A Semblance Of Something

For a long time I did my own thing whilst craving some form of acceptance as a musician. I worried about whether the music was ‘good’; trying to hear it through other people’s ears instead of just making it because I enjoyed the process. Now, I find the process of making more important; I care less about who’s going to like it and just put it out there. That’s not to say I don’t care about my audience, I do…..but having an audience (small, or ‘niche’, in my case) kind of happened by accident. However, I probably have spent too much time and effort worrying about whether people will actually like the music and occasionally trying to make it fit.

It appears that most of my audience are musicians also. So, the music has become a kind of meeting place and an exchange: of good-will, of ideas, of collaboration, of encouragement. And several of my collaborations and remixes have come about through having bought/downloaded other artists’ music because I liked it (naturally), or having my music owned by them.

So what? You may ask.

Well, I’ve had a few changes of heart and mind in the last year or so. As Dementio13, I actively sought promotion through social media, radio, podcasts, etc. It helped build an audience which was never huge, but was steady and slowly growing. To my great surprise, people actually seemed to like the music; which still does mystify me. But the identity and  music, for me, had become a bit of a drudge; ideas were stale, except for the several collaborations I did which brought in somebody else’s creative input and helped boost my own. Hence a change of identity for my music. Out with D13 and in with The Night Programme. To be honest, the music hasn’t changed that much. However, my working practises have…..and my creative outlook too. I’m now not so concerned about promotional stuff; though, I guess, I am engaging in a form of self-promotion now as I type this. And, as day-job demands are great, I need to focus my energies more usefully, music-wise.

I have felt a need to compartmentalise things. My music as D13 is fairly varied….spanning between electro and acid, through drum & bass, via krautrock and radiophonics, to found-sounds, drones and ambience. That’s a broad church and it reflects my sometimes scattergun approach to my music. As The Night Programme I’ve tried to narrow things down a bit…as I said, compartmentalise. However, I want to take this further.

I’ve watched two musicians whose work I admire greatly change their respective musical identities and diversify their output. Steve Kelly (Macerator, Douglas Deep and Manfred Hamil) and Ash Cooke (Pulco, Chow Mwng, Recordiau Prin) have both focused on creating different identities for their various eclectic styles. I’ve done the same over the years but never quite stuck with it…always returning to D13 as a default. So now, I need a separation from Dementio13. Not total, as I’ll still come back to this identity for collaborations and remixes, but I’ll be focusing on various different guises.

Ash Cooke posted a great little article on his Dukes Of Scuba Facebook page the other day. One which really chimed with me and which kind of sums up what I’ve just been self-indulgently droning about for the last few paragraphs. Give it a read to see what I mean (also contains footage of an interesting seminar with great guest speaker Simon Reynolds). Without really realising it, and being instilled with post-punk and DIY attitudes since my teens, I am what could be described as a ‘subscriber of the No Audience Underground ethos. And it’s liberating……not being concerned with what is popular or being accepted, or even being heard. I feel like the shackles are off.

I’ll still be releasing subscriber-only stuff on Dementio13.com, but my new home is here. I set this Bandcamp account up a while ago, as I was going to release Diebenkorn and Wint & Kidd music through it, but it never went public and I ended up releasing the music through Dementio13.com anyway (it’s still there for subscribers only). Semblance Recordings is where I am now: it’ll have no Twitter, no Facebook page, it’ll be free/pwyw as usual, some alter-egos, maybe some guests; all Night Programme stuff will be released through here. It feels good to make a new start and start a new journey…….with, or without, an audience. Like throwing a random record in a skip; the music will just exist; whether it’s found or not doesn’t matter.


Happy Happy Joy Joy

New music’s taking some time to come together. I’ve been doing lots of strange little improvisations and snippets in the short snatched moments when I’m not working/doing life stuff, but have not bothered to record them. This festive break may be a good time to get down to business after the festivities.

Anyway, hope you all have a wonderful time with those that matter.


Looking Forward To… Dion And The Magic Chords – ‘Gestalt’

Way back when, I used to write reviews for the Echoes & Dust music site. Time management and a lack of motivation put an end to that. But I still get sent preview links to some fantastic music, which is great for me, but a disappointment for the artists involved as I have to explain that I don’t write for them any more and would hardly have time to listen in detail, never mind actually write a review.

However, there are a few exceptions and this is one of them.

In 2013 (really? That long ago?) I wrote a review of Dion And The Magic Chords’ album ‘Curiosa’. I loved its playfulness, its innocence and its energy.

