Ok…… this was unexpected. I’ve put together 10 tracks that I’m rather happy with (and 3 I’m not so happy with). The three tracks are going to be released as outtakes on a free (it couldn’t be any other way) ep on the CutMat Bandcamp page.
The album itself has been brought forward. I’d planned on a Spring/Summer release, as I thought it would take much longer to put the tracks together. But, as it’s turned out, I was hit by the noisy music stick and I seem to have produced enough music for an album. About 45 mins worth; which is long enough I think. Too much can outstay its welcome.
So: the album is called ‘Last Test’…it’s got nothing to do with cricket or the formal assessment of high-school pupils. 10 tracks: noise, quieter and more melodic bits, rawk and …erm…roll. I’m going to be sending out previews this week and will release the album on 1st February. It’ll be pay-as-you-want, as per usual, at Dementio13.com. Incidentally, there’s a track called “This Is My Mid-Life Crisis And You’re Listening To It” on there. Make of that what you will.
In the meantime, you can check some early previews here.
As usual, all I ask is that you share, tweet, torrent, tell yer mates.
Ok….here are six new tracks…well, recent and, apart from ‘Zenit’, unheard (except by me!). They’re earmarked for the next album but, depending on how many tracks I put together, may not end up making it to the final cut….we’ll see.
The album will be available around mid-April I reckon and is provisionally titled “Last Test”.
I try to share stuff I’ve done quite regularly. Not only is it a means of ‘Shameless Self-Promotion’™, but it is also a means of self-gratification….I seriously like it when people get something for nothing. Perverse, isn’t it?
Well, despite (or maybe because of) having no siblings, I do like a good share.
I’m currently making new music…..but there’s not much new stuff which I’ve ‘published’ lately.
So here’s some older stuff you may, or may not, have been aware of; a majority of which can be downloaded for free.
2012 was pretty eventful, wasn’t it? No? Oh, OK…please yourself. I thought it was a rather good year actually….Personally, it was a blinder: music, work, travel, friends, family…..all was good.
The Olympics were good too.
Anyway, what will 2013 bring? Well, there will definitely be new releases from Cwtch and Dementio13. In fact, I’ve already got the vocal files on my hard disk for at least one new Cwtch song. There will be a new Dementio13 album available in Spring/Summer (date tba)….I have lots of stuff in my head at present: tunes; titles and an album cover. All I’ve got to do is record the damn thing! Can’t wait to get started on it properly……which will probably be around 2pm tomorrow!
In the meantime, here’s a new track which may appear on the new album in a slightly different form. It appears on the album ‘Into The Light’. Dandelion Radio DJ, Mark Whitby has compiled a three ‘disc’ downloadable album of music that’s been played on his show in 2012. All proceeds go to the freedom-of-speech campaign for Pussy Riot.
As is customary at this time of year, one tends to evaluate, reminisce and review the past twelve months. It’s a pre-requisite for the act of moving forward; hence the tradition of getting all misty eyed about the previous year and then making resolutions about the coming year: I’m going to lose weight; I’m going to work harder/less; I’m going to be more understanding in a relationship; I’m going to devote more time to family & friends; etc.
Well, I’m no exception. I’ve got quite a bit to look back on, musically, from the past year; and I’ve got a fair bit to look forward to.
So, besides the Olympics, economic decline and the impending apocalypse; what happened for Dementio13 in 2012?
