Lonesome Station

6 december 2013

              Lonesome Station
                         Out 06 Dec 2013

     Singer – Songwriter EP from Switzerland

Stephan Brülhart, 38 year old frontman of Swiss band Overdrive Amp Explosionbegan to do a series of solo shows in early 2012 under the name Lonesome Station. Using just a loop pedal and his acoustic guitar his songs are minimalist, atmospheric and raw. The EP brings forward these qualities as it has been  consequently made without post production, overdubs or further embellishments.
It comes across rather like a radio show or house concert – seamless as one take.
The song writing has been mostly  influenced by artists like Bradford Cox and Nick Talbot. However Brülhart isn’t replicating but rather reinventing his musicianship as a timid and yet fragile singer of his own world.

“ My songs have no message and I’m also not a counsellor of anything in particular. Lyrically I mostly reveal what’s going on around me, describing situations in real life. Men or women might be able to see themselves in parts of it….” – Brülhart says about his own lyrics.

The artwork shows a map of an unknown city or town of unknown dimensions, where the streets and places have no names. So thankfully Lonesome Station gives us a chance to find the in-betweens and explore the unknown with no prejudice.  

STEVE ALLEN - Wreck The Place

6 december 2013

 Steve Allen
Wreck The Place
Out 06 Dec 2013

Steve Allen, 29, front man and singer songwriter of the folk punk band has developed his style over many years on the circuit in Peterborough and then Sheffield when he moved to the city in 2003.  His genre was at first hardcore punk as guitarist and then drummer and later experimented with looping and percussive guitar.

Steve and his love of learning new music and instruments is self taught in bass, drums, mandolin, Charango (string instrument from Chile) and he took his guitar to a new level.  And an unusual array of instruments were used in the production of this album including a quality street tin, pan lids, a coin jar and flight case; which he recorded on his own, largely in his flat in Meersbrook, Sheffield,  with some guest musicians and backing vocalists to assist.

One should never pigeon-hole a band to a particular genre of music, and Wreck the Place is no different.  Yes it’s a punk/folk band with plenty of gypsy influence thrown in which ensures a vibrant and joyful feel to some of the songs and even an earlyLevellers sound with the violin.  But the lyrics are poignant for the man on the street; as this man has something to say and he sings them with melodic clarity.  Tracks such as ‘Orwell’s Dream’ and ‘I’m not a racist but’ truthfully expose the plight of those living within our society today.

The line up of Wreck the Place is:
Steve Allen – song writer, guitarist and lead vocalist, harmonica
Ryan O’Connor – bassist and backing vocalist
James  Magennis– Drums & percussion
Ian Illsley - violin and cornet, mandolin and keyboards

 

FROGBELLY AND SYMPHONY - 'Sugar Castles' Vid

14 november 2013

 This film features a live recording of Frogbelly and Symphony at Scragga's den in Sheffield in November 2012.

Liz Hanley (vox, keys),
Thomas Lebioda (vox, bass),
Benjamin Trott (guitar),
Ally Fraser (drums),
Ray Rizzo (magic),
Martin Bisi (producer / engineer F& S),
Joe Bream (camera, editor, producer video),
Marishka van Steenbergen (camera),
Gina Quaranta (camera USA)

LIZ HANLEY - The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia

1 september 2013

 Liz Hanley – The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia

out 19/08/2013 Labelship / Brokensilence / Shellshock

I don’t worry about how all these kinds of music fit together in my life; it’s just a part of who I am...”

 

That's how Liz Hanley gets to the point in an article of The Boston Irish Reporter. In fact, it is quite an achievement to be so positively recognised for a slightly genre-bending debut within the Irish traditional community. In collaboration with guitarist / mandolinist Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O'Learyon Banjo and Bouzouki this contemporary miscellany of Irish folk traditionals came into being as a journey through many eras and regions. Appalachian – Celtic influences and a touch of pop musical airiness affiliate homogeneously with the versatile compositions of Irish songwriters. This album gives traditionalists as well as the 'all and sundry' listener a rewarding insight into the Irish soul and its most astounding attribute of a tradition passed down for centuries.