Well, four years later, they’ve got a new album, ‘Gestalt’ and it’s a cracker. Due for release on 28th October 2017 on Laterax Recordings, it takes all the elements from Curiosa and then adds to, and refines, the formula further. Actually, “formula” is the wrong word, as there are an eclectic bunch of tracks on this release. The charm, skill and dynamics of Curiosa remain, but there seems to be more structure, reflecting a focused and tight live band more than the lo-fi geeks one might imagine.


Instrumentation is rich and varied, from lo-tech vintage home keyboards and organs to analogue synths and some lush acoustic (one assumes) brass and woodwind orchestrations. There’s a much more cinematic feel than previously, exemplified by the opening track Synchronizität which adds to the mix a ‘Ralph & Florian’-era Kraftwerk sensibility: motorik and melodic. Structures change and passages suddenly segue or jump to new and interesting places.

Fairy Slide takes a plonky home organ intro and develops it into a bouncing soundtrack with double-time drums and rumbling filtered 8-bit arpeggios all overlaid by ethereal magic chords (couldn’t resist).

Throughout the album, the tracks, however gritty and dark, develop into beautiful soundscapes and washes. The Runner starts with a broken arpeggio which morphs into a gorgeous wash of sound and then flips, with staccato keyboards and rhythm box beats, before returning to dreamland territory.

Most albums are a journey, but with Gestalt, each track is a voyage to different destinations. I shouldn’t really make comparisons, but I’m going to anyway. The influences of Phillip Glass, Ennio Morricone, early-era Kraftwerk and Cluster can be discerned. But there really are so many strands to this music that a few comparisons alone won’t give you an indication of the experience. I suggest you listen.

I, for one, am glad to have become acquainted with their music and, particularly, the stand-out track, Gestalt Lamp, which has just blown me away with its warmth, its melancholy and its hope.

Thoroughly recommended.

Identity Crisis? New Album?

I really ought to do this more often…..I’ve not written here for some time. And, as usual, there’s nothing more to tell you than I’ve got new music available at dementio13.com.

TNP Audition copy

However, things are a little bit different this time around. I have been guilty of inventing new artist identities in the past, when I have made music which does not quite ‘fit’ the Dementio13 vibe, whatever that is. Sometimes it’s only a subtle difference, but enough to bug me. So I invented the likes of The Reasonable People, Diebenkorn, Wint & Kidd, etc.

But this was partly a dissatisfaction with the name Dementio13. A name I’d started using in 1999, when I thought differently and acted differently. After umpteen releases and the passing of many years, I’ve decided to partition things a bit. So, I will be making some music as Dementio13, but this will only be for remixes and collaborations. In future, all solo stuff will be under the moniker, The Night Programme.

And so, with that in mind, here’s a new release; similar in parts to recent D13 stuff, but also a few changes to the overall feel.

I’ve come up with some quite melodic electronica and breakbeat/electro interspersed with odd little noodles which act as themes and idents for imaginary 1960s radio shows; very much in a BBC Radiophonic Workshop vein. They’re a huge influence on me; John Baker, Delia Derbyshire, etc, so I make no apologies for the slightly pastiche nature of the tracks.

Anyway, the album is available at the usual Dementio13.com for free, or a nominal contribution to the Dementio synthesiser fund!

There are also quite a few bonus tracks, if you buy the album in its entirety; including a 22 minute live acid session…plenty of squelch and analogue hammer.

Anyway, that’s all for this bulletin….it could be another 6 months until I post again (as long as we don’t get vapourised by a couple of fucking megalomaniac psychopaths!). But until then, stay safe and thanks for your support.


Recent Additions

Spring is here and, as is my way, I’ve posted/re-posted some music over on Bandcamp in celebration of the new lack of early-morning darkness and the warmer temperatures. Some years ago, I released an album of soundtracky tunes that I was quite proud of at the time. The mixture of electro, trip-hop and odd little tunes somewhere in-between didn’t work too well, for me, on later listening and I decided to pull the album and sit on it for a while. That “while” turned out to be about 6 years.
Last month, I gave it another listen and decided to re-order the tracks, remove some of them and add some other unreleased tracks. So it’s now up on dementio13.com. Titled Rebop/Reboot (the original title being Rebop), it’s available as a release for subscribers only and fills a little gap in my back-catalogue.

