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    Fursaxa – Mycorrhizae Realm

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    Fursaxa is Tara Burke. Formerly a member of the Silbreeze band UN, Tara started her Fursaxa project in 1999 after UN disbanded. Since then Fursaxa has released six full length albums on the Acid Mothers Temple label, Ecstatic Peace, Time Lag, Eclipse, Last Visible Dog, and ATP.  
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    Fursaxa – Alone In The Dark Wood

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    Alone in the Dark Wood is the fifth full-length release from West Philly-based solo artist TAra Burke aka Fursaxa who boasts a fan base with the likes of Bardo Pond, Acid Mothers Temple and Thurston Moore who released a record by her on his Ecstatic Peace! imprint.  
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    Elian – Whispers, Then Silence

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    To say Michael Duane Ferrell (the man behind the Elian moniker) is a patient man would be something of an understatement. But then the work of Elian is all incredibly understated anyway, so it all fits nicely. I first heard Elian’s work through mutual contacts, my first experience being ‘We Are All Visitors Here’ on the rather wonderful Test Tube label. In fact, if you go over the work he has released, you will instantly notice a person who clearly takes his time and treats each album as a labour of love in the fullest sense.  
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    Amnon Wolman – Sustains

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    ‘Sustains’ is an hypnotic journey to Mr. Wolman’s musical personality, a journey into sound and silence, thoughts and feelings, mixed together in a unique way… and the journey sustains, fades in and out of a dream like state where the music is no longer only define notes and sound structures – it is a whole living form.  
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    :take: – s/t

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    After opening our series of split vinyls with white/lichens last year, :take: is back with an EP, and this time, it’s through a new media, i.e. CD format. This great adventure between the label and the guitarist goes on and we hope that we will continue our collaboration in the future. That being said, you should know that we are truly fond of this beautiful project that begun two years ago. Recorded and mixed at home with heart by Laurent Bichara, it was then mastered by Jeremy Lemos. This should be the last step before :take:’s debut album.  
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    Baylis – Howard – McCallum

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    New release from Manchester-based collaboration featuring the talents of Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra), Paul Baylis (Carmen) & Jon Howard (J. J. Howard). These artists present over an hour of free-flowing, melodic music free from the constraints of traditional composition. Recorded live in one session during the summer of 2010 at Strangeway Studios, Manchester. Limited to 250 copies.  
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    Gultskra Artikler – Kasha iz Topora

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    Last time we came across Russian pranksters Gultskra Artikler they were a duo comprising of Alexey Devyanin and Dmitry Garin, but since the release of the haunting ‘Pofigistka’ on the Lampse label in 2006, Garin has left the band leaving Devyanin to come up with the most definitive Gultskra Artikler statement to date; ‘Kasha Iz Topora’.    
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    Arkhonia – Trails/Traces

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    Arkhonia’s “Trails/Traces” fulfils the much promised, but seldom delivered, remit of large portions of ambient music – “to take the listener on a journey”… From the deep rumblings of the album’s opener to the final decaying notes and crackles of its closing track, all manner of mood-shifting experimentation directs (and occasionally derails) the listener along a sonic path that is at times unnerving and, at others, warmly welcoming.  
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    Chris Weisman & Greg Davis – Northern Songs

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    Northern Songs is the blissful sound of Chris Weisman leaving his body and dissolving into the universe; he sounds very free. Greg Davis (electronic music composer, fractal maker) helps the usually obsessive Chris (psychedelic four-tracker, music artist) surrender to the void.
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    The Fun Years / Cut featuring Gibet – Split Vol. 2

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    Two is the right number to symbolize this release. Here is the second volume of our split series that highlights 2 two-man bands living in two different cities. Whereas the fun years live in different parts of the United States, .cut is based in Montreal and Lyon, where gibet, Albérick’s accomplice, lives. Musically, this record gathers two of the most exciting laptop & guitar duets.  
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    The Gentleman Losers – Rural Route No.5

