In 2013 Kscope celebrated its Fifth anniversary. During our first five years we have released some great albums and worked with many fantastic artists, yet 2013 was without doubt the busiest and most successful of the label's history.Some of the great releases of the past 12 months are highlighted below and more info can be found at the new Kscope website. To launch the new site, celebrate the festive season and thank you for all your support over the past year, we have been offering a series of special Kscope giveaways as part of a special '12 days of Khristmas' celebration.
These giveaways varied from day-to-day, and included free MP3s, rare or signed products, album artwork, previously unseen videos or even test pressings of vinyl releases... go to the Kscope site for more details on the giveaways for each act, and for special offers on selected albums - now extended until next Monday, 13th January 2014.
In June, Wisdom of Crowds, the debut album from the partnership of Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse was released. Bruce is best known as the frontman of The Pineapple Thief, while Jonas is lead vocalist with Katatonia.
The album was named as one of The Guardian's albums of the year who described it as 'a mesmerising and melancholy exercise in wonderfully subtle song craft’. Rocksound stated it was, 'steeped in pedigree, immersive and gracefully executed’, Metal Hammer said it was 'the sound of two supremely talented artists snatching magic from the ether’ (9/10) while Kerrang! declared it ‘a bit of a corker'.
Here is a new instrumental version of 'Your God' from Wisdom of Crowds
Go to the Kscope site for a Wisdom of Crowds '12 Days of Khristmas' giveaway
The album was so well received that the duo went on tour around Europe. Videos, info, reviews and more can all be found on the Wisdom of Crowds mini-site or head over to the Kscope store for special 12 days of Khristmas, extended into january.
Aviv Geffen returned earlier this year with IV, the latest Blackfield album featuring Steven Wilson and other special guests.
Blackfield was started by Aviv and Steven in 2001 and had previously released the critically acclaimed albums Blackfield (2004), Blackfield II (2007) and 2011’s Welcome To My DNA.
Aviv contributed the writing and vocals on Blackfield IV, with Steven - who also mixed the album - adding guitar and vocal parts. The new album also includes guest vocal performances from Brett Anderson (Suede), Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev) and Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema).
More info on the album can be found on the album mini-site at www.kscopemusic.com/blackfield
Go to the Kscope site for a Blackfield '12 Days of Khristmas' giveaway
Head over to the Kscope store for special ’12 Days of Khristmas’ deals including reduced prices on the Jewel Case versions of Welcome to My DNA and IV, now available in the Kscope Store, as well as the the vinyl editions of Blackfield I and IV.
2013 has been an incredible year for Steven Wilson. In February he released The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories), his third solo album. The album was a huge critical and commercial success, earning numerous 5 star reviews and charting well across the world, debuting at #3 in the German national chart, #28 in the UK top 40, #57 in the US Billboard top 200, #16 in Holland and #17 in Finland. The album has since been named album of the year at the Progressive awards and #1 in the Prog magazine critic's choice poll.
Check out this video from behind the scenes at the Royal Albert Hall, 'Gig of the Year' according to PROG Magazine's Critic's Choice Poll 2013
Go to the Kscope site for a Steven WIlson '12 Days of Khristmas' giveaway
Go to the mini-site for more info on The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) and Drive Home, a multi-media set (CD+ DVD/Blu-ray) which was released in October.
Head over to the Kscope store for special '12 days of Khristmas' deals including discounts on the Deluxe 4 Disc Set of Get All You Deserve, the standalone Blu-Ray version, the regular version of Grace for Drowning, the Insurgentes film 2DVD set, theNSRGNTS RMXS CD, and Insurgentes posters.
Early pioneers of Norwegian black metal, Ulver have continually evolved throughout their career and now inhabit a place entirely their own, blending rock, pop, electronica, symphonic and classical traditions along with progressive and/or avant-garde forms to create ground-breaking material.
The diversity of the band and the projects that they undertake was evident in their two releases on Kscope during 2013.
