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    Richard Youngs – Red Alphabet in the Snow (CD)

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    Red Alphabet in the Snow is a solo album by the extremely prolific but highly talented Richard Youngs. Two 17-minute pieces, in which Youngs layers acoustic guitars, banjo, cifteli, bass guitar, electric lead guitars, electric violin, epinette des vosges, shakers, sitar, swanee whistle, tambourine, triangle, 12-string guitar, ukulele, and his own voice, build up a meandering instrumental, acoustic, and even psychedelic mix. Each side of the album is made up of various compositions woven together with instrumentation, but which seem to flow seamlessly into a rich and resonant whole. Recorded in Krakow, Poland, and at home in Glasgow.  
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    Vitaly Beskrovny – Movements

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    Vitaly Beskrovny’s third album ‘Movements’ on Preserved Sound, sees him go for the stripped-down piano sound. When he first approached us about releasing Movements we discussed adding strings to the pieces, but decided to go for a much simpler style. The album is a wonderful mixture of Nils Frahm and Yann Tiersen, with just a slight hint of Beethoven.
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    Poppy Nogood – Music for Mourning

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    Influenced by the neo-romantic emotional minimalism of such artists as Max Richter, Bing & Ruth, Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Music for Mourning attempts to capture the emotions and feelings associated with a sense of mourning or loss via fast, schizophrenic juxtapositions of mood. “I like to restrict myself to a key, a series of notes, a repeating motive and improvise around it to see what comes out,” says Poppy Nogood. “I also believe that truth can come out through improvisation – being forced to make decisions in the moment and following natural instincts.” Having started learning classical violin from the age of three, Poppy Nogood is much more interested in understanding how the violin can be used in his own unique way rather than for technical virtuosity. He’s also obsessed with Romantic music and the idea of conveying a narrative of individual struggle through music, and is looking for a sound that is both tragic and beautiful. “Recording is an integral part of my composition process,” he says “I really don’t know where I’m going until I start recording.” Poppy Nogood is an American composer and violinist. Music for Mourning is his first album on Preserved Sound.
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    Tess Said So – I Did That Tomorrow

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    I Did That Tomorrow is a collection of pieces about initiation and reaction, travel and stillness, simplicity and mutation. The sound world of piano, percussion and electronics, engineered at Will Larsen’s Recliner Studios in Melbourne, shifts through organic, improvisatory, imperfect patterns, playing with the idea of movement in light, space, and liquid, usually resolving – though not necessarily tonally – for a sense of agreement. Tess Said So is the creative partnership of musicians Rasa Daukus and Will Larsen. Adopting a pop sensibility to a classical format, Rasa and Will write and perform all their own material. More like a band than a traditional classical ensemble, they are influenced by a shared interest in new music and blurring the lines that define musical genre.
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    Tess Said So – Scramble / Fate

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    All music composed and played by Tess Said So Rasa Daukus – piano | Will Larsen – percussion Tess Said So is a piano and percussion duo that provide a sound that falls into the interstices between neo-classic and jazz. Most, though not all, of this is rather down tempo, almost ambient, with a touch here and there of a minimalist feel. It's only due to the use of a drum kit that it has a jazz vibe at all, at least to my ear (listen to tracks 4, 7, or 10). Quite mellow overall, and very well done, I don't hesitate to recommend this.
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    North Side Drive – Snow / Sea / Sky

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    Snow // Sea // Sky is an EP by North Side Drive, the moniker of artist Jonathan Pearson, and continues the elements-based theme of his previous two EPs. Using piano and electronics, “Snow” is full of textures, clocking in at over ten minutes, and sets up the rest of the EP beautifully. A fast, staccato piano line slowly builds, with piano chords and electronics, falling into ambient noise; only for the piano line to re-emerge. “Sea” is a much more modern-classical melody, gentle, and leads the way to a more robust “Sky”. The album comes as a pressed CD, in a handmade, recycled card sleeve and insert, hand stamped and numbered on the back, and limited to 150 copies.
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    Visionary Hours – Footfalls Echo

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    Combining strings, guitar, vocals, flute and clarinet, Visionary Hours creates slowly evolving pieces full of space and gently revealed micro melodies. Using genuine tape delay created through a Revox B77 reel to reel tape recorder played by Richard Formby (Spectrum, Mogwai, Dakota Suite), as well as other tape effects to create warm swathes of sound that underpin the melodies, the result is an album that sits somewhere between the acoustic-ambient and modern-classical genres.
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    Covarino / Incorvaia – Perugia

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    Playing with total freedom from any predefined structure, Covarino/Incorvaia entered a studio in Granada, Spain, with just one rule – to play strictly live, not use any studio trickery such as overdubs or editing, and just see how the music would evolve. The result is an instrumental ambient-rock album that takes influences from artists such as Tortoise and The For Carnation. After a break of 14 years without playing music together, Francesco Covarino (drums) and Alessandro Incorvaia (guitar) met for five days in a rehearsal room in their hometown of Perugia in central Italy during Christmas 2015, where they improvised and recorded demos of what would become their new album – Perugia. Several phone calls later, they went into the studio in April 2016 without having played together in four months. Covarino/Incorvaia get together when they can to play music, mostly as a duo or sometimes with the help of a bass player. Perugia is their debut album.
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    Adrian Lane – The Answering Smile

