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NEWS ARCHIVE 2015-2011

Old news

October 2015

And another one! This is almost like the early days.

New release
We welcome Endlings with two wistful guitar pieces called Fields and Not Coming Back.
This release is dedicated to old friends APW Smith, Paul, Julian, Jes C, Rosie and all who recall the days of Worcester Terrace.

September 2015

Two in a row. Can you stand the pace? We probably can't. Time for a little lie down.

New release
Not only another new release, it's also by another new signing! This place is filling with new faces. Boarding the Learn to Swim replacement bus service is Shadow Moss with Sands End. Some sounds of the 1990s in there perhaps?

A reminder of our most recent issue Body Talk which you can listen to here: Slabcake 

August 2015

We never promised a regular release schedule did we? Have you had a nice break?

Chuffed to see there's been a long-awaited release from our Canadian bretheren Hank. Visit www.weepingtruckers.com to see some splendid new videos of tracks from Showers of Happiness.

New release
We have a new signing! Can't remember the last time anyone else got involved here. Maybe we're too exclusive. But that changes now so please welcome Nightfish with two extended pieces under the title The Lake of Mutations.
There have been TWO Slabcake podcasts since we last updated the site: in November 2014 we released a short piece on culinary arts entitled Bon Viveur and a longer one in June this year entitled Body Talk which is somewhat less savoury.

June 2014

So, did you miss us?

New release
Back for his first release since 2010 is perennial mixmaster David Loophead. These are, very simply, three of his finest dancefloor fillers. Raving? Yes, we are raving.

In case you missed it
Last November we released a special one-off edition of our occasional podcast Slabcake entitled The Cries of Strange Birds, in honour of an old friend who was celebrating a special birthday. Click here to listen

February 2013

The long silence. So, the Mayans we wrong. We were hiding in our bunker for nothing, it seems.

New album: K'an
We're delighted to release the third in our presentations of works by the late Japanese synthesizer pioneer Michishige Tomohisa.
This collection returns to Tomohisa's own compositions, focusing on some of his more abstract styles. Acid Wilhelm has presented the latter half of the album as a suite of reflective pieces which Tomohisa appears to have intended to be heard together.
Once again, these are the best / latest version of each recording, encoded for super hi-fi stereo sound at the maximum 320kbps rate.

July 2012

New single
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most bizarre things. The mind of Acid Wilhelm would appear to be one of them. Not to everyone's taste, certainly, but diversity is what we thrive on. Acid Wilhelm tables another clutch of musique concrete, this time derived entirely from the sound of tapping a large plastic canister. Learn to Swim's very own water cooler moment. Quide liderally.

Other news
Actually, there is no other news. Except that it has been raining a lot. .

May 2012

New release
It is six years since we last heard from him. Time heals, they say. Bagman, hero of some of the earliest Learn to Swim releases, returns with a new single. Cobwebs and Regret is perhaps his magnum opus, a 16 minute mélange of echoes and synthetic melody. A stylish rebirth making up for all those lost years and dismissing at a stroke the old resentments or a massive overcompensation? Decide for yourself:
Click here to listen.

Blog update
The Learn to Swim Blog can be found at http://learntoswimrecordings.blogspot.com and contains some new speculations.

There may be some more Slabcake in the coming weeks. Possibly.

March 2012

New single
Aspecial moment. We've reached our 50th release and it's coming up to 10 years since Learn to Swim first wandered into the room looking for a quiet corner. Who else could we turn to but Hair by Roger? Their new single Connecting is, we are told, their take on the ebb and flow of a lifelong romance.
Click here to listen

Coming soon
Next time will see the return to the fold of an old friend. Bagman is back. We can hardly believe it either.

Hank news
Interesting recent update to Weeping Truckers featuring an old Cab Williamson's Waxworks demo entitled Ferox found in a dusty box in an old filing cabinet. There are some here who remember it the first time. There are also rumours of a special Hank / Learn to Swim collaboration in the pipeline. That's to say, we have just started such a rumour and are saying nothing further in order to give the impression of there being something more exciting than it actually is.

