The difficult third album….. From what started as uploading a couple of sound snippets has turned into three years of music or noise uploads, loads of photos, and somehow a third EP. Here is the latest offering of tracks recorded and uploaded over the last year, this time with some extras and a couple of minor remixes. For the first time, this also includes a collaboration. Track 5 “Thalassa” features vocals written and performed by long term friend and band mate, Alistair Davies. Thanks Al!
1. Lost (Self Inflicted Desolation)
2. Fleuve Parasseux
4. Interlude (Tango)
7. Interlude (Donkey Kong)
8. Number stations
How have “the tentacles” changed since the last collection of tracks “Analogue” in July 2014….? I’ve continued piano lessons, learnt lots and hopefully added more musicality to some these tracks, certainly in Thalassa and Fleuve Parasseux. Listening back, several of the tracks contain improvised synth editing. I’ve always tried to maintain an element of improvisation on several of my tracks but listening back I have no idea how, or what I did in some of the parts. It would be unrepeatable which I think is great but also slightly frustrating!
So another year goes by, Life goes on… some tough moments at work, got married, some great experiences along the way, and a whole new passion for running. Long live the tentacles!
Get a printed copy from THE SHOP
For the copyright purists, for (nearly) the first time I’ve ‘stolen’ a couple of bits and pieces, so here are the details: –
Track 1 – A mere use of a pre-set sequence from the Arturia microbrute, bite me.
Track 3 – The very premise of this track was recording artists from the streets. I actually tried to make contact to ask permission but received no response. Some drums and beat boxing parts are recorded on an iPhone in Manchester City Centre. The radio intro/outros are pretty much all live street recordings.
Track 4 – A very short piece from a piano magazine introducing the style of tango. I enjoyed playing it so recorded it and solo’d over it!
Track 7 – The beeps and boops are recorded from me playing my 1982 Nintendo Game and Watch Donkey Kong, still working today, move over PlayStation!
Track 8 – Voices and number stations stolen from web postings on the subject. The whole track came together from listening to parts on the web and adding some random synth warblings and a beat… getting it done off the cuff.
A sudden productivity spasm, here are a couple of new tracks. First up “Reload”, an erratic junglist noise-fest with some eastern vibes.
This was an initial try-out of the Roland JD-Xi synth, a crossover digital/analogue synth. Almost all of the track, including drums, are played/programmed on this synth. I even used the vocoder :o) Loving the dirty analogue vibes.
Next up is “Number Stations”. A number station is a mysterious coded shortwave radio broadcast known to be used during World War I and through to the Cold War to send messages to agents in the field…. These broadcasts sound really sinister so that’s the vibe I went with, this was quick, play some of the number station and throw some synth/drum improvisation over it. No icing here.
The picture? I actually hacked apart Victoria’s (old) computer, shone some green and blue lights at the circuit board and snapped away!
I have another new piece on the way, almost a proper piano track. Building up to EP#3 me’thinks.
The Roland TR-8 encourages ‘performance’ control i.e. making changes and sounds to beats as you record rather than editing after, so I thought I’d try and get a quick “improv” done – here it is, just a single take of drums edited on the go and a few synth tracks unrolled over the top! I’m hoping to get some “proper” tracks up and recorded soon as well as a classical piece I’m learning in my lessons (which will be tough work!), so watch this space.
Natural equilibrium restored…….
Part 3 – System Re-boot
will be left
Or bone rots
(Poem kindly used courtesy of Jon Adams @soundcube whose Twitter poems, other tweets and shares I very much enjoy).
(There may very well be a remix of this track with some additional collaboration, lyrics and guitar. So watch this space)
Some information on this series of tunes HERE
Tentacle 7 (Big Mouth)
Start with moody piano line whilst leaning on the sustain pedal, add a little bit of upbeat oddtime mush, stir in a happy hardcore ending and sprinkle with a tiny bit of MC’ing and what do you get? Tentacle 7 of course! Inspired mainly by tapping on my desk when i’m meant to be working, the recent Fish Fight TV shows, and the great work of the Marine Conservation Society …….. Big Mouth…. No Voice…..
I’ve finally made better use of the v-drums and recorded multi-track parts to hopefully get a better mix, and i actually sort-of planned this one before recording, so i could actually just play the parts rather than trying to stitch ideas together. There are loads of different sounds and tracks so its actually became quite a nightmare to keep track of it all and mix – I’ve actually had another go, and uploaded again on 3rd March with a few changes 🙂
This of course means the octology is drawing to a close so i’ll have to actually start thinking of a name for future projects! Its been a mixed bag with 3, 5 and 7 being by far the most involved – I always have preferred odd numbers though! So it only leaves Tentacle 8 ……. which will likely be a horrifically noisy metal track…..
(Credit to Bradley the Betta Splendins for posing for the photograph)
I had two short ideas for Tentacle 6 based on the same chord progression. I did intend to develop them into a full piece (and may still do that), but thought i may as well toss them, still wriggling, into The Bucket. I’m using these pieces to practice soloing, the one in 7/4 is interesting to stay in sync with, so the lead lines (as you can tell!) are off the cuff. Such care and attention to detail also led me to mix them in approximately 10 minutes. Perfectionist me…
I’ve actually uploaded a far few musical snippets now, so I’ve also re-arranged The Bucket into some very broad categories. I really just wanted to separate what are intended as full songs from those which are just quick rough and ready ideas.