Simon James – Akiha Den Den

Akiha Den Den by Simon James is the soundtrack music for an abandoned amusement park. Available from the Castles in Space bandcamp shop:

CiS 020 is a presented as a clear vinyl LP, accompanied by an additional 70 minutes of music on a CD entitled “The Panatrope”. The Package also includes a Digital Download.

This vinyl and CD package collects electronic music created for an abandoned space: Akiha Den Den, the crumbling amusement park at the centre of a surreal radio drama, and the setting for a story woven from the very fabric of radio. Radiophonic and other dimensional library inspired cues soundtrack dilapidated ghost train rides, rusty dodgems and the domed Panatrope. The dark musings inside the mind of a talking thought-mining cockroach, a mysterious character known only as Monday Man and the main protagonist, M.R Cuttings (played by Star Wars’ Ian McDiarmid), a radio ham picking up the desperate transmissions from this strange ethereal place they call Akiha Den Den.

Simon James has conjured up an eerie world of pure escapist sound for this fever dream of radio waves and half heard transmissions. Radio interference, snatches of intercepted broadcasts, codes, tones, signals and other haunting sounds from the wireless feature heavily alongside the soundtrack conjured up on an array of vintage, unfathomable synthesisers including the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box and the EMS VCS3. Occasionally the voices of Akiha Den Den’s inhabitants and M.R Cuttings burn through the white noise offering a glimpse of their tangled patchbay story.

The full radio drama can be heard at

Released on a specially requested opaque clear vinyl LP, the physical package also includes a redacted Akiha Den Den booklet (all artwork designed by Nick Taylor) and a beautiful bonus CD filled with over 70 minutes of Buchla Modular, EMS, drones, dramatics, cassette 4 track abuse and noise from the Akiha Den Den radio series.

Simon James has previously released space age synthesiser records as The Simonsound (with Matt Ford) and as celebrated night time doom project Black Channels (with Becky Randall) on Death Waltz Originals and Castles in Space.

This package is a must for fans of radio, inventive electronica, radiophonics, vintage synths and imagined worlds.

Video for Digging In The Dust from the Simon James soundtrack LP for Akiha Den Den:

There are still copies available from the Castles in Space bandcamp shop.

Video for Silph from the Simon James soundtrack LP for Akiha Den Den:

Simon James.

Akiha Den Den LP Review from Electronic Sounds magazine:

CHXFX – Transcranial Targets

Vinyl LP and Digital Download. Released by Castles in Space: 12/05/2017

We are living through difficult times. We need a soundtrack to help assist/resist the fight. CHXFX was prescient enough to foresee the turmoil. The Hellish world events that are being brought to our overloaded brains. Our sleepless nights. Our worries, frets and panics. However, we can resist. We can find a way through the madness. We can make the changes that need to be made, but we need a soundtrack. You have found it.

This album was released digitally for a week in 2015, and then got pulled. The blackness was not yet deep enough upon us. And then things got darker. It is now the time to unleash Transcranial Targets to the sensible, the knowledgable the optimistic. The heroes among us must stand up and be counted.

Only the brave may apply.

David Henson has a fantastic back catalogue. NOCHEXXX: Planet Bangs (Alien Jams) / PLOT DEFENDER (Type) and THRUSTERS (RAMP), but this is a lost document rescued from the electromines. A blow to the head that you may never recover from, but will return to again and again.

Deep from the Shire of Cambridge, the genius Dave cooks up the magic in his laboratory to which nobody is allowed access.

CHXFX is in the best way possible uncategorisable. He produces noises that reflect our lives today. It is the most modern take on BBC radiophonica that you will ever hear. Resonant and unbelievably current, it’s an alchemy all of his own making, but he’s not not letting any light in on it’s creation to the likes of us. David has a truly independent vision which he takes to the end of the line, but then brings us home again. Get on board. Wear a white lab coat.

This beautiful music, dystopian and urban/suburban in the extreme is complimented by some fantastic artwork by Zeke Clough. Once witnessed, you will know what the record sounds like. Electric Creeps stalk the land. They might be coming for you. Zeke and CHXFX took inspiration from a vision of a high temperature tropical hothouse concept of a post-asshole world in which the modified flora and fauna are attempting to build something from the ashes of a badly mauled planet.

