New Studio Album From Jon Gomm – The Faintest Idea – Due To Be Released Through Kscope on 16th October

UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR 2020 / 2021 CONFIRMED
1st Single – Cocoon released – video here

Jon Gomm, the UK based acoustic guitar virtuoso, has announced the details of his new album The Faintest Idea, due for release on Kscope on 16th October 2020, with this new album he has found new emotional depths in immense melodic pop landscapes.

When most people look at an acoustic guitar, they see exactly that – a wooden box with strings. As one of the pioneers of the modern fingerstyle sound, however, Jon Gomm has a rare gift for turning one instrument into what feels like an entire orchestra…

The Blackpool-born singer-songwriter’s 2003 home-recorded debut, Hypertension, was nothing short of a musical revelation: drumming beats, tapping chords and striking harmonics on his acoustic underneath that warm, soulful voice. Things changed for Jon with landmark single Passionflower racking up 17 million plus views on YouTube and other media platforms in 2012 – with British legend Stephen Fry describing him on mainstream television as someone “playing the guitar in a way I’d never seen it played before” and “an all-round genius”. Follow up album Secrets Nobody Keeps arrived in 2013, further cementing his stature as one of the driving forces behind an acoustic revolution – but now, having signed a label deal for the very first time in his career, he’s managed to truly refine the pop sensibilities and emotive expression within that unmistakable wall of sound. Latest full-length The Faintest Idea is set for release this October.

I didn’t realise that my songs were worth anything beyond the crazy guitar playing,” shrugs the songwriter reborn, who originally started out on ukulele at the age of two. “When people started getting my lyrics tattooed on them, I had to accept that they’re not doing that because they’re fans of percussive guitar”

Perhaps one of the greatest surprises with The Faintest Idea is how it contrasts the incredible human warmth of Gomm’s acoustic articulation with more icy affairs, thanks to the synth parts and production work from Australian musician Andy Sorenson. Instead of a war between man and machine, the collaboration delicately cross-pollinates simple honesty with more forward-thinking atmospheres. It is a contemporary masterpiece – rich in its sense of paths travelled and roads taken, while also daring to gaze into the unexpected future.

Andy has taken my raw, intimate solo acoustic performances, and placed them in an artificially expanded landscape of his own creation. I feel like I’m playing a gig, but the venue is a synthetic reality dreamworld. I strum a chord, and it bounces off a cyan cloud releasing a shower of notes, I hit another, and it echoes through a crystal chamber” Gomm muses.

The album earned its title through the notion that all of us, to some extent, are just The Faintest Idea. The singer/guitarist notes how that everything is made out of vibrating strings of probability, and it’s this scientific and spiritual meaning – as well as the more literal translation of total guesswork – that felt like the perfect summation of album number four… “It’s an enigmatic title,” smiles Gomm. “There’s a fine line between a metaphor and a pun, so I guess it dances on that.”

The album is complemented by the delicate hand drawn pen and ink cover art created by Lee Zimmerman.

Often cited as one of the most naturally gifted acoustic artists of the modern age, a one-man band with seemingly no limit to expression, it’s little surprise that the new music drew from the musician’s own experiences over the last five or so years. And while there have been moments of joyous celebration, by his own admission there has also been plenty of personal upheaval “This album has been a long time coming,” he reflects. “I tend to write in a really painstaking way. The last few years of my life have involved a lot of personal trauma – from me and my wife losing a pregnancy, through to losing other people in my life.”

There’s a sense of reinvention that arrives in The Faintest Idea’s 11 tracks – documenting a musician coming to terms with the talents that got him recognised and choosing to evolve into the unexpected. Despite having already gone viral and established himself as one of the modern-day masters of acoustic, this could very well be the release that sees the virtuoso transition to a mainstream audience far removed from the guitar community he’s long been revered by… “People knew I could play, I didn’t need to write an album to make that point anymore,” summarises Gomm. “And being aware of that brought out my music in a better way. The technique side can feed into the ego after a while. This is still acoustic guitar music, but the sound, approach and experiences behind it are totally different. I didn’t need to force myself to follow any musical philosophy when I could just make a beautiful-sounding album that was totally immersive and more emotional.”

Indeed, it’s as immersive and emotional as music gets. And while these are the most expansive recordings of JonGomm’s career so far, it still really just boils down to the magic of one man with his guitar and voice. And what a powerful magic it is.

