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…

 

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Meks Do Dark Waters

The Meks @ Dark Waters 2013

It’s either I wear the hood, or you’re blinded by my shiny pate…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally I work with the Mekano Set, contributing the odd slice of noise to recordings, or appearing live. A few weeks ago I stood in on noise guitar duties at this year’s Dark Waters festival in Nottingham, providing a mixture of supporting melodies, live loops and textures. Due to geographic factors, we did not get a chance to rehearse as a trio, so I put a lot of time into rehearing along to the studio recordings. It went well.

The venue and sound was great – the lighting was incredible!

The Meks @ Dark Waters 2013

Gratuitous *me* shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of all, big thanks must go to the event organisers, who did a great job of looking after us, even to the point of putting us up for the night. It was me who ate all the ciabatta and humous – I admit it.

Here’s a recording of Speak in Riddles from the night – enjoy!

 

Interstitial I

I posted a while ago about the idea of releasing solo live sets as a separate, ongoing series, because every time I play live it’s unplanned, differs from my studio material, and as such, is hopefully of interest. So here we are with the first release: Interstitial I.

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Interstitial I – released on suRRism Phonoethics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This release covers two live sets from Birmingham Artsfest, back in 2011. The first set was downstairs at the Bodega Bar, which was a calmer affair, and then a second, heavier set at the CBSO hall. As with any of my live releases there’s a little post-production, but certainly no overdubs. Get it here:

MUTATE – Interstitial I

Importantly, this is my first full release on suRRism-Phonoethics, a fantastic notlabel run by the enormously enthusiastic and creative Jaan Patterson. I appeared on his ‘Peak the Source’ compilation series a few years back and look forward to releasing more on sPE_. Go visit the label site:

suRRism Phonoethics

…and if you want to check out the Peak the Source compilation series, go here:

Peak the Source

Now to get back to work – there are various other projects pending and ideas in the pipeline.

Donau/Tejo @ Mo.ë

Mo.ë

Mo.ë

Vienna is quite pleasant, even when you’re skint. The public transport is great; having no enforcement staff is liberating. Most buy tickets and no one mugs you. The usual sounds of a city are pleasantly accompanied by the ever-present ticking of the automatic pedestrian crossing units, whose relays distinctly announce a countdown to the green man’s next appearance. Sometimes s/he can be seen wearing something that looks like a cowboy hat, to me anyway. Get a few of those ticking boxes in close proximity and you have a ready-made time-shifting Cage experience, which I enjoyed immensely. Was gutted I didn’t have my minidisc and stereo mic, but that’s another story. Vienna; efficient, pretty. All very clean and not a hint of antagonism. No pissed-up, hell-bent fucktards roaming the streets in the early hours. I was surprised at just how safe it felt, but then maybe I’m desensitized toward that sort of thing. Coming from England.

Donau/Tejo flyer

Donau/Tejo flyer

The Donau/Tejo project was all about “the musical exchange between the Austrian and Portuguese free improvisation scene”, with a few aberrations from the Czech Republic, Argentina and of course, England. The whole project ran for a week, during which workshops and various performances were made around Wein. Due to an astonishing, and fiery, act of g0d, I was only able to attend the last day.

As I’d missed all the fun, it seemed to me that the previous few days had been utilised producing a strategy that would guide the ensemble during the final performance. Reni wrote out the plan on the blackboard, we sat and digested it for a while, and eventually, off we went. The players were organised into four separate groups so that the sound, though contiguous, would drift around the room, back and forth between each group, as the strategy dictated. The instructed interplay between separate players from each group bore some astonishing results. I was buzzing. Each group covered different areas, some using strung acoustic instruments, some brass/woodwind; I was in the ‘electronics’ group, inevitably.

Me with ever-present beer, Ana Cordeiro Reis, mangling with laptop, Leo Betinelli on 'thundersheets' & Paulo Chagas with oboe

Me with ever-present beer, Ana Cordeiro Reis mangling with laptop, Leo Betinelli on ‘thundersheets’ & Paulo Chagas with oboe

I didn’t take all my ‘stuff’. Too expensive to cart guitars around the world by plane, it seems. Someone’s gotta do something about that. The plague of all travelling musicians. So instead of live soundscaping, I used Ableton’s Session mode to ad-hoc layer guitar textures, spoken word, analogue synth and shortwave recordings I’d prepared earlier, in true Blue Peter fashion. First time using Ableton’s Session View for live performance since the, so far, one and only Wülfstabber gig, and it worked like a dream. I wish Ableton would pay me to say things like that. Whatever, I was impressed and will use the same approach again.

I think it went well. I enjoyed it immensely! There is recorded evidence of the whole project, track 7 in particular being the performance at Mo.ë, to be found at the following:

http://archive.org/details/DonauTejo

Everlasting thanks go to Gloria and Reni, whom organised the whole thing, gave me somewhere to stay and showed me around the city. You lovely people!

The performers:

Gloria Damijan, Toy Piano
Reni Weichselbaum, Recorders
Paulo Chagas, Oboe
Luis Vicente, Trumpet
Michael Zacherl, Percussion, Electronics
Max Bogner, Guitar, Objects, Electronics
Leo Betinelli, Electronics
Manon Bancsich, Piano, Citar
Christine Schorkhuber, Ringmikrophones
Gabi Teufner, Flute
Bernhard Schoberl, Guitar
Veronika Mayer, Electronics, Akkordeon
Bernhard Schoberl, Guitar
Ana Cordeiro Reis, Electronics
Ade Bordicott, Electronics
Petr Vrba, Trumpet, Electronics
Several unknown players