Right at the outset In Bodenstown Churchyard puts a tint of bleak ecstasy on the sonic canvas.
Hanley sings about composer Thomas Davis' figurative encounter with Wolfe Tone who iconically stood for the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Her foot pushing down on the sustain pedal of a grand piano she sings into its body as the rebound of her voice trembles the strings and suggests the cavity of a cathedral.
The anti-war ballads My Son Tim and Bonny Light Horseman as well as Isle of St. Helena emblematise the records of the political lament in the Napoleonic era.
A set of refreshing jigs, by name April’s Fool andI Ne’er Shall Wean Her, composed by contemporary American accordion player Jimmy Keane, then transition into the murder-ballad Johnston which originates in the English folk tradition and in its execution parallels old-time American variations.
The a capella ballad Dark Horse on the Wind derives from more recent events of the Irish conflict throughout the last century. It was penned by Dublin composer Liam Weldon whose musical works have always tributed the struggles of the poor and the disadvantaged for a better life.
The concluding last fourth of The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia then comes along a bit less morbid and dramatic, but somewhat more personal and narrative. On Sanctuary Hanley's former professor, long time friend and mentor Mick Moloney accompanies her on octave mandolin and vocals. The coal-miners ballad by Vincent Woods and Mairtin O'Connor feastfully peaks in a fulminant horn arrangement and takes the listener to Arigna on the border of Roscommon and Leitrim.
After a traditional set of the reels Crooked Road to Dublin / Considine's Grove this elaborate debut comes to port with a contribution of Liz's father Andy. On Southwind he fiddles and recites alongside her daughter and completes The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia warmheartedly.

Elizabeth Mary Hanley grew up in Boston MA. Her Irish roots have always played an important role in her upbringing but she really hit her musical stride when she moved to New York City to attend NYU and study classical violin. The 27 year old resident of Brooklyn feels at home in many genres and is also a committed member of rock band Emanuel & the Fear and theatrical post-punk ensemble Frogbelly and Symphony. Despite being often on the road with those groups she is in constant touch with the Celtic music scenes of both her hometowns. You can frequently find her in one of the many Seisiúns sharing tunes and songs. Using her fiddle and her distinctive voice Liz Hanley understands how to dive into the depths of her being and interpret her music in a heart-rending way.

http://lizhanley.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/liz-hanley

OUTROADS - i am happy

19 august 2013

 Outroads – I am happy, 3rd studio album, from Sheffield

 Labelship / Brokensilence / Shellshock, out Aug 19th

The weird thing about this long-established Sheffield band is the fact that you struggle to find an aspect about them that isn't obscurely normal. The group of up to nine musicians around songwriter and frontman Geoff Walsh have been holding together for more than 10 years. Passionate common people with a great talent to share the oddities of being in a rock band with the ups and downs of everyday life. Over the years and three albums Outroads has established a profound relationship between the music and the daily grind. I am happy turned out to be a body of reference for all those, whose lives got in the way. Outspoken and tragic, inevitable, honest and mature, but never too serious. A natural paradox.The acme of non – Rock'n'Roll* delivers a contemporary status report of a whole generation of outstandingly talented and artistic individuals, who happen to have their lives together. Never mind this very peculiar disarray, these Sheffield lads and lasses have created a soundtrack that sounds as elemental as no one wants to, but a lot have tried hard to be.
With americana ingredients ranging from blues to folk and country Walsh's raspy voice narrates in a distinctive northern English terminology. The band backs up playfully and gives this stoutly earthed album an enchanting and cheerful appeal. Instruments like piano, accordion, violin and slide guitar as well as multiple backing vocals can be heard, but never overload the sometimes quirky, sometimes minimalist song structures.           

