Thursday, 29 July 2010

Electronica E.P., live performance and beyond

As previously stated, I've been kept busy writing and recording new material, as well as preparing that same new material, in readiness for a 40 minute set I'm performing as part of an evening of live electronica/synth-pop music called Artificial 01 next month. And I suppose I've reached a point where I can talk a little more about that new material.

The E.P. will be a 7-track collection of songs called "The Endless Night E.P." with original material influenced by the likes of John Foxx, Ultravox, Gary Numan, The Human League etc. The track listing will be as follows (and not necessarily in this order!!!):

Total Pain
The Visitors
Picture In Eyes
How Do You Dream
Youth
This Man
Moonlight Strangers

Some of these songs were written a VERY long time ago and only now are seeing the light of day.

"Total Pain" is one of those songs. It was first written in 1987 by myself with lyrics by a very young Gary Numan enthusiast called Jim Dix. It doesn't sound very Numan, but the lyrics have his style. I re-worked this piece with ease because of the joys of modern technology. Glorious sweeping pads, wonderfully electronic rhythms and tons of atmosphere give this old song a freshness and breath of life.

"The Visitors" is a ghost story, a love story and a reality of emptiness after death. It has an insistent pulsing bassline line that drives the piece along with more wonderful sweeping pads and soaring strings that give "The Visitors" the ethereal quality it needs.

The essence of "Picture In Eyes" with it's obscure lyrics speaks of passion and lust, that moment when base instinct takes over and morality has no place. Musically there is something of a filmic quality to "Picture In Eyes" - big string sounds, heavy bass, persistent rhythms and dramatic vocalisation make for an almost epic 6 minutes.

"How Do You Dream" has a good up-tempo feel to it, very much influenced by the sounds of the 1980's but hitting in with a Millenium years feel. A story of being hated by a former lover, knowing why and knowing that nothing can change what has happened, the under-lying tension comes through with the repetitive sequence that bubbles away under the leads and the vocals.

"Youth" is an out and out electronica piece with an 80's flavour, looking at the state of the U.K. as it stands with the young running wild and seemingly no way to bring out of control kids back into line. Up-tempo with melody and an edge, "Youth" makes it's presence known with strong pads, expressive use of percussion and soring leads.

"This Man" is straight out of the "John Foxx Manual of Electronica". I've had a lot of fun doing this track, multi-layered leads, stop/start rhythms, violas put through flangers and my first use of vocal samples make "This Man" an unashamed tribute to the legendary pioneer of electronica, John Foxx.

And lastly, "Moonlight Strangers". This is a melody/vocally driven piece telling the story of an extra-marital affair and how sometimes, nothing can be done to stopit happening. Musically, it's sequences, synth-pop rhythms, harmonies and big pads. This is another song written many years ago with lyrics that I changed to suit a particular event in my own life.

As it stands at this moment in time, I've got 10 days to finish the E.P. and then it will be onto preparing the backing tracks and rehearsals. My set will include all 7 tracks as well as a track from the second Geigertek album "The Timeless Mind" and a couple of covers. These have been decided upon though I'm not letting on until after the event ;-)

One good thing is that AD Music, who signed the two Geigertek albums, have said that they will take care of the publishing as well as releasing "The Endless Night E.P." as a digital download. I'm really grateful for this as the music doesn't fit into their particular field which is instrumental electronic music.

For the gig itself, my set-up will remain the same as before. Three MIDI keyboard controllers will be hooked up to a Roland JV-2080 rack mounted synthesizer and two laptops respectively, with the addition of a multi-effects unit for my vocals to go through. As always, I'll do my own mixing on stage with my trusty Mackie 1202 mixer.

Once the Artificial 01 evening is over, I'll be getting back to work on the thrid Geigertek album which I have decided will be called "Soundtrack For City Living". The title perfectly reflects the manner of the music that I am starting create and also the approach that I am taking. The first two albums both had a very strong spiritual aspect, and so it's now appropriate to allow new things to lead the way in terms of inspiration. In another part of life, I am active Urban Explorer, rooting through old and derelict buildings, seeking out the things that we tend to ignore or forget. I'm excited about getting back to work on this album as new sounds and influences are really now starting to come forward in my music. The ambience will be there, but I feel sure the music will have a new percussive/rhythmic edge.

Lots to do in the next few weeks, but it's good and it's all fun.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

B.B.C. Norfolk Introducing

I've been for an interview today with Sophie Little, a reporter for B.B.C. Radio Norfolk's Introducing program, where we talked about Geigertek, electronica music, the pending Artificial evening and how it could seen as inter-generational.

It was a nice and easy interview which I enjoyed and Sophie was a relaxed and professional interviewer. I'm waiting for dates of the broadcast which will be posted onto my websites and social networking sites.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Updates!!!

Once again, it's been ages since I did one of there 'ere bloggy things. What a shock to see that it's nearly 3 months since my last one!!!

Anyway, strange times yet again. Once more the tides of change have been around me and so, as usual, it's a matter of going along with it.

"The Timeless Mind" is now well and truly out there in the public domain, available from AD Music of course, but also from the sites such as Musiczeit (If you like electronic music, check this site out!!!), Amazon, Play.com, iTunes (my kids think I am well cool for being on there) and loads of others.

The E-Day event went brilliantly and the two tracks played from "The Timeless Mind" were well received - out of interest, we played "In Another Light" and "Spirit-Walking". It was great to meet and talk with a number of known figures within the genre.

The reviews have started to appear for "The Timeless Mind" and thus far have been positive, so it looks as though I'm getting something right!!!

So, what now?

I've been busying away since "The Timeless Mind" was released, on a collection of electronica tracks with vocals for an EP called “The Endless Night E.P.”. I'm having a bit of a branching out away from the ambient/instrumental and will be performing at a club style event in Norwich in August called ‘Artificial 1′. So if you’re in the Norwich area of the UK, on Saturday 21st August 2010, it might be worth checking it out! I'm also working on several other projects at the moment, and it seems guitarists are forming something of a key element of the music. There may be something of a Fripp/Eno style collaboration with Norwich guitarist Stephen Scott, while there are talks of a new age acoustic guitar album with fellow Code Indigo band members David Wright and Nigel Turner Heffer for release through New World Music. And of course, I'll be working as part of Code Indigo on a new album which has the working title of “A Different colour”.

Let's see what the next few weeks bring :-)