The LP is pressed up in limited edition of 300 copies on orange splatter vinyl with an insert also designed by Zeke. All copies come with a digital download card.

Fast forward the future.

Look and listen to a specially prepared trailer for for the LP, created by CHXFX and Zeke here:

Released 12/05/2017.

CHXFX – Electric Creep 7″

A review is in from the wonderful Chris Hughes:

“Freeform linear chromatic tonal scales blip shift, dive, lock and settle onto plateaus of notched repetition then repeat whilst swerve pitching and adjusting the cadence creep. Hypnotic glitching glyphs and acute awkward scalar shape. Semaphore slumps and crackling lumens burst whilst tracking a monumental gravity static hum roll. Volumes crackle mass and decelerate, vibrated exponentially to a creased collapsing shifted moving point.
The delineated perforations of a possible half remembered memory . .
Beautiful monochrome artwork graphics and typefaces.
Clear lathe cut artefact of grooved sound.

Three copies left at

Don’t sleep.

Trancranial Targets LP up next from CHXFX:



Klaus Album Art Master (dragged)Castles in Space is massivley pleased to announce the selftitled debut album from Sydney band Kl(aüs). Former Tasmanians and school friends Stewart Lawler (Boxcar, Severed Heads) and Jonathan Elliott (Prayers in Ashes, Batrachian) formed Kl(aüs) in 2013. With many years experience playing in critically acclaimed and influential Australian electronic bands using sequencers and laptops, and even more long evenings in the pub arguing the nuances of Tangerine Dream’s 1979-1985 period, the pair realised that the Berlin School genre is a perfect vehicle for a style of improvisation and sonic exploration that is focussed around playing instruments rather than performing from laptops.

Says Stuart, “We think the recent trend for ‘authenticity’ in electronic music by exclusively using vintage equipment is a bit misplaced, to be honest. What really matters is how you play the instrument; be it physical or software, it’s how you interact with the sounds as you play that counts. By recording live improvisations direct to multi-track audio we’ve displaced the sequencer from its central role, allowing a more organic development of musical ideas to take place”.

The result is a magnificent soundscape of an album that takes the listener on a journey from beginning to end and while referencing an earlier era’s style and methodology doesn’t shy away from using modern production technology to achieve its own unique sound. It may also be the first Berlin School album to feature the sounds of an Australian spotted gum forest.

The album was mastered in Sydney by industry veteran Rick O’Neil, and will be released July 2016 on limited edition coloured vinyl and digital download.

Listen to tracks from Kl(aüs) and buy the wonderful LP at the Castles in Space bandcamp site:

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The review from Norman Records:

…This LP reminds you of the genuine place synth has as a dominating force in prog music, rather than just its supplement — it’s got the fogginess of Tangerine Dream, the glistening new-agisms of Laraaji and a hell of a lot of the psychedelic jamming you can come to expect from anyone with a modular and a penchant for existence at a Deep Distance.

Bits of this are just lovely, though. The flute filibuster that opens up “Proof Portal” is nothing if not ambient comfort food, a lovely, synth-scoped intro to what becomes another self-perpetuating mass of tinkering synth rotations. Other parts get lost in the speedy tunnels of time, such as “It Hurts To Shoot Gloves From Your Stick, but It’s Necessary”… here is where I’d usually describe the track, but that title has given me an idea: let’s stop music forever.

This is gonna appeal to fans of a lot of things: it’s got the rapid-fire whirring of a lot of kosmische classics, but also has a glowing ambient sustain going on in its backdrop. Those who enjoy incredibly vintage electronic music where the synth melodies sound like grandparents of Boards of Canada, you might find a good resting place for your ears. Me? I am now a robot. Thanks, guys

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A review from the estimable Mr James Lister:

Today, it feels like many bands are referencing the past – in sound, in images, in methods of composition. It’s hard not to – but it’s harder to find the vocabulary that works and refine it further. Inspired by “Berlin School Electronic Music” – a style driven by hypnotic, evolving sequence(r)s, Sydney duo Kl(aus) is no exception. With just a taste of live and recorded work so far, they have affirmed a definition of creativity – taking divergent ideas that they demonstrate clear passion for and making them work without slavish reference to technical errata that may serve a genre definition better than a good tune.

