June 1st, 2022 , by John Beeler
“Swallowing The Water You Walk On,” the second single from Half-handed Cloud’s forthcoming album Flutterama, is available for listening now. You can hear it on your preferred platform here.
This song, a fuzzy and organically meandering tape machine bricolage, comprised primarily of vari-speed pianos, handclaps, and deflating latex balloons, peeks out from under the covers for a way through failure and ruin, by embracing transformational weakness and surrender. “Swallowing The Water You Walk On” is very possibly the heart of Half-handed Cloud’s new Flutterama album.
Flutterama is scheduled for release in just a couple of weeks on June 17, 2022. It’s available for pre-order here (or check with your local or online record store) on LP in Oxidized Tape Brown vinyl, CD, or Wild Bilberry Purple cassette, alongside a limited-edition patch and a biodegradable balloon.
A handcrafted artist’s book by John Ringhofer, limited to only 15 copies, is also available for purchase in a special LP bundle. (Note: we are currently sold out of these! But they’re still neat to look at – see below for video – and we have an almost-as-good bundle that includes balloons, a patch, and a poster here). These individually-numbered artist’s books, made with the 180-year-old cyanotype (architectural blueprint) process, utilize “genuine Finnish sunlight,” and incorporate moving parts and hand-painted sections.
Half-handed Cloud (aka John Ringhofer) and AKR and our artists have been collaborating together for a long time (HHC’s first album is AKR002, our second release!). HHC posted a series of posts on HHC’s Instagram account a number of weeks ago that provide a lot of fun details, including a rare interview with John Ringhofer and Sufjan from 2002 at WBAR. Listen to that here, and be sure to follow HHC on Instagram here.If you missed it, you can watch and listen to the first single, “Handles,”alongside a video shot in John’s adopted home of Helsinki, Finland with Super-8 movie film here.
Finally, be sure to check out HHC on Markly Morrison’s Low Profile podcast, which includes an interview and a terrific cable access performance by John Ringhofer of several HHC songs both classic and new. You can listen and watch here.
May 5th, 2022 , by John Beeler
Also available now: a 2002 WBAR interview with Sufjan and John Ringhofer.Read the Rest...
Half-handed Cloud Countdown to New Album Happening Now, Includes Photos of Sufjan and Other AKR Artists
April 19th, 2022 , by John Beeler
Last week, Half-handed Cloud (aka John Ringhofer) posted some big news: a new Half-handed Cloud is on its way!
Half-handed Cloud (HHC) has also started posting a countdown on his Instagram with posts documenting the story of Half-handed Cloud from then until now. Every few days he’s posting photos or material from his archive. Today he posted about meeting with Sufjan in 2001.
HHC has been a big part of AKR from the start. In our catalog numbering system, Half-handed Cloud’s debut release, Learning About Your Scale, is AKR002, our second release ever (Sufjan’s A Sun Came is AKR001). As John describes in today’s post, HHC and Sufjan met when Sufjan was touring with Danielson. From then on, HHC and Sufjan toured together early and often, playing together at shows as far back as Cornerstone in 2001 (Stryper! Larry Norman! MC Hammer!), or an Asthmatic Kitty 9/11 benefit show in NYC in December 2001.
HHC is promising all sorts of documentation in the next couple of weeks, including plenty of 35mm photo scans, possible sound clips & video, and stage history. Who knows what surprises are in that HHC archive! To stay tuned, click here.
March 21st, 2022 , by John Beeler
Denison Witmer’s American Foursquare is now available in record stores on CD and LP.
To celebrate the record store release of American Foursquare, Denison has released an expanded, deluxe edition of the record that packages together some previously released material, including simplified versions of several tracks, the song “Lancaster County,” and two previously unreleased remixes by Carl Granberg of “Catalina Love” and “Confident Sensitive Child.”
Those two new remixes are available for listening now. You can hear them here, or below.
Click here for a list of stores in Europe, or check with your local record store for ordering and availability.
