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    LTO – Déjà Rêvé

    Based in Bristol, LTO first made waves as part of mysterious electronic collective Old Apparatus. As a solo producer, LTO has since attracted attention with his praised debut LP “The Number From Which All Things Come” and subsequent ambient/modern classical-focussed “Storybook“ LP. With “Déjà Rêvé“, he expands on that classical sensibility, creating a highly expressive and nuanced release for Denovali Records.

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    Elektro Guzzi – Polybrass

    A trio of guitar, bass and drums, Elektro Guzzi overcome the boundary between analogue versus digital, performing techno live with the drive of a machine and the sonic detail of an instrument – without any computers or loopers.

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    Blackfilm – Zero One Seven

    On “Zero One Seven”, Blackfilm merges tracks spanning across drum and bass, dub and electronic. The sounds on the album are built from the ideas on the original Blackfilm “S/T“ and “Along the Corridors“ and progress to a sound built on new ground mixing modern production techniques and influences while at times referencing the Blackfilm sound we know from his previous releases.

    The album maintains a consistent focus on atmospherics, beats and heavy bass ranging from darker dub and drum and bass influences to vocal tracks and complex ambient soundscapes. Production wise, the familiar Blackfilm style incorporating the use of synthetic sounds mixed with samples enables the album to create an intriguing, shifting atmosphere as the album progresses. A dystopian journey through haunting vocals, hypnotic drum patterns and complex sound design.

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    Ensemble Economique – Radiate Through You

    The latest long-player of devotional noir by Humboldt County romantic Brian Pyle aka Ensemble Economique was originally titled Music Saves Lives, in response to the misguided backlash directed at underground artists in the wake of the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Since Pyle’s career threads through a decade and a half of Northern California’s independent experimental music community, the blow struck a uniquely deep and personal chord. As a way to process, he began recording at his coastal home studio in Manila, California, channeling inner states of mind, seeking something “more personal and intimate, the idea of love, and shining through.”

    Radiate Through You delivers on its title, exuding a nuanced catharsis, alternately tempestuous and transcendent, forlorn but undefeated. Vaulted heavens of interwoven electronics ebb into hushed dirges of skeletal percussion and candlelit guitar. Roiling noise seethes, swells, and subsides as an ashen string arrangement rises in the mix, keening a somber, circular elegy, as if overtaken by memory on a long walk alone.

    Two key guest appearances lend the album even more dynamism and drama: the first by Barcelona synthesist Alexander Molero on the questing, celestial opener, “Music Is Life,” the second by New Zealand psychic sisters Purple Pilgrims on the devastating finale, “Blue Hour.” Both showcase impressive shades of Pyle’s finesse as producer and muse, sparking his collaborators to new heights.

    Whether taken as expressionist memorial, therapeutic song cycle, or something more ambiguous, Radiate Through You stands as a pensive, passionate statement by an enduring light of the West Coast canon, drawn from “a deep, special place of giant emotions, feelings.”

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    Michael Vallera – All Perfect Days

    On All Perfect Days, Michael Vallera’s second LP for Denovali, he continues to distill his singular, cinematic approach to sound. Acting as both performer and producer, Vallera constructs a lush, deeply emotional album that jettisons the overt rhythms and explicit drum programming that characterized much of his earlier work. Instead, in its tightly focused reliance on little more than guitar and amplifier feedback, supplemented by piano and synthesizer, the album explores a sparse but rich palette that evokes the ambient works of Harold Budd—although filtered through Vallera’s own sharp-edged sensibility. Recorded with Greg Norman at Electrical Audio and mastered by Daniel Rejmer, All Perfect Days adds to the mounting evidence that Michael Vallera is among the most assured and compelling artists to emerge from Chicago in recent years.

    Michael Vallera is a musician and photographer who lives and works in Chicago. Prolific as both a solo artist and collaborator, he has released albums under his own name and as COIN (Opal Tapes), with percussionist Steven Hess as Cleared (Immune Recordings), and with Joseph Clayton Mills as Maar (Umor Rex, Entr’acte). He sings and plays guitar in the experimental rock group Luggage (Don Giovanni Records). An MFA graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

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    Sankt Otten – Zwischen Demut und Disco

    The duo Sankt Otten from Osnabrueck (Germany), founded in 1999 and consisting of Stephan Otten and Oliver Klemm, releases music on Denovali since 2009. After Männerfreundschaften und Metaphysik (2016), a collaboration record with experimental guitarist „N“, Sankt Otten finally release their first new album since Engtanz Depression (2015).

