‘Satin Doll Jazz Club’ - Nigel Samways
New mini album/extended EP released on CDR, 7th April 2013 on Somehow Recordings.
Running time: 30 minutes
Recorded in Japan and England, 2012-13. Features the wonderful Enrico Coniglio on silde guitar during ‘Single Malt (Second Glass)’. This EP picks up where ‘Havenots Havenever’ left off, with fragmented harmonies and drones emerging from the melancholy city rainscapes. Whether it actually contains any jazz, let alone a DMA7+11 chord remains to be seen! Cover portrait illustration by RNCPS cohort Daniel Dickel.
Somehow Recordings is due to close at the end of 2013, so please show your support for this excellent little label and all the musicians it has so selflessly helped over the years. Thanks Tim!
7:03 pm • 20 April 2013 • 3 notes
Nigel Samways - Forest of Robots [GJ-040)
New solo album available now on the Ginjoha label from Hokuto City, Japan. Released on C45 cassette and limited to 75 copies worldwide. Released March 2013.
Side One: Forest of Robots [Settlement Beta] (22.25)
Side Two: Forest of Robots [Settlement Alpha] (22.04)
Recorded and assesmbled by Nigel Samways, 2011-2012.
Asimovian ambient and utopian visions in the forest of robots. Main segment recorded in the sunshine at Plotzensee Lake, Berlin.
Visit the Ginjoha website for details.
Very nice review on the Petriblog:
“This is one of the very best cassettes I’ve acquired over the last few years. The artist, Nigel Samways, has been active in the UK since at least 2008 doing sound sculpting such as that of this exquisite example of musique concrete, electro-acoustic, ambient and industrial flavored composite soundscapes, hypothetically regarding and depicting a forest full of robots all staring at you.
First you notice that all of the robots are staring at you, and then you start to notice that the sounds going on all around you are bewitchingly strange and comforting. Being frank, without being stuck on the visualizing of a forest crawling with robots that were all staring at me, I did find this tape to be borne of a really sophisticated sense for emotional directness, patient timing of composition, thorough listening, humble sense of humor, and vivid imaginational-internal-visual projection gifts. Cinematic jazz-ambient. 1.jazz-2.ambient – NOT 1.ambient 2.jazz. I’d say that a good portion of this music has the looseness, directness, rawness and poetry of jazz, done in a sort of ambient idiom. I diddled with a pretend genre term and I am a little sorry, but it does sort of help explain an aspect of what Nigel Samways does on this fantastic recording. The selections of sound samples (from records, movies?, field recordings, etc.) are thoughtful and beguiling; picked for numerous reasons rather than the same reason over and over. There’s a certain kind of drama that re-occurs in a lot of ambient music – a drama that feels like sentimentality, romantic nostalgia, loneliness; this isn’t all that we are limited to in the Forest of Robots. Samples are quirky, dreamy, fantastical, nostalgic, sci-fi-feeling, visual, haunting, subtly funny or fun, dreamy, nightmarey. There’s a wide breadth of notions brought about by the various clips and loops he composites, stretching across ideologies, cultures, genres, philosophies, textures, fidelities, biological constructions, operating systems, languages, chemical structures, smells, and color schemes. These are all 5-dimensionally spider-webbed in the listening field. Isaac Asimovian it is, and not a lot of music could really live up to such a challenge. It’s complex and operates on a lot of levels. I guess, like I already said, this of course isn’t just ambient music. It is JAZZ-AMBIENT, and I am Mr. Dildo, Pretend Genre Diddler.
It’s damn great.
I admit that there was never any explicit mention on Nigel Samways’ or any other persons’ site of what the robots were doing or if they were staring at you. I made that all up.”