January 14th, 2022 , by John Beeler
Beak & Claw, the debut EP from Sisyphus is now eak & Claw, the debut EP from Sisyphus is now back on streaming and digital services after a hiatus.. You can listen to it on your preferred platform here.
Originally released under the moniker “s/s/s” by Anticon in 2012, the four-song EP culminated years of collaboration between Seregenti, Ryan Lott of Son Lux, and Sufjan Stevens. Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond provides vocals on “If This is Real.” doseone sings on “Octomom.”
In 2014, the three artists reunited for a self-titled full length album under a new name, Sisyphus, which is also available on all streaming and digital platforms. You can read more about the making of the EP here.
September 23rd, 2021 , by John Beeler
A Beginner’s Mind, the new collaborative album from Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine, is out now.
You can listen to the album on your preferred digital platform here.
The LP and CD is also available in stores today in most places including the United States, Canada, South America, Japan, and Australia. Independent stores in those regions will be stocking the black LP as well as the “Olympus Perseus Shield Gold” variant.
Due to manufacturing delays and shortages, the CD and LP are delayed in Europe and will be available on October 15th. In addition to the black LP, European stores will be stocking an indie exclusive “Back to Oz Pumpkinhead Orange” variant of the record – just in time for Halloween.
You can also buy the LP from Bandcamp or our store here. We’re selling a “Beginner’s Mind Ocean Blue” colored LP, in homage to the movie that inspired the album’s title and title track, Point Break.
See here for a full list of the movies that inspired each track, and links to stream or rent or buy the movies.
Also available in our store is a 22×22 aqueous-printed poster of Daniel Anum Jasper’s cover artwork, a cap designed by Angelo, and 7-inches of two of the three sets of singles – with slightly extended versions of the songs on those 45’s.
* Please note: due to vinyl manufacturing delays, we are having to delay the 7-inches to mid-November.
September 8th, 2021 , by John Beeler
Sufjan and Angelo are debuting two new songs from their forthcoming album A Beginner’s Mind: “Cimmerian Shade,” inspired by Silence of the Lambs, and “You Give Death A Bad Name,” inspired by Night of the Living Dead.
Hear the songs here, or below.
Of “Cimmerian Shade,” which is sung from the perspective of Silence of the Lambs antagonist Buffalo Bill (a.k.a. Jame Gumb), Angelo says: “Many authors have emotional attachments to the characters they create. But in this instance, I was interested in how a character felt about being created. In my imagination I was giving consciousness to someone else’s creation. The song is essentially a dialogue between creation and creator that seeks to find understanding to some of the same questions that we ask ourselves about existence, free will, fate, purpose, guidance and if anyone or anything out there is listening or cares.”
The full album is out on September 24.
You can pre-order the 12-inch, the Completist Bundle*, and the 7-inch with these two songs here. The 12-inch we’re selling is an exclusive“Beginner’s Mind Ocean Blue,” its color based on the swirling wave crests in Point Break, the Kathryn Bigelow directed 1992 action crime film starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, and the movie that inspired Sufjan and Angelo’s title song.
See below for more corresponding movies with links to streaming sites:
|1||“Reach Out”||Wings of Desire|
|2||“Lady Macbeth In Chains”||All About Eve|
|3||“Back To Oz”||Return to Oz|
|4||“The Pillar Of Souls”||Hellraiser III|
|5||“You Give Death A Bad Name”||Night of the Living Dead|
|6||“Beginner’s Mind”||Point Break|
|7||“Olympus”||Clash of the Titans|
|8||“Murder And Crime”||Mad Max|
|9||“(This Is) The Thing”||The Thing|
|10||“It’s Your Own Body And Mind”||She’s Gotta Have It|
|11||“Lost In The World”||The Last Wave|
|12||“Fictional California”||Bring it On Again|
|13||“Cimmerian Shade”||Silence of the Lambs|
* Please note: due to vinyl manufacturing delays, we are having to delay the 7-inches to after release date. This includes the 7-inches ala carte and in the bundle. 12-inches will ship separately on or slightly before release date. If you’ve already pre-ordered the bundle or 7-inches, please check your email in the next week for more information.