In April a CD +DVD set was released which captured the band's landmark gig at The Norwegian Opera House. The 2 hour concert married tracks from throughout the band's catalogue to stunning visuals to create a spectacle fitting for such a grand venue. The evening was captured on 6 HD cameras and the audio has been mixed for this release in the band's own Crystal Canyon Studios.
Check out this NEW video on our YouTube channel, of 'Not Saved'
This was followed later in the year with Messe I.X–VI.X, a new studio album. Messe I.X–VI.X was commissioned last year by the Tromsø Kulturhus (House of Culture) in Norway, in a cooperation with the Arctic Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra cultural institution. It was composed and first performed live by Ulver, alongside the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra on September 21 2012. The band then took the recordings back to Oslo and spent winter and spring in post-production, honing the material for its studio-equivalent.
Here is 'Son of Man' from Messe I.X–VI.X
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on the Norwegian National Opera DVD/ Blu-ray set, Messe I.X-VI.X Sleevepac CD, Wars of the Roses CD Digibook and the Childhood’s End (CD).
North Atlantic Oscillation are currently working on their third album which will be released on Kscope in 2014. Before they started this process Sam Healy, NAO's frontman and songwriter, released Sand, the self titled debut album from his new solo project.
Sand allowed Healy to experiment with ideas and themes which he didn't feel would work on a NAO album and it was described by The Big Issue as 'a bright, bold kaleidoscopic album that makes the Super Furry Animals sound as pedestrian as The Libertines' (FOUR STARS)
Here is ‘Liferaft’, a previously unreleased track from the album sessions.
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals.
2013 was probably Kscope's busiest year with new releases almost every month. The last of these was just this week when Máthair, a new EP from Mothlite was released on 10" vinyl and download. Máthair features four new tracks plus a remix of 'Seeing In The Dark', a track from last year's Dark Age album.
Here is an unreleased track from Mothlite, called 'Belles'
Dark Age, the follow-up to 2008’s The Flax of Reverie, was rated as one of the top 50 albums of 2012 by The Quietus, who described it as, 'a startling, frank examination of the human (and perhaps especially male) condition delivered via synth bombast and towering choruses'. The NME stated; 'listening to 'Dark Age' can feel like sensory immersion... the album transcends genre, yet takes elements from the dark shadows of industrial rock and the glitch of electronica...it's a beguiling affair', while Wire noted that 'O'Sullivan is steadily carving a niche for himself as a highly accomplished avant-pop polymath.'
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on Mathair and Dark Age.
The Pineapple Thief are currently in the studio recording their new album set for release in spring 2014. Despite the lack of a new album this year it has still been a pretty hectic year for Bruce Soord and co.
The band have been on numerous tours, released a new EP as well as continuing the process of remixing and re-mastering various albums from their catalogue. New editions of What We Have Sown and One Three Seven were released early this year and these were followed by a deluxe edition of Tightly Unwound, the first album to be released on Kscope.
Here is the 2013 remastered version of 'My Debt to You'
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected The Pineapple Thief albums.
2013 proved to be another triumphant year for Anathema. The band toured the US for the first time in many years and also released Universal, a multi-media release which documented the band's triumphant one-off show at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2012.
This incredible night was captured by acclaimed filmmaker Lasse Hoile (Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Dream Theater) and Universal is available on a variety of formats allowing fans to enjoy the show on Blu-ray, DVD and CD. The gig is also available on vinyl with Untouchable, a companion piece.
Check out this new video of 'Thin Air' from Universal.
The set has been described as 'a mesmerising feast' by Metal Hammer and a 'sumptuous live recording of a band at their zenith' by Prog, whose critics also voted the release #1 in multi-media category their end of year poll.
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected Anathema albums.
Men Singing, the second album by Henry Fool was released in April this year. The album is an ambitious four track instrumental album featuring members of No-Man, I Monster and Roxy Music.