January 2012

Happy 2012
If you're currently celebrating the start of a new year, then we hope it's a good one. Don't worry, the Mayans will be proven wrong.

New album
Following the popularity of Gold Coins for a Cat this time last year, we're delighted to present a second collection of works by the late Japanese synthesizer pioneer Michishige Tomohisa. Acid Wilhelm has this time assembled a number of recordings based on or inspired by works of famous composers and traditional folk pieces. Once again, these are the best / latest version of each recording, encoded for super hi-fi stereo sound at the maximum 320kbps rate.

This album is dedicated to JCS, an old friend.

New look
We've had the place redecorated.

Now That I'm a Grown Up
The Learn to Swim Blog is long overdue an update but as it's only concerned with ephemera and mundanity, being up-to-the minute is hardly the point.

November 2011

New Single
An extra release, bringing you three pieces of music specially composed for our Slabcake shows on Chorlton FM, three disturbing noises from Acid Wilhelm. The title track Neun und Dreißig is a thirty-nine second burst of sound made up from tape clicks, off cuts, dodgy guitar leads and coughs and splutters going back some 20 years. The final track is a remix of a piece by our esteemed colleague Southern Charles a stablemate of Hank over at Weeping Truckers. (Show 3 of Slabcake available here includes Living With Peacocks and Bones an exclusive mix by Southern Charles himself.)

Next episode
Michishige Tomohisa returns and there will be A Major New Thing. But that's all in 2012. Meanwhile, live in the moment.

September 2011

New single
Unbelievably, it was 2007 last time we heard from Oh Joyous Diner. In Britain that means they bypassed the entire premiership of Gordon Brown. Draw your own conclusions on that one. But they return to us with a dose of ill-fitting retro electronic noises.

This time their inspiration comes from the unique 8-bit sound of the early 80s home computer. There are 3 tracks of exciting noises influenced by the ZX Spectrum (48K, proper rubber keyboard of course), the Vic 20 and the Commodore 64. Not the BBC Micro though: they were always expecting one but it never arrived. We Must Perform a Quirkafleeg is a title which will bring back fond if frustrating memories for those who sought to be pixel-perfect and will just bemuse everyone else. As we used to say in the 80s

        10 print "click here to listen"
        20 goto 10

Hank alumnus outfit Sir Clement have been busy playing live in Toronto and producing new work. It is every bit as asskickingly awesome as we have come to expect. The new 3-track release even includes a video of Can't Count Corn and, stunningly, a cover of Cab Williamson's Waxworks' Best Kind of Cock. If you really want to you can listen to the original and the Waxworks' own live versions on the Cab Williamson's Waxworks Archive page but frankly the Sir Clement version doesn't merely piss over it, they toss a match onto its steaming carcass and flambé it in their urine. Experience it for yourself on www.weepingtruckers.com.

Slabcake podcast
All four of the original Slabcake shows are now available online - see the link on the left to listen to them. There will be more at some unspecified point.

Barring the usual caveat about not expecting "forthcoming" to mean anytime soon, if you're inclined to check the release schedule, you may notice that Acid Wilhelm has been busy lately not only with his own future release of music especially prepared for the Slabcake podcasts but also in putting together a second collection from the Michishige Tomohisa Archive which should be out in the next few months. There may even be some Hair by Roger soon, but don't start the party yet.

May 2011

During this year's Chorlton Arts Festival, Learn to Swim is hosting a breakfast radio show on Chorlton FM entitled SLABCAKE. 9am on Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.

Expect highlights from some of Learn to Swim's odder corners as well as selections of unusual, strange and uncanny music. There will be some specially composed music from the Learn to Swim illuminati including an exclusive collaboration with Southern Charles of Weeping Truckers fame. You can listen online at www.chorltonfm.com with accompanying features on the Learn to Swim Blog.