August 10th, 2021 , by John Beeler
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine debut two new songs today. “Back To Oz” (inspired by the 1985 film Return To Oz) arrives with a video directed by Alex Horan of Straight To Tell and animated by Clara Murray. Watch it here or below.
“Fictional California” (inspired by the 2004 Bring It On Again) is also out today—listen here or below.
Both tracks are from Sufjan and Angelo’s forthcoming collaborative full-length, A Beginner’s Mind, out September 24 on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Pre-order/pre-save the album here.
“This was a song that I had written mostly at home in California,” says Angelo. “We finished its lyrics after watching Return to Oz. The words reference an erosion of a central character’s internal reality. A loss of innocence is the impetus for a journey to find inner truth. In the film, Dorothy returns to the world of Oz to find its landscape in ruins and its citizens frozen in stone. Only she can find the ruby slippers and return peace to Oz. Only we can save ourselves, but we first have to remember who we truly are.”
“Angelo is mostly known for his intimate home recordings; his music is quiet and confessional. So for “Back To Oz” we decided to go for something flashier,” adds Sufjan. “The song has a fun guitar groove, so we gave it some bass and drums, and Angelo even recorded his first electric guitar solo. It’s a sad song—being mostly about disillusionment—but it has a great party vibe too. Which sort of runs parallel to the narrative in the film: Return to Oz is a psychedelic fantasy ride through the unknown, but the main characters are mostly driven by fear and loneliness.”
“We love the dreamlike quality of ‘Back To Oz’ and how the chorus transports the listener to another world,” says video director Alex Horan. “We wanted to evoke those same feelings through the visuals.”
“I love to make anything and everything come alive—the clouds, a fork—everything has a soul and can become a living, breathing thing. So the idea of creating a whole world engrossed me,” says Murray, animator for the video.
The new tracks follow “Reach Out” and “Olympus,” released last month. Listen and watch the video for “Reach Out” here.
July 7th, 2021 , by John Beeler
AKR is proud to announce A Beginner’s Mind, the new album from Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine. The album is set for release on September 24 on CD, LP, cassette, and digital. You can pre-order the AKR exclusive in “Beginner’s Mind Ocean Blue” colored 12-inch LP and all other physical formats, from our store here. Read more about the record here.
Artist Daniel Anum Jasper illustrated the cover and artwork throughout the packaging.
Two songs from the album, “Reach Out, inspired by Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, and “Olympus,” inspired by the 1981 Clash of the Titans, debut today along with a video for “Reach Out” shot by Sufjan and Angelo (and starring their respective dogs Joku [a Jindo] and Charlie [a Havanese]) and edited and directed by Jess Calleiro. Watch the video on YouTube here and Vimeo here, and hear both songs by clicking here.
“Reach Out” and “Olympus” are available on 7-inch in “Olympus Metallic Owl Silver,” with artwork illustrated by Daniel Anum Jasper. The 7-inch ships August 11th and is available for pre-order here.
Also available for pre-order is a “Completist Bundle,” which includes the full LP in “Beginner’s Mind Ocean Blue,” the 7-inch of “Reach Out” and “Olympus,” and two future 7-inches. That pre-order is available here. View all the available pre-order options, including a hat designed by Angelo De Augustine, here.
May 12th, 2021 , by John Beeler
Sufjan’s five-volume instrumental album Convocations is out today on most digital platforms (and available tomorrow, Friday, on all digital platforms). Click here to listen. And you can watch the accompanying, full-length generative video work by Mexican artist Melissa Fuentes here, or below.
The physical 5-LP boxset will be available on August 20th. Check your local record store for pre-order availability.
Sufjan has also released a special, hand-made, tie-dyed Convocations themed t-shirt, which you can pre-order for $35 plus shipping here.