Saturday, May 30, 2015

I guess while I'm here I should give a quick summary of what's new. Full details at - New albums (to this blog) Sol Invictus and Dark Matters are available - Susbarbatus is still available, physical and download - Bohunt Sabotage has had a full release with masses of extra material. Download only. For downloads please head over to bandcamp
I'd almost forgotten this blog existed... excuse me while I remind myself how you write on it!

Monday, November 02, 2009

It Lives!

Susbarbatus was launched at Hampshire Jam on Saturday, if launched is not overstating plopping it onto the SMD stall. Initial reactions seem pretty positive. Dave took some more stock so for now SMD is the only place to get a copy. I will start making contact with the other distributors soon.

Here's a potted description, although if you've read the other postings here some of this will be familiar:

My original idea was to work on the material performed at HJ5 and quickly release an album that would be more or less a new improved version of the Bohunt CDR. This didn't go to plan, not least because it wasn't meant to take three years! Susbarbatus does have a couple of tracks that are based on that material, but in significantly more polished form. There's also a live track from HJ. The remainder of the album is brand new material.

The backbone of the album is made up of heavily sequencer driven tracks (no surprise there then). They are more structured and melodic than my work with AirSculpture but I've tried to retain the same kind of energy. There's also a track of deep-space ambience for a change of pace. The closing track is all sequencer, but in a way that evokes Steve Reich more than the Berlin School (or maybe just Love on a Real Train!).

I don't have any immediate plans to make this available as a download.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The beginning of the end

At last! I have finished my solo album, which is now titled "Susbarbatus". Assuming I get all of the gubbins into the post it should be ready for Hampshire Jam. Yes, still a real physical disc - I'll worry about whether it should be a download too later.

Stylistically it's definitely not an AirSculpture album; the music is rather more structured and even melodic in places. If you have Bohunt it won't come as a total surprise - in fact the first couple of tracks are refined versions of Bohunt tracks and there's a live track from HJ5. Originally this was going to be just a polished up version of tha material but that plan didn't exactly come off (or it might have come out a couple of years sooner). These tracks have evolved quite a lot, and the new tracks are quite different.

More soon, I'm sure. This is probably time to updade the site to be more than just bloggage. Although with HJ and a Frank-a-delic gig upcoming you know what will happen...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tales of Unicorns

I used to use a MOTU 828 mk.2 audio interface. It was a wonderful tool, ran flawlessly on several different machines and was built like a tank. The only negatives were down to that tankishness; it's rather huge and weighs a ton, and is full of features that I'd probably never use.

In time they added the only slightly misnamed UltraLite, which is still built like a tank and only weighs about half a ton and can go into luggage without taking up all of the sock space. It dropped some features but left all the ones I actually wanted. That's the one I really wanted... but not enough to part with the 828.

When I arrived at the Ricochet Gathering at Yellowstone and was eventually reunited with my luggage (a story in itself) the 828 died on arrival. It flashed its lights once, sighed, and shuffled off to whatever afterlife is reserved for such devices (actually I know exactly where that is - gathering dust in my studio...). I don't know what happened for certain but I'm sure it was something to do with being examined by customs. It had been set to 230v which might make a difference; perhaps when it didn't turn on with US voltage they tried using a hammer instead.

Thankfully one of the attendees was able to loan me a very nice box so I was able to play something. But on returning home I had to do something about it, and decided it gave me an excuse to get that UltraLite. Of course I intended to get the 828 looked at. Exactly two years down the line, I still do...

The UltraLite seemed great, with just one exception. Every now and then it freaks out completely, firing random noise at full volume on all of its outputs. I suspected a software problem (it only happened when running Live, but then that's pretty much all I run these days). Well, long story short, almost everything possible has been swapped around, and the problem still happens. It is sporadic, and not especially frequent, but I can't really risk putting it though a PA; I've been lucky so far but I think it probably is how the cones on my monitors got shredded at the sessions where we recorded Doom Bar.

The clincher is that I've now found more references on the web to this fault, and MOTU don't seem to want to fix it, or even acknowledge it as a real problem. Now I can't really get too mad when I'm being my useless self - I haven't reported the problem to them, so I've certainly not personally got an answer that I'm not happy with. But Hampshire Jam is looming and I need something I can use without risking spoiling the entire event. I need to limit it to just spoiling out set, as usual! So I've stumped up for yet another box, this time an Echo Audiofire. Touch wood that this works out - I already have an Indigo IO PC card interface which works fine (but doesn't have enough inputs and outputs for the Big Rig events).

So this is not exactly a rant, but an expression of disappointment and a bit of caveat emptor. There was a time when I'd have recommended the MOTU gear like a shot; now I'd say you need to take care, do some research, and be ready to send it back if you need to. Which is sad. Still great hardware though.

And with luck I'll get the 828 fixed, the UltraLite problem will be resolved, and I'll have more audio interfaces than I know what to do with.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As I mentioned in the last post (about 300 years ago) I have joined up with another band. It couldn't be much less like AirSculpture; a 14 piece (more or less) slab of chaos playing mostly covers, but everything messed around with. And just heaps of fun. It's great to be doing something that is so far outside of my comfort zone, like actually learning pieces of music. Some are even presented as those squiggly tadpoles on telegraph poles. You know what I'm talking about.

I've just got back from my second gig with the Franks (and the first was more of a mild intro as I only played on a couple of songs) - a rip-roaring evening of bouncing up and down in a complete sweat box.

So now it's back to electronic mode; Hampshire Jam is on the horizon. Just a couple of tracks to do... and should be some more Frank-a-delic before the year is out too. Watch this space!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The difficult second (first?) album

It's an astonishingly long time since I posted anything, even for me. So just a random update on the off-chance anyone is reading. If nothing else it reminds me how to log in to the thing...

I am slogging on with the solo album. I think of it as the first "real" album, so it shouldn't be so hard especially as some of the material is refined versions of what appeared on Bohunt. There's about 45 minutes of more or less finished music. With any luck I'll be able to wrap it up in time for HJ8. Yeah, right...

Meanwhile I've just had a rehearsal with a non-EM group that I'll be appearing with. Just a tiny contribution this time round, but hopefuly the start of something very different.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Philly Pictures

While I'm here... there are some fantastic photos of the Philly concert by Jeff Towne over at the Gatherings site. Like this, for instance:


The last batch of Bohunt Sabotage CDs have gone out to SMD today. I finally got round to burning the last batch, and when I came to pack them up found that the leftovers from the trip to the USA were still there - I was sure I'd sent them. Anyway, that's it, once they're gone, they're gone.

I've started working on the first track for the album proper. It is based on the first part of Bohunt, which is called Susbarbatus. This currently involves adding layers to the original material (and happily the new laptop is allowing me to add lots!). Once I've got enough in place I'll start trimming it down and working up a structure.