2020 Update

It’s been a while since my last update, and while I haven’t been making a pile of chipmusic, I’ve been busy with a bunch of other projects. Here’s what’s going on:

ease and desist

I’ve been working on a new ‘ease and desist’ album. The tracks are much more commercial than anything else I’ve ever done, and have ended up as a mixture of different styles – primarily taking from the electronica and hip hop worlds – and with some collaborations on there. To accompany the tracks, I’ve created some videos, which are now up on the new Cow Tongue Taco YouTube channel.

Hog Wyld

The artist formerly known as… What started as a one-off project between me and my pal Lee has now grown arms and legs and become a fully fledged band. We have taken the tracks from the initial EP and reimagined them, writing a bunch of new songs and playing a pile of gigs as a three-piece – joined by Al Roney on drums.

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We have successfully crowdfunded our debut album, which we are set to release before the end of summer on vinyl LP. Watch this space… and listen to some of the demos below:

Closet Organ

Closet Organ are still going strong, and over the past year embarked on not one, but two mini tours of the UK – piling into a van and playing to a bunch of weird and wonderful villages.

As well as that, we recorded and released three separate sets of music, including ‘Smells Like Lynx Africa / Fat & Die (an Autobiography)‘ double A Side, ‘Fuck the Home Office’ single, and ‘Bambi Riot / Ginger Blonde Bombshell’ double A side.

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Wyld Organ Studio

After years of playing in horrible rehearsal places with broken equipment, a bunch of us finally bit the bullet and got our own dedicated space to jam, record, and generally hang out in.

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Being able to go in and crank up guitars and have decent recordings is both a luxury and also now almost a necessity that I don’t think I could go back to anything else.

The future…

Right now, thinking about the future seems a bit strange, as none of us really knows what the next few days will bring never mind the next few months. However, once (or if) we emerge from the Coronavirus lockdown, we have big plans. Hog Wyld need to record our album and plan a tour. Closet Organ are in the middle of writing a bunch of new material… but for now it looks like I’ll be confined to my home studio, so that could bring a return to electronica for the time being. More updates to follow. Maybe.

 

Hog Wild EP

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.

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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:

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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.

https://cowtonguetacorecords.bandcamp.com/album/hog-wild

cup fungus – inter alia LP

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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.

inter alia cassette tapes

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.

ease and desist EP

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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.

2018 Update

unexpected bowtie studio

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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.

 

New album: liberal exodus LP

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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.

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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.