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My exclusive track Haze is included on the new Symbolic Interaction compilation The Silence Was Warm Vol.4

Released on Symbolic Interaction, 10 May 2013, and available from Norman Records and Linus Records.


“Here’s the latest instalment of Symbolic Interaction’s consistently marvellous ‘The Silence Was Warm’ series, with a host of great contemporary bliss-mongers lining up to offer exclusive passages of somnolent near-nothings, shimmers, drones and chimes.

Particularly soothing on my first run-through are the acoustic tinkling and cooing of Deathrowradio, Minco Eggersman’s Harold Budd-ish minimal piano, the post-rocky cinematism of Hopeless Local Marching Band, and the electro acoustic trance inducing minimal of Paun/Hideki Umezawa’s ‘Re:painted Wall’, but the whole collection is a gorgeously silky and therapeutic collection which will melt your worries away. Also includes contributions from the likes of Fonogram, Wil Bolton, Melorman, Ghostletters,Maps & Diagrams and Vermillion Gaze, and you can’t argue with that price!” – Norman Records

“これまでも数多くの良質なアーティスト達が参加していた、山梨のSymbolic Interactionのコンピレーション・シリーズ『The Silence Was Warm』の第4弾がリリース。
今作もアンビエント、エクスペリメンタル、エレクトロニカ、エレクトロ・アコースティック、ポスト・ロック、ポスト・クラシカルなどなどの、国内外の多数のアーティスト達が参加。メロディックで温かみのあるトラックが中心なので、エクスペリメンタル系の作品のファンのかただけでなく、聴きやすい穏やかなアンビエントやエレクトロニカ系の作品、アコースティック・インスト系の作品のファンのかたなどにも幅広くオススメなコンピに今回も仕上がっています。全16曲75分収録。パッケージはカード・スリーヴで限定300枚でのリリースです。” – Linus Records

“Between 2007 and 2011, Symbolic Interaction issued a dizzying number of releases and then… nothing. So it’s great to see Kentaro Togawa’s label back in action, even if it’s unclear whether its fourth The Silence Was Warm volume is a one-shot deal or a release signifying the resumption of activity. Regardless, the compilation offers a comprehensive overview of the label’s stylistic range and roster, given that a large number of its past associates (Pawn, Vic Mars, Melorman, Rudi Arapahoe, Minco Eggersman, etc.) appear on it.

We have to go all the way back to summer of 2008 for the release of Arapahoe’s Echoes From One To Another (the number one pick in textura’s 2008 round-up, incidentally), which makes his collaboration with Serbian composer and vocalist Jovana Backovic, “To Paint Breath On Air,” all the more welcome. Five years removed from Arapahoe’s classical-electronic debut album, the 2010 track is as exotic and alluring an excursion, though one given a noir jazz twist in its incorporation of acoustic bass and sensual vocalizing.

As one might expect, the release includes its fair share of dramatic and heavily textured ambient soundscapes (Fonogram’s “Cruz Del Sur (Mekha’s Introspection),” Giulio Aldinucci’s “Travertino”), with field recordings naturally figuring into some of the pieces. In most tracks, manipulations of the source material are extensive, resulting in tracks solidly emblematic of the experimental electronic tradition. There are exceptions to that rule, however, such as Silmus’s sparkling acoustic reverie “Clearing Up” and Deathrowradio’s “Yeah Right,” a surprisingly sedate setting of countrified picking and wordless vocalizing. Some artists opt for a more melodious style in their contributions (Melorman’s “Your Day,” Vic Mars’ clarinets-and-piano setting “Before the War”), whereas others favour wistful evocations (Minco Eggersman’s “1994 (Somewhere in Time)”). Elsewhere, Wil Bolton’s textural moodpiece “Haze” meanders lazily like a more sedate example of an early Oval work, Maps And Diagrams serves up a lustrous, pastoral ambient setting called “Glossolalia,” and Shotahirama offers the release’s sole take on micro-detailed instrumental hip-hop in “Pretty Girl Sitting.”

In keeping with the title’s implied theme, the sixty-six-minute recording traffics more in becalmed moods than agitated ones, the exception being the set’s noisiest setting, “Incremental Threshold,” which alternates between controlled strings-heavy passages and scalding, guitar-fueled roar and is the product of Togawa’s own Hopeless Local Marching Band.” – Textura

the silence was warm vol.4 is another worthy entry in Kentaro Togawa’s ongoing series.  The main draw continues to be the high quality exclusives, many of which are never available in any other format.  Also key: a ridiculously low price.  (only £3.19 at Norman Records!)  Sweetening the deal for those who contact the label directly: the opportunity to purchase a fun t-shirt (shades of Dmitry Martin!) as pictured below. Clearly Togawa is not making a much on this venture, but he’s having fun, and ebullience is contagious.

When seventeen artists are involved on sixteen tracks, something is needed to tie them together.  As he did on the Trust compilation, Rudi Arapahoe contributes the pristine mastering; he also leads off the set with a vocal collaboration.  While those unfamiliar with the native tongue may not understand the words, the track sets a contemplative mood, and the title ~ “to paint breath on air” ~ implies a calm demeanor.  Many other ACL-familiar names grace the compilation as well.  Wil Bolton‘s “haze” would be at home on any one of his recent albums, while Pawn‘s upbeat “re-painted wall” adds swirl to the artist’s trademarked stuttered electronics, stopping in the middle for a strange tea break.  David Newlyn‘s cello-laced “empathy” utilizes distant chants to unsettling effect; Giulio Aldinucci‘s “travertino” provides kind contrast with field recordings collected in Italy. When strings join the fray, the album reaches an early peak.  Maps & Diagrams highlights bells and drones on “glossolalia”, one of his most immediate recordings to date, while the reliable Hopeless Local Marching Band picks up right where it left off last year with calliope noises interrupted by a swift burst of metal and slowly impinging strings.  ”incremental threshold” is the best track on here, as well as the least ambient; as the penultimate track, it’s well-placed.

Of the artists new to ACL, only Shotahirama makes a poor impression; fourteen seconds of Scanner-esque dialogue is an odd way to introduce one’s self.  In contrast, Silmus makes the most of two and a half minutes with gentle acoustic guitar and shimmering wordless vox, and deathrowradio continues in the same vein two tracks later, sounding nothing like its name.  With so many artists needing exposure, Kentaro Togawa’s ear for new music is a boon.  Making money is not the point; it’s all about the celebration of well-known artists and the discovery of the new.  At this price, there’s no way to go wrong.” – A Closer Listen