Back in November, Lee came to stay with me for a week or so while he was looking for a new flat. We decided to make the most of the time by collaborating on a new side project.
In between making food, walking the dog, and working from home, we took turns writing and recording parts of what turned out to be a five track EP. Lee focussed on the drums, guitar, and bass, while I added the vocals and electronic parts. Both of us helped shape the structure and feel of the tracks, and Lee did some kind of production wizardry to make it all sound fantastic.
Gear wise we had a pretty simple setup, despite what the pictures below suggest. Lee had a basic audio interface for the instruments, I used a cheapy Behringer condenser mic for the vocals, and the synthy parts were almost all based on a single Eurorack voice (utilising a C64 SID chip). Listening back, it’s pretty crazy to think that the songs can sound so huge when they were literally all recorded between my kitchen and living room.
One of the coolest bits about the project for me was the collaborative part though. It’s easy to get stuck when you are working alone. Here though, whenever we hit a block, we would just pass what we had on to the other person. More often that not, they would hear the potential in what we thought sounded crap, which helped push the process along. A healthy way to produce, and truly collaborative rather than combative.
Here is the result:
Artwork by the fantastic Ghostvoices / Jake Brown.
You can download the EP for free over on the Cow Tongue Taco Records label page. It will be available to stream on Spotify etc from the end of the month, and there will also be a limited cassette tape version available too.
For over a year I’ve been working on a new album, plagued by writer’s block and lack of inspiration. However, the time has come where I can unleash it into the wild.
‘Inter alia’ is a ten track album under the cup fungus moniker which retains the darker electronica edge found in previous releases – without being quite as ‘bonkers and disturbing’. Overall, it feels a bit less frantic, and a bit more considered.
The album is available both digitally (on Bandcamp/Spotify/etc), and on cassette tape from my label Cow Tongue Taco Records. Downloads are free from there, but anybody who chooses to pay from will get an extra bonus track.
Artwork is by the fantastic Jake Brown aka Ghost Voices.
Previously a digital only release, I’ve decided to put together a very limited set on tape. They are pretty good for sticking on in the morning when you’re hungover. You can pick one up for £5 from Cow Tongue Taco Records, but be quick as they’re already running low.
Today I released a six track, digital only, self-titled EP under the moniker ‘ease and desist’. It’s far more chilled out and heavily sample based than anything else I’ve done before, so probably fits into the ‘samplewave’ genre that I definitely didn’t just make up. You can have a listen/download over on Bandcamp.
Artwork comes from the fantastic Jake Brown.
I feel like I’ve been a bit quiet online lately – partly because my last release was back in August of 2017. Before that, I had been on a bit of a consistent streak, so 7 months feels like an age in comparison. I have been plugging away since the gig in January though, and thought I’d note down some things I’ve been plugging away at.
- Cow Tongue Taco: I’ve deliberately slowed down the pace of releases on my DIY cassette tape label this year, to focus on promoting the existing artists. That said, we have one upcoming from donotrunwithpixels, and recently put out the digital only ‘The Radio-Friendly Noises of Sandbite‘ for free.
- Live Shows: Working to confirm another live appearance in Glasgow for June. Watch this space.
- Studio: I’ve spent a lot of time sorting out the chaos that was my cupboard studio, to get it to a place where I can easily sit down and make music, rather than fighting to find the right cables. Organisation can be helpful at times.
- DJ Sets: I’ve dipped my toe into the world of DJing – to add another feather to my bow. Or something. I inflicted my music taste in a debut set at the Cathouse a couple of weeks ago. You can find the playlist here. It’s an interesting contrast to playing live, or producing music.
- Music: I’ve been writing new music every week. Rather than concentrating on getting albums together for release, I am taking the approach of writing as much as possible, and seeing what tracks naturally float to the top. A slower process, but hopefully a bit more rewarding in the long run.
Below are videos of the full sets from the 13th Note gig the other night – in order!
The bowtie is hosting a wee gig tomorrow (today technically) in Glasgow. Might be the last time the Game Boys come out live for a while. If you’re about, come down and check it out. We have a bunch of cool chip folk coming up from south of the border to play. Things’ll kick off about 7.30pm onwards.
Facebook event here.
Today I’m releasing my sixth full-length album as unexpected bowtie, a ten track LP named ‘liberal exodus’.
Composed entirely using a single DMG, I deliberately stuck closer to the LSDJ heart of the tracks than in previous releases – only adding extra instrumentation to complement the core sound. As a result, liberal exodus feels like a more straight-forward and mature electronic album than 2016’s TOKYO.
You can listen to/download the album over on Bandcamp. If you prefer to stream via Spotify, it should be appearing there within the next week or so.
There is also a very limited set of just five hand painted cassette tapes available via my Cow Tongue Taco Records label. At £2.50 more than the digital download, I think they’re a pretty decent deal, so head over there if you want to grab one before they are gone forever.
Artwork by the wonderful Sanditio Bayu.
This weekend passed, I headed down to London with my faithful hype man Lee Jones to perform at one of the infamous Gleeetch chipmusic nights. For a look into how things went, check out this short video:
The event itself was held in the middle of an industrial estate in Canning Town… way out East for those of you not intimately familiar with the geography of London. Nestled in amongst various stripped cars and piles of scrap metal was a dodgy looking pub, set on top of an old garage. When we first arrived, I was pretty sure we were going to end up stabbed.
As it turned out though, it was an awesome place for an underground gig. Pretty soon, the place began to fill up, and were spilling out into the street with booze, listening to the chipbeats seeping out from the building.
This is Olya, who made the whole thing happen, and who deserves a shit-load of credit for wrangling everything with such determination.
There were some awesome other artists performing, coming from as far away as France and Denmark. It was great to meet people in person that I’ve only ever heard of through the online chip community.
The lights and decorations were particularly awesome.
I love how friendly and ‘into it’ the crowd at chip shows are, and how those that come to these gigs and know nothing about the whole scene turn up looking dubious and bemused, and leave having had an awesome time, even if they aren’t quite sure what the hell was going on. Will definitely have to try and get some more things on the go north of the border.
To round things off, here’s a full live version of a new track: ‘fog of war’:
There’s also a medley of different tunes up on YouTube here.