Monday, April 30, 2012

Coming soon... waag_rel002

Over on we are all ghosts I just shared some details on our next release... which is due to drop next Monday... the 7th of May, 2012;

Please take a couple of minutes to check it out.


May 2012's Calendar / Wallpaper

May 2012's Calendar :: 1024x768

April has been horrendous in my part of the world... and I wanted to be reminded of Spring... and nothing says Spring to me than a daffodil... one that was taken in one of the few walks we've had as a family in April.

Usual flavours are included below. I don't have a "new iPad" and don't know anyone who has one... if you want a pic for it let me know along with the dimensions and I'll get one to you. Enjoy and thanks for everyones willingness to have my photography on their devices... it is appreciated by me.


iPhone with calendar + iPhone without calendar
980x800 for Andrew Berry's HTC Desire HD

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seven questions... with Tunnels

I've said it before and I'll say it again... if you are a musician, have a bandcamp page and decide to follow me on Twitter... I will check out your music. This happened yesterday when I was followed by Tunnels... a vibrant and interesting synth-infused guitar-orientated indie rock act from Brescia in Northern Italy. So taken with their music... I paid for it and I haven't looked back.

Anyway... I got talking with them and asked them to complete my wee blog interview. Here's what they had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
We are Matteo Foglia on vocals, lyrics, guitars, & synths; Giorgio Vezzoli on guitars, bass, and synths; and Paolo Toffano on drums and percussion; and we are a band called TUNNELS... we write and play our music... against all odds.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
Our new album, new songs. It's just the beginning, another beginning.

3) Who inspires you?
MUSIC? Radiohead, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Tool, Depeche Mode, NIN, SMashing Pumpkins, Nick Drake. It's a long list.
MOVIES? Anything directed by Malick, Kubrick, Burton, Tarantino.
BOOKS? Auster, Garland, Safran Foer, Pound, Joyce, Beckett. Here we are again, long list.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
Music itself. The pleasure you feel when you've finally made it, when your new song reach its final stage, its purest shape. Those moments when your band plays ad moves like a huge wave. A complete movement.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
Beauty, what else?

6) What role does community play in what you do?
As simple as it gets, sharing and feedbacks. Things that sadly are very hard to get in the daily life. Widens our horizons.

7) What is next for what you do?
Next song. Next album.


Grazie per la condivisione. Non vedo l'ora di sentire il nuovo album!

Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing your new album.

I have embedded the bandcamp player for their current EP entitled "Sharps and Flats"... please take some time out to listen to it and enjoy something special indeed:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reading... "Justice" by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite

I have a soft spot for the Justice League of America... and was grateful to @myopicaardvark for a loan of the three volume "Justice" series.

I am working my way through them. I am a slow reader but not as slow with graphic novels as I am with the written word.

I was particularly taken with Jim Krueger's prologue at the start of the first volume... where he talks about heroes and villains:

"...Gone are the days of the overwaxed mustache and maniacal laugh and human-sized logger's buzzsaw. No more does a villain raise his head from his sleep in the morning to consider what 'evil' he might do that day. No. Even if no one else sees it, the villain, in his mind, is the hero. That is where true evil resides - in the belief that his personal good is capable of navigating and speaking to the universal good.../

...Perhaps this is the difference between a hero and a villain: A villain will seek to defeat a hero for the villain's sake; a hero will seek to defeat a villain for the villain's sake. It's a fight to save the enemy at the same time that it is a fight to defeat him.../"

There is real depth in this prologue and, in fact, the novel itself... which makes it all the more enjoyable to read... along with some truly fantastic art.


Sunday, April 22, 2012 is strangely compelling is a wonderfully compelling idea... basically it's a website that streams 'local' tracks from soundcloud whilst simultaneously playing the 'local' police radio.

It works really well... especially when you want something on in the background. I really like their idea of 'local'... sounds uploaded in Los Angeles juxtaposed against their police force's  radio.

As you can see from the screendump above... there are other cities that you can listen to: New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia... to name but a few. It's a great way to discover new music too.



via Gentleforce with thanks... he has a nice wee chat/interview with the creator of over on his blog if you want to know more?!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scanned... more from my J.R.R. Tolkien collection

I picked up a copy of The Two Towers today (immediately below) ... its the 1991 reissue with the J.R.R. Tolkien artwork. I picked up the Return of the King in the similar style recently and couldn't leave this one on the shelf.

