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Slaapwel Records is a small record label specialized in music to fall asleep to. Often I find myself lying awake in bed, not sleepy enough to fall asleep, not lively enough to keep doing stuff. I figured it would be good if there was more music that soundtracks the thin border between being asleep and lying awake, deliberately choosing the sleepy side of things. So I set out, looking for people that would be good at making mind-soothing songs. I ask them to write a sleep-inducing record, I listen to it, and when I fail to reach the end because I fell asleep, I release it as a musical record. All artists are various people I met through the years, different yet all connected with their unique talent. I think they are very good at making "boring" music. This is not an insult. I love their music to death and I think they are all very capable of making wonderful sleep-inducing songs. In any case, don't make too much of it. It is all just good fun. Sleepy fun.
 

Demo Policy

We're really humbled by all the requests for releasing a record. It's very flattering you think Slaapwel could be a good home, but, in all honesty: if you made an album and you're looking for a label to release it: Slaapwel can't do that for you. Slaapwel only releases albums specifically made for people to fall asleep to. Much like scientists, we do a test with each submission before releasing it. If you want to make something special, feel free to send it over. We promise we'll try it out, if it works, we'll get back to you, if it doesn't, we prefer staying quiet because it is no fun to say it didn't work. :-) 


Thursday
Dec312015

2015

What a year 2015 was! Not only did we wake up with the release of Ghost and Tape's amazing album 'Shift', we also organized two unforgettable labelnights at STUK in Leuven. Thanks again to Sonmi451, Simon Scott and Machinefabriek for their delicate sounds that made the audience sleepy, thanks to Sokkyo for waking them up again. Thank you to Dauw for joining forces, also many thanks to everybody who came and/or was somehow involved!

Thank you too for all the support and kind words we got last year - keep them coming :-)

It's also an inevitable tradition at this time of the year to have a look back. So, we asked a few Slaapwel-artists to tell us about their highlights of the past 12 months. Enjoy, and see you in 2016! (Yes, we're working on new releases!)

 

Heine Christensen (Ghost and Tape)

Best albums:

- Wil Bolton "Marram"
- Porya Hatami & Darren McClure - "In-between Spaces"

Most played artists:

- Illuha
- Steinbruchel
- Federico Durand

 

Simon Scott

- Oren Ambarchi & Johan Berthling 'Tongue Tied' (Hapna)
- Philip Jeck 'Cardinal' (Touch)
- Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer "Twine" (12k)
- Michael Chapman "Fish" - Tompkins Square
- James Blackshaw 'Summoning Sons'- Important
- Stephen O'Malley "Gruidés - Ideologic Organ
- Jessica Pratt "On Your Own Love Again" - (Drag City)
- Sir Richard Bishop "Tangier Sessions" - (Drag City)
- James Welburn "Hold"- (Miasmah)
- William Basinski "Cascade"- (2062)
- Triac "Days"- (Line)

Ralph Steinbrüchel

Some random faves (of course by far not complete, tomorrow the list
might already be different). Anyway all things that for sure made a lasting
impression and still continue to do so:

Music

- Boduf Songs, Stench of Exist, CD, The Flenser
- The Silence Set, Teeth Out, CD, Mini50Records
- Heather Broderick, Glider, CD, Western Vinyl
- Erik Grisworld, Pain Avoidance Machine, CD, Room40
- Vilod, CD, Perlon
- Luigi Archetti, Null I-VIII, 8x CD-Box, Die Schachtel

Books

- Silvia Bächli, Brombeeren, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König
- Thomas Müllenbach, Originale, Edition Patrick Frey
- Überzeichnen, Von Basel aus, Edition Fink
- Hiroshi Sugimoto, Seascapes, Damiani
- Fischli/Weiss, Plötzlich diese Übersicht, Laurenz Stiftung

Exhibitions

- Christian Marclay, Action, Aargauer Kunsthaus
- Ai Weiwei, Royal Academy of Arts, London
- Ryoji Ikeda, ZKM, Karlsruhe
- Future Present, Schaulager, Basel
- Quantum of Disorder, Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich

 

Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek)

- Devin Disanto / Nick Hofman - Three Exercises (Erstwhile)

I was impressed by Disanto’s first album, ‘Tracing a Boundary’, a mysterious record in which field recordings and an instrumental ensemble immerse in such a way that you don’t really know what is what. ‘There Exercises’ has a bit of that same sensation. The duo uses a gymnasium and spreads memo recorders (yes, an obvious inspiration for my recent Slaapwel gigs!) across the room, recites seemingly random numbers, bounces balls, rolling off tape and what not… It’s as if you’re listening to some strange ritual. There’s no video to be found of the session, which adds to the mystery. A unique album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w78RtzJ3vro


- Susan Stenger - Sound Strata of Coastal Northumberland

This is a project for which sound artist Susan Stenger took a diagram of coastal geological formations from the River Tyne, and used it as a graphic score. Inspired by the areas the river runs through, the continuous drone is accompanied by rural folk tunes with fiddle and bagpipes. A unique and georgeous project. Unfortunatly I didn't see the installation itself, but the book+cd that documents the project is a beauty.

http://www.soundstrata.co.uk/


- Jürg Frey – Grizzana And Other Pieces / Circles and Landscapes (Another Timbre)

I’m cheating here… sorry. Actually, I could add a third one to this, Jürg Frey’s ‘String Quartet 3’. But let’s stick to the Another Timbre duo of ensemble pieces and solo piano pieces by Frey. Probably the most accessible composers of the Wandelweiser clan, it’s simply some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard, ever. It’s all deceptively simple and minimalistic, but ever note seems perfectly placed and pure. Phrases get repeated, with subtle changes, making some of the pieces quite hypnotic. ‘Extended Circular Music No.2’ (from the solo piano disc) is probably my favorite piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PijUuM8JEgs
(this version is from a different release)


- The Necks - Vertigo (Fish of Milk)

What can I say… The Necks never do anything wrong. They seem to re-invent themselves with every new album, and this one is again incredible. Open, their previous album, was more ambient-like and beautiful. Vertigo is way more edgy and strange, and I may prefer it.

https://thenecksau.bandcamp.com/album/vertigo


- Krallice - Ygg Huur (Krallice)

When I was a teenager, I was completely into death metal. And I never completely shook that of. I rarely buy metal albums these days, but sometimes one stands out, like this one by Krallice. People seem to call it black metal, but to me it sounds more like Neurosis playing very technical death metal. In any case, it’s extremely dense, perplexing and exhilarating. Love it.

https://krallice.bandcamp.com/album/ygg-huur

 

Dag Rosenqvist

Choosing 5 albums is not an easy thing. First off, I can never keep track of when an album was actually released, and a lot of the times I find myself adding albums that I just plain like, regardless of when they were released. And choosing just 5 albums period is basically impossible… So for this one I just went with things that immediately popped into mind, things that I have been listening to a lot over the last year. And I actually had to consult Discogs on more than one occasion to check which year the albums were actually released, but I think I got it right in the end. I’ve chosen to include Spotify links to all the albums here, but I would encourage everyone to buy the actual physical album. Support the artists, support the labels, support music!

Deafheaven – New Bermuda
Well, what can I say, I’m a hipster, so sue me. I loved Sunbather and I love New Bermuda and I don’t give a fuck what you choose to call this actually. I’ve seen terms like black gaze, post black metal and of course hipster black metal. But seriously, does it even matter? New Bermuda is a massive piece of work, and it is also a distinct step away from Sunbather in that it has far more classic metal influences with Slayer sounding riffs throughout the album. Simultaneously they move both towards a more thrash oriented output and shoegaze pop and it’s brilliant. Also a nice touch to include the lyrics, which shows that George Clarke (who I assume write the lyrics?) is no half assed lyricist either. Recently I saw a thread on Facebook about New Bermuda with a lot of demeaning comments on how not trve they are, one of the comments being “Do people still like them?”. And it made me smile when I saw the reply from a friend of mine: “Do people still hate them?”