Is it “artisanal” electronic music with a Teutonic feel, ironically served up in an unusual context? No. It is the work of people who haven’t set limitations on the number of keyboards you can stack up in a venue, Emerson-style, and simply let rip. Coming from an impatient (let’s call it ‘punk’) perspective with deeper Krautrock sympathies, any piece of music over four minutes by individuals with a modicum of musical training can sometimes offend. But here it isn’t an obstacle. There’s a sense of recalling the familiar, and it is presented deftly. But the real excitement is in where a band with chops, a sensitive approach to crafting sounds, unpredictable sequences with a love of driving synth lines and unrestrained solos might go next. 

This is best demonstrated in the opener “Three Sheets,” a cinematic piece that builds gently and then thunders through the room. (I saw “Miracle Mile” in my head during this one). With room to move, Kl(aus)’ trajectory should echo these sentiments.

Two Ragged Soldiers – /Asulya//Water

/Asulya//Water by Two Ragged Soldiers is  available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp page.

A two track vinyl 7″, beautifully pressed on red and blue splatter wax.   It is a limited edition, one time only pressing of 300 hand numbered copies and includes a download card and an insert.


Two Ragged Soldiers are Ian Glover and Samuel Ward.  /Asulya//Water is their first release.

Q. Who are Two Ragged Soldiers?

Ian – Old friends who met at college, didn’t see each other for a few years, then reunited. After a few more years of keeping in touch and a few false starts, we finally started making some music together and laughing at each other’s kids.  I’ve made four other albums whilst my wife waits patiently rolling her eyes.

Sam –  Two Dads with a rare gap in their schedules. After years of talking about it, Ian and I finally had the chance to work together last year and when the initial ideas took hold, it simply snowballed from there.

We first met whilst attending the creative hotbed of Burslem Music College back in 1993. Heads full of dreams. Full heads of hair. Bloodstream full of stolen gin.

Q. How, where and when do you work together?

Ian – There’s a lot of individual work in our own homes, exchanging files over the internet and making comments. Now and again we’ll hook up, try and out-do each others coffee making abilities and occasionally doing some work.

Sam – As Ian says, the core of each piece was developed in isolation and progressed through a series of phone calls, emails, Soundcloud links and Dropbox swaps. Once this necessary 21st century stuff was out of the way, we drank coffee, ate too much and got the families together at Hanley Museum (check it out. They’ve got a ceramic owl).

Q. /Asulya//Water?

Ian – I think of /Asulya/ as seeming to appear quite simple but it actually being quite complex and satisfying underneath. We were trying to make something that teases the listener into thinking the crescendo is about to happen this time around….but then it sneaks off and lies in wait.  /Water/ started with one of those happy accidents whilst casually noodling. For me it became a challenge to see how far we could push an arrangement without stuffing it full of changes.

Sam – Yes, /Water/ is certainly the most minimal piece we’ve produced and as such, it’s probably my favourite. Ian’s restraint with the arrangement here is one my personal highlights of the entire Two Ragged Soldiers project.  /Asulya/ is one of the more cross genre pieces that arose from the sessions. Both electronic and traditional instrumentation push together and I’m still not really sure who wins.

Working in isolation on a project like this can bring on occasional self doubt (questions such as “Is this just mental?” were pretty frequent), but realising now that we were on the right track is a great confirmation of what we are trying to achieve.

Q.  I believe that /Asulya//Water are extracts from a larger work entitled “The Mass”?

Ian – Yes, we are putting the finishing touches to ‘The Mass’ in order to complete and mix it. Then we need to figure out what to do with it. The album itself was made purely for the sake of working together and doing something without any set parameters. We threw a couple of ideas in tried to grow them naturally.

Sam – There’s still a little way to go before its polished off but ‘The Mass’ expands upon the themes visited in this record and encompasses a wide range of approaches. We’ve a few options with what to do with the eventual album but for the moment, we’re focused on finishing it over the coming month and finally realising the work we’ve both put in during the past year.

