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Urban Grime

During my short walk to work, as I edge round the corner into Thomas Street, I’m quite often greeted by a sunrise that almost deserves an applause.  Its always on my “to do” list to force myself out of bed on a weekend and be out early with my camera to capture the Northern Quarter in such a great early morning light.  This weekend….. I got up, emerged from my flat to a sky that resembled a dishcloth.  Then it started to snow on me.  Undeterred I wandered the streets anyway and took a few pics as the mist gradually descended, some things aren’t just meant to happen eh?  Typically I walked to work the next day and was greeted by a sunrise that could win awards…….

Enough of the moaning, the grim morning and deserted Northern Quarter streets were thoroughly enjoyable so I snapped away merrily trying to capture what I’ve titled here as the Urban Grime.  This area is scattered with bars filled with patrons sporting poetic beards and colourful tattoos, oozing a “vintage” vibe which clearly justifies adding £1 to the price of a beer, but alongside that are many abandoned buildings and dubious looking structures, each giving a hint of a time gone by.   Here is a bit of “Urban Grime” without a trendy bar in sight.  As I uploaded I soon realised I seem to have become obsessed with pictures of doors, no doubt behind each lies a wealth of stories and history.

To accompany the pics here is an quick improvised piece using an arpeggio and drum beat from my keyboard, but connected to my new analogue “Microbrute”.  This had the cool effect of the arpeggio triggering the minbrute which meant I could concentrate on warping the sounds throughout.  Press record, one hand on keys and the other twiddling dials and it was recorded.  A couple of edits to pan parts of the synth track and that was that.  Maybe a bit repetitive, but it all turned out rather dark and nasty.  Great.

EDIT Doorway2

An intriguing doorway on Thomas Street

EDIT Short Street

Suspiciously lurking in Short Street.

EDIT Doorway

Go on. Phone them.

EDIT Brixton

This shop is clearly mistaken as to where exactly they have set up their business

EDIT Back Turner

“We’ve been building something”.  Have you? Where?

EDIT Street Fog


EDIT Thomas

Grime at its finest.

EDIT Tentacles

Mighty tentacles.




Casiotone and Piano Lessons

Three nuggets of noise for the price of one! As we meander into 2014 here are a few bits I’ve recorded today.  First up is just for fun, a piece completely recorded using a Casiotone 405, direct from 1983, complete with fake wood finish, loads of switches and dials and dodgy crackly outputs, but nevertheless still good fun to mess around with! I picked it up from Gumtree as a bit of keyboard history – see this great WordPress blog on Casio history HERE.  I set one of the auto beats (with A.V. – Accomp. Variation), played a few chords and then soloed over the top.  Cheesy I know! Vintage “synth” ….. 🙂




Also here are two piano pieces I’ve been playing in my lessons recently.  First up is Petite Petite by A. Goedicke.  The most difficult part of this one for me, apart from playing the correct notes, is making it exciting.  There [should be] a lot of dynamics and vibe to it, but it has been a bit of a struggle.  Here is my effort:

Petite Petite (A. Goedicke) 


Second up is “Night journey” by Gurlitt.  Technically this shouldn’t be difficult, but (and this is where my problem is!) it needs a good control of pedal to sound right.  Being a drummer, I’ve spent years of big fat stomping with my right foot.  This recording shows I need to practice pedal more and more, it’s a big sustain mush at times.  I like the piece though and in the interests of throwing out a tentacle, here it is.

Night Journey (Gurlitt)

Lots more practice for me…..

Happy New Year to all!