    Their new record starts with Das endgültige Scheitern der Melancholie (en.: the final failure of melancholy), which seems to be unfamiliar due to its euphoric mood, but also shows that Sankt Otten consequently develop their music in a sovereign way. The title track Zwischen Demut und Disco (en.: Between humility and disco) then particularly brings to the fore the duo’s admiration of analog synthesizers – timeless instrumental music without nostalgic flashbacks to the past. Warm electronica, human being and machine hand in hand, infused by an almost danceable beat who induces head-nodding.

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    Prairie – After the Flash Flood

    Prairie is the project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Marc Jacobs, hailing from Brussels with roots in The Netherlands. He previously released an EP (I’m so in love I almost forgot I survived a Disaster – 2013) and an LP (Like a Pack of Hounds – 2015) on the Berlin imprint Shitkatapult. On stage, Prairie plays with two or three musicians and together they re-create a free association of musical ideas and atmospheres. Prairie has played in selected venues and festivals across Europe and toured with Apparat in 2016.

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    Nadia Struiwigh – WHRRu

    “WHRRu” combines the warm electronics and dynamic sound of Nadia’s previous works with a new film-composing orientated cinematic sound and approach. The result is a ten tracks album with electronic listening music for quiet nights and long journeys.

    Nadia says: ‘”WHHRu” is written with emotions and memories from my childhood. The use of acoustic instruments and synthesizers gave me the opportunity to settle a past/ future concept for all the chapters. Going back to those moments helped me to close a book and to find a safe place within myself. My own story has just started.’

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    Birds Of Passage – The Death of Our Invention

    Masterworks of minimalism and glacial beauty. With Birds of Passage, New Zealand based Alicia Merz presents us with an endearing invitation into her fragile world, a captivating journey through the landscapes of her emotional euphoria and agony, a further commitment to musical experimentation.

    The cold minimalist-drones, distorted field recordings, and sparse instrumentation, illustrate an icy, desolate and dark world. With allusions to dark-pop and classic broken-folk, the reverb drenched instrumentation, metaphorical fairytale lyrics, and anti-climactic compositions remind us that Alicia Merz is a singer songwriter for people who don’t like singer songwriters. After four years of silence, Merz returns with the fourth full length ‘The Death of Our Invention’.

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    Terminal Sound System – The Endless Sea

    From Rebirth and a four track recorder in the year 1999 to broken tape machines, untuned guitars/synths and extreme signal processing an eternity later, Terminal Sound System has remained the primary musical outlet for musician/producer Skye Klein.

    It is about stories. There is a narrative, albeit disjointed. Tends to come in threes, like dramatic characters; introduction, exploration, disintegration. It’s about stories, creating a world with sound and words and exploring that until it (inevitably) folds back on itself and starts to self-reference, decay, but also sprout appendages, potentialities.

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    Nanook of the North

    Nanook of the North are Stefan Wesołowski and Piotr Kaliński (also known as Hatti Vatti) – two acclaimed Polish musicians whose simpatico merging of compositional roles are blended as seamlessly as their use of acoustic and electronic sounds. Recording sessions broadly found Stefan playing violin and piano parts with additional synth touches and Piotr taking care of electronics, more synths and the final mix.

    Upon being invited by the Sopot Film Festival next to their hometown of Gdansk to perform an improvised score to a film screening, the duo chose Robert J. Flaherty’s classic 1922 silent movie of the same name – ‘Nanook of the North’. Keen to maintain and nurture the initial ambient essence of the film, the duo travelled to Iceland where they recorded the album in Reykjavík and later mixed it in Greenland.

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    Orson Hentschel – Facades

    nly six months after his sophomore album, which has showcased a “tense repetition of short phrases, often building big, dramatic pieces starting with a single stuck-in-the-machine sound” (Decoder) and an “analogue cyber trip-hop of an impressive depth of focus as an acoustic furniture for an apocalypse lounge” (Groove), Hentschel returns with a two-piece EP showcasing yet another aspect of his musical spectrum. While the first two albums featured only instrumental tracks, “Facades” are the first two pieces in which Orson Hentschel works with text as a main musical element for his composition, although he approaches vocals from a rather particular perspective.

