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Ambient - Released May 18, 2018 | Touch

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Experimental - Released October 23, 2015 | Touch

"Brittle dins and soft tones, beautiful drones and static shocks participate in a theater of revolving reality and intentional violence."
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Classical - Released September 27, 2010 | Touch

Booklet
Since the 1980s, Philip Jeck has been creating sound sculptures -- some of them quite abstract, others structured with beats and audible progressions -- using junk-shop record players, outdated Casio keyboards, basses, effects, and other digital and analog miscellanea. An Ark for the Listener started out as a live performance at Kings Place London in February of 2010; after about a dozen more live performances, Jeck took recordings of them back to his home studio, extracted passages from the recordings, and used those extracts to create a new studio version. The seven-part piece was inspired by a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem about a shipwreck in which five nuns drowned, though the music contains no explicit musical or lyrical referents to it. It opens in a dark and arrhythmic mode with "Pilot/Dark Blue Night," a track that gradually becomes oddly brighter and more open, incorporating what sound like creepily altered radio samples; "Ark" blends chiming bell tones with glockenspiel sounds, and is aimlessly lovely. "Pilot Reprise" and "The All of Water" sound like afterthoughts, with chords and noise carelessly piled on, but "The Pilot (Among Our Shoals)" is especially interesting: faintly sampled beats combine with almost recognizable melodic fragments to create something that sounds like a remix of a Bill Nelson track circa 1983. The album closes with a couple of remixes, both of them quite pleasant. ~ Rick Anderson
7

Experimental - Released December 8, 2003 | Touch

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7, Philip Jeck's seventh solo album, portrays him in his comfort zone -- too comfortable, actually. Some will see it as the final distillation of his art, others (like this reviewer) will find it redundant and a watered-down version of what his music can be. Of course, it would be ludicrous to talk of a "commercial" attempt in such a tiny niche, but the fact remains that 7, with its shorter pieces and cloudy moods, does sound like a move to please a wider crowd (maybe the same crowd that made Fennesz's much-deserving album Endless Summer an underground hit). Compared to the forward-looking, elementally harsh CD Host released on Sub Rosa only a few weeks earlier, 7 sounds downright complacent. That said, it remains Jeck and it shares at least some of the qualities of his previous albums, especially in terms of starkness and how he can conjure up an alien world from terrestrial elements. "Some Pennies" and the opening "Wholesome" are very good pieces, but the other five tracks have a "cute" feeling about them -- maybe in the lush strings and synths Jeck used, maybe simply in the fact that no sound breaks free from the soup to startle or shock the listener. But this album's lack of strength is mostly due to the absence of the profoundly odd (as in: surreal) accretions of vinyl sound sources that empowered Jeck's early releases with a unique mystique. In short, 7 is the man's most accessible record, but accessibility comes at a cost and this time it is the troubling essence of his music that pays the price. And without that essence, Jeck's music is nothing but another drone. ~ François Couture

Experimental - Released December 1, 2003 | Touch

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Philip Jeck's second album, Surf, continues his fascination with analog sounds and recording techniques; samples and loops are taken mostly from vintage vinyl, while Jeck's rhythms keep the sonic textures from floating away. ~ Steve Huey
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Electro - Released January 1, 2009 | Touch

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Classical - Released April 21, 2008 | Touch

Released four years after 7, Sand is Philip Jeck's eighth solo album and a definite pick of the crop. While 7 had been a letdown from Stoke and the Vinyl Coda series, Sand rekindles the flame of the turntablist's uncanny artistry. The format remains the same (seven tracks of short to mid-duration), the modus operandi remains pretty much the same too (several record players, cheap keyboards, and now mini-disc recorders), but the results are a couple of notches above the bland 7, moving back to the creative peak achieved with Stoke. Jeck is at his best when he is a sloppy droner, weaving textures but "dropping" them, letting suddenly harsh sounds cut through. Sand consists of seven separate pieces, but fanfare recordings appear in three of them, giving the album a sense of direction ("Fanfares" features an insistent snippet from Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, while "Fanfares Forward" and "Fanfares Over" push that element beyond recognition). "Chime Again" is a delicate piece based on recordings of church bells. But the disc's highlight is the opening "Unveiled," a slowly developing piece in which turntables tell a number of parallel stories, strands of sounds transforming side by side, never quite crossing paths or being brought together, simply coexisting as simultaneous, complementary ideas. It seems that Jeck's sound art will always be rougher around the edges than Janek Schaefer's or Claus van Bebber's -- unfaded entries and exits, arbitrary end edits -- but that is part of his unsettling power. Truth is, that's also what made 7 too comfortable for its own good. ~ François Couture
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Experimental - Released January 1, 2010 | Touch

Philip Jeck rejects the digital future for some vintage analogue textures on Loopholes, and easy rhythms blend the disparate parts into a pleasant whole. ~ John Bush

Experimental - Released April 15, 2002 | Touch

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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Touch

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Classical - Released July 1, 2005 | Touch