2015

Well, I don’t seem to have been up to much this year. This is the first posting of 2015, after all!

In reality, I’ve been uber busy teaching myself back-end web development, amongst other things – paid work took priority this year. No solo releases happened, but there were a few collaborations that sprang forth their fruit in such a way that I wasn’t too concerned about that after all.

As for 2016, I have two releases that will see the light of day, one of which is almost complete. Years in the making, as per usual. There will also be more collaborative work as follow-ups are (thankfully) required. Regards compilations, I will always try to submit to Necktar 2017 and Classwar Karaoke, but will likely do less for other comps. I’ve previously found myself on an unending treadmill of creating one comp track after another and the quality ultimately suffers.

So, back to 2015.. what did I do? Let’s see..

Collaborations…

Hyaena Fierling and Comrades – Fortran

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Hyaena Fierling and Comrades – Fortran

Fortran was a project that I’d contributed to a while ago, which was awaiting completion. Finally released on Travis Johnson’s fine label, Poverty Electronics, Fortran features several artist’s reworkings of tracks originally provided by HF. Mine are droney – what a surprise! Download the album:

Hyaena Fierling and Comrades – Fortran

 

Bill Rivers – Something In Between

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Bill Rivers – Something In Between

I’d sent Bill some processed guitar soundscapes a while ago and was pleased to find that it had made its’ way onto one of Bill’s solo releases, replete with sweet, motorik beat. Bill is also one half of duo, The Idiot Society – please check them out! Download the album:

Bill Rivers – Something In Between

 

D.N.P. V/S MUTATE – There was no future after all

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D.N.P. v/s MUTATE – There was no future after all

In contrast to the previous releases, this collaboration came together very quickly and didn’t take years to germinate; in no small part due to Chris D.N.P’s speediness. And what a treat! Unremittingly bleak, with barely any light to break the gloom, the album joyfully plays with endless dark atmospheres and acerbic textures that the more casual ‘dark ambient’ fan might shy away from. Massive brooding dronescapes provide backdrops upon which are sewn tiny horrors that build and dissipate, rising and crashing/smashing/burning out. TWNFAA is released on the lovely Petroglyph label – download it from:

D.N.P. v/s MUTATE – There was no future after all

 

Ars Sonor and MUTATE – Forward Thinking

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Ars Sonor and MUTATE – Forward Thinking

The material brought together on this release has been around a while – the work with Ars Sonor is one of my favourite and long-lived collaborations. Finally brought together in a single release, Forward Thinking showcases not only these epic tracks, but also the depth and power of production Ars Sonor brings. Get your headphones on, basically.

Released on my tiny label, Stray Recordings, the release is available to download in lossless formats from BandCamp at a small cost, or freely in MP3 format from the Internet Archive. Download the free release here:

Ars Sonor and MUTATE – Forward Thinking

 

Compilations…

Jasmina Olsson – Jasmina’s Song

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Jasmina Olsson – Jasmina’s Song

Well, a compilation of sorts. A while back, Ars Sonor organised some of her friends to produced reworkings of an electronic piano piece by Jasmina. Tracks came in all shapes and sizes, from seven different artists, each doing their own things. The album was released as a free download on Stray Recordings – you can get it from here:

Jasmina Olssen / Various Artists – Jasmina’s Song

 

Touched Two – The Remixes

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Touched Two – The Remixes

Touched Music are a label who, as well as releasing albums, etc,  have built a series of compilations from the electronic music field that have been very successful in raising funds for the Macmillan Nurses charity. As such, they have been able to include work from big and small names alike. We’re all human, after all.

Touched Two is a 120 track compilation, the theme of which was artists remixing previous Touch compilation tracks. All proceeds of this and any other Touched compilations go to Macmillan. Absolutely fantastic work from Touched and I’m very proud to be involved!