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    Waelder – Non Places

    Wælder are moving between ambient, industrial and pop. Their rhythms and soundscapes of voices, obscure samples and distorted field-recordings build spaces of barren material and soft ground, which teem and crawl – strange and harmonious. To present their music live, Wælder are mixing analogue and digital effects with guitar, synthesizers, vocals and loops. Rhythms and atmospheres blur, dissolve and re-assemble. Their live shows are often framed by visuals, generated in collaboration with various visual artists.

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    Dale Cooper Quartet – Astrild Astrild

    The Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones are returning with their 4th album called “Astrild Astrild”. Like all of the previous albums, the band recorded the seven pieces at home in Britanny during several sessions between 2013 and 2016.

    The characteristics of this full-length are classic drone soundscapes mixed with deep tone saxophone parts that became the band’s trademark since the release of their debut album in 2006. Slowly paced, the new tracks are following the Quartet’s basic structure and classical sound. Apart from that the new full length conceals more live takes including guitars, bass and Rhodes keys and even piano sounds are haunting for the first time at the end of ‘Ocho Acenteur’. With these new elements the songs of “Astrild Astrild” are pushed further into a large tunnel of deafening rhythmic parts and field ambiant textures.

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    Orson Hentschel – Electric Stutter

    Describing Orson Hentschel only as a composer of contemporary music does not do him justice. In his self-conception as an audio-visual artist he creates his own live show, combining lights, visuals and fog to a stunning atmosphere, which cannot be eluded. Supported by live-drummer Lukas Baumgart, Hentschel delivers a sound, whose energy is physically palpable and electrifies the audience. A live-show generating an intense experience, going to the limit and erasing any sense of time. Orson Hentschel moves perceptions not merely through sheer volume, but with driving repetitions and extensive tension.

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    Notilus – ST

    Notilus is the new project of five established French musicians combining cinematic soundscapes, energetic jazz and atmospheric live electronics. With a decent amount of performances at several French festivals the quintet presents its s/t debut album via Denovali in spring 2017. The cleverly compiled repertoire varies from positively trombone and sax driven jazz parts with a deep sense for sophisticated melodies to calmer, melancholic soundscapes back to beat driven, dynamic, buzzy sound cascades. Sometimes the albums delivers a feeling of a soundtrack for a 70s crime movie – sometimes it sounds like an intergalactic, retro-futuristic trip – always with an ironic and positive view on the own creative work

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    Ensemble Economique – In Silhouette

    Four panel digipak…

    “In Silhouette” is unmistakably the product of Brian Pyle, who once again returns as Ensemble Economique. Well over a decade ago, Pyle and his merry band of Starving Weirdos popped onto the scene from out of nowhere. Truth be told, that ‘nowhere’ is Humboldt County, California whose grand mythologies about its marijuana industry dwarfs all others. The Weirdos, not averse to method acting through Humboldt’s prized chemistry, stood an unusual chimera in the world of out-rock and avant-garde practitioners. Electronic-Improv, fuck-all auto-didacticism, and monotone psychedelia. Too feral to be AMM, too electronic to be NNCK, too discordant to be :zoviet*france:. As the Weirdos slowed to halt, Pyle’s restless energy insisted that he go on. Hence Ensemble Economique. Over an impressive catalogue of albums, he steadfastly continues down this rabbithole, polishing and refining his craft into a signature polyglot of expressionist collage.

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    Paco Sala – The Silent Season

    After the release of last autumn’s 6 track “Ko Yo” 12” on Denovali, Paco Sala return with a fifth full length album, their first since 2015.  The Silent Season is the net result of a full tibiofemoral dislocation, a lot of surgery, a lot of really heavy drugs, a seemingly open-ended period of housebound isolation & a subsequent hazy regression to roots and influences. The Silent Season is a fever-dream, embodying the period of physical stasis & marking a shift from the outsider pop structures of previous releases. Here instead the duo employ delirious, morphing synth structures intertwined with semi-lucid samples and haunting vocals. All tracks were recorded in improvised sessions over the course of January 2016, before being shared for finishing touches in Berlin. Tracks are presented inclusive of the players’ errors, recording mistakes & creative decisions made without reference to consequence.

