For almost 80 years, independent labels founded by dedicated under-the-radar music lovers have helped create space for the radical underground, bringing critical infrastructure to experimental artists who have sat on the fringes of many different styles of music. Given his penchant for all things experimental, drone, ambient, etc., our today’s guests, Thomas from momentarily records is a perfect fit to our mission to connect creative DIY communities and help you discover underground artists of all kinds. Today, we’re teleporting you to a hypnotizing, transcendental space, with a number of interesting artists from the momentarily records roster.
Fresh off the launch of their first two releases, the cassette label momentarily records comes as an interesting concept with the aim to release music by drone, ambient and experimental artists, while developing the most unique packaging possible for each release and producing it all in a DIY manner.
momentarily records releases only on cassette, only exclusive music and always only 30 units per release. Thomas runs a website, the label’s Bandcamp profile, and sends old school newsletters from time to time, with no social media profiles in the pipeline. He collaborates with selected artists but accepts demo submissions (solely unreleased and exclusive music, private streams only, valuable information attached).
The label focuses on quality and works out subtle differences in each work. Its releases feature special and tangible music composed exclusively for momentarily records. Today, we have teamed up with Thomas and his first artists on the roster, to give you some more details about their craft and share some first tastes of their out-of-the-box recordings. Check out their profiles below.
“Over the past years and decades, musical tastes have of course constantly evolved.” – says Thomas, when asked about his backgrounds in music. “It all started with grunge and hardcore at some point, then various electro styles came along. In principle, there are hardly any genres that I don’t listen to or find exciting in a certain way. The focus is certainly on black metal and drone.”
Say hello to Thomas via [email protected].
Speaking about momentarily records, Thomas continues: “I have always enjoyed creative work and had a netlabel called Digital Kunstrasen many years ago – there was still a big and exciting netlabel scene back then. For the bands I play or have played in, there were also always DIY projects, too.”
The idea for a cassette label, which releases very limited editions, but always individually designed and created artwork, he had since the beginning of 2021.
“In 2022 we played with my band [ B O L T ] at a mini festival, where 2 drone artists also played live – they were amazing. On the way back I realised that I should just do it. And now I’ll see where it takes me – there are enough exciting artists and I’m grateful that I was able to get such great musicians right at the start.”
𝐵𝑒 𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐. 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒. 𝐴𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑑 𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑢𝑚𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛. 𝐵𝑒 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒.
Introducing, momentarily records artists:
Alessio Dutto is an Italian sound artist. His music focuses on ambient, drones and walla of sound, harmonies sculpted in the noise and steady rhythms.
“I studied electronic music at the Conservatory of Music of Cuneo (IT).” – comments Alessio.
“My interest is into music that’s somehow extreme, I do ambient music but above all during this year I went into noise and harsh music, with two projects, I Sabotatori Interni and Spietate Agonie.
I came into my sound mostly through black metal, with his ambient intros and the ferocity that comes after.”
“But my listenings go also through post-industrial and extreme metal in general, and also post-punk and surroundings.”
Speaking about what what gravitated Alessio towards momentarily records and why he is interested in this reative collaboratin, he reveals: “I was searching for a home for a physical release of “Dentro” and I found the right one, with a lot of attention on the design of the objects, which are unbelievable.”
““Dentro” sounds a bit different from their previous releases but it has been understood from momentarily very well and I’m happy from it.”
“It is undoubtedly a mystical work, in its slow pace and in its repetitiveness.” – continues Alessio. “Mystical in a broad sense, not christian at all. “Dentro” was created with the sounds I recorded inside the “red” Church, the Church of SS. Trinità di Centallo (IT). I have not considered organ only the instrument and the parts that compose it, but the whole church, a real sounding board of the instrument. But the resonances are not only due to the sound that propagates in the air, which undoubtedly plays an important role, but they are also due to the objects that are in the church, as well as the walls themselves, so I recorded them and made “Dentro”.”
Nicholas Maloney is a sound artist for the US. He creates personal, evocative recordings that offer a space that can be used to practice the rewarding act of deep listening.
“… My background in music is playing guitar and writing music in a post-rock band.” – says Nicholas”
“This led me to further experimentation and then to development and practice of sound arrangement. I became increasingly interested in timbre and atmosphere both within and out of musical reference as well as narrative-like story telling through sound, especially when the story is nothing and imaginary. I make ambient music as Blanket Swimming, a project which I started in 2015 when I was in college and traveling, sound art under my name, and minimalist noise as Thar Desert. I also have several collaborative projects such as S’entendre (w/ Jonathan Deasy) and Knowth (w/ Andy Klingensmith).”
Discussing his creative collaboration with momentarily records, Nicholas admits that treating sonic artwork holistically is an important task.
