Volumes and AMD up on Bandcamp, extra download formats

I've been uploading much of my music to Bandcamp, to see how well it works, as it offers a few very handy features for precisely zero money (for the time being anyway).

Firstly, the lossless uploads are automatically converted to a veritable plethora of download formats, such as three grades of mp3 (including two VBR), two grades of AAC, Ogg, FLAC and Apple Lossless.

Secondly, it gives me some useful stats as to what's been listened to, what's been skipped, and where people have come from to listen. There's also plenty of widget-sharing options, as expected on today's internets, enabling you to plaster my tunes all over the superhighweb.

Looks like you can also sell downloads there as well, offering either fixed price or donation options for the tracks, but I've yet to explore this option. Might give this a go once I get some more releases up there.

A Midsummer Nice Dream 12” available here

I've just set up my own little shop selling odd stock of my past releases, such as A Midsummer Nice Dream on vinyl for just £6 plus P&P. I hope to get the odd limited release up there too, so please keep your eyes peeled for the odd one-off relic from the Ochre archives.

Due to the way the shopping cart works (in this case, the FatFreeCart) in not catering for multiple shipping fees, I've set out separate purchase buttons depending on the shipping destination, with P&P prices ranging from £3 in the UK to £4 for EU customers and £6 for US. Yes, shipping vinyl is rather steep, so I've kept the base unit price down to around half of the usual retail price.

I've also been toying with the idea of releasing some of my unreleased 'Volumes' or 'AMD' on CD---would this be of any interest to you? I'll see how feasible a short run of CDs will be and possibly get some up if there's suitable interest.

Petl 12” EP out Monday on Baselogic

Ochre - Petl EP

New Ochre vinyl! It's been quite some time since I've had something out on vinyl, so I'm excited to announce the release of a new 12" EP, released on Baselogic, on Monday (distributed by Veto). Here's the tracklist:

A1. Petl
A2. Bass Recorder (a remix of Global Goon)
B1. Neoretro
B2. Chronon

Three of the four tracks have been available here on my site in the past, but I hope that won't dissuade you from grabbing a copy; it's been mastered at Alchemy to sound its best for its vinyl debut, so it ought to be no contest between mp3 and 12".

It's available to buy at the moment from Boomkat and Juno, to ship on Monday. No doubt it will filter through the retail channel over the course of the week, but if your favourite store doesn't hold it, please ask them to order it in for you.

Edit: More stores: Tempest (Brum, UK), Phonica (London), Clone (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Fat Fenders (Dresden, Germany) etc.

Like all other Baselogic releases, it will also be available digitally in due course. My remix of Ed Chamberlain is now available on mp3 from Juno, Amazon, Beatport and Nuloop, with usual suspects Bleep and iTunes to follow.

Annnd… We’re Back

Okay, with all that renovation kerfuffle out of the way, I'm happy to get the mastering underway once again; I'll be chasing up those of you who've been in touch during the downtime, and have organised a schedule to catch up with this.

Meanwhile, I'm currently working on a remix for The Collectors (featuring Benet Walsh, co-writer of a few tunes of mine that made their way onto the Death of an Aura EP, with more to follow). It'll be a digital-only release at some point in the first quarter of 2009, I think.

Also, watch this space for a new vinyl EP release, being manufactured as we speak. It's been too long since I've had something out on vinyl, so I'm pretty giddy about getting my mits on it. I don't even have a turntable at the moment... okay so I just want to lick the vinyl---what's wrong with that?

My Download Store Stats, Closure

Well, it was a fun experiment for the past six months, setting up a download store for my unreleased music. But following the removal of a few tunes for an upcoming release, I've decided I'd rather have more people listen to my music than have a little extra pocket money, so I've reverted to giving everything away for free (still in 320kbps mp3 and FLAC formats).

For those curious about the kind of money I was making with the store, here are some stats: Since launch, 56 generous souls purchased music from the store, with 120 items sold in total, earning me about £299 (minus the monthly E-Junkie service plan fee and PayPal charges). Not a bad run for a musical nobody such as myself.

Hopefully the disclosure of my sales information doesn't come off sounding either like a complaint or a boast---just keeping you all in the loop. Thanks very much to everyone who stumped-up for the downloads; the warm fuzzy feeling you must have felt supporting independent music will have hopefully made up for the slight annoyance of seeing it all freely available again.

In an altogether non-unrelated subject, this little read and the subsequent discussion may provide some entertainment. As a die-hard cynic I couldn't help but revel in its unrelenting, though thoroughly entertaining, pessimism. Certainly brought up a few smiles reading it, that's for sure.

Well, I'll limp on, musically, trying my damnedest to get this album finished before 2010...

Fictional Soundtrack Material for Download in mp3 and FLAC

Regular visitors to the site may have noticed a few changes to the music page, with the notable addition of 'Fictional Soundtrack,' eight tracks freely available for download in mp3 and FLAC formats.

These were demo pieces written in 2005 for a fairly well-known Half Life 2 mod called Minerva. It's a very well crafted mod, with a definite style of its own, and a cool, mysterious (i.e. rather cryptic) plot. I originally contacted the author, Adam Foster, and offered these tunes for subsequent episodes, but alas Adam had his music-needs already met. Ah well.

If you have HL2 on your PC, then go and grab Minerva---it's a very worthy free download, and a very challenging extension to the HL2 world. And would you believe it, on the back of the attention garnered by Minerva among the mod community, Adam now works for Valve, developing HL2: Episode 3. Very well-deserved in my opinion---congrats, Adam! That has to be the ultimate fairy tale ending to every mod developer's dream. Hopefully Adam will still have time to add further episodes to Minerva.

Anyway, back to the music---this is freely available under a Creative Commons licence, for you to use in your own not-for-profit games, mods, videos etc. If you want anything reworked or tweaked for a particular project, let me know. :)

Death of an Aura EP out now

Also available on iTunes, Beatport, Juno.

I'm pleased to finally be able to say that my new download EP, Death of an Aura, is now available for preview/purchase on Bleep. FLAC versions should be following shortly; I'll be updating this post, as well as the discog page, with links to additional stores as and when store support improves.

Musically, I suppose you could say the EP features my vocal debut, albeit mainly through humming and oohing/ahhing here and there for a bit of extra texture, with additional non-lyrics for good measure. Still, I did find the process a lot of fun, adding an immediacy that's normally lacking from my usual methodical composing. Lots of home sampling too, which is certainly something I only really touched upon with Lemodie, and completely ignored with AMND.

A couple of tracks ('Napoli' and 'Raido') are the result of a collaboration between Benet Walsh and I (you may recognise Benet from his work with Plaid, as well as his own work as one half of The Collectors), which were fantastic to work on. Hopefully we'll get a few more tracks done together by the time the album arrives---thanks for the help, Ben!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. :) Let me know what you think, and please---if you can spread the word across any forums or communities you participate in, I'd very much appreciate it.

Reception.ac3

A couple of you were asking about the surround version of Reception (see here for more info), so here it is:

Reception.ac3

Working in surround is still somewhat of a novelty for me, and I'm sure I've yet to get to grips fully with it, so let me know if you hear anything that sounds like it shouldn't be there and I'll make appropriate adjustments.

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Header image: National Ignition cover art, by nkurence.