Mastered by award-winning Pink Floyd sound engineer, Andy Jackson, Men Singing was produced and arranged by band founders keyboardist Stephen Bennett and guitarist Tim Bowness (Steven Wilson's creative partner in No-Man). It also features Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/Regal Worm), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Peter Chilvers, Michael Bearpark, Andrew Booker, Myke Clifford and Steve Bingham.
Here is an unreleased, work in progress, track called 'Dark Cloud Simon'
A vibrant and instinctive contemporary take on Progressive, Psychedelic and Jazz Rock styles, Men Singing is available on CD and vinyl.
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected Henry Fool albums.
In addition to the vinyl edition of PT's Stupid Dream which was released on Kscope in August, there were also releases on the label from Steven Wilson and Gavin Harrison (along with 05Ric). Richard Barbieri continued his collaboration with Marillion's Steve Hogarth while Colin Edwin has been working on a number of projects and played live with Henry Fool at the Kscope 5th anniversary gigs in London.
Here is a new video of 'Time Flies' from Octane Twisted
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected Porcupine Tree albums.
Regarded by critics and fans alike as one of the most interesting up and coming alt/art rock bands in Europe, Nosound inventively combine '70s psychedelia, '80s/'90s ambient and contemporary alternative, progressive and post rock. The project started as a one-man studio project in 2002 by Giancarlo Erra, but has since grown into a five-piece band. The music is evocative and intense, with influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Brian Eno, through to Porcupine Tree and Sigur Ros.
In 2013, the band released Afterthoughts, their fourth studio album, For the album, Giancarlo and the band have been joined by the former Porcupine Tree and Blackfield drummer, Chris Maitland.
Here is a free download of 'I Miss the Ground', recorded live at The Garage in July
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected Nosound albums.
In September 2013 Katatonia returned with Dethroned & Uncrowned released through Pledge Music and in partnership with Kscope.
Dethroned & Uncrowned, a reworking of 2012’s Dead End Kings, allowed the band to explore a more progressive sound, creating new moods and textures while still staying truthful to the core of the songs.
In May 2014 Katatonia will take their ‘Unplugged & Reworked’ set-up on the road for the first time, presenting an intimate evening with the band each night performing tracks from Dethroned & Uncrowned alongside atmospheric classics from their entire career, stripped and reworked. For the full tour dates go to www.kscopemusic.com/katatonia.
For the final of our ’12 Days of Khristmas’ giveways we have created a new video for the track ‘Lethean’. The video marries the audio from the Dethroned & Uncrowned version with the visuals that Lasse Hoile created for the original Dead End Kings track.
Here is the new 'Dethroned & Uncrowned' video for 'Lethean'
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals including reductions on selected Katatonia albums.
In March Amplifier returned with Echo Street, their first album on Kscope. The album which was the follow-up to 2011's The Octopus was the band's first release with its new four-piece line-up featuring frontman Sel Balamir (vocals and guitars), Matt Brobin (drums), former Oceansize man Steve Durose (second guitar) and Alex "Magnum" Redhead (bass).
The album was described as 'something uniquely powerful, authentic and warm' by Prog, whose critics voted it #8 in their Album of the Year poll, while Metal Hammer stated, 'Echo Street is a superb work that will propel Amplifier right into the spotlight as among the brightest and most inventive of all current British bands.'
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals.
In May Leafblade released their new album, The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh, on Kscope.
For the album Daniel Cavanagh from Anathema and Sean Jude are joined by Anathema’s Portuguese multi-instrumentalist Daniel Cardoso who plays drums, supported by Kevin Murphy. The album was recorded by Mark Ellis who worked on Anathema’s 2010 masterpiece, We’re Here Because We’re Here.
The album was described by Prog as 'an intoxicating, spellbinding and romantic album' and the band followed this with a triumphant liver performance at the Kscope 5th anniversary gigs in London during July.
Go to the Kscope site for special '12 Days of Khristmas' deals.