The Faintest Idea is due to be released on 16th October on the following formats:
*CD
*Double gatefold LP with D-side artwork etching
* Digitally
*As a stunning limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition which will feature:
CD1 – The Faintest Idea album
CD 2 – The Naked Artist Mix – a stripped back version of the album
a DVD containing6 exclusive performances filmed in a medieval church
Guitar technique presentations
A 35 minute Jon Gomm interview
Song description videos
The Faintest Idea in high resolution stereo audio.
The beautiful book will feature Lee Zimmerman illustrations, song descriptions, handwritten lyrics and full guitar tablature for the song “Check You’re Still Breathing”

The Faintest Idea – UK & Eire headline tour – tickets on sale now
December 2020                              
Sat 5 – Huddersfield – Parish Pub
Sun 6 – York – The Crescent
Thu 10 – Trowbridge – Emmanuels Yard
Fri 11 – Cheltenham – Frog And Fiddle
Sat 12 – Swansea – Sin City

Jan 2021                                           
Mon 4 – Southampton – Joiners
Tue 5 – Brighton – Komedia
Wed 6 – Bury St Edmunds – Apex
Fri 15 – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Sat 16 – Bristol – Thekla
Sun 17 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Fri 22 – Manchester – The Bread Shed
Sat 23 – Liverpool – Leaf
Fri 29 – Leeds – Brudenell

Feb 2021                                           
Wed 3 – Runcorn – Brindley Theatre
Fri 5 – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
Sat 6 – Haverhill – Haverhill Arts Centre
Sun 7 – Reading – Sub 89
Thu 11  – Cardiff – The Globe
Fri 12 – Blackpool – Bootleg Social
Thu 18 – Preston – The Ferret
Fri 19 – Newcastle – Cluny
Sat 20 – Glasgow – Oran Mor
Sat 27 – Dublin – Academy 2

March 2021                                      
Fri 5 – London – Bush Hall
Sat 6 – Guildford – Boileroom

Artist image by Elizabeth Gomm.

GAZPACHO, THE KINGS OF ATMOSPHERIC AND AFFECTIVE ROCK RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM FIREWORKER – DUE FOR RELEASE ON KSCOPE ON 18TH SEPTEMBER

For nearly twenty years, Gazpacho have reigned as the kings of atmospheric and affective art rock. That’s certainly no small feat, as the subgenre is full of wonderfully moody, ornate, and emotional artists; yet, none of them manage to achieve the same level of exquisite baroque resonance and hypnotically introspective weight as the Norwegian sextet. As a result, they never fail to provide awe-inspiring examinations of the human condition, and their latest observation, Fireworker, is no exception. It is undoubtedly among their greatest achievements, as well as one of the most profound pieces of music you’ll hear in 2020.

LISTEN TO THE TITLE  TRACK “FIREWORKER” HERE

Conceptually, the album follows the band’s tradition of blending grand philosophical quandaries, stimulating literary leanings, and haunting personal turmoil. In a way, it acts as the culmination of the themes and techniques that’ve decorated earlier collections, combining the fatalistic isolation of Night and Missa Atropos; the ill-fated narrative drama of Tick Tock and Soyuz; and the hefty theological/scientific contemplations of Demon and Molok. Beyond that, its central premise (that humanity has always been controlled by an infallible and omniscient creature determined to propagate at any cost) means that Fireworker comes across like the overarching umbrella under which all of its predecessors occur.

Keyboardist Thomas Andersen elucidates: “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ It’s an eternal and unbroken lifeforce that’s survived every generation, with a new version in each of us. It’s evolved alongside our consciousness, and it can override us and control all of our actions.

In order to get us to do what it wants, he clarifies, the “Fireworker” will silence the parts of our mind that feel disgust or remorse so that we’re unable to stop it. The conscious part of our mind, Andersen notes, will actually “rationalize and legitimize” those thoughts and actions so that we never discover the beast behind-the-scenes. No matter how we feel about ourselves in terms of identity, accomplishments, and value, we’re all just vessels—or “Sapiens”—that the creature uses until it no longer needs us.“If you play along,” Andersen explains, “It’ll reward you like a puppy and let you feel fantastic; if you don’t, it’ll punish you severely.”

Like NightFireworker is a single “trip” broken into five chapters but meant to be appreciated all at once. This time, however, Gazpacho’s recurring protagonist is investigating the labyrinthian hive of his own psyche to engage in a Bergman-esque confrontation with the “Fireworker.” This journey is even represented by the Wimmelbilder cover, which, as usual, was designed by collaborator Antonio Seijas and depicts “the billions of neurons that create the cave of the mind”.

Fireworker declares its mesmeric dominance right away via “Space Cowboy,” a side-long suite whose ominous lyricism (“The parasite / That lives in me / Murders words / From where I stop / And it breathes in / We’re biting our tail / The cycle begins”) is but one of many reasons why it’s among Gazpacho’s greatest compositions. From its heartbreakingly delicate first movement and chaotic centerpiece, to its mournfully symphonic penultimate phase and thunderous outro, it is a masterpiece onto itself, cementing how vivacious, evocative, and imaginative Gazpacho remain after all these years. 

