students of decay

Showing 1–10 of 16 results

  • taiga remains ‎– xiaguan – students of decay

    out of stock

    used
    Recorded live at Acacia Sound, September 2007.
    Instrumentation: acoustic guitar, electronics, bows, loops, & chopsticks.
    Music for early mornings.
    Packaged in a 3″ jewel-case with insert.
    Limited to 100 copies.


  • anne guthrie – codiaeum variegatum – students of decay

    out of stock

    Based in Brooklyn, Anne Guthrie is a professional acoustician, composer and sound artist whose work combines a highly technical knowledge of natural reverb, field recording, and extended microphone techniques with live and processed instrumentation, including French horn, violoncello and contrabass. Guthrie’s is a music concerned with the play of dichotomies – cacophony/beauty, accidental/intentional, unhinged/refined, traditional/outsider. “Codiaeum variegatum” is her debut full-length proper, following out-of-print short run releases on labels such as Engraved Glass and Copy For Your Records, as well as the recently released and critically lauded “Sinter,” a collaboration with Richard Kamerman issued by way of Erstwhile Records sublabel ErstAEU. The album’s six compositions showcase Guthrie’s acumen as a composer of rich and diverse sonic phenomena. From the keeling strings which open “Branching Low and Spreading,” she guides the listener through dense yet highly structured thickets of sound, juxtaposing astute room/field recordings with classical instrumentation, both dry and processed. On “Unlike More Slender and Graceful,” filtered French horn plumes are wed to cavernous, watery field recordings to forge beautiful yet bleak vistas, motifs to be revisited in a more hopeful light later on. Ultimately, Guthrie’s work occupies a heady middle ground somewhere between the enchantment of the everyday manifested by artists such as Graham Lambkin and Vanessa Rossetto and the high-minded electroacoustic investigations of her fellow Erstwhile alumni. Strictly limited to 250 copies.


  • mark banning – journey to the light – students of decay

    out of stock

    Recorded in northern California in 1984 and released in a micro edition by the Creative Sound imprint in January of the following year, “Journey to the Light” is a true lost gem of private issue New Age music, an album that is more spoken about than heard and deserves to be recognized alongside established classics of the genre. For too long it has languished out of print and been nearly impossible to come by, occasionally popping up in private auctions only to be snatched up by savvy collectors. Performed with processed electric guitar, zither, voice, and field recordings, it is unabashedly beautiful music- two sidelong pieces that feel as though they may have always existed, hanging in the air like a morning fog over the Pacific. For as archetypal to the genre as Banning’s compositions might appear to be, it would be remiss not to comment on their singular nature, on what sets them apart from those works to which one would be inclined to compare them. Indeed, Banning’s music has a seriousness and intensity that was absent from much of the New Age scene as it existed in the early ’80s. The album’s first piece, “Everlasting Moments,” charts a course somewhere between the weblike guitar cycles of Manuel Gottsching and the buoyant minimalism of Terry Riley. “A Sea of Glass” constructs itself similarly but navigates even calmer waters, providing the listener with a sensuous tapestry of ever-evolving guitar drones and radiant zither filigree. These heady, oddly prescient recordings were uncovered by New Age historian/figurehead Douglas Mcgowan (Yoga Records) and will appeal as much to fans of drone and ambient music as to those enamored with labyrinthine annals of American private press records, New Age as such, or with the recent renaissance of synthesizer-based experimental music. Remastered for presence and clarity by James Plotkin, we’re proud to offer up the definitive edition of Mark Banning’s transportive masterwork.


  • maxwell august croy & sean mccann – I – students of decay

    out of stock

    Composed and recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco, “I” is the debut full-length album by Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann. Croy is best known for his work in Bay Area duo EN, wherein he processes koto, voice, and other instrumentation into ecstatic and nuanced drone-based recordings. McCann is a solo artist whose work continues to undergo seismic evolutions, manifested most recently on the justly lauded “Music for Private Ensemble,” an album of autodidactic modern composition that defies easy categorization. Working as a duo, Croy and McCann have successfully synthesized compositional and aesthetic tropes from their respective discographies in order to produce something extraordinary. “Parting Light (Suite)” opens the album with a flurry of koto, cello, and violin lines masterfully woven together; a complex movement that dissembles to reveal a more spacious environment in which each gesture takes on a heightened significance. Croy’s koto lends the piece an Eastern aura that is complicated by McCann’s playing which is equal parts idiosyncratic and grandiose. Elsewhere, “Alexandria” finds the duo operating at their most celestial, working their instruments into a harrowing, beautiful dirge comprised of clarion tones and wide-eyed string arrangements. Ultimately, the sensibility cultivated by Croy and McCann on “I” proves to be utterly unique, perhaps situated best somewhere among the soundworlds of Gavin Bryars, Taj Mahal Travellers and Richard Skelton. The LP was mastered by Rashad Becker and the jacket features exclusive monotypes by Andrew Chalk.


