First acts announced for Incubate 2015

Incubate has announced that artists including Cabaret Voltaire, Factory Floor, Sun Araw and Mercury Rev will play at its 11th edition this September. The Tilburg based festival, which this year takes place between 14–20 September, typically programmes a huge lineup over seven days, so this initial announcement of 29 acts will be followed by more names over the next few months.

London label Perc Trax will be celebrating ten years of releases with a special event on 19 September including sets from Perc & Truss and Forward Strategy Group.

Early bird passes are now available online via incubate.org.

Stefan Goldmann publishing book on presets

Stefan Goldmann

Stefan Goldmann has written a book on the history and use of musical presets. Presets – Digital Shortcuts To Sound sees the DJ and composer interviewing musicians, developers, producers and artists including Robert Henke, Cory Arcangel, Mike Daliot of Native Instruments and Junichi Ikeuchi and Tomoko Itoh, developers of the Korg M1 (whose ‘unrealistic’ piano sound became a staple of house music). In the book’s introduction Goldmann celebrates the potential of preset sounds, remarking that “culture hardly ever plays technology by the operation manual for long.”

Presets – Digital Shortcuts To Sound is published by The Bookworm, the occasional publishing operation of cassette label The Tapeworm. It is published on 18 May and can be ordered here.

Test Dept book launch and screening in London

Paul Jamrozy and Toby Burdon of Test Dept perform at Ealing Studios, 1985
Photo: Brett Turnbull

Newly founded publishing house PC Press celebrates the launch of its book about the UK industrial group Test Dept with a film and Q&A event in South London.

The book, titled Total State Machine, features archival photos, artworks, tour diaries and interviews, alongside contributions from colleagues and writers, such as Jonathan Moore, Robin Rimbaud, Stephen Mallinder and more.

The Total State Machine book launch will accompany a screening of the Test Dept film DS30. Commissioned by AV Festival in 2014, DS30 was originally performed at Dunston Staiths, on the 30th anniversary of the miners' strike. It features footage of the struggling mining communities along the River Tyne, as well as sound recordings from Test Dept's own archive.

The event will also include a Q&A session with Test Dept founding members Graham Cunnington, Angus Farquhar and Paul Jamrozy, plus DJ sets by Shelley Parker and Scanner.

Test Dept's book launch and DS30 screening will take place on 23 April, at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton. You can find more about the book here and details about the launch here.

Bob Suren publishing memoir on Florida punk rock scene

Florida punk rock veteran Bob Suren is about to publish his memoirs. Called Crate Digger: An Obsession With Punk Records, the book documents how his 30 year investment in music destroyed his home life. Suren played in groups, founded the Burrito Records label, ran a record shop and distribution channel, as well as writing about and photographing the punk scene. But he quit all these activities after he split up with his partner, realising that he had “put music ahead of my wife”.

Tracing the history of Florida punk rock through anecdotal recall of his obsessions, Suren wrote Crate Digger over a six month stretch between 2012–13.

The book is published on 9 June by Microcosm. More details here, and watch a trailer for the book here.

Hippos In Tanks founder Barron Machat dies in car accident

Barron Machat, cofounder of Los Angeles record label Hippos In Tanks, died in a car accident in Miami, Florida, on 8 April. He was 27 years old. The label’s name, originally the title of the late night radio show he started with Travis Woolsey on the West Coast station KXLU in the late 2000s, references And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks, an early novel cowritten by Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs that went unpublished in either writer’s lifetime. Machat had played baseball at Pacific Hills school in California, and at one point he eyed a career in sports. But he came from a family of music industry heavyweights – his grandfather Marty once managed Leonard Cohen – and his new label grew, in part, from the support and connections of his father Steven, a former lawyer at Death Row records. Hippos In Tanks released early records by Laurel Halo, Grimes and Arca, as well as albums by Daniel Lopatin and Joel Ford’s Games project, Hype Williams, Dean Blunt and James Ferraro, whose Far Side Virtual was voted album of the year in 2011 (The Wire 335). In his cover feature about Blunt (The Wire 367), David Keenan described the label as “hypnagogic pop’s Altamont, a label that functioned as a high paying lightning rod for major thinkers like Blunt, James Ferraro and Daniel Lopatin, while giving them access to visions of the kind of dark Babylonian capital and debauch that their music had previously only imagined”.

Screamscape festival at Kunsthalle Fri Art

Photo: Yuko Under

Scream and scream again is the motto of an eight day event in Switzerland at the end of May. Co-organised by the International Institute for Screamscape Studies and The Centre d’Art de Fribourg, Screamscape has opened up a scream bank for participating musicians and artists, including Junko Hiroshige, Keiji Haino, Prurient, Dave Phillips, and more, to ensure the screaming never stops.

The scream bank is a collection of screams uploaded by the public via swissscreamscape.org, as well as recordings made at public events. The eight days of Screamscape take in talks, choirs, concerts, scream-battles, radio shows, installations and performances at Fribourg’s Kunsthalle Fri Art between 30 May–6 June, more info incoming via Fri Art.

Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay form new trio

Jac Berrocal

Jac Berrocal has recorded a new album with fellow composers and improvisors David Fenech and Vincent Epplay. Called Antigravity, it will be released by Blackest Ever Black.

Trumpeter, composer and poet Berrocal became a key player in the 1970s Parisian improv and experimental scenes, both as a collaborator and as founder of the group Catalogue. He has worked together with artist and composer Fenech before in a trio with Ghédalia Tazartès on the 2011 LP Superdisque.

Antigravity will be released by Blackest Ever Black on 27 April.

More information here

New octobass being built for Oslo's Only Connect festival

Only Connect festival in Oslo is building an octobass, which will be played at this year’s event by improvisor and noise musician Guro Skumsnes Moe. The octobass is a four metre high double bass invented by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in the 1850s. Three were actually made by him, and since then only a few replicas have been produced.

Tuned two octaves below a cello, the lowest note it can produce is 16 Hz, which is below the lower level of human hearing. Its strings are controlled from a set of levers mounted on the side, and players access the instrument via a small platform.

Skumsnes Moe is a member of Norwegian trio MoE, and she will be playing the newly built octobass with violinist Ole Henrik Moe. Guro also curates the All Ears festival with Paal Nilssen-Love.

Only Connect takes place in Oslo 4–6 June, across various venues in Oslo. More details on the octobass concert here.

Sound Development City open call for summer expedition proposals

Sound Development City has put out an open call for performances, research or installation projects from artists working in any discipline for a tour in Belgrade and Athens between 9–27 September.

In effect the trip itself will serve as a studio on the road for the ten artists finally selected. There is no age limit. The jury will be announced here at the end of April, and the deadline for submissions is 19 April. More details here.

Death Waltz opening record shop in Margate

Death Waltz label head Spencer Hickman is opening a record shop in Margate this summer with artist Kimberley Holladay, who designed the artwork for Death Waltz's Forbidden World OST. The shop, Transmission, will stock new and used vinyl, artwork, and collectibles. It has already opened in the digital realm, and the shop itself will be opening in June at 105 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, Margate.

The online shop and more details on Transmission can be found online here.

[HT: Vinyl Factory]