From there, the sequence remains just as seductively eccentric and beautiful. In particular, “Hourglass” is a gorgeous piano ballad that evokes March of Ghosts in its fusion of welcoming melodies and gentle orchestral flourishes. That then make way for the feisty layers and catchy hooks of the band’s first single and title track “Fireworker.” Fittingly, “Antique” takes over with angelic mystery and the album closer “Sapien,” echoes the dynamic range and epic scope of “Space Cowboy,” resulting in an awe-inspiring finale that envelops you in luscious arrangements and poignant existential realizations.  

Naturally, Gazpacho’s career has been full of great performances and glowing praise. Outside of issuing three superb live LPs (2010’s A Night at the Loreley, 2011’s London, and 2015’s Night of the Demon), they’ve played festivals such as Be Prog! My Friend, Night of the Prog, Midsummer Prog Festival, and Cruise to the Edge, where they delighted audiences alongside exceptional brethren like iamthemorning, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Caligula’s Horse, Riverside, The Neal Morse Band, and Steve Hackett.

Unsurprisingly, their records have been met with similarly enthusiastic reception; for instance, their previous statement, 2018’s Soyuz,earned superlative accolades from publications such as PROGEchoes and Dust and Louder than War.

Fireworker is truly life-changing experience, so you would be wise to turn off all of the lights, clear your mind as best you can, and prepare to meet the Fireworker.

 FIREWORKER tracklisting

1. Space Cowboy [19:43] 

2. Hourglass [04:15] 

3. Fireworker [04:41] 

4. Antique [06:24] 

5. Sapien [15:22]

Fireworker will be released on Kscope on 18th September, on CD, a gatefold 2LP on 180g black vinyl  (3 sides audio, 1 side art etching) and digitally (digital pre-orders receive the title track “Fireworker” as an instant download) and is available to pre-order HERE

GAZPACHO LIVE

Sadly, due to the current covid-19 situation the band’s European and UK dates scheduled for October 2020 have been postponed to October 2021, but as the band didn’t want to disappoint their fans Gazpacho are planning to play Fireworker in its entirety via a livestream, alongside a Q&A about the concept plus will play a few favourites from their repertoire. Details of the streaming event and the rescheduled tour will follow soon.

In the meantime, they suggest, you should internalize the record as much as possible to eventually “research your own ‘Space Cowboy.’” Anderson adds: “It’s an attempt at a safe way of looking at something highly dangerous because the animal does not understand music or poetry. We’re trying to outsmart it by writing around it, as music can go places words can’t and there’s a magic to it all.”. 
Gazpacho are:

Thomas Andersen – keyboards, programming

Jan-Henrik Ohme – vocals

Jon-Arne Vibo – guitars

Mikael Krømer – violin, additional guitars

Kristian “Fido” Torp – bass

Robert R Johansen – drums

IAMTHEMORNING SINGER-SONGWRITER – MARJANA SEMKINA PREMIERES NEW TRACK & VIDEO FOR “EVERYTHING BURNS”

TAKEN FROM HER DEBUT SOLO ALBUM – SLEEPWALKING  
(KSCOPE – 14TH FEBRUARY 2020)

With Marjana Semkina,Iamthemorning’s lyricist, singer and co-songwriter, set to release her spellbinding debut solo album, Sleepwalking on 14th February 2020 through Kscope, she has premiered the video for the track “Everything Burns”.

“The song ‘Everything Burns’ focuses on the demons that you take with you no matter how far you try to go; the fact is you just can’t run away from them. No matter how hard you try to change everything around you, they will stay with you unless you realise that the most important change, the one that is by far the hardest to achieve – the one that happens inside of you” Semkina explains the meaning behind the song. 

She continues by reflecting on how the clip, produced together with the long term collaborator of iamthemorning Eggor Kree, refences this side of the struggle “these toxic situations that we find ourselves trapped in seemingly, with no escape, you just have to find strength within yourself to put an end to it, even if this means you have to destroy something familiar & precious that you’ve been building for a while . Stepping into the unknown can be scary, but sometimes it’s (metaphorically) necessary to burn everything to the ground and start anew and work very hard to not fall into the same old patterns in this new life of yours.”

Sleepwalkingis available to PRE-ORDER HEREon CD / LP and digitally (with “Everything Burns” available as an instant download on digital pre-orders). Note to fans – Sleepwalking will be released under an alternative spelling – Mariana Semkina.

Sleepwalking will be available on CD / LP and digitally and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE

Sleepwalking tracklisting 

1. Dark Matter [03:12] 

2. Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead [04:27] 

3. Turn Back Time [04:06] 

4. Ars Longa Vita Brevis [03:03] 

5. Invisible [03:07] 

6. Lost At Sea [04:59] 

7. Skin [04:52] 

8. How To Be Alone [02:50] 

9. Everything Burns [03:14] 

10. Mermaid Song [04:32] 

11. Still Life [04:08] 

Marjana Semkina is currently performing as Iamthemorning in support to The Flower Kings, in promotion of the band’s recent album The Bell.
10/12 – Columbia Theater, Berlin, Germany11/12 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark12/12 – Brewhouse, Gothenburg, Sweden14/12 –  Kraken, Stockholm, Sweden 

AWARD-WINNING IAMTHEMORNING SINGER-SONGWRITER – MARJANA SEMKINA RELEASES HER DEBUT SOLO ALBUM SLEEPWALKING

Following the success of four highly praised albums with Iamthemorning, the lyricist, singer and co-songwriter Marjana Semkina releases her spellbinding debut solo album, Sleepwalking on 14th February 2020 through Kscope. The album will be released under an alternative spelling – Mariana Semkina.