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    Rosenqvist / Collings – Hello Darkness

    Four panel digital…

    After his highly acclaimed ‘A Requiem For Edward Snowden’ LP, Matthew Collings returns with a collaboration with Swedish sound artist Dag Rosenqvist. ‘Hello Darkness’ is dark and it is bleak and it’s fragmented. It feels like those days when you want to just annihilate everything, and then stare at a river. It demands your attention. It sounds like it’s breaking from the inside. It’s serious. And not…

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    Talvihorros – And It Was So

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    Talvihorros is London based composer Ben Chatwin’s study of guitar and electronics. Numerous techniques are used to coax a myriad of sounds from both acoustic and electric guitars. Home-made and vintage electronic equipment are used to loop, process and manipulate improvised material into dense and dark sound collages.

    What started out as a personal challenge to make an album in 7 days grew into something else entirely. Over a year in the making, and expanding his trademark guitar sound with drums, strings, bells, organs and synthesisers, ‘And It Was So’ features contributions from fellow label mates Field Rotation (violin) and Petrels (cello) along with tour partner Jordan Chatwin (drums/percussion) and long time collaborator Anais Lalange (viola).

    If last years album ‘Descent Into Delta’ was reminiscent of plunging into the murky depths, his latest offering ‘And It Was So’ evokes the expansiveness, dynamicism and density of the cosmos . Attempting to find order in chaos is something Talvihorros has been striving to achieve over the past three albums and he has never balanced these elements so beautifully.

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    Talvihorros – Some Ambulance

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    Thick gatefold covers printed on rough cardboard, 180g vinyl, black inner sleeves, free mp3 download code. This is ultraclear vinyl, limited to 150 pieces…

    Some Ambulance should be the first port of call for those with even a passing interest in where electro-acoustic and ambient music is heading in 2009/10, while I can imagine the uninitiated finding lots to love too. There’s a strong STEVE REICH influence prevalent here, especially the skillful use of slide-rule repetition, particularly found on ‘The Blue Cathedral’ and ‘Etude IV‘. But other tracks take different routes, ‘Death of a Dream‘ paints a bleak MORRICONE-esque picture with its forlorn guitar and solemn atmosphere created using a vibrant tapestry of sounds as its backdrop. While ‘A Rural Place‘ contains a staggered synth-rythmn and discordant effects that reminds me of something THOM YORKE might come up with in his solo ventures. My favourite composition comes in the form of haunting opener ‘Handwriting (Part 1)‘ (and indeed it’s closing part which ends this release) mainly down to the fact I can detect a strong Labradford influence from the way it builds from its grainy beginnings into a vast melancholic dronescape flickered with static and tape hiss. The effect of the whole piece is somewhat gratifying and I can’t help but recall the first time I heard Nelson and co’s seminal ‘Praizision‘ I’ve found myself going back to this record time and time again. It’s endlessly listenable and it packs a surprise with each spin. A bit like Rudi Arapahoe’s 2008 record ‘Echoes From One To Another‘, Talvihorros’ release has come from nowhere and knocked me sideways. It is not an exaggeration to say this is one of my favourite records this year. – Michael Henaghan

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    Talvihorros – Music In Four Movements

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    Thick gatefold covers printed on rough cardboard, thick black inner sleeves, 180g vinyl, free mp3 download code. This is ultraclear vinyl, limited to 150 pieces…

    With ‘Music in Four Movements’ I set out to compose four long pieces of music that would act as suites rather than shorter melodic songs as I had done on my previous record ‘Some Ambulance’. Using longer time frames afforded the sounds time and space with which to evolve and move. This has led to what could be labelled as my most ambient work i have released but I think also the most intense.

    Throughout the recording process I became interested in the fundamental ideas of life and death and why people would choose to take their own lives, (reading ‘The Road’ on a day long train back to London from Scotland, hungover after New Year certainly contributed to this). Slowly a narrative presented itself and the 4 tracks started to represent a journey of the final days of someone who has chosen to end everything. I became particularly interested in reading stories about people who drowned themselves in rivers or the sea – a bleak yet strangely beautiful image of someone walking their final walk into the sea became a strong visual influence for the record.

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