“… so when Thomas reached out to me to collaborate on a release I was instantly interested. When I think of a release, artwork and packaging are integral. Also, being a small label head myself, I connect with those that put the time into making the packaging something memorable, unique, and integral to the sound. I look forward to seeing the growth of M R and am already floored by the inaugural releases.”
Nicholas is constantly re-arranging his setup and trying new ways of improvising.
“My release on Momentarily, titled Of Form and Formlessness, was the result of two, half-hour improvisations using guitar, synthesizers, and effects.” – says Nicholas.
“They act as yin and yang to each other, side A being an outpouring of storminess while side B rests in gentle swells. The narrative here exists in the relation between the raw experience of the two.”
Nicholas also runs a small label called asonu that releases longform experimental music in physical and digital format.
Brian Grainger is an American ambient/techno/electronic music composer. His songs and artistic soundscapes are focussing on drones, minimal arrangements, ambient and noise.
Brian began writing and recording music in 1997, performing in a number of bands with several different instruments, and by 2004 he’d started his vanity imprint Milieu Music in order to publish his own work on a continuous basis.
“In the years since, I’ve done scoring work for television documentaries, short films, video games, advertisements and many other mediums, and I’ve issued over one-thousand original recordings, the majority of which were published independently, with many others released at various imprints around the world. I am interested primarily in electronic music, with an emphasis on improvisation, generative systems and sound design.” – comments Brian.
Invited to participate in the inauguration of momentarily records, Brian admits that he was happy to contribute his work to be paired with Thomas’ unique packaging designs and concepts.
“Working with new creative partners is never uninteresting and I always welcome the experience whenever it is possible, especially when I am approached by someone who is already familiar with my work prior.”
Speaking about his release, Brian continues: “…Dissolving in a Body was a two-part session of what I like to refer to as ‘held tone music’, or more generally, drone music that minimally deviates from the configuration of whatever chordal construct it begins with.”
“I am often dissatisfied with recordings published by other musicians as ‘drone music’ because most of this music is far too dynamic to really qualify as drone, and is usually closer to ambient music. I’m not really interested in some kind of purism of sound here, but rather, I’m curious about what is possible by thinking about composition in terms of texture, stillness and runtime, what could be accomplished by creating sound environments that vary so minutely, that they create a ‘new normal’ of the air in the room, and in doing so, alter the way listeners perceive the passage of time in the process.”
This approach also allows Brian to finish his arrangement work with whatever tools he is using, and then experience the music passively as any other listener would.
“… which is far more exciting than the often laborious process of composing and designing music over dense sessions and long periods of time, which erodes the distance between the listener and the sound, and allows the ego to assert itself more noticeably upon the work.” – admits Brian.
“With held tone music, I am able to view the process as the creative act, rather than the recorded result, and appreciate the transparent honesty of music that is composed in real time. With these notions as the primary focus, the tools and systems used to generate this music become meaningless, and between this point and the intended restriction of the ego from the process, the sound itself is all that remains”
Asked about live performances, Brian says that if he can help it, he will never go out on tour. “I rarely perform live, especially in the post-pandemic world, but I do regularly broadcast live sessions from my studio via Twitch, YouTube and Bandcamp. These broadcasts are not planned ahead of time, and some have lasted for up to twelve hours continuously, so anyone interested in hearing/seeing these sets should follow my Twitch channel and my YouTube channel (youtube.com/@oscillog), where you can be notified automatically if/when a broadcast is taking place.”
𝐴𝑙𝑙 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑. 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒.
Jonathan Deasy is an American guitarist, improvisation artist and composer. His music builds up on minimalism and large soundscapes, moving drones and calm experimentals.
“Guitarist, composer and improviser based between Cork, Ireland and Clermont-Ferrand, France.” – Jonathan introduced himself. “Played in bands, improvising ensembles and studied composition and jazz in college. Interested in feedback, saturation and spectral composition. Overtones interacting with each other plays a big part of my approach. I like playing with drummers a lot as well.”
Jonathan admits that Thomas is a great person and has fantastic taste in music. “… and is a brilliant musician himself so it is always a pleasure working with people that operate on a similar wavelength to myself.”
Commenting on his new release, he names it a guitar based composition of duration and overtones. “The degradation of fidelity over time. A meditation on the passing of time and the profound nature of sound.”
𝐸𝑛𝑗𝑜𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠, 𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑐𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑑𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑡𝑒𝑎 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓.
Hellmut Neidhardt is one of the most profiled drone and ambient artists from Germany. He’s being active since the early 1990s and creates floating and constantly moving soundscapes.
“At some point as a young boy my interest in music begun and nearly immediately, I also wanted to make music myself.” – comments Helmut.
“As a drummer at that time; but since it was hard to find a place to play drums without getting big problems with neighbors, I started with guitar instead. My first guitar was a self-build electric plugged into an old radio and that started it all. First hard-rock, later post-punk and since then more and more drifting into experimentation.” – he recalls.
