Sunday, 5 October 2014

New project: REVIEW ELEKTRO

Those of you who know me know that I’m a man with a passion for music and photography. And for those of you who don't know me, you need to know that I’m a man with a passion for music and photography.
 
And it's that symbiosis of passions that spurred me to move forward with something I've been wanting to do, on a personal level, for some time - a review-based website.
 
I've been wanting to do a review website that has a bias towards electronic music (something I know a little bit about) and also a bias towards arts, performance and music in East Anglia (something I'm very interested in). We have a lot going on in this part of the country, what with music/arts festivals of all shapes and sizes, dance troupes of all kinds, music venues large and small, street theatre etc etc etc. And I see very little of it getting the attention the big wide world outside of the region. And that's where my ambition for my review website lies, to report to the world as much of the fab things we have going on.
 
To kind of give you something of my background (this involves me being serious for a moment - and you need to know it hurts!!!), I’m a freelance music photographer with a growing reputation (take that as you will) and I’ve been told I am a “recognised” musician in my own right, (I’ve released my own music through a leading independent label and performed gigs myself in both the U.K and Europe). My name is also “known” within the U.K./European electronic music scene, not just the synth-pop stuff, but also the broader scene that encompasses the experimental and ambient electronic. I have a very wide-range of musical tastes and can listen to and appreciate pretty much anything thrown at me, despite my advancing years (49 years old at the time of writing in October 2014 – may not have been a good move to mention that).
 
In terms of what my writing abilities and style are, well, in all truthfulness, bugger all at the moment, other than this here crazy personal blog that contains a couple of album/gig reviews alongside my inane ramblings, however, I have been told I have a good writing style that is clear and to the point. If you're not a follower of this blog, you will soon realise that I have an opinion and whilst that isn't always a good thing, if channelled in a positive way, drawing on personal skills and experience, I believe that voicing an opinion can be a good thing. As always, within anything I do, there will always be a bit of candour, a good few facts and a large injection humour – and photographs. I like to think reasonably good photographs as well (does that sound too big-headed?). When I’m at an event, I really do like to get in amongst it all, soak up the atmosphere and take in as much of the occasion as I can and to add a little extra to a review, I try to get talking with the people attending to get, and to give, a broader view of the proceedings.
 
The review website had to incorporate some of my photography, as well as the written word, to broaden the scope of the content and add a little more interest. As stated above, one of my main aims with a review website is to focus on the East Anglian region as much as possible because, quite simply, it gets very little exposure from what I have seen, so I’m looking at the lesser known groups/musos as well as/as much as the bigger names – to me the latter would be padding and I suppose, something of a “draw” to the site to gain interest.
 
Why am I doing it? As I said at the beginning of this piece, very simply because I love music, arts and performance. I want to be as much a part of a local scene as I can and hopefully, make a small idea a big success that will maybe help a few people, as well as myself, on the way. And by doing this as an independent, and even though I will have something of a leaning towards electronic music, I can’t see any real restraints as to what or who gets reviewed, apart from my own availability.
 
I’ve been given the most fabulous springboard courtesy of Epic Studios in the Norfolk city of Norwich. Having done a fair bit of photographist things there,  I know the venue and the people there quite well. They provide a fantastic launch pad to local musicians, young and old, as well supporting the local Access To Music centre (of which my son is studying for a music performance diploma) that's is situated in a part of their premises. They offer a range of services and facilities, including live video streaming, that are quite frankly unrivalled in the area. And it has to be said that they have one of the best sounding auditoriums in the region. The ethos of Epic Studios really chimes with one of my aims for the review website, because as I said above, I’m as interested in the lesser-known as much as the well-known, with a genuine desire to help provide/add a new and more local voice to the overall U.K. music/performance scene for the region (as a whole eventually), and Epic Studios will be going a long way to give me my launch pad alongside those up-and-coming performers.
 
Within the next week or so, the website will be live and it will be called REVIEW ELEKTRO. A simple name for a very simple looking site that's very easy to navigate and very easy on the eye. No gimmicks, no ads, no distractions, just easily searchable reviews and pictures, and who knows, maybe a video clip or two. I hope you will enjoy the site and the content. In advance of Review Elektro going live, I've prepared Facebook and Twitter pages. Please do pop over to the Facebook page and say hello, link up with us on Twitter and we love to get the occasional e-mail, particularly if you have something nice to say. Here are the links:
 
 
 
With regard to the focus and content of the review website, it'll be mainly about electronic music, gigs and electronic music album reviews. But, there will also be reviews and photographs of different aspects of performance art from belly dancing and street theatre, to recitals and exhibitions. If it's East Anglia, if it's art and if I can get there, it'll be on the website. And please don't forget, a review website will always be what it is, one person's opinion and nothing more, and it will have what I choose to put on it. But, I like to think that maybe, just maybe, I might be a little help to others in their arts performance journey.
 
If music is indeed the food of love, then Review Elektro could possibly be your local takeaway ;-)