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!



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:

Dark dubs for dark days.

Donau/Tejo @ 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:

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


No one in the mirror

MUTATE - No one in the mirror

MUTATE – No one in the mirror

Finally, it’s here. I say ‘finally’, though the anticipation was all mine.. I’d made Ingenmansland available last August, replete with vintage Chernobyl video footage, but numerous production problems dragged the whole project down (see previous post, ‘Audio Hell’), subsequently stalling my output in general. So I made no effort to publicise it; not that I have any highly effective routes into the mass public awareness.

Released last Friday on the wonderful Black Square netlabel (enormous thanks to AlexZ) – so far lots of downloads, which is a new experience for me – thanks to all downloaders! Speaking of which, get it from here:

And if you want to see that vintage Chernobyl footage:

Ingenmansland  on the Youtubes

I suppose I should do something else now.

Audio Hell

I wish to coin a new phrase. Playback Hell.

Been working on an ep since 2011. Some of the tracks, I wasn’t really happy with, but the main stumbling block putting me off finishing them was that they sounded terrible outside of the DAW. I’d have them on my MP3 player and the bottom-end would be flickering up and down, all glitchy like. Some sections sounded dirty as if the DAW couldn’t handle the enormous bottom-end I was employing – very much like tape saturation. And instead of the reverb tailing off as it should, it would break down nastily as the volume ebbed. Something just seemed disastrously wrong.

So I reinstalled the mastering plug-in that I was using, to fix the reverb problem. Several times. To no avail. After much trial and error, I found that the default threshold setting of the expander in the multiband harmonics section was set too high. I know – it should’ve been obvious.. *rolls eyes*

That was the reverb fixed, but what of the rest of it? Too much bass? Really?

Ignoring this madness, I finally got the tracks to the point where I was convinced they were 99% complete, and listened on my MP3 player – I like to give them a few days of listening to see if there are any last tweaks to be done. Some tracks sounded fine.. some sounded awful. The glitching and saturation thing was still there. So I listened to them in the DAW and they were fine. I listened to them in the mastering app I use and they were fine. Jesus Harold Christ.

I then played them back in Windows Media Player (I still use XP) and they sounded.. awful. Must be the MP3 encoding, I thought, so I listened to the wavs in Media Player – still crap. Yes, I know it’s Media Player, but it doesn’t usually do this. Sinking feeling abounds. I relay this to someone and they suggest I listen back using VLC, as they’re not hearing the problems I’m describing.. I do and the tracks sound perfect, wavs or MP3s. Good old VLC.

What is the point of all this whining? Well, I guess I’m concerned that other’s playback devices/apps/whathaveyou won’t do the tracks justice. No one else who’s heard the ep has said anything about audio glitching, and it could just be that I’m in my very own Playback Hell, but it still concerns me.

My MP3 player is hardly a cheap thing – it’s a decent Philips device. I’d imagine Mac users won’t get these problems, but if you’re using Windows, get the lovely VLC – there are many reasons to use it, not least it being able to achieve the mighty feat of playing back audio as it was intended.

So, beware of your playback choices, because they may be interpreting audio differently to how the originator wanted. Which is pretty ridiculous.


The lovely TG lightning flash, aka the Spiders From Mars backdrop!

Hmmm… TGCD1.

I’d read about Throbbing Gristle in an old copy of Spiral Scratch magazine I’d bought because it contained a detailed Bauhaus article. So enamoured was I, that I didn’t notice the TG section till later. Spiral Scratch was a record collectors magazine that would review bands and their discography in extensive fashion, which appealed to my obsessive tendencies. Not so much a record collector myself, but when I get into a band, I want to know all about them and I’ll get their back catalogue and listen to it for months and months. And months.

The article was fascinating – their whole aesthetic, their fierce independence and general ‘anti’ stance. I didn’t feel there was any meanness in what they did, no real message of HATE, but I definitely felt they were ‘dangerous’. And enormously compelling.

So I think sometime around 1993 I saved my pennies and bought TGCD1. I was skint and CD’s were expensive – I think it cost me £15 from Virgin – a small fortune to me back then. I got it home and with bated breath and great expectations, I put it in the CD player and listened. My face scrunched-up into a ‘what the fuck is this?!’ expression and I started hitting FastForward, hoping it would ‘improve’. It didn’t.

I wasn’t about to piss £15 away, so I gave it a good few listens, but still, I was unimpressed. On the whole.. The last 15 minutes or so, that was definitely much more interesting to my ears, though. And when the rhythmic synth line kicks-in at 32:20… woah. I realised there was something there. I remember sitting in the flat with the lights off, listening to that particular section and having an epiphany. I still thought little of the rest of the album, but that section was AMAZING.

Anyway, I taped the thing and took it back to the shop to get my money back. Food was more important than a disappointing album purchase!

Maybe a year later I came across a dirt cheap copy of Mission of Dead Souls. Being a lover of live albums, my interest was piqued again. And anyway, it was £6. This time there was no turning back, the thing was incredible, time had enabled what I’d gleaned from TGCD1 to do it’s work, as if I’d learnt a new language and suddenly it all made sense.