“In 1997 it really become serious with the founding of the three-piece band [MULTER] (guitar / electronic / field recordings) which is still going on today. At the same time I discovered more and better possibilities of solo-work and walked this way too; from the beginning aiming to use guitar and amps plus various FX as the main tools without later addition or correction. The fact that the sound you can hear live or on a record has been played exactly that way and thus been recorded exactly that way is an important part of my personal approach.”
Thomas, the founder of momentarily records, and Hellmut are friends for some longer time now and team up from time to time to collaborate; either way as N + [ B O L T ] with his trio [ B O L T ] or as a duo under his NINEMILES moniker as N / NINEMILES.
“I was really happy that he asked me to contribute…” – admits Hellmut.
“The main inspiration was the label concept: to go absolutely minimal.” – he explains. “Even if I like very minimal stuff a lot (Eliane Radigue, Eleh, Calineczka…), I rarely keep minimal myself, since I really like to build up a more or less huge dynamic during a track. Often enough with a sort of dynamic / harmonic etc. climax. So it was kind of a challenge to write some longer tracks that stay interesting without using a wall of distortion and a rising volume level…”
Hellmut just finished a small duo-tour with Eric Quach / thisquietarmy that really went well. “The aim was to present our collaboration record, but in the end, we went for a full improvised set each evening.” – says Hellmut.
Teasing more live performances, he says that there is one last N solo show in 2022 in an old bunker at Cologne with Oona Kastner as a guest. “She will do singing and keyboard playing… And maybe we will play one track together, something like a preview of our forthcoming collaboration album, that we already recorded.”
“Concerning 2023 there are some shows booked already, others are planned; also with my metal / noise / doom trio O R T. And there are a lot of collaborations on the horizon…”.
Well, we all know what is going around these days and I simply cannot imagine what it might mean especially for young people on the edge between childhood and growing up to experience those two pandemic years and now the war with everything around… So the only thing I might add is:
𝐾𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘. 𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑦 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑖𝑔𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘. …𝑠𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑦𝑏𝑒: 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑡𝑠
Finally, we asked all the artists to give us their top albums of the year. Here’s what we’ve got – tons of interesting, eclectic, multi-style recommendations that will keep you busy for weeks!
Opvs Contra Natvram – Behemoth
A furious album which I love, from the sound itself to the songs.
Desert – Franco Bifo Berard
This is a special one, Berardi is not a musician, he is a philosopher who declaims his beliefs around the word situation in this album.
Creationist – Prurient
Prurient is Prurient, noise music at the best, this time with a huge duration can keep the listening very well.
Storybook – Magic and Dread
Expertly crafted cozy synth music
Winter Banana – Suda Nobuto
The delicacy and gentleness of a quiet melodic loop
DR – Æ
A drone comprised of the perfect intervals for becoming warmth and sinking into a chair.
Jonathan Deasy – Praxis
Gentle guitar glitches that glide and glisten.
Andy Aquarius – La Force Aquarienne
A beautiful harp tape that relocates my mind to one-thousand years previous, in another life.
Donny Benet – Le Piano
It’s The Don, what more is there to say? The finest bassist alive today, besides Laura Lee and of course Macca.
Calineczka – Not Even Useful Fictions
Held tone music by a master of the form that I am honored to name as a friend.
Jonathan Deasy – Praxis
Beautiful Karplus-adjacent forms here, although I could have picked anything Jonathan released this year. Another friend that I am lucky to know and collaborate with.
Deepchord – Functional Designs
Modell never misses a beat, and in addition to the pure joy of having another Autumn with a new Deepchord album, I’m so pleased to hear what he’s been doing with what sounds like vocal/formant/vocoder sampling alongside the usual radio band meets field recordings meets a rave heard from a few blocks away.
David Fyans – In Stolen Armour
Fyans was one of the people who compelled me initially toward building a modular system, and he remains one of the most interesting producers within that field. Like Deasy’s work, anything Fyans releases could have made this list, all of it is interesting and everyone reading this should subscribe to his Bandcamp output.
Lord of the D – EDM T
Jodey Kendrick is a jack of all trades and, somehow, a master of every one. EDM T is Jodey in jungle phace-melter mode, and there’s always going to be room in my record shelf for some heavy shit like this.
Matthijs Kouw & Phil Maguire – Isometry
Two brilliant minds that are a pleasure to know, working together in a synchronicity so compact and cohesive that I cannot discern who is doing what. These types of collaborations are the richest, I find, when multiple creative personalities I follow cross-pollinate and produce something that could have come from either of them, while simultaneously feeling brand new and enthralling.