Q. Influences?

Ian – All the usual; music, films, books, life. Philip Glass, Morricone, Low, Neil Young are people I frequently find myself returning to, amongst others. Collaborating with people is probably the biggest motivator.

Sam – The influences feeding into Two Ragged Soldiers have been pretty wide ranging from my side. Obviously there’s a musical debt to the early work of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop but I’d certainly look to also include Traditional English folk, the conceptual composition of Cage and aspects of Steve Reich in there.

Q. The artwork for the single is brilliant, utilising an image sent back from comet lander Rosetta/Philae. How did it come about?

Ian – This was Sam’s baby. The Rosetta / Philae craft was – and still is – all over the news. Landing a craft on a comet – thats definitely inspiring.

Sam – The Rosetta mission was very much in mind during the production of the work and once the incredible images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko came back from the craft, I simply had to work them in somehow. Reports sent back to us through space is just a wonderful concept.

Q. The music is a hard to determine mix between traditional and electronic instrumentation. What’s your set up?  What instruments do you use? How do you record?

Ian – I have a small home set up; a couple of guitars, some software, a nasty midi controller keyboard…

Sam – My studio’s a little haphazard and I do find myself spending a lot of time fixing things. It’s primarily based around a Macbook, an old desk and a variety of old kit picked up from eBay, Cash Converters, charity shops and car boot sales. Seems to fit with how I work though…


Hear more from Two Ragged Soldiers on their Soundcloud.

Order vinyl and digital copies here.

Tauchsieder – Herd The Shadows EP

Tauchsieder’s “Herd The Shadows” EP is still available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp page. We are approaching the end of the run of this beautiful record, which once again garnered much interest and attention at the recent Independent Label Market on the 23rd July.

The 3 track vinyl 7″ is beautifully pressed on “shadow splatter” wax. It’s a limited edition, one time only pressing of 300 hand numbered copies.

It includes a download card and numbered insert.


Tauchsieder are Stuart McLean, Ben Hayes and Innes Smith. 

Herd The Shadows features vocals and additional production from Colin Newman.


Here’s a brief Q&A with the reluctant superstars.

Q1: Who are Tauschsieder?

Ben: Three people who should be old enough to know better by now.

Innes: Whoever Stuart & Ben let into their shack in the woods.  I’m just meat for their sound grinders. They’re terribly clever, but also very shy. Like Sentient Badgers.

Q2: How and when do you work together?

Stuart: After I made the “Instant Eno” plug in chain for Ableton in 2004/5 it led to the recording of (first album) “Quiet”. Everything is done on-line with us only ever meeting at The Dark Outside radio broadcasts.

Ben: How? By leaving things until the last second and then exchanging a flurry of sound files over the internet.  When? Not often.

Innes: That’s a really good question. I don’t know. I think of them as a Fertility Clinic and I occasionally deposit something with them. And then, I have no idea what happens next. The finished product appears and it’s still probably the milkman. Or the postman. I don’t think anybody knows. That’s the magic of Tauchsieder.

Q3: How did Colin Newman become involved?

Innes: Like the clergy, he got ‘the call’.

Stuart: Colin agreed after he challenged me to combine two Wire tracks to make a third.

Ben: Somehow he heard and liked our initial experiments back in 2005 or 2006 or whenever it was.  One thing led to another, as things very occasionally do.

Q4: Tell us about “Herd The Shadows”.

Stuart: It’s original title was “the length of a song by the band called Wire” at just over two minutes-ish – the title was terrible and Colin changed it accordingly.  It has no set tempo with the main noise being altered by changing from one resonator bank to another – the bass being played live over it.  It’s been remastered for vinyl especially for this Castles in Space release.

Ben: It’s a lost/forgotten/ignored/never heard of it classic from 2006.  Stuart did the noise.  I did the bass.  Colin did the vocal and lyrics.  Innes approved.  Konx-Om-Pax (Tom Scholefield) made a fantastic video clip for it.  The title is a cryptic clue to the lyric’s origins.

