Thursday, 3 November 2011

Spheruleus - Voyage [Hibernate Records]

'Voyage' is the latest album from Lincolnshire based sound designer Harry Towell. Released under his Spheruleus guise, this album utimately provides a soundtrack to a doomed sea-voyage. Through eight different movements, 'Voyage' chronicles everything from the immense pride felt as the ship sets sail to depicting the horror and heartache of its sinking. The album then closes with detailed passages that portray the decomposition of the ship as it begins to rot deep under sea.

This album is well researched with Harry having explored his chosen subject thoroughly. For the two years in which the album has been in the making, the young sound designer studied the history of great sea disasters and also took inspiration from soundtracks such as Gavin Bryars’ ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’ and Gareth Hardwick's 'Of The Sea And Shore'. Although the Titantic's infamous fate was naturally a strong influence on the project, 'Voyage', does not refer to any particular sinking ship. Instead, its purpose is to sonically depict the various emotional aspects that lie within a failed sea voyage, as felt by all those who are affected by it.

Once the concept for 'Voyage' had been born, Harry revisited one of his old demos from early 2010 and decided to make this the spine of the album. He then used his instrument collection including; guitar, violin, trumpet, bugle, zither and keyboard to add several layers to the demo. In doing so Harry has been able to develop his chosen theme and create the character required to turn this forgotten treasure into the album it is today. As a poignant exaggeration of the events that unfold through the track 'She Sinks', there is a contribution from Russian pianist Alex Tiuniaev that opens and closes this dramatic track. He also performs on the track 'Clouds Swarm', as it heads into a crescendo.

Aside from his solo production work, Harry also records with brother Stuart under the name Paper Relics and runs the Audio Gourmet netlabel, which specialises in 15 minute EPs designed for shorter 'tea-break' listening. His work as Spheruleus has seen him release through netlabels such as Test Tube, Resting Bell, Earth Mantra, Audio Gourmet and in March 2010, his first physical album 'Frozen Quarters' was released on CD format by the Under The Spire imprint.

Mastered by Rudi Arapahoe at Purgatory Mastering

Photography by Richard Outram and Daniel Crossley
Design by Jonathan Lees

Limited edition CD pressing of 200. Released 07/10/11


You can find out a lot more about this album through this interview on Tokafi. It covers the thoughts behind the project, the sounds and ideas that helped create it and lots more...


The Silent Ballet:


In conjunction with the release of Voyage, Spheruleus has made a mix featuring some of his favourite nautical themed tracks. You can stream it here:

Marine Broadcast by Spheruleus on Mixcloud

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Various Artists - Just A Moment

Following March's earthquake in Japan, there has been great progress in the on-going rebuilding project but still, much work remains. So Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq) and I (Harry Towell) decided that we would put together something special to be released through Audio Gourmet to raise money for the cause and donations will be sent via Ian Hawgood, who's wife is currently working directly with some of the people affected.

There have already been some excellent compilations put together that have raised hundreds of pounds for Japan, including Kanshin, For Nihon and 31 Songs For Japan to name but a few.
We wanted to try and do something too and between the two of us, we invited 60 artists to each put together a short track of roughly a minute in length.
As a result, we've collected a global effort of short pieces spanning many of the sub-genres that make up what some might call ambient music. It fits perfectly in line with the Audio Gourmet aesthetic and is perhaps a shining example of the sorts of sounds we seek to release within our 15 minute EP section.

Conceptually, the sixty 'moments' that make up this hour-long compilation album fit together neatly with the intention of stretching out your recess periods from 15 minutes to an hour. The netlabel section of Audio Gourmet is specifically for short 'working' tea breaks, when time is of the essence. The Just A Moment compilation has been put together for when you have the time to enjoy a longer tea break and the quick changes of the many tracks should see that your listening experience remains a conscious one throughout the hour...

released 29 July 2011
Curated and compiled by Harry Towell (Spheruleus) and Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq)

Mastered by Byron Felt (Felt Collective)

Artwork by Gerry McDermott

1 Marihiko Hara And PolarM – Forgotten Constellation
2 Fraqsea – Crayon
3 Alvari Lume – Untitled
4 Spheruleus – Untitled #1
5 Darren Harper – A Moment For You
6 Damian Valles – Old Sol
7 Elintseeker – Reja
8 Flica – Don't Weep

