What is Last Test?

For those of you who care about these things, here’s a quick rundown of ‘Last Test’, of some of the tracks anyway. I like to call it ‘no more ambient bollocks‘…..

A Beat Called Don – not sure where the title came from. I was going to call it A Beat Called Graham, but as I know a couple of Grahams, I figured they might think it was about them; which it’s not. I don’t know any Dons, so….

The album’s all about sensations really…..of numbness, of repetition and of blankness. I’m listening to so much music which lulls you into a kind of submission through repetition (repetition) and walls of sound, I wanted to try to do the same, without the brutality of sheer noise (though one or two tracks come close to that). Anyway ABCD (yes, I know) packages that up in a familiar structure and I wanted it to groove a bit too.

Pen Y Fan – this is purely about the sensation of standing, looking out over South/Mid Wales from the top of a fairly big hill/mountain, with wind and cold moisture blowing up into your face. When I used to share a house, some time ago, we used to drive up to the Beacons early on a Sunday morning as a hang-over cure. Walking to the top of Pen Y Fan was the best cure we could think of, followed by a return to Cardiff and a fry-up at Taste Buds in Roath. Did the trick. Anyway….piano and drones seemed vaguely ‘uplifting’.

Really Far Away – For several friends who are really far away; and one who is gone forever. Dark to light in 8 minutes….when I find it hard to find inspirational music, I try to make my own.

Version 3 – this is version three of a really old track (first recorded in 1999, around the time of the original version of ‘Snackshack’) which I may, or may not, post again just for curiosity. I always liked the track and thought it might be interesting to update it, but I kept putting-off rerecording it. I did eventually in November, which kinda got the ball rolling for this album. It’s a little naive and melodic number.

Anyway…..in other news, I had a first rehearsal with Jo Whitby and James Reichelt for Laurence Made me Cry’s album launch gig. We met up in a local practise studio and had a productive, funny and enjoyable practise. This is what it looked like.


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