If you ever get a chance to attend one of the rare Outroads live shows, you might be reminded of the heartwarming sound an old Jaguar XK. An engine – like band. The lyrical simplicity and soulful musicality certainly links to Johnny Cash and the 'Boss'. The music comes across coarse and lusty like a gypsy party. The band recorded I am happy mostly with an odd 16 track hard-disk recorder from the nineties. Then the tracks got mixed in a studio in Hamburg, Germany where the album got picked up by the local label Labelship.  Outroads are currently planning to play a few selected shows in September and October. Please check upon dates on their websites.

http://outroads.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/outroadspromo

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract vol. 4 the way things are

30 june 2013

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract vol. 4
the way things are

Here is a trashy little retrospect in motion picture, that hasn't yet been published for some reason.
One reason might be, that no one, except for Amanda Palmer maybe, seems to find the right words to describe this dilemma that affects so many of us indies in this zeitgeisty free float version of an industry. 
The few prosperous individuals among us are probably prosperous because they didn't waste too much energy in moaning about this. The ones that aren't prosperous have good reason to moan, but they don't, 'cause the probably don't want to be seen as moaners, although they might as well be. 
The non-moaners who aren't prosperous just make stuff, uhm, or have the good old profound discussion with people alike or themselves.

The majority of what is shown in this show reel was shot a few years ago. 
Its original intention was to create an 'awareness clip'. 
Back then it wasn't yet so common to use streamed music on an everyday basis like most people do nowadays.
It funnily now seems more prevailing than ever, as it shows the imminent imbalance between the expenses for music production and the fact that the free purchase of music is now totally being taken for granted.
Enjoy some old school Labelship shizzle...

(Featuring a little cameo of our good friend and best ever cover design artist Walter, who sadly passed away in 2011)

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract , vol. 3 those who move on

10 june 2013

We have few of them among us. The ones that are antagonistically adept enough to face the pace and challenge, being and time, art and bread, through and through. Never afraid to poke through the membrane of the inapprehensible, making mile after mile, corner after corner, unravelling a wire and snarl it around the grid of one’s loose thinking. What people see is a trail of an aloof nature, what people can hear is often exceptionally good music. Here are two very compelling examples of those who have moved on.

This week I would like to spezial two artists, who have released their debuts with a little help from us, but have now moved on to make their second albums in new constellations. Nadja Rüdebusch aka Binoculers has released her second album “There Is Not Enough Space in the Dark” last November through her own label.

http://www.binoculers.de/

“a binoculer is a person whose inner side can be looked at through binoculars. (if you meet one:) just put the two glasses right up against his or her eyes and look through them from the other side. from the binoculer's point of view you are miles away now. for safe operation of the binoculer it is highly recommend that the binoculars be changed around regularly, allowing both perspectives” – that’s  the explanatory logic to her work. Obsessively delicate and abstract. Binoculers follows a minimalist attitude but fills the idea with versatile instruments and a loop machine. Imagine a musical box playing lullaby hymns at midnight. The songs are discreet and chary but not shy, rather a modest invitation than screaming and pushy. From the loneliness of a pirate to a circus in the clouds, this picturesque music spans a large spectrum.
Nadja Rüdebusch has been writing her songs and playing concerts under the name of Binoculers since 2007. She lives in Hamburg.
You can watch her latest music video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b94GpH01ugw

 

