SL014

Sl015

RICHARD MOULT YCLYPT AVAILABLE NOW (27/8/12)

Yclypt is English composer/painter/poet Richard Moult’s second album release for Second Language and the latest in an ongoing series of music for strings after 2011’s Celestial King for a Day. The pieces on Yclypt were composed by the peripatetic Richard during a brief sojourn in the English Cotswolds before moving on to the Western Isles of Scotland. An album of compelling, pastoral tone-poems “dictated by trees, hedgerows and magpies”, Yclypt aims, in the composer’s words, “to create a book of sacred music for wanderers of the hills and roads, taking wordless communion in the lost religions of these Isles.”

The music on the album both recalls and pays homage to a peculiar kind of ‘English magic’ as enshrined in nature – a subject which has inspired much of Richard’s music during ten years spent living in the Shropshire countryside. In addition to the influence of the gently rolling Cotswolds, and just to add further psycho-geographic British Isles resonance, Yclypt is also shaped by time spent in numinous parts of East Sussex and by what Richard refers to as “special places” on the Northwest coastal mainland of Scotland.

The term Yclypt is Old English meaning ‘to embrace’. It is still associated with the ancient ‘Clipping of the Church’ ceremony, performed annually in the Cotswold village of Painswick, whereby local youngsters link hands around the ‘mother church’ and sing a hymn. The title, Richard explains, is really just a personal reference rather than some grand mystical/conceptual signpost, however. “I was living near Painswick at the time, and used to visit the churchyard while mixing the album… I felt that I was once again, briefly, embracing the magic of the English countryside.”

Tracklisting :

1. Apollo Winceleseia (I - II - III)
2. Song for Mourie
3. Na h-Òbaidhnean
4. Symbol of an Infinite Past

Yclypt comes packaged as a CD album with skeleton leaves in a glassine envelope with booklet poem and postcard art by Richard Moult.

Second Language subscribers will also receive a FREE 11 track label sampler CD, End Of A Season with artwork by Richard Moult. The 39 minute sampler features new and exclusive music from The Cloisters, Richard Moult, Memory Drawings, Mark Fry/The A Lords, Directorsound, Tyneham House, Piano Magic, Klima, Glen Johnson, The Home Current and Aine O'Dwyer.


ORDER HERE


Find out more about Richard Moult here : http://www.richardmoult.com

 

Sl015

PIANO MAGIC LIFE HAS NOT FINISHED WITH ME YET AVAILABLE NOW (11/6/12)

Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet, Piano Magic’s 11th official album sees them emerging from beneath the wreckage of previous guitar-heavy releases to re-investigate the darker, more electronic sonic themes of their earlier work. Instant parallels will inevitably be drawn with the ghostly chamber pop of 1999’s Artists Rifles and the even-earlier surreal romanticism of Low Birth Weight. At the core, once again, Glen Johnson’s unashamedly nihilistic ruminations on the human condition, though now shrouded in foggy analogue synth washes, pulsing heart beats, cathedral reverbs and Joe Meek-esque spectral vox. Indeed, this is an album of beautiful, indispensable baroque ghostliness, of disconnected hearts and oceans. Touchstones would be the new, airless beauty of Regis and Raim; the timeless gravitas of Dead Can Dance and the urban, though melodic isolationist output of late 70’s/early 80’s Factory Records.

Since 1996, Piano Magic have established themselves as something of an oxymoron : a popular underground band. Previously hailed as a secret love amongst European darkwave enthusiasts, recent concerts in their home city of London have revealed a confident foray into quieter, more fragile, melodic material, eschewing the dynamic, cathartic guitar barrages of recent albums, Part Monster and Ovations. Often cited for their selective collaborations (with Vashti Bunyan, Low, Dead Can Dance), Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet is the group stripped back to the core of Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Angele David Guillou, Franck Alba and Alasdair Steer, albeit with a small supporting orchestral cast. Josh Hight (of Irons) adds his voice to Judas, The Way We Treat The Animals and A Secret Never Told.

Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet comes as a CD album in an 8 panel concertina wallet. Subscribers and those ordering from the Second Language website will also receive an exclusive ltd edition 4 track CD EP, Chemical EP and 2 limited edition Piano Magic pin badges.

