I’m really delighted to announce that Matt Shaw of the superb UK label Apollolaan Recordings has released my new album Avalonian today.
Recorded over the summer months of this year, and completed (in Avalon) in September, it comprises two long tracks which I hope capture the feel of that astonishing, inspiring place: its atmospheres; its idiosyncracies; its mysteries. The album is a little different in focus from what’s gone before; but I hope those who hear it will enjoy something of the contents.
The disc – limited to only 60 copies – comes packaged in a white digipak, with beautiful vinyl-cut, handprinted front and back covers, and with an insert. Each one is slightly different. More details of this edition are on the Apollolaan site.
Matt’s label is easily one of the most unique and diverse projects of the last two years. It’s hard to believe that in only 18 months or so, he’s been able to produce 22 individual releases which cross the boundaries of experimental, folk, rock, electronic and improvised musics, often mixing all those genres seamlessly. The aesthetic of the label is well captured in this quotation from Dion Fortune:
There is a spiritual quality in the hand-made thing that is lacking to the machine made, however good may be the design, for the man who makes with his hands the thing which he has himself planned, weaving into it his dreams and the many sacrifices for the sake of his art, giving to it of his best, cannot help loving it by the time he has finished it; and the well-loved thing, warmed and worn by human hands, becomes ensouled with a life of its own.
I couldn’t agree with those sentiments more. It’s perhaps fitting that, as I stood close to the house where Fortune once lived, by the red mineral spring at the foot of the Tor, I thought that Matt would be the ideal person to consider sending what was, at that stage, an unfinished and untitled Avalonian. Suffice to say that Apollolaan is one my favourite labels; and Matt is one of the loveliest people you’ll encounter. I’d encourage you to get a copy of the disc from him while they’re still around!