Surrounded by abstractions, space, and a spirit of experimentation, ambient music is inherently fertile ground for collaboration. We see artists coming together all the time to co-create, embellish, and rework pieces of music. But sometimes there is as much room for creativity in devising the frameworks for collaboration itself as there is in the artistic output. Dialog Tapes is a case in point. Here two very distinctive labels with compatible aesthetics, Dauw (based in Belgium) and Eilean Rec. (based in France), came up with a scheme to bring their rosters together to create a dual album release comprised of 14 tracks, 7 to be released on each label and each one co-created by a different pairing of artists.
One year ago, Eilean Rec. got in touch with us and after some emails it became clear that we had to work together somehow as we really love each others label. What started with some rough ideas ended up in a wonderful project… We linked artists from both labels to each other and asked if they wanted to make a collaborative track. The final result is amazing: 15 artists, 14 tracks and 85 minutes of wonderful music…
The artists involved include (listed alphabetically) Aaron Martin, Danny Clay, David Andree, Dudal, Leigh Toro, Masaya Ozaki, Miguel Isaza, Monolyth & Cobalt, Ruhe, Sokkyo (Heine Christensen + Ciro Berenguer), Stijn Hüwels, The Humble Bee, Twincities, and Wil Bolton. The Dauw side will be released on casette and the Eilean side on CD, with each offering a bundle that combines the two.
If that all sounds like the perfect setup for a beautifully crafted set of music, well it is. Holistically speaking, it is a sublime journey comprised of intricate electroacoustics and oneiric ambient music full of warmth and texture. Individual highlights will vary with the taste of each listener, but this collection spoils for choice.
I was especially struck with the stillness of the tracks involving Stijn Hüwels – ‘How Does it Feel’ with Danny Clay and ‘Of Rainforests and Glaciers’ with Masaya Osaki. The vocals that surface in the lovely ‘Alpine Carpet’ by Ruhe and Twincities proved a welcome melodic surprise and I am always drawn to the emotive and beguiling work of Aaron Martin who teams up with The Humble Bee on ‘Bloom and Fold’ and David Andree on ‘Collapse in Undergrowth’. Finally, the pairing of Danny Clay and Wil Bolton on ‘Palimpset’, which closes the Eilean side of the dual release, is exquisite.
These albums are being released wit no pre-order phase and in all likelihood will be sold out before this post can even be published – a function of the very limited physical run and the respect for these labels and artists in the ambient music community. Fortunately, the digital versions will remain to be enjoyed.
Dauw Bandcamp: https://dauw.bandcamp.com/album/dialog-tapes
Eilean Bandcamp: https://eileanrec.bandcamp.com/album/dialog-tapes
‘How Does It Feel’ by Stijn Hüwels & Danny Clay [Dauw – Eilean Rec.]
‘Blue Moon’ by The Humble Bee + Ruhe [Eilean Rec.- Dauw]