Hidden Shoal News
Finally the day has come for German experimentalist Markus Mehr‘s sublime new work, Liquid Empires, to grace the world with it’s immense presence. The album is available in cassette and digital formats via Bandcamp and digitally via all good 3rd party stores (iTunes, Spotify Amazon etc). Also don’t forget to check out Stefanie Sixt‘s wonderful music video for the album’s first single ‘Rank’.
Liquid Empires is a sonic exploration of the centrality of water to life on Earth. As Mehr explains, “We are water. Water is everything. It is life-giving and deadly, it is progress and comfort, it is central to our economy, energy, transport, food, warmth, cooling and manufacturing. At the same time, water means purity, beauty and mysticism. We spend the first nine months in it. We waste it and we contaminate it…”
Over the course of more than two years, Mehr recorded the sound of rivers, lakes and oceans, then set about transforming these sonic source materials in the digital domain using spectral analysis and time manipulation software. The result is some of Mehr’s most mesmerising compositions to date, teasing out harmonic patterns and microscopic textures that are beautiful as they are mystifying.
We’re very excited to announce the official release of Omens, the stunning debut album by Australian band Alpha Hall. Omens is available in digital and CD formats via Bandcamp and digitally via all good 3rd party stores (iTunes, Spotify Amazon etc). Keep tuned next week for the music video for 2nd single ‘Filaments’.
Omens conveys many shades of light and dark, veering from delicate and introspective to unnerving and expansive. It captures a band able to convey not only the rugged beauty of their surroundings in regional Australia, but also the complex nature of our tempestuous times. Alpha Hall tap into a lineage of Australian artists such as Roland S. Howard, Died Pretty and The Triffids, whose gritty approach and lack of concern for contemporary trends creates a time-ravaged feel.
“mesmerising, with dusky vocals, purring violin, and a rich melodic and rhythmic interplay that erupts into emotional climaxes that ambush and satisfy in equal measures” – Doug Wallen, The Big Issue
Album opener ‘Find’ immediately establishes Alpha Hall’s sound, as raw vocals and overdriven acoustic guitar are chased by soaring violin lines. Aching first single ‘Rains’, a love song for the lost, exerts a devastating emotional pull, while the driving ‘Filament’ immediately feels like an indie-rock classic, its chorus bursting out of the gates and laying waste to everything in its path. Heartbreaking finale ‘Trees’ brings the album to a fittingly atmospheric close with its restrained vocals and haunting violin. Regardless of where Omens ventures, Alpha Hall are consistently in command of their songcraft.
We’re excited to present the first taste of Cupid’s Empty House (The Remixes), the new EP by REW<<. Liminal Drifter‘s wonderful re-working of the REW<< original is available now to stream on SoundCloud with the EP seeing release on the 26th of October.
Cupid’s Empty House features reworkings by Markus Mehr, Liminal Drifter, Ethan Kavanagh, Twilla and Rachel Harrup, plus the sublime original, taken from REW<<’s 2015 album Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs. There’s plenty to work with in the original’s delicate music box melodies and swooning synth strings, which evoke The Flaming Lips’ masterpiece The Soft Bulletin.
“REW<<’s Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs is a fantastically varied, moving, and imaginative opus, and it deserves to be celebrated.” – The Big Takeover
Hidden Shoal labelmates Markus Mehr and Liminal Drifter reimagine the original as a celestial exhalation and a burbling submarine delight, respectively. Ethan Kavanaugh sends snatches of voice snaking around glimmers of synth and drums, while Twilla juxtaposes pitch-shifted voice and thick bass against a stumbling drum loop. Finally, Rachel Harrup skilfully emphasises the delicious syncopation of the original.
Check out this wonderful interview with the eternally talented Chloe March in the excellent Textura mag. March discusses her solo work along with her sublime collaboration with Todd Tobias, Amialluma, which is also glowingly reviewed in the same edition of Textura.
