February Mailout – ‘Crash St’ Imminent

Hello again. This is just a reminder to tell you that my new album ‘Crash St’ is available from Thursday 1st March (ie. next Thursday) at http://dementio13.com . I’m really pleased with it and hope you can share in the music.

It’s a pay-what-you-want download, with no minimum price, so you could have it for free. All I ask is that, if you decide to download it and like it, please share links on Twitter and/or Facebook; your recommendations help it reach a wider audience.

Bloggers/DJs have been very complimentary in their reviews:

“…electronic, programmed machine music, bursting at the seams with humanity and soul, imprinted with the traces of its creator…….Dementio13 has mastered the art of creating human music, organic music that breathes, while capitalising on the power and impact of the machine.” (Jan 26, 2012)
Oliver Arditi – oliverarditi.com

Full review at oliverarditi.com/2012/01/26/dementio-13-crash-st

“…his forthcoming Crash St album reveals him to be still moving forward in invigorating and never predictable directions, his exploratory electronica more varied in texture and mood than pretty much any of his contemporaries.” (Jan 31 2012)
Unwashed Territories – unwashedterritories.blogspot.com

Also, there’s a free album of my older stuff over at http://cutmatrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/alt-delete, so help yourself. You don’t even need to join a mailing list to download….no strings.

CRASH ST. PREVIEW:

Thanks,

Paul”

Free New Tracks – Folks

Well, I’m not at home at the moment; actually I’m visiting family back in the Northwest of England. During my visit so far I had a few hours to myself, as well as the 5 hour train journey here, so I worked in Ableton (without keyboard or controllers) using some of the original loops I’ve recorded over the years. This is quite a novel way of working, for me. But it’s refreshing for me to think of my process in a different way.

Anyway…..these new sounds aren’t indicative of the way Dementio13 might develop in the future; they’re more of a spontaneous outburst. They’re quite different to my recent output.
See what you think; they’re free and are in aiff format; so they may take a while to download.

(Incidentally, I’m actually thinking of releasing these little outbursts every-so-often on Soundcloud as free downloads…..Releasing, or ‘letting them escape’, perhaps).

Another EP release…

Hello again. Hope you’re enjoying the great Spring weather this weekend in the UK. I’ve just released another DIY album on Bandcamp, so thought I’d tell you about it; cos that’s the kind of guy I am!
In November/December 2010, I recorded four tracks which I sent to Yeah! Netlabel for release in the new year. They were to be mastered by Matt at Yeah! and scheduled for a paid-for release around January. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Yeah! have ceased operations; so I’ve put them up on Bandcamp as a pay-as-you-wish (no minimum) release.

The ‘Vulcan Foundry EP’ is a collection of stark minimal and beat-heavy electro tracks which stand in direct contrast to those on the ‘Snackshack’ EP. It’s quite a kinetic EP I think: faster BPM and a much more restricted aural palette of sound, sticking to percussive synths. In fact it makes quite a good companion piece to Snackshack, showing both sides of my slightly split-personality musical output!


Anyway…as usual, make your own mind up.
Cheers,
Paul

News

It’s been a while, so I’m just posting a quick update. No opinions or diatribes today.

Firstly, many thanks to those of you who have downloaded or purchased Snackshack EP. The response has been really encouraging….yes, I was pleased with the finished album, but its been great to read the positive comments/reviews/etc. It means a lot, especially as I struggle at times to balance a demanding day-job with my music.

Another bit of news: Yeah! Netlabel has expired I’m afraid, so my one album released through them (‘Grid Reference‘) is no longer available as a paid high quality MP3 album. As it was a ‘sampler’ compilation, most of the tracks are available as 320kbps MP3s/wavs/flacs at Bandcamp on different albums anyway.

Also, I’ve got two more projects on the go: one is a remix for a rather cool noise/krautrock style band; and the other is a new track for a independent radio compilation (tba)…….more on these when they’re finished.
Ok, that’s all for now. Bye.

Big Block 454 – Recommended Listening – A Short Review Kinda Thing

I always tend to use this blog to try to promote my own music, but rarely talk about the music of others. This isn’t an intentional attempt to deny the existence of the work of others in favour of my own; its just mainly a time thing. I work to fund my music, unfortunately, my work also tends to take over my life, my weekends and evenings.

Anyway, as an attempt to rectify this to some extent, here’s a recommendation to music which has stirred me lately.

Big Block 454 are a collection of musicians from the Northwest of England. They’re seasoned pros, having played with, recorded with, or been involved with, a variety of familiar names from post-punk/’alternative’/rock spheres. They bill themselves as a Zappa and Krautrock-influenced band, but their music is so much more than that. I really like the way they actively go out of their way to defy conventions, to push boundaries in structure and sonically. They improvise and experiment, but they do it with humour and a sheer delight in what they are doing.
Anyway, they’ve got a new release in “Bells & Proclaimations”, a collection of 12 bizarre songs and noodles which stir the soul as well as making you smile. A particular favourite of mine is ‘The Cloud Of Unknowing’, a drone-like neo-Doors track, which grows and grows.

It has elements of Can, The Doors and Edwin Collins; which, I’m sure, is a great combination!
Please check this album out, as its an accomplished soundtrack to the absurdities of life, and bursts the bubble of pomposity which sometimes surrounds more left-field music.

Download it HERE. It’s a pay-as-you-want release with no minimum price.

Big Block 454’s Twitter.

SnackTracks – A Breakdown

Hopefully, some of you lovely readers will have listened to the new EP. If you’ve downloaded it, many thanks. If you’ve bought it, many, many thanks!