Review from Vital Weekly 882:
NIGEL SAMWAYS - FOREST OF ROBOTS (cassette by Ginjoha)
“Back in Vital Weekly 835, I quite enjoyed the release by Nigel Samways, ‘Havenots Havenever’, which reminded me of smokey bars and jazzy tunes, a bit like the old forgotten band A Tent. His new release is a bit different. It’s less rooted in the world that is even vaguely jazz like, but then, it’s also not easy to say where this is rooted in anyway. Likewise Samways doesn’t provide us with many clues as to the instruments he is using for his music. There is, I think, some form of keyboards, electronics and maybe wind instruments and/or guitars at play here, but also field recordings - domestic rumbling and music of more ethnic origin. Both sides are filled with one piece, which in itself breaks down in smaller pieces. All of these smaller pieces have an atmospheric touch to them, but are rather short and to the point. Especially in ‘Forest Of Robots (Settlement Beta)’ I was reminded from time to time to the work of Zoviet*France, and their songlet approach - more ideas than finished songs (I am speaking here of their earlier part of their career of course), but already highly atmospheric in approach. Lots of loops are used, of domestic sounds, forming small rhythmic particles, while on top we have feedback/drone like sounds swirling around through probably more looper devices. Even when it deals with some amount of field recordings, Samways is someone who wants to play a piece of music, rather than a nice sound scape, so it seems to me. Perhaps a bit less musical here than on the previous work, but again Samways knows how to surprise us in his ever continuing search for something new. Very nice.” (FdW)
11:20 pm • 4 March 2013 • 4 notes
Free download compilation on the new ‘Assembly Field’ netlabel, which is run by PJE. Released January 2013 and includes ‘Paratheatre’ by Nigel Samways and Daniel Dickel, which is taken from a live duo improvisation session we did on 15/9/12. The compilation also includes Pleq, David Newlyn, Wil Bolton, Gallery Six, Tone Colour and more. Download free from Archive.org
11:18 pm • 4 March 2013
‘Vicarage Sabbaticals’ [PV]
Music by N.Samways. Visual by Foss Moigne.
Created under FerroMagnetic conditions in Deluxe Anti-HD.
Warning: contains some flashing images.
Original track features on the Escala Compilation which is a magnificent free download!
8:42 pm • 27 May 2012
New Nigel Samways track ‘Vicarage Sabbaticals’ - featured on an extensive 3 volume compilation set jointly curated by Escala netlabel and Sismografo Radio 3.
All 3 volumes are available as a free download from Escala and feature numerous talented sound artists such as Francisco López, Pleq, Philippe Lamy, Pascal Savy, Kenneth Kirschner, Fabio Orsi, Yui Onodera, Nigul, Carlos Suarez and Talvihorros but to name a few.
Released April 2012.
10:01 pm • 23 April 2012 • 4 notes
‘Havenots Havenever’ [SR36]
1. Migraine Machine (10.42)
2. Temple, Without Being There (4.47)
3. Ruhr Pocket (7.27)
4. Grey Flowers (7.15)
5. Finis Opus Coronat (16.19)
6. Undercity (7.18)
New solo album now available on Somehow Recordings.
Six tracks, running time 54 minutes.
Comes with two oversized artwork prints on glossy card and a fridge magnet!!!
Released 10th April 2012.
Frans De Waard review from Vital Weekly 835:
NIGEL SAMWAYS - HAVENOTS HAVENEVER (CDR by Somehow Recordings)
A bit of an odd package. CDR with no print on it, in a plastic shell, and larger pro printed card with information and such. Very likely to get separated at one in time, certainly when you have a few CDs around the house, but apparently this is the way they do things at Somehow Recordings. This is (also apparently, but I could have been fooled), Samways first full length record, using a plethora of ‘ad-hoc street recordings’ taking right of the streets with a microphone and set to pick up whatever is happened down there and play music along that. Odd music. I believe to hear drum machines, samples, organs (?) and perhaps wind instruments, fed through a bunch of effects. At times a bit chaotic such as in Grey Flowers, or perhaps a bit too heavy (the opening of ‘Finis Opus Coronat’), but when the balance between street and studio-level is good, its a surprisingly musical album. It reminded me in some ways of the classical album by A Tent, ‘Six Empty Places’. A similar jazzy/smokey atmosphere, although Samways is less musical, less based on say a heavy saxophone solo, but with the same sort of ‘free’ notion of letting those instruments play. The piano and percussion are in place and Samways uses more field recordings it seems. I think this is a great record, for various reasons. One, quite important, is that the approach to field recordings is very musical, since it is incorporated in a musical surrounding. A musical surrounding, rather than a piece of some kind. That I thought was very good, Samways tries to do something new. Its executed with great care, and perhaps some of these pieces could have been a tad bit shorter, but throughout I thought this was a great release. Excellent music, produced with imagination, with a keen ear for doing something that others not always do. Check it out. (FdW)
Another review in Japanese here.
12:19 am • 2 April 2012 • 4 notes
‘Spectre 3 [Tokyo]’ [PV]
Taken from the “Mirror” EP released on the Audiotalaia label, July 2011.
Audio by Nigel Samways. Visual by Foss Moigne.
Special thanks to Edu Comelles Allué.
11:41 pm • 15 March 2012 • 2 notes
“Kippenvel” - a collaboration film by Jan Kees Helms and Nigel Samways.
With a title meaning “gooseflesh”, this is a short film by Jan Kees with a music score by myself.
Please check out the original Der Werkplaats website where you can find more work by Jan Kees Helms.
9:37 pm • 24 November 2011 • 5 notes
I have been working on some preliminary sound and music for a new children’s adventure feature film by Ewan Gorman @ Blackrock Films. The project is still in the early stages of securing sufficient investment, with shooting due to start next year. However this is the October 2011 teaser trailer with my soundtrack.
