Next week – TOUCH MUSIC, experimental cinema, Childhood Police

Next week at Skaņu mežs cafe/record store there will be a very colorful program – on Wednesday, May 25, at 7PM Mike Harding, director of the legendary British label TOUCH MUSIC will present his label (for details see below).

On Thursday, May 26 experimental cinema classics will be presented from 8PM. On Saturday, May 27, the prominent Latvian independent band “Bērnības milicija” (“Childhood police”) from the legendary label Tornis (Tower) will perform. “Bērnības milicija” is also one of the few Latvian bands that have played been on the WFMU radio from New Jersey.


Touch (sometimes mistakenly written ‘Touch Records’ and sometimes written Touch Music, which is technically the publishing side of the company) is a British audio-visual organisation, operating the Touch label. It is the main arm of the London-based multimedia publishing company Touch, established in 1982. They also are a UK-based music publisher, with such composers as Oren Ambarchi, Leif Elggren, Christian Fennesz, Soliman Gamil, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Geir Jenssen, Stephan Mathieu, Phill Niblock, BJNilsen (alias Hazard), Rosy Parlane, Peter Rehberg, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Chris Watson and Jana Winderen on their roster.

They are the home of notable artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Biosphere, Fennesz, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ryoji Ikeda, Philip Jeck, Chris Watson and BJNilsen (alias Hazard), Jana Winderen amongst others.

Touch was initiated in 1981 by graphic designer Jon Wozencroft and established in 1982, along with Andrew McKenzie (until 1996), Garry Mouat and Panni Charrington, with the assistance of music publisher Mike Harding. Jon Wozencroft and Mike Harding still run the company.

They initially issued cassette magazines, featuring a diverse array of artists such as New Order, Jah Wobble, Deux Filles, John Foxx, Ludus, Robert Wyatt, Current 93, Virginia Astley, Einstürzende Neubauten, David Cunningham, and many more. The magazine series published the first recordings by Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, later known as Enya (in 1983, two pieces called An Gaoth Ón Ghrian (The Solar Wind) and Miss Clare Remembers were released on the Travel cassette). Many cassettes also contained “field recordings” and sound collage works.

In the early cassette period up to the digitisation of music in the mid-80’s, sounds by artists such as New Order, Cabaret Voltaire and The Residents, were paralleled by visual work and writing by Neville Brody, Jon Savage, Joseph Beuys and many others. As the industry went through its usual elaborate cycles of self-annihilation and rebirth, Touch adapted to incorporate new technologies with the old, underscoring the power and necessity of editing and presentation to bring the best out of each production.

Now working extensively with Fennesz, Chris Watson, Philip Jeck, Biosphere, BJNilsen, Rosy Parlane, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Jana Winderen and many others, Touch celebrated its 20th year in 2001 with a UK CMN-backed tour, including sell-out dates in Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Newcastle, Salisbury and the QEH in London. The transitions from analogue to digital, from camera-ready artwork to broadband file-sharing and from 1/4” masters to website downloads are only the surface manifestations of the great changes that have taken place in recorded music over the last 20 years.

Cover of ELEH’s album by Touch Music

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