Tracklisting :

1. Matin
2. Judas
3. The Slightest Of Threads
4. Sing Something
5. Chemical (20mgs)
6. Lost Antiphony
7. Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet
8. The Way We Treat The Animals
9. Jar Of Echoes
10. Higher Definition
11. You Don't Need Me To Tell You
12. A Secret Never Told
13. (reprise)

Find out more about Piano Magic here: http://www.piano-magic.co.uk/

ORDER HERE

 

 

Sl015

MEMORY DRAWINGS MUSIC FOR ANOTHER LOSS AVAILABLE NOW (13/5/12)

Memory Drawings is the beguiling, drum-less project of Minneapolis raised, Morocco-based hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson, erstwhile Hood guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and sometime Declining Winter main-man Richard Adams, and Lanterns on the Lake/Brave Timbers violinist Sarah Kemp.

Partly inspired by Adams’ native West Yorkshire landscape (particularly as enshrined in Ted Hughes’ and Fay Godwin’s 1979 poetry/photography essay Remains of Elmet), Music For Another Loss maps the contours between brooding melancholy and redemptive calm. It’s an equipoise reflected in a musical signature which simultaneously suggests both classical minimalism and hearth-side folk, but which, tantalizingly, is never quite either.

With Hanson’s exotic dulcimer peals always at the core, framed in Adams’ and Kemps’ halos of poignant melody and harmony (here and there augmented by guest keyboardists Rachel Grimes, of Rachel’s, and Gareth S. Brown, along with the occasional trace of vocals from Yvonne Bruner) this is a seductive, watercolour music whose true potency lies in its subtlety, but which gets right under the skin from first listen, nonetheless.

While Memory Drawings is an ostensibly instrumental project, Music For Another Loss also features a second disc comprising Yvonne Bruner-led vocal versions of many of the first disc’s tracks, alongside a clutch of total reinvention remixes by Rachel Grimes, Dakota Suite, Piano Magic (featuring Disco Inferno’s Ian Crause on guitar) and Bracken.

Music For Another Loss comes as a double CD album in a deluxe clamshell box.

Tracklisting :

CD1
1 The Canal's Drowning Black
2 Heptonstall
3 The Long Tunnel Ceiling
4 There Come Days to the Hills
5 Slump Sundays
6 Drift Apart
7 Sunstruck
8 Chinese History of Colden Water
9 The Canal's Drowning Black (Reprise)

CD2
01 Heptonstall (Vox) **
02 There Come Days to the Hills (Vox) **
03 Slump Sundays (Vox) **
04 Sunstruck (Vox) **
05 The Canal's Drowning Black (Bracken Remix)
06 Sunstruck (Piano Magic Remix) *
07 There Come Days to the Hills (Dakota Suite Remix)
08 Chinese History of Colden Water (Rachel Grimes Remix)
09 The Canal's Drowning Black (Memory Drawings and Rachel Grimes)

* guitar by Ian Crause (Disco Inferno)
** vocals and lyrics by Yvonne Bruner

Find out more about Memory Drawings here: http://memorydrawings.blogspot.co.uk/

SOLD OUT

 

 

MARK FRY AND FRIENDS LIVE IN LONDON 19th APRIL 2012 (20/3/12)

Mark Fry and friends perform in London on the 19th of April at Village Underground, London/
Featuring members of Mercury Rev, Super Furry Animals, Lemon Jelly and Tunng. More information via link below.

http://www.villageunderground.co.uk/events/mark-fry-and-friends

 

PETE ASTOR SONGBOX RE-PRESS AVAILABLE NOW (20/3/12)

11 tracks, 33+ minutes, comes in bespoke cardboard box with 12 individual artist postcards + download code of bonus alternative versions of the album tracks by Dollboy, Let's Wrestle, Darren Hayman, Comet Gain, Pete Greenwood, The Raincoats, Patrick Fitzgerald, The Proper Ornaments, Pastourelle, Mathew Sawyer and Piano Magic. Order here.

 

Sl015

TYNEHAM HOUSE 'TYNEHAM HOUSE' (31/1/12)

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.

The pastoral, wistful yet ineffably disquieting music of Tyneham House is made by artists who have previously graced Second Language releases, but 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 compiled 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.

'Tyneham House' is a joint release between the London-based independent labels, Second Language and Clay Pipe Music. This 14 track CD album comes packaged in a Gocco-printed card box with booklet and cassette tape of bonus material (18+ minutes) - all beautifully illustrated throughout by award winning artist Frances Castle of Clay Pipe Music.

