An apology is necessary. Whilst I have been busy with numerous other projects, some musical, others not, I haven't updated this blog in several months. This is odd because I/we do have some news. Some fairly important news. So read on if you're at all interested...
Over the summer, I started working for The Royal Astronomical Society on a six month contract. I'm fairly confident that this contract will be extended for another six months, and then perhaps futher. As you might imagine, it's a lot of hard work and has reduced the amount of time I have available for studio and related work but it's nice to be fluid again.
I have been upgrading the studio on a constant basis, essentially filling in some rathert obvious gaps in the sound library. This is also going well. I've added Spitfire Audio's Albion One, upgraded OmniSphere and installed a few inexpensive plug-ins such as Scalar to improve the work flow.
Likewise, I began to work on two new lives sets, one for SkinMechanix and one for Ion. SkinMechanix will continue down the path towards that elusive industrial, rock-driven sound whilst Ion will move towards a more dance-trance-club sound. Why? Because there's a thriving audience for this kind of music in this part of the country and Ion's recent output is a very short side-step in this direction.
Music-wise, I released a few of the experimental pieces over on our Soundcloud page. Mostly, these are piano-based ideas centered around one of our side projects.
We've also been attending a lot of gigs - Wolfgang Flur (ex-Kraftwerk), Blancmange, Tunnel Club, Jon Hopkins, Gary Numan to name just a few. We're keen to hear a lot of new music, and also keen to support some of the bands who have supported us over the last couple of years. I also want to see if I can develop some new ideas for entertaining a small crowd. Standing behind a bank of keyboards is not at all sexy. There's no opportunity to move around and engage with the audience, and I really want to move around a bit more, get some kind of energy going.
One of my numerous side projects has been to supervise the re-release of Ion's Synchronicity. This album was originally released as A Fall of Stars although I was never happy with some of the mixes and the overall package was definitely not to my liking. It felt rushed and unfinished. I'm pleased to report that the revised album complete with improved mixes and some new artwork will be released as Synchronicity through Magnatune in the next couple of weeks.
And... finally... Well... Big News...
I am gonna be a DAD!.
Yep, going to be a father, hopefully in May 2019.
Welcome to another step along the road in this strange and wonderful journey...
Romance and the Telescope is a movie side project we've been working on every now and again for about six months.
It's a slightly tongue-in-cheek homage to those gorgeous French animations, which used to be a regular feature on British TV back in the sixties and seventies, the kind that you never see any more except at obscure film festivals and every now and again on Youtube.
Fester generated the characters and the backdrops, which were manipulated into something resembling a story using the programming language Processing. SkinMechanix re-arranged Ion's A Fall of Stars to give it a slightly Continental feel, and added a bunch of sound effects to create the weird dystopian noise-scape that is urban City life. The individual elements were then put together using DaVinci's Resolve editor.
This is an early version of the movie. We still have a few edits to sort out and some minor tweaks to one or two of the scenes but, for a first attempt, we're quite pleased with it.
See the whole video here:
We're delighted to announce that our US Label/Dealer Magnatune has agreed to release Ion's A Fall of Stars.
However, rather than re-release this album as-is, we've decided on another approach completely. Why? Because I was never, ever happy with the product, especially the artwork, which seemed weak and under-developed. The music too... sounds a little dull and lifeless when you do a side-by-side comparison with our current output.
So, A Fall of Stars will be given an entirely new facelift - completely re-branded and re-mastered throughout, and with a new title too.
We should be in a position to upload the revised tracks and updated artwork towards then end of the week, after which Magnatune will set a release date. I'm optimistic that the timescale will be just a matter of days or weeks. With luck, and a little bit of promotion, this should make the album available to Magnatune's enormous customer base as well as iTunes and Amazon. Fingers crossed...
We'll make a more formal announcement closer to the actual release but this, for once, feels good.
Best wishes from Dave and the team.
We were very disappointed to be told that our private gig in Jesmond, which had been scheduled for tomorrow night, had been cancelled at very short notice, and for reasons which appear unclear.
Unofficially, we've been told that the timing for the event was very tight and that there would not be any time for us to play even a small set.
Talking to a few people, it turns out that nobody else was consulted, especially the individual in charge of the proceedings on the night, and from my perspective, it does seem like this was just one person acting on his own and without the approval of the rest of the committee.
There's an invitation to come back in September but we have committments to Infection Music throughout that month. Hence, it just won't happen.
Happens. Get over it.
Anyway, to make up for this, I've uploaded an interview with yours truly which first appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Freemen of Newcastle's magazine.
We just finished the final edits on the
The track featured was The Art of Falling by SkinMechanix.
This video was later used by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as part of their coverage of the event and was seen by a staggering 12800 people in the time it was available on their Facebook site.
Updated 10-Jun-17 by Admin
We're delighted to announce that SkinMechanix have been invited back to play at the Never Mind the Ramones Mini Festival to be held in Gateshead on Saturday August 19th 2017. More details to come.
Ion's Logoscape from the album Future Forever featured on the trailer although we're not sure if it made it to the final cut.