Thinking Metal: News

24-Oct-16 : Major Web site update...

We're starting a major effort to update and improve these web pages. The download area and on-line shop will be substantially improved. Artist details and licensing arrangements will be completely revised and modernised.

Please bookmark the page and come back in a couple of weeks.

Regards, David

01-Jan-16 : Web site updates...

Tidying up the site, noting which bits work and which bits suck (like a Hoover).

Removed some clunky big files which should have been deleted years ago as well as investigating better MP3 players so visitors can stream without leaving the site.

Configured the editing interface / FTP uploader etc on the studio Mac so that updates can be put together all on one machine rather than spread out across several.

And... investigating mobile friendly facelifts too.

A reasonable start, eh?

02-Nov-15 : Twenty years ago...

Twenty years, eh?

The Infection of Time...

How time flies...

Hard to imagine where it would take it us. Where it might still take us.

Despite the total bloody maelstrom that surrounds and envelopes me at the moment, I did actually find time to listen to IoT on Saturday morning, which is when was actually released properly, rather than when we should have released it. Had it not been for those utter muppets at the MPCS, who bolloxed up the copyright issues so completely, we'd have released on schedule. Their mistake meant that we missed the biggest electronic music event in the world at that time, the sadly defunct and very much missed KLEM festival. Instead, we had to wait until the following week, when the CD plant could actually make the things. But... we released it and... there you go.

The process was one of self discovery fuelled by a limitless energy and an utter determination to make something that would count. What I would do for that time and energy today???

It's very important to remember that this was not a solo project and many others made a significant contribution to the final album. I'm still incredibly grateful to the likes of Stewart Marshall, Chris Ainsworth, Steve Summers and Dave Maughan for their musical input, which helped to make the album the success it was. Likewise, there was the technical and production support from the likes of Ash Prema, Brian Wright and Graham Getty who helped to get the album moving in the right direction. And, of course, let's not forget the major support and backing of my other half, the long suffering Jules C who had to weather all manner of tantrums, difficult tempers, artistic flounces and the rest of the spectrum of musician-type mood swings throughout the difficult birthing process.

Compositionally, the tunes are of their time - the early 90's - and are full of the trademark Roland D50 sounds and samples from that era. Musically, they suffer from too much quantisation. It's too precise and everything sits on a bar line.

You live. You learn.

Thematically, however, the album is still spot on. It was about time, or rather the lack of it. It was about the future and the rapidly encroaching digital world which was just starting to dominate every detail of our lives, even back in 1993. E-mail. The web. Facebook. In 1993, these modern day essentials were either instruments of commerce or possibly distant pipe dreams on the far horizon. Even then, from that greedily optimistic vantage point, you could extrapolate forwards and envisage a time when our every waking moment would be dominated by digital technology and enriched media because William Gibson and Neuromancer was everywhere.

And the promise was so enticing.

Theoretically, this new technology would connect the entire world, nation-to-nation, person-to-person, and allow us to speak to anyone, anywhere on the planet in a global community of like-minded individuals. To an extent, it worked. But people are people, and the downside of this connectivity quickly emerged. Suddenly, there was no such thing as Me-time. You, the individual, became a shared entity, a communal, community animal defined by your work, your peer group and your public persona. And, for all its plusses, social media also served up a technological level playing field, an electronic Serengeti, wherein all manner of anti-social people are able to roam free and unhindered. Suddenly, you find yourself standing shoulder to shoulder with a group of individuals you'd rather not mix with in person because you just know they have some deep seated personality problems, problems which might not be limited to bad breath and a crappy haircut... which means that, in turn, some of us spend as little time as possible using social media.

Why? Largely because it's difficult to find any true measure of peace and quiet within our towns and cities, and absolutely not in the sacred sanctity of the home. If anything, that's where it's at its worst.

We live in a culture of permissable interruptions. Even in the short time (maybe thirty minutes or so) I've taken to write this, I've been interrupted by the phone ringing (automated message selling me a bogus bank refund), six e-mails and a Facebook alert from a friend advising of her dog's bowel movements.

