Vanishing Point (Vol. 1): Various Artists
A unique compilation of experimental, alternative & unclassified contemporary music by UK-based artists drawn from across the widest musical spectrum
© 2018 Demerara Records Tracks mastered by Mark L Beazley
1. ROTHKO: Chosen to be forgotten
Mark L Beazley formed Rothko in the mid-nineties and his trademark sound built around multiple Bass Guitars with Ambient Synth and Founds Sounds has seen him enjoy more than twenty years of success and acclaim. Chosen to be forgotten was written and recorded specifically for Vanishing Point (Vol. 1) and juxtaposes his multi-tracked Bass Guitar play against sounds captured on a recent trip to Switzerland. Rothko also released the album Blood demands more blood in 2018, extending the role of ambient noise as part of the Rothko sound and achieving airplay on BBC Radio 3 and BBC 6 Music. Check out Rothko’s Bandcamp page here.
2. BEN VINCE: The Rise
Ben Vince hails from Nottingham but studied at Goldsmiths, University of London and has so far remained in South East London. The speed with which he has built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading improvisation and contemporary music artists has been impressive. His virtuoso saxophone play and his skills as a composer bringing elements of jazz, classical, industrial and other flavours into his work have caught the ear of radio stations and live venues alike. Ben has just embarked on a UK-wide tour. He also recently played a live session on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction with two other artists. Check out Ben’s Bandcamp page here.
3. TIC: Grain
Composer and vocalist Jenni Roditi has been a highly respected figure in contemporary music for many years. Her formation of the unique TIC (The Improvisers’ Choir) with the backing of Arts Council England has enabled her to build an incredible groups of singers who improvise harmonically and rhythmically complex music. The improvisations take on compositional form through Roditi’s conducting. Grain, which features Dilara (see Track 12) and Marcia Willis in a duet, alongside Segun Lee-French, Camilo Menjura, Ebe Oke, Candida Valentino and Yan White, will be released as part of TIC’s forthcoming album (PRS Foundation funded). The track was recorded by Asier Leatxe Ibanez D’opakoa using the Blumlein Stereo Ribbon Microphone. Asier co-produced the track with Jenni. Find more information here.
4. PAULFCOOK: Mater Gloria
2018 is proving to be a year to remember for Paul F Cook. Paul, who is one half of the Indie-Folk-AltPop duo Fenco, composed Mater Gloria as a tribute to his recently departed mother, capturing his footsteps and the church bells in the village where she lived and building a track around it dominated by beautifully constructed and played guitars. Inspired by the response to this track he submitted his track Blues Man to the Fresh on the Net Listening Post and found himself voted emphatically into the top ten Fresh Faves in September 2018. Expect to hear more of his experimental works in 2019. You can also check out Paul’s duo Fenco here and Paul’s solo material here.
5. HALF HOUR AT THE HILTON: Colours (I like it)
South Welsh Avantgardists Half Hour at the Hilton came to the notice of Demerara Records’ Neil March in his role as a moderator and reviews author for Fresh on the Net. Their extraordinary tracks were impossible to ignore and when their track Sphere made the Fresh Faves, it was clear the Listening Post audience agreed. HHATH bring together a mouth-watering cocktail of complex rhythms, Eastern-influenced sounds, lyrics that are impossible for most of us to decipher, rich modal harmonies and great contrasts of sound and dynamic. They hope to be announcing live dates in the near future. Check out their Soundcloud page here.
6. CHOLLY: One a Day
Cholly hails from Lincoln, spent some of her formative years in Swindon and is now based in High Wycombe where she works as a Video Editor and spends as much time as possible honing her unique sound and style while also collaborating with other artists. Another artist who has had recent success through Fresh on the Net she came to Demerara Records’ notice initially as a member of Jon Samsworth’s live band that played the inaugural Vanishing Point gig and subsequently through a Soundcloud page showcasing her fantastic songs of which the haunting ethereal One a Day is an example. Check out her Facebook page here and her Soundcloud page here.
7. GAGARIN: Gates and Fences
Gagarin is a member of Post-Punk legends Pere Ubu and the list of artists he has worked and recorded with includes two members of the Velvet Underground (Nico & John Cale) and a host of other significant experimental and alternative artists (including Rothko). His own material has seen him enjoy a long and successful career and his combination of composed electronica and inventive sound art has seen him featured on Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone and other popular radio shows. Gates and Fences is an exclusive track for Vanishing Point (Vol. 1) and draws on field recordings of gates and fences made for a recent sound installation. Check out his Bandcamp page here.
Aylesbury-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Samsworth is a master of diverse unclassified contemporary music that blends a wide range of influences with the use of found sounds. His live band gave an electrifying performance as headline act at the inaugural Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House and his music has been played on BBC 6 Music’s Freak Zone. Coconut Heralds is taken from his Without Words EP released in 2018 and demonstrates the breadth of his ideas and contrasts of mood and style. Find out more here.
9. HWYL NOFIO: On Skirrid Hill
Brainchild of Pontypool composer and musician Steve Parry, Hwyl Nofio have enjoyed a long and successful career to date as an experimental ambient and electronic music project. With influences as diverse as Neu, John Cage, Jimi Hendrix and the Velvet Underground (among others), Hwyl Nofio have a discography stretching back to 1999 and their fluid membership has included the likes of Rothko’s Mark L Beazley and producer-musician Gorwel Owen. You can also visit their Bandcamp page here.
