Deemer + 1 – Aftermath

Release date: 4th June 2021 (CD and digital album – pre-orders from 24th May)

Tickets on sale for album launch live set on release day (online and in-person)

Deemer started life in 2006 as a weekly improvisation session in a warehouse in Hackney Wick. While Dee Byrne and Merijn Royaards put their acoustic drums and sax through various effects pedals and sample triggers at a loud volume, Merijn’s fellow warehouse dwellers watched TV, washed dishes and read books. A tolerant attitude that gave the duo the space to develop their edgy, searching sound. Over the years Deemer has incorporated found objects, reel to reel tape machines, suspended industrial metal plates and stacks of small TV monitors projecting sonic wave patterns. Merijn exchanged his drums for analogue drum machines and Dee shed effects pedals like old skins.

Today Deemer is a leaner, more pared-down version than its previous incarnations and has sought to extend its horizons in other ways, by collaborating with other improvising musicians. Their third album on Luminous sees them join forces with Manchester based improvising drummer Johnny Hunter. Dee has always been curious about working with acoustic drums in the context of this duo. When LUME was invited to curate a showcase on the Barbican Freestage for London Jazz Festival 2019, this seemed a good opportunity to try out the augmented duo with Johnny. Shortly after the performance, they went into the studio to record this album.

Aftermath was recorded in one long session at Viva Recorders studio, Islington in November 2019. Due to the subsequent lockdown, the material lay submerged in an external hard drive for over a year. After rescuing the file, Deemer proceeded to edit the session down to nine short tracks that reflect the scope of the trio’s collective musical journey that day.

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Dee Byrne – alto saxophone/electronics
Merijn Royaards – electronics
Johnny Hunter – drums/percussion

Recorded by Tim Hamper at Viva Recorders studio, London on 19th November 2019.

Mixed and mastered by Deemer.
Artwork by Dee Byrne.

Luminous Label 2021 | LU014

Digital album available to pre-order now.

Sloth Racket – Exabout: Live In Ramsgate

Release date: 23rd November 2020 (digital album and t-shirt)

One September evening in 2019, a roomful of people climbed up a ladder by the sea for a special gig. It was the seventh night of Sloth Racket’s Dismantle Yourself tour, hosted by Extra Normal Records at Arco Barco, a flexible studio/co-working/venue space. We were sharing the bill with Evan Parker playing solo, there were some sort of delicious cakes for sale at the bar, and a carful of our mates had driven out to eat seaside chips and catch the gig. Our music sounds different every time it’s played, and this is how it sounded that night in Ramsgate, with all those things taken into account.

The usual way we do things is this: I write the scores that form the skeletons of our music, we tour them, then we record. In 2019 it was the other way around: we turned up to a studio in snowy northern England in early February, recorded a batch of my new music we’d never played before, and *then* toured it (and released it, as Dismantle Yourself) later in the year. So when we arrived in Ramsgate we were deep into the process of deconstructing/constructing something out of the pages from February, chewing on it every night on tour. Recorded by Anton Hunter and mixed/mastered by Alex Bonney, this set contains three live versions of Dismantle Yourself compositions, and one piece – the title track in the opening pair – that wasn’t on the studio release and came into its own on tour.

Writing this now in October 2020, with all the band’s work this year cancelled and an uncertain 2021 looming, I find myself feeling a weird sense of nostalgia for a gig and tour that only happened 13 months ago. Spread out across the UK in different lockdowns, it will be a while until we can meet in person as a band; the cycle of albums and tours has been paused, but I am still writing new material. The release of this live album falls where our 2020 tour would have been – I hope it can serve as a statement of intent for the sloth tours of the future.

(‘Exabout’ is what Seth Bennett’s phone said when it wanted us to exit a roundabout on tour.)

– Cath Roberts

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Sam Andreae – alto saxophone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – double bass
Johnny Hunter – drums (and, for one night only, piano!)

Compositions by Cath Roberts.

This music was played live at Arco Barco, Ramsgate on 18th September 2019.

Recorded by Anton Hunter.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.
Album artwork and t-shirt design by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2020 | LU013

Digital album and t-shirt available now.

Dee Byrne & Cath Roberts – Disembark!

Release date: 18 September 2020 (digital album)


Disembark! is the first studio album by the duo of Luminous label founders Dee Byrne (alto saxophone) and Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone). The pair have been collaborating under the banner of LUME since 2013, and running the Luminous label since 2015. They play together in many different ensembles, most recently the UK/Swiss collaboration MoonMot. In 2019 they started to explore playing as a duo, with a cluster of live dates at the start of that year.

The album was recorded at Gun Factory Studios in April 2019 by Cath Roberts, and mixed by Alex Bonney. It is a collection of short improvisations; an unplanned format that spontaneously emerged without discussion. The two acoustic saxophones engage in a dialogue that navigates a range of contrasting textures, from delicate breath sounds to visceral howling…

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Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone

Recorded on 29th April 2019 at Gun Factory Studios, London
by Cath Roberts.