The consequence of this culture of permissable interruptions is that our small, quiet inner voice is silenced. We have accidentally divorced ourselves from our own nature, our own personality. Collectively, we're forgetting who we actually are in favour of who we think we ought to be, a re-styling of thought that is largely dictated both by our peer group and by the huge marketting machine that now drives the internet. We're becoming our friends, real and virtual.

And that's largely what the Infection of Time was all about, even if I didn't quite articulate those thoughts at the time. I sensed they were there and attempted to describe what I was feeling but didn't quite communicate the meme as thoroughly as I'd intended.

Where to now?

I have no idea.

I so very much want to get back into making music but the need to focus on earning money dominates every waking moment, and the need to make money tends to destroy any and all artistic intentions. They're incompatible.

Will there be another installment of The Infection of Time? Yes, I think there will. The future that it predicted is here and surrounds us now. Where will we go from here? The Transhumanists maintain that we'll eventually fuse with the machines and become utterly dependent upon artficial intelligence. That process is already well under way. Even I rarely leave the house without my portable supercomputer/communications hub aka my Samsung Galaxy, and I'm a complete phonophobic. The device is pretty much welded to the inside of my jacket, right next to my wallet and, before long, the two will probably merge into one semi-intellgent entity and, not long after, it will merge with me. :)

Probably.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

01-Oct-15 : Web site updates...

Believe it or not but it's been eight years since this site enjoyed a facelift. Time to blow away the cobwebs and install a new, mobile friendly web site.

Where to start???

01-Sep-15 : Update...

Seems that this update did not make it to the web. Not sure why but I do remember reading it through at the time so maybe it got clobbered by the service provider.

A major part of this year as been devoted to working with our new music system based around an Apple iMac running Logic Pro X. Yes, we finally ditched Cubase after more than thirty years of working with Steinberg products. In the end, I just got fed up with the non-stop crashes and mind-blowingly irritating bugs... and I decided to jump ship.

Since then, I've been working on a number of smaller projects, simple tunes and compositions, designed to help establish and define a workflow. And, generally speaking, it's been a very enjoyable, creative process. I really like Logic despite some major irritations like snapping and the audio box dropping out without notice. (Probably a Focusrite issue...) I really like their Virtual Drummer as a tool for developing the feel of a track, and Alchemy is, as far as I am concerned, the mutt's nuts.

I've also renewed my interest in musical equipment, specifically synthesisers and I've spent a lot of hours playing around and experimenting with borrowed items including a Moog Sub 37, Korg's ARP Odyssey and Arturia's MiniBrute. I really enjoyed these bits of kit and I've decided that these adventures will all feature in a renewed Equipment blog, which I'll release soon. More on that later.

There are also some intriguing support gigs on the horizon. Again, more on those when we have more information.

New projects include some film music (via Ion) and a new SkinMechanix album, which is on-going.

A lot of projects - just got to get a few of them finished off and released into the wild.

11-Feb-15 : A Fresh Start...

Time for a change.

It's been a bit slow around here in recent years in that most of our activity has been thrown into creating library music, developing musical instruments and performing the occasional gig, and it seems that our core activity, releasing new music, has taken something of a back seat of late, and that makes us sad. It is, after all, the reason why we're here and the reason why we came into being in the first place.

So, off we go... Let's give it another go...

Ion's new disc, "A Fall of Stars", is now available on BandCamp and will also be released on MusicZeit just as soon as we get the final artwork together.

We're also planning on another release via CD Baby since that worked out rather well for us too although that is somewhere down the line.

Future plans include collaborations with other artists, some of whom you will have heard of, others maybe not. We'll also be performing again locally since electronic music in this part of the world is enjoying something of an revival.

11-Feb-15 : Find us on Facebook...

Yeah, we have a Facebook page...

Thinking Metal Web Old News 2014-2010

I've moved the news items from the years 2014-2010 over to a new page to improve the load times on the current page.

You can view the old news sections here.