Esc.rec. celebrates it’s 20th year this year! Which is quite an achievemnt for a small independent recordlabel, right? Proud to say we are currently working on the 112th release (not counting the many ‘side projects’). We started celebrating late March 2024, combining it with partying for the 10th birthday of De Perifeer and the 50th birthday of Esc.rec. owner Harco Rutgers. Which was awesome. But there’s more.

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T’IJU T’IJU – THE DRAGON IS STILL ALIVE

Having hung his hat in the past on collaborative projects such as The Paper Ensemble, SOON and Silverbones, Jochem van Tol’s new project T’iju T’iju answers a long-held hypothesis: what would happen if he were to experiment with sound and music on his own? The answer lies partly in its moniker, named after the Bolivian word for grasshopper, an animal the Amsterdam-based composer and artist feels a peculiar spiritual connection to. T’iju T’iju’s debut ‘the dragon is still alive’ – a joint release by Esc.rec. and MOLK Records – was written and recorded by Van Tol during a retreat in Spain. The two tracks, ‘Blue Birds’ and ‘New Grass’, (a nod to Talk Talk’s seminal final LP Laughing Stock) were shaped by manipulating organic sounds with an assembly of synth modules and tape manipulations. Van Tol took on a tactile approach that felt novel and adventurous to him. In the past, he had completed works that were meant to be performed or vice versa, performances that were meant to put to rest on a recording. These recordings are more candid and personal, homing in on the moments themselves, music made with no audience in mind.

Released as limited edition 12″ vinyl in handmade cover, with letterpress prints and risograph inlay. Also available as a download and on all streaming platforms. Released on 28 March 2024.

More info / Order here


Various Artists – Nieuwe Electronische Waar 18

A record number of well over 100 producers of electronic music from Gelderland and Overijssel (two provinces in the Eastern part of The Netherlands) submitted a track to Nieuwe Electronische Waar this year. A broad professional jury judged all the submitted tracks. The producers with the best rated music productions are selected for the 18th edition of Nieuwe Electronische Waar (NEW).

Released on 9 March, available as a pay what you want download and on all relevant streaming channels.

More info / Download here


THANOS FOTIADIS – THE HOPE REALM

For the album ‘The Hope Realm’ Thanos Fotiadis recorded several piano phrases/loops onto tape of various qualities, from microcassettes to half-inch tapes. He then manually processed the loops through a 2-track tape recorder, using various objects and his hands to create new sound artifacts. The audio resulting from this process was recorded onto a digital sampler for further manipulation. The result is a hypnotic ambient album with minimal looping tape piano phrases that blend together. The album is split into two halves – two ‘ether’ tracks and two ‘earth’ tracks – and is released as two sides of an audio cassette, because tape played such an important role in the creation of the album.

Visual artist Teodora Ionescu made a 1,5m x 3m(!) charcoal drawing to the music of ‘The Hope Realm’. She sees this drawing as a ‘sketch’ for the live performance and album presentation that takes place on February 24th at Kelderfest – see perifeer.org/agenda/kelderfest-2024 – in which she makes another large charcoal drawing on the spot, in what can maybe best be described as a ritual performance to the live music of Thanos Fotiadis. Close-ups of the original ‘sketch’ are used as cover art for the limited edition cassettes, resulting in a unique cover for each cassette.

This album is released on 23 February 2024.

More info / Order here


JANNE ERAKER – MOVEMENTS FOR LISTENING

This groundbreaking tap dance album is a wild exploration of sound by Janne Eraker and friends, with borderless worlds of music, widening the horizon and moving outside of all boxes. The ambition of the project was to find ways to use tap dance as percussion in a variety of musical styles, genres and collaborations, and to make a state of the art album recording of this. Eraker has a group of stellar musicians with her on this project: Knut Reiersrud, Ivar Grydeland, Michaela Antalová, Harald Fetveit, Anders Kregnes Hansen, Hans Martin Rundberg Austestad, Juliana Venter, David Skinner, Roger Arntzen, Vegar Vårdal and Kristoffer Lislegaard. This resulted in 10 recordings with 9 duets and 1 trio.

All of this is also documented in a series of videos, to make it possible to see how the music was created. Together with the videos, the ten digital singles that make up the album will be released monthly; the first single came out on January 6th, the second single on February 3rd, the third single on March 3rd, the fourth single on April 7th, the fifth single on May 5th, the sixth single on June 2nd, the seventh single on July 7th, the eighth single on August 4th, the ninth single on September 1st and the tenth single on October 6th. The double vinyl record is released on November 3rd 2023.

Daan Botlek is a visual artist from the Netherlands. He created the cover of the double vinyl record and the ten digital singles. These are all unique murals made in his atelier in Rotterdam, as a part of his artistic project called Primitive Practice.

Much more information, videos and an extensive blog about this project can be found at janneeraker.com.

