A guide to VF label releases in 2020

By in Features, Label News

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A year in The Vinyl Factory label’s sounds. 

As 2020 draws to a close, The Vinyl Factory label’s releases are once again as varied as can be: sonics for digital age deterioration, a 12-channel exhibition soundscape, spoken word, neo-soul piano realms, and beyond.

Check out the full list of 2020 releases below.


Lawrence Lek

Temple OST

(The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

Equal parts haunting and futuristic, Lawrence Lek originally composed his Temple OST as the score to his installation of the same name at group show Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder, presented by The Store X and The Vinyl Factory at 180 The Strand. Soundtracking an unreal nightclub, it explores themes including denial, nostalgia and acceptance, while offering an elegy to the memories that linger on deserted dance floors.

The release is also accompanied by an 8-part visual series, which you can watch here.


Zebra Katz

LESS IS MOOR

(The Vinyl Factory)

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Fusing industrial hip-hop with d’n’b influences, Zebra Katz’ debut album, LESS IS MOOR, radiates sonic futurity. Taking inspiration from luminaries like James Baldwin, Grace Jones, and Nina Simone, the album explores themes surrounding sexuality and the Black experience. The album also features contributions from ShyGirl, Sega Bodega, and S. Ruston.


Laurel Halo

Possessed

(The Vinyl Factory)

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Laurel Halo’s debut score for the 2018 Metahaven-produced film Possessed sees her crafts sonics for digital-age deterioration. Tapping into the film’s tension between natural and unnatural realms, its 13 compositions span from “aqueous, subterranean drones and plaintive folk pieces for violin and cello, to pseudoclassical piano mutations.” The album also features an additional, vinyl-only track, and includes a Possessed film poster insert.


Soulwax

EMS Synthi 100

(The Vinyl Factory / DEEWEE)

Buy

On EMS Synthi 100, Soulwax fully realise the power of the titular synth as not simply a static piece of machinery, but as “a living instrument producing a living sound.” The duo harness the sounds of the EMS Synthi to bring together sounds from the past, present, and future. The record is housed in a perforated ‘patch bay’ cover with a fully artworked inner sleeve, and is accompanied by a 48-page book exploring the history of the EMS Synthi 100 and the background behind the release.

Read about the Electric Story of the Synthi 100 in its own words here.


Duval Timothy

Slave

(Carrying Colour / The Vinyl Factory)

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One of three releases by Duval Timothy this year, Slave explores the history of the transatlantic slave trade. “Sampling a spoken word passage which implies that record contracts are used as a mechanism of oppression and control,” Timothy also shines a light on what he sees “as an inevitable fight for the civil rights of artificial intelligence.” The EP was co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald and Vegyn, and features contributions from Twin Shadow. Each record sleeve includes photograph, and a handmade collage by Timothy.


RAS

RAS II

(The Vinyl Factory)

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Berlin-based trio RAS fuse psychedelic disco, and funk, with instrumental influences from Greece and Turkey on RAS II. Using vintage drum machines, guitars, synthesizers, bongos, and a Tascam Portastudio 424 tape machine, RAS’ creative palette is relatively minimal, opting to work with a toolkit of analogue instruments and improvisational recording styles.Sung in Hebrew, the vocals incorporate surrealism, inside-jokes, and nonsensical word patterns to become another instrument in the overall sound.


Duval Timothy

Help

(Carrying Colour / The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

Recorded in London and Los Angeles, Help reveals Timothy’s experiences traversing the music industry, mental health, YouTube self-help videos, and the healing he discovered through friendship and collaboration. Lead by his bewitching pianoscapes via lo-fi, r’n’b, soul, and stripped-back jazz, the album was written and performed by Timothy, with co-production by Rodaidh McDonald, guest appearances from Lil Silva, Melanie Faye, Vegyn, Desta Haile, Mr Mitch, Dave Okumo, and Twin Shadow.


Peter Adjaye

Ceremonies Within

(Music 4 Architecture / The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

Peter Adjaye created Ceremonies Within as a mesmerising and immersive 12-channel soundscape for artist Toyin Ojih Odutola’s exhibition A Countervailing Theory, which explores an imagined myth of an ancient civilisation in central Nigeria ruled by women. Combining African instrumentation – including the Ogene, Ekwe & Igba drums, Pluriarc African harp, and Okpola wood block – with modern synthesizers and strings, Ceremonies Within gradually unfurls to reveal a mythological sonic landscape. Its vinyl packaging features stunning, gatefold artwork by Ojih Odutola.

For more on Ceremonies Within, watch Adjaye’s VF Live set exploring its influences here.


Duval Timothy

Brown Loop

(Carrying Colour / The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

Focusing on minimal piano compositions with techno repetitions and hip-hop-inspired, instrumental hooks, Duval Timothy likens Brown Loop to ascending a mountain: you climb up to the top only to meander back down. Originally recorded in New York during the winter of 2016, this new edition of Brown Loop features an adjusted tracklisting, and new artwork by Timothy.


Egill Sæbjörnsson

Moonlove

(The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson uses technology, animations, projections, and self-generative video to create video installations that can also be seen as a technological continuation of painting. Music is a vital element of his practise: Sæbjörnsson’s creativity is sparked by crafting ‘small worlds’ through sound. Every song is a world of its own, in the same way that every painting or installation is a universe unto itself. Moonlove was written by Sæbjörnsson himself, with production from J Tyler Ludwick, drumming from Mathias Brendel, as well as collaborations with Áki Ásgeirsson, and Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir.


David Shrigley & Régis Laugier

Play Something Awful

(The Vinyl Factory)

Buy

A testament to the power of remote working and adaptability during the Coronavirus pandemic, Play Something Awful was created across the globe: Shrigley wrote and performed the spoken word pieces in Brighton, before sending these recordings to Laugier in France. Working in a spirit of DIY and improvisation, Laugier only allowed himself only a handful of takes to compose and arrange the music, with the resulting album straddling the lines between the comic and the avant-garde. Its vinyl release features original artwork and hand-written labels by Shrigley.


Nick Rhodes

Bei Incubi

(The Vinyl Factory)

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Nick Rhodes’ new art book Bei Incubi collects his photography with spot UV gloss details, silk-screened endpapers, gilt and colour-edging to book block. It also includes a 7″ featuring two tracks from the Duran Duran keyboardist. Bei Incubi is limited to 300 copies worldwide, and signed by Rhodes.


Theaster Gates & The Black Monks

Afro-Mingei

(Black Madonna Press / The Vinyl Factory)

Buy


Recorded live at White Cube Gallery in London with Theaster Gates’ Black Monks band – Yaw Agyeman, Mikel Patrick Avery, and Michael Drayton – Afro-Mingei combines ambient, gospel, and jazz influences. The album draws on themes surrounding Black identity and Japanese philosophy that were similarly explored during Gates’ 2019 exhibition of the same name.


Explore the VF catalogue here.