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    These tracks are a travelogue mapping paths taken in Europe during the past year or so. Snapshots, based on improvisations drawing inspiration from the quieter moments of a nomadic life: a snowstorm in Helsinki, a hot September night in Berlin and a dusk in the Swiss countryside outside of Lucerne.  
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    Fursaxa – Lepidoptera

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    A previous member of the band UN, Tara Burke (aka Fursaxa) is now one of the epicenters and key collaborators of the North American free-folk movement, along with such luminaries as Jack Rose, Charalambides, Ben Chasny and the Jewelled Antler Collective.  
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    Andrea Ferraris / Matteo Uggeri – Autumn Is Coming

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    Experimental music, by its very nature, is often unconcerned with melody; other qualities of sound and music are explored, taken apart and reconstructed with the intent of presenting the listener with surprising new ways to engage with the listening experience. Many commendable aural experiences have been produced by mere tweaking of single variables within sound; much of the ambient canon relies on a relatively minimal bag of tricks. It is, however, clear from the outset that “Autumn is Coming…” is a very different beast indeed.
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    For Barry Ray – New Days

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    For Barry Ray is the husband and wife duo of Carina Thorén (Sweden) and John Chantler (Australia). After a number of compilation appearances, long gone CDrs and lathe cut records under various guises, the pair bunked down over the winter of 06/07 to lay the foundations for ‘New Days’, kicking off things Christmas morning with the gift of a London turned silent and a sky free of planes.  
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    Zelienople – Hollywood

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    Hollywood has a real sense of symmetry, dividing itself into two pieces of almost identical length (both hover around the twenty-one-and-a-half minute mark), capturing the Chicago avant-rockers in starkly tenebrous form, carving out drone-shaped sounds from synthesizer, percussion, saxophone and flute.  
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    Small Color – In Light

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    Four years after the release of their debut album Outflow, Japan’s Small Color, a duo comprised of Rie Yoshihara (aka Trico!) (accordion, voice, vintage keyboard instruments) and Yusuke Onishi (guitar, banjo, bass, programming and production) are back with the beautifully polished In Light. This album marks what some may consider a departure for 12k: sublime and gentle, minimal, acoustic J-pop, which once may have been destined for the now-defunct Happy label, but can now sit comfortably beside 12k’s roster of electronic/acoustic ambient hybrids.  
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    thisquietarmy & Scott Cortez – Meridian

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    The collaboration between Scott Cortez and thisquietarmy doesn’t really come as a surprise. The latter acknowledges that the previous works from Cortez (under the lovesliescrushing moniker) greatly influenced his work, to the point of using the same way of writing the band’s name (no capital letter and no spaces between words) for his actual solo project. The main thing that they have in common is their unconventional use of the guitar, which they consider as a signal generator. They then process those sounds through various effects, to obtain a different result than that of the original signal until the source becomes almost undetectable. Meridians is also the first vinyl production from thisquietarmy, as it is Scott Cortez’s first under his real name.
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    Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek – Cello Recycling / Cello Drowning

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    Rutger Zuydervelt, a man better known to the experimental music world as Machinefabriek is somewhat prolific; a fact you might have gathered from his steady flow of super-limited edition 3” cdrs which seem to slip out relentlessly month after month. American multi-instrumentalist Aaron Martin is possibly less productive only having one full-length album to his name so far, but he is no less intriguing and between them the duo have come up with a project which is far more than the sum of its parts.  
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    Wreaths – Like Sparks From Throats Falling

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    Wreaths is the moniker of Michael R Donaldson. He creates experimental music with a variety of instruments and techniques and has an idiosyncratic approach to capturing the ideas which reside in his head. Like Sparks From Throats Falling opens with ‘Nautical Almanac’. The track begins with long drones and electronics. Slowly building, the effect is mesmerising, then suddenly everything falls away into the abyss, ending with hushed tones, a hint of what’s to come. ‘O! Like Falling Snow’ proffers a more melancholic mood, with plaintive guitar playing backed by mournful strings. The piece is sublime and the delicate guitar feels like it may falter and fall apart at any moment, the fragility lending emphasis to the beauty present.
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    Death Vessel – Stay Close