This is SL015/Pipe003. Limited to 300 copies only. SOLD OUT

Tracklisting (CD) :

• A Chalk Horse
• Rookery Wood
• Coppice Walk
• Binoculars
• Bletchingley
• Post Office Row
• The Crows Circle
• Winter Carriage
• The Ragged Cat
• I Shall Not Cross The Sleeping Hill
• The Porch Room
• Saxon Chapel
• Last Village Before The Sea
• Lit Room At Midnight

Tracklisting (Cassette) :

A: A School Holiday, 1977
B: May Day, 1981

Find out more about Tyneham House (the village) here: http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/85/tyneham_village_of_the_vanished.html

 

 

 

END OF YEAR ALBUM LISTS (23/12/11)

DAVID SHEPPARD
1. PJ Harvey: Let England Shake (Island)
2. The Caretaker: An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favours The Winners)
3. Hauschka - Salon Des Amateurs (Fatcat)
4. Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie: A Winged Victory For The Sullen (Erased Tapes)
5. Meg Baird: Seasons On Earth (Drag City)
6. Baba Ndongo: l'Album Acoustique Pulaar (Awesome African Tapes)
7. Esmerine - La Lechuza (Constellation)
8. Bill Wells - Lemondale (Double Six)
9. Vinicius Cantuaria & Bill Frisell: Lagrimas Mexicanas (Naive)
10.Orchestra Poly-Rythmo: Cotonou Club (Strut)

MARTIN HOLM
1. Julia Holter: Tragedy (Leaving Records)
2. P. J. Harvey: Let England Shake (Island)
3. Peaking Lights: 936 (Not Not Fun)
4. Dustin O'Halloran: Lumiere (130701/Fat Cat)
5. Tiago Sousa: Walden Pond's Mark (Immune)
6. Nâ Hawa Doumbia: La Grande Cantratrice Malienne Vol 3 (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
7. The Boats: The Ballad Of The Eagle (Our Small Ideas)
8. Ghédalia Tazartès: Rapas Froid (Pan)
9. The Hardy Tree: The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath (Clay Pipe Music)
10. Googoosh: S/T (Finders Keepers)
11. Meg Baird: Seasons On Earth (Drag City)
12. Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes)
13. Moritz Von Oswald Trio: Horizontal Structures (Honest Jon's)
14. Julianna Barwick: The Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty)
15. Erik Enocksson: Apan (Release The Bats Records)
16. Ezikiel Honig: Folding In On Itself (Type)
17. Lanterns On The Lake: Gracious tide, Take Me Home (Bella Union)
18. Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices: The Outside Room (Not Not Fun)
19. Atlas Sound: Parallax (4AD)
20. Sleep ∞ Over: Forever (Hippos In Tanks)

IAN MACKINNON
1. Camille: ilo veyou (Virgin France)
2. Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise (Circus Company)
3. M83: Hurry Up We're Dreaming (Naive)
4. PatrickWolf: Lupercalia (Hideout)
5. Zola Jesus: Conatus (Souterrain Transmissions)
6. Gui Boratto: III (Kompakt)
7. Yonderboi: Passive Control (Mole Listening Pearls)
8. Toshimaru Nakamura: Egrets (Samadhi Sound)
9. Mara Carlyle: Floreat (Ancient & Modern)
10. Akira rabelais: Caduceus (Samadhi Sound)

 

SL14

VARIOUS ARTISTS 'MUSIC & MIGRATION II' AVAILABLE NOW (14/11/11)

In early 2010, Second Language released a compilation album called Music and Migration which proffered exclusive new songs by an eclectic retinue of left-of-centre artists including Vashti Bunyan, Peter Broderick, Hauschka, Leyland Kirby and Darren Hayman. Themed around issues of avian migration, and the many man-made threats to international ‘flyways’ as highlighted by the wildlife conservation charity BirdLife International’s Born to Travel campaign, the album proved to be both an artistic and public awareness ‘hit’, selling out its limited edition almost immediately but not before the migratory awareness ‘message’ had been widely propagated courtesy of healthy media coverage and supporting concert performances.

