‘After five years of pure idealism—being driven by haunting visions—and putting out 33 releases, we are more than happy to announce these upcoming two albums.
To welcome Current 93’s David Tibet again on Reinier van Houdt‘s new beautiful album means a lot to us, since the hosting of Myrninerest at Matthaeuskirche Lucerne marked the starting point for Hallow Ground.
It is also a privilege to welcome our friend Ros Knopov aka PLYXY from NYC on our roster. His highly conceptual album fit perfectly with our preferences in the music and art world.
To make this autumn perfect in a musical way, we decided to re-press Colin Potter‘s sold-out LP “Rank Sonata” in an edition of 200 copies.’
Reinier Van Houdt – Igitur Carbon Copies (feat. David Tibet)
“A man wakes up in the middle of the night. Is there something there? Or has something disappeared? Outside are clouded constellations of stars, inside the radio plays idle sounds from beyond and the phone is dead.
It seems as if something had been accompanying him already all the time, hiding in the corner of his eye, stealing his identity by being a double.
Trying to escape this mirror phantom he leaves the room. Outside on the stairs he happens upon more reflections, shadows and doubles. In vain he tries to conjure and collect these multiples by compulsively counting the steps and doors on the way down.
Downstairs he lies down on the floor, which seems to keep on falling. The dice is shaken, but not thrown – there’s no need to. The number is calculated, but not called – there’s no one.”
After the solo album ‘Paths of the Errant Gaze’ in two-thousand-and-sixteen Reinier van Houdt returns to Hallow Ground with ‘Igitur Carbon Copies‘ – an album based on the unfinished gothic tale Igitur– a collection of texts that eventually was abandoned by its author Stéphane Mallarmé in 1869.
Connecting with Mallarmé’s obsessions about chance and destiny, ‘Igitur Carbon Copies’ is the fragmentation of all the roots that ran under its predecessor ‘Paths of the Errant Gaze’ and brings these to a provisional close: guided by David Tibet’s voice reading the reworked text we descend through spheres of deserted anthems, disembodied voices, morse signals, crank calls, corroded tapes, radio statics, stones, while doing counting games.
Here the acoustical spaces are manifold, blended or shifted in a heartbeat, where far and near, up and down are relative, where Riemann’s god is pointless and angels are enjoying their space. Here perception is a vice that constantly hallucinates realities.
Reinier van Houdt started experimenting with taperecorders, radio’s and objects at a young age. Later he studied piano at the Liszt-Academy in Budapest & the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
He developed a fascination for all matters that defy notation: sound, timing, space, physicality, memory, noise, environment – points beyond composition, interpretation and improvisation.
He has built himself an unusual repertoire that consistently resulted from personal quests; from composing with non-musical sources, from collaborations with composers & musicians, from research in archives or from unorthodox studies of classical music.
He collaborated with artists like Francisco López, Maria de Alvear, Robert Ashley, Luc Ferrari, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Curran, John Cage, Christian Marclay, Walter Marchetti, Charlemagne Palestine and joined the legendary outsider-collective Current 93 in 2012.
180 grams clear vinyl, incl. instant download
Release date Nov 16th 2018
PLYXY – Gloryland – LP
Originally issued by Ascetic House as a small limited-run cassette release in early 2018, PLYXY’s debut EP ‘Gloryland‘ will now be available on vinyl and digital formats via Hallow Ground.
Haunted by the pressing question, ‘What if?’, the five compositions on ‘Gloryland‘ aim to create, in the words of the artist, Ros Knopov, himself, ‘a hyper-visual audio landscape of a world somebody listening can fall into and drown in.‘
The term “nostalgia” originally referred to the longing for a place. The nostalgia that informs ‘Gloryland‘ is PLYXY’s longing for his cultural-geographic roots while feeling adrift in an alien environment.
Born in Dnepropetrovsk, then the rocket-making capital of the USSR, Knopov immigrated to New York City as a child in 1989. In ‘Gloryland‘ he dives deep into his uneasy childhood memories and their warped reflections.
PLYXY marks the unreliability of his recollections by making it heard – the anthemic qualities of the five pieces are coated in an opaque layer of dream-like textures.
From the elegiac opener, ‘It Will Be Beautiful’, to the blaring rhythmic noise of ‘March of Youth’, the greyscale picture painted by ‘Gloryland‘ becomes more and more refined below the surface.
PLYXY’s search for a past is, however, less a sentimental journey, and more a radical confrontation with the politics of memory and the materials that serve as mnemonic devices.
‘Gloryland‘ draws on field recordings from Knopov’s adopted hometown New York and Soviet films as well as performances from his collection of analog and digital keyboards, with the results filtered and re-textured through the producer’s modular synthesizer setup acting as the final editorial layer in the creative process.
The result is lush and warm throughout, but also demure and distant. While ‘Gloryland‘ might thus easily be pigeonholed as a hauntological record, it is one only in the term’s most radical sense. After all, any ‘what if?’ might turn into a ‘Why not?’
Colin Potter – Rank Sonata – LP
Wherever Colin Potter’s path has lead him in the past four decades, he has always gone his own way.
Even while intensely collaborating with acts such as Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, the Integrated Circuit Records founder remained one of the most idiosyncratic figures of the UK underground and has left a mark on Britain’s post-industrial scene with his radical DIY approach that can barely be measured by his extensive output alone.
Two-thousand-and-fifteen’s ‘Rank Sonata‘ for the Switzerland-based Hallow Ground label followed a series of collaborations and cassette releases with four pieces that showcased a musical technicality that was only surpassed by Potter’s innovative approach to dub, techno and minimalism.
The almost 20-minute long opener ‘A Wider Pale of Shale’ layers rhythmic elements to achieve a density that is rarely heard in music like this: what starts off with lush, string-like drone sounds slowly builds up to a pulsating dub techno track reminiscent of Porter Ricks before delving into even more noise and picking up right where it has left off towards the end.
After this masterful exercise in repetition and difference, ‘And’ uses classic dub structures as a template for a hyperreal piece of musique concrète for the 21st century. ‘Knit Where’ and ‘Beyond the Pail’ further complicate known formulas.
The former contrasts warped orchestral sounds with hissing white noise over a slowed-down dub rhythm while the latter sounds like an unhinged re-imagining of a early rave track, complete with anthemic harmonies and thumping kick.
‘Rank Sonata‘ goes its own way just like Potter has done since his debut in the early 1980s, venturing deep down into the realms of familiar music styles – with the single goal of dismantling them entirely.
If there were such a thing as a brute force approach to rewriting music history, it would sound exactly like this.