Friday 9 February 2024

Garden Gate - Magic Lantern

 
 
 Preorder direct from Clay Pipe via BANDCAMP or GREEDBAG 
LP £20.99 CD £11 Digital £7
  Release date 29th March 2024
400 hand-numbered vinyl copies LP/CD/DL 
Bandcamp download code in sleeve

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Vinyl copies with a limited holographic sticker are available at the Clay Pipe studio shop London E3 2JQ. Drop me a line first if you are planning a vist.

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Clay Pipe is pleased to introduce Garden Gate, the musical project of North Country, New York-based artist Timmi Meskers

After her time with Brown Recluse, a bittersweet psych-pop sextet, and White Candles, a Radiophonic Workshop-inspired electronic duo, Meskers merged the qualities of both groups into a new project and the first Garden Gate single, Houses, appeared in 2016 on Good Behavior Records. Following this, came a clutch of acclaimed releases on labels such as Sunstone and Library of the Occult, notably The Dark Harvest LP (which received a 5-star review in Shindig) and the sought-after 2021 LP, Blood Mansion, an original score for a conceptual horror film.

Magic Lantern is a collection of melancholy yet hopeful neoclassical library pieces with analogue electronic elements that originally soundtracked Audible Originals’ Strange Company audiobook. 

Here, Timmi explains how the project came about:

“The first glimmer of Magic Lantern flickered over the kitchen sink, if memory serves. I was cleaning up with a dear friend, author Roan Parrish, and we were discussing how we could collaborate creatively. Our first idea was that she would share prose to inspire my themes, and inversely, I would share a few original themes to inspire her writing. Before we knew it, what started as a handful of stories and songs, damp with soap suds, ended up becoming a fully scored audiobook anthology for Audible Originals called Strange Company.

As a long-time fan of soundtracks and library music, I was thrilled by the opportunity to see just how much emotion I could compress into the brief connecting links that would augment a furtive kiss, a painful psychic vision, or a breeze across the bones of a scorched landscape.

Midway through the recording process, my long-term relationship broke down, and Roan let me set up a field studio in her home. I found myself grasping at any beauty I could find in the hope that it would spill into the music. Several themes from an unrealised Garden Gate album about the life of Dion Fortune also found their way in (notably, the title track), and the score became a bit more personal than initially charted. In the doomed outsiders of Roan’s gorgeously creeping prose, it was hard not to see aspects of my own life, and I found catharsis and healing in the creation of the music that soundtracked her characters' lives.” 

Timmi Meskers 2024

 

Friday 17 November 2023

D. Rothon - Lonesome Echoes

 

 

  3inch Mini CD in bespoke case.

Bandcamp download code in sleeve.

Cut out and keep A4 library box. 

After the sell out success of the first series of Mini-CDs, Clay Pipe kicks off the second series with D.Rothons 'Lonesome Echoes'.

D. Rothon’s third solo release for Clay Pipe, Lonesome Echoes, is a selection of four beautiful melodic instrumentals, featuring pedal steel, Omnichord, theremin, flute and live drums – and inspired by the long-lost south London village of Lonesome.

“My curiosity about Lonesome started years ago when I noticed the name on the map in the London A to Z, not far from where I grew up. It seemed such an unlikely name. But it wasn't until recently that I discovered its slightly odd history…”

The origins of its name lost in the mists of time, the village of Lonesome emerged in the 19th century from the swampy, isolated lands between Streatham Vale and Mitcham Common. By the early 1900s intrepid reporters were already speculating on whether the place was mere myth.

The intervening years saw the rapid rise and fall of Lonesome. Its prospects as a desirable place to live were compromised by the combined fragrances of piggeries plus chemical, fireworks and gas mantle factories – which would undoubtedly have overpowered the sweeter aromas from the nearby lavender fields of Mitcham. It also gained a reputation as a haunt of footpads, vagabonds and cutpurses. 

A failed development by one “Squire Blake” of aspirational middle class villas – which became known as Blake's Folly – helped cement Lonesome’s reputation as a ghost town.

Now long subsumed into suburbia, aside from the odd street and building name little trace remains of Lonesome.

 





Also in the shop Clay Pipe 2024 calender*, Gilroy Mere 'Gilden Gate' Giclee prints and new black T-shirts.