9 Tone Color - Less Than A Minute
10 The Green Kingdom – Rashida
11 Offthesky – All Not Said
12 Duncan Ó Ceallaigh – Scapa Flow
13 Paper Relics – Kindling
14 Jacaszek – Window
15 Bartosz Dziadosz And Shintaro Aoki – Wake Up
16 Talvihorros – Hallowed

17 Lauki – Form
18 Widesky – Zephyr Studies
19 Antonymes – Alone And Adrift
20 Lights Dim – *

21 Strom Noir – Milk Dream
22 Alex Tiuniaev – Even If
23 Visionary Hours – The Return Of Basho
24 Segue – An Open Space
25 Silencio – The Escapist

26 Gimu – Oboe
27 Mark Harris – Lost
28 Listening Mirror – Guitar Improv No.2 (Excerpt)
29 Hakobune – A Lamppost
30 Philippe Lamy – The Photo I Took

31 Félicia Atkinson – Poings Serrés

32 Specta Ciera – Scattered Papers
33 Josco – Fluxus
34 Leonardo Rosado – Passing By
35 Shotahirama – Self Reference Engine
36 Philippe Petit – Coffea Cymbalum

37 Hiroki Sasajima And Ami Yamasaki – A Dream The Vapor Have
38 Nicolas Bernier – Untitled

39 Quinn Walker – Iceboxes
40 Hior Chronik – Your Inner
41 Monolyth & Cobalt – Estampes
42 Szymon Kaliski – Of A Fraction
43 Byron Felt – Repeat
44 Wil Bolton – Charcoal
45 Deep Into Perspectives – Flickering Lights
46 Julien Demoulin – Inertia
47 The Inventors Of Aircraft – Before Light
48 Bengalfuel – Snakes
49 Raül Fuentes – Les Partícules Magnètiques
50 Spyweirdos – A Track With Small Duration But Not Small Title
51 Field Rotation – April
52 Dentist – Metals
53 Pjusk – Dieseldyr
54 Danny Clay – Nocturne
55 Tim Noble – A Symphony Of Exit Signs: Adagio
56 Yukitomo Hamasaki - Abstr P No03
57 David Velez – 3600
58 Alex Durlak – Architectural Boat Tour
59 Autistici – Type G (Edit)
60 Hajimeinoue – Permeation

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Various Artists - Kanshin

Kanshin is a two CD compilation album that presents a collection of sound design work from some of the scene's finest artists from across the globe. It has been put together to raise money for the current recovery in Japan following March's earthquake.

As the sensationalist media broadcasters find other things to talk about in the news, a huge recovery operation is still on-going as we speak. Many people have lost everything. So we decided to put together Kanshin so that via Ian Hawgood, 100% of profit from compilation sales will go directly towards the Japan recovery and on-going relief efforts. Ian lives in Japan and his wife is currently working with both the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support organisation (JEARS)
in Sendai and surrounding areas, as well as the Direct Help for Victims and Animals Rejected from Shelters in Japan group who are going up to areas which are not receiving government support for food, water, basic
supplies, as well as rebuilding and cleaning up. By this means they are able to transport food, clothing and aid directly almost every other weekend and during holidays to areas which are not getting enough or any support.
Ian's wife has also arranged a house as a base in Sendai for volunteers and a temporary home for found animals who are then moved on through JEARS either to foster homes or animal centres. We felt that any funds we can send this way would probably have more of an immediate impact than donating via one of the larger UK charities.

Ian himself has contributed to the compilation in a collaboration with Peter Jørgensen and through 3 hours and some 30 tracks, the line up that comprises this album is surely as exciting as it gets...

Kanshin is curated by Daniel Crossley (Fluid Radio/Fluid
Audio/Facture) and Jonathan Lees (Hibernate/Rural Colours), with invaluable assistance from Ian Hazeldine (Cover art), Wil Bolton (Mastering) and Damian Valles (Digital distribution). This release is made possible by the generosity of all of the artists involved.


