Thursday, 23 June 2022

The Hardy Tree - Common Grounds


 The Hardy Tree - Common Grounds

LP / CD / DL

700 hand numbered vinyl copies.

Vinyl and CD In Shop 

Digital via Bandcamp

Vinyl also available at: Monorail (signed copies), Transmission, Bleep, Rough Trade, Resident, Juno, Normans, Piccadilly  HHV (eu) and Octopus (US)

Hushed synths and Mellotrons soundtrack urban walks through Victorian London suburbs.

Frances Castle is the illustrator/owner behind the Clay Pipe record label and The Hardy Tree is her on- going musical project. Common Grounds was started during the first 2020 lock down - when time moved very slowly and travel away from home became impossible.

The album was recorded at home by Frances using her collection of analogue synths, then mixed to tape with Ed Deegan at Gizzard Studios in East London. Ed plays drums on three of the tracks.

Like many others with nowhere else to go, I walked the streets of my neighbourhood for exercise and well-being. I rambled like I might in the country side; stopping every now and then to take in the view, or notice something I’d missed before. I began to see the ghosts of the people who had lived here in the past, and notice the things that they had left behind; shapes of ancient tram tracks creeping under the tarmac, an old gas street lamp in an alleyway, a tiny metal sign indicating a culverted river. I spent my evenings writing and recording the music on this LP, and then the following day would listen to the rough mixes as I walked, the music began to soundtrack the walks, and the walks began influencing the type of music I was creating.”

Frances Castle 2022

Wordless but exuding a strong transportive presence. There are hints of the ghostliness of Boards of Canada and the tranquilllity of prime Vangelis. Shingdig 4/5* stars

Celebrates the simple joys of the present, even when they are rooted in a faded, half-ridden past. Electronic Sound

We're totally losing ourselves in the magical world of The Hardy Tree. Common Grounds is so good. Monorail, Glasgow

Analogue melodies with baroque inflections of crystalline harpsichord and airy mellotron, painting idyllic scenes of solitude.Bleep, Album of the week.  


 Print available from Normans Records - SOLD OUT

                                             Print available as part of CD + LP bundle - SOLD OUT

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Clay Pipe Mini CD 1


 Modus - O Mira Novitas

8cm Mini CD, in bespoke printed sleeve, with bandcamp download code.

300 copies. 

BUY: £10 + P&P

In response to the vinyl crisis, and the lack of spontaneity in having to plan records so far ahead, Clay Pipe is introducing a new series of releases on mini-CD. Each tiny 8cm disc will bring 20 minutes of beautiful music with no filler. Presented in bespoke packaging, that recalls the look of the early releases on the label, these CDs will be a way to bring new musicians and producers to Clay Pipe, and act as a space for more familiar names to experiment. Larger run vinyl releases will continue as they always have, with the mini CDs adding new material to the catalogue.
The first in the series is ‘O Mira Novitas’ by Modus aka Massimo Pegoraro, a musician and DJ from Genoa in Italy. The CD – the Latin title which translates as ‘O Wondrous Novelty’ takes us on a big-top kaleidoscopic, journey through Massimo’s imagination, finding inspiration in everything from 1940s and '50s Vaudeville, Middle Eastern music, 13th century Gregorian Chants and Fellini’s cinema.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Andrew Wasylyk Live Dates.

 Andrew Wasylyk has a few live dates coming up with an eight-piece ensemable.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Cafe Kaput - Maritime: Themes and Textures


Cafe Kaput - Maritime: Themes and Textures

 Vinyl /CD/ Digital

700 hand numbered vinyl copies

Reverse board cover, transparent yellow vinyl

Vinyl £19.99 SOLD OUY

CD £11 + P&P BUY

Digital £8  BUY

Clay Pipe welcomes Cate Brooks back to the label this time under her 'Cafe Kaput' moniker with a record of mesmerisingly beautiful seascapes. 

This is essentially an album about language.

Sailing as an activity has a language of its’ own. A dialect, a feeling. There is the language of nomenclature; the technical and descriptive terms used on board, along with the visual signs and codes of the discipline. Exploring somewhat deeper, there is also thTe undeniable mystique that has surrounded the language of the shipping forecast since it captured the imagination of the public upon its’ inception. 

Amongst the deepest leagues, there is a third language; something very ephemeral and non-verbal. The way the concept of sailing makes us feel; what it means to us personally. Looking out to the middle distance, watching a lone boat on a calm sea- what goes through your mind?  

This album explores those emotions and offers a few possible answers.

Cate Brooks,  2022.


Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Cafe Oto - 15th January

Estuary English. D Rothon and O Cherer
Gate-fold CD Limited to 200 copies.
Download from BANDCAMP
Available  at the Clay Pipe night at Cafe Oto, London. 15th Jan 2020
Any remaining copies will sold online after the event - please sign up to the mailing for a reminder.

Estuary English – a collaboration between Clay Pipe artists Oliver Cherer (Gilroy Mere) and D Rothon, and released as a limited edition to coincide with a showcase for the label at London’s Cafe Oto –  started out as a conversation about Alan Lomax, Harry Smith and Smithsonian Folkways but it soon mutated into something that felt a lot closer to home in mood and theme – despite the dominance of electric and pedal steel guitars in these spare, evocative instrumental pieces. 

For Ollie they have a particular resonance: “Having grown up near the Severn Estuary, I have always been drawn to the strange, ever-shifting, no-mans land watery landscape of these places. They’re simultaneously tranquil and charged with hazard and treachery so are both beautiful and frightening. These pieces are an attempt to sketch the essence of these muddy, alien wetlands.” 