We’re very excited to announce the forthcoming 10th anniversary re-release of the seminal ambient album Chagrin by Belfast-based electronic composer RL/VL, aka Jack Hamill. Long term Hidden Shoal fans will remember the album’s original release back in 2008 and those new to the RL/VL moniker may know of Hamill’s work as Space Dimension Controller, releasing music via Dekmantel, Ninja Tune and R&S Records. Chagrin will see release on the 30th of October 2018, reissued alongside the rest of his sublime catalogue. As we did way back in 2008, we are once again presenting the stunning first cut from the album, ‘Kweens’, for your streaming pleasure.
“… whenever his small, melodic textures threaten to disappear they always return calmly, in themes and droves and memorable parts… imagination too wild and unrefined to sleep” – Resident Advisor on Chagrin
Presenting an impeccably crafted minimalism and focus married to an ineffable sense of human frailty, Chagrin unfolds like the stories of ageless artefacts buried in the earth, still covered in the dirt that was once their home, brimming with micro-histories and rootless memories. Painstakingly layered from a vast array of analogue synths, tape machines, old cassettes and toys, Chagrin’s beauty lies in the fact that no sound is too small, no detail too elusive. This is ambient electronica of staggering emotive power.
We’re very excited to present the first taste of Moonchy & Tobias, an electrifying collaboration between Italian vocalist Pat Moonchy (Faust, Sothiac) and American instrumentalist Todd Tobias (Circus Devils, Robert Pollard). Check the wonderfully chaotic music for ‘Une Saison En Enfer’ via Youtube, stream the track via SoundCloud or download via Bandcamp. Moonchy & Tobias will see release on November 2nd 2018 through Hidden Shoal and Tiny Room Records. More on Moonchy & Tobias here.
Brace yourself when entering the disorienting world of Moonchy & Tobias, where churning rock textures created by Todd Tobias are the landscape within which vocalist Pat Moonchy runs riot, warping her voice into every recess and shape available. Skirting the boundary between fairytale and nightmare, the angular architecture of the music is softened and stretched at every juncture. Whether the pounding bass of ‘Juu Ichi’, the bubbling submarine atmospheres of ‘Vertigo Trail’, or the percussion and fuzz carnival of single ‘Une Saison En Enfer’, Moonchy and Tobias create a transformative musical experience in which giddy tangents abound.
Moonchy & Tobias pairs Italian vocalist Pat Moonchy with American instrumentalist Todd Tobias. Moonchy is one-half of the experimental band Sothiac, in duos alongside trombonist Angelo Contini and jazz drummer Lino Liguori, in the Tai-No Orchestra, and with German krautrock pioneers Faust. Ohio native Tobias is a long-time collaborator with Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices), and provided the musical backing to Pollard’s vocals in the freak-rock trio Circus Devils. Tobias has also released a series of themed instrumental albums under his own name.
All tracks from Moonchy & Tobias are available for licensing across film, tv, web, games and beyond. Hit us up for more details.
We’re very excited to present the gorgeous new single and accompanying video from dream-pop troubadour Kramies. ‘Everything The End’ is lifted from Kramies forthcoming EP Of All The Places Been & Everything The End which see release via Hidden Shoal on the 19th of October. The beautiful music video for the track, directed by Mark Lohmann, is being premiered today at Clash Magazine and is also available to stream via YouTube. The track is also available to stream via SoundCloud and download via Bandcamp.
Created in collaboration with Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Todd Tobias (Guided by Voices) and Jerry Becker (Train), Kramies’ epic new EP, Of All The Places Been & Everything The End, transports the listener through an enchanted forest of the imagination. Profoundly coloured by Kramies’ time staying at an ancient castle in Ireland, the music is steeped in fables, myths and eerie reflections, resulting in his most vividly realised release to date.
Kramies’ music is available for licensing across film, tv, web, games and beyond. Hit us up for more details.
‘Dandelion Drive’ is the stunning first single lifted from Reverbatory, the new album by Melbourne-based electronica artist Isophene. The track is available to stream via SoundCloud and download via Bandcamp. Reverbatory sees release on October 29th 2018 through Hidden Shoal. Isophene’s music is available for licensing across film, tv, games web and beyond via Hidden Shoal. Contact us for more info.