1. Clem Leek: Light Passage II (Grief)
2. Hummingbird: Dancing Shadows
3. Relmic Statute: Lopery
4. Scissors and Sellotape: Heal
5. P Jørgensen & Ian Hawgood: Isles
6. Wil Bolton: Lost In Transit
7. Field Rotation: A Pondering Silence
8. Caught In The Wake Forever: LiaFail (At Dawn)
9. Damian Valles: Clime
10. Library Tapes: May (Variation)
11. Yellow6: Repeat
12. Maps & Diagrams with Yvat: Again
13. Felicia Atkinson: Chaleur Vacante
14. Hessien: Flightless And Nocturnal
15. Yann Novak: 3 Surfaces Excerpt
16. Offthesky With Ten And Tracer: Therapy Refuge
17. Orla Wren With Katie English: Swallowtail Yellow
18. The Moving Dawn Orchestra: We’re Here
19. Spheruleus: Residue
20. The Silence Set: So Will Everything We Love
21. Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek: Utsutsu
22. Szymon Kaliski: And Longing
23. Jeremy Bible & Jason Henry: Grainslip
24. Bengalfuel: Gorgon
25. David Newlyn: Landscape (III)
26. Tom White: Bright Rooms
27. Listening Mirror: The Cause Of It All
28. Talvihorros – Perigee
29. Alex Durlak: Bellows
30. Antonymes: Kiotsuketene
31. Kyle Bobby Dunn: Britannia Into Morning

Friday, 20 May 2011

"In The Bleak Wilderness Of Sleep" (Compilation featuring a Spheruleus track)

1. Michael Trommer - Pushing Through Gray

2. Simon Whetham - Cold Shoulder (Part 1.2)

3. D'Incise - Octobre-Septembre

4. James McDougall - Scarborough

5. Specta Ciera - Under Cool Air

6. Deep Into Perspectives - Home

7. Francisco Lopez - Untitled #264

8. Spheruleus - Overcast

9. Small Things On Sundays - Harbour

10. Philip Sulidae - Aher

11. Natalia Noelia Siebuła & Bartosz Dziadosz - Ótta og kvíða

12. Julien Demoulin - Dull Ache

"As well as curating and putting together this compilation album to celebrate Audio Gourmet's first birthday, I've taken the time to put together a Spheruleus track for it. It's pretty intense; dark and brooding. It was recorded using guitar, violin, radio and vinyl static and voice."


On the 17th of May 2011, Audio Gourmet is precisely a year old. To celebrate this, we have been busy putting together a couple of compilation albums. One of which is 'In The Bleak Wilderness Of Sleep' available for purchase here as either a multi-format digital album or as a limited edition CDr. The compilation features 12 tracks from some of the globe's most talented sound-designers. It is a subtly rewarding headphone listen from start to finish; curated and ordered to purposefully induce a state of sleep. Starting off minimally, gradually gathering tone and atmosphere, the experience goes on without ever boiling over or reaching a crescendo. Parts of the album are light and restful whereas traces of it tread darker territory. All in all, the imagery that the album conjurs sits perfectly as a soundtrack to the dreams one experiences during a nights sleep.

The artwork was put together by French artist Eric Lacombe (Monstror) who some may remember for his cover art collaborations for Spheruleus releases in the past. Here for 'In The Bleak Wilderness Of Sleep', his surreal imagery lends itself perfectly to this mysterious dream invoking soundtrack.

The limited edition CDr release comes housed inside a recycled card case with the cover artwork slipped inside and printed to photographic paper. Along with a CDr copy of the album itself, the tracklist will be printed to high quality salmon coloured paper/card. On the front, the album title will be rubber stamped in brown ink and on the back, the Audio Gourmet logo will be cut out by lazers. It will be hand-numbered in brown pen and limited to 200 copies.

*The first 50 copies will include a second bonus image, taken by select friends and photographers. These include: Gerry McDermott, Harry Towell, James McDougall, Peter Nejedly, Seth Chrisman, Simon Whetham and Stuart Towell.

Everyone who purchases the CD version will be entitled to a free and instant digital copy of the album. For those that wish to purchase a digital only version, this can be obtained as usual through the Audio Gourmet Bandcamp account.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Spheruleus - Forgotten Outland (Resting Bell)

Resting Bell, February 2011

The sound-art of Spheruleus is produced by British artist Harry Towell with a previous discography including releases on the likes of Under The Spire, Earth Mantra and Test Tube as well as his own label Audio Gourmet. Intrigued by all things old and rustic, his music is often inspired by the rural Lincolnshire surroundings in which he lives and his first outing of 2011, here on Resting Bell, is intended to really captured this.