1:20 am • 24 October 2011
‘The Singing Gloom’ EP by Nigel Samways.
Released on the Twisted Tree Line [TTL036], October 2011.
1. The Singing Gloom (21.23)
CDR limited edition of 100 copies, 50 of which released in a special ‘brochure’ format.
Notes: A single long-form piece recorded over summer 2011. In alignment with ‘Poor Henrietta Marie’ and ‘Nine Barrow Down’ this work features recurring themes that resurface in altered forms throughout the track as it moves through different atmospheric sections. A good amount of live instrumentation features on this recording but it’s combined with some highly repetitious loops which underpin the whole piece.
Available direct from the Twisted Tree Line website here or from Norman Records here.
Listen to a clip on Soundcloud.
1:03 am • 17 October 2011 • 1 note
‘E Loops / Trade Variations’ by Nigel Samways + Ennio Mazzon.
Ripples Recordings [RPL008], July 2011.
1. E Loop (i.)
2. E Loop (ii.)
3. E Loop (iii.)
4. E Loop (iv.)
The physical CDR is now sold out but the digital version is available from Ripples Recordings on Bandcamp here.
Notes: Collaboration completed through sharing a small number of audio files, which we worked and re-worked to generate multiple soundscapes based on the same pool of raw material. Final arrangements and mix by Nigel Samways, mastering and artwork by Ennio Mazzon. Released on Ennio’s own Ripples Recordings CDR label.
Ennio has a recent release in the excellent Cronica Cronicast series, plus an interesting and varied back catalogue I recommend you check out: http://skritha.wordpress.com/
Noted in Future Sequence’s “Best of the Week” chart 29.7.11!
Review @ Resonant Strata August 2011:
“From various releases on labels such as Resting Bell to his latest – and by the way excellent – contribution to the cronicaster series, Ennio Mazzon is no stranger to the experimental electronic music scene. His latest work, together with Nigel Samways, on his own Ripples Recordings label is no exception. His collaborator Nigel Samways can also look back at a beautiful set of releases on labels such as Experimedia, Ephre Imprint, Camomille or Hibernate.
The first piece starts off a little too easily at first; a gently flowing drone moves beneath a sea of clanks, noises and fieldrecordings – absolutely beautiful, but quite conservative in its execution. Nothing that grabs me completely, but as the track moves on, the the material gets more dense and adds more texture and impact. Still, the first piece sounds more like an introduction than an actual track especially in comparison to the rest of the album.
The second piece with its hushed and washed out melody that lingers in the background buried under reverb and gentle fuzz offers a harmonic quality equal to Fennesz’ Endless Summer period. This is an absolutely mesmerizing pull that just drowns you into a looping maelstrom of sound. The following tracks manage to follow that direction, although they don’t reach such emotional heights as the second one. Nevertheless “e loop3” and “e loop4” still manage to keep an incredibly high level in regards to sound and harmony. Especially the last track with its tinkly, dancing piano dribbles, which make way for the grandezza string finale of the record, is simply gorgeous. Like every other Ripples Recordings release, “E Loops/Trade Variations” is a great album. Although with its running time clocking in just above the 26 minutes mark, it could be definitively a couple of tracks longer.”
Review by Stephen Fruitman @ Sonomu:
”The shape is constantly changing” are the words which greet the visitor to Ennio Mazzon´s Ripples label website. Or, as another Mediterranean put it two and a half thousand years ago, “you can never step into the same river twice” (Heraclitus).
This is the first collaboration between the Italian electronic sound artist and his English counterpart Nigel Samways. ”Tiny sonic particles” were created by each in his own laboratory, exchanged via e-mail, tinkered with and finally arranged into four tracks of some six to seven minutes each.
They may have been tiny to begin with, but each loop balloons in its final form, giving the impression of big, outdoor space. And each piece has its own distinct nature, though they appear to share the same DNA, prominently featuring bell tones. “E Loop 1” is lugubrious while the second works itself into a gnarled intensity from a rather benevolent ambient beginning. The third track is stretched, dispersed, almost “breathed-out”, while the last sputters like an iron horse falling into a dream state.
Four very attractive and imaginative takes on the loop, a challenging form insofar as it is so easy to just let it run complacently. Samways and Mazzon have packed lots of ideas and information into a very small space, and Samways has drawn very discrete elements into a coherent orbit.”
10:33 pm • 28 July 2011 • 2 notes
Taken from ‘E Loops / Trade Variations’ EP by Nigel Samways + Ennio Mazzon, July 2011.
10:20 pm • 28 July 2011 • 1 note