Non Projects® is a record label dedicated to the support and discovery of Los Angeles' most innovative artists and composers. Mislaid within an ever-changing and confused recording landscape, Non Projects offers imaginative works of art and sound.
Ryan York has been busy posting tracks and sketches amongst various other amazing material over at our friends Way Out.
Below are a couple of them. More here.
Pre-Order Photo Book Now (Sold Out)
The physical companion to the EP of the same name. 'Sunsets and Clocks' is a 32 page hand bound saddle stitched book with high resolution b&w Epson prints, featuring photography by Brian Allen Simon.
All photographs taken on tour in Japan, December, 2012.
Comes with download code for 320k mp3s of the EP.
Limited to 20, signed and numbered copies.
14 x 20 cm
Consider how personal an experience it is to wait. When caught in the space of time before a thing happens, we unconsciously reveal ourselves through our ticks - physical manifestations of where we let our thoughts drift in this non-space. While waiting, each foot tapped, itch scratched and phone checked reflects the places we allow ourselves to explore before we have to jump back into formal time and space to perform.
Anenon recorded Sunsets and Clocks in the weeks directly preceding a whirlwind tour of Japan, where expectations and preconceptions (both false and true), collided over and over again in anticipation of the trip to come. In this collection of songs, Brian Allen Simon shares that intimate space, where he was both highly conscious of the relentless march of time and simultaneously removing himself from it, delving into an inner space where the lack of time smeared memories, fantasies, and fears into one another.
From the title, we can start to understand his headspace during this period, where the abstract concerns and artistic preparations for an international tour to a new country constantly collided with the pragmatic, binary problems of itineraries, exchange rates, and language barriers. These conflicting drives mirror the sharp contrast of the way the smudged shades of a fading sun mark the end of the day at the same time that the precision crafted gears of a timepiece click into place.
We hear this theme reflected in how these pieces are unified by their maximal approaches to contrasts in the perception of time and meter, voice and tone. Anenon plays with this contrast through the shadowy textures of rhythm in the live improvisation of "We Yearn" and the meticulously interlocking beats driving "Ghost Light" and the title track. Boldly eschewing the use of the Rhodes and piano of his previous releases, these songs instead rely on the tenor sax and synthesizer. This new pairing fully realizes the theme in the marriage of the ethereal vibrations of the lungs and haunting accuracy of the keys.
1. We Yearn
2. Ghost Light
3. Dreamer (for Mary Jane)
4. Sunsets and Clocks
Words by D.S. Chun
Press photo by Yanmar.
Gold and Soil is duality – the coexistence of nature and civilization, the friction of experimentation and pop and the merging of organics and mechanics.
Realized in a remote yurt somewhere in the depths of Topanga Canyon, a wondrous and lush forested area minutes outside of the city of Los Angeles, the self-titled debut album from Anahita Navab (Ana Caravelle) and Ryan York (Asura) is the embodiment of this dwelling. It is a warm and inviting, yet ever far reaching work that yearns to find itself somewhere in the interstices of these aforementioned opposing spheres journeyed every day.
A natural pairing from the beginning, the work of Ana and Ryan (whom are both currently PHD candidates in Psychology and Neuroscience, respectively) has produced nothing but stellar results in the form of collaborations - the debut self-titled Asura record and Ana’s breakout debut album, 'Basic Climb' (both 2010, Non Projects). Ryan’s production of African influenced percussion and modern synthesizer and textural workings twist, turn and meld with Ana’s unique and sumptuous vocals with a logic all it’s own. Carrying the listener with each track from start to finish is a testament to York’s skills as an experienced jazz bassist and improvising cellist who has most recently, and notably, lent his bowing skills to the also idiosyncratic vocals of Zola Jesus ('Conatus,' Sacred Bones, 2011). Gold and Soil's backbone is production from a musician who understands the very nature of how improvisation and composition combine to create wholes bigger than the sums of their parts.
The words that Ana so elegantly and effortlessly sing resonate and invoke a wide range of personal emotions. Topics vary immensely including the current and turbulent political climate of Iran - the place of Ana’s family origin and the inspiration for “Pure Place.” Elsewhere, as Ana describes it, “the depths of wild childish play that grown adults can only fully experience in the context of giddy love” set the vocal beds for “Alone.” The digging down into one’s personal history charges the deeply moving ambient motion of “Selloana,” a re-contextualization of a found haiku written by Ana’s mother – a search for her child within. It is this search for the hidden joys beneath our surfaces that is the impetus for the music of Gold and Soil and it moves us all time and time again.