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    The Answering Smile is the second album on Preserved Sound by Adrian Lane. Featuring instruments including alto bowed psaltery, baritone bowed psaltery, violin, acoustic guitar (bowed and plucked), mandolin, zither, percussion and laptop, The Answering Smile is part contemporary classical and part medieval in its influence and sound. This album is for fans of Jozef van Wissem, Stephen Micus (ECM Records), James Blackshaw, and Brethren of the Free Spirit.
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    Max Ananyev – Communication

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    Each piece on Max Ananyev’s album Communication is dedicated to a particular object or phenomenon – the magnetism of water, the energy of different trees, the effect of the moon on the human psyche – all the things we don’t understand, but that we easily feel. For Max, the word “communication” relates to how he perceives the world and his direct contact with the objects in it. Communication uses a range of acoustic instruments and electronic textures to create a sound full of acceleration, deceleration and pauses. At the heart of Max Ananyev’s music is the idea of the variation of dynamics and lack of a stable tempo in composition that mimick the unpredictable processes that occur in nature. “There is so much rhythm and tempo in our daily lives,” says Max, “it sometimes seems to me that our metronomic lifestyles deprives us of a certain freedom and means of expression.” Born and raised in Obluchye, 8,000 kilometers from Moscow on the border with China, Max Ananyev is a Russian composer and sound producer based in St. Petersburg. Communication is his first album on Preserved Sound.
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    Unconditional Arms – Kinship

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    Kinship was written by Jeff Wright for the birth of his son Owen, and can be compared to other acts as Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Mogwai, and The Appleseed Cast. “New life is a beautiful thing, something that one is eager to share with the world … Love overflows on this release, especially in the dialogue of ‘First Look’, but it doesn’t overwhelm … ‘The Family Tree’ possesses a similar sense of ebullience. The peaceful finale, ‘Rest’, implies something that new parents don’t encounter often; but in this case, if Jeffrey can get it, his rest will have been well-deserved.”
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    Western Skies Motel – Prism

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    Western Skies Motel is the solo project of Danish guitarist René Gonzàlez Schelbeck. Exploring the intimate nature of the classical guitar, the thirteen pieces on Prism unfold around a theme of balancing light and darkness, uncovering an undercurrent of reflections on solitude in the creative process. Relying on a variety of open tunings, mantric repetitions and droning strings, Western Skies Motel seeks to create a timeless space where the guitar becomes the lens in which the nuances reveal themselves. The album also sees Western Skies Motel experimenting with the 3rd bridge technique, pioneered by such experimentalists as Fred Frith and Keith Rowe, to create porous harp like timbres that weave through the album, offering a lightness and transparency to the restricted sonic palette of the collection.
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    Poppy Nogood – Mood Paintings

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    Improvised as snapshots of hope, ecstasy, turmoil and longing, mo od paintings by New York composer Poppy Nogood is a self-portrait in four parts. Each movement is a space to live in, a world to breathe – a temporal extension of feelings felt at one particular moment and a tale of cyclical rebirth that mirrors the nature of self-reflection. Inspired by the work of William Basinski , Lawrence English , Pauline Oliveros , Sean McCann, Labrador , The Necks , Bing & Ruth and Gustav Mahler , the most essential aspect of mood paintings is its static central structure and dynamic exterior. Mood paintings is Poppy Nogood ’s second album for Preserved Sound, and the follow-up to Music for Mourning.
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    Visionary Hours – Still Point

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    Still Point by Visionary Hours has been long in the making, but is finally here. This album builds on the idea of using loops, but is much more organic and melodic than the previous The Road to Bashō, using flutes, clarinets, and strings to create an acoustic ambient-classical album.
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    Adrian Lane – Branches Never Remember

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    Evolving as a reaction to the initially recorded melody of each piece, Branches Never Remember adopts the same symbiotic process Lane uses when painting – layering parts up, cutting them up and moving them around, until the finished result is achieved. Indeed, a painter by profession, Lane often works on music and paintings simultaneously. Employing a combination of age-old instruments (alto and baritone bowed psalteries, acoustic guitar, violin, banjo, zither, glockenspiel, piano) but constructing the pieces in a way that could only be achieved with modern technology, Branches Never Remember takes influences from Early music, folk, world and contemporary classical, ambient and electronica. Lane thinks of the pieces as a kind of ‘contented melancholy’, although admits that the addition of frame drum, played by Wil Proctor, changes the mood with an almost heroic feel at times. Branches Never
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    Endless Melancholy – Music for Quiet Mornings

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    Endless Melancholy is the solo-project of self-taught musician, Oleksiy Sakevych. “Music For Quiet Mornings” follows a couple of self-released EPs and is an album recorded at home aimed at creating a nice soundtrack to the various quiet moments of your life.
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    Visionary Hours – The Road to Basho