Mixed by Alex Bonney.

Artwork by Dee Byrne.

Luminous Label 2020 | LU012

Sloth Racket – Dismantle Yourself

Release date: 2nd September 2019 (CD, digital album and risograph-printed zine)

Dismantle Yourself is the fourth studio album by Sloth Racket. The album was recorded in early February 2019, over two snowy days at The Chairworks studio in Castleford, Yorkshire. After three albums made in single day sessions, the aim was to have more time to work on the music in the relaxed setting of a residential studio. The band hadn’t seen the new compositions in advance of the session, in contrast to previous albums which were recorded at the end of tours. With more time for experimentation, the focus of the recording was the exploration and development of the new material, collectively improvising the composed starting points into finished pieces. It was a glimpse into the world of multi-day recordings and a fresh approach for the group, who now look forward to taking the new music on the road and completely deconstructing anything that may have been settled upon back in that cosy winter studio.

Dismantle Yourself is available to pre-order from 12 August, and is released on 2 September as a CD and digital download, plus streaming via the Bandcamp app. A risograph-printed zine is available as a companion to the album, containing words and graphics by Cath Roberts and printed by Footprint Workers Co-op in Leeds. The zine is on sale in a bundle with the digital album, and there will be an option to purchase the CD, zine and digital album together.

Sloth Racket are touring to support the release, with dates in Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Lancaster, Todmorden, London, Ramsgate, Norwich and Cambridge. The tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and the album recording session was supported by the Fenton Arts Trust and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust.

 

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Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Sam Andreae – alto saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – double bass
Johnny Hunter – drums

 

Compositions by Cath Roberts.

 

Recorded on 1st and 2nd February 2019 at The Chairworks, Yorkshire
by David Watts and Aled Way.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.

 

Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.
Zine printing by Footprint Workers Co-op.

 

The album recording session was generously supported by the Fenton Arts Trust and the Oppenheim – John Downes Memorial Trust.

 

Luminous Label 2019 | LU011

 

CD, digital album and zine available now.

Sloth Racket – A Glorious Monster

Release date: 4th June 2018 (CD, digital album and t-shirt)

A Glorious Monster is the third studio album by Sloth Racket. The album was recorded in November 2017 at Blueprint Studios, Salford, when the band were in the middle of a mini-tour to promote the release of their live cassette ‘See The Looks On The Faces’ on the Tombed Visions label. The material was extremely fresh: a live set at The Peer Hat in Manchester the previous night was the first outing for the new music before going into the studio. The one-day session was a process of orientation, deconstruction and communal improvised negotiation around just how this music was going to sound, and the resulting album is a statement of (continued) intent from a group who are deep into the rabbit hole of a collective musical experiment. On tour this summer the music will almost certainly transform itself again as repeated performances turn the compositions inside out, but tracks on ‘A Glorious Monster’ are the first glimpse of this next phase of Sloth Racket…

The band are touring to celebrate the release of ‘A Glorious Monster’, with dates in London, Bath, Manchester, Derby, York, Durham, Edinburgh and Leeds.

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Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Sam Andreae – alto saxophone
Seth Bennett – bass
Johnny Hunter – drums

Compositions by Cath Roberts.

Recorded on 29th November 2017 at Blueprint Studios, Salford by Gary Hadfield.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.

Design and sleeve printmaking by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2018 | LU010

CD, digital album and t-shirt available now.

Favourite Animals – Wasps/Wolves Trios EP

Release date: 6th March 2018 (digital EP)

Three trios formed from the Favourite Animals ensemble play improvised interpretations of ‘Wasps/Wolves’ by Cath Roberts. An appendix to the Favourite Animals large ensemble album….

1. Dee Byrne (alto saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Tom Ward (bass clarinet)

2. Sam Andreae (tenor saxophone), Julie Kjær (flute), Tullis Rennie (trombone)

3. Seth Bennett (double bass), Anton Hunter (guitar), Graham South (trumpet)

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Recorded at City, University of London in August 2017.
Engineered by Alex Bonney with studio assistance from Vincent Ott.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.

Cover image: cut-up excerpt from ‘Wasps/Wolves’ score.

Luminous Label 2018 | LU009

Favourite Animals – Favourite Animals

Release date: 4th December 2017 (CD and digital album)

An expanded version of Cath Roberts’ quintet Sloth Racket, Favourite Animals was formed for Cath’s Artist In Residence commission at Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016. The aim was to broaden the sound pallette through the extended instrumentation, whilst continuing to explore the territories between composed music and improvisation that are the focus of Sloth Racket’s ongoing work as a band. Favourite Animals’ debut performance, headlining Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016 in the studio space at The Duke’s Theatre, was warmly received by enthusiastic festival audiences and prompted discussions of future plans for the ensemble.

