Regarding The Auguries: the brand new album from Alka

VeryRecords is pleased to announce the release of Regarding The Auguries, the latest album from Alka which will be released on 9th October 2020.



‘Regarding The Auguries’ is the portentously-titled fourth album from Philadelphia electronic unit Alka. It is an album that reflects back our myriad concerns about the world; a teeming, restless work surveying global civil unrest, freak earthly phenomena and a sense that order is slowly being dismantled around us. Although it was recorded long before lockdown, its grim outlook makes it a fitting release during the grip of an existential crisis that has impacted us all.

After being a solo project of Bryan Michael since the early 2000s, for ‘Regarding The Auguries’ Alka is re-imagined as a unit of Bryan Michael, visual artist Erika Tele and fellow Philadelphia electronic musician Todd Steponick, a line-up familiar from their recent, pre-lockdown shows.

The eleven tracks on the album were written in what Bryan describes as “slow motion” – he would start an idea; Todd would respond to it; Erika would add her distinctive vocals, which would then be woven through the track like another instrument. A track might then be disassembled, deconstructed and rebuilt, or its atomised components could end up as the basis for another track completely. What emerged from this evolving, morphing, shapeshifting sonic conversation is a body of work that could not have existed without the interplay between the unit’s three members.

From the outset, Alka wanted to make this an album encompassing human reactions to the times we live in. Fear, dread and unknowable mysteries might dominate its sonic architecture, but here we also find personal emotion and vulnerability on the tender ‘My Heart’, led by a delicate, emotive vocal from Erika, or a sense of being dismayed by an inability to decipher the fact from fiction on ‘Doubt’.

Here we also can identify with the feeling of life’s certainties unravelling around us on the album’s gradually-evolving opener ‘Fractured Time’. The bold, robust ‘Faito’ deploys a Japanese word used to inspire confidence and encouragement, while ‘Scrapple’ finds Erika’s vocal positioned with shouty insistence on a spiky electro track inspired by the gilets jaunes riots in Paris.

Throughout the album, we hear melodies that glitch and splinter into strange, unpredictable shapes. We hear sharp edits and off-kilter time signatures, horror movie samples and brief gospel interjections; on the widescreen ‘Earth Crisis’ we hear a chilling sample of unexplained natural atmospherics that sound like the earth foretelling of its impending final moments.

“An augury is like fortune telling that comes from looking at the patterns of bird flight,” explains Bryan of the album’s title. “Those patterns usually prophecy some sort of doom. I’d come up with the title a long time ago, but when we were working on the album, it seemed to become more and more connected to the world around us. In the end, it feels like it’s become a very timely album.”

More timely it could not be. ‘Regarding The Auguries’ is a dark, contemplative electronic album made by three human beings staring fixedly at our suddenly uncertain futures.

MORE INFORMATION & PRE-ORDERS 

Brook reveal the official video for Built You For Thought

VeryRecords recording artists Brook have today revealed the video to accompany the title track of their new album Built You For Thought.

The Built You For Thought album is available to buy right now in CD and WAV Download editions from the VeryRecords shop, and as an MP3 download from iTunes and all good online retailers.

Read Soundthread’s track-by-track guide to Brook’s Built You For Thought album…

Brook’s debut album Built You For Thought is released today and to celebrate our friends at Soundthread have published an interview with the duo in the form of a track-by-track guide to the album which you can read by clicking the button below.

Built You For Thought is available to buy right now in CD and WAV Download editions from the VeryRecords shop, and as a download from iTunes and all good online retailers.

Introducing Brook’s Built You For Thought

VeryRecords is pleased to announce the release of Built You For Thought, the debut album by UK electronic duo Brook. The album will be released on 20th September 2019.

‘Built You For Thought’ combines the captivating vocals of Beth Brooks with a delicate, sensitive electronic palette from Howard Rider.

The ten highly personal songs on the album are delivered with an arresting power and a towering emotional resonance. Beth, a seasoned soul and blues vocalist from the UK’s Midlands possesses a technique unlike any other, capable of switching from quiet introspection to blistering urgency, sometimes within the same song. It’s an effect that can lead the listener to mistakenly think they are hearing a choir of many voices instead of just one.

“I was profoundly deaf until I was about four and I had to endure loads of operations,” explains Beth. “From then on, I started to try and replicate certain sounds and the way people sang, and I think that’s where all those different voices come from.”

