The Helen Scarsdale Agency is deeply saddened by the death of Matt Shoemaker. He died on August 12, 2017.
Matt was an artist from Seattle, Washington, whose work with sound manifest as some of the most singular, densely compacted, carefully arranged, and hauntingly beautiful transmissions we have not only published but also experienced. Unfortunately, his work remains unknown to many; yet those who take the time to experience it are inevitably transfixed.
His first works were published through the highly influential Trente Oiseaux label, which helped pioneer the microsound / lowercase aesthetic at the turn of the millennium. A visionary beyond contemporary trends of the institutional avant-garde, Shoemaker never fit comfortably on that label's roster. His work radiated a blossoming intensity through the treatment of sonic phenomena. These began through the manipulated field recording, then incorporated modular synthesis exploration and later with profoundly convoluted systems of electro-acoustics that involved room resonance, feedback systems and even long slinky-esque springs. The Helen Scarsdale Agency had the enormous pleasure of publishing two works from Shoemaker – Spots In The Sun (2007) and Erosion Of The Analogue Eye (2009). Both of these albums are slippery and cryptic in their morphology, deliberately articulating sonic details while refusing any single associated set of ideas. Matt once stated, "Obviousness is my art's antithesis."
Shoemaker leaves behind an impressive catalogue that extends to our friends at Elevator Bath, Mystery Sea and the Masters Chemical Society. He was also an accomplished painter, rendering an equally quizzical visual language of molten, subcutaneously exposed figures. Few had the privilege of seeing this work as it was never exhibited, beyond his instagram channel.
Though grieving in this loss of an artist and a friend, The Helen Scarsdale Agency only seeks to celebrate Matt and his work. Thus, the two aforementioned albums – Spots In The Sun and Erosion Of The Analogous Eye – will be made available for free. Yes, this does include the handful of physical discs remaining in the Agency's inventory in addition to the downloads at Bandcamp. Those seeking his physical publications will be asked to pay for shipping.
Our latest publications:
The Helen Scarsdale Agency is working once again with Fossil Aerosol Mining Project. The core trackf to The Unlistening Place were recorded in 2015, and at the time were intended to be part of what was to be the final Fossil Aerosol album, scheduled for a distant release. But history circled back on itself, and the result was a reworking of future tracks, alongside more new material.
Ekin Fil's Ghosts Inside is easily her most accomplished album to date for her somber, introspective lo-fi, shoegazing drone-pop. She's recently completed her first soundtrack which was screened at SXSW early this year, and she will have some tour dates in Europe in the fall. There may be a tour only cassette to be publishing at that time as well. But that's still in the works.
Ekin Fil Ghosts Inside // LP / Digital
release date : June 30, 2017
Kate CarrThe Story Surrounds Us // Cassette SOLD OUT / Digital
"Carr's music stands out. She's dedicated to her craft, and this often brings about innovation of the highest order, settling not only for a stunning mix of recordings but, importantly, placing them inside the music in a thoughtful way, allowing the outside source to sit cohesively and comfortably within the context of a song." - A Closer Listen
Relay For Death Natural Incapacity // 2CD / Digital
We have the long awaited epic noise construct Natural Incapacity from the twin sisters Rachal and Roxann Spikula, who operated under the moniker Relay For Death. The full composition is an unbroken piece that is over two hours long; and the download of this version will only be available for purchase with the phyiscal release. This physical version comes in an edition of 150 copies with hand-corroded & screen printed steel plates as the cover artwork.
Jim Haynes Throttle & Calibration // Cassette / Digital Throttle & Callibration by Jim Haynes smolders with corroded and compressed recordings made during the Active Crossover project in Estonia. A previous digital-only version was made available earlier this year from Cronica, but this cassette has nearly 25 minutes more material that the previous iteration.
Francisco MeirinoSurrender, Render, End // CD / Digital Surrender, Render, End is an electro-acoustic dialectic, unremittingly engaged in a pugilist conflict between art and accident. The Swiss noise-composer Francisco Meirino began working on the skeleton for this piece in 2014 as a multi-channel, modular synth patch, which has been in an ongoing state of modification through public diffusions and private rumination.
Fossil Aerosol Mining Project August 53rd : LP
Stelzer/Murray Connector Cassette
She Spreads Sorrow : LP
Francisco Meirino : LP
Kate Carr : LP
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We highly recommend that customers outside the North America make their purchases from these distributors, as the shipping costs have gone up dramatically for first class and priority to cross the border of the United States. In 2016, the rate increase was on average 21%. We cannot incur losses for this increase, and unfortunately this gets passed onto our beloved customers. If the shipping calculator through Paypal (which has always been a very blunt tool) over charges you, we will refund the difference upon calculating the exact price. If the shipping calculator under represents the cost, we may ask for an addition charge to cover the shipping. We do apologize; and again, we highly recommend you contacting any of our distributors to inquire about our products.
Digital distribution is also available through Bandcamp, iTunes, Midheaven, Boomkat, and emusic, amongst other purveyors of the MP3.
Yes, The Helen Scarsdale Agency has joined Facebook. We will be posting various updates to what stock comes through our small mail order catalogue, links to various reviews from our publications, and announcements for interesting performances, exhibitions, and debacles from the many artists orbiting the Agency. You can find us by clicking here or the Facebook link in the menu above.
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