The two musicians worked remotely on the tracks and, as David explains, “It felt like a very instinctive process. A lot of them started with Ollie sending me something he’d done, and I tried not to overthink my parts – some of them are basically improvised first takes. It was a case of deciding on an approach and then going for it.”


Saturday, 20 November 2021

David Boulter - Twelve bells for Libuše


Flexi-disc/Download EP

500 copies in hand constructed fully-illustrated booklet.



Twelve Bells for Libuše is the Tinderstick's keyboard player’s second solo release on Clay Pipe Music. It celebrates the winter season in his adopted home of Prague.

I always liked the idea of a Christmas record. There’s so many I love. But I always got lost in my own way of doing it. I started to think about this on the summer solstice. Thinking ahead on the longest day to the shortest. How the festive season has always been my favourite. Those short days and long nights of winter somehow holding a more magical feeling than summer to me. Especially if it snows. Street lights glowing on a frosty evening. Christmas Tree lights blinking in a distant window. The sun, low in a chilly blue sky. 

As I was thinking about this, I heard the sad news that Libuše Šafránková, a Czech actress I first saw as a child in Three Nuts For Cinderella, had died. Tři oříšky pro Popelku, Three Nuts For Cinderella, was part of the cultural exchange the BBC had in the early 1970’s. A winter fairytale that, perhaps, is where my love of Czech or East European culture first began. Or maybe it was just a young boys infatuation with the beautiful Libuše!

The songs were inspired by those dark, cold nights and the warm feeling a memory brings. I knew straight away Frances at Clay Pipe would do something beautiful visually with this. As always, she has done so perfectly.”

David Boulter 2021


Also on the 3rd December we will be restocking the Clay Pipe Shop with a collection of Risograph and Giclee prints based on the artwork from 2021 releases, Japanese Beer Cups, Tote bags, and T-shirts. Winter Greetings cards based on the artwork for Twelve Bells for Libuše will also be available. 


Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Stagdale Part 2

   Book, badge and Flexi-disc/digital download EP

Available from 5th Nov 2021

£13.99 - with flexi-disc and download (400 copies)  SOLD OUT

£9.99 - with download via GREEDBAG

£9.99 - with download via BANDCAMP


Clay Pipe is pleased to announce the second part of Frances Castle's graphic story 'Stagdale'.
along with a flexi-disc and digital EP, by her musical alter ego 'The Hardy Tree' that soundtracks the book.

Stagdale, an isolated village secluded in a valley of chalky hills, is a place that holds many secrets. In the first book set in 1975 twelve-year-old Londoner Kathy moves to the village after her parents divorce, and discovers a wartime diary concealed behind the skirting boards of her cottage bedroom. The new book starts in Nazi-occupied Berlin in 1938, and tells of school boy Max’s escape across Europe on the Kindertransport and his arrival in Stagdale. 

There will be a launch party on Thursday 4th Nov at Duplikat Press, in Haggerston, London, E2. With new Risograph prints of Clay Pipe artwork available, live printing, back stock Clay Pipe records and beer, all welcome.



Tickets are free and can be had from EVENTBRITE

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Andrew Wasylyk - Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia


Vinyl / CD / Digital

 600 copies on white vinyl. SOLD OUT


300 copies on pink vinyl exclusive to Monorail, Glasgow. SOLD OUT 

The vinyl is being repressed - Pre Order HERE


As the Spring of discontent took hold on 2020, composer Andrew Wasylyk sought shelter in the familiar. Low-light morning walks in Dundees 19th century Balgay Park acted as sanctuary and solace to events happening in the world outside. Opened in 1871 the park, with adjoining cemetery and sweeping panoramic views across the Firth Of Tays inner estuary, is known for its astronomical observatory which sits high on a wooded hill and is the only full-time public observatory in the UK.

These walks, along with the comfort found in work and routine, helped alleviate the universal cloud of anxiety that swept the first part of the year, and soon Andrew found that his daybreak strolls were seeping into the music he was creating. Slowly, a collection of luminous, inventive and largely instrumental music was taking shape.

The ten compositions that make up Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia present themselves as hymns to early morning light, the optimism at the start of the day, and the simple joy that can be found close to home exploring an inner-city park. As with last years Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation and Scottish Album Of The Year Award shortlisted The Paralian (2019), trumpet and flugelhorn are handled by fellow Tayside musician Rachel Simpson, who's delivery blends muted swells and punctuated patterns.

The hallmarks of Wasylyks multi-dimensional approach to composing, performing and producing glow soft throughout the arrangements. His timeless, yet entirely individual,melodies remain potent and apparent. A warped tape loop cycles over a Fender Rhodes motif - elegiac strings underlined by the thud of analogue drum machine. Textures shift and shade like dawn glimmering through the branches of a sycamore. Infused with field-recordings made on his morning rambles; finches flutter in the high green canopy, a dog walker shuffles in fallen leaves, the faint hum of lawnmower and passing passenger-less bus. Elsewhere, a wood pigeon clatters through a blossom tree, migratory geese call above Mills Observatory and the heavy summer rain rattles down on empty streets.

Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia is as much a daydream rubric through solitude as it is meditative map. An invite to untold stories and images that take flight in the listeners mind.Here, Andrew Wasylyk offers another cohesive, unique, and transcendental journey through ambient, library and jazz. A comfort to pause, to look up, and to celebrate our human connection with the nature around us, and within us all.

Previous Press

Gideon Coe, BBC 6Music Album Of The Year, 2020

Piccadilly Records Top 10 Albums of the Year, 2020

Monorail Music Top 20 Albums of the Year, 2020

at the confluence between The High Lamas, David Axelrod and Boards Of Canada”, -

★★★★★ - Record Collector Magazine, 2020

★★★★ - Shindig! Magazine, 2020