True to its name, Music and Migration II is that album’s sequel. Sadly, despite BirdLife’s International’s Herculean efforts, avian migratory routes continue to be threatened by the wilfulness and thoughtlessness of mankind. One particular hotbed of human migratory interference is the Maltese archipelago, located on one of the three main routes used by Europe’s breeding birds in their migrations to and from their African wintering grounds. The islands are particularly important as way stations in the middle of the Mediterranean and the spring and autumnal influxes offer spectacular sights; yet, rather than a haven for birds, Malta is a killing ground which can ‘boast’ the highest density of hunters and trappers in Europe, and probably the world.

Several of Malta’s breeding birds were wiped out by hunting: the Jackdaw in the ’50s, the Barn Owl and Peregrine Falcon in the ‘80s. Illegal hunters now target migratory birds, and an analysis of international ring recoveries reveals that birds of at least 75 species from 35 countries have been killed in Malta. While common birds such as Barn Swallows are often shot down for ‘sport’, rarer birds such as Black Storks are chased by vehicle around the islands and shot down for inclusion in private taxidermy collections — a practice facilitated by a local culture of ‘looking the other way’, an under-resourced police force and a lack of punitive anti-hunter legislation, as generally enforced in the remainder of the EC.

BirdLife Malta has been campaigning against the illegalities for close to 50 years now. There are signs of change: the courts have started issuing more serious sentences and law-abiding hunters and trappers are taking the first tentative steps to exposing law breakers within their ranks. Members of the public are becoming increasingly outspoken, and even active, against the illegal killing.

Music & Migration II aims to help support BirdLife Malta’s campaign against illegal hunting and raise awareness of the issues by once again inviting an international coterie of gifted musicians from across a panorama of styles and genres to contribute new, especially recorded songs. Migratory birds recognise no national boundaries, and nor does Second Language; so, here you’ll find music from Great Britain, Japan, Denmark, France, Germany, Australia and the USA, all of it united (even the instrumental tracks) by a respect and fascination with the avian world and a more than passing acquaintance with the resonances contained in the metaphor ‘free as a bird’.

International support is key to ensuring that the Malta chapter is just one of a volume, and not the final chapter, in the lives of many birds, so please lend your support to this noble cause. Find out more here: www.birdlifemalta.org or www.birdlife.org

'Music & Migration II' comes packaged in a fold-out 496mm x 744mm poster designed by Good Pilot and Jeff Teader. Limited edition of 500 copies.

This is SL014.

MUSIC & MIGRATION II :

1. Rowan and John Aitchison: Passing Through
2. Dollboy: Birds in My Mouth  
3. Ellis Island Sound: Snowdon Aviary
4. The Hardy Tree: The Cutty Wren
5. Haruko: We'll Be Birds
6. James Brewster: Dissent En Route
7. Piano Magic: The Way of the Birds
8. The Home Current: Theme from Mizieb
9. Marissa Nadler: Dead Birds in Arkansaw
10. Sophie Hutchings: Between Two Hills
11. July Skies: Birds Fly South for the Winter (II)
12. Chronomad: Bolbol
13. Padang Food Tigers: Honey Stole the Crown
14. F.S. Blumm: Wandervogel

SOLD OUT

 

 

SL013

MARK FRY/THE A LORDS 'I LIVED IN TREES' AVAILABLE NOW (26/9/11)

Released by RCA Italy with little fanfare in 1972, Mark Fry’s Dreaming With Alice is one of those very particular albums whose potency and poetry seem to owe everything to their era but whose virtues only gain traction, and with it coach-loads of interested parties, many years, if not the odd epoch, after their conception. Effectively a late-period psych-folk obscurity that became a record connoisseur’s Holy Grail once all things vaguely Incredible String Band-shaped became once again à la mode in the middle of the last decade, Dreaming With Alice, frequently bootlegged and described by Dream magazine as “one of those albums that feels like a secret you can’t wait to share”, had finally found its time and place.

All of which came as something of a surprise to the mature Mark Fry, by then long domiciled with wife Roxy and pug dog Missy in rural Normandy. He had recorded the suddenly-venerated album on the hoof as an itinerant, felt-hat-disporting, teenage art student during an idyllically hazy-sounding sojourn in Italy, several lifetimes ago. Subsequently devoting himself to painting (although intrepid travels, from Newfoundland to Timbuktu, also kept him busy), Mark, the son of an artist and the scion of Roger Fry, of Bloomsbury Set fame, was happily astonished to finds himself a belated cult music attraction and was soon pressed into reissuing his dimly recalled juvenilia to sate the long-deferred demand.