Midaircondo – IV
Darker than ever before, more abstract and less accessible than any of their previous albums, IV is a beast of an album, spanning four packed sides of vinyl. It’s not easy to digest, far from it. But it’s definitely worth the effort because once you delve into it, you discover new things again and again. It also comes in an amazing box containing a set of different art prints. IV was released just a couple of months before they decided to call it quits after 12 years as a band. And if you go out with something like this, then you go out with your head held high. This is a must have, for a lot of reasons.

Neurosis – Through Silver In Blood
Technically, this may not be eligible for this, seeing as it’s a re-issue. But technically, I don’t give a fuck... In many ways this was my starting point into the ongoing journey into the world that is Neurosis. Still today, almost 20 years after its initial release it still stands out as one of their best albums, and that’s saying something when it comes to Neurosis. It has tenderness and beauty, rage and furiosity, darkness, light and heaviness all mixed up into one perfect whole. It is monumental, a monolith and a milestone in modern heavy music and an album I assume has been the starting point of many bands out there and for many bands to come. This album is definitely on my top ten all time favorites and it’s an album that I keep coming back to, over and over again and I expect I will so for the rest of my days.

Heather Woods Broderick - Glider
One of the most beautiful voices out there returns with an amazing album. When From The Ground came out in 2009 I was totally blown away. The directness and the tone of that entire album was just mind blowing. When Glider surfaced, six years later, I was at first not overwhelmed to be honest. The album took longer time to grow on me, and there are still elements that I’m not too fond of. But once the tracks had started to take root, it was an album that I just kept coming back to, that just kept growing and growing. Just try to listen to the track Wyoming without tearing up. Unbelievably beautiful, and possibly one of the sweetest cover images I’ve ever seen.

James Welburn – Hold
When Erik, who runs Miasmah, started talking about Hold he was telling me he had this album that he just knew I was going to like, an album that was almost like a “drone black metal, Neurosis, hardcore” kind of thing. Naturally I forced him to give me a preview link and the first time I heard it, in a hotel room in Berlin on the crappy (understatement of the year) laptop speakers, I knew I was gonna love it. When I got home and listened in my own stereo I was just floored. The preciseness of the drums paired with the massive drone-scapes is just absolutely genius. It’s a visceral album, stripped bare of all unnecessary elements and it’s just brilliant!


Monday
Oct122015

We're back!

 

 

Dear sleepy friends!

Wim, founding father of Slaapwel Records and long time friend, asked me last year if I wanted to take care of the label. Since I loved the label from the beginning, I accepted with no hesitation and started my search for sleepy tunes. 

I found out Heine Christensen aka Ghost and Tape was very interested in making a Slaapwel-album. Heine and I got in touch, and so it began! 

I received his pieces, checked them out the same evening, and yes, it worked! (I had to try several evenings before I finally made it to the end...)  

Slaapwel alumnus and friend Ralph Steinbrüchel (ORDNER) took care of the graphic design, and photographer Brian Young provided beautiful pictures. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took some time, but here we are: very proud to present you Slaapwel xii: 'Shift', by Ghost and Tape. A wonderful album with warm and soothing music, performed on electric guitar, effect pedals, Op-1, field recorder and found objects.

A wonderful album with warm and soothing music, a perfect Slaapwel soundtrack, not only for reawakening of the label, but also a soundtrack that will guide you from awake to sleep. 

You can stream and/or buy the album here.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do. 

Sleep well!

//stijn, slaapwel records



Thursday
Aug132015

Hello sleepyheads!

We know, it's been a while, but we're waking up again, and we have some exciting news!

On 12 and 13 november, we're teaming up with our friends of the wonderful Dauw-tapelabel for two Slaapwelnights/Dauwmornings at Kunstencentrum Stuk in Leuven.