Needless to say, my collection now contains everything TG I’ve ever been able to get my hands on. Most of it, then. They became an enormous influence and I voraciously soaked-up everything I could find about and of them. Which was not so easy in the 90’s, when the web was not at all as ubiquitous as now and I was still skint! My ears and mind opened-up massively. Not that I was a musical ignoramus, but I definitely had my head up my arse much moreso than I did post-TG.

They influenced my approach to making music; my approach to using the studio – ever since I’d started making my own music, I’d always had that alternative slant that I’d picked up from my love of post-punk. ‘Playing’ the studio as if it were an instrument appealed to my love of sound and my general techy interests, so it was nothing new to me, but TG seemed to give me new found impetus to do so; they inspired me to focus more on the possibilities that my limited equipment offered. I say studio – it was a desert-storm damaged mixer (the roof had blown off a warehouse somewhere in the Middle East) that I’d bought cheap and repaired (I still use it), some guitar effect pedals, a domestic hifi tape recorder, a couple of drum machines, one of those crappy Yamaha keyboards you got in school’s music departments and a beloved Atari ST.

Making the most of what I had and making my own equipment became the order of the day. I’d always been interested in electronic music (having been exposed to ‘Oxygene’ and ‘Autobahn’ when I was little) and in the ensuing years, I became very interested in early computer music and musique concrète – I wanted to play with tape machines and vinyl.

By 1996 I’d met a like-mind and we formed Stray Dog City, a unit interested in improvisation within a framework, post-punk (ethereal or not), soundscapes, playing the studio, and being able to do it all live, which we managed to do with great success. I don’t mean we were successful in terms of a career in music, but that’s always been beside the point anyway. I just mean it worked, it worked well and I consider it a milestone of immense proportions in terms of my music output.

Is TGCD1 to blame for all of this? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely quite nice. You can hear it in it’s entirety here:

TGCD1 on the Youtubes

Interstices – an interval between things or parts

Not having any structures, plans or fixed ideas about performing can mean that I never really know what’s going to happen once I start playing.

To be fair, variation is in all performance, though less obvious in the outpourings of the strictest of performers, but the level of variation I’m referring to here is to the point at which I’ll only decide what equipment to take to a gig not long before I leave. And anyway, I’m normally running late. I may well put a lot of thought into the whole escapade – I’m hardly unthinking. Trying to get an old TR606 to reproduce dubstep patterns can piss the hours away.

The point is that every gig is different and sounds different. Mood, atmosphere, equipment et al, all conspire to affect the outcome. I stopped taking the laptop after just one gig, frustrated by the time it took for sequences to load and not really wanting to be a laptop pilot anyway. Of course, I could exploit Ableton’s excellent live facilities, but I simply prefer to use an instrument, like the sad old curmudgeon that I am. And of course, I’m sitting here now thinking I could make good use of the Mukebox… so maybe the laptop will make an appearance after all.

Slowly but surely I wend my way toward the point. I have not been working so much on my ‘studio’ releases for a good few months now, and as such have had little to say. Yes, I have a solo EP or two in the pipeline, but I don’t really want to churn them out like boxes of cornflakes – I’d rather work on them when the time is right, until they eventually see the light of day. But in the meantime? It would appear to most that I have little to say. A couple of side-projects have seen a lot of my attention, but Mutate has been mostly quiet.

And so it dawned on me that I should begin releasing my live performances as a series, that kinda runs as a separate stream to my studio releases. After all, I don’t even consider attempting to perform any of the material I decompose in the ‘studio’, choosing instead to simply improvise from scratch. No beats from fave tracks, etc. OK, so I might take the 606 and it might be pre-programmed with a beat, but it won’t be something I’ve lifted from one of my studio recordings. It will invariably get live-edited/messed-with while I perform anyway. (I say ‘perform’, but in reality I’m devoid of charisma and stage presence.)

So begins the ‘Interstices’ series – a slow trickle of live recordings, nicely mastered and released onto various netlabels and the like. When there is no latest EP to release, there may well be a new live release to fill the gap. If I have decent video footage, then I’ll get it up on Youtube. You can witness me making an enormous wall of sound, whilst seemingly doing very little. And I’ll probably look awkward, but hopefully ‘thoughtful’.

First up is the recording of my last solo set at Birmingham’s wonderful Ort Cafe. Mastering work is underway, so it won’t be long before it’s complete. Promise I won’t take forever.

Long live the gaps between!

Visible Universe ‘Live at Ort’

Visible Universe - Live at Ort

Live at Ort

This is the second time Visible Universe have recorded, this time to capture their debut gig. Big on improvisation without rehearsal, they’ve only played together twice so far, each session having been recorded and released.

“But who is this Visible Universe?”

Visible Universe is myself and Alex Charles, soundscaping as if our lives depended on it. Often they do. I handle guitar drones, while Alex provides vocal drones – in this way, we play off each other, the drones intertwining so much that it becomes hard to distinguish one sound source from another. Started on a whim, after a Senor Citizen rehearsal, the result was so positive that we decided to carry on in the same vein. Massive PA’s, smoke and lighting being our (my) ultimate goal.

‘Live at Ort’ is now available from Stray HQ and Bandcamp.