Duly inspired, Mark began to re-explore his songwriting (and new-fangled digital home recording), releasing Alice’s follow-up, Shooting The Moon, in 2008, a mere 36 years after its predecessor, and even dipping an assured toe in live performance. Subsequently hooking up, courtesy of the internet, with acclaimed Wessex exponents of all things musically arcane, The A. Lords (aka Mike Tanner and Nick Palmer, also sometimes known as Plinth and Directorsound, among innumerable other recording aliases) for shows and recording, Mark had stumbled upon like minds from a different generation, equipped with a splendidly esoteric instrumental arsenal and a shared predilection for the timelessly bucolic and the eccentrically English.

Working sporadically yet inexorably over much of the next three years, they would carefully hone the tracks that would become I Lived In Trees, Mark’s forthcoming opus, set for release by Second Language at the close of the summer. Recorded in Normandy, Dorset and Oxfordshire, it’s a chamber-folk album of instant, copasetic allure, hallmarked by Mark’s painterly take on existence and memory; its often affecting lyrics, rich in nature metaphors, etched with nostalgia or set in poignant dreamscapes, all leant clarity and an almost Zen-like stillness by the A. Lords. An exploration of landscape, at once external and internal, brimming with tunes that billow in like seeds on a breeze only to linger like hardy perennials, I Lived In Trees is the work of many hands, with subtle string arrangements by Steve Bentley-Klein and adroit mixing by Lemon Jelly’s Nick Franglen.

It’s taken a while, but it’s surely been worth it; and unlike Dreaming With Alice, this one won’t need a time machine to find its target audience.

'I Lived In Trees' comes as a CD album in luxurious 8 panel concertina sleeve designed by renowned Italian illustrator, Iker Spozio whose previous work includes artwork for Colleen, Delia Derbyshire, Hauschka and Tex La Homa.
http://www.ikerspozio.net/

Subscribers to Second Language will also receive a 3" bonus disc, 'Leaves - Fragments from Normandy and England, 2010 - 2011,' which includes a gorgeous version of Steve Tilston's 'It's Not My Place To Fail.'

This is SL013.

Order the album now from Second Language. ALL PRICES INCLUDE POST AND PACKAGING.

 

Territories

 

I LIVED IN TREES :

1. I Lived In Trees
2. Behold The Nereids Under The Green Sea
3. Chalky Down
4. We All Fall Down
5. All Day Long
6. La Lune
7. Ruins Of Stone
8. Even The Sky
9. Taking Wing

Read more about Mark Fry here : http://www.markfrymusic.com/home/

 

 

'I Lived In Trees' by Mark Fry/The A Lords. Video by Virginia Tate. From the album, 'I Lived In Trees'

 

 

'Dead Trumpets' by Pete Astor. Video by Gina Birch. From 'Songbox'

 

 

WHEN PETE MET LAWRENCE (15/8/11)

What becomes an indie legend most? Having his mojo teased out by another indie legend, that's what!

Thus, Second Language is proud to unveil two short films, recently shot by director Paul Kelly, in which Pete Astor, erstwhile Weather Prophet and Loft-leading luminary of Creation Records' initial onslaught, back in the mid-'80s, and the voice and songwriter behind the just-released Songbox (SL013), is grilled by Lawrence, of Felt, Denim and Go Kart Mozart fame.

Yes, you heard that correctly: at Second Language's behest, reclusive rock star Lawrence has been transformed into a probing journalist for your audio-visual pleasure, discussing with the ever-erudite Mr Astor the background to Songbox and what it means to have survived indie rock's first flush and still be wrapped up in the endless possibilities of music all these years down the track.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

SL012

PETE ASTOR 'SONGBOX' AVAILABLE NOW (8/8/11)

Songbox, Pete Astor’s sixth solo album and his first record outing for four years, marks a welcome return for a significant, if under-heralded, British underground musician finally getting his due partly thanks to a prominent role in the acclaimed Creation Records documentary Upside Down. His return is accompanied by a new album, which surely ranks among Astor’s finest recorded work since those heady ’80s heydays.