Download the compilation, and any of the other Touch compilations from here:

Touched Two – The Remixes

 

Live…

Well, I played a few live shows this year. Mutate in the Edwardian Tea Room, at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, organised by the wonderful Mr Andy Cooke. Mutate supporting Japanese noisesters Kawabata Mokoto (of Acid Mothers Temple) and K.K.Null at the Flapper and Firkin, organised by the also wonderful Andy Blackforest. I played as one half of Desposyni, alongside Sulcus Industries, ten:ten and Stephen R Burroughs’ Tunnels of Ah at Wolverhampton’s Clarendon Hotel, on a Too Cool for School night. Not bad, all in all.

 

So anyway…

Not so much ‘not busy’, as practically invisible in terms of self-publicising. Which is typical of me, though worse this year than usual, due to work commitments. I’ll try to be a little more forthcoming with updates in 2016.

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Kathodos and further..

New December solo release – ‘Monochrome’:

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Monochrome was put together after Andy @ Artapes said he should like me to put a tape out on his label. Inevitably, I was VERY keen to do so. Though timed as if two sides of a C60, as was originally intended, it took me so long to get the release ready that by the time it was, Artapes had stopped doing tape releases. Nevermind. You now have a release comprising two tracks, each 30 minutes long. Some dark, some light, some moiré between. Big thanks to Andy.

The release is now available from Artapes, iTunes/Amazon/Spotify, et al:

http://artapes.co.uk/2014/12/mutate-monochrome/

 

As well as Monochrome, I have brought forth a few tracks for compilations, etc:

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‘The Song of the Common Household Appliance’ appeared on Classwar Karaoke Survey 0028, available from here:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Classwar_Karaoke/Classwar_Karaoke_-_0028_Survey/

 

 

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A reworking of Sonologyst’s track ‘Andromeda’ appears on the newly released re-workings album, States of Morphology:

https://sonologyst.bandcamp.com/album/states-of-morphology-sonologyst-revisited

Twenty five artists provide re-workings of Sonologyst tracks. Please acquaint yourself with Sonologyst’s work via the above link, if you have not already done so.

 

 

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Finally, a track will appear on the coming edition of Necktar 2017 – this should see release by the end of December – I’ll include a link to it when it lands.

 

Various other stuffs:

My ultra-tiny label, Stray Recordings, has had a makeover, and hopefully looks the better for it. It needed a de-clutter on all levels. Two new releases are planned for this/next month – I’ll post when that happens.

Work also began on a Mutate/Crystal Set album, out as soon as, on Stray. Based on three long-form drone guitar jams, quite raw, to be fucked with and built upon. I’m keen that this comes out well.

Of note: I regularly do live sound for ‘Too Cool for School’, an experimental music night hosted in Birmingham, at the City Tavern pub. As such, I recently handled the live sound for Stephen Āh Burrough’s project, ‘Tunnels Of Āh’. Stephen is ex Head of David, and as such, is Birmingham alt-rock royalty (with zero heirs or graces). Really nice bloke – cool experience, frankly.

Well, that’s about it for 2014. Expect a release or two during 2015, of course. I may play live, if I’m lucky. I will continue to develop several audio-based Android apps that I will utilise live, as well as publish for free use. Details will appear here as and when.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays, been shitfaced, etc.

Dense Music

Opaque Studies I, released 1st May:

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Opaque Studies I comprises two single-take, improvised guitar soundscapes, and one piece built from layered manipulations of these recordings. There are no overdubs.

A while ago I started working with big ‘scapes built only from processed guitar and a solitary 2-second looper, in the hope that I could perform live with as dense a soundfield as The End of Bees ep. Previous efforts to create that TEOB sound live had been problematic. With this new setup, I was soon able to get surprisingly big sounds, and so pursued it further: playing live, recording the Visible Universe sessions, etc.

This release brings some of these experiments together so that a) they can be heard, and b) I can think about where I want to take this sound next. As is implied, I expect this to become a series of releases over time – I have a lot of these dense soundfields in the vaults and I think some are worth hearing.

Released on the lovely Surrism Phonoethics notlabel, you can get it here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/MUTATE/Opaque_Studies_I/

 

Other news:

I continue to perform live and work on new material with ambient/psychedelic/post-punk outfit, Lunar Obsid. Plush recordings soonish, I’d hope.