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    Death Vessel is Joel Thibodeau’s work as both a solo artist and band leader. His music, captured on the resplendent record “Stay Close”, is an eloquent distillation of a life’s tales. Born in Berlin, Germany before The Wall fell… raised in Kennebunkport, Maine before the senior Bush’s presidency… this musician lived a childhood where the ghosts of Cold War casualties and seaport tragedies haunted the alleyways and beaches.  
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    Twinsistermoon – The Hollow Mountain

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    Twinsistermoon is the solo project of Mehdi Ameziane of Natural Snow Buildings, The Hollow Mountain was originally issued by Dull Knife Records in 2009 as an LP limited to only 105 copies, unsurprisingly it sold out in a matter of hours…  
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    Small Town Boredom – Autumn Might Have Hope

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    Small Town Boredom are an aptly named duo from Paisley, consisting of Fraser McGowan and Colin Morrison. Their debut album Autumn Might Have Hope was released through Trome Records in 2008, and despite arriving to it late I’ve become quite transfixed by it’s perfectly languid encapsulation of the frustrations of both small town life and small town mentality. There’s a sense of hopelessness which permeates the low key compositions, sculpted primarily through acoustic instrumentation and the odd swell of subtle electronics. The key ingredient though is the vocals, which exude the kind of lethargy of broken dreams. The songs are hushed and intimate, like whisperings of thoughts which you try not to dwell on for too long and never quite break to the forefront. The lyrics are delivered with such blunt honesty though that it’s impossible not to confront the issues dealt with, particulalrly given the relative sparsity of the production.  
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    Akron/Family – Love Is Simple 2xLP

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    For those of you who have seen my simpering, slavishly devotional blurbs and press releases in the past re Akron/Family, wherein I make ridiculous claims about them (which I happen to believe!), it should come as no surprise to you now when I reiterate they are one of the best bands on the planet. I don’t recall seeing such fantastic live shows ever, except maybe Pere Ubu at the Whisky in LA circa 1978 or Pink Floyd circa Umma Gumma era 1968/9.  
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    Small Town Boredom – Notes from the Infirmary

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    Artists thrive on emotional extremes, moments of unprecedented joy or crushing sadness. It is easier to transcribe these feelings into music. Middle grounds are much too complicated to address with music, the confusion, the mood swings come fast and what would seem like a perfect fit with one’s emotions at one point make no sense after a few minutes. They lack clarity. Melancholy drenched songs in particular seem to connect better with the receivers of music than their happier counterparts. Steven Wilson, mastermind behind Progressive rock group Porcupine Tree, once introduced one of their saddest songs “Stop Swimming” by saying “this next song is a very sad song, but if you’re like me, you’ll find that the saddest songs are also the most beautiful”. I find this to hold true.
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    Pitre / Ensemble – Organized Pitches Occurring In Time

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    Organized Pitches Occurring in Time consists of two 25 minute pieces of music, both spawned from the same conceptual composition/score by Duane Pitre, titled Ensemble Drones. With their form reminiscent of works by La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music and their tonality touching on the floating works of Terry Riley, ‘The Ensemble Chord in Eb with a Minor 7th and a Pump Organ Base’ & ‘The Ensemble Chord in C with a Major 7th and a Guitar Base’ are aural tapestries based on a minimal tonal palette with their instrumentation consisting of guitars, alto saxophones, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, tone generator, and pump organ.  
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    Tomas Phillips & Marihiko Hara – Prosa

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    Prosa marks the first collaboration between Marihiko Hara and Tomas Phillips… Utilizing a diverse range of instrumentation, both electronic and acoustic, Prosa is as still as it is dynamic. Its formation (a transcontinental process, through the post) was an exercise of patience and concerted application alike. Thematically (but indirectly), Prosa shares a space with writers whose palette wavers between existential crisis, awkward distance, and snapshots of emotional expenditure (e.g. Jean-Philippe Toussaint) and with certain “quiet” descriptions found in classical Japanese literature.
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    M. Ostermeier – Chance Reconstruction

