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White Moon, Black Moon

frostlake: White Moon, Black Moon (Discus)

The debut album for frostlake, female songstress and instrumentalist, in a collection of songs with an eerie strangeness and English ethereal quality, with haunting melodies, layered vocals and unusual sounds in a band including Martin Archer on clarinet, Mick Somerset on winds, Nigel Manning on flute, and Steve Dinsdale on drums.

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product information:

UPC: 5051078943329

Label: Discus
Catalog ID: 53CD
Squidco Product Code: 24245

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Frogpond, in Sheffield, United Kingdom, by the artist.


Frostlake-voice, guitars, electronics, viola, accordion, keys, percussion

Terry Todd-bass

Andy Peake-piano, synth

Nigel Manning-flute

Martin Archer-clarinets, percussion

Mick Somerset-bass clarinet, bass flute, bass recorder, percussion

Charlie Collins-percussion

Steve Dinsdale-drums

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Artist Biographies:

frostlake is Sheffield-based singer, musician Jan Todd.

-Squidco 9/28/2020

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"Martin Archer was born in Sheffield, England, in 1957. He started playing saxophone at age 15 and first got active on the Sheffield improvisational scene in 1973. In the early '80s, he recorded an LP with Bass Tone Trap, his first group. In 1983 he formed the saxophone quartet Hornweb, which, in ten years of existence, released three albums. It is during that time that Archer released his first solo album, Wild Pathway Favourites (1988) and founded the Discus label on which he since releases all his music.

In 1993, he disbanded Hornweb and turned to synthesizers and sequencers while shifting his activities from stage to studio. He developed a compositional approach in which he records improvisers soloing, then manipulates this raw material, combining it with electronics and structuring it into a whole new piece. This technique is illustrated on Wild Pathway Favourites, Ghost Lily Cascade (1996), and Pure Water Construction (with bassist Simon H. Fell, released in 1999). Later works such as Winter Pilgrim Arriving (2000) moved toward more constructed and less abstract pieces, even making room for melodies and rhythm tracks at times.

Apart from his solo work, Archer is also involved in Ask, a duo with guitarist John Jasnoch, and Transient v Resident, an ambient electronics project with Chris Bywater."-All Music, François Couture

"Martin Archer is a composer / improviser who is equally at home on stage or in the studio. His own distinctive saxophone playing is rooted in AACM jazz. Through his use of keyboards and electronics, and as a studio producer, he extends this interest into extended song form and leftfield rock music. He is also co-director of the uncategorisably avant choir Juxtavoices.

His principle music work is the Discus Music label, the imprint for his various releases, notably by the groups described below.

His current jazz based projects include Engine Room Favourites (current a 4 drummer, 14 piece big band), Story Tellers (6 piece group including shaman instruments alongside the conventional instruments), plus various ad hoc smaller groups. All of these are strongly aligned with AACM tradition and teaching.

Archer has a long running duo with veteran vocalist Julie Tippetts. Each of their highly acclaimed CD releases deliberately explores song from a different perspective - the duo aims to be truly progressive, and takes in elements from jazz, rock, soul and pure abstraction.

Archer's main live performance vehicle is the trio Inclusion Principle with Herve Perez and Peter Fairclough. The group operates in a space between electronics, nu-jazz, contemporary electroacoustic music and free improvisation. In performance you will hear pure jazz skill, electronic beats and areas of texture and abstraction all seamlessly woven into a fascinating and constantly shifting tapestry of sound.

The sprawling Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere was formed by Archer as an improvising rock group with shades of Terry Riley, Magma, Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra, very much in the progressive / krautrock tradition, and noted for its large scale string, horn and vocal arrangements.

Also in rock music, Archer is a member of the USA based heavier than plutonium prog / sludge / zeuhl group Combat Astronomy under the direction of Jamie Huggett.

Surprising, delighting and occasionally alarming audiences for a number of years now, Juxtavoices is a 30 piece choir for mainly untrained voices co directed by Archer with Alan Halsey which has racked up dozens of performances and issued three CDs.

This eclectic combination of sources and highly individual applications makes Archer a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composer / improvisers. "-Discus

-All Music, Discus Records (

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"Mick Somerset aka Michael Ronald Ward is signed as a writer to BMG Chrysalis Music. I also play all woodwinds and keyboards / percussion and vocals. He has written over 20 top twenty singles and contributed to many hit albums. He played piccolo on the number one hit "Everything Changes" by Take That which he also wrote, and he made two albums in the US with hit producer Don Was. He is also an improviser, performing on Selmer V1 saxes nino/s/a/t/b. King Super 20 tenor and King saxello . Uebel flute, Kuiper altoflute Kingma bassflute. Selmer bassclt/ Selmer Bb/ Patricola Eb."

-Theo Wanne, Discogs (

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"Steve Dinsdale plays keyboards and drums in the leading British electronic trio Radio Massacre International, who have released a plethora of albums over the last 20 years and played concerts in both Europe and America. He is also a member of Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere and Engine Room Favourites, and has several solo albums to his name."

-Bishop's House (

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track listing:

1. Black Winter 4:32

2. No Looking Back 3:58

3. Snowlight 3:29

4. Falling Through Shadows 3:33

5. Dark Winds 4:09

6. Connection 4:12

7. Night Watch 3:34

8. Quiet Storm 5:36

9. Endless Rain 4:34

10. Thin Red Line 5:06

11. Spring Call 4:22

12. White Moon , Black Moon 4:25

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"White Moon, Black Moon is the debut album for frostlake, female songstress and instrumentalist. Here is a collection of songs with an eerie strangeness and English ethereal quality, with haunting melodies, layered vocals and unusual sounds. The material is observational and reflective - a door opened into thoughts of nature, love, loss and re-birth, using direct and simple lyrics. The music is awash with atmospheric touches, takes unexpected directions and creates a distinctive soundscape, spanning genres of British psychedelia and electronica. Guitars are used as a framework with individual note picking anchored by lyrical bass patterns and lifted with soaring woodwinds and distant voicings."-Discus

Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Song Based Music
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Rock Forms

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