Falling asleep won’t be a problem as Machinefabriek, Simon Scott and Sonmi451 will guide you through the night, while Sokkyō will wake you up with warm loops & melodies.

Beds and breakfast will be provided, so take your pyjamas and toothbrush and come over! 

Hope to see you there!

-Stijn

Saturday
Aug112012

Two New Releases!

Looks like we've got something to celebrate. Not only does Slaapwel Records exist five years, with this very blog post we're releasing our tenth sleep album! And we're celebrating it with an eleventh! 

Johan G. Winther
For Ingar Gustavsson grew out of a battered cd-r with old recordings made for Johan G. Winther's grandmother. After playing it to some friends, thinking & tinkering, a lengthy album was born - and a beautiful one at that; humble, restrained and precise, humming w/ respect & gratitude. Imagine Arvo Pärt as a bedroom musician, laptop processing his Für Alina pieces with the same understanding and confidence that he originally composed them. Read the full story here. You never fell asleep so calmly! (ps: more on Johan is here)

CD comes in our traditional Stumptown Arigato Pak + stitched picture, with one-of-a-kind xeroxed/screenprinted artwork by Tom ten Voorde. 300 copies. Buy Here.


Seaworthy
Our 11th publication is by the excellent Seaworthy. I just looked up the very first few e-mail conversations Cameron and I had about a release on Slaapwel Records. Not only does our first email date back to autumn 2008, it explains this release a good deal. Cameron explained that, round the time his first child was born, he recorded some tracks which he liked to call ‘sleep loops’, pieces of either guitar, electronics, ukelele or music box that were used as lullabies for his daughter. He reworked these tracks into one long piece of shimmery soundwaves. Meanwhile both Cameron and I got another child (not together, you silly :)), so he made another lullaby which is included here as a hidden 'bonus' track --- and suddenly we’re four years later and finally ready to release Sleep Paths, a patient, floating piece that’s absolutely sleepworthy.

CD comes in our traditional Stumptown Arigato Pak, yet stitched with original wallpaper of Cameron's childhood bedroom - first 50 copies came with a free xeroxed booklet (edit: booklets are alle gone now)  made by Seaworthy himself - no reservations/no extra charges, this one's a gift from Cameron to the early supporters. Comes with a free download only 'bonus' track if you order at slaapwel directly.  Almost 300 copies. (I lost count, there wasn't enough wallpaper). Buy Here.

Slaapwel Events
On saturday the 1st of September there's another Slaapwel Records labelnight! This edition features concerts by Greg Haines, Machinefabriek and a rare performance by SONMI451. Not to be missed if you ask me! So get your pyjama's ready and book a trip to Hasselt, BE. Tickets are available here: http://www.ccha.be/1213/pdetail.php?id=407

A week later, there's the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht, NL. It might not be a labelnight, but they're hosting a place to enjoy a bed & a concert at the same time. Among the performers: Simon Scott, The Puddle Parade, Machinefabriek, Johan G. Winther/Tsukimono & Eli Keszler. Should be fun! Info: http://www.muziekweek.nl/programma/muziekweek12/ (go to 6th, 7th & 8th of September)

Tuesday
Dec132011

Best of 2011 According to Slaapwel Artists

Because it's an undeniable fact a year can not end properly until everyone has posted their year end lists, I asked all artists from the slaapwel roster what their favorites are. Some gave me a top 5 sleepy records, others chose records they listened to the most in 2011 - even if they were old records - so by no means is it a very coherent list, but no doubt the records you see here are worth checking out if you're into Slaapwel-ish music.

If you look at those lists, it seems like I should be talking to Nils Frahm, Jefre-Cantu Ledesma & Cory Allen sometime soon :)

Special thanks to Simon, who took time to give a little review as well - check for those at the bottom! 