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    Visionary Hours creates mainly instrumental music. Combining the sound of strings, guitar, voice and clarinet, he creates slowly evolving ambient/modern-classical pieces, full of space and gently revealed micro melodies. This technique has been refined on The Road to Bashō, an album inspired by the famous Japanese wandering poet, Matsuo Bashō, released on Preserved Sound in 2012.
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    Grace Beneath The Pines – ST

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    The debut eponymous album by Grace Beneath the Pines takes influences from the raw, methodical emotion of such bands as Codeine, The For Carnation and Slint, fused with the lyrical lightness of Low and Piano Magic. Written with three different formations using three different bass players, each adding their own personality, skill, love and passion to the writing process, Grace Beneath the Pines is a musical journey that takes the listener to different places (musically speaking) through an amalgamation of musical styles and rhythms.
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    Adrian Lane – Lights Are Very Deceptive At Night

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    Adrian Lane’s first album on Preserved Sound, Lights Are Very Deceptive At Night is a wonderful collection of short dark piano pieces, modern-classical piano pieces written in the vein of Eric Satie.
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    Vitaly Beskrovny – Imperfect

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    Seeking perfection in minimalism, Vitaly describes his sound on Imperfect as – piano, mood, simplicity. “The world is imperfect, and people are imperfect – their ideas and actions. Music can also be ‘imperfect’ – but that does not make it unambiguously good or bad. The relative simplicity of melodies, unusual piano sound, piano playing and emotional states – all this can be called imperfection.” Attaching strips of fabric to the piano strings of an upright piano at the Dnepropetrovsk Conservatory, Vitaly asked the sound engineer to be left alone and recorded the pieces in one sitting. Only after recording the piano did Vitaly understand that the album would be called Imperfect. “To some extent, I always try to reach a certain perfection – at work, at home, or within my daily routine. But when I sit down at the piano – everything is different. I rely on feelings, emotions, and give freedom to the fingers. More than anything, with these nine pieces, I’ve tried to achieve a level of honesty with the listener.”
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    Richard Formb – Sine

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    Richard Formby is a producer, mixer and artist, and has worked with the likes of Hood, Fuxa, Darkstar, and the Wild Beasts. Sine is Richard’s first album on Preserved Sound, and consists of a 30-minute one-track album created using a modular synth and a Revox tape machine. The end result is a wonderfully rich organic synth drone ambient piece of music. Sine was recorded using a modular synthesiser and Revox B77 tape recorder, and mixed live in one take on 26th May 2012.
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    Lorenzo Masotto – Rule and Case

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    Searching for equilibrium between classical harmony and the sound of modern music, Rule and Case is a sequence of chords and effects that arrives at the counterpoint between tonal precision and “atonal” freedom – between acoustic instruments and electronics, between the past and present. “Every piece I write comes from a particular moment of my life, an emotion, a meeting, a walk, a picture or a photo that I’ve seen,” says Lorenzo. Lorenzo Masotto’s journey with music began at the age of nine when he started playing piano. Graduating from Conservatorio di Verona, he consequently started studying composition and jazz. Lorenzo also plays in a prog/post rock band called Le Maschere di Clara, directs a male voice choir, writes music for film and theatre, and teaches piano and composition. “I’ve never only thought about writing in just one music style,” he says, “I love all music, and everything I write increases my confidence and ability to write from a wider perspective.”
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    Vitaly Beskrovny – Life on Paper

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    Vitaly Beskrovny is a self-taught composer from Ukraine. He has been writing instrumental pieces for piano and orchestra since 2005. Vitaly’s second album on Preserved Sound entitled Life on Paper is more ambient than Vitaly’s previous work, and uses sound samples recorded near his house in Ukraine.
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    Ales Tsurko – Transliaciya

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    Influenced by such composers as Sergei Rachmaninov, Valentin Silvestrov, Morton Subotnick, François Bayle and Iannis Xenakis, Ales Tsurko uses composition techniques from contemporary classical music and mixes them with elements from the non-academic and electronic fields of music, as well as post rock and shoegaze music. Ales Tsurko is a self-taught composer from Minsk, Belarus. He is also the founder of the Society for the Development of New Music, the purpose of which is to develop and promote contemporary classical music. This is his first album on Preserved Sound
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    Richard Youngs – Red Alphabet in the Snow

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    Red Alphabet in the Snow is a solo album by the extremely prolific but highly talented Richard Youngs. Two 17-minute pieces, in which Youngs layers acoustic guitars, banjo, cifteli, bass guitar, electric lead guitars, electric violin, epinette des vosges, shakers, sitar, swanee whistle, tambourine, triangle, 12-string guitar, ukulele, and his own voice, build up a meandering instrumental, acoustic, and even psychedelic mix. Each side of the album is made up of various compositions woven together with instrumentation, but which seem to flow seamlessly into a rich and resonant whole. Recorded in Krakow, Poland, and at home in Glasgow, the release comes as a 180g vinyl, in a handmade, recycled card sleeve and insert, hand stamped and numbered on the back, and limited to 250 copies.
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