"Vulnerable child, I want to find you again. Come play with me."
01. Where or When
02. See You Again
04. Cloud Atlas
06. Golden, Brown, Burgundy
07. Everything Anything Nothing
08. Of Our Earth
09. Pure Place
10. Cody's Song
11. Owl Feathers
Video for "Cody's Song" by Miko Revereza.
While sharing similar stripped down recording approaches to the companion ‘Acquiescence’ EP, the music of ‘Inner Hue’ is an entirely different journey. With ‘Acquiescence’, the source material of grand piano and tenor saxophone remain fairly transparent, letting the instruments themselves tell the story, but with ‘Inner Hue’ Brian goes far deeper inside of the notes and takes the instrumentation of Rhodes piano and tenor saxophone into entirely new territories, coaxing nuanced textures and sounds with distinctive vocabulary unique to each track. An album that moves with sonic intent and abstract narrative, ‘Inner Hue’ naturally demands listening from start to finish, always revealing new paths with each play. This is personal, patient and thoughtful music to live inside of, or rather the music that lives inside of us, aching to get out.
Throughout ‘Inner Hue’, the sound of electric piano timbres remain prevalent - raw, elegant and crystallized into time, lucid tone colors embossed onto a tangible spectral audio field. Seductive and ruminating melodies run rampant, in shifting counterpoint with luxuriant, ageless textures, always with a corporeal melodic yearning. Sometimes physical and upfront, as when the saxophones roar over sturdy, cracking drums in “Murmurs” and layers of Rhodes build and amalgamate with double time percussive syncopations on the title track, or patiently ebbing and flowing through space on tracks like “Embers” and opener “Eighty-Four,” the timeless music of ‘Inner Hue’ is communicated with a unique and individualized finesse so rarely heard these days. A testament to Brian’s both formal and informal studies of composition over many years, ‘Inner Hue’ advances with a unique cinematic tension in the most organic of ways, coming to a harmonious close with “Entwine”, a highly visual piece of lullaby like high notes, raw bass tones, studied counterpoint and delicate ambience. An artist obsessed with building his own voice, no matter what palate he chooses, Anenon’s ‘Inner Hue’ truly marks only the beginning of a long and idiosyncratic life of music ahead.
2. This Is What I Meant
3. Stone River
5. Embers feat. Laura Teasley
6. Memory Residue
7. The Sea and the Stars
8. Inner Hue
9. I'm Awake Tonight
All music written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by Brian Allen Simon (except vocals on "Embers" by Laura Teasley), February - September 2011 at 6210, Los Angeles.
Mastering by James Plotkin.
Vinyl cut by Helmut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
Cover art by Jon-Kyle Mohr.
Photos by Andy J. Scott
Press: 92bpm, Ad Hoc, Concepto Radio, Dummy Mag, Earmilk, Exclaim, The Four Oh Five, Gluttony is the New Black, NPR - All Songs Considered, Pitchfork Guide to Spring 2012 Releases, Resident Advisor, The Soul Electronic, XLR8R, XLR8R Album Stream, XLR8R Feature Interview, XLR8R Podcast
Daizo is the debut full-length release from Justin Hopkins aka RareBit.
"Mt. Weather" video by Sean Ferris
With the release of The Destroyer EP in 2011, musician / composer and visual artist Justin Hopkins, aka RareBit, quickly established himself as an artist who knows his craft. Whereas The Destroyer, a collection of Justin’s earlier work, dealt in dizzying cut and paste compositional techniques and songs with short run-times, Daizo, his full-length debut, takes us on an excursion of much greater distance. The same acute attention to sonic detail remains, however Daizo tracks take advantage of the long player format with songs stretching to upwards of eight minutes. Also, ‘Daizo’ ups the live performance quotient as well with vividly and wildly arranged instrumentation – most notably drums and percussion that carry a strong undercurrent throughout the album.
