July 6, 2014
06/07/2014 Out of the Tunnel


No blog entry for over 3 months. This might suggest a lack of activity on my part, and would certainly contain more than a grain of truth. The truth, as ever is slightly less straightforward.

Hot Hog Infusion was completed in late March, but for some reason which I can't recall, didn't make it out into the wild until mid April. This track marked the end of my remix project, spanning 33 months, and I am glad to have completed what was, in truth, a labour of love. Looking back on this period, I have found it exceedingly useful in a technical sense. I have also demonstrated to myself reserves of willpower whose existence was never previously suspected. When I completed these remixes and the Occultation album, I was quite certain that I never wanted to repeat the exercise, having expended such vast resereves of mental, temporal and other resources that I was unsure of my ability to make such a commitment again. Three months later, and my feelings have begun to shift. ever so slightly. One of the kind people who purchased the album back in February has posted a very positive follow-up on KVR some 5 months after the album release, This is very encouraging for me. My current feeling is that I may evaluate another album release at the end of 2014. It's currently 50/50 which is a major shift from the 0/100 of 3 months ago.

Towards the end of April I put myself back into "composition mode" and began work on "Tang Dynasty". This was only my 4th new piece of music in 38 months, so I was quite nervous about the process. The track came from one of my many "building blocks", in this case a little Chinese snippet I had assembled in October 2013. Before long it had evolved into a 9 minute Berlin-influenced beat driven extravanganza which I was more than happy to call complete, although I may revisit this piece again later. There was some fairly complex routing on this track, and the mix was challenging, but I'm not somebody who likes making things too easy for myself. I also managed to put some new VSTs to good use.

In June I worked on another new track, "Ganymede's Inertia". The main riff was originally conceived as a techno piece back in 2010, but I started messing around with synth patches. The resulting change in sound suggested a much mellower mood, so the piece became downtempo, which in turn demanded that I put Phonec to work. The evolution of this piece even surprised me. I needed a contrasting section for the track and knew that it would require a Rhodes sound to achieve the mood I was after. Just as I thought the track was approaching the completion/mixing stage, I had an idea. Let's add some guitar and bass. 

I acquired some new gear last month. I bought a keyboard stand. this might sound inconsequential and particularly underwhelming, but this simple addition makes life and composition in particular so much easier. It's the simple things that make the biggest difference. I also bought a TC Ditto x2. I have only scratched the surface, but it's fantastic. I have spent hours just jamming along with myself. It's great fun. After a session I can transfer the audio to my computer via USB. I have managed to produce some remarkable sounds via subsequent audio processing, opening up the possibilties of guitar-glitch in the future. It's highly recommended. I also splurged on some Audio Damage plugins. I picked up Repicant, Axon and Eos in a sale a couple of months ago. These are quality tools and I can't recommoend them highly enough.

At the end of June I attended the Ambient Music Conference in Finland. The trip was great fun and I got to meet a wonderful crowd of people, including S1gns0fL1fe, Ambient Indigo, luftrum, Northstar11, AnneMarie Borg, Simon Lomax, Massergy, Ivan Black, [owt:kri], Utu Lauttori, Rusty Hodge, Ambient Lifeforms, Cosmic Cadence and many others. I managed to see and hear amazing performances from these artists and many others including 45ko, Sarana, Umpioo, Lux Ohr Musikgruppe, Nemesis, and a great presentation on sound design from the legenday luftrum. Finland was a great choice of venue, and the trip incuded a day trip to Tallinn which I also recommend as a place to visit. 

What's next for whatsisname? Acid/House is currently top of my list, possibly followed by something ambient.