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    M. Ostermeier first two releases were both in mini-album form:  Percolate on [parvo art] and Lakefront on Hibernate.  These releases garnered strong reviews in The Wire, Textura, and The Silent Ballet for juxtaposing melancholic stillness with restrained post-rock urgency.  Throughout, the fragmented piano infused with electronic textures and field recordings established a melancholic and reflective mood but more through style than through melody.
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    Piiptsjilling – Wurdskrieme

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    Wurdskrieme is one of two new releases from Piiptsjilling, a quartet that is formed of Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt. The name Piiptsjilling (pronounced ‘peep-chilling’) is Frisian; a language which Jan Kleefstra uses for the poetry he reads to accompany the improvised sonic worlds that the remaining three members create with guitars, effects, loopers and the voice… In March 2010 the band took to an intensive 2-day improvised recording session with the goal of creating nothing more than beautiful, challenging music. The session resulted in two-and-a-half hours of material which was mixed and edited into two separate albums. Did they succeed with their simple goal? Yes. Yes they did.
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    Mount Eerie – Black Wooden

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    Black Wooden is the coming together of ideas that had travelled with Mount Eerie for months and had solidified into compositions in the days and hours before the studio session. The title itself refers acutely to the genre black metal–perhaps less surprising a reference considering black metal often shares Mount Eerie’s appreciation with low fidelity production aesthetics (among many other things), and that Phil Elverum had just been in Norway before arriving in the UK. Southern Studios’ well-established approach of getting out of the way and letting the performance speak for itself has never been more successful than in Mount Eerie’s Black Wooden session.
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    Mike Jedlicka & Cloudburst – Tabor / NW Passage

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    Mike Jedlicka and Cloudburst share Optic Echo’s return to vinyl with this ambient, field recording laden 12”. Copies are hand numbered in a limited edition of 160, and silkscreened on recycled cardboard sleeves. Art by Marcus Fisher, mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k.
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    Tim Hecker – Norberg

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    Recorded at the Norberg Festival (Sweden) amidst the mineshafts and cluttered buildings strewn throughout parts the city, this 21 minute live piece summarises much of what makes Tim Hecker’s music so vital and compelling. Adept at counter-pointing the most ferocious of distorted platters with smooth beds of ambient sound and potent melodic overtones, Tim Hecker creates music with a vast depth. On Norberg, this depth seems almost endless, as layer upon layer of sound are compiled into a swelling and all together visceral oceanic sound wave. Recently touring Australia and New Zealand and performing at ROOM40’S annual festival Open Frame, this CD comes on the back of some incredible live performances in the Southern Hemisphere.
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    FNS – FNS

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    Despite being his first recording for Miasmah, it transpires that FNS or Fredrik Ness Sevendal is in fact a veteran of the Oslo experimental scene. Having collaborated with several groups over the years, FNS is very much his solo project. Using a variety of instruments, but predominantly focusing on guitar, there is a premeditated approach here; an effort to ensure the lo-fi nature of the record is appreciated by the listener.
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    Ben Nash / Sophie Cooper – Alchemy

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    Recorded over a weekend back in the early months of 2009, here are 2 tracks of multi instrumental composition from Ben Nash and Sophie Cooper (CooperJones)… The music here is truly beautiful, personally I think this is some of the best work to come from both Ben and Sophie so far. Total late night guitar meanderings blurred with a haze of deep churning scrapes from various instruments and layered drone bliss, creating 2 totally immersive and beautiful psychedelic drone.
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    Bio + Larkian + Les Poissons Autistes

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    Three:four is happy to introduce you to its first totally Swiss record. Although half of the label is based in Lausanne, we haven’t had the opportunity to work with local bands before. Consider it done with this new record that gathers the cream of the scene from Romandy. Their discographies are proof enough of the vast musical universe they evolve into, with a tendency for all experimentations.
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    Cory Allen – Pearls