When I was scanning to post here I thought I'd scan some of the other books in my Tolkien collection.



The Walking Dead... the sitcom intro

I saw this on Mashable and laughed out loud... seriously I gawfawed. It just shows how something can be recut and represented in a totally different manner.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Elements 1 from "The Future Elements" is now live

I am honoured to write for Noor Kadiwalla’s music site ’the future elements’ and, when asked to join, was seriously impressed with his vision for the site. This is, afterall, the man who is one part of ’the eternal twilight’ and the driving force behind the ’Hope for Japan’ compilations. He sees the site as being a springboard for musically creative endeavours such as releasing music and compilations.

And it is to the first compilation - ’Elements 1’ - that I turn my attention... not just because I was able to watch it evolve... nor because I was able to secure a space for a Cousin Silas track... but because it is very, very good.

It is a compilation of 35 truly excellent tracks... leftfield music that resides in the intersection of ambient, electronic, post-rock and neo-classical... that wonderful no-man’s-land that I love so dearly.

Firm favourites of mine are represented: Lowercase Noises, Sky Flying By, Apta, Good Weather for an Airstrike, Anoice, The Mountaineering Club, The Echelon Effect, Inachus, The Sound of Rescue, My Cats a Stargazer, Umber, Will Samson and Cousin Silas.

With new names (to me) catching my attention too:
Bob Guido, Until We Last, Absent Hearts, Nitin Garg (who also created the artwork), Kyle Bobby Dunn, Heinall, Tipu Sabzawar, Josco, Pleq and the wonderfully titled the Golden Gonk... to name but a few.

It is through compilations that I have had the opportunity to hear fresh, new talent... and whilst it is becoming a bit of a tradition to compile and release compilations within this community, it is a tradition I would actively support and endorse.

Music needs to be heard... and these compilations are one fantastic means of getting heard and also hearing new talent. This was why I jumped at the chance of submitting a Cousin Silas track from an upcoming release on my fledgling netlabel... it is fantastic exposure.

If I were to name three tracks (excluding Cousin Silas and my other personal favourites like Lowercase NoisesAptaGood Weather for an AirstrikeThe Echelon Effect and Umber) that are simply breathtakingly beautiful and epitomise this release then I would say...

  • ”Ripple” by Anoice... a lilting, atmospheric neo-classical piece with cello and piano prominently on display...
  • ”Leaving the world behind” by Bob Guido... Guido plays beautifully ambient guitar in a manner similar to Lowercase Noises... and
  • ”Hazy fields are breathing” by Nitin Garg... a gentle ambient piece with a deep drone underpinning an infectious guitar-drive melody.

This album is first class and I am not saying that because of my involvement, however minor, from it is conception... it is first class and deserves to be call out as such.

I have embedded the Bandcamp player below. Take time to listen to it and download it for free. You won't regret it.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

weareallghosts is now on bandcamp

I've posted this already over on but thought I'd share it here too... weareallghosts is now on bandcamp ::

From there you can download the album in a lossless format (e.g. .wav or FLAC) and you can stream the album in full before you download.

It also allows me to embed the player... as I have below. If you haven't already downloaded the album or want it in FLAC, please check out the player below.


A glimpse of the first story from 'The Lovecraft Anthology – Vol I' adapted by Ian Edginton and illustrated by D'Israeli

I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft... and was really taken with this short video... featuring illustrations from The Lovecraft Anthology vol.1  which showcases some of his best short stories.


(via @openculture with thanks)

Radiohead Live at Coachella 2012

Enjoy. Not sure how long it will be live for.


(via @openculture with thanks)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Loving... "Landfall" by Peter James

I have a huge amount of time and respect for ambient soundscape architect Peter James. He’s a great bloke with a heart of gold and the creativity to make the kind of ambient soundscapes that I absolutely adore. I was, as such, absolutely delighted to receive a preview copy of his latest release on the Relaxed Machinery label... ”landfall”.

”Landfall” consists of three pieces that vary in length... from 7:12 to 35:36... making up 61 minutes of overall music when the last track is included at 17:14. This is relevant because these pieces truly thrive in their allotted time... like tea given the opportunity to infuse.