STEINBRÜCHEL (Top 5 sleepy records with occasional waking up from 2011)
Cory Allen - Pearls
Matty Bye - Elephant & Castle
Machinefabriek - Sol Sketches
In The Country - Sounds and Sights
Nils Frahm - Felt

PETER BRODERICK (Top 5 records for drifting off released in 2011)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Conversations With Myself
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - s/t
Machinefabriek - Sol Sketches
Félicia Atkinson - The driver
Nils Frahm - Felt

MACHINEFABRIEK (Top 5 sleep records from 2011)
Cory Allen - Pearls
Nils Frahm - Felt
Michael Gordon / Slagwerk Den Haag - Timber
Köhn - Random Patterns
Jefre Cantu Ledesma - Conversations With Myself

SIMON SCOTT (Top 5 records to sleep to in 2011)
Steinbrüchel - Narrow
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer - In Place Of Such Graceful Shapes
Steve Roden - Proximities
Seaworthy - 1887 & Live In Melbourne
Intrusion - The Seduction of Silence

WOUTER VAN VELDHOVEN (Top 5 records to sleep to in 2011)
Tsukimono - Time Canvas
Hauschka + Hildur Guðnadóttir - Pan Tone
Simon Scott - Bunny
Mark Fry / The A-Lords - I Lived in Trees
Alvin Curran - For Cornelius

THE BOATS (Craig's Top 5 to sleep to in 2011)
William Basinski - A Red Score In Tile
Richard Gins - Sea Change
Tape Loop Orchestra - Maybe I Told A Small Lie
St Kilda - 'EP'
Scott Morrison - Ballad(s) For Quiet Horizons

SONMI451 (Top 5 Discovered records in 2011)
Various Artists - Kanshin (Kanshin.bandcamp.com)
Relmic Statute - A Cognitive Trail Of Abstraction
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
Fujita Masayoshi & Jan Jelinek - Bird, Lake, Objects
Scissors & Cellotape - Scissors & Cellotape

GREG HAINES (5 records bought and loved in 2011)
The Books - The Way Out
Pollen Trio - Roll Slow 
King Tubby - Dub Mix Up 
Tom Waits - The Black Rider
Terry Riley - Lisbon Concert

JASPER TX (Favorite records in 2011)
Wolves In The Throne Room - Black Cascade
Pete Swanson - Feelings In America
At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul
Entombed - Wolverine Blues
Dark Throne - A Blaze In The Northern Sky

SIMON SCOTT'S Reviews
Narrow by Steinbruchel (Room40) 
I love the form and flow of this album and the way that time stands still as it spatially rocks you gently to sleep. Perfect for falling into a deep slumber as there is little information in between the tranquil notes and lightly fuzzed out tones to join up the mental dots in your falling asleep state. I can listen to Steinbruchel's various releases in any environment, I actually listen to it very loud in the car (just in case), but the space and simplicity within his arrangements on this album allow you to tune out of the music. You submissively allow it to become a backdrop to fall asleep to, a musical blanket that is very organic. Wearing headphones you can sometimes hear your own deep breath enter the mix and through speakers your personal listening environment floats in and out of this music. I think the furthest I have got listening to this at bedtime is track three.

In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes by Taylor Deupree And Marcus Fischer (12k)
The CD is perfect for going to bed with as the 7" single requires the physical act of turning over the record and my turntable isn't beside my bed unfortunately. Amazing from start to finish and I must admit that I usually fall asleep to this as it is ending. It is a real treat to have met them both and seen them play live together twice in 2011.

Proximities by Steve Roden (Line)
I love Steve Roden and also Donald Judd (I must visit Marfa one day) so this release is a win-win combination.

1887 & Live In Melbourne by Seaworthy (12K)
Seaworthy's album 1887 and the Live In Melbourne track have helped me drift off whilst imagining that I lay on some sun drenched shoreline in the warm breeze as I fell asleep during this year. The releases aren't from 2011, as it took me a while to track down these out of print CD's, but once found they were always on during 2011

Intrusion- The Seduction of Silence (Echospace)
Deep and sumptuous music that reminds me of echo bay in Jamaica.