Using ’80s synths, piano, guitar, field recordings and an intricate mix of programmed and live drums, Isophene’s cinematic downtempo music is as lush as it is melodic. Drawing from a similarly vibrant musical palette as Boards of Canada, Helios and Tycho, Isophene immerses the listener in sun-drenched waves of emotive sound. From the languid melancholia of first single ‘Dandelion Drive’ to the widescreen twilight drive of ‘Echo Point’, Reverbatory plays out like a lucid dream.
Isophene is the moniker of Melbourne producer Brad Buenen, who creates music from his home studio in the Dandenong Ranges, set amongst towering Mountain Ash rainforests. Reverbatory was lovingly crafted over the course of nearly six years, assisted by producer Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones) and mastered by Taylor Deupree.
The stunning new Lunar Landscape single ‘Les nuits célestes’ has just been premiered at the wonderful New Noise magazine. The track coincides with the release of the band’s debut album The Infinite Pleasure of Being.
Hidden Shoal is excited to announce the release of The Infinite Pleasure of Being, the wonderful debut album by Bordeaux-based atmospheric rock band Lunar Landscape. To coincide with the release, the stunning third single from the album, ‘Les nuits célestes’, is now available to stream via SoundCloud. The Infinite Pleasure of Being is available now via the Lunar Landscape Bandcamp and from all good 3rd party online stores and streaming services. Lunar Landscape’s music is also available for licensing through Hidden Shoal across film, tv, games, web and beyond. Hit us up for more info.
The Infinite Pleasure of Being effortlessly traverses piano-led neo-classical works and epic shoegaze numbers. Whether drawing grand melodic shapes during extensive instrumental passages, or beckoning the listener close with hushed vocal incantations, these songs map out epic emotive terrain that rewards deep exploration. Right from the opening guitar chimes and stratospheric organ tones of ‘Chaque Seconde de ta Vie’ through to the Holst-inspired ‘Virtual Grey-Eyed Child’, The Infinite Pleasure of Being dictates its own sense of scale. Whether employing charmingly child-like tones in the Flaming Lips-esque ‘Something I Feel’, or laying down satisfyingly gritty rhythms on ‘Les Nuis Célestes’, Lunar Landscape effortlessly adapt their instrumental palette to suit their songcraft.
Expanding on the progressive shoegaze of previous incarnation Beautiful Lunar Landscape and the instrumental rock of sister project Les Limbes, the album is a definitive statement from principal songwriter Arnaud Sigonney (piano, keyboards, guitar, vocals). Back in 2007, Hidden Shoal released Sigonney’s previous band Beautiful Lunar Landscape’s stunning debut EP Alone in this Dark Romantic Night, which received widespread critical acclaim. He then took a break from music, before returning with instrumental rock band Les Limbes in 2015. The songs that comprise the debut album by new project Lunar Landscape have been written throughout Arnaud’s musical life. The Infinite Pleasure of Being was recorded by Marco Gomes at Studio Carat with a new band in 2016, featuring Les Limbe’s Yoann Roy (bass), Franck Lantignac (drums), Line Senium (piano) and Marine Hebard (vocals).
Hidden Shoal MixTape
- Markus Mehr’s “Liquid Empires” Out Now (Cassette & Digital)
- Alpha Hall “Omens” Out Now!
- New REW<< Single Out Now, Remix EP Coming Soon
- Interview with Chloe March at Textura
- RL/VL “Chagrin” 10th Anniversary Re-Release
- Medard Fischer “Lucky You” Reviewed at EtherREAL
- Todd Tobias and Chloe March ‘Ma Leila Lulla’ Reviewed at Tome To The Weather Machine
- Todd Tobias & Chloe March “Amialluma” Reviewed at Textura
- Slow Dancing Society “The Torchlight Parade Vol. II” Reviewed at Textura
- Kramies ‘The Hill Dweller’ Reviewed at Half-Life Music