I don’t tend to do these kinds of posts for anything else, but with music there’s so many different ongoing projects, that I think it’s helpful to set out what I want to get done in the year, then look back on it at the end. I’ve touched upon some of this before, but here goes.
1. Release ease and desist EP
I have a full EP basically finished and ready to go under the ease and desist moniker. I just need to get through the final mixing and mastering stages, but am finding it hard to get the motivation to do so. It’s a bit different to my usual styles, so is proving to be a challenge. If I don’t get this done in the next 12 months I may as well quit everything.
2. Use YouTube More
I used to post synth videos on YouTube, and gathered just over 1k followers in a fairly short space of time. It became a faff though, so I stopped. This year, I want to make an effort to pick it back up, as it can be a good motivator/way to experiment with different projects. The specific targets are to i) post at least 12 videos in 2021, and ii) get the subscriber count to 2k. Completing the first goal should hopefully lead to the second. I’ve already re-branded the channel as allmyfriendsaresynths and posted the first video… with a bunch more in progress, so this should be achievable.
3. Listen to 10k tracks
I use Last.FM to track a lot of the music I listen to, and I’ve noticed that I am often most creative musically after listening to more music. However, I am not very good at just having music on ‘passively’, so it can be tricky to balance. I need to make an actual effort to sit and listen. Anyway, in the past I have never hit 10k tracks in one year. 2021 is the year to make that happen. I’ve worked out I need to listen to about 30 tracks a day, which should be doable…
4. Finish two KOSMO rows
I have started building a modular synth in the KOSMO format. I want to complete the build of the case, and at least two rows of the modules. Again, should be achievable.
5. Release another album
I have a whole pile of tracks built up from various projects, but nothing full length yet. The last release I put out was 2 years ago, so I want to end that drought.
It’s been an interesting week musically, with a whole host of different plates successfully kept spinning. There were a few occasions where they almost came crashing down, but not quite.
First off, the BBC came round to record a short interview about the music, which is pretty cool. It should be up sometime soon, so watch this space. It had to be the time where my LSDJx2 refused to synch properly of course. Sod’s law.
Next up, I launched the noisepedals.com site to look at different effects boxes and electronic instruments – which means I get to record and experiment with sounds that I’d not normally have had a chance to.
Then, on Sunday I headed into the studio with the newly re-born Closet Organ – a grunge band that was formed with some pals way back in High School; this time with Lee on board as second guitar which gives it an interesting new dynamic. After initially forgetting my laptop (eugh), we got three tracks done in five hours. Not bad at all. Looking forward to getting a whole bunch more done in the next few months.
Coming back to unexpected bowtie, the final tracks of the new album are coming together, so it shouldn’t be too long before I’m able to release it. It’s still missing something though. It’ll be a bit quieter over the next few days as non-music life takes over, but it feels good to be busy again.
I’ve been bashing away writing and recording over the past few weeks, building up a decent library of tracks, and seeing what I can do with the various different apps that are available for the iPad. Lots of them make pretty cool sounds or loops in of themselves, but aren’t much use for anything other than that. There is some good stuff in there though.
The aim is to record as many tracks as possible, even if I don’t have an immediate specific use for them. This is a bit of a change from what my approach has always been… namely, an impatient one that meant I’d release pretty much everything I finished. Now, I’m getting a better handle on my gear setup, and certain songs are floating to the top naturally. It can be frustrating at times, but taking the longer road will hopefully result in some of the best stuff I’ve done as unexpected bowtie. I’m toying with the idea of releasing the rest as a sort of odds-and-ends EP as well.
On Saturday night a few of us headed out (full of rum) to belt out classic power ballads for a few hours. It was good times.
We didn’t feel all that great on Sunday though. Normally I’d just lie about and eat rubbish all day, which eh… I did anyway. But Lee aka radiomoths came round and we recorded the base of a new track with a bunch of different pedals, synths, and the C64. It’s all de-tuned and sounds a bit like the soundtrack of some robot death march from a film. Lee also took photos that I’ve stolen from his blog.
After we were done, I ate some more rubbish food. Not too bad a way to get through a hangover.