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!

 

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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.

Interstitial I

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.

Benefit album: the right to health

the right to health: a benefit album to help towards the healthcare costs of the founding member of naked city cinema

the right to health

‘the right to health…’ on Black Circle records

Black Circle records have released a benefit album in order to raise funds to offset medical bills for fellow underground musician, Faze Exile. In his own words:

“Elizabeth Veldon and black circle records have released a benefit album to help me pay the massive amount of medical bills I have incurred since being ill. Many amazing artists contributed to this and it’s enough to make me cry. I am so very touched and humbled by this effort. A very big thank you to everyone involved.”

The artists involved include Elizabeth Veldon, Ars Sonor, Anastasia Vronski, and To The Lovers Farewell, to name but a few – there are 26 tracks on this album. Including an exclusive track from myself. Get it from here:

the right to health

All funds raised go to Faze to help him pay his medical bills!

Collaborations

When they work, they’re a pleasure.

Last year I submitted several drone pieces to a friend of mine who releases under the Ars Sonor moniker. Her work is excellent and she has a penchant for dark dub, a genre which has a special place in my cold, twisted heart.

Such as it was, life got hectic and I lost track of what happened with the material. So here I am, bringing things up to date. First up:

Ars Sonor & Co - The End of a Road (L1mbo Central)

Ars Sonor & Co – The End of a Road (L1mbo Central)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End of a Road (L1mbo Central). This album comprises collaborative tracks throughout. Seventeen different artists appear on this album, including Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, Elizabeth Veldon, The Implicit Order and Hyaena Fierling Reich, to name but a few. It’s great. Have you heard it? Yeah, I KNOW. Oh, you’ve not heard it? Get it here:

Ars Sonor & Co – The End of a Road (L1mbo Central)

 

Ars Sonor & Co - The Outer Limits

Ars Sonor & Co – The Outer Limits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up. The Outer Limits. Again, an album where all tracks are collaborative. There are twenty artists featured on this album, including Bird Paradigma, (o)thers, Hal McGee and Bedawang. It’s cracking. Get it here:

Ars Sonor & Co. – The Outer Limits

 

IFAR - Beat Sounds from Way Out Volume 4

IFAR – Beat Sounds from Way Out Volume 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, my first appearance on an IFAR compilation. This is a collaboration on a compilation. If that makes sense? The track in question is a worthy redux of ‘Oceanic Tide’, from End of a Road. Get it here:

IFAR – Beat Sounds from Way Out Volume 4

Anything else?

Currently there are several other collaborations in the pipeline, ranging from recorded material only, to potential live performances and maybe even a ‘band’. There’s more to come from the ongoing collaboration with Ars Sonor too.

On top of that, I have a load of solo material to work on and some contributions to compilations that I need to get done, quickly! This year will be different. Time to get on with stuff.

Necktar 2017 Volume 5

Necktar_2017, Volume 5

Necktar_2017, Volume 5

I’ve been contributing to Ed’s ongoing Necktar compilation since Volume 2, back when I was struggling to get heard, let alone included on such things.

He’s stuck with me ever since, and now here we are with Volume 5 and another contribution.

I like this comp because: a) Ed is a lovely man, b) it is always theme driven, and c) it’s a freely downloadable affair with much variety. 115 tracks this time. Not so dissimilar from that other great, Classwar Karaoke.

When the people behind these things are genuinely likeable, doing all that work in putting these things together, for all the right reasons, I feel honoured to be included. With Necktar, I hope to be there with Ed till the bitter end!

Please check out the homepage of Necktar 2017, Volume 5.

To listen or download, visit Necktar’s page on the Internet Archive.

Days pass by..

Stray Dogs in the urbans

Stray Dog City rears it’s head again in this blog, and will continue to do so, due to it’s continuing importance to me. It’s a way to push forward differently, through a glass, darkly.

No rules, no compromise.

The past couple of days spent drinking, ranting, and recording for what will likely be a series of releases, or an album. Improv, the SDC way. What was felt was recorded. What happened, happened. Winging it the only way we know. We play in the ‘studio’ as if it were live, this being the primal impetus – can you play it live?

Further work/recording will be done over the next few days, with more rediscovery of our concrète past. I need to do the charity shops for classical vinyl. And get more beers in. It’s going to be a big one.

We have a low-profile presence – go listen:

http://www.straydogcity.org.uk/

Dark dubs for dark days.

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