Characterised by her composed and unique voice, complex melodic lines and poetic lyrics with literary references, Semkina has often compared favourably with Kate Bush. The new material draws from the Iamthemorning soundscape but exists fully in Marjana’s world; a compelling mixture of alternative folk, pop, drama, beauty and emotionally purging lyrics. 

Marjana explains the motivation behind releasing a solo album “It wasn’t my plan to ascribe any profound meaning or concept to creating Sleepwalking, it’s purpose was more personally therapeutic, it was supposed just to help me get through some dark times, and at the end of that period in my life I found myself, not only renewed but with a collection of songs that were too personal to release under any other name other than my own.”

She continues “I wanted to use Sleepwalking as a way to translate emotions in the most sincere and unrefined way. No sugarcoating, no filters, just creative, honest thought caught in the moment. Turning those dark times and feelings into pure creative energy, something beautiful, something that has purpose”

Sleepwalking is a musical blend akin to the darker folk of Aldous Harding, Marissa Nadler, Sumie and Florist. To aid her vision for Sleepwalking, Marjana invited renowned keyboardist, drummer and bassist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Craig Blundell and Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson), as well as the St. Petersburg Orchestra “1703” and frequent collaborator Vlad Avy.

Marjana is teasing fans with a glimpse into what to expect with this trailer featuring four songs from Sleepwalking – “Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead”, “Invisible”, “Turn Back Time”, “Mermaid Song” and “Still Life”. WATCH & LISTEN HERE

The stunning album artwork makes reference to Semkina’s love for classical art, unifying photography with the 17th-Century Vanitas movement; “I am a big lover of classical art, and with this cover I wanted to create some sort of a unity between medium of photography and the Vanitas  art movement, a genre of still life painting. The paintings of the genre usually contain collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures; it exhorts the viewer to consider mortality, which is extremely close to where this album came from.”

Sleepwalking will be available on CD / LP and digitally and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE

Sleepwalking tracklisting 

1. Dark Matter [03:12] 

2. Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead [04:27] 

3. Turn Back Time [04:06] 

4. Ars Longa Vita Brevis [03:03] 

5. Invisible [03:07] 

6. Lost At Sea [04:59] 

7. Skin [04:52] 

8. How To Be Alone [02:50] 

9. Everything Burns [03:14] 

10. Mermaid Song [04:32] 

11. Still Life [04:08] 

Marjana Semkina will be performing as Iamthemorning in support to The Flower Kings in December, in promotion of the band’s recent album The Bell.

01/12 – Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg, Germany

02/12– Musik Zentrum, Hannover, Germany

03/12 – OK Andaluzia, Piekary Slaskie, Poland

04/12 – Klub U Bazyla, Poznan, Poland

06/12 – Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands

07/12 – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands

08/12 – Scala, London, UK

09/12 – Piano, Dortmund, Germany

10/12 – Columbia Theater, Berlin, Germany

11/12 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark

12/12 – Brewhouse, Gothenburg, Sweden

14/12 –  Kraken, Stockholm, Sweden


Review – Anathema – Internal Landscapes – 2008 -2018 – by Jez Denton

The compilation career retrospective is an unusual beast, filling many different roles for many different types of fans. To the die-hard fan it serves a purpose of giving an insight into the work the artist believes most in, what they are proudest of. To others its an easy to go to listen of a favourite band; great for reminding them of albums to immerse into later. And then for others, it serves as a great introduction into a band, and maybe inspiring them to delve deeper into a catalogue.

And for ‘Internal Landscapes’, the retrospective of the last ten years by Liverpool band, Anathema, I fall into the latter category having never really listened to the band myself. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why this is; Anathema are a band that a lot of people whose taste in music I admire and trust rate very highly indeed. So when I saw that the guys on the Big Big Train forum were making some noise about this release, well the opportunity to dive in was hard to resist.

And so, thanks to Martin Hutchinson, my Anathema cherry has well and truly been popped. And I’m glad it has been, with this compilation of music from their latter career from 2008 to the present day, including releases from the albums ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, ‘Weather Systems’, ‘Distant Satellites’ and ‘The Optimist’, being one that has whetted my appetite for more from this band.