The new album marks a change in direction from Astor’s more experimental, post-Creation work in groups such as Ellis Island Sound and the Wisdom of Harry. Backed by the woodwinds of Keiron Phelan (State River Widening, Phelan-Sheppard) and Jenny Brand (Kluster Ensemble), together with layers of guitars, drums and keyboards from David Sheppard (State River Widening, Ellis Island Sound) and supported by the harmony vocals of Angèle David-Guillou (Piano Magic, Klima), the eleven essays on Songbox offer an abundance of lushly arranged, timeless chamber-rock, brimming with wry lyrical insight and haunting melodic hooks.
A potent synthesis of very British songwriting, Europhile sensibilities and a stateless cosmopolitanism, Songbox serpentines between the diseased Jacques Brel-meets-Alex Harvey monlogue of ‘Dead Trumpets’, to the baroque, Bill Fay-like murder mystery of ‘The Perfect Crime’, via chiming, nostalgia-soaked folk-pop nuggets like ‘The Ride’ and ‘Tiny Town’, and is concluded with the heart-wrenching, Leonard Cohen-like artistic hymnal ‘Mistress Of Song’.

Presented, in the Second Language label’s customary bespoke style, in a limited edition box package, the aptly titled Songbox is accompanied by an additional album of cover versions of the album songs by an eclectic lineup of illustrious fellow artists including Let’s Wrestle, The Raincoats, Darren Hayman, Comet Gain, Dollboy and Pastourelle, alongside 12 exquisite, especially commissioned fine-art postcards which illustrate the songs’ lyrics.

An ’80s indie chart-topper with his band The Loft (and later The Weather Prophets), Astor brought considered, literate songwriting craft to Creation, a label more characteristically in thrall to less cerebral ’60s pop thrills; none of which prevented him gracing the cover of the NME, the main stage at Glastonbury and the BBC’s legendary music TV showcase, Whistle Test. Astor went on to release a series of critically-lauded solo albums, touring extensively in France and across Europe, receiving Les Inrockuptibles’ ‘Album of the Year’ accolade in 1992 for the album Paradise before a fin-de-siècle ‘second coming’ with Matador recording artists The Wisdom Of Harry (who recorded three albums for the label) and instrumental duo Ellis Island Sound. A solo folk covers album Hal’s Eggs (Static Caravan, 2004) and EIS’s The Good Seed (Peacefrog, 2007) were his most recent releases.
These days, Astor divides his time between songwriting and a career as an academic at the University of Westminster and London’s Goldsmith’s College, lecturing on and researching popular music cultures.

Pete is undertaking a series of rare live appearances, backed by his band, The Souls, to support the release of Songbox.

Songbox comes in a bespoke cardboard box with 12 individual artist postcards (artwork by Neil Brown, Kerry Stewart, Darren Hayman, Eve Gonzalez, Louise Clarke, Tony Veritas, Shaun Belcher, Merida Richards, Wes Gonzalez, Mathew Sawyer, Adam Sutherland).

First 300 copies also come with a bonus CDR album of alternative versions of the album tracks by Dollboy, Let's Wrestle, Darren Hayman, Comet Gain, Pete Greenwood, The Raincoats, Patrick Fitzgerald, The Proper Ornaments, Pastourelle, Mathew Sawyer and Piano Magic whilst stocks last.

This is SL012.

Order the album now from Second Language. ALL PRICES INCLUDE POST AND PACKAGING.

RE-PRESS COMING SOON! (BONUS CDR NOW SOLD OUT)

Songbox

1. Dead Trumpets
2. Tiny Town
3. The Ride
4. Four Letter Word
5. Slip Away
6. The Perfect Crime
7. Sleepers
8. Look Away
9. Dunce
10. Tree of Birds
11. Mistress of Song

 

SL10 pack shot

littlebow 'THE EDGE BLOWN AEROPHONE' AVAILABLE NOW (10/6/11)

Perhaps the most lyrical of the orchestral woodwinds, the flute has been given something of a raw deal by successive generations of rock-centric commentators who have taken a few of prog’s more excessive dalliances with the instrument and used them to render it a pariah, lazily overlooking the flute’s vital contribution to such landmark releases as Love’s Forever Changes, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Pharaoh Sanders’ Karma – not to mention its consistently sublime presence in the early work of Kraftwerk.

The boundless versatility of the flute is the sine qua non of this debut album by littlebow, the duo of Keiron Phelan (State River Widening, Smile Down Upon Us) and Katie English (Isnaj Dui, The Owl Service). Its ten, exquisitely realised tracks run through a gamut of richly textured soundscapes, from introspective night ambiences and sweeping, melancholy counterpoints to overdriven, Reichian rhythmic assaults, via lavish, Morricone-esque atmospherics; and angular art-pop shapes – all of it heavily imbued with unexpected melodic, harmonic and timbral twists.

