Piano Day – Day 5 – Lubomyr Melnyk

download (2)

I am not sure what to say about this man.  I think his playing speaks more about his gift than I ever could.  And it’s in his piano pieces that I am absorbed.  Not so much when his work employs the use of vocals.  In a similar way to Olafur Arnalds recent work, the vocals detract – for me – from the incredible technical abilities of the man.  Like Frahm and Arnalds, he is signed to Erased Tapes but unlike Frahm and Arnalds he is a much more complex pianist.  Not to say the other two are not technically gifted – Frahm, at least, is an incredible pianist – but where they seek space within their music, at times Melnyk’s work is suffocating with its intensity and unrelenting pace and nature.  And it’s in these moments that we see the true genius of the man.  Gifted wouldn’t come close to doing him justice.   The continuous waves of sound he creates are hypnotic, transporting you away from real life and in to a world he has created for us to exist in for the duration of his work.  It’s spell binding.  Which is of course, the intention.  His style sets him apart from his contemporaries and yet, sits him firmly in the same bracket.  To see this man live would be an incredible experience.  One I hope will be possible in the not too distant future.  See for yourself.


Group of the Altos – R U Person or Not


So, this month sees mini50’s first release of 2015 in the form of the brilliant ‘R U Person or Not’ by Milwaukee’s Group of the Altos.  For those of you not in the know, GOTA are a 12 piece alternative rock band from the USA.  Their sound is hard to pin down as it drifts from harsh and loud to subtle and beautiful; from flirting with the likes of Swans, Sparklehorse and the Bad Seeds to dabbling with a bit of hip hop.  Sound insane?  Well it kind of is but somehow they pull it all together and make a cohesive, challenging and beautiful record.  We are very excited about this record and hope that they get gobbled up by fans.  Released on 12″ vinyl you can pre-order your copy of the record now from the mini50 store.



We are drunk sometimes, maybe we smoke too much or are pissed about bullies, or thunder when it’s too far away. So we sit together and hum all the time. Play electric guitars totally distorted. And beats. Let our hearts break and scream (when we are all courage). This is our full expression of forgiveness or the lack of it…

Group of the Altos (altos) are a twelve piece avant-garde rock band from Milwaukee, featuring Volcano Choir’s Daniel Spack. Starting life as a five, born to explore the world of sound, altos has grown from five to twelve in an attempt to increase the instrumental density and volume of their work through quantity and quality of musician rather than simple use of effects. This honest approach to creation sits well with their ethos; to explore, as Spack says, “why sound sounds that way, and how two sounds sound together”.

Having come together originally in 2006 the release of one record to date; 2012’s ‘Altos’, may come as surprisingly sparse output. However, the bringing together of twelve individual musicians, with a variety of musical projects on the go at any one time, is no mean feat. When they do get together under the one musical banner, something magical happens. Something that requires love, nurture and time to grow and take shape. The output may be sparse but the most beautiful things in life are worth waiting for.

‘R U Person or Not’ is the first full length release from the group and continues their exploration of the world of sound with the creation of a dynamic, alternative record packed with intensity, intrigue and an undeniable sense of cool. Where their debut EP used vocals sparingly, focusing more on instrumental compositions, ‘R U Person or Not’ fully embraces the vocal as an instrumental tool, creating a record that spans genres with cohesion and skill. The record highlights perfectly the coming together of the twelve different musical worlds within the group, showcasing their skills and setting them apart from their contemporaries with a bold statement about the most difficult of life skills, for without a wound, there can be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there can be no peace.

William Ryan Fritch

My friend William Ryan Fritch is one of the most talented composers I know. I have been lucky enough, through Lost Tribe Sound’s connection, to have been able to work with him on a number of things.  He contributed his talents to a track on ‘White Rooms’, the second Graveyard Tapes record.  He has been helping myself and Ben Chatwin out on a few tracks to be released on our debut record together as Blood Language and he and I (as glacis), along with Ali Millar and Gregory Euclide, have been working together on a collaboration that we are very excited about.   Working with him is a joy.  Not only is he one of the nicest people I have met in this world of music but he’s also stupidly talented.  In fact, due to the vast amount of work he has come out with of late, our label has a subscription package called ‘The Leave Me Sessions’ which allows you to collect all the various WRF records coming out bit by bit.  Here is the deal:

The Leave Me Sessions Series includes:
Emptied Animal (CD)
Emptied Animal Mini EP (Download Card)
Leave Me Like You Found Me (CD)
Her Warmth EP (Download Card)
Revisionist (Deluxe 12″ Vinyl Book)
Heavy EP (Download Card)
Empty EP (Download Card)
• Subscribers Only Exclusive – The Old Believers OST (Download Code)
• Subscribers Only Exclusive – The Sum Of Its Parts OST (Download Code)
New Words For Old Wounds (Download Code)
• Subscription Discount of 10% off our store’s retail price
• All three physical albums shipped a week before their release dates
• Download codes on all releases (Choice of 24 Bit FLAC, 320 MP3)
Music for Film Vol. I (The first 50 Subscribers receive a postcard format download) (All subscribers will receive a download code for this release)

The Death Blues & WRF Series Bundle includes:
• All of the above in the Leave Me Sessions Series
• Plus, Death Blues Ensemble (Deluxe 12″ Vinyl Book)
• Plus all the discounts and exclusive perks of series listed above. The digital download card for Ensemble with arrive with the physical LP only, and will not be sent by email

I am not sure what else I can say about William.  His original soundtrack for ‘The Waiting Room’ was incredible enough but add all these solo works along with his work with Jon Mueller on Death Blues ‘Ensemble’ and it’s hard not to think you are dealing with one of the world’s true genius musicians.  What really gets me though is that whilst I thought he was a brilliant composer, I had no idea that he could sing so well.  I mean, I was holding on to the fact that he couldn’t be brilliant at everything…

…so, here’s a few links and a video of him at work.  Please check out his work.  You will not be disappointed.

Lost Tribe Sound

WRF Subscription Series

Death Blues ‘Ensemble’

TSP Conversation

William Ryan Fritch – Behind The Scenes Part I (The Leave Me Sessions) from Lost Tribe Sound on Vimeo.