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.

Imperial Decimal (2.00)

All albums are experiments. Even if the musician has just churned out the same old stuff as last time, it’s an experiment in sameness.

But, I always try to do something a bit different than the previous album. Not stylistically, though that sometimes happens. But in the way it’s sold or marketed also.

Anyway, the new album costs a minimum of £2. Is it ‘working’ as an experiment? Well, it’s way too early to tell. The number of downloads are lower than on previous first days, but that won’t tell us anything. It’s only natural that people will download it in more numbers if it’s free music… they’re possibly also more likely to like it!

Anyway, there have been quite a few downloads and that really encourages me. Thank you, people. The album is an experiment, also, as I’ve gone down a less confrontational, rocky road. All I’ll say is, if you do like it, please, please tell other folks and say why you like it. If you do decide to buy it, many thanks in advance.

Here’s the album which Tom Robinson liked enough to play an excerpt from on his mixtape BBC show and one reviewer has said:

“Imperial Decimal” is yet another absorbing collection of compositions and sound sculptures which suggest both the interests and influences of Dementio13.  And one which may, hopefully, encourage the casual listener to follow the lead.” (John Toolan – Music To Wash Up By blog)

Some listeners have said it’s my best work yet…..which pleased me, lots.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s Laurence Made Me Cry gig at Tintern Abbey (lovely place for a gig) in glorious sunshine. I’m on the right.

Tintern Abbey

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Thanks to Rhys Anslow and Basil (Basdriver De Erste) for the pics.

Supermarket Sweep – On Ponzi Bridge by HealeyIsland

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‘Easy Listening’ and muzak is all around us, isn’t it? We often listen to music as a means of switching-off the world, of blanking out distraction. But music used in malls, supermarkets and hotels is designed to manipulate us, to placate us. As a means of control, it’s fairly innocuous and taken for granted…because it’s been around for decades. Muzak is often cited as shorthand for corporate insincerity and a passive form of mind-control. This shorthand has been used by musicians ever since Eno came up with the notion of ‘ambient music’. Before this, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop developed a form of experimental and reactionary muzak with their bizarre little radio and TV themes, often ‘offending’ more conservative listeners.

Aaanyway, I’m starting to witter. Greg Healey has been making electronic music as HealeyIsland, as far as I know, for as long as I have been making music as Dementio13. His latest offering, the album ‘On Ponzi Bridge’ is released in May on the WLM label. However, it is presently streamable on Amazing Tunes, so you can have a proper listen over there.

The album is very, very good; it doesn’t pander to fashion and it contains a depth and imagination in its production and lyricism. Healey’s lyrics tend towards the impressionistic and non-linear, but taken in context of the album, they start to develop a bittersweet narrative; not of relationships (as in songs about love or hate), but of politics, capitalism, image and media. That these lyrics are not polemic, but contain subtle and occasionally surreal juxtapositions and ironies, is a testament to Healey’s fine instinct for wordplay; all delivered in a vocal style that falls somewhere between that of Vini Reilly’s fragile, intimate and understated tenor and that of a nightclub crooner (I know that sounds like a highly unusual mix, but it works very well). The titles of the songs often give an indication of their lyrical content, such as with “Entertainment” and “Ayn Rand Is My Mistress”.

And so, I come full circle, to the music itself. Healey has refined a difficult-to-achieve balance between tunefulness and experimentation over the years and, with On Ponzi Bridge, we find him taking this approach to a logical conclusion. On the opening track, ‘The End Of History’, the introduction sounds like the sort of lulling muzak that accompanies the start of a Wii game (for instance) and the production isn’t jarring for the listener. It lulls you in and then, coupled with the lyrics, starts to unsettle. There is a strong sense that Healey has aimed at an ironic use of muzak as a weapon. The album is quite dark in mood, though not overtly aggressive. At the risk of drawing comparisons, there are elements of Lemon Jelly’s use of ‘easy listening’ to evoke a time and relay a message. Though, as On Ponzi Bridge progresses, it gets inherently darker and the sound slightly more harsh. There are rich synth layers, lush orchestral strings, the occasional electronic squiggle and laid-back beats. The music production is luxurious for a reason, one feels, in order to reinforce the overlying themes of politics, economics and commerce which are suggested by the easy-listening influences and the lyrics.

In conclusion, it’s easy to get carried away with hypothesizing and (possibly) reading too much into the album; but the truth is that, musically, the album stands on its own two feet as a ‘damn good listen’. This is a very individual release from an interesting and adept artist and is thoroughly recommended.

Last Test: Some Middle-Aged Spread

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.

Peace and love (c/o Ringo Starr)

This Is Progress

So, I’ve recorded some new ‘stuff’.

Eight tracks so far, which seems like a lot considering most of them have been recorded during the last fortnight. But, I’m writing and recording quickly again (my old modus operandi), there’s a sense of urgency about this, for some reason. Not rushed, just adrenaline-fuelled. The mood and pace of the music seems to be equally so.There’s an energy in me at the moment and that seems to be transferring across to the tracks. So, there’s noise, there are melodies, there are crude and heavy-ish beats. There are also a couple of quieter moments so far. There are sequences and ‘live’ instruments and feedback and atmospheres.

I’ve no idea what you wonderful people are going to make of it….it’s not like my last album, that’s certain.

Anyway, as you see from the post below, I’ve shared a few of the tracks already. Six to be exact…….no harm in that I reckon. Especially considering that I’m planning on this album being a fairly long affair….maybe up to 20 tracks. Anyway, it’ll be out in April (probably) and is entitled “Last Test”.

Here’s the widget to save you the effort of scrolling down….’cos that’s how considerate I am.

Not The Shock Of The New

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”.

Anyhow, I’m sharing:

Cheers.

Share’s Fair

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.

Dementio2013

Hello.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.

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.