 Carpet, the project of mastermind Maximilian Stephan first appeared in the form of an unofficial Solo Album The Eye is the Heart Mirror in 2009 as a guest appearance on Labelship. Carpet is now a full band, basically consisting of musicians from the projects Dear John Letter and Instrument. Their first “real” album Elysian Pleasures has recently come out on the Munich based label Elektrohasch.
Psychedelic and progressive rock meets jazz from hell! Frank Zappa’s principle of “anything anytime anyplace” and improvisation-orgies à la King Crimson as well as the austerity of 70s Pink Floyd and Beatles-like vocal harmonies. Carpet are creating songs of unfathomable vastness, intricate song structures and versatile instrumentation. A carpet of sound – musical paintings, sometimes pastose and thick-layered, sometimes like a stroke of the finest brush. As a result, the soundscapes allow the listeners to glance into deep valleys – as edgy rocks erupt in front of you, they open up the horizon again in just the right moment. The associative character of film scores as well as almost a haptic quality in composition make this music seem timeless.You can watch the astounding collection of Carpet’s  music videos here:

http://www.youtube.com/carpetmusic

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract, vol. 2 you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

5 june 2013

What do valves, transformers, transistors, potentiometers, resistors and electrolytic capacitors have to do with the consumption of music?
That's right, absolutely everything.
Have no fear, I am neither going to bore you with a scientific essay about music engineering nor a self-referential reverie for music-geeks.
In this second edition of the Sea of Sundays I would like to send a compliment  to our fellow studio dudes. And by all means trickle a spray of your attention on what’s going on behind the membrane of your loudspeaker.
The Gentle Art studio has been the origin of many a music production presented by Labelship.
The owners Karsten Deutschmann and Henry Sperling have been maintaining and constantly developing their studio for over 10 years. It is located in a garage-like hideaway in the west of Hamburg and offers a vast range of both vintage and contemporary high-end technology. Over the years it has become the control centre and sound-reference for most of our productions.
Due to money shortage, time constraints and pressure the production of an album can quite easily become a painstaking operation, if the technical side is not living up to the standards of the artists. At Gentle Art the technological expertise as well as the endurance, experience and passion of the studio hosts has yet turned even the most complex technical challenge into a walk in the park  – a fertile ground for magic and creation.
http://www.gentleart.de/

This week’s Spezial: Nikolai Wilckens
This genuinely talented Singer/Songwriter from Kiel, a coastal town in the very north of Germany is currently working on his book-and-record project Lighthouse and Shipyards. His 2012 album release Stories the sea told me at Night has become somewhat of a succès d’estime et surprise. Being one of the most genuine and down to earth artists I’ve ever had the honour to work with, he was much less swanky about his remarkable debut than he could have been. Nevertheless it got randomly picked  by The Rolling Stone Magazine and has indigressively been reviewed a very good album! I agree. Why not give it a listen?
http://www.labelship.com/music/nikolai-wilckens/stories-the-sea-told-me-at-night

Nik is currently raising some funds for his upcoming project Lighthouse and Shipyards. Please be so kind and grant him a contribution to his awesome new endeavour. Please find more information here: http://www.startnext.de/wilckensbandproject

Sea you next Sundays.

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract , vol. 1 today: a 5 year roundup

27 may 2013

english version

Where threads come together you'd usually expect to find something like a spindle. A round, girating object that wraps and unravels a certain type of matter. A record label obviously does a similar thing, although most organizations that help create, publicise and sell music can certainly be located somewhere. They can either be pinpointed geographically or assigned in a figurative sense as a species or family as in community. Other summarising words may help to specify certain styles and be like drawers - a furniture piece of great help when you try and locate stuff.
The question of how and where Labelship can be located has been lingering in my head since I have launched it exactly 5 years ago (yes, we have a little secret anniversary here!) Meanwhile our existence is being taken for granted, but the nagging question ever stayed: What is the point?

Labelship originally took up its pearlfishing business in Hamburg - a medium-sized metropolitan city in northern Germany with a slight OCD - tendency and a great craving but also a certain clumsyness in cultural matters. Quite obviously a very wealthy place with St Pauli and the Reeperbahn in it. But yet it neither has a bearing on a tasteful radio station nor on an awful lot of music-creating individuals or bands who have dared or managed to leap into international acknowledgement. Not that it would rankle me personally - I'm from that city and an environment that has always musically inspired me in a fundamental way. This is a confession! But lacking a certain satisfaction in consequence I was then establishing a label. Back in 2008 as a very first thrust such great formations as the astounding psych - duo Xrfarflight, progressive insider tip Dear John Letter and the ever so enchanting Emmy Moll came to daylight with their debuts. There has since been a constant challenge for both the craftsmanship of passion and the ongoing maintenance and development of a foundation in creative freedom and a carrier substance for sounds that shalt never be forgotten.


