Out today: last two installments of our Aloha ‘Āina field recording series (Volumes 11 & 12)

Two years ago, we introduced a 12-part series of field recordings from Hawai‘i entitled Aloha ‘Āina. These soundscapes, captured in stereo throughout the Hawaiian Islands, are engineer Kit Ebersbach's ode to the archipelago.

Today we're finally releasing the final two installments in the series, volumes 11 and 12.


When we announced the first volume of the series on March 13 2020, the release was received with great enthusiasm from a global audience of listeners most of whom were stuck indoors at the outset of a years-long global pandemic. The recordings, culled from the deep archives of engineer and keyboardist Kit Ebersbach, whose hard drives run vast and deep with captured sounds from across the islands going back years, if not decades. 

In the early wake of the series' impact on listeners worldwide, London-based music journalist Anton Spice took note, the project speaking directly to his then-current situation: Spice, in the midst of lockdown, found himself stuck on the Isle of Muck, a tiny island located in northern Ireland. With little else to do, Spice spent his time recording soundscapes across the isle, eventually launching a project, Echo Location, and tapping musicians from around the world to remix/reinterpret his Muck field recordings. Before the launch of Echo Location, Spice reached out to us for an interview with Kit about Aloha ‘Āina, a piece that eventually became a feature-length career retrospective for the Honolulu-based keyboardist, who first moved to the Hawaiian islands in the 1960s from the East Coast.

"Whenever he can, the 75-year-old musician Kit Ebersbach heads out from his home in Honolulu to hike through Hawaii’s wild interior, Tascam in hand. More often than not, he follows his ears, the paths he takes determined by his curious and intrepid nature. Musically, he’s no different. “A number of times I have just gone in a different direction,” he says, sounding surprised at where his career has ended up. Aloha ‘Āina, a 12-volume collection of field recordings taken around Hawaii that Ebersbach dreamed up with Aloha Got Soul’s Roger Bong, is his latest destination. The recordings began as part of Hawaiian Airlines in-flight programming, which Ebersbach curates. They are meditative and organic, designed to flood the imaginations of vacationers with the gentle hum of paradise...
...Sometimes a plane will fly overhead, but much like the exotica of Don Tiki, Ebersbach is more interested in representing untouched fantasy than intrusive reality. The recordings function as “memories and photographs,” sonic postcards from a place beyond the horizon. Still performing with Hawaii’s most prominent vocalists, Ebersbach has begun unpacking his archive as source material for experimental recordings Untilities and Itchi Lee presents The Dalai Lawnmower (set to inaugurate a new AGS sublabel). An ambient suite, Moonbath, initially written for the new age channel on Hawaiian Airlines, was released last year.
“I’m intensely interested in things that are right on the edge of music and sound,” Ebersbach says, looking for a thread to tie his restless musical career together. Fittingly, the explanation is deceptively straight-forward. “Music is sound manipulated by spirit, that’s all it is. Go out and hike, and the music is there for you to listen to.”"
From The Winding Road of Hawaii’s Kit Ebersbach Goes From Jazz-Funk to Field Recordings, by Anton Spice, published on Bandcamp, July 24, 2020.


Since the inaugural release in March 2020, we've added nine more releases to the series with the intention of finishing up at 12 volumes. Why did it take three years to complete the series? Well, for one: we opened a brick-and-mortar vinyl record shop in Honolulu in the summer of 2021, which has since kept us busy and, in turn, requiring effort and attention that would've been reserved for the label side of Aloha Got Soul. But now, just as spring 2023 rounds the corner from a cold and rainy winter season, we've found our footing once again for the label's output. (Expect to see/hear more Kit Ebersbach releases throughout this month of March.)

We hope these final two volumes in our field recordings series transport you somewhere special, whether it's the feeling of home or an escape to distant Pacific paradise.

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