What I particularly like about this release is that it is in no way self-indulgent; for too many bands the temptation to throw too much at a compilation is hard to resist. CD’s are filled with more and more tracks, demos and outtakes, near on whole albums in some cases. Anathema have, though, restricted themselves with just 13 tracks giving that exemplary taster of what the last ten years have been about for them. Leaving someone like me, the new introductee, wanting more; a desire that can only be sated by diving into those albums this release supports, and for the already devoted, well I can only see them inspired to revisit those favourite pieces.

There is lots to enjoy about this album and the music of Anathema. Lyrically I found it sometimes a little clichéd, though not to the detriment of the whole enjoyment (but then I am always looking for lyrics to reach some pretty exacting standards). But, the real highlight for me is the music, the harmony between instruments and voices with the real star, for me, being the beautiful piano pieces that underpin the majority of the work produced here. The whole feeling is one of great subtlety, light and shade and beautiful melody and one that will inspire me to find more out about Anathema.

Released 26th October 2018

Order the album from burning shed here

Kscope to release Anathema – Internal Landscapes 2008 – 2018 on 26th October 2018

A 13-track journey through the best of Anathema’s Kscope years Feat. “Thin Air”, “Untouchable”, “Dreaming Light” and “Springfield”

“The band isn’t just a way of life, its been much more than that. To us, as a family, writing music of such honesty, and reaching people who feel it similarly, is as profound an expression of art and life as its possible to be. People have said to me it must be cathartic to write songs like this. I often say the real gift is in the people I do it with. For what we share and what we mean to each other when all is said and done.The landscapes are internal” – Daniel Cavanagh

Internal Landscapes showcases the highly influential Liverpool sextet’s uncompromising dedication to fearless artistry. They’ve continually evolved since 1990 by placing hope in the future – from leaving the underground scene they were fundamental in establishing to continually mesmerising the world with dramatic post-progressive alternative rock that knows no borders.

The release of Internal Landscapes follows an extensive worldwide headline tour, including performances at Download FestivalArcTanGent and Wembley Arena with Opeth in support of their 2017 studio album The Optimist. The release won the Album of the Year at the Progressive Music Awards ’17, reached the top 10 in the Polish charts, top 20 in Germany, top 40 in the UK, and has 5.8 million track streams on Spotify. This built on the success of their previous Kscope material, which also won at the Progressive Music Awards, including Album of the Year, Live Event of the Year & Multimedia Package of the Year for 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here, 2012’s Weather Systems and 2013’s Universal.

This collection, curated by the band, selects the best works from their prolific output on the ground-breaking label Kscope since 2008. In this time the band left their heavier roots and transcended into emotional heaviness that resonated deep within the heart of the listener. It takes its name from the band’s perhaps most heartfelt song, from their most popular album of the period, Weather Systems.

Daniel Cavanagh has provided the album sleeve notes and the artwork was created by long-time collaborator Travis Smith.

Internal Landscapes will be released on CD, LP and available through usual download and streaming platforms and is available to pre-order HERE

Internal Landscapes 2008-2018 tracklisting

1. Anathema [06:41]

2. Untouchable part 1 [06:14]

3. Untouchable part 2 [05:33]

4. Thin Air [06:00]

5. Ariel [06:29]

6. Can’t Let Go [04:34]

7. Dreaming Light [05:47]

8. Are you There? [05:11]

9. J’ai Fait Une Promesse [03:33]

10. Leaving It Behind [04:27]

11. Springfield [05:42]

12. Distant Satellites [08:07]

13. Internal Landscapes [08:37]

To coincide with the release of Internal Landscapes and the 10 Years Of Kscope show on 2nd October in London, Anathema will be playing a series of intimate acoustic shows, under the title Ambient Acoustic Tour. Anathema will be touring these shows as a four-piece featuring Daniel & Vincent Cavanagh and Lee & John Douglas. Support act(s) will be announced shortly.

Daniel Cavanagh introduces the tour:

“Welcome to a new Anathema experience: Ambient Acoustic. In exploring what we might do to expand the music still further, out of thin air came the idea to arrange music in a ‘third way’, in the space between the acoustic band and the live rock band. With ‘ambient acoustic’ we feel freer to explore many textures, mixing live loops, piano, strings, percussion, electronics, guitars and voices, all within the essence of the songs and the emotions they carry. We hope you enjoy this next chapter of the story, the journey of discovery, of searching for something that can never really be found”

28-09: France, Lille, Theatre Le Splendid

29-09: Netherlands, Tilburg, 013

30-09: Netherlands, Amsterdam, Melkweg

01-10: UK, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

02-10: UK, London, Union Chapel (10 Years Of Kscope)

03-10: UK, Manchester, Deaf Institute

04-10: UK, Glasgow, The Mackintosh Church

Tickets are now on sale from usual outlets. More information can be found on: www.anathemamusic.com/tour-dates

Anathema will also be appearing the UK’s Arctangent Festival on Friday 17th August (http://www.arctangent.co.uk )

 

10 YEARS OF KSCOPE AT THE UNION CHAPEL ON 2nd October 2018

ANATHEMA TO HEADLINE CELEBRATORY RECORD LABEL EVENT IN LONDON WITH PAUL DRAPER, IAMTHEMORNING AND GLEB KOLYADIN

We are incredibly excited and proud to be celebrating our first decade as a record label. These past 10 years have allowed us to share and promote our favourite music, which has evolved over multiple genres whilst remaining fiercely adventurous. We kick-off the year’s revelries with an intimate acoustic show in our hometown, London, at the unique and iconic Union Chapel.