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    Cory Allen’s ‘Pearls’ is one of those albums that don’t want you to get too comfortable. The album’s press release suggests that it explores ‘existential landscape’ – two words I don’t think I’ve ever seen put together before with regards to music, but somehow fitting. The album is not exactly inviting but isn’t cold either. It is an album that has a clearly defined narrative in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time. Allen is always working toward an end goal and there is an almost existential philosophical statement in this small self-contained album.
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    Cezary Gapik – Contrast

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    Contrast I is the latest work from Polish experimental musician Cezary Gapik and comes via White Box Recordings, the first in a trilogy of the artists works to be released by the label… When first experiencing a work that comprises two tracks, half of which could fairly be described as noise, one cannot help but consider the artist and their intentions, to try and gauge their sincerity. In this case though, the artists intent can be safely assured. With a long history of noise-making, Gapik has an extensive back catalogue of small run releases and CDr’s. Born 1963 in Czestochowa, Poland, Gapik was originally drawn to Punk Rock and Post-Punk while an interest in avant-garde icons such as Morton Feldman also existed alongside his more confrontational tastes. Presumably touched by the 1980′s industrial music scene, the artists bio refers to his music as ‘power electronics’, a term coined by the ever controversial William Bennett of infamous noise legends Whitehouse.
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    Gurun Gurun – Gurun Gurun

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    Gurun Gurun is a Czech-based experimental, weird ambient & improvised music collective formed in the autumn 2007 by guitarist Tomas Knoflicek and keyboardist Jara Tarnovski… Their musical work combines guitars, analogue synthesizers, turntables, acoustic instruments and digital effects to span musical spaces ranging from hypno-minimalist atmospheres to warm tones of slow moving, repetitive melodic stanzas. Their twelve track debut album is a balancing act of frenetic yet sedate melodic layering that dances between chaotic and considered; multiple tones vie for space around central melodies that sound as though they could have been sampled from multiple genres of film soundtrack.
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    Ambit – Issue 203

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    Edited by Martin Bax since 1959 and publishing everyone from B S Johnson, JG Ballard and Carol Ann Duffy to Fleur Adock, Geoff Nicholson and Jonathan Lethem, Ambit is perfect for anyone looking for lively and compelling poetry, fiction and art from a spirited mix of writers.
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    Baseline Issue 58 (Book)

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    Baseline covers the related areas of graphic art, multimedia, architecture and typographic design. The articles are written by internationally recognised contributors and its design and print production regularly wins major international design awards. Issue 58: Welcome to Baseline issue 58, our spring issue. As usual the designs of the cover and jacket reflect some aspects of the features published here. The cover shows the numbers 50 and 8 in Lagoon, an Armenian typeface by Carolyn Puzzovio. The jacket, which doubles as poster, is a photographic collage of urban stencil characters. The two books, which are reviewed, are essential references for any serious design library. Paul Shaw reflects on Helmut Schmid’s homage to Emil Ruder, typographer and educator at the renowned Kunstgewerbeschule in Basle. Paul Razzell comments on David Jury’s vast 400 pages artist book reference catalogue, which presents an important record of the first biennial Codex Book Fair and Symposium, Berkeley, California.
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    Alexander Tucker – Old Fog (CD)

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    Alexander Tucker began as the vocalist in post-rock hardcore 5-piece ‘Unhome’ who released one album “A Short History of Houses” (Unlabel) and a split single with Papa M. Unhome split in late 1999 and Tucker went on to tour with Detroit space-rockers ‘Fuxa’. Simultaneously, Tucker had been developing his interest in improvisation using detuned guitars, tape loops, mini disc player and fx pedals. In early 2000 Tucker recorded a solo self-titled album of acoustic finger-picking, experimental electronics, field recordings and spooked vocals, which was picked up by Tom Greenwood of Jackie-O-Motherfucker and released under his U-Sound Archives label.
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