The Eternal Return Arkestra is an ever-evolving body of work.
Curated by A-Sun Amissa and Gizeh Records founder Richard Knox, this project sees a community of musicians collaborating in a new way and existing outside the usual parameters of bands, labels, distribution, marketing and touring.
In 2014 Gizeh Records was invited by Manchester-based avant-garde promoters FatOut to curate a stage at FatOutFest, situated at the legendary Islington Mill space in Salford. We decided to create a four-hour long improvised performance featuring up to twenty musicians at a time playing in a huge circle, with the audience situated in the middle where they were free to move around and explore the individual components or experience the noise as a whole. The session included contributions from members of Gnod, Nadja, FareWell Poetry, This Heats Charles Hayward and many others. We named it the Eternal Return Arkestra of Gizeh.
The next stage of the project was to work out how it could exist as something more tangible, whilst retaining the ideals and spontaneity of the initial idea. The website will operate as the platform. It is an artist-led, independent environment: a place to create with freedom, without barriers, exploring different ways to collaborate. It’s a space to share work, share the process, build pieces of music organically from the ground up, and involve the listener in every step of that journey.
It operates outside of the usual music industry framework. No physical products, no labels, no heavy marketing campaigns, thus removing the infrastructure and traditional creative barriers. We have a collection of all the recorded material archived which is accessible via a subscription.
Each piece of music created here will be shared as a reflection of the creative process. Musicians will be invited to provide, or to collaborate on, a piece which will then be added to by another musician, and then another and so on. The music will be uploaded to the website and as each new contribution arrives the previous version will be replaced and archived. Each layer will be documented in a timeline with full credits and links to the artists involved.
The concept is that the material is essentially never finished and will continue to evolve over time without restrictions. It is not designed to replace any existing models but to deliver a more spontaneous, transparent and open way of working and collaborating.
The Eagle Inn - Salford
May 17th 2018
Filmed by impaTV
Very pleased to announce that pre-orders for the new A-Sun Amissa album, Ceremony in the Stillness, are now open. You can also stream the opening track from the record, The Black Path.
Ceremony in the Stillness is released September 14th via Gizeh Consouling Sounds.
There are super-limited edition vinyl and cd versions available (only 25 copies for Gizeh and 25 for Consouling) as well as several other variants across the LP and CD editions.
For its fourth full-length, A-Sun Amissa plunges deeper than before. Guitars come to the fore. Heavy, distorted chords are present from the off, complemented by desolate ambient passages of sound. The claustrophobic atmospheres remain but combine with a new density and sonic experimentation to present a huge leap forward in structure and composition.
Ceremony in the Stillness hints at themes from the previous three outings while very much pushing the project into new territories. The intricate nuances and lulling melodies from Desperate in Her Heavy Sleep (2012) reappear while the billowing guitars of You Stood Up For Victory, We Stood up For Less (2013) are referenced throughout. In comparison to 2017’s The Gatherer it’s clear there is a firmer direction in the song-writing as the album weaves through elements of doom, dark ambient and post-rock, placing its very own unique mark firmly into the ears of the listener.
A-Sun Amissa is the project of Richard Knox (founder of Gizeh Records and member of The Rustle of the Stars, Shield Patterns and Glissando) and while Knox takes the central role on Ceremony in the Stillness, again we see several collaborators contributing to the record.
As album opener The Black Path unfurls, the cello of Jo Quail creeps through the thick wall of guitar to offer a moment of calm before the song comes to life with the introduction of drums (from Archelon’s TJ Fairfax) for the first time on a A-Sun Amissa record. Alongside a dense and hypnotically repetitive riff, it’s A-Sun Amissa’s heaviest moment to date as the song collapses under its own weight to leave a crumbling and uneasy passage of cello and guitar drone. Intertwining guitars take centre stage on the melancholic With Wearied Eyes as the atmosphere harks back to the debut album, before the hefty guitar riffs return on To the Ashes. The Skulkreminisces on The Gatherer as David McLean’s saxophone unravels around the ondes Martenot of Christine Ott amongst a shifting tide of oscillators and drones. The record then takes a turn as No Perception of Light’s soporific opening gives way to a mesmerising beat and bassline, developing into a wall of crunching guitars and electronics. The closer, Remembrancer, features chiming guitars, conversing over bowed strings, the melancholy returning again as an enveloping, haunting orchestral outro brings the record to a conclusion.