Q5: Tell us about (AA Side) “Moves Left”.

Ben: It’s a 2015 reworking of a lost/forgotten/ignored/never heard of it classic from 2006.  Stuart did the noise.  I re-did the bass, added the sequences, rhythm box and strange tape sounds.  Stuart added some radio FX and other fiddly bits.  Innes approved.  We might make a video clip for it, but no promises.  The title was an anagrammed cryptic clue to the lyric’s origins, but we removed one of the words from it, so it isn’t anymore.  And the lyric isn’t in it, anyway.

Q6: There’s more stuff already recorded.  What are the future plans for Tauschieder?

Ben: No future they say, but must it be that way?

Innes: Well, this I do know. We’re very probably going to probably do more. There’s been lots of talk about doing probably more, and we’re probably going to do that. I mean, I’ve got a guitar and everything. I might plug it in one day. And I can sing. But, well, we’ve got another few decades worth of procrastination left in us yet. There’s no need to rush things.

Stuart: There might be another FiniTribe Remix if we can finish it. Other than that we have no idea.

Black Channels – Two Knocks For Yes

Two Knocks For Yes by black channels was released on cassette and digital on 09.10.2015

Although the cassettes are long sold out, the digital is still available here:

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“In every story of things that go bump in the night, there are two possibilities. One, that it’s a hoax. Two, that there is something going on beyond the grasp of the human mind”.

And so begins ‘Two Knocks for Yes’, black channels’ radiophonic exploration into the poltergeist phenomenon. Mixing real life stories of paranormal activity with otherworldly vibrations and oscillations conjured up on the Buchla Electric Music Box. Following on from their brilliant and well received debut single on Death Waltz Originals, this limited edition cassette continues their preoccupation with other worlds, parallel dimensions and the dark tapestry of the imagination. Chilling accounts of nocturnal visitations and strange activity in the most mundane of suburban surroundings echo in and out of focus alongside electronic manifestations and tape manipulations in this 26 minute experimental radio collage.

Side two features wonderful incidental instrumentals soundtracking true ghost stories which provide essential tools for all paranormal investigators and otherside travellers.

Each tape comes with a free download, and two hand numbered Ghost Spotting Report Forms, enabling those working in the field to report their own ghost sightings and visitations.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you.

Correlations – Before The Heat

“Before The Heat”, the fabulous debut album from Correlations experienced some delays at the pressing plant, but has now arrived in all it’s glory. Released 17th June, the LP and digital are now available to order from the Castles in Space bandcamp site. It’s a limited and numbered edition of 300 copies pressed up on beautiful “full moon” wax. A digital download card is included with the record.

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Correlations are Neil Hale and Stuart Cullen (aka Pilote). Based in Brighton and Frome they have made a wonderful record which is a genre defining mix of electronics, acid, psyche, krautrock and acoustic folk. With vocoders.

Neil and Stuart have been releasing music under various guises for several years. Stuart’s last Pilote LP “The Slowdown” gathered a lot of acclaim and radio play particularly across BBC Radio 6 Music shows including Lauren Laverne.

“Before The Heat” draws on electronic influences from artists such as Cluster/Harmonia/Ashra to other favourites such as Felt, Nick Drake and classic psych-folk loner, Gary Higgins. The record was mixed with the assistance of old friend Simon James from The Simon Sound and Black Channels who have previously released a massively successful 10” EP on Dealth Waltz records.

Listen to tracks from “Before The Heat at:

The LP and Digital versions can be pre-ordered at the Castles in Space bandcamp page:

Immediately forthcoming 2016 releases on Castles In Space include a new LP of wonderful urban hauntology from Concretism and a beautiful electronic LP from Australian Berlin School synth classicists, Kl(aüs).

Concretism – Beneath The City Streets

Castles in Space are proud to announce that as a precursor to a full LP scheduled for later this year, we will issue a highly limited, lathe cut single by Concretism.

“Beneath The City Streets” will be released in a numbered edition of 45 and will be initially offered for sale at the Independant Label Market in Spitalfields on Saturday, April 2nd.

If there are any remaining copies, they will be listed here on Sunday, 3rd April.