*initial copies sold out pre-order second run via Bandcamp

Friday 29 September 2023

Vic Mars - The Beacons

 

LP £20.99 / CD  £11.00

LP: 600 hand numbered copies

Bandcamp download in sleeve

Digital through all streaming services and Bandcamp


Clay Pipe Music is thrilled to announce The Beacons by Vic Mars - the enigmatic producers third full length LP for the label. Since 2019s Inner Roads and Outer Paths his music has found a new audience having been used as the soundtrack to the game I am Dead by British interactive studio Hollow Ponds.

While his previous two albums were inspired by the pastoral landscapes of Herefordshire, The Beacons, embarks on a journey westward into Wales, inviting listeners into the rugged terrain of the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. Using a darker sonic palette, and pushing the sound of the Moog synthesizer to the fore, The Beacons captures the feel of mountains silhouetted against dramatic skies, craggy summits and the overall grandeur of the landscape and its rich folklore.

Stories of plane crashes, a monument honouring a missing boy, and legends such the mysterious door within Llyn Cwm Llwch lake— said to open to an invisible island - all helped shape the making of the record. With the addition of live drums, viola, a Juno 60 and field recordings alongside his distinctive Mellotrons and flutes, Vic has explored new ground, but still maintains the melodic interest and home spun charm of his earlier records.

Although now based in London Vic grew up in Hereford, in winter time the distant ice capped peaks of the Beacons served as a childhood barometer, a hopeful indicator that the city might also be graced with snow. In better weather there were days out with family or friends, clambering up Pen-y-fan or visiting the beautiful waterfalls at Ystradfellte. All these formative experiences seep into the music on this record, weaving an enchanting spell that captures the vastness of the mountain ranges and the stories they tell.

A small repress of Vic Mars' second LP Inner Roads and Outer Paths on green vinyl will be available at the same time.

Clay Pipe will have pre-release copies of both LPs at the Jonny Trunk Groovy Record Fayre on the Saturday October 28th, The Mildmay Club, London, N16 9PR. Please let me know if you would like to reserve a copy.

 


 
 



Saturday 16 September 2023

Scottish Album of the Year and Uncanny Landscapes

Clay Pipe is back from a short summer break, and very happy to announce that Andrew Wasylyk's Hearing the Water Before Seeing the Falls has made the long list for the Scottish Album of the Year. Congratulations to Andrew, it is very well deserved!


Also Frances Castle talked to Justin Hopper for his Uncanny Landscapes podcast, always worth a listen, it is available wherever you get your podcasts and via the Uncanny Landscapes Substack.



There are new releases coming this Autumn. Please stay tuned.

Monday 3 July 2023

Cate Brooks - Easel Studies

 


       Cate Brooks - Easel Studies 
 Vinyl LP/ CD/ Badge   
Digital exclusive to Cafe Kaput's Bandcamp.  
CD and DL come with extra track “Pendula"
LP includes Bandcamp DL code in sleeve.
 
Cate Brooks is back with her seventh release for Clay Pipe Music. Never one to stand still, ‘Easel Studies’ finds her pushing the boundaries of sound synthesis and experimentation on the Buchla Music Easel while still sounding beautifully beguiling and hypnotically melodic.

“On this day in 2015, at exactly Midday, I took delivery of a wildly exotic musical instrument. To call it a synthesizer would be a misrepresentation; it’s really more of a tactile, living, breathing entity than anything else. It had originally supposed to have been delivered on the day before, but had somehow been mislaid in the labyrinths of the Royal Mail sorting office at Elephant and Castle.

I sat patiently and quietly all morning, waiting for its imminent arrival. I had already read through the ‘manual’, which is more of a concept / design for living, written by synthesis legend Allen Strange.

With Noon approaching, I became a little anxious- my local postie, Barrie, was usually here by about 10:30am and there was no sign of him.

At 11:58, Barrie walked past, completely ignoring my house. Obviously concerned, I stood at the door and waited for him to walk back toward his van. As he came back, he smiled and I called out, quizzically “Barrie?”. His reply was “Yes I have!” and walked back to his van, collecting a large box and bringing it to my door. I remember the weather was muggy and my neighbour was attending to her rose bushes, as the cheery and helpful postie deftly navigated around her busy secateurs.

I took the box inside, opened the top and just looked at the inner box for a while. I took a photo of it, which I still have. It felt like quite a momentous occasion, because I felt that this instrument would take me to different sonic spaces than I was used to. It wasn’t my first experience with Don Buchla’s instruments by any means, as I’d learned to use his 200e system. But this was quite a different beast.