The temptation would be for Howard’s music to follow Beth’s lead. After encouraging his brother to sell his Renault 5 to buy a drum machine when he was fifteen, Howard was weaned on a diet of dance music. Having previously released upbeat electronic music loaded with melodies, it would have been all too easy for Howard to put Beth’s vocal in a loud, similarly-intense setting. Instead, the music here is a conscious exercise in self-restraint: reflective passages and quietly turbulent, stirring juxtapositions, occasionally coalescing into sequences and arrangements laden with tension and robust rhythms, or nodding to the eclecticism of modern classical composition.

Lyrically, the album’s diaristic lyrics finds Beth in the role of observer, ruminating nostalgically on her time living in Australia (lead track ‘Diamond Days’), trying to fathom a loved one’s incomprehensible anger and mood swings (‘Rage’) and contemplating what the world would have turned out like if only Adam had bitten the apple instead of Eve (‘Applaud’).

Elsewhere, the muted electro pulse of the album’s title track finds Beth wondering why so many old buildings are ignored in favour of derivative modernity, while the standout ‘Prince’ places Brook on the sound system of a New York nightclub in the years before house music took over, its lyrics shining a bitter torch on the fairytale notion of waiting for one special person to arrive in your life.

‘Built You For Thought’ is the product of two years of work. The tracks began with Beth recording alone with an acoustic guitar before Howard began wrapping her vocals in layers of intricate synths and textures to create the ten fragile pieces here. “While we were making the record, someone said to me that we should keep it simple,” says Howard. “If this had been a solo project I’d have probably made this all sound a lot crazier, but gradually I began to realize he was correct. What we needed was a lot of space for Beth to be the central focus of these songs.”

The result is a suite of songs that are deliberately and delicately understated, presented in such a way as to put Beth’s many voices and her individual outlook on life, society and relationships at the very heart of each song; songs that cannot help but leave a mark on you and which will stay with you long after ‘Built You For Thought’ has finished.

Happy New Year!

Here’s a little something to ease you into 2019…

VeryRecords is proud to present ‘Cello and No Buchla’, a piece composed and performed by Reed Hays from VeryRecords artists Reed & Caroline.

The track features cello, Organelle and Mutable Instrument Modules controlled by the Verbos Touchplate Keyboard… we hope you like it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Reed & Caroline reveal new video for Ocean from their Hello Science album

VeryRecords has unveiled a video to accompany Reed & Caroline‘s track Ocean from their new album Hello Science, which is available now.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING
• Before
• Dark Matter
• Buoyancy
• Another Solar System
• It’s Science
• Digital Trash
• Ocean
• Entropy
• Computers
• Internet Of Things
• Continuous Interfold
• Metatron
• Before (Vince Clarke Remix)

ORDER
The Digital Download format is available to order now as an MP3 from iTunes and all good online retailers. The album will shortly be available as a high quality WAV download from the online shop.

The limited-edition CD format is available in the online shop while stocks last.

Watch Reed & Caroline’s new Metatron video

VeryRecords has unveiled a video to accompany Reed & Caroline‘s new track Metatron which features on their new album Hello Science, which is available now.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING
• Before
• Dark Matter
• Buoyancy
• Another Solar System
• It’s Science
• Digital Trash
• Ocean
• Entropy
• Computers
• Internet Of Things
• Continuous Interfold
• Metatron
• Before (Vince Clarke Remix)

ORDER
The Digital Download format is available to order now as an MP3 from iTunes and all good online retailers. The album will shortly be available as a high quality WAV download from the online shop.

The limited-edition CD format is available in the online shop while stocks last.

Watch the video for Reed & Caroline’s track Buoyancy

VeryRecords has unveiled another video from Reed & Caroline. The new video showcases the track Buoyancy from the new Reed & Caroline album Hello Science, which is available now.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING
• Before
• Dark Matter
• Buoyancy
• Another Solar System
• It’s Science
• Digital Trash
• Ocean
• Entropy
• Computers
• Internet Of Things
• Continuous Interfold
• Metatron
• Before (Vince Clarke Remix)

ORDER
The Digital Download format is available to order now as an MP3 from iTunes and all good online retailers. The album is also available as a high quality WAV download from the online shop.

The limited-edition CD format is available in the online shop while stocks last.

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