Whether Ceremony in the Stillness represents a permanent shift in direction for A-Sun Amissa remains to be seen. What’s clear is that Knox is comfortable being on the outside looking in, and on expanding A-Sun Amissa’s palette of sounds even further it only adds to the intrigue of what comes next.
All LP & CD sleeves are individually silkscreen-printed, packed and numbered by hand at SmilingPaperGhosts
Vinyl First Press:
50 - Frosted Clear Vinyl - Gold Ink Edition w/ printed inner sleeve
50 - Frosted Clear Vinyl - Night-Glo Ink Tour Edition (only available at shows)
185 - Frosted Clear Vinyl - Silver Ink Standard Edition
15 - Frosted Clear Vinyl - Friends & Family Edition
CD First Press:
50 - Gold Ink Edition
50 - Night-Glo Ink Tour Edition (only available at shows)
200 - Silver Ink Standard Edition
Very pleased to announce a new A-Sun Amissa album 'Ceremony in the Stillness' will be unleashed on September 14th via Gizeh Records and Consouling Sounds. More details to follow shortly. We can also announce a run of dates in Europe in September and October.
22.09.18 - Gent (BE) - De Kleine Kunst w/ Empusae & Monnik
23.09.18 - Tincques (FR) - We Hate Rock n Roll #4
24.09.18 - Aalst (BE) - AMOK
25.09.18 - Bochum (DE) - Bastion
27.09.18 - Prague (CZ) - Punctum
28.09.18 - Poznan (PL) - LAS/Pawilon w/ Jozef Van Wissem
30.09.18 - Berlin (DE) - Arkaoda w/ Noplace Trio
02.10.18 - Gorlitz (DE) - tba
03.10.18 - Kassel (DE) - Sandershaus
04.10.18 - Hamburg (DE) - Schute
05.10.18 - Celle (DE) - MS Loretta
06.10.18 - Amsterdam (NL) - OCCII
I've spent the past few weeks working away on some additional artwork for The Gatherer. It's a year since the album was released via Consouling Sounds and it felt like a good opportunity to wrap up that chapter.
We lost a good one....
We have decided to try out a new model for our digital catalogue and are now offering almost all of our releases as pay-what-you-want via our Bandcamp page.
Download sales across the entire music industry are significantly dropping rapidly as streaming continues to increase. Something we've always tried to do at Gizeh is stay on top of an ever-changing musical landscape and the trends that follow thereafter, whilst being aware that industry movement doesn't have to mean the same at our small and independent level. That helps us and it helps our artists. It's clear that there is another shift happening with downloading at the moment and it's one that has prompted this trial. We plan on testing this model out for a month to see if it works and we'll take stock at the end of that period. The most recent releases and a select few from the back catalogue will remain at a fixed price for now.
We're always interested in what the people who support the label have to say so if you have a particular opinion on this subject please feel free to get in touch.
Thanks for listening.
PS - The Slowsecret bandcamp page has followed on this.
Anthology - Volume I is a collection of music we have released into the world in the not too distant past. Gizeh is now well-known for not being attracted to any one particular genre of music and this selection dives seamlessly and we feel, coherently between drone, metal, post-rock, neo-classical, ambient and plenty of other outsider and sub-genres.
We have made this compilation a free or pay what you want download with the intention of spreading these wonderful sounds as far and wide as we can. Please feel free to share it and we hope you find something here to enjoy, whether you are regular supporter of the label or arriving here for the first time.
You can visit our online store at www.gizehstore.com