10. JOSHAN MAHMUD: Transition
Joshan Mahmud will be known to many as pianist and composer with the Demerara Records-released Moda Trio. Josh is a versatile musician however and is able to draw upon a rich tapestry of influences that include contemporary classical, post-jazz and electronic music. The wide diversity of these flavours is very much in evidence on Transitions as it builds in layers and small crescendos towards an inspiring climax. Josh has a page on the Demerara Records website here. You can also visit his Soundcloud page here.
11. FAR RAINBOW: Kappa Space
Far Rainbow is the South East London duo of Bobby Barry and Emily Mary Barnett and they have fashioned a unique sound that incorporates what they describe as ‘random objects’ (i.e. electric toothbrushes, milk frothers, electric shavers etc.) ‘… all processed through a junkshop daisy chain of cheap effects’. Their refreshing mix of experimentalism and sound art has drawn praise from new music blog platforms and has seen them develop a growing reputation as a live act. Check out their Bandcamp page here.
12. ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND FOUNDATION ft. DILARA: The Grass is Greener
Composer-artist Neil March formed Environmental Sound Foundation in order to keep his internationally influenced experimental Electro-Futurism separate from his work as a contemporary classical composer. After ESF’s debut EP Disunited Nations achieved airplay on the BBC 6 Music Mixtape he began playing regular live dates. His close friend and fellow Goldsmiths alumnus Dilara, herself a composer-pianist-singer, had started writing poetry and a conversation led to them recording a track in a matter of hours (before Dilara flew out to Turkey for a month!) which was aired on Radio Dacorum the next night. This version is the one they would have made if they had more time! Read more about ESF here.
13. KEVIN BUCKLAND: A work in red
Kevin Buckland is a composer, electronic musician, field-recordist, photographer, sound-designer from Birmingham where he is also currently involved in postgraduate study in ElectroAcoustic composition. A Work in Red is a fine demonstration of his patiently building layers of ambient sound and subtle invention, bringing together the different disciplines from which he is able to draw influences. You can hear more of Kevin’s music and sound art works here.
14. ROOKERY: The Projectionist
Rookery are a trio from Crystal Palace formed by multi-instrumentalist Alison O’Melia with gadget manipulation and spoken word artist George E Harris. They were subsequently augmented by David Rothon on Omnichord & Melodica. Their music mixes experimental ideas and found sounds with improvisation and spoken word. The Projectionist is taken from part of a longer live recording at the Gypsy Hill Tavern in June 2018 and the original version was mastered by Jono Podmore (Metamono/Kumo). More information about Rookery can be found here.
15. BRENT JACKSON: Forgiving
Brent Jackson will need little introduction to the many who know his work as lead singer and creative powerhouse with Firedogs and previously The Late Road Lunatics but some may be pleasantly surprised to discover this alternative side to his musical output, crafting electronic and experimental music soundscapes which he has in fact been doing since 1978. When working in the Free ‘n’ Easy music shop he had access to all the pedals and synths after hours. Brent currently sings for The Firedogs and plays Bass in Blooming Nora. He also reads poetry In Anonymous Bosch and releases Breakbeat Dance music as Skull Flick Jackson. He is currently scoring a film. You can find out more here and here.
16. PRECOCIOUS MOUSE: Bactrian
Precocious Mouse is an experimental electronic music composer and sound artist who spent much of his young life in the Sheffield area before moving to North London. In the past few years he has quickly gained a reputation for his live performances in which he composes a new set every time he plays. His Facebook page provides news and information about his activities here and you can check out his Bandcamp page here.
17. UNANGELIC VOICES: My World
Unangelic Voices is a new project launched by the multi-talented Kerry JK. It is a vocal and spoken word concept that allows Kerry to mix his well-known story-telling and poetic skills with his expertise as a musician and composer utilising harmonic and rhythmic configurations that underline the uniqueness of his work. Kerry has been featured twice on the BBC 6 Music Mixtape in recent months and played at the inaugural Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House performing his Punk Jazz songs and showcasing his impressive piano-playing skills. On My World all the focus is on voices, utilising them in original and fascinating ways while the spoken word element sets out the track’s story. Find out more at Kerry’s website here.
18. GUY AVERN: Sinus Loops
Guy Avern is a composer-artist and keyboardist whose music has been regularly played by BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and on BBC Radio 6 Music among others. His 2015 album As I float away was released by Demerara Records and helped to establish Guy as an exciting new force breaking down barriers between electronic, contemporary classical and dance-orientated genres, something very few composers have attempted before. Sinus Loops has a lot of Guy’s trademark influences but is also quite distinct in style from his last album and uses complex harmony alongside a slow-building ambience. Find out more about Guy and his music here.
19. NEIL MARCH: The Road to Aberdare
Neil attended his grandfather’s funeral in Abercynon (where he had been a miner all his working life) in 1988 and the following day took a bus to Aberdare and was shocked to see row upon row of boarded up buildings and desolation where thriving Valleys communities had stood. In 3 years from the end of the Miners Strike the region had been decimated with no regeneration funds to support the economy there. 30 years on and working on a suite – part-nostalgic, part-contemporary – about the Valleys, he was inspired by that experience but also by the regeneration efforts of the Welsh Assembly in the years since to compose this dark but ultimately optimistic piece. Neil is a BBC Introducing composer who played their stage at Latitude in 2017. He has also been invited to have some of his music and thoughts held in the British Library archives as historic artefacts. Read more about him and his music here.