Every now and then I'm reminded of just how frustrating the doggedly persistent notion of 'online empowerment' is for musicians. The insistence of the net as a 'level playing field', is trotted-out on a regular basis; a superficially axiomatic cliché, serving only to stifle further investigation. However, you don't have to try too hard to peel-off the fancy veneer and expose the same old mechanisms.
The sequel to Sony's popular LittleBigPlanet game has finally been released on PS3. Developed once again by the talented folks of Media Molecule), LittleBigPlanet 2 is touted as not merely a platform game, but a platform for games, allowing players to create their own games, levels and music.
My track 'Infotain Me', taken from Lemodie, was licensed for use as part of the in-game soundtrack within LittleBigPlanet 2, and features alongside tracks from the likes of Plaid and Squarepusher. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be involved.
It's well into 2011, and now that they have officially ceased trading, my album contracts with Benbecula Records have expired. As a result, I've kindly had the rights to 'Lemodie' and 'Like Dust' handed back to me, so I've made them both available for download directly from my Bandcamp page (alongside 'Midsummer').
All three albums are downloadable on a 'name your price' basis, currently with no minimum charge, so if you simply feel like swiping them without paying a penny
or sharing your email address, you're free to do so. Better yet, you can set a price you deem fair for my hard work, and sleep easy knowing you're incentivising future Ochre output. Please spread the word; retweet, share, post etc.
Each full-album download contains a bonus track, with 'Lemodie' and 'Midsummer' having their respective CD 'secret' tracks appended to their tracklist, while 'Like Dust' features 'Threnodie', a track previously released as part of the 'Death of an Aura' EP (which I've now retired).
The expiry of my contracts with Benbecula also means that both albums will start to disappear from third-party download stores. Once all down, I'll set about distributing them through my own digital aggregator (probably Emubands, as they currently handle 'Midsummer' distro).
Oleg Mokhov, co-founder of net radio station BlueRize, was kind enough to host a Skype interview with me recently for his Mix & Master show.
Over the course of the interview we discuss how my burgeoning mastering business, Melograf Mastering, got off the ground, as well as getting into the logistical nuts and bolts of its everyday operation. It’s quite an extensive interview, and as such is split into two parts. The first covers why and how I decided to set up Melograf, with the second part following next week, covering the actual audio processing minutia and associated geekery. You can stream the first part here.
If you've been following me on Twitter this will be old news, but the late Benbecula Records are having a Christmas sale, selling all physical releases for just 99p each. Lemodie and Like Dust are there for the taking, for a whopping grand total of £1.98.
Goodness me, that was quick. It just recently occurred to me that my sister-venture, Melograf Mastering, has survived its first year formally in business. I can still recall the trepidation I felt when I first set about completing the paperwork. But, thanks to the help of some very kind friends, plus of course the clients who have entrusted me with their music over the course of the year (a good start -- over a hundred projects), it's been a great first year.
The procurement of a set of ADDA convertors last week (to join my lone monitoring DA) was clearly an unconscious celebration of this feat. Time to start thinking about some choice outboard for the new analogue loop.
The above video documents the production of a very unique set of musical artefacts, created
initially as part of my PhD submission. The inaugural set of these 'Auratic Artefacts' comprises
three transparent, single-sided vinyl dubplates, with a double-sided, laser-etched wooden veneer,
bonded to the non-audio side of each dubplate. Further variations include sleek, laser-etched
aluminium plates, contrasting nicely with the warm, almost rustic character of the wooden veneers.
As you can see, each set comes with a hand-sprayed, custom sleeve, too!
This all came about through a gnawing dissatisfaction with my largely dematerialised music
practice and its subsequent dematerialised output. Feels good to be able to physically see, touch
and feel the fruits of my musical labour again in a non-CD format -- to have something tangible to
show once the computer shuts down.
But as you might expect, being able to offer these for sale would be quite a challenge; cutting
dubplates and laser etching could get expensive very quickly. Then there's the time costs incurred
by all the parties involved in crafting these artefacts. Still, it'd be nice to present a few more
sets at some point. :)
A huge thanks goes to nkurence for his design and crafting
skills, in addition to his laser-etching expertise. Thanks also to Frank at The Carvery for
cutting my tunes to transparent vinyl.
I realise I haven't posted for quite a while, so rather than simply ignore my blog until my current undertaking is complete, I thought I'd quickly let you know what I've been doing all this time.
Hi folks. I've recently started work on a film soundtrack for Dolls, and currently have three pieces written to date, posted below. Feels nice to take off my Ochre hat from time to time, writing music tailored to the requirements of a specific project.
I'll be posting more news as and when it trickles through, but if you'd like to actively stay in the loop with Dolls, we have a Facebook group to join, as well as a dedicated film blog for your bookmarks. If you're on Twitter, you can also follow the Dolls team on there, too.
Meanwhile, I'm feverishly trying to complete my uni work over the summer, as well as sorting out the next Ochre project. :)
Yesterday, The Setup kindly published a short interview with me, detailing the gear I use in my daily musical exploits. It's a frank run-down of my minimal setup, what I love and loathe about the various software and equipment I use, plus some wish-list musings. Be sure to check out some of their other interviews, as there are quite a few big-hitters of the geek world on there too.