Daizo is named after Justin’s grandfather and is an exploration in Music as genetics. It is a dedication to his ancestors that lived during the Great Depression era, yet maintains a celebratory and reflective vibe throughout. As Justin puts it, the idea is “of families of songs that share similar traits. Certain elements are directly sampled from other places on the album or share themes even if they are manipulated or mutated to different extents.” Right off the bat, Sister songs “Running Tangles” and “Mt Weather” are obvious examples of this, entirely different tracks that are culled from the same drum tracking sessions.
As with The Destroyer and most of RareBit’s work, Justin plays more of a conductor and composer role with several different musicians playing on the album and sounds being recorded on many different devices, in different places. As both a visual artist and a sonic illustrator, Justin is able to display a huge array of colors and feels in his music, all while keeping everything completely coherent. Ranging from the free jazz meets elegant electronics of “Convergence”, the subtle yet devastating poly-rhythms of “Mt Weather”, the loud and budding, yet impossible to ignore cries of “Phantom Wall” and exceedingly swift lines and contours of “Emergence”, ‘Daizo’ portrays a sculptor thinking deeply about his art, yet always moving forward with instinct.
1. No New Wave
2. Running Tangles
3. Mt. Weather
4. Phantom Wall
5. Me and You
8. I'll Be Hard On You
9. You and Me
Cover painting by Justin Hopkins. Photos by Andy J. Scott. Mastering by James Plotkin.
Press: 92bpm, 92bpm ("Mt. Weather" video), Adult Swim Bump Playlist, Afterpop, Consequence of Sound (Review), Electronic Beats (Full album stream), Exclaim!, The Fox Is Black, Futuresequence (Review), Gluttony Is The New Black, Impose (Review), In Your Speakers, The Needle Drop, OMG Vinyl, Penrose Street, Playground, Resident Advisor, trndmusik, XLR8R, XLR8R (Mt. Weather video), Visitation Rites
A companion piece to the upcoming full-length debut ‘Inner Hue’ from Anenon aka Non Projects founder Brian Allen Simon.
‘Acquiescence’ is a moment in time, frozen. It’s a diary of acceptance, of surrendering into your surroundings and not looking back. It feels unhurried and relaxed, yet was recorded in just under a week in Madrid, Spain at the Red Bull Music Academy, in which Brian was a participant. Production and arrangement took place back home in Los Angeles also in just under a week’s time. Strong yet vulnerable, the music on ‘Acquiescence’ moves with an air of confidence, but also feels tender and exposed - a deer caught in the headlights. A product of both extreme personal highs and lows, the music of ‘Acquiescence’ finds a delicate balance, grand piano and tenor saxophone up front with very minimal processing throughout. The sound of ‘Acquiescence’ uncovers an artist fearless of the tradition, yet fully capable of molding old technologies with new in ways that feel unquestionably modern, always looking deep inside and always moving forward.
“Clairvoyance” sets the scene with delicately seductive dissonances between slowly repetitive piano chords on top of a curtain of saxophone drones. Harmonic staccato reed slaps from the saxophone arrive and build, polyrhythms budding against each other, a perfect compliment to what comes next. Arguably the standout of the EP, the title track is a push-and-pull dialogue between ivories, breathy and melodic saxophone playing, a string quartet and drum programming. One of Brian’s most cinematic pieces yet, the tension between all elements is palpable - polyphonic lines of highly melodic and reverb soaked saxophone coalescing into each other on top of a bed of stark piano chords and contrapuntal strings, technical yet physically human drum programming pushing each line forward into the ether. “Rites” closes out the set with an affectionate and upfront piano refrain over sequenced 909 kicks and blankets of piano decay and ambience – layers of an artist’s dreams and desires seeping through the speakers throughout.
4. Twenty twenty
"Acquiescence" will also appear on the upcoming Various Assets compilation by Red Bull Music Academy.
All sounds recorded at Matadero Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Produced, mixed and arranged at 6210 and Latrobe, Los Angeles, CA. Additional engineering by Erik Breuer. Mastering by James Plotkin.
Cover photography by Miko Revereza. Cover design by Jon-Kyle Mohr and Brian Allen Simon.
Live photo by Gianfranco Tripodo. Portrait by Dan Wilton.
Press: 22 Tracks, 92bpm, Beatport Staff Pick, Mapzzz, Playground (News, Review), Red Bull Music Academy Interview, ReqEffect, Salad Fork, That Fix, Time Out Tokyo, XLR8R (#1 Download of February, Album Review - 8.5/10, "Acquiescence" mp3, Exclusive Album Stream)