My cat Brillo came to inspect the box and I set the Music Easel up on the floor and plugged it in. The result of that very first experiment became “Pendula”.

In the following days and weeks of that summer, I created many more experiments on the Easel, quite often with Brillo either sat on me as I played, or trying to climb up on the instrument itself, attempting to move the faders and switches himself.

By the end of August, I had amassed some thirty-something pieces, which I put aside for future reference. I had learned a lot about this instrument, its idiosyncrasies, subtleties and ways of working.

Sadly, Brillo died in September of 2015. I like to think that his last summer with me was a comforting experience, curling up and listening to the sonic experiments taking place, as he regularly did for the sixteen years he was with me. The first track on the album, “Con Brillo” is my little tribute to him.

Fast forward to 2021 and I rediscovered all of these experiments. Some were almost unlistenable, but some had a beguiling charm about them- perhaps the sound of someone not really knowing what they’re getting into. They needed mixing and balancing, so I set to work. I also wrote a new piece, with exactly the same recording chain, in the same way, in the same room. This became the suitably titled final track “Hindsight”. 

The Music Easel has remained a constant source of sonic worlds for me to explore. It became the main instrument on the album Agri Montana, for example and has cropped up on many other records I’ve made since.

I would especially like to thank David at Postmodular for selling the Music Easel to me, after phoning him and disturbing his Sunday afternoon outing to Hyde Park (sorry about that David). I always promised I would send him a copy of something I had produced on it, so hopefully he will enjoy Easel Studies.

As I finish writing this, I notice that it is, once more, exactly Midday. I hope you enjoy Easel Studies too.”

Cate Brooks (21st of May, 2023).



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Tuesday 20 June 2023

Zyggurat - Broken Circle. Mini CD

 

  Zyggurat - Broken Circle.

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

300 copies.

SOLD OUT

Zyggurat is an electronic music project fronted by Pete Grimshaw on modular synthesizer featuring Piera Onacko on accordion, and Nathan England-Jones on drums. They have released two EPs "Beyond the Breaks" (2018) and "Earth II" (2020), as well as a self titled LP in 2022. The band have received acclaim for their skilful and spontaneous modular synth performances, drawing special praise for the sonic interplay between the synth work and the organic flow of the drums.

The name ‘Zyggurat’ derives from the inverted ziggurat of Birmingham’s lost brutalist library, designed by John Madin. It was completed in 1974 and demolished in 2016, and ties in with Birmingham’s history for rebuilding and remodelling its architecture and cultural heritage. I treated the album as a journey though this cycle of destruction and regeneration. It comes down to feelings on the passage of time, utopian hopes, journeys, dreams, reclamation, and nostalgia. “ Pete Grimshaw 2023


Lithe, evolving, lyrical, highly recommended!” - Dan Bean

This is great, a proper trippy sea of synth-jazz” - James Holden

I love the Zyggurat album. A flowing cosmic conversation between the modular synth and drums. Who ever knew such beautiful cosmic jazz would come from Birmingham” - Surgeon

Highly recommend checking out Zyggurat” - Paddy Shine, Gnod

There will be launch shows for the CD in Birmingham and Hackney - we will be holding some CDs back to sell at these events. Drop me a line if you are coming to one of them and would like to reserve a CD.

Tickets for Hackney HERE

Tickets for Birmingham HERE



Friday 12 May 2023

Tyneham House

 


Tyneham House - 10" coloured marble vinyl 

Reverse board sleeve and booklet + download code.

 £20.99 +p&p

Read Bob Fischers Interview with the artists behind Tyneham House HERE

 

Back in 2011 when I was tentatively looking for a second release for my fledging record label, I stumbled upon a mysterious MySpace page by a group called ‘Tyneham House’, the page was decorated with artwork by Rena Gardiner (who was unknown to me at that time) and the music was an other worldly mix of field recordings, Mellotron and acoustic guitar. It turned out that Tyneham was promised to Glen Johnson’s Second Language label, so I offered to do the artwork, and in January 2012 the two labels co-released it on tape and CD in a cardboard box with a handmade booklet of my illustrations. In 2016 Clay Pipe reissued it on 10” vinyl, in an edition of just 300, which has since become sort after. The new 2023 pressing is on blue and transparent marbled vinyl, with reverse board cover and inner sleeve, and the booklet of illustrations has been given a complete redesign. Frances Castle 2023

The pastoral, wistful yet ineffably disquieting music of Tyneham House is made by artists who wish to remain anonymous here, save for their eponymous title. The musicians are happy, however, to let it be known that these recordings have been around for some years (many of them complied from old cassettes) and that they take inspiration from the 1960s/’70s/’80s work of the Children’s Film Foundation – a body who really ought to have made a film about this mysterious West Country curio. At least now we have its endlessly poignant soundtrack.

