London's Erased Tapes will round off a jubilant year of tenth-anniversary celebrations with a very special release, 1+1=X, which features exclusive music from every artist on the label—including Nils Frahm, Kiasmos, and A Winged Victory For The Sullen.
The release sees these Erased Tapes artists come together to make an album as a collective. Sharing the same space, instruments, and each others' capabilities during a residency at Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, they recorded 20 songs to mark the label's 10-year history. The three-LP box set, produced by label curator Robert Raths, is released on Record Store Day, April 21, 2018.
"It was important to create something communal and reflective of our time, to capture something of value using traditional recording techniques, experimenting and reacting to each other in real time, sharing the same space," says Raths.
Between August 2016 and 2017, each artist arrived with a new composition or an improvisation to record at Vox-Ton. Run by Italian engineer Francesco Donadello—who has worked on many Erased Tapes recordings before including A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Michael Price, and Lubomyr Melnyk—it is one of the few studios left where it's still possible to record fully analogue, isolated from the city noise and in a room that can fit a large ensemble. Reflective of the communal spirit, 1+1=X is the result of an ambitious undertaking: to create a singular record as a collective, not just a compilation of songs, that "celebrates the benefits of community over individuality and improvisation over rigorous planning."
"As much as Erased Tapes probably wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the digital age, we should also remind ourselves of what we are capable of without it," adds Raths. "1+1=X is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together as a collective, which is more than the sum of what we can achieve as individuals."
The majority of songs on this album feature contributions from multiple performers, whether it's Nils Frahm duetting on the keys with Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Cafe, Kiasmos being joined by Högni and a string ensemble, Douglas Dare's one-take "Darling" featuring Rival Consoles on synths, Masayoshi Fujita on vibes and Raths himself controlling the tremolo on his voice. Peter Broderick's 'The Perpetual Glow' meanwhile, brings in a full big band and choir where everyone present, including the studio staff, was invited to grab an instrument and join in. Every song has a unique story and approach—with in-the-moment decisions and little accidents that could only come out of these kinds of circumstances where people work together in the same space, sparking off each other and their environment. Even Rival Consoles' remix of Daniel Brandt's "Blackpool Sands Forever" in the studio kitchen during recording breaks.
Designed in collaboration with Torsten Posselt at FELD, the 3-LP set is accompanied by a book of photographs documenting the recording process. It is housed in a bespoke, hand-assembled white box—with a recessed "X" that slides open to one side, and is limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.
01. Qasim Naqvi "Brutal Moderna"
02. A Winged Victory For The Sullen "Long May It Sustain"
03. Rival Consoles "Ritual Song"
04. Nils Frahm "Frau Dehlholm"
05. Daniel Thorne "Iroise"
06. Daniel Brandt "Blackpool Sands Forever"
07. Douglas Dare "Darling"
08. Michael Price "Eyn Hallow"
09. Kiasmos & Högni "Zebra"
10. Ben Lukas Boysen "Pending"
11. David Allred "Ahoy"
12. Anne Müller "Bel Tono"
13. Lubomyr Melnyk "Palisade 1"
14. Hatis Noit "Inori"
15. Masayoshi Fujita "Spaceship Magical"
16. Högni "Máni"
17. Peter Broderick "The Perpetual Glow"
18. Arthur Jeffes & Nils Frahm "Up Is Good"
19. Daniel Brandt "Blackpool Sands Forever"
(Rival Consoles Remix)
20. Penguin Cafe "Wheels Within Wheels"
(Greg Gives Peter Space Remix)
1+1=X is released on Record Store Day, April 21, 2018, with A Winged Victory For The Sullen's "Long May It Sustain" streaming in full below.