Music

GLOW IN THE DARK album: first press coverage/BBC gig

Here’s a nice write-up for the upcoming album at indiebandsblog.com

And here’s one at withguitars.com

Appreciated, as ever.  Live, the gigs are gradually pencilling in, circling like corner-of-the eye spectres…  Also, just been offered a BBC radio session, so more news on that soon.


28 May: HARD SCIENCE released today

My latest single – taken from upcoming album Glow in the Dark – is now available.  It can be found on Bandcamp – plus Amazon, Spotify, iTunes etc (frankly the Bandcamp version’s better, because it comes with extras).*

It’s been trickling out through various cracks in the internet already, which makes a nonsense of an “official release date”… Unless you’re Metallica, or someone equally lawyered-up…  But anyway, here it is.  It’s officially official.

EDIT: another review just in from Access All Areas Music

*Well, it was better – till I deleted it just now (June 2021).  The B-side can now be found on the album – as can the track itself.


God Is In The TV reviews Hard Science, 10th May

Good ink…

Here’s a review of forthcoming single Hard Science on God Is In The TV’s site.

It’s a good one: “If these two avant-pop tracks are anything to go by then the album should be, at the least, intriguing.”

Read the article, listen to the tracks when they’re released at the end of this very month, and see if you agree.  (In fact, Hard Science can be heard on the Bandcamp player at the top of this page.  If you like, you can watch the video, too.)


Hard Science vid out now

praise Jeezuz

 The video to my next single, Hard Science (released on Light Crude 28 May) can be viewed above.  It was a lot of fun, albeit very fragmented, to make – not the least difficult was finding a vicar’s collar that fit comfortably and didn’t slip out to the side like a broken bone.  Anyway, now I know how those evangelicals feel: drunk and throbbing with THE POWER OF THE LORD.


FUTURES & PASTS

old news and new news…

New: looks like I’ve finally got a band together, at least the strong framework of one.  All we lack – perhaps – is a keyboard or synth (or even laptop) player.  It’s sounding great so far…  Exciting stuff.

Also, been getting some more airplay on Brighton’s Burst Radio – check em out.

Old: my former band Empty Vessels now has a Youtube channel here.  There’s live footage in 3 parts, and also loads of free audio on Bandcamp.  While I don’t want to make the mistake of raking around in the past too much, it captures the chaos and focused energy of those days – just as well I’ve got a new band, really.


EPISODES re-issue: Mon 20th Feb

2008 debut EP re-released

Episodes is on sale again from tomorrow, via Bandcamp and – shortly afterwards – iTunes, Amazon & all that bunch.

Not only does it include Kafka Song and the hidden spoken-word track from the original CD, but also 3 extra tunes (one of them exclusive to Bandcamp).  It’s been unavailable for a long time due to problems with the original distributors which I won’t go into here – suffice to say a repeat appearance is long overdue.  Check it out.


a vid for Valentine’s Day

…and also for the re-issue of “Episodes”

Monday 20th Feb sees the digital re-release of my 2008 EP Episodes, with bonus tracks.  Here’s a short story to celebrate: one for all you Valentine’s Day romantics out there.  (Ha!)


Torrents! (Of bullshit)

those who complain on messageboards that a not-for-sale CD clearly marked PROMO ONLY which they had no business buying is in fact a CD-r… I salute you

By and large, as a musician I expect to get ripped off occasionally; it’s an occupational hazard.  This is why I’m not too bothered about torrent sites or other internet-based free music distributors beyond my control.  While I might find the principle behind them bogus and annoying, it’s just about possible to accept in return for the (theoretical) publicity it can generate.  And let’s face it, other options are limited.

Just before This Mucky Age was released, a ton of pirate downloads appeared on the net; one of the promo copies was ripped by a journalist.  The only objection I could think of was that it messed up search results for this site; otherwise it was vaguely flattering, in a creepy sort of way… but begs the question, Why?!?  Some sad bastard even went to the trouble of photographing the packaging.  It’s a decent pic, too; so ironically enough, I’m going to steal it (see above).