”Relocation” is the opening track... which comes in at 7:12. It is simply gorgeous... a bright and open ambient drone that exudes a delicate elegance. It is unhurried and benefits from this... taking it’s own time to unfold and become. Truly beautiful and certainly up there with James’ best.

The second track - ”landfall” - is the biggie... an engaging and deeply immersive longform piece that really thrives in the 35 minutes it has been given. I love longform ambient drones like this and this is truly excellent. Just like ”relocation” it is unhurried... but it still manages to ensnare the listener from the off... drawing them into a twilight world...the place where the shadows appear. The melodic nature of this track is superb... it really feeds the soul... especially when the more percussive ”bangs” appear around the 10 minute mark.

I could describe this track as epic... it truly is in many ways on paper due to its length predominately... but I would be doing a disservice to James in doing so because it doesn't feel epic... it doesn’t feel long. Some journeys don't feel like journeys and this track, whilst being magnificently and proudly longform doesn't feel drawn out or, for that matter, overly long. I guess this is why James is a master of this genre, in my eyes, because he creates soundscapes that defy time due to their immersive and really personal engagement. They provide focus... and space to breathe... and only disappoint when they finish.

The last track - ”separation” - finishes the release with 17:14 of a slightly darker still drone soundscape.  Equally immersive as the other two, this has a slightly spookier and more dissonant feel, at least initially, until you bed down into it. There is a fluidity that is most delightful to listen to... that has an organic feel about it... like the rustle of wind in trees or ebb and flow of the tide in a seacave.

Personally, I would have sequenced this track second with ”landfall” coming in last... saving the best to last, so to speak. ”Separation” is very good, don't get me wrong, especially on it’s own but it jars slightly when placed in the context of a sequential three-track album because ”landfall” really does steal the show, in my opinion... and finishes of a brighter note.

That said... it's a small observation and in no way a criticism of James... who has, once again, produced an album of note... an album that demonstrates his mastery of his craft and one that is a sheer delight to ambient drone fans like myself.

Put it this way... if James wanted to release this on my fledgling netlabel... I wouldn’t ask any questions... I would just get it out ASAP.

My thanks, as always, to John and the chaps at Relaxed Machinery for giving me a preview copy of this release and to Peter for making such awesome music. We need more folks like you all in this world.


Landfall - Peter James

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meeting Tom Laird

110412_ Tom & Tom... the @gwfaa fan club

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Laird aka @progscot (pictured above)... a DJ on the community radio station KOOP in Austin, Texas; He hosts a music show called Fade To Yellow which plays my kind of music... post-rock, IDM, electronic, neo-classical and ambient drone.

He's from Scotland (hence the "Scot" part of his twitter name) and was over with his lovely partner Sandy for a wee visit.

We spent a lovely couple of hours talking about the music I talk about on this blog... celebrating our shared love of Good Weather for an Airstrike (we are pictured about both wearing our GWFAA tees), Matt Stevens, The Fierce and The Dead, The Northern Hemisphere and others. I had my moleskine out and was scribbling down bands to check out with Tom typing away on his iPhone, trying to record all my recommendations. I turned him on to Cousin Silas' latest release... but really wish I had burned him a CDr with it on for him to listen to in his car.

It was a fab couple of hours... hopefully we weren't too dull and nerdy for Sandy.

Two things grabbed me about this evening:

1) The power of community. Social media has it's detractors... but this evening was proof positive of the power of social media (e.g. Twitter and Facebook). It was through these mediums that both Tom and I met... and learn about the majority of the music we love. We are part of a wider community of music fans that is facilitated by these forms of media. Our conversation was from a running start, thanks to social media, rather than a standing start.

2) The need for likeminded community. This conversation was the first I've had whereby the person I was speaking to had a greater knowledge of the bands / music we were discussing than I did. Normally, I'm raving about this music and the poor, unfortunate soul who is listening is yawning, rolling their eyes etc. It was great to not feel alone or different, for a change... and to talk with someone who "got me" when it came to the subject matter. The 'togetherness' of community is vitally important... I felt great afterwards... the sense of being in the company of a likeminded soul is a powerful experience. One that I was glad to have had.