That’s it for now..

Fumbling into 2014

Lots been happening since my last post, back in November. Much busy on upcoming release, Opaque Studies I – more news soon. A few live appearances, a new band project, collaborations, some compilation tracks… the list appears to go on.

Today I’ll just cover the concrete things – here goes…

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Ars Sonor – The Second Circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ars Sonor has remastered & re-released the ‘Second Circle’ album. As with all Ars Sonor releases, the work is typically excellent. The album includes an AS/Mutate collaboration to boot. Get the album here:

http://artapeslabel.bandcamp.com/album/the-second-circle

 

Continuing the collaboration thread, I recently contributed some noises to the latest Mekano Set release:

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Mekano Set / Onde Spheriqué split

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A split with Onde Spheriqué, the Mek’s track ‘I Made You a Map’ is a 14 minute dream/drone fest of wonder. With added beats. Get it here:

http://prettyinnoise.bandcamp.com/track/the-mekano-set-i-made-you-a-map

 

Now on to the compilations.

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Necktar 2017 Vol 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed is back with Necktar 2017 Volume 6, the latest edition of this immense compilation. An unbelievable 151 tracks, including one from myself. Get it here:

https://archive.org/details/Necktar2017Volume6

 

There seems to be a few ‘Wheel of Fortune’ comps out there at the mo. I recently contributed to two of them:

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Genre Wheel of Fortune – Round 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genre Wheel of Fortune – Round 2 challenges artists to make a track that is a clash of two randomly chosen genres, so it can be quite a challenge / learning experience. Weirdly (or luckily) I was challenged to contribute an ambient/alt rock track. Get it here:

https://pimpmelon.bandcamp.com/album/genre-wheel-of-fortune-round-2

 

The other Wheel of Fortune comp comes from Argentinian netlabel, Kermesse Records:

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Kermesse Records – Wheel of Fortune #7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty one tracks of non-genre-specific goodness. Get it here:

https://archive.org/details/WheelOfFortune7-V.A.Compilation-KRnet036

 

Bringing the compilations to a close, we have the final installment of ‘To the Prettiest One’:

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To The Prettiest One, Volume 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At last, I manage to get my act together and contribute to the last in the series of the Discordian compilation from the Brownian e/Motion(s) label. Cheers Walter! Get it here:

https://brownianmotion.bandcamp.com/album/to-the-prettiest-one-volume-5

There are other compilation tracks / remixes / et al on the way, but news of them will come when they happen.

 

Finally, onto live news…

In November, I played additional guitar and devices for the Mekano Set at the Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton.

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My setup for The Meks gig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside the Meks tunes we revisited a couple of old tracks, going back to the Odeama/Stray Dog City days, with versions of Heatwave and Fires Made Safe. Was a pleasure to play these again. Even dragged the record deck along to add that authentic concréte.

December brought with it the opportunity to play a solo set for Max’s ‘Interzone V Xmas Special’ at the Old Moseley Arms, Birmingham:

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‘Twas a thoroughly pleasant evening with numerous Xmas-related short films being shown, all of which seemed to intersect Xmas and horror. Some seriously twisted and subsequently amusing stuff out there. It was also a good opportunity for me to do a very relaxed, slow-moving drone set relying on frequency interplay and stripped-down melody. Not overtly dark. It was well received, thankfully. I must say, many thanks to Max for putting me on…

The first gigs of 2014 came in the guise of a solo set and the debut showing of Lunar Obsid at the Bear Tavern, Bearwood.

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Mutate @ the Bear Tavern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, the Mutate set started with slow-moving frequency interplay, but with a much darker feel, eventually drifting into noise before finally coming back down with intertwining drones. It seemed to go well and was again well received. Filmed for later upload to the youtubes.

Next up was Lunar Obsid’s debut gig:

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Lunar Obsid – Two Hooligans & a Librarian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I initially saw Damian and Rich playing as the Crystal Set at a Freak Revival gig. I liked the echo guitar sound and asked if I could join them for one tune at their next gig. Thinking it a good idea to rehearse first, we arranged such and then I think by the second rehearsal I was pretty much in the band.