I know, we said we never would, but with the launch of SLABCAKE, we've taken the plunge and joined the world of tweets. Follow @thelearntoswim for news, other people's interesting stuff and general useless apocrypha.

Can you stand the pace? This time we bring you the sound of geezers, narks, stakeouts and heists. Karswell present the first of two mini-albums of "library music" under the title Criminals (and the tracking down thereof). Click here to listen.

The Learn to Swim Blog "Now That I'm a Grown-Up..." continues fortnightly updates with increasing earnestness, profundity and beguiling thoughts on all manner of topics. Since last time Carl Sagan and Debussy have been joined by Samuel Beckett, Orson Welles, Stereolab and Peter Cook. That's a damn fine party. Gatecrashers welcome. 

Like some kind of transatlantic competition the ever-lovely HANK people have updated their website www.weepingtruckers.com.with more new "Weekly Weeping" trinkets. And they're playing live again! Another point for the "hurrah" axis on the graph of happiness and despair over time.

March 2011

And just when we've lulled you into a false sense of security that the concept of a tune is here to stay, here comes Acid Wilhelm with another round of vaguely primordial noises under the title I was promised spacemen and flying cars.
Click here to listen. 

Thanks to the really positive response to our most recent release Gold Coins for a Cat by Michishige Tomohisa we've posted a couple of little extras - earlier versions of two of the tracks on the album, Access Visitor and the title track (probably our favourite) Gold Coins for a Cat. Both are far from complete but give a fascinating glimpse into the process by which Tomohisa "evolved" his work.

The Learn to Swim Blog "Now That I'm a Grown-Up..." is growing nicely. Topics covered so far include Carl Sagan, Debussy, the nature of childhood prejudice and depressing indie music from the 1990s. There is more, oh so much more, to come. If you drop by, please leave some comments.

It bought cheer to February to see an update on the HANK website www.weepingtruckers.com. Splendid new material and an excellent new video Mantler video.

January 2011

If this is a time when you recognise the start of a new year, we wish you a pleasant one.

For only the third time in our patchwork history, we present to you a new album. Yes, no mere single this time, this is the real deal. However in a break with tradition (if "twice" counts as a tradition), this is dedicated exclusively to the work of one artist and, moreover, one person. To spark off a new year of hope and fertile imaginings, we present Gold Coins for a Cat, being a collection of electronic keyboard works by Japanese synthesizer pioneer Michishige Tomohisa. All of us at Learn to Swim have been hugely excited and honoured by the chance to put this special release together which has been achieved in an unbelievably short time, with work only starting on 13th November.

Acid Wilhelm, who helped recover the recordings, undertook the restoration process and has generally championed this neglected figure, has provided sleeve notes to give such background as seems decent and, to be honest, possible. Because of the special status of this release and in order to give the best presentation from these rare recordings, we've encoded it at the maximum 320kbps rate (and hang the bandwidth consequences).

Watch out for more releases and bonus tracks as they become available.

We've done a little redecorating in The Lounge, tidying up our page of interesting links, adding the inevitable Facebook stuff and creating a totally new feature in the form of...

Is now live and is called "Now That I'm a Grown-Up..." This is what might be called a "blue moon blog" insofar as that's about how often it'll be updated and is probably randomly dull enough to be considered a blog. I guess this stuff could have gone on the message board, but what the hey. Rest assured, we won't be doing Twitter anytime soon.

If you should care to, the release schedule page offers an idea of what we're likely to see during the coming months. Not that you should regard it as entirely reliable. We certainly don't.

Our ever-beloved Canadian friends HANK made a long-overdue return to live performance in December. Oh how we wish we could have been there to cheer them on and coo over their offspring. Still, their "Weekly Weeping" series goes on and you can grab a slice of that action at www.weepingtruckers.com. Enjoy.

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