Meshuggah – Immutable
If anything could be the top of my list this year, it would have to be Immutable. My favorite metal band of all time releases my favorite album they’ve written so far. The only thing that could improve upon it would be the subsequent release of a live soundboard DVD to document the tour that followed it. This band are so much more important than even the topicality of metal as a genre, and their Olympian athleticism within it, and it is no wonder their compositions are studied in music schools by academics who are forever doomed to wallow in the shadows of our Swedish overlords.
David Burraston is one of the most multifaceted creative minds I know, and this piece he coaxed out of a Novation monophonic analog synthesizer is one of many pillars of drone catharsis that continue to qualify him as a pioneer in the field. A close friend and a perennial influence.
Ohrwert – NºXX
Arjen is one of the most reliable producers I know who can effortlessly shift between Berlin school synthesizer music, deep new age space ambient and all shades of minimal and dubby techno. Here, he’s walking a line somewhere between foggy ambience and minimal techno, and it is a gorgeous result. The cleanliness of his mixing regularly inspires jealousy in me.
Eliane Radigue & Frederic Blondy – Occam XXV
Being a longtime devotee to both Radigue’s work and the organ as an instrument, this release came as a pleasant surprise, and stands apart from the rest of her music while still managing to sound very Radigue at the same time. I hope for more of her compositions to be captured on this instrument.
Howard Stelzer – The Flemish Giants
Despite being a follower of Stelzer’s work for many years now, we only recently met this year. Following a colorful correspondence, Howie invited me to collaborate with him, and we have since formed a band, and as I write this now, we’re mastering our second and third albums. I could have placed any of Howie’s recent recordings in this list, but The Flemish Giants really captivated my mind in a profound and somewhat cinematic (for lack of a better descriptor) way. Howie uses sound like paint, and no one else does what he does.
SVR – Procession
SVR first appeared on my radar years ago with a demo he sent to my Psoma Psi Phi imprint, which was graciously received and subsequently published. He has continued to impress with deep swaths of synthetic sound that routinely conjure up classical images of Hell, and Lovecraftian impossibilities. An underrated talent that deserves far more recognition.
Various – A Chant About the Beauty of the Moon at Night
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Masters 1913-1921 : The only compilation of different artists on my list, this archival release is both a historically important document with regard to Hawaiian music and its massive effect on American blues music, as well as a deeply melancholic listening experience, when the contexts of these recordings are fully considered.
wzrdryAV – West Coast Systems Vol. 2
Kelly regularly expresses his work as an almost clinically defined exercise in granular synthesis, but the results offer so much more colorful and vivid sensations than that term would suggest. A gorgeous sun-baked experience.
Iannis Xenakis – Electroacoustic Works
A reissued collection of Xenakis work, all of which was new to me, save for “Bohor,” so having this beautiful assemblage of this aspect of his work is essential, and has taken my mind to many different places while listening to it on a surround-sound system late at night, with a pipe.
Mat Ball – Amplified Guitar
Minimal and loud. Big Brave are one of my favourite bands and Mat is an incredible and inspiring guitarist.
Eiko Ishibashi – For McCoy
Musique Concrete meets ECM jazz with synths and pop. It’s so good.
Phil Maguire – Zeeschuim
Phil is a dear friend and a genius. An hour of slowly shifting electronic drone. It’s really perfect.
Oren Ambarchi/Johan Berthling & Andreas Werliin – Ghosted
Incredible jazz movements from Oren and the Fire! rhythm section. Really incredible. Probably my favourite from Oren of late.
Bailter Space “Concret”
A band I like since their beginning and which I saw live only one time in the eighties at Berlin (SO36, as far as I remember). It is great that they really did not develop in any way.
Keiji Haino + Sumac “Into This Juvenile Apocalypse Our Golden Blood To Pour Let Us Never”
SUMAC mixing metal / drone / impro whatever. And giving a shit about song structure. Together with Keiji Haino completely beyond. Interesting and always fresh since the first record.
DUG “Pain Machine”
This duo sounds way bigger than just two people… awesome doom / experimental stuff.
Dirk Serries “Solo acoustic Guitar Improvisations II / III”
Two records filled with 26 tracks of improvised music, acoustic guitar only, no overdubs… I think Frans de Waard nailed it when he claimed it is like one track; in a way…
Vladislav Delay & Eivind Aarset “Singles”
Kind of far out collaboration blending drone / impro with electronic / electronic beats between atmospheric and headcut.
Rafael Anton Irisarri “ Agitas Al Sol“
Finally the vinyl edition of the tape, released in coincidence with “Solastalgia” back in 2020. Awesome droneclouds with hidden melodies…
Aidan Baker / Jörg Schneider “Schneider / Baker“
Drone / Impro / whatever… Great collaboration with a lot of inner strength and power.
Hard to imagine anyone else capable to create such an atmosphere of loss and beauty at the same time… Masterpiece, as always.
+ another 500…