A short collection of deliberately loose and degraded instrument samples and field recordings, ‘Forgotten Outland’ is presented as if it were an old record found discarded inside a derelict farm building on disused land.
It comprises of blurred melodic passages and offers a faded insight into times gone by when the farmland thrived. Just like the physical state of the farm itself, the record sounds timeworn, warped and a shadow of its former self.

The instrument leads and various sounds climb over one another as if fighting for a voice. Nothing seems structured or in order, although amidst the deluge of disjointed melody, subtle detail can be focused upon to reveal parts of this purposefully concealed soundtrack.

Release Date

All sounds performed, recorded and arranged by Harry Towell between spring 2010 and winter 2011
Instruments used: Guitar, Vibraphone, Zither, Bugle, Keyboard, Harmonica, Trumpet and Violin

Photography by Jonathan Lees, Cragg Vale Photography

Additional Photography, by Harry Towell:

Friday, 18 February 2011

18/02/2011 Spheruleus - Debris [Audio Gourmet]

Audio Gourmet, February 2011

For the first Spheruleus outing of 2011, Audio Gourmet label curator Harry Towell has scoured his hard-drive to put together a collection of tracks that are born out of unfinished samples and discarded parts of previous projects. They have been presented as a four track EP which is aptly titled 'Debris'.

The source material was drawn from the usual collection of instrument samples that Towell's work typically comprises of, although heavily processed with 'vintage' style ambient production techniques. The resulting soundtrack is loose and drifting with moments of hiss and static - a production style that you might not always associate with the work of Spheruleus.
The aim was to draw out the near 24 minute duration as long as possible, giving the impression of time standing still and allowing these otherwise unused sounds a chance to have their 'day'.

2011 is to be a big year for Spheruleus, with CD album 'Voyage' scheduled for release on Hibernate this summer and another short album coming out on Resting Bell at the end of February. Not to mention the debut Paper Relics album recorded with brother Stuart due out in March/April...
creditsreleased 18 February 2011
Recorded and produced by Harry Towell
Photography by Stuart Towell

Hibernate Records/Rural Colours forecast mix...

Hibernate/Rural Colours Selection by Fluid Radio on Mixcloud

Jonathan from Hibernate and Rural Colours has put together a mix for Fluid Radio that delves through the catalog of forthcoming releases on both labels.
I've an album coming out on Hibernate myself this summer called 'Voyage'. An unmastered and un-final edit of a track from this called 'Submerged' is included in this forecast - click play to hear for yourself....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

15 questions to Harry Towell/Spheruleus | Interview on Tokafi

INTRO (Tobias Fischer, Tokafi)
There's nothing inherently mysterious about working with sound. Sometimes, in fact, it simply means giving in to the simple pleasures in life: Not all too long ago, at a time when most of Britain was hiding from an unexpected bout of „snow of considerable proportion“, Lincolnshire's Harry Towell put the extreme climatic conditions to good use by spending the entire day roaming the countryside with childlike curiosity, trudging through the white with his portable recorder and listening to the soles of his shoes creating gnashing, grating and gritting little patterns in the snow. Back home, most likely over a hot, steaming cup of coffee, he then arranged his found sonic objects into what would become the 2009 debut album of his Spheruleus project, The Disguised Familiar. It is telling that Towell didn't just degrade the field recordings resulting from the hike as a backdrop to his drones and ambient textures, but rather respectfully treated them as music in their own right, aiming for his melodies and harmonies to bring out the beauty of the sounds and not the other way round. The episode, recounted in more depth on the artist's MySpace site, may seem trivial. But it goes a long way in defining the territory which has served as a home for Spheruleus ever since: Perhaps due to Towell growing up in a rural surrounding, nature plays an essential role in his oeuvre, its quietude, moods and beauty extolled by the covers of his releases, its sounds seamlessly integrated into the textures of the compositions, its shapes mimicked by their organic architecture and flowing arrangements. Rather than seeking to conceptually translate physical landscapes to the world of sound, Towell is creating his own, personalised environments, equally intimate and mysterious spaces marked by „blurred perspectives“ and „silent collisions“, by rot and decay – in short, by the eternal cycle of life and death. It is a kind of music which doesn't just re-attune the senses of the listener, but effectively makes them perceptive to the seemingly imperceptible hidden underneath the surface: On the follow-up to The Disguised Familiar, A Vision Obscurred, time first stands still and then it fades away completely, leaving nothing but an infinite horizon over a solitary landscape of absolute forms and objects across which, with spectre-like weightlessness, the dreamy guitar lines of his brother Stuart sail like blood red clouds. This time, propelled by „deeply personal reflections“, the path was leading inwards, to the subconscious as a place of unworked-through emotions. As in a surrealist painting, one can still clearly identify the multitude of metaphors and references – anyone who's read Towell's list of favourites knows the eclecticism of his taste as well as his insatiable appetite for new and fresh sounds – but their meaning has been strangely deformed. If these scenes should occasionally seem to take on Freud'ean qualities, then that is by no means a coincidence: Towell's only release so far under the guise of Eyes Flutter Beneath wasn't called Inside the Dream Laboratory for nothing after all, and quite a few of the fifteen-minute EPs of his Audio Gourmet label are marked by a similar feeling of spinning out into the fantastical. This, of course, is the real reason for the outwardly mysterious facade of working with sound in general and Spheruleus's oeuvre in particular: The mere act of juxtaposition and re-contextualising can turn even the simplest, every-day items into spiritual symbols.

