokes a mixture of shimmering bliss and nostalgia, his track ‘Nan Madol’ playing like a super-cinematic missing number from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, while Stockholm’s Erik Nilsson’s gently tropical ‘Drawing/Dreaming’ feels like watching the sun set into the sea on the last night of your holiday. Other highlights include the goosebump-inducing melodrama of Slow Dancing Society’s ‘Pull’, Elisa Luu’s ethereal ‘Chromatic Sigh’ and the aching melancholy of closing track ‘Empty Cradles’ by Sleeping Me.”
Excerpt: “Cheekbone is another artist from the excellent Hidden Shoal Recordings, a label rapidly growing a reputation for its download-only electronica acts… Although Yesterday can hardly be described as formulaic, most of the seven tracks here follow a similar pattern, usually consisting of one central melody, which is slowly engulfed in chattering digitised noise before the noise subsides again. It’s like a journey though space but on ‘Reef’ it’s down a safe, fascinating route rather than a macabre, mysterious one… the EP reaches an impressive peak with the elegant ‘Far’ as one central, chilly melody expands into several layers, each one of them enticing as the other. HSR have produced another winner.”
Excerpt: “Yesterday is Cheekbone’s debut EP, looping around the ambient spheres of instrumental minimalism… The seven tracks are a floating, drifting experience, making you just lay back, close your eyes to meditate and contemplate… Music for early Sunday mornings? Could be. It sure sweeps your mind. Clearing off many a yesterday.”
Excerpt: “Cheekbone is the work of Japanese experimentalist Koruichi Moriuchi, who constructs warm electronic sounds through his laptop, with one foot firmly planted in Tangerine Dream territory and the other in the sequenced guitar soundscapes of contemporary electronica. Yesterday is expertly sequenced; short soundscapes drift and merge into one another, while intricate beats, deft samples, and obscured field recordings are woven into the mix… Yesterday acts as a poignant snapshot of nostalgic (and often forgotten) memories amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s avant-garde yet accessible; it’s electronic yet shares little in common with scene stalwarts like Aphex Twin and Autechre. And did I mention it is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy summer afternoon, relaxing next to the Mediterranean Sea?”
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Cheekbone’s music is available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.