Around 2011 Labelship has started to tackle more international endeavours. Meanwhile I had moved to Sheffield - a relatively laggard, small-ish city in the north of England without a real airport where there are as many pubs as potholes. Nonetheless acts like e.g. Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard, Joe Cocker and Human League represent only the famous tip of the iceberg of local artists and bands of international reputation. Hence I found an overwhelmingly strong relationship of Sheffield's folks with their own language-, sub-, and music- culture that literally dominates everyday life. Experiencing that and also the wonderful cooperation with the Melodica Festival has paved the way to a new perception. Our debut - publications of the English singer / songwriter Kid Decker, Australian mystique folker Owls of the Swamp and co-founder of the Hamburg Melodica Torben Stock have been important pioneers in this transitional process.

Sea of ​​Sundays - the weekly abstract is Labelship's new blog! 

From now on I would like to grant you a weekly insight. News and events in context with the musical activities of our artists as well as interesting facts about my work as a label owner, musician, writer and explorer will be written, disseminated and communicated. You can follow this blog on www.labelship.com and our Facebook page. On behalf of our team and artists I am looking forward to a lively exchange, your contributions and comments as well as the next 5 years of Labelship. Let's see how long they will be.

So, as an answer to the ever lingering question of what the point is, I simply propose to be limited to time and space. Next week there will be another Sunday.

Have a good one, groovers.
the tommie

 

My special tip of the week is our Hamburg - based artist Meike Schrader who has recently put out the single "Hamborg, mien Hoben". It's a rendition of her song "Hamburg, mein Hafen" (Hamburg, my port) in Low-German, an old dialect that has just recently been rediscovered b a lot of young folks in northern Germany.

Interesting posts about this topic can be found here:

http://www.meikeschrader.de/

http://www.hamburg.sat1regional.de/aktuell-hh/article/hamburger-musikerin-meike-schrader-interpretiert-songs-auf-platt-115625.html

https://www.facebook.com/meikeschradermusik

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract, vol.1 today: a five year roundup

27 may 2013

Deutsche Version

Wo Fäden zusammenlaufen befindet sich normalerweise eine art Spindel. Ein rundes, sich um die eigene Achse drehendes Objekt, welches Fäden auf oder abwickelt. Nun, ein Recordlabel ist nicht exakt das gleiche, aber die meisten Organisationen, die das Publizieren von Musik und den dazugehörigen Tonträgern zum Herz (ens)geschäft gemacht haben, sind gewiss irgendwo zu verorten. Verortbarkeit ist ein relativ weitgefächerter Begriff. Am häufigsten wird wohl ein geografischer Bezug zu einer Nation, einer Stadt also einem Herkunftsort hergestellt. Oder er wird im übertragenden Sinne einer Spezies, einer Art oder Familie zugeordnet. Zusammenfassende Wörter die Brachen-spezifisch Verwendung finden wären da zum Beispiel derogativ: die Schublade, oder neusprachlich: der Style. Ich sehe mich als Macher von Labelship (welches heute heimlich sein 5 Jähriges Bestehen feiert ) also einer Frage ausgesetzt. Nicht dass mich irgendwer fragen würde, was oder wo Labelship eigentlich ist, vielmehr die bohrende Frage aus sich selbst heraus: Wie bringt man es auf dem Punkt? - Oder:  Worum geht es hier?