I released two albums, both of which I’m very proud of, for a start: “Crash St.” in March and “El Lissitzky” in June were released fairly soon after one another, but had been in the recording and pre-production stage for around six months previously. They were the culmination of everything I’ve done musically during the past 10 years and so, I feel, they were my best work to date. My music’s not to everyone’s taste; some think it’s too diverse, some think it’s not tough/experimental enough, some think it’s too gentle and that’s their prerogative. However, I attempt to find a balance between tunefulness and experimentalism when I record….that’s where I’m at. With these two releases, I tried to do that as well as paying homage to all the music I like and know by the artists that formed my musical tastes. ‘El Lissitzky’ was as much about Factory Records as it was about Russian Constructivism. Here’s my favourite track from ‘Crash St.’:
2012 was also a time to discover new music; by both ‘established’ artists and DIY independents. Suffice to say, that’s a distinction which is fairly irrelevant, as the quality of both categories is indistinguishable from one another. My shortlist (if I was compiling such a thing) would certainly include Matt Stevens and his band The Fierce And The Dead. ‘Guitar heroics’ is a term often used to describe viking-like rock posturing; however, Stevens plays with fluent, sometimes humorous, invention with a knowing wink to rock’s slightly absurdist past. There are also lots of great references to film music and multiple genres which lift this music above rock self-reverence. Another candidate for my fave music of the year must certainly be Colin Robinson of Big Block 454, Churn Milk Joanand Jumble Hole Clough. The latter of these three projects show him to be a masterful exponent of restraint (especially compared to the wonderful Dadaist energy of BB454), creating atmospheres and spaces rather than grooves and noise. Lastly in this short shortlist would be Steve Kelly (aka the now defunkt SK123) in his guises as Macerator and Douglas Deep. Electronic music is a splintered affair…….the sonic possibilities offered by technology often can lead to too many options for the musician. Therefore, it’s often necessary to invent multiple personas to delineate between the stylistic differences of one’s output, as Kelly has done. He employs as much skill in his use of computers, controllers and his sound-palette as the previously mentioned artists do with guitars and effects. Beats are his ouevre, though he is deft at creating atmosphere as well. His music is invigorating, inventive and vastly underrated. All three of these artists have released quality music this year and they’ve also proven to be jolly fine people as I’ve either met, or conversed with them; they’ve also been great supporters of independent music; I can’t recommend them enough.
There are also a handful of people deserving of thanks for their continued support of my own music. The writer and musician Oli Arditi has reviewed and promoted my main releases this year as both Dementio13 and Cwtch. His writing style is rare in that it explores cultural theory in an extremely wordy and eloquent way while conveying a sense of enthusiasm and non-elitism. As music blogs go, it’s as much a lesson in context and structure as it is a review of music; and makes for a refreshing and informative read. Arditi does not treat us as idiots and rather than ‘dumbing down’, he ‘clevers up’! I am now a regular reader of his blog as I know that, even if I have no intention of listening to the music he is writing about, it will always make for an interesting read. Then there’s Dandelion Radio…..what these guys (particularly Mark Whitby and Pete Jackson) have done for my music is immeasurable. In playing to a large and loyal listener-base, Dandelion have helped promote and disseminate independent/DIY music further than any artist on a tight budget could do so. In February and April, I performed two live mixes for Mark and Pete respectively.
Right, I think that covers most bases for now……apologies if I’ve missed you out but time is fairly short and this could turn into quite a tome if I were to mention everyone who has supported my efforts (and there are many of you). I’m adding the finishing touches to Laurence Made Me Cry‘s album mix today. Then I’m off to post it to Jo (who’s been patiently waiting for ages for me to get it ‘right’!). Her album’s out on 11th March 2013 and is thoroughly recommended…I should know as I’m now very familiar with these tracks!
Have a great Christmas and I’ll see you on the other side….
As it’s the time for giving and I’ve been relatively quiet on the ‘making-my-own-music’ front….here’s a free download of a mix I did a while back on my (now gone) Yamaha RM1x. Seventeen minutes of (slightly over-compressed! Which is actually how I wanted it) bleepy, blippy, melodic electronica….play it after Christmas dinner to lull the relatives to sleep! Anyhow, it’s free……
Secondly, I recently recorded a track for Unwashed Territory’s end-of-year charity compilation. It’s exclusively for the compilation album, so no downloads. But I made a little video for it.
There’s a lot going on for me at present, so I may not get another chance to post here before Christmas….so I’ll wish you all a great Xmas and New Year.
As the days are getting shorter, the daylight greyer, the rain colder and the workload greater, there’s been little musical activity over here at Dementio Towers lately. Apart from the ongoing mixing of Laurence Made Me Cry‘s lovely album….which should be finished in a week or so, I reckon.
I have, however, been struck by some musical ideas of my own and I can safely say that I’m going to start recording new material in the new year. I’m hoping to release an album in the spring/summertime. I’ve no idea what it’s going to sound like, but as I strive to make each release sound a bit different from the last, I can estimate that there may be a ‘change of direction’.