This recording was made almost a year later, when the group gathered to revisit the Lancaster material in the studio. Recorded over two days at City, University of London by Alex Bonney, the album comprises five of Cath’s compositions. Constructed as frameworks for group improvisation, the scores necessitate interpretation and ‘arrangement’ by the ensemble and create space for the individual voices of the improvisers to shape the music. The production and release of the Favourite Animals album was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign: 90 backers pledged their support, raising enough to cover the mixing, mastering, CD production, packaging and the musicians’ travel expenses for the session. The album is available from Luminous on CD (with hand-printed linocut artwork by Cath) and digital download.

Favourite Animals will play live this December on a double bill tour with Anton Hunter’s Article XI. The two bands – which share several members – will appear in Birmingham, Sheffield, Morecambe and Newcastle to coincide with the release of this album (and anticipate the upcoming Article XI album, due out on Efpi Records in 2018).

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Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Julie Kjær – bass clarinet/flute
Tom Ward – bass clarinet/flute
Graham South – trumpet
Tullis Rennie – trombone

Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Sam Andreae – tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – bass
Johnny Hunter – drums

Compositions by Cath Roberts

Recorded at City, University of London in August 2017.
Engineered by Alex Bonney with studio assistance from Vincent Ott.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.

Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2017 | LU008

Digital album available now. (CD sold out!)

Tullis Rennie & Cath Roberts – Blurts/Growls

Release date: 26th June 2017 (CD and digital album)

These tracks were lovingly cut up by Tullis and Cath from live recordings of improvised duo sets we played in 2016. The album was part of a double-release with Live At LUME Vol. 3, for LUME Festival 2017.

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Tullis Rennie – trombone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone

Recorded at Cafe Oto Project Space on 22nd June 2016, and at Free Range, Canterbury on 17th November 2016.

Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2017 | LU007

CD and digital album available now.

Live At LUME Vol. 3

Release date: 26th June 2017 (CD and digital album)

Part of a double-release with Blurts/Growls for LUME Festival 2017.

LUME is run by two musicians, Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne, making things happen with a focus on the creation of new original/improvised music. Past activities have included concert series and tours, and we also release music from LUME projects on our offshoot DIY record label Luminous (link in the top right!). This is the third volume of our ‘Live At LUME’ fundraiser compilation album, in which we present a selection of tracks recorded at LUME gigs, donated by the artists. All proceeds from the album will go directly back into helping us continue with LUME projects into 2018 and beyond.

Julie Kjær’s compositions played by:
Julie Kjær – flute/bass clarinet
Olie Brice – double bass
Seth Bennett – double bass
Tim Fairhall – double bass
Thodoris Ziarkis – double bass

Craig Scott’s compositions played by the Gastric Band:
Oliver Dover – saxophones, clarinet
Craig Scott – guitar
Johnny Richards – keyboards
Michael Bardon – bass guitar
Joost Hendrickx – drums

Anton Hunter’s compositions played by the Labrats:
Kim Macari – trumpet
Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Rachel Musson – tenor saxophone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Tullis Rennie – trombone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Tim Fairhall – double bass
Andrew Lisle – drums

All tracks recorded and mixed live by Saint Austral Sound at IKLECTIK, as part of LUME Lab 2017: Julie Kjær on 16th March, Craig Scott on 19th April, Anton Hunter on 24th May.

Compiled by Cath Roberts.
Mastered by Alex Bonney.

Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2017 | LU006

CD and digital album available now.

Sloth Racket – Shapeshifters

Release date: 12th June 2017 (CD, digital album and t-shirt)

Shapeshifters is the second album by Sloth Racket. The album was recorded in October 2016 at Blueprint Studios, Salford, at the end of Sloth Racket’s Autumn tour. The night before, the band had played a show at Islington Mill; the last of a run of five gigs also taking in London, Derby, Newcastle and Glasgow. Cath had composed a new set of pieces for the tour and they had developed over the course of the five dates, evolving from speculative marks on the page into full musical statements by the collective. When the session came around, the band was switched on and fired up by a week’s playing together. The resulting four tracks thoroughly dissect the written starting points and frame them in improvisations ranging from duos to whole group explorations. A snapshot of the band engaging with that music at that particular time, it probably sounds quite different to what happened live on the tour, although heavily informed by the process of touring.

The band are on tour at the end of June to celebrate the Shapeshifters release, with dates in Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Norwich, Cambridge and London.

 

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Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Sam Andreae – tenor saxophone
Seth Bennett – bass
Johnny Hunter – drums

 

Compositions by Cath Roberts.

 

Recorded on 6th October 2016 at Blueprint Studios, Salford by Tim Thomas.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.
Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.

 

Luminous Label 2017 | LU005

 

CD, digital album and t-shirt available now.