A track by track breakdown of a new electronic album which explores place and memory and what it is to remember but also to forget

Heavy Cloud – An Act of Forgetting

Under the alias Heavy Cloud, I create sounds inspired by landscapes and memories. My latest album, An Act of Forgetting, released on Bandcamp in September 2021, is an exploration of place and memory and what it is to remember but also to forget.

Across drones, electronics, text-to-speech and sound collage, the album continues my thematic ‘memory series’, alongside Constant Nostalgia (2020), Memory Drift and Weight of Shadow (2021). …


The latest release from Bristol’s Mailbox Records is a reflective and hopeful EP which explores a still uncertain future by unearthing beauty in imperfection

Stille by Francis M. Gri. Album art by James A. McDermid
Stille (Mailbox 2021)

As each new day of summer passes by during another year of global disquietude, the fourth release by Mailbox in 2021 is an understated beauty of an EP by musician and label owner, Francis M. GriStille – which translates as silence, a quiet stillness, across a number of languages.

Recorded towards the end of winter 2020, Stille’s release during this year’s midpoint is apt because there is an apparent sense of seasons and moods…


Menmuir’s moving second novel explores the mysterious city-state of O through the eyes of a girl hoping to learn more about her past through its labyrinthe present

Salt Publishing, 2021

Fox Fires is the the latest novel by Wyl Menuir, who follows-up his Man Booker-longlisted debut, The Many, with an absorbing and thought-provoking puzzle of a book.

With a little Calvino, a pinch of Kafka, the star of Fox Fires is its evocation and navigation of place. Menmuir leads us deep into a shifting labyrinth of space and memory, a sci-fi noir, where the mystery is found in its series of absences.

Wren…


The sixth release from Mailbox Records invites us to experience Mohammed Ashraf’s very personal form of ambient nostalgia

Photography by Margherita Gambi. Artwork by Mohammed Ashraf.
Anemoia (Mailbox, 2021)

Pie Are Squared is the project of Mohammed Ashraf, an Italy-based, Egyptian musician who often explores forms of escapism. Through the use of field recorded samples passed through extensive effects processing and layered guitars, they are adept at transporting the listener to new places. Look no further than muri, their contribution to the ongoing Home Diaries series, or the contemplative daydreams of Con Calma – both released by Whitelabrecs in 2020 – for evidence of this. …


How do we view the printed book today and what type of reader does it make you?

Image by Syd Wachs @videmusart on Unsplash

When is a book not a book?

When it is an electronic book. E-books are so common place today that we have a whole generation growing up and reading from them, both at home and in schools, at a rate some may say threaten to one day supersede physical editions.

An e-book is a book publication made available in digital form, consisting of text and sometimes images, readable on the flat-panel display of our computers or other electronic devices such as our smartphones and tablets.

Although sometimes defined as an…


A captivatingly intimate and melodically warm third release on the mailbox label showcases Cormack’s talent for soundtracking the wonder of nature

Feral (mailbox, 2020)

Sit down, or perhaps even better go for a walk, and press play on ‘Feral’ by Ishmael Cormack. Close your eyes and listen:

Listen closely to a micro-world
overflowing with wild flowers
hidden hedgerows and desire paths.
As we explore the unknown, the previously invisible.
Off the well-travelled path, we rediscover nature.
We dance between dandelion seeds blowing.
We shrink down to molecules, tasting the air.
These melodies melt time.
Guitars drift through ages. …


Eleanor Cully is an artist, composer and performer based in Huddersfield

clarity-unclarity (self-released, 2020)

The Fall sang, ‘We dig repetition in the music/And we’re never going to lose it.’ Legendary DJ, John Peel, infamously described Mark E Smith’s band with the witty line, “They are always different. Always the same”. This is a poetic truth that not only aptly describes this band, but also more widely the acts of performance and of listening in general.

Although many of the Fall’s songs do feature a range of repetitive drums, baselines, or guitar riffs, every record, and indeed every performance of a song, even say…


The beautiful second release on the mailbox label sees El Conejo gift us with a powerful wordless lullaby on classical guitar

A Lullaby for Elisa (mailbox, 2020)

Although the concept of a lullaby goes back four millennia, the root of almost every one remains the same today as it did in 2000 BC. Despite differences in context across time and continents, a lullaby finds its roots firmly embedded in love, tenderness and empathy.

Typically, we look to words when we think of lullabies, although these are unnecessary when we unpack the core of the cradle song. …


Released on La Petite Chambre Records, this is the sixth round of an inside project facing the outbreak, where an artist is invited to share two unreleased songs. On this release, James A. McDermid allows us to escape to the woods and beyond.

At Home With​.​.​.​(​songs for solitude) Vol. 06 (La Petite Chambre Records)

In an on-going series of EP releases with the theme of solitude at its heart, it seemed apt to get to know this sixth entry by James A. McDermid over the past week while listening to it alone — working from home, on walks as part of our daily exercise allowance, unwinding before bed.

During these listens…


Finding the usual forms of escapism within my own four walls — writing, reading, cinema — harder to concentrate on, I found a creative outlet from the anxieties of lockdown and social distancing in the form of collaging

Look out there, actual air
Look out there, actual air (image by the author)

Welcome to Westworld (Greekworld, too)

From being transfixed by Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns as a teenager — wishing to be the Man with No Name — to trying to unravel the nests of stories found in Greek myths, the grand narratives, array of characters and iconic locations of both subjects have long held a personal interest.

These are two themes I knew I wanted to incorporate into…

Ryan Hooper

Words and noise. Loops and leaves. Jump cuts and scribbledehobble. Inspired by language, sound, and memory. Writer and content designer.

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