The small village of Tyneham, on the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset, was once a thriving little community – that is until the British Government requisitioned it for training manoeuvres and other ‘strategic purposes’ in the run up to WWII. This was supposed to be a temporary measure, but the area remained in military possession long after hostilities had ceased, causing distress among former inhabitants, many of whom were farmed out to prefabs in nearby Wareham and Swanage.

Tyneham was characterised by its red telephone box, a tiny parade of shops – Post Office Row – and a grand country pile which stood about half a mile away from the village: Tyneham House. The army removed the building’s oak panelling and ornate decorative details and promptly set about using it for target practice. So great was the shame expressed locally about the damage inflicted upon one of Dorset’s grandest houses that the powers that be decided to grow a copse around the remains of the structure to give the impression that it was no longer there. Despite this, a substantial part of the structure remains intact, including its Saxon hall.

Land access around Tyneham was opened up in the 1970s, but admission to the house remains strictly verboten. Those who’ve been found around the premises, especially anyone wielding a camera, have felt the full weight of military trespass law. Tyneham today is regarded as a nature reserve by some – as a national embarrassment by others. It’s still a political hot potato, in Dorset at least.



 

 



 A  2nd edition of the Tyneham House Swallows Risograph print will also be available. Printed by Duplikat Press in East London.
 


 

Friday 17 February 2023

Gilroy Mere - Gilden Gate

 

 
Vinyl/CD/Download

900 hand numbered copies on sea green vinyl 

vinyl: £20.99 + P&P

CD: £11 + P&P 

Oliver Cherer is back with a new Gilroy Mere record which follows on from his other much lauded Clay Pipe releases (The Green Line, Adlestrop and last year’s D Rothon collaboration, Estuary English). Over the last two decades Ollie has released numerous collections of music in an ever shifting array of modes, from folktronic, singer-songwriter styles through psychogeographic electronica to jazz-tinged, confessional ghost-pop and most recently, the “guitar tainted machine rock disco” of Aircooled.

Gilden Gate is an album of two halves. Side 1 ‘Rising’ celebrates the sun-drenched beaches, pastures and heaths of rural Suffolk, whereas Side 2 ‘Falling’ explores the underwater world of the lost city of Dunwich and its five church spires.

Oliver says:-

A few years ago I discovered the lost city of Dunwich. I’d made a trip to Suffolk to shoot a short film about Sizewell Nuclear Power Stations and stayed in the old Coastguard’s Cottage on Dunwich Beach within sight of Minsmere Nature Reserve and the power plants. It’s a wild, sleepy place of pines and heath and North Sea winds and a strangely mysterious air – Sutton Hoo is nearby and Eno’s reference to the very beach that I was staying on made perfect sense. In the small museum at Dunwich I learned that this tiny hamlet had once been a major medieval city of international trade. It seemed unlikely and even now, knowing Dunwich as a small village, I find putting what I know about the place into perspective as a city a certain kind of impossible.

It seems that over a period under the influence of the weather, natural erosion and market rivalry the thriving harbour port was inundated by the North Sea and eventually slipped into and under it. The city of churches was lost and all the spires engulfed and toppled. What remains are the few houses, and the ruin of Greyfriars crumbling inexorably down the cliff and exposing the bones of buried monks as the graveyard follows the building’s stones into the sea.

There are local legends surrounding the site including stories of fishermen hearing the bells of lost churches and seeing the ghostly, lighted city beneath their boats as they return to the shore.

Gilden Gate is named for one of the entrances to the old city and is a musical meditation on Dunwich past and present. Frances Castle’s beautiful sleeve art depicts the surface and the sub-marine, the warm and the cold, the past and the present. The glass rises and the glass falls and in the background there are sirens, fog horns, church bells and Eno, and on the sea bed there are the scattered remains of a once great city.”


 

 


 

Available at the same time is a repress of Gilroy Mere’s ever popular second LP Adlestrop. It was originally released in 2020 and is inspired by the remains of the rural railway stations that were closed in the wake of the 1963 Beeching Report. 500 hand numbered copies with cutout paper station.Orginal release info HERE

500 hand numbered copies on blue vinyl.

£20.99 + P&P