January has been a bit less productive in terms of finished tracks than I had expected or would have liked, but I’ve still been doing a fair bit. I’ve re-organised and upgraded the studio so that I have far more simultaneous inputs for recording, and better access to my hardware effects, which is good. Just a matter of the final bit of cabling and it’ll be good to go.
Anyway, here’s a new track, that may or may not be on the next Cup Fungus album:
This week hasn’t been the easiest. This track felt like an appropriate reflection.
Recorded with some Commodore 64 SID chips, a bunch of Eurorack, drones, some guitar, and far too many effects pedals.
One of the tracks that I recorded and re-mashed for a future release with Origami Sunflower is used on a new video that I stuck together for the BBC Social.
For the full version of the track (which I think is pretty great), check out Soundcloud:
Not too long ago I read about how some genius called ‘irrlicht project’ had hacked old Texas Instruments graphing calculators so they could be used to make 1-bit music. Naturally, I had to have a bash at this myself. There’s something particularly special and rewarding about being able to compose whole tracks on devices that were never intended to work that way.
The models that support the ‘Houston Tracker‘ software are seemingly everywhere in the US, as they were apparently a mandatory purchase for many schools. That means they can usually be picked up fairly cheap second hand over there. However, as it turns out, these weren’t all that prevalent in the UK, so they are still fairly pricey – coming in at around £30 on eBay.
I finally got an okay deal though, and got to work getting Houston Tracker onto the device. It’s not all that straightforward, as you need a specific kind of cable – which costs almost the same as the damn calculator. Importing one from America worked out to be the most cost effective route in the end. Installation wise, there’s a lot of fiddling about to get the dependencies right on OSX, unless you use MacPorts – which saved the day. Once it was all up and running though, it was pretty good fun to use – with a whole host of features that I didn’t expect.
I recorded a fairly simple tune to find my way around the controls, and decided to record it. The raw calculator sound was a bit too bare for my tastes, so I threw in some minimal effects and overlaid some glitchy guitars/harmonised vocals. Here it is, my first calculator music track:
It’s been a while since I got pished on a Saturday night and just recorded some music. Well, I ended up recording after an hour of fighting with my mixer to work out why the stereo output was only producing mono…
There’s always the risk that it could have been my crappy soldering, which meant testing out every possible step. So many variables. Surprisingly, it wasn’t actually any of the Gameboys, but the mixer.
I’m pretty pleased with the result, and it should give a hint as to what the next album will sound like. Listen to and download it below:
To finish off, here’s a picture of my tidied up workspace.
If it wasn’t for Toby Hayes aka Shoes and Socks Off, this whole musical adventure wouldn’t exist. He’s been in all sorts of amazing bands, and I’d probably have burned all of my instruments in a fire on Glasgow’s High Street if our paths hadn’t crossed. You have him to blame.
Here’s a light-hearted track with guitar from the man himself, which will be on the next album.
Here’s a wee quickie b-side of a track for a new Monday, and a new week.
You can download this one right away too.
It was only a week or two ago that we posted introducing Ash Cooke aka Pulco, with the news that he’d be contributing some specially recorded samples to be mashed up (i.e. destroyed) in the name of art… and contribute he did, with a whole stash of bizarre loops and rumblings. In true Pulco style, the ‘misery poet’ utilised everyday objects like a wheelbarrow, and chucked rocks at it till it became aurally pleasing.
You can preview the product below; it’s a dark, grungey affair.
For more info on Pulco, check out the interview from Artrocker that went online today.
pre-medication by unexpectedbowtie