Apart from LMMC, there is some rather cool stuff coming from other musicians however. One of which is an intriguing project entitled Contranym. The ‘band’ comprises Terry Bergin (FK:Dup), Ian Thistlethwaite and Gem Witchalls (Tangerine Puppet). Their debut ep, ‘Aloha’ displays a confident grasp of musicianship and production in the merging of several, seemingly divergent, genres: electronica (particularly dubstep); folk-pop and traditional reels. This kind of fusion isn’t normally my thing, to be honest, but I’ve been seduced by it’s inventive production, infectious tunes and sheer energy. Good stuff and worth a purchase.
Also of note is Colin Robinson’s (Big Block 454 / Churn Milk Joan) very different solo project Jumble Hole Clough. Lovely guitar-led atmospheres and (again) inventive sound-scaping make the album ‘Three Bags Of Madder’. It’s an evocative mix and quite different from the brilliant odd psychedelic rock/electronics of BB454. Another recommendation.
I also recommend that you actually buy these releases as, though these musicians are by no means impoverished, funding from sales helps to finance future releases, enabling more ambitious projects. For a few quid (a couple of Costa coffees!) you can show your support for the artists as well as get that lovely warm tingle of satisfaction that you’re not pandering to the corporate Godzillas.
Finally, it’s getting towards Christmas and that means it’s ‘Festive Fifty’ time over at Dandelion Radio. For the uninitiated, Dandelion is an independent radio station set up to continue the ethos of the great John Peel’s long-running BBC music show. Many 30 to 70-somethings will have fond memories of staying up late as teenagers to clandestinely listen to JP play the obscure, weird, revolutionary and staunchly independent music of the likes of Half Man Half Biscuit, The Fall, Joy Division and thousands of bands long forgotten. It was reactionary and educational as well as downright fun. His Xmas ‘Festive 50′ chart, voted for by listeners, was the highlight of the yuletide festivities for many. And so, Dandelion have been trust-keepers of the FF since JP’s death. You can pop over to their site and vote for your top three releases of 2012….they don’t need to have been played on Dandelion; but bare in mind that it’s a dead cert that One Direction won’t be appearing on the list!
Sunday morning…… nice. Sunshine….nicer. However, some prick has dumped a smashed pineapple (from someone’s trash by the looks of it) all over my front garden; which isn’t so nice, as I have to clean it up.
Aaanyway, this is going to be one of those posts where I repeat myself repeat myself from some previous posts, so apologies if this all sounds vaguely familiar.
First off, I just want to share some music which I’ve been enjoying for a few years now; which you might not be aware of. But, if you like the kind of music I like (and surely, if you read this regularly, you know what that music is), I am sure you’ll love Sand. Their two albums “Still Born Alive” and “The Dalston Shroud” have been on very heavy rotation on my iPod.
“Influenced by the New York Art/Punk scene of Sonic Youth, The Swans, Liquid Liquid, this is the group’s follow up to “Still Born Alive” (Soul Jazz Records, 2003) and ‘Beautiful People are Evil’ (Soul Jazz Records, 2001). This new album brings in a number of guest vocalists – Norwegian experimantalist artist/singer Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje as well as Austrian cabaret singer Louie Austen (Kitty Yo Records) who provides a chilling vocal on the Patrick Pulsinger produced “Doctor Crop”. Sand have performed onstage accompanied by cows and sheep for the Japanese Ballet troupe Karas. They have also performed at the Vienna Opera House alongside techno guru Patrick Pulsinger In 2005 they composed and performed a new soundtrack to the Tarkovsky film “Stalker” at the ICA as well as toured cinemas with a series of specially comissioned work from video artists. This new album (“The Dalston Shroud”) was recorded in Paris, Tokyo, Vienna and York in 2006.”
This is seriously good music, going beyond ‘spanning genres’; it includes elements of punk, funk, avant-garde experimentalism, no-wave stylings, the harder end of contemporary jazz, dubstep, krautrock and electro. Noise and groove often collide in Sand’s aural universe; as does drama and beauty. Go check them out.
Next, I’m eagerly awaiting audio files from Laurence Made Me Cry so I can get started mixing the songs for her new album in a week or two. This is exciting stuff for me, especially as, for once, I’m working on someone else’s music as a co-producer. What I’ve heard so far sounds lovely. And here, once again, is my contribution to the album (apart from as a producer) on the song ‘Intelligent Mr Toad’ (version 2):
The track seems to be going down well, getting airplay on Adam Walton’s BBC Wales show and Tom Robinson’s BBC6Music show, as well as on a few podcasts and Amazing Radio.