INTERVIEW: (Tobias Fischer, Tokafi with Harry Towell, Spheruleus)
VISIT to read the full interview

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Spheruleus mix on Futuresequence

Mix - Spheruleus by Futuresequence on Mixcloud

Spheruleus Discography

SEPTEMBER '12 Various - Hawk Moon Volume III digital only compilation album
(8. Spheruleus - Under Respite Vision) [Hawk Moon]

AUGUST '12 Spheruleus - The Late Surge Of Gold 100 limited edition CDr album [Analogpath]

JULY '12 Spheruleus - Revolving Fields 75 limited edition 3" CDr [Rural Colours]

JULY '12 Spheruleus - Cyanometry 100 limited edition CDr album, digital album [Tessellate]

JUNE '12 Ekca Liena and Spheruleus - Mapping The Boundary Layer 500 limited edition CD album, digital album [Home Normal]

JUNE '12 Pleq and Spheruleus - Quietus Gradualis 80 limited edition deluxe 2 x 3" CDr edition, 150 limited edition CDr edition [Time Released Sound]

MARCH '12 Pleq, Hiroki Sasajima and Spheruleus - Time & Language 300 limited edition 12" Vinyl, digital album [Felt]

FEBRUARY '12 Spheruleus - Dissolve digital only album [Audio Gourmet]

OCTOBER '11 Various - A Silent Swaying Breath digital only fundraising collaboration album [Audio Gourmet]

OCTOBER '11 Spheruleus - Voyage 200 Limited edition CD album, digital album [Hibernate] CD CD and Digital

AUGUST '11 Various Artists - Sequence 1 free digital only compilation album (9. Pleq and Spheruleus - A Journey Through Unfamiliar Places) [Futuresequence]
JULY '11 Various Artists - Just A Moment digital only fundraising compilation (Spheruleus - Untitled #1) [Audio Gourmet]

MAY '11 Various Artists - Kanshin Limited edition 2 x CD compilation and digital version[Fluid Audio/Hibernate]

MAY'11 Various Artists - In The Bleak Wilderness Of Sleep 200 limited edition CDrs/digital version (Spheruleus - Overcast) [Audio Gourmet]

FEB'11 Spheruleus - Forgotten Outland free digital netlabel album [Resting Bell]

FEB'11 Spheruleus - Debris digital album [Audio Gourmet]

JAN'11 Various Artists - Hidden Landscapes 200 limited edition CDs/digital version (Spheruleus - Frost) [Audio Gourmet/Hibernate]

SEPT'10: Spheruleus - Frozen Quarters digital re-issue [Audio Gourmet]

AUG '10: Spheruleus - Driftwood/Seafoam EP free digital netlabel EP [Audio Gourmet Netlabel]

JUL '10 Spheruleus - Decompose digital album [Audio Gourmet]

MAY '10 Spheruleus - Rust EP free digital netlabel EP [Audio Gourmet Netlabel]

MAR' 10 Spheruleus - Frozen Quarters 150 limited edition CDs [Under The Spire]

SEP '09 Spheruleus - A Vision Obscured free digital netlabel album [Earth Mantra]

JUL '09 Spheruleus - Tales From The Labyrinth free digital netlabel album [Test Tube]

MAR'09 Spheruleus - The Disguised Familiar free digital netlabel album [Earth Mantra]