Ultimately, The Edge Blown Aerophone leaves influences and comparisons in the dust and offers a voice that is unique; one that repositions the most ethereal of orchestral instruments as a thing of dynamic resonance and consistently surprising malleability.

Limited edition of 400 copies • SOLD OUT

The first 200 copies of The Edge Blown Aerophone are accompanied by Puff, a limited edition 3" disc of exclusive album remixes by Orla Wren, Pastourelle, Plinth and Robin Saville (ISAN).

This is SL011.

The Edge Blown Aeroplane

1. It's Too Steep A Climb (For A Really Cheap Horse)
2. The Crooked Post Men Of Pershore
3. Oarsmen's Lament
4. Girl With Orange Umbrella
5. "As Soon As Dawn With Her Rose Tinted Hands Had Lit The East"
6. Snapping Twigs
7. To Run Through The Christian Wolff
8. Thijs Drift
9. For Thijs
10. The Dripping Pan

Puff

1. The Crooked Post Men Of Pershore - Orla Wren remix
2. It's Too Steep A Climb (For A Really Cheap Horse) - Pastourelle remix
3. Thijs Drift - Plinth remix
4. Girl With Orange Umbrella - Robin Saville remix

 

SL10 text

RICHARD MOULT 'CELESTIAL KING FOR A YEAR' (18/4/11)

Composer, painter and poet Richard Moult is the Newcastle-born author of innumerable songs, miscellaneous musical settings, field recordings and works for solo piano and classical ensembles, with a clutch of beneath-the-radar-albums and EPs to his name. Richard is also known for his work with the group Far Black Furlong and for collaborations with the David Tibet’s apocalyptic folk mavens Current 93, Irish psych-folk band United Bible Studies and Dorset sound sculptors Plinth.

His debut for Second Language, is a three-movement suite of stark, immersive, beauty. Celestial King For A Year began life as a work for string quintet but was gradually pared back to a numinous essence. “I wanted to write something spacious and to my mind, completely spiritual”, says Richard. “I took as my influence very early Christian chant ('Old Roman' - circa 6th Century AD), but I wanted to strip the work down even more, doing away with any rhythmic and harmonic embellishments and creating something that seems quite static, quite still. I then expanded the work to include two extra movements for voice, strings and electronics.”
The album is named after a poem of Richard’s and refers to the seasonal cycle and how offerings were once made to the fields in order to propitiate the gods. While the music doesn’t seek to literally describe any specific ritual/seasonal fest, it was Richard’s aim to, “try and presence a general 'pagan' sense of the sacred”. That he has succeeded magisterially in his aspiration is evinced by even a cursory listen to this haunting, compelling album.

Celestial King For A Year comes in a hand-made envelope with a postcard of Richard's painting of harpist Áine O' Dwyer.

Limited edition of 300 copies • SOLD OUT

This is SL010.

Minute Papillon

VARIOUS ARTISTS 'MINUTE PAPILLON' (21/2/11)

Perhaps by definition, compilation albums tend to be curate’s egg affairs. Often less than the sum of their parts, even the most artfully assembled ‘mix-tape’ tends to sag in places, curatorial skill being a rare virtue in music (a fact borne out by listening to 90 percent of contemporary radio shows). There are, however, exceptions to this rule.

Which brings us to Minute Papillon, the label’s latest and most ambitious curatorial exercise yet. Comprising 60, one-minute-long tracks purveyed by a pan-global retinue of left-of-centre artists, it’s as conceptually sharp as it is consistently intriguing on the ear and offers a litany of diverting vignettes that run the gamut of ‘post-classical’ soundscapes, electronic sound designs, miniature pop songs, folk reveries,  guitar soli and several stations in between. Somehow, its three score miscellany of succinct essays feels ‘all of a piece’, effortlessly transforming less-is-more concision into an opulent embarrassment of riches; a fact enhanced by the album’s typically enigmatic artwork which features an exclusive image by celebrated Irish contemporary fine artist Eva Rothschild.