While checking this out, I found bands begging to be pirated – either from wanting the extra exposure that these sites supposedly offer, or to be seen as inside the great big inclusive internet tent, maybe, instead of out in the rain.  And to an extent, there’s something in the righteous notions the… pirates?…  bandy about, of Opening Up Music’s Furthest Horizons Without Hindrance or Limit For Everybody, of sticking it to The Man, etc etc (when they bother to make excuses, it’s usually some kind of incoherent bid for the moral high ground).

Still, it would’ve been nice to be asked.  At one point there were 80-odd leaked versions out there; not many in the scheme of things, but enough to be taking the piss.  It can be remedied with a little effort, though: get a DMCA takedown notice issued, and the dark grapes of villainy wither on the vine.  Eventually.

This is why the US House of Representatives’ proposed Stop Online Piracy Act & Protect Intellectual Property Act  are disproportionate and inappropriate.  The main argument against is that these pieces of legislation are so vague and potentially all-inclusive that, as the proposals stand, they could be extended to mean censorship (by blocking) of pretty much anything.  All this in the hands of a closed group of private interests.  But so what?

…After all, it sometimes feels like the www could do with a good purge; times when it seems to consist almost entirely of 2nd-hand crud – endlessly-circulated photos of dogs in fancy dress, people who can’t spell screeding out massive reviews of long-forgotten 80’s horror films, regurged gossip and contention, whatever.

Yeah (that’s quite enough devil’s advocacy), then what?  What’s left, other than scorched earth and Adele?  The brute fact is, I have no idea where any of this is going, and care less; it was just an excuse to put that picture up at the top.  Which makes me just as bad – will the circle of evil ne’er be broken…?


rolling up the pavements…

…and pulling down the shutters till 2012

Okay, that’s enough for this year.  It’s been full, varied and interesting, which is all one can ask of any bunch of days.  (That’s in a personal and musical sense, btw.  On a wider political and economic scale, it’s been fucking terrifying.)

Currently trying things out with other musicians and finishing off album #2 – more news on that next year.  Also, my 2008 EP Episodes is due for re-release early 2012: further details in January.  All I’ll say now is that it’s loaded with bonus material and will have proper digital distro this time.

It’s interesting putting out music mainly via internet – there’s now no such thing as a hidden track, for instance: not really.  (One of the tracks on the original Episodes CD was hidden – it ain’t anymore.)  Even if they don’t spill every last bean, most sites actually say in the download spec, “this album/ep, whatever, comes with a hidden track”.  Don’t get me wrong – on paper, in theory, as a medium it’s great. But…  Call me old-fashioned, but it’s not very interesting, is it?  For either party in the transaction.  Spoon-feeding, I mean, in general as well as that specific grouse.

Perhaps things’ll cycle back to to crediting people with a bit of taste and acuity; doubt it though.  On the other hand, the 360-degree, access-all-areas thing we’re locked into now – potential exposure equals potential listeners, so it’s all good – hmm?  Never mind that it’s vapid and boring.  (Well… it’s not like someone’s holding a gun to my head and forcing me to do any of this).  There’s got to be a better way – it’s just that no-one’s found it yet.

Merry X-mush, mush.  A Happy New Yr to you and yrs.

xxx


more radio play for the single

hey BBC – I take it all back about the licence fee…

Hands Up got played on BBC Introducing: South again this weekend (I found out this morning).

As before, it can be heard on iPlayer for a week, till 7pm next Sunday.  It’s the first track on the programme (again!) at about 1min 10secs in, here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d7kh

A good start to the week – album out today, gig in London on Wednesday.


album THIS MUCKY AGE released 25th July

 

This Mucky Age is now on sale, and is available all over the internet (Amazon, Spotify etc), or from Bandcamp.

The Bandcamp version features lyrics, 4 different versions of the cover art, and B-sides to the deleted singles (June 2021).