The gig at the Bear was the fifth time we’d played together and it went pretty well, I think. Video will be uploaded at some point soon. Guest vocals on two tracks were provided by HFR. Many thanks to Austin for putting us on.

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HFR guests on vocals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Lunar Obsid outing will be at Freak Revival on the 21st March.

I think that’s pretty much it for this posting. At first there wasn’t much to tell so I delayed and delayed until there was too much. Such is life…

 

Wrench Released

And so, a new release from moi:

MUTATE - WRENCH

WRENCH out now on Petroglyph Music

‘WRENCH’ is a return to the sound collage methods employed for the latter half of the first Mutate ep, back in 2008. Sitting somewhere between the fields of ‘dark ambient’ and ‘sound design’, the intent is to build an atmosphere or ‘space’ that is evocative for the listener.  It was a pleasure to work in this manner again – the work flowed and the tracks came together very quickly.

Regards my working methods: having no real plans, I drift from one interest to another, so each release can differ enormously – in this case I was gripped by a sudden enthusiasm and produced the material in a matter of days. Other projects can drag on for months, or years even.

Out now on the lovely Jørgensen/Martinsen netlabel, Petroglyph Music, you can get it from here:

MUTATE – WRENCH

Other news:

There are a few other projects that I would like to have released before the year is out – these are being worked on, sporadically. I also return to more frequent posts to SoundCloud and a general increase in my overall ‘output’ (how corporate!). On the live front, I have a gig or two on the horizon. As ever, I have no idea what approach I will take regards live performances.

My SoundCloud pages:

Mutate and Mutate2

Collaborations, appearances, live

Though solo releases have been thin on the ground recently, collaborations continue to bear fruit. And what fruit!

Work with Ars Sonor continues, with some textures and drones from myself appearing on a couple of recent releases:

Ars Sonor - The Second Circle

Ars Sonor – The Second Circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Second Circle’ is a deceptive brute of an album, drifting from pure atmospheres to downtempo, to dark techno. Awesomeness. Get it here:

http://sigilofbrass.bandcamp.com/album/the-second-circle

On to Ars Sonor’s latest release, ‘Exit’:

Ars Sonor - Exit

Ars Sonor – Exit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Exit’ delivers a complex web of electronica, dark atmospheres and monster beats. Simply astonishing stuff, it’s a true honour to be part of it. Get it here:

http://blackcirclerecords.bandcamp.com/album/exit

Next up, the latest EP from the Mekano Set, ‘The Three Thieves’:

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Mekano Set – The Three Thieves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another quality instalment of massive tunes, always with the persuasive beats and sophisticated, post-punk tinge. With some added noises from moi. Unstoppable. Get it here:

http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/the-three-thieves-ep

July brought with it a live set at Cookie’s wonderful Freak Revival night, upstairs at The Old Moseley Arms, in Birmingham. Fantastic pub, great little venue. The whole point of Freak Revival is to try out new ideas in the live context, so that’s exactly what I did.

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RBF3 – I’m on the flyer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, in August, I played Birmingham’s Radio Black Forest festival. RBF3 was a great day and I hope to play again! Numerous excellent acts played, though I was gutted that I missed Interlard whilst getting rid of the car. And surprise of the day: New Noveta. Excellent, fear/unease inducing performance art – loved it!

Finally, that fine compilation of experimental/outsider music, Classwar Karaoke is now in it’s 23rd edition:

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23. How could I resist? A recording from recent sessions appears on the comp, along with an accompanying video. And absolutely loads of other music. Thanks to Anthony and Jaan for doing the immense amount of work involved in organising and releasing CK. Amazing. Get it here:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Classwar_Karaoke/Classwar_Karaoke_-_0023_Survey/

On the horizon: further news regarding collaborations, some re-workings of other artist’s tracks and continued work on a new solo release. Slowly chipping away..