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.
Time to get back to the roots of this blog and get some music up! Here is my latest offering – “Fleuve Parasseux”
What’s that rubbish picture I hear you say? Its a river of course, but I have taken the liberty of inconveniencing a few electrons and altered it using the free image “glitching” website available HERE
I love that we have access to fantastic technology, but then try and mess things up so that pictures look old, retro, faded and “glitched” or produce music then distort it to make it sound like its on tape, or add record scratches etc. Why do we strive for perfection and then try and quickly get away from it?
The track itself started as a piano piece which I recorded and then developed all the other parts around it. Whilst uncharacteristically “nice” for the most part, I tried to add my own “glitch”.
New EP coming very soon including a collection of tracks from this blog, a couple of new “interludes” and an older track with new vocals all over it (not by me thankfully!)
Time off work means being able to throw some noise into the internet, so here it is.
My last “batch” of recordings were predominantly electronic-sounding so I’m trying to explore fusing some more natural parts with dirty synth. This has been slow going and only has a couple of sections, but with very limited time its been a track of bass one week, followed by the drums the next etc. I will certainly have to pull my finger out if I’m going to get a third EP out sometime in 2015….. For the music theory dorks, I’ve been messing around with ‘passing’ chords which is a technique to move from chord to chord by adding a bit of smokey jazz into the equation. As an example, rather than jumping straight from Gm to Cm, the in-between chord is Baug with a Db bass note. I use this technique a few times on this piece.
The pic? A warped photo of northern Fuerteventura with Lobos in the background……
Also here is a basic version of Clair De Lune I have been playing in my lessons. Whilst much “easier” than the full version, getting it to sound smooth and ‘romantic’ is another matter (especially when you’re a “metal” drummer at heart) and I’m not there yet but here it is anyway.
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
I decided to see what I could write, play, record, mix and post in an afternoon, and here it is. Most of my recent pieces have been veering along a dance/electronic path, so I tried to stick with more traditional instruments here. The name? The main rhythm is something I used for the song “Wetwork” in the metal band “…and fate was foolish”. The song was about… er…. murder, so this is the soundtrack before those horrific events occurred.
Wetwork (a prelude)
Strictly speaking this is a piano lesson piece, but rather than record it pure piano (mainly because I can’t play both hands together yet), I’ve added some sax, drums and bass. Its taken from Alan Haughton’s “Rhythm and Rag” book. Its great to play because the basslines are very James Bond. The picture? It’s a shark….. because ……well …….er ……. they’re a little bit “James Bond” aren’t they? Also, its about time this blog got back to it’s slippery roots.
Blue Note (Alan Haughton)
I’ve recorded this piece over the weekend and have titled it ‘Reflections’ in relation to my other post earlier today on Remembrance Day.
Tech details – mixing this has made me realise I definitely need some new monitors. My old unbranded monitors, kindly butchered into ‘active’ speakers with a Maplin amp by BigBadBeezer have had their day. Time to go shopping…..
I managed to get completely covered in wires by trying to use most of my gear – the Korg Kross features heavily for the more natural sounds, along with warped electronic sounds from the Novation Mininova. Drums are programmed using EZDrummer, but I also dropped in a few subtle parts on the Korg Volca Beats. I was trying to mix natural sounds with electronic and quite like the result.
In the spirit of rambling on, I am also particularly excited about the new Secret Chiefs 3 album which is currently somewhere between California and Copperas St. Ten years in the making by the sound architect Trey Spurance it is sure to be a gem. Their music for me is such an uplifting experience – it is a completely different level – the detail, the playing, the composition, the recording quality is unrivalled. Yet the world watches X-Factor……. sigh…… arrive soon Book of Souls: Folio A.
Here’s a quick mess around dedicated to my new home, the Northern Quarter in Manchester. As with most Bucket of Tentacles uploads, I try and get a basic couple of bits down and then just improv over to top. Dedicated to perfection….. I think not sar! A bit of an experiment with programming drums and the Novation Mininova.
I can’t wait to have a good wander round the city with my camera in hand, but the quick pic from my phone will have to do for the moment. There is some fantastic street art around here, and lots of buildings full of character……
Next few tasks ahead are find myself a new piano teacher (why do so many not respond?!), record a few new piano pieces and then move into a warped next phase of BoT! And of course, get Viktoria up here with me 🙂