Angefangen hat Labelship das Perlenfischen in Hamburg - einer, mittelgroßen Metropole im Norden Deutschlands mit einem merkbaren Streben nach gelebter Subkultur. Bisweilen steht dieser lobenswerten Grundhaltung jedoch sowohl eine gewisse Ungeschicklichkeit im Umgang damit als auch ein latenter Ordnungswahn entgegen.  Hier gibt es also sehr viel Geld, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn aber keinen erträglichen Radiosender. Und es schaffen oder wagen verhältnismäßig selten musikschaffende Individuen oder Bands den Schritt in die Internationale Wahrnehmung. Nicht dass es mich persönlich wurmen würde - ich komme aus dieser Stadt und damit aus einem Umfeld welches mich stets in fundamentaler Weise zum Hören und Kennenlernen und schließlich auch zum Schaffen von Musik inspiriert hat. Dies ist ein Bekenntnis! 
In der Konsequenz eines gewissen Vermissens kam es jedoch zur Gründung von Labelship, auf dem 2008 gleich im ersten Schub so großartige Formationen wie das Psych - Duo Xrfarflight, der Progressive - Geheimtipp Dear John Letter oder die zauberhaften Emmy Moll das Tageslicht erblickten. Es ist seither gleichermaßen eine stetige Herausforderung für die Kunstfertigkeit der eigenen Leidenschaft sowie die Erhaltung und Entwicklung eines Fundamentes schöpferischer Freiräume und Trägersubstanzen - für Klänge, die nie wieder vergessen werden sollen. 

Seit 2011 bewegt sich Labelship auch auf internationalem Terrain. Mein Umzug nach Sheffield - einer latent strukturschwachen, kleinen Großstadt im Norden Englands ohne Flughafen, in der es genausoviele Pubs wie Schlaglöcher gibt,  Pulp, die Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard, Joe Cocker und Human League nur die berühmte Spitze des Eisberges international credibler Künstler stellen und ein verblüffend ausgeprägtes Verhältnis zur eigenen Sprach- , Sub-, und Musikkultur buchstäblich den Alltag bestimmt - hat dafür ebenso den Weg geebnet wie die wundervolle Zusammenarbeit mit dem Melodica Festival. Unsere Veröffentlichungen des südenglischen Singer/Songwriters Kid Decker, des Australischen Mystik Folkers Owls of the Swamp sowie des Hamburger Melodica Mitbegründers Torben Stock waren in diesem Übergangsprozess wichtige Wegbereiter.

Sea of Sundays - the weekly abstract ist Labelships neuer Blog, den ich fortan dafür nutzen möchte, Euch einen wöchentlichen Einblick zu gewähren. Hier werden Neuigkeiten und Ereignisse rund um das Schaffen und Wirken unserer Künstler sowie Wissenswertes über meine Arbeit als Labelmacher, Musiker, Publizist und Entdeckungsreisender aufgeschrieben, weitergegeben und kommuniziert. Zu sehen ist dieser Blog auf www.labelship.com sowie auf unserer Facebook Seite. Ich freue mich über einen regen Austausch, Eure Beiträge und Kommentare sowie die nächsten 5 Jahre Labelship. Mal sehen wie lange sie dauern werden. 
Die Frage nach der Verortbarkeit schlage ich vor fürs erste einfach auf Zeit und Raum zu beschränken. Nächste Woche ist ja wieder Sonntag.

Eine angenehme Woche allerseits!
the tommie

Mein besonderer Tipp der Woche ist unsere Hamburger Künstlerin Meike Schrader, die mit Ihrer Plattdeutschen Single "Hamborg, mien Hoben" gerade in TV und Presse verdiente Beachtung findet. 
Interessante Beiträge zu diesem Thema findet Ihr hier:

http://www.meikeschrader.de/

http://www.hamburg.sat1regional.de/aktuell-hh/article/hamburger-musikerin-meike-schrader-interpretiert-songs-auf-platt-115625.html

https://www.facebook.com/meikeschradermusik