Our story began in May 2008 with the partnership between Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness as No-Man and their beautiful, haunting and cinematic album Schoolyard Ghosts. The label’s sound has since been constantly evolving through some truly brilliant and emotively powerful early projects from the likes of Anathema, Porcupine Tree, Engineers, Richard Barbieri, Gazpacho, Nordic Giants, Nosound and The Pineapple Thief, as well as Steven Wilson’s solo material and collaboration with Aviv Geffen as Blackfield.

In recent years the roster has grown to include a broader selection of talent, from the soaring dynamics of TesseracT, to the revenge-pop from The Anchoress, from the heart-breaking catharsis from Lunatic Soul to the electronica legacy of the great Tangerine Dream.

Shaping up to be a year full of celebrations, our first offering is the 10 Years of Kscope event, for which we’ve lined up a treat for guests with special acoustic performances from Anathema, Paul Draper, Iamthemorning and Gleb Kolyadin. This will undoubtedly be a night to remember for music lovers, and may even feature a few surprises…

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FROM – DICE & UNION CHAPEL

LINE-UP

Anathema, following the release of 2017’s The Optimist, continually evolved by placing hope in the future – from leaving the underground scene they were fundamental in establishing to continually mesmerising the world with stargazing post-progressive alternative rock that knows no borders.

“Welcome to a new Anathema experience: Ambient Acoustic.

In exploring what we might do to expand the music still further, out of thin air came the idea to arrange music in a ‘third way’, in the space between the acoustic band and the live rock band..

With ‘ambient acoustic’ we feel more free to explore many textures, mixing live loops, piano, strings, percussion, electronics, guitars and voices, all within the essence of the songs and the emotions they carry.

We hope you enjoy this next chapter of the story, the journey of discovery, of searching for something that can never really be found.

Much love, Daniel Cavanagh”

Anathema will be performing additional dates as part of their Ambient Acoustic tour in France, the Netherlands and the UK. For full details, see their website.

Learn more about Anathema via their artist page.

Paul Draper, one of British rock’s most singular and distinctive voices of the iconic 90s band Mansun, has returned with a top-20 debut solo album Spooky Action (“A properly fantastic album, ★★★★★ Record Collector).

Talking about the show, Paul told us he is “delighted and proud to be playing for my label Kscope at their upcoming 10th Anniversary show. It’s been such an exciting and productive time working with the Kscope team since I signed with them, so genuinely looking forward to playing a few tunes and celebrate with the Kscope family at the Union Chapel”

Learn more via Paul’s artist page.

Iamthemorning, the progressive chamber duo, Gleb Kolyadin and Marjana Semkina, formed in St. Petersburg and have released two albums of rich and eclectic music on Kscope, Belighted and Lighthouse, that showcase their brilliance as pianist and vocalist. Their latest studio film and soundtrack, Ocean Sounds, is due for release mid-October.

Gleb recently released his self-titled debut solo album, featuring an array of impressive guest performers, to high praise including a 4 ½ star review from All About Jazz, who said it finds the magical chemistry to weave everything into a dazzling ride with the smarts of Robert Fripp and the badassery of Beethoven. The spirit of Keith Emerson is probably pumping his fist in delight at seeing such inspired wizardry to carry on the tradition, and who knows, Franz Lizst may be cheering just as loud.

The pair told us how they felt when asked to perform at the event

Gleb: “For me, London was always a place where all important things happen. And this fall I will be very happy to be on this very special event in a wonderful place with great people and present a few piano passages from my solo album. Very exciting and looking forward to October.”

Marjana: “The first time we met Kscope team was on “5 years of Kscope” festival. It was our first time in London and back then no one knew who we were. It’s amazing how things can change if you work hard enough, and it’s our greatest pleasure to be performing an exclusive chamber set in a wonderful Union Chapel (which was always my dream venue) as a part of the label. We both are very pleased to be invited and are very much looking forward to this wonderful evening.”

Iamthemorning artist page.

Gleb Kolyadin artist page.

Follow Kscope online @kscopemusic and at kscopemusic.com

KSCOPE TO RELEASE OPEN MIND: THE BEST OF BLACKFIELD ON 28/09/18

The best of the peerless collaboration between Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen. Features 15 essential tracks, including “Blackfield”, “Once”, “Family Man” and “Pain”.