In 2001/2002, I was part of a band, for want of a better word, called Sal Boca. Slightly obsessed with DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, Portishead’s eponymous album and Goldfrapp’s first album; myself and Neil McCann set about making some tunes for two mutual friends, Claire James and Caroline Moore, to sing on. I was living in a tiny flat on Roath Park in Cardiff at the time and had a studio, of sorts, in the corner of my living-room. It consisted of a second-hand PC with an Awe64 soundcard, a controller keyboard, a bass guitar and a mic. I’d go into more detail about how I’d spend endless hours making samples, cut-ups and creating patches using raw waveforms on such primitive equipment, but I’ve actually started to bore myself, let alone you.
Anyway, over the period of a couple of years, we wrote, recorded, remixed and refined our small catalogue of 7 or 8 songs; the results of which can be heard on a mini album. It exists mainly because I’m quite sentimental, but also because it reminds me of where I’ve travelled from, musically and sonically. When I originally posted these on Last.fm ( yes, that again), way back, they became some of my most listened-to tunes. So, they are available as a subscriber-only download too: updated, upscaled, etc.
So, there you are. New old stuff.

Thanks for reading, as always.


Got A Little Remix On This


The new Picturebox single, Nunnery Fields Forever (Rave Version) is out on Gare Du Nord from 7th April. The title track is a brand new, high bpm recording (not a remix) of Nunnery Fields Forever, originally released on 2016’s Songs of Joy album, with new sections and radically different electro instrumentation replacing the pedal steel and organ etc of the original. […]

via Nunnery Fields Forever (Rave Version) ft. Deerful – out now. — pictureboxmusic

Summary Of New Stuff

Welcome to Winter and a happy new year. As I only seem to be sporadically updating the blog nowadays, it means, when there is news of new releases, there is a lot to report. So, besides the November release of the album, ‘Broxen‘, I’ve been very busy working on quite a few remixes and collaborations since last time I posted. Broxen has had some really positive reviews and airplay on BBC Radio a few times; which is a buzz that never leaves you, as an independent musician with no PR as such. So, many thanks to Adam Walton and Tom Robinson for playing my stuff on their shows, it means a lot.

Also, as ever, Mark Whitby and Pete Jackson of Dandelion Radio have been really supportive and playing tracks from the album. Both of them have invited me to do a live session for their respective February and March shows, which will be aired on rotation throughout those months.

In December, I recorded a spoken-word track with Equinox, featuring his words and voice and my music. It’s one of several collaborations between Equinox and various artists. The album, ‘It’s Hard To Be Happy When Your Head Is Full Of Sin’ (release date tba) will be a cracker, I’m sure.

The other major news is that my collaboration with Marie Craven has recommenced with the mini-album ‘Chasing Headlights‘. I’d really like you to hear this. Marie and myself have worked together for about 8 years, this time with poet James Brush, who provided the  words.

So, back to Broxen…… here are excerpts from a great review by Louder Than War.

“An artist that is continually evolving, Broxen brings forwards tracks of increased maturity and addiction. Influences from krautrock are obvious and the occasional oddness only helps to ensure that the Wales based Wiganer doesn’t fit into any shaped box……

Call it lo-fi, call it D.I.Y., call it whatever you will but Broxen is a fine collection of mixed beats, styles and ideas from a man not prepared to stand still and spread his electro wings. With further collaborations from Rob Halcrow (Picturebox), Manfred Hamil (The Shed Collective) and Colin Robinson (Big Block 454, Jumble Hole Clough) included together with a fine appearance from Squarepusher on album closer MIDI Sans Frontieres, this is an album that has already received widespread acclaim and reaction.”

And finally, video-maker MD/Shoots has produced some great trippy visuals for ‘No Maps’. Please do check out his other work also.


Remixes, Broxen and A Collaboration

I’m pleased to say that my album ‘Broxen’ has had a pretty good response from listeners and broadcasters. Downloads have tailed-off a little these last few days, but that’s normal after the initial spike just after release. Anyway, I’m well pleased, and if you’ve downloaded or bought it; many, many thanks.

Please do tell others about it, if you think they’ll like it.

Both Adam Walton and Tom Robinson on the BBC have played a track off the album on their shows, as well as a few other generous and discerning radio broadcasters/podcasters. So, many thanks to them also.

You can listen again to their shows at: Adam Walton and Tom Robinson. They’re only available for 2 to 3 weeks from now.

I’ve also been remixing some tracks for Douglas Deep and Diane Marie Kloba; both very different projects.

Here’s the DMK remix:

I recently completed a track with the poet Equinox too. It’ll be on his forthcoming album, but here’s a stream you can listen to now:

So, a busy couple of months in all.

Anyway, once again, please share any of the music you like; word of mouth is really important to me and all of the artists mentioned.