It’s here: Hands Up single & video released today

The single Hands Up can be bought at Bandcamp, or through Amazon and all the other usual outlets…  Also, there’s a video on Youtube – check it out.*

*June 2021: as with previous single, this no longer exists as a separate recording but can be heard on the album…


God bless the BBC

…and all who sail in her

Thanks to everyone who sent in comments to the BBC Introducing programme this evening.  Very much appreciated.

It can be heard on iPlayer for the next week, here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hrd41

…And Hands Up starts off the programme.

(In fact, I was disentangling myself from some internet admin guff and very nearly missed my own song.  Was in that mix of frantic busy-ness and frustrated inertia that only technology can create – watching lots of coloured bars creeping toward fulfilment, only to be thwarted by tiny circles and error messages…  I shudder thinking about it.)

Anyway, all’s well that ends well.  The whole programme was great – if you didn’t get a chance to hear it on broadcast, give it a listen on iPlayer.


Radio play for Hands Up

BBC Introducing: The South – Sunday 10th, 7-9pm

Hands Up‘s getting played on BBC Introducing: The South by Melita Dennett this coming Sunday.  Fantastic news – here’s the info:

BBC Introducing: The South, 7-9pm Sunday evenings
BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey & BBC Radio Solent

Listen in Brighton on 95.3 FM
Listen in Sussex & Surrey 104-104.8 FM
Listen in Solent & Hampshire on 96.1 FM
Listen in Dorset on 103.8 FM

Listen on-line
 www.bbc.co.uk/sussex
www.bbc.co.uk/surrey
 www.bbc.co.uk/hampshire
 www.bbc.co.uk/dorset

You can email the programme with comments at unsigned@bbc.co.uk or text 81333 (you have to start the text with the word ‘radio’).

Good times.


Hands Up video completed!

God, this is exciting.  After a few false starts, the music vid for Hands Up was shot yesterday.  This time it was made with a proper crew and equipment, in various locations, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.

That’s it, I’m saying nothing more for now – you’ll just have to wait.


1st session, album #2

Started on recording the 2nd album.  Apart from the vocals being tentative – and therefore weak – it was a pretty productive session.  Once I’ve got all the basic guitar tracks down I can re-record the singing, then start fleshing out the songs; meddle with them till they’re unrecognizable, even.  They’re all very new, haven’t been aired live (hence the uncertainty), so I’m not tied to them emotionally;  if it feels right, they could be stripped down again, completely re-structured, lose the guitar…  Well, it’s a possibility.

Good to be back in London – knowing I could leave – and good to catch up with friends, to be doing music.

So – a rich harvest indeed.  The projected new album doesn’t even have a title, and there’s a lot of work still to do.  The timing may seem a little odd, given that album #1 hasn’t yet been released; but it’s also satisfying to remind myself what all this is an aid of, namely music and all that shit.  (Yeah… I’m not just stroking my own bloated ego here, it’s about laying a pure and pristine offering on the altar of the muse… right?)

Anyway, sounding good so far.

 


the single: reviewed

Hello.  My name’s Matt, and I’m weeping milky tears of joy…

Here’s the first coverage of my first single, Wet Dream Disaster, in Brighton Source magazine:

http://www.brightonsource.co.uk/reviews/55-reviews/1640-critic-february

(It’s a little way down the page – I’ll archive it in full in the PRESS section presently.)

They’ve picked up on the spunk motif, which is misleading – it’s not really about bodily fluids, but why let that get in the way of a catchy title?  My younger self, striving away in the musical hinterlands so pious, serious and right-on, would be elaborately and self-righteously horrified.  But I’ve kept faith with my creative hopes in one important respect: no compromise.  None.

Good review, too.

(EDIT: If you’re reading this in 2021 – or any year with a “2” in the middle – I can only salute your completism: I’ve just deleted the single as a separate item, so it can now only be heard on the album.  It’s been a while and the back catalogue’s getting a bit out of hand…  Still not keen on compromise, mind.)