Blackfield is the collaboration between Israeli songwriter and musician Aviv Geffen, and British musician and producer Steven Wilson. The collaboration, extending from their self-titled debut in 2004 to their superb return with album produced with Alan Parsons in 2017, has proven to be a prolific partnership for creating striking and affecting music.

The pair makes for a formidable musical force; Geffen has worked with legendary producers Tony Visconti and Trevor Horn, has also recently performed with and hosted Jake Bugg, played as support for Biffy Clyro, and was a judge on the Israeli TV show The Voice. Wilson, after a long tenure as the leader of the hugely influential band Porcupine Tree, has since embarked on a highly successful solo career, most recently earning a #3 album in the UK Charts and #2 in the DE Charts, as well 4 Grammy nominations.

This collection, curated by Wilson and Geffen, selects the best works from an impressively rich Blackfield catalogue with each of the five records combining both sweet and tart elements. It’s an uncommonly potent mixture. Perhaps the debut album’s Lasse Hoile cover art—a bottled elixir lurking in the gloomy shadows of an apothecary—signifies that Blackfield is a dark medicine to be administered through the listener’s ear. There’s no recipe on the aged and frayed label of the bottle. Yet some lyrical ingredients can be discerned within the mix: Take a dash of childhood memory, sprinkle in some heartbreak, pour in a drop of blood from an open vein, add a pinch of angry conscience (carefully weighed), puree the dew of a kiss, and then garnish with the bitter tears of adult disillusionment.  Stir carefully and name it after the very first Blackfield collaboration: “Open Mind”.

Steven Wilson – “Blackfield appealed to me because it was a chance to focus firmly on the art of the classic pop song with concise songs and strong melodies, harmonies, orchestration, and a very lush ‘golden’ production.”

Open Mind, featuring new artwork by Hajo Müller will be released on 28th September 2018 on CD / LP  and is available to pre-order HERE

OPEN MIND: THE BEST OF BLACKFIELD tracklisting

1.              Blackfield [04:27] WATCH
2               Family Man [03:37]
3               Open Mind [03:49] LISTEN
4               1,000 People [03:54]
5               Oxygen [03:00]
6               Hello [03:09]
7               Once [04:03]
8               How Was Your Ride? [03:58]
9               Waving [03:56]
10            From 44 to 48[04:31] WATCH
11            Pain [03:47]
12            October [03:31]
13            Faking [03:33]
14            Dissolving With The Night [04:07]
15            End Of The World [05:14]

NOSOUND ANNOUNCE ‘ALLOW YOURSELF’ THE NEW STUDIO ALBUM AND NEW DIRECTION COMING 21st SEPT 2018 – NOSOUND PREMIERE VIDEO FOR FIRST SINGLE “DON’T YOU DARE”

Nosound’s 2018 studio album Allow Yourself finds the band in a new space once more having grown alongside their evolving and borderless label Kscope. The new material is a stripping back of what has come before, and its inspirations are in a different field altogether, based on founder and songwriter Giancarlo Erra’s own shifting interests.

“Time has arrived for a radical change towards an alternative and electronic direction, being the music I have enjoyed the most in recent years.” 

Giancarlo Erra chose the track “Don’t You Dare” as the band’s first single & video to reveal this new direction: The ‘daring’ aspect is part of the ‘allowing yourself’ process, expressed in this track by an unsettling melodic line and an unusual up-tempo conclusion with disco-like electronic drums. The song then begins its second stage, presenting acoustic instruments in new ways (cello) and then several synced electronics mixed with chopped/inverted acoustic parts.”

Scintilla (2016) began the process and Allow Yourself takes the band’s minimalist vision even further, incorporating elements from The National, Notwist, and Portishead, alongside an approach to mixing inspired by Bowie’s Blackstar and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool.

Founder/writer Giancarlo Erra reflected on the direction of the new material, “The idea behind the album is encased in the title “Allow Yourself”, something directed to the listener but was first of all directed to myself. After attempting to find my own way and leave behind early influences and categorisations, I realised I was afraid of committing to the full change I was chasing. I needed to put myself out of my comfort zone, which meant lots of studying and completely changing my studio and instrumentation. A truly deep change happened and I discovered that with uncertainty and insecurity, with limitations and uneasiness, a more varied and exciting creative process sparked.” 

Allow Yourself was recorded at Erra’s The Bench Music in Norfolk, with additional recording in Rome at Binario2. Songwriting, engineering, mixing, production, mastering and artwork has been handled by the frontman, which has resulted in a coherent message in the band’s new work.

Allow Yourself will be released on the following formats – all available to pre-order HERE now

  • LP –presented on audiophile 180g heavyweight ‘Crystal Clear’ vinyl in a reverse-board gatefold sleeve.
  • CD – presented in digipack reverse-board packaging with a 16-page booklet
  • Digital – available on all major download and streaming services, as well as select HD 24-bit download services, as both a standard mix and binaural mix.

