04-Aug-20 : Web page updates
In recent months, we've seen a slow but steady rise in the number of visitors coming through our web pages. This seems to run contrary to the general feeling that the era of the web page is over, such is the dominance of Facebook and the other social media giants. Whilst not huge, we felt that the numbers were enough to justify giving the web pages a facelift.
One area that we really needed to improve was the Showreel page. We put a lot of effort into updating the page last year but the end result was a significant drop in the number of people listening to the Showreel tracks. Puzzled, I tried to figure out what had gone wrong. The simple answer was that nothing had gone wrong. It all worked perfectly. What was wrong was the design. When the page loads, all of the sound files load with it, which is brilliant if you're working on a desktop computer with a fast internet connection. However, the vast majority of our visitors are on mobile devices and they don't have access to speedy, zippy internet browsing. Even with 5G just around the corner, load times on mobile devices were just slow to the point of being tedious, and visitors just assumed that the page was broken.
So, we added a new streamlined streaming service to the main web page. Have a play. Tell us what you think. The playlist will vary on a regular basis to encourage you to come back time and time again.
We've also decided to move away from a multiple web-page installatiom. We're putting as much information as we can in one place. The blog will feature one or two entries before they're archived off elsewhereand replaced with something new. Similarly, the news section won't carry anything older than a couple of months. After that, it too will be archived off. The only area that will be held on a page of its own is the gallery. That's being extended and enhanced so that visitors can fully immerse themselves in the experience. Yeah, we have some plans for that...
So, welcome to the new, updated SKinMechanix page. Let us know what you think.
22-Jun-20 : Identity Crisis
For some time, certainly the last couple of years, we’ve been dealing with something of an identity crisis.
We’ve been gigging as SkinMechanix for around four years and, during this time, our other band, Ion, has effectively been on hold. Why? Way back in 2016, when we started to put together a list of projects we wanted to develop, there was a collective realisation that we'd perhaps said all that we could say through Ion. We acknowledged that this mindset might change in future but, at that point, Ion was more or less done. In it's place, we wanted a harder, edgier, more guitar-oriented sound rather than the silky sweet, somewhat cinematic Ion approach.
Skip forward a couple of years, to January 2019, when Tunnel Club offered us a support slot for their Northern Exposure event at The Little Buildings. We knew that the SkinMechanix sound would be too harsh and aggressive for a club night but we also knew that SkinMechanix were better known in this part of the world.
So, for the Little Buildings gig, we came to compromise - our set would be rooted in dance-based electronica and based around a number of modified Ion tracks. However, we would still go out under the SkinMechanix banner even though such a shift in focus might confuse our (albeit small) fan base.
That decision proved to be a very good move - the Little Buildings gig was sold out within hours and, better still, the gig itself turned out to be one of our best and certainly one of my personal favourites.
A year or more down the road, there's been renewed interest in the Ion project and so we're left with something of a dilemma. Do we dump Ion altogether and continue as one entity, SkinMechanix, perhaps accepting that the band has something of a Jeckyl and Hyde personality, even if that leaves the punters confused?
Or do we go back to the way things were where Ion is left to focus on the dance/club sound and SkinMechanix are free to return to their dark, subterranean lair on the outskirts of town? This question has been nagging at me for a couple of months and it was time for a resolution. Consequently, we came to a decision over the weekend.
Ion will resume normal activities, holding on to the soundtrack/filmic vibe but also taking on a more dance/trance/club sound. SkinMechanix will continue with their darker, guitar-driven, angst-ridden Scandie-Noir sound. Both outfits will return to working on film/soundtracks, effective immediately. We’ll also be updating the web pages over the next couple of weeks to reflect these changes.