More info / Order here


ÜMLAUT – EVERYTHING IN ITS OWN PLACE

Ümlaut continues to traverse the realms of experimental and ambient music with ‘Everything in its own place’. In the interplay of finespun electronics and eclectic field recordings, the listener is airlifted out of the quotidian and into an ‘immense motionless pause’. A dream-like space where melodies emerge and music breathes. The concept of this album arose during a hearing test. Abstract tones and varying frequencies fed into the headset worn by the composer evoked an epiphany. Like an art-meets-life heartbeat. The abstract tones and frequencies swimming inside the composer’s head would inspire this album. Although the initial test showed hearing damaged, the diagnosis would be reversed. Like science fiction, it was just not true. To quote writer J.G. Ballard, “…sooner or later, everything turns into television.” Ümlaut is Jeff Düngfelder, a U.S. experimental composer/sound artist now based in the northern Connecticut countryside. The thematic concepts distinguishing his work are absence and silence; the ineffable exchange between viewer and image; random moments of stillness within a landscape in flux. Using a minimalistic, electro-acoustic approach, his elusive patchwork of field recordings and electronics merge with the world of shadows and colours.

Available as download and on all relevant streaming platforms. Released on October 6th.

More info / Order here


MONDAY W. – THE DIRT

The Dirt is an audio archive in the form of 5 digital albums composed of 13 tracks each. These 65 tracks contain only electric guitar. The Dirt is the documentation of a series of spontaneous experiments with texture and composition. The compositions are simple and fairly consistent. These albums with all the different tracks are not unlike a catalog of color swatches. By splitting the signal from the electric guitar and sending it through various effect loops, compositions are created in which the sound color is the starting point for exploring the final fixed form. The tracks were recorded on tape at home and then digitized. Monday W. is a moniker of painter and musician Hidde van Schie. Van Schie has released music in different genres under different names, like The 21st Century, Wild Wild Ambient Boys and Friday Wilkinson.

The physical edition consists of a unique(!) cassette with improvisations and raw source material recorded directly onto the cassette tape, an edition of 6 small photos, a riso printed poster with accompanying text and a download code for the 5 albums. Also available as download and on all relevant streaming platforms. Released on September 22nd.

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RAQQA – FLYING GINSU VII

RAQQA is an acousmatic-improvised duo comprised of Nicolas Zentz and Nino Baleyte, who use laptops, SuperCollider, and the ‘-Oris’ device in their performances. Flying Ginsu VII emerges from a series of improvisations, recorded in August 2022 in France. RAQQA stirs up the commotion; the need for creativity and human expression, which arises in the world in an unpredictable, unconstrained and sometimes brutal way. RAQQA is all about bringing about the confrontation of fundamental sound elements, building an entire ecosystem of complex and interdependent elements that give rise to deep sound worlds. Through these soundscapes the listener experiences the vague boundaries between noise and music, between consciousness and dreaming, between control and letting go.

The physical edition consists of the postcard sized artwork printed on soft touch matte coated 400g paper, with handwritten download code on the back. Also available as download and on all relevant streaming platforms. Released on September 22nd.

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SIMONE SIMS LONGO – PAESAGGI INTEGRATI

Paesaggi integrati is somewhere between computer music, electroacoustic and techno. An album that weaves relationships between different planes and sound materials: details of acoustic instruments, concrete processed sound, digital synthesis and soundscapes. The pieces develop a dualistic game between recorded acoustic instrument and programmed instrument through orchestral libraries. This aspect directs the production towards a sound that becomes crystal clear and sometimes hyper-realistic. From the development of the music form permeates a strong interest in rhythm and a desire to deconstruct the structures of club music. A path on the edge of genres that uses the integration of field recording as a tool to build organic sound scenarios used in opposition, overlap and coordination to the rhythmic design and synthetic elements.

The artwork curated by Giulia Toscano uses original temporary sculptures by the artist Michele Bruna built for the occasion with objects found in nature. Available as a ltd. edition cd and as download and all relevant streaming platforms. Releases on May 25th, pre-orders are up.

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REINIER VAN HOUDT, LUCIO TASCA, JASNA VELICKOVIC, HANSKO VISSER – ASVOGEL IN ORGELPARK (KEMENYMADAR I-IV)

This is the first part of an elaborate project by Hansko Visser. His bio-graphical score in lino-prints, poems and a letter was inspired by the late Hungarian / Yugoslavian composer Ernö Király. Hansko Visser tried to catch Ernö Király’s world in eight lino-prints and poems. These were then paired with compository rules and tools to form a complex system for creating the music. Hansko Visser entrusted fellow composers Reinier van Houdt, Jasna Velickovic and Lucio Tasca with the material and like himself, they each wrote their own version of the piece. They then formed their own ensembles of four, to play these versions at Orgelpark, Amsterdam. It is possible to subscribe to the series or check new issues at https://demisluktezigeuner.com/kemenymadar.

The cd comes in a handmade package; a sleeve, folded into a small sized poster. Both have photos of the live performances in Orgelpark, made by Valentijn Kortekaas. The package also includes a wrapper and a card with more info about the project. Release on May 11th. Also available as a download and (a bit later) on all relevant streaming platforms.

More info / Order here


Other recent releases

Check the complete catalogue here


Even more

Even more releases anticipated in 2023, by the likes of Sergei Demin, Jeroen Diepenmaat & Frans de Waard, Snackbar The Ambassador.