Pre-orders through the Kscope Store will receive an exclusive signed postcard & wristband (till stocks last), immediate download of the first single Don’t You Dare and, on release date, the full album as mp3, uncompressed binaural mix & FLAC 5.1 surround sound mix.

 

Review – Mansun – Attack of the Grey Lantern (Deluxe Remastered Reissue) – by James R. Turner

Somewhere at the arse end of Britpop, where record labels and the bigger bands had either lost the plot or were rapidly evolving to avoid the Britpop tag, there were some truly great albums released in that fag end; ‘Urban Hymns’ by The Verve or ‘Be Here Now’ by Oasis captured the decline of the Britpop years beautifully, while Radiohead’s ‘Ok, Computer’ set the controls for the heart of the sun. Meanwhile four-piece Mansun, who were lumped, unfairly to my ears, into the whole Britpop scene (well, they were British, and they made music!) took the top of the charts with ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’.

Despite the strength of the follow up ‘Six’, as well as ‘Little Kixx’, the band folded amidst much acrimony, leaving behind a collection of albums that, if you were there you’d get, if you weren’t then you would be amazed that you hadn’t heard them before.

Now signed to Kscope for his debut album and having achieved critical acclaim for his come-back and his tour supporting Steven Wilson, original Mansun frontman Paul Draper recently toured the UK selling out venues performing ‘Attack…’ in it’s entirety for the first time.

With the Mansun back catalogue now on Kscope, they have brought out a luxurious 21st anniversary edition. This pulls together demo’s, live tracks, unreleased material and, the holiest of holies, a shiny new 5.1 mix of the album.

Back in 2010 when the rights were held by EMI, they produced a triple disc edition of the album and while, inevitably, there is some cross over, the demo’s and 5.1 mix make this new package as attractive to new fans and older ones who want to relive their youth.

Astonishingly there are people buying music today who weren’t even born when this album appeared, and doesn’t that make me feel old?

Starting out as a concept about a superhero, The Grey Lantern, the band admitted there weren’t quite enough songs to complete the concept, but it doesn’t matter when the material on here is of such quality and style.

Anyone unfamiliar with the original album won’t know how it starts with the best Bond theme there never was, the dramatic string laden and powerful The Chad Who Loved Me, before leading into the sardonically titled Mansun’s Only Love Song (this quirky sense of humour and self-deprecation was to be a trade mark of the band) and, while they were put into the Britpop box, there was always more going on musically, as the brilliantly Beatles inspired, and pure festival singalong, Taxlo$$ proved. There were the brilliant single releases like the epic Wide Open Space and Stripper Vicar, the former being an absolute musical epic, and the latter being a very English piece of musical high-farce which could only have been made by an English band.

With a closing quartet of songs, She Makes my Nose Bleed, Naked Twister, Egg Shaped Fred and Dark Mavis, there is no bad track on this album. It is one of those organically produced records from the golden age of CDs where the sequence is everything and the album must be listened to in its entirety. This is no collection of songs to stream or put on as background, this is an album as art and, as such, is full of class, heart and soul.

Which is why it is perfect for the 5.1 treatment. There was always plenty going on musically with Mansun and the 5.1 mix enhances and expands this, giving the tracks real wide open space to breath. This makes it a completely immersive experience, taking it all back to listening to albums as they were meant to be listened to, you, a room and the sounds taking them over.

The fact that Mansun were so obviously head and shoulders above most of the Britpop crowd means they were more on a par with Pulp than Oasis, in that they have made timeless, classy intelligent rock music, music that wasn’t afraid to be a bit different from the norm. Listening back now it’s hard to imagine that if Mansun appeared from nowhere and released this today that it would get to number one. While it is easier to access music today, I have a suspicion that, looking at the demographic of the record buying youth 21 years ago, they were probably more accepting to trying something slightly different than the youth of today. So different, in fact, that they let, and actively encouraged Radiohead and Mansun to get away with blatant prog right under their noses in the depths of Britpop, the cheeky little scamps!

After seeing Paul Draper perform ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’ live (a gig I’d only been waiting to see for 21 years) my interest in all things Mansun has been rekindled and, as Kscope have the full back catalogue, it appears that the follow up to ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’, the even more astonishing and out there ‘Six’, is being readied for 5.1.

If ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’ was the gateway drug, ‘Six’ is where we hit the hard stuff. With Paul Draper promising to perform it in it’s entirety live next year, well, I am already eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the Mansun story and, after immersing yourself in this well made, and well remastered set (the new mixes sound sublime and are really sympathetic to the original album) you will be too.

(As a note for those of you who aren’t into 5.1, there is a standard edition available as well, shiny and remastered for your pleasure.)

Released 8th June 2018

Buy the album from Burning Shed here

Band pictures by Pennie Smith.