  • wire thicket – dust, static – students of decay

    out of stock

    In describing the debut Wire Thicket album, released on Pseudoarcana in 2006,
    Antony Milton applied to the duo the term “power-drone.” On their second outing,
    the pair have fully embraced this label and taken it to new, delirious peaks. The
    title track is a fifteen minute blast of singing, celestial metal; an impassioned,
    deeply meditative flight into the starry night conjured from guitar, electronics and
    field recordings. Characteristic of the duo’s prior work together, the piece is an
    excercise in accretion — with layers and layers of meticulously detailed sound
    arranged into a furious, beautiful blanket of howling drone. Emerging from
    the tonal rubble is a second, shorter piece: a reworking of Taiga Remains’
    “Brilliant Dead Highways” (a piece featured previously on a split 7” with CJA) –
    akin to a delicate, drifting calm at the end of an immense storn.
    -sod


  • fabio orsi – 2 or 3 moments in 1 day – students of decay

    out of stock

    With recent releases on Digitalis and A Silent Place, and a Last
    Visible Dog album impending, Fabio Orsi has quickly made quite
    a name for himself – with good reason. “2 or 3 Moments in 1 Day”
    is, appropriately, a three part arrangement, each successive
    movement more shimmering and beautiful than the last. In Fabio’s
    own words, “The base idea was to create three parallel worlds. Like
    the thoughts in the mind, some intelligible moments and some
    lysergic moments.” Wonderful stuff, truly.


  • alex cobb – passage to morning – students of decay

    out of stock

    “The first full-length Alex Cobb has released since Taiga Remains’ well-received Wax Canopy (Digitalis, 2009). Sonically however, the two records could not be more dissimilar, with Passage to Morning recalling more the meditative guitar minimalism of Ribbons of Dust, his prior release for the Root Strata label. Here, glacially moving, eternally receding drones sourced from strings, tape loops and analog synthesizer are the order of the day, expertly arranged into succinct and imminently listenable compositions. Comparisons made of Cobb’s previous recordings to Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann’s work as Mirror prove particularly apt here, as Passage to Morning trades in the same sort of devotional, faraway sound design for which the pair have been justly praised. ‘The Immediate Past’ opens the record, with billowing, lulling tones hanging thick in the air like a struck bell frozen in time. Later, ‘Bewildered By Its Blue’ juxtaposes deep, brooding low-end tones with crackling tape noise and truly hypnotic cycles of analog synthesizer. That this is Cobb’s first full-length under his own name is no coincidence, as here he offers us his most intimate recordings to date.”


  • billy gomberg – only the sun for our – students of decay

    out of stock

    Glacial excursions culled from synthesizer, piano and field recordings by Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist Billy Gomberg. Wisps of melancholic melody adrift on murky waters. A beguiling collection that truly rewards repeat listens.


  • pausal – autumnal – students of decay

    out of stock

    Gorgeous and expansive, “Autumnal” is the second release by the UK duo of Alex Smalley and Simon Bainton following their revered debut on Barge Recordings last year. This two-part suite is full of heart-rending strings and bucolic, wistful arrangements. Recommended for fans of Stars of the Lid, Arvo Pärt and Labradford.


  • jefre cantu-ledesma and paul clipson – within mirrors – students of decay

    out of stock

    Many artists within the realm of electronic and ambient music combine film with audio. Rarely however, do we find such a highly singular and symbiotic merging of the two forms as occurs in the collaborative efforts between Bay Area filmmaker Paul Clipson and founding Tarentel member/Root Strata label owner Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Clipson and Cantu have worked aside one another for years, with Clipson often providing visuals for Tarentel’s live sets, and their history of working closely with each other is immediately apparent when viewing these collaborative works.

    As a filmmaker, Clipson’s aesthetic draws heavily from a palette which includes and synthesizes the abstractions of the American Avant-Garde, such as Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, and Jonas Mekas with narrative and formal tendencies from artists as diverse as Chantal Akerman, Hiroshi Teshigahara, and Jose Antonio Sistiaga.

    Cantu-Ledesma’s scores run the gamut from bleary, post-shoegaze mantras, in which barely-there melodies are submerged with all manner electronically treated aural detritus, to hushed ambience that is almost Eastern in its level of devotional pathos. Combined, the sonic and visual elements of these works are at once overwhelming in their beauty, and supremely evocative in their ability to conjure for the viewer pure wonder at the beauty and frailty of the world around us.

    This volume collects several of the out of print DVD-R releases that Jefre has released on the Root Strata imprint over the past few years, including “Two Suns,” “Corridors,” “The Phantom Harp,” “The Light and its Perfections,” and “Constellations, along with two new works, the eponymous film and “The Sphinx on the Seine” on professional DVDs with menu design by C. Spencer Yeh and artwork by Jefre. Clips from films may be seen here.