I like to get some insight into the music I listen to, whether its trying to guess what equipment has been used, or trying to surmise what the intentions were. So here’s a breakdown of the tracks, just in case you’re interested in these things.

1. Snackshack

This track was actually first recorded in 1999, so its very old. I was slightly in thrall of DJ Shadow, Wagon Christ and Coldcut at the time; so the original version of the track reflected that. That original version has always been a personal favourite track of mine, with its lolloping beat (drum hits from James Brown’s ‘Funky Drummer’), weird atmospherics and 1960s beat music groove. It reminds me of a particularly good time in my life too. For a laugh, my old mate Neil did a mock-Norwegian rap to it which actually sounded really good; but that was never recorded.
Anyway, the new version, recorded in November 2010, was an attempt to recreate the mood of the original, and beef it up a bit too. The updated version has an insistent sample from Coppolla’s film ‘The Conversation’ (if you’re not familiar with it, check it out, its fantastic) and a couple of other movie samples, as well as a more synthetic feel. The same distorted bass sounds and drumbeats remain.

2. F*** You, Purist

This track just kinda happened. I’d not intended to do a vocal track originally, but thought I’d try a spoken-word vocal on there. The lyrics were originally a lot more varied and the vocal was longer as a result, but I cut most of it out in order to make it fit a little better. The theme, as such, is me ranting about the rather self-righteous nature of self-confessed music ‘purists’, who will dismiss music because its of a certain genre, or because its been recorded in a certain way; without actually listening to it! They tend to be a bit obsessive about vintage gear like analogue synths, or classic guitars, or vinyl, as well. Oh…and valves! They’re always ranting on about “warmth”, like some elderly relative constantly feeling the radiators and complaining about the chill. It’s about music and equipment fetishism.
I mean, we’re all music snobs to some extent, but really!
Anyway, the noise on this track is pretty piercing…an FM drone on my Alesis Fusion. The synth bass is a squarewave bass I programmed, and the underlying bassline is my bass guitar through a lowpass filter and a ring modulator.

3. Ohm Song

This was originally a song (ie with vocals) also, but I cut the vocal as the track seemed to have a life of its own as an instrumental. It’s got a lovely upright piano sound from the Fusion, and a tweaked Oberheim preset synth from the Fusion again (I tend to programme most of my own sounds and record my own samples, but there are some expert, and rather cool, preset banks on the Fusion website, so I occasionally use them). Incidentally, the Alesis Fusion is my main instrument for writing/recording…. it pretty much does everything, and because it’s not used by many people (its not one of the more fashionable synths), the tracks always have a slightly different sonic ‘feel’ to other music. Its very underrated, if occasionally a bit unpredictable!

4. The Pit

This track is very recent and has gone through a couple of incarnations. I never intend to make a track actually sound like another artist, I just stick to my guns. But I guess your influences do affect the way you make music, so in retrospect, this has turned out a little bit ‘John Carpenter’! Anyway, repetition that slowly builds and builds is a musical feature which I love. Repetition that slowly builds and builds is a…. oh, you see what I did there?!

5. Under The Bed

A funny one this. The instrumental version had been completed, but the track still didn’t feel right, and I’d been singing along to it. I came up with an odd little lyric; about capturing dreams through drawings and placing them under people’s beds to make them dream those dreams. Er..yes, Paul (backs out of room). Anyway, it seemed to fit. Once I recorded it after a few tries, I still wasn’t happy with the vocal (this is usual for me; I’m no singer!). So I put it through a vocal transformer, and hey, presto! Instant ‘drunk female vocalist’! Enough said.
The instrumentation is fairly simple: strings, synth pad, lead synth and chorused bass guitar (two bass lines).

6. Clinging To The Wind

I really love music which conjures up images for the listener. Movie soundtracks are a big part of my listening habits; and, of course, my music is a reflection of this. So, that this track has elements of John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Roy Budd and Ron Grainer, is inevitable I guess.
A layered theme with dense instrumentation, I think this is a bit excessive sonically, but oddly I’m still quite pleased with it. There’s a distorted bass guitar under there somewhere, and also the bass played as a lead guitar. As a result, it sounds a bit New Order-ish as well, which was unintentional.

Anyway, I hope this has either given you some insight, or made you want to download the EP, or not download it, even!
Bye for now.

New Dementio EP – Snackshack

So, the new release is here. And what can I say? My week of mixing and tweaking has paid off; starting with the Alone remix, and concluding in this little audio bundle. Most of the new tracks have been recorded for some time, some have been available on Soundcloud as streams or downloads. But I’ve now been able to compile them into a coherent mass, and mixed/mastered them.

So, this is “Snackshack”.

Tracklist:

1. Snackshack

2. F*** You, Purist

3. Ohm Song

4. The Pit

5. Under The Bed

6. Clinging To The Wind

I can only describe this as a quite eclectic mix of electronic tracks, with some ambience, some alt electro, some trip-hop, some soundtrack-like shenanigans, even some shoegaze-type drones. But enough from me, see for yourself.

Remix – “Today Is Gonna Be A Busy Day” by Alone

I’ve spent a bit of time (actually, much longer than I usually would) remixing fellow Cardiffian Alone’s demo track “Today Is Gonna Be A Busy Day”. In fact, I only finished mixing it today. But in classic Dementio style, I had it mastered and posted on Soundcloud in a matter of hours. I like to get music out there, hot off the press, as it were.

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with it. It was a good track to start with, so the source material was a bit of a winner anyway! If you get the chance to, check out Alone’s music; its really good. His Bandcamp.com pages are HERE.

So; here’s the remix. Feel free to download and share.