Owing an acknowledged debt to such precedents as the Morgan Fischer-curated, 1981 Cherry Red compilation Miniatures and The Residents’ Commercial Album from1980, Minute Papillon is the kind of inscrutable cause célèbre album that no switched on collector of contemporary music should be without. Boasting contributions from the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, North America and Japan, Minute Papillon sustains a rigorous ‘all killer no filler’ regimen over 60 tracks, which is no mean curatorial achievement. In the unlikely event that one or other contribution doesn’t fully satisfy, the listener is safe in the knowledge that there’ll be another along, quite literally, in a minute.

Minute Papillon features exclusive 1 minute tracks by:
Martin Hall, Gareth S Brown, Cédric Pin, ( r ), Pete Astor, Franck Alba, Hannah Peel, Opiate, Wixel, Jannick Schou, Xela, Dollboy, Ellis Island Sound, Jenny Brand, James Brewster , Jasper TX, sanso-xtro , Roll the Dice, Plinth, Ensemble, Directorsound, Textile Ranch, The Home Current , Darren Hayman, Heather Woods Broderick, Fieldhead, Olivier Namblard, M. Ostermeier, Felix Kubin, ISAN, Scanner, Machinefabriek, Gareth Dickson, Ark Of Noise, Relmic Statute, micro boredom, Ringinglow, Offthesky, Lene Charlotte Holm, brave timbers, Richard Moult, Tyneham House, Clem Leek, Isnaj Dui, Fureasteen, Junkboy, Rickard Jäverling, Primitive Northerner, Seasons (pre-din), Danny Norbury, Winter Cabin , d_rradio, Hybernation, Will Long, The Boats, Dustin O'Halloran, 30Km Inland, Dirk Markham, Message To Bears, P Jørgensen

The compilation is presented in a deluxe, silver foil blocked jewel box with magnifying glass. 

This is SL09 • SOLD OUT

Klima grass

KLIMA 'SERENADES & SERINETTES' AVAILABLE NOW (21/10/10)

Second Language is beside itself with glee to announce the release of the greatly-anticipated second album by Angèle David-Guillou, aka Klima.

Serenades & Serinettes proffers an ambitious and alluring blend of acoustic and orchestral instruments, analogue synths and teeming percussion – much of it essayed by Angèle alone and decorated with her seductive, melancholy-tinged voice. Its songs dwell on matters both deeply personal (‘Father’) and ingenuously universal (‘Things Get Better With Time’) while ranging across styles, from the sweeping, chamber orchestra-propelled ‘French Mittens’ to the droll, Grand Guignol balladry of ‘By My Side’, the glittering, reflective pop of ‘Sing To Me’, the swooning, existential angst of ‘In My Room’ and the uber-rhythmic, Mitteleuropa-meets-Afrobeat work-out, ‘Orffans’.

A tour-de-force of live instrumentation and experimentation in service of never less than accessible song craft, Serenades & Serinettes is undeniable evidence of a unique and bewitching talent, fearlessly pushing the musical envelope. The album also features guest contributions from Glen Johnson and Jerome Tcherneyan (of Piano Magic) and David Sheppard and Keiron Phelan (Phelan Sheppard/State River Widening). Piano Magic fans will be keen to note the sublime cover of the group's 1998 single, 'French Mittens.'

Klima’s eponymous debut appeared on the Peacefrog label in 2007 to ringing critical endorsement (“a debut all fans of Cocteau Twins, early Björk, Nina Persson or The Knife should buy, if they haven’t already”, opined The Times). In the interim, Angèle has been busy; when not touring the globe both as Klima and in tandem with the band Piano Magic, she has been absorbing the recordings of Moondog, Carl Orff and all manner of African and medieval musics, all of which have fed into the meticulous, open-hearted creation of Klima’s debut for Second Language.

Klima will be taking to the UK live circuit over the next few months in support of the album, beginning with our debut Second Language night at the Slaughtered Lamb in London on Nov 11th (alongside Pete Astor, Dollboy and Plinth).

Serenades & Serinettes comes in a plush, multi-panel concertina with a thaumatropic (Victorian) toy insert! Subscribers to Second Language also receive an exclusive, limited edition music score for the track, By My Side.

This is SL08.

Tracklisting :

1. French Mittens
2. By My Side
3. I Will Remember You
4. Papillon de Nuit
5. Father
6. In My Room
7. Sing To Me
8. Things Get Better With Time
9. Sylvia
10. Orffans
11. Bottomless Sea

Buy the album via Paypal below.

ALL PRICES INCLUDE POST AND PACKAGING.

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