Thanks Tom.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Wolfgang Merx latest single features my artwork

My friend Wolfgang has released his fourth single... a remix of Stuart Russell's track "Low 52" from his RPM2012 album.

The song features one of my photographs... which always delights me to see.

The track itself is a delightful ambient drone... which certainly doesn't feel 13 mins in length.

Thanks Wolfgang!


Loved... Plum & Capitals at Plum's CD launch party

070412_ Plum n03

Last night I had the opportunity to spend a few hours in Auld Reekie aka Edinburgh courtesy of Shona Maguire aka Plum (pictured above). She had invited me to join her and about one hundred or so others at the Electric Circus, near Waverley Station.

I left early... I had an errand to run for Olly that took me to a village called Climpy... yes that's what it's called... and I also grabbed the opportunity to meet with my old friend Robert.

After grabbing a coffee, I headed to venue. Unfortunately I missed young Megan D... an aspiring solo singer-songwriter-with-acoustic-guitar... the crowd were warm to her and I need to find her music... at sixteen she has so much potential.

070412_ Capitals n01

Next up were Capitals... a two-piece electronic band based in Edinburgh that I really loved. Angus Carbarns and Keir MacCulloch really work well together... and their sound was very now. I initially thought New Order but I'd take that back... more Friendly Fires... guitars and vocals over some tight electro grooves.

070412_ Capitals n02

I'm going to make the effort to see them again.

070412_ Plum n01

After a brief wait where the sound engineer valiantly got all the kit ready... Plum took to the stage... with a backing singer whose name I missed (sorry) and Keir MacCulloch... who was involved in the album.

070412_ Plum n04

The set was fab... with the songs from The Seed sounding fantastic in the live setting. Shona's expertise as a musician shone through... but what really got me was her warmth and, at times, patience with the audience.

I don't mind getting a pint spilt down me nor do I mind getting whipped in the face by a flying dreadlock when someone is dancing... I do, however, mind folks talking when the main act is performing. This is unacceptable and no way for a fan to behave... in my opinion.

070412_ Plum n07

Having to ask the audience to be quiet whilst she prepared the loops for Different Skin was ridiculous... but Shona handled it in such a warm and gracious manner. I personally haven't seen such technique with a looping peddle since I saw Feist support Phoenix in King Tut's a good few years ago. She knows how to loop and to pull Different Skin... the only track not on The Seed... from vocal loops just astounds me.

070412_ Plum n05

All in... it was a great gig... with the highlight being the opening track from the album... also called The Seed. What made it more enjoyable was the banter before it where Shona claimed she wasn't a bassist... my goodness... if she's not a bassist then I'd like to hear her play an instrument she identifies with... she was fab.

That said... I did enjoy the encore too. Smile is such an infectious track... wonderfully upbeat... made more so by Shona's request to get everyone "claw dancing". It was one of those ridiculously silly moments that make life wonderful.

Plum's setlist:

My sincere thanks to Shona for inviting me to the launch. I had a great time. I would highly recommend both her album and catching her live... I know I will again and will happily pay next time.


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Loving... the new Twinings ad

I really loved this ad from Twinings ... with a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" sung by American singer Lissie.

The animation really grabbed me... as it did with their previous advert. Not sure if it was the same folks as before... but it is cracking.

Anyway... here's a live version of "Go Your Own Way" sung by Lissie:

...and here's a live version from The Mac themselves from 1997.



Loving... the ASIP app for the iPhone

I am a big fan of the music blog a strangely isolated place and am a particular fan of their podcasts. I listen to them on the Downcast app... but was intrigued when they recently launched their own iPhone app... for free.

Basically it is a dedicated entry point to access their content... predominately their mixes and their posts.

Clicking on the "mixes" option brings up a list of their "Isolated Mixes". This is not all the mixes they release and, as a result, this app will not replace Downcast... I really like their other mixes and hope they'll be included in the future.

You can favourite a mix and even download it directly to your iPhone for offline listening. I like that.

Clicking on "RSS" option brings up a list of their recent posts... selecting the summary brings up the full article which is nicely executed.

All in... this app is fab... especially since it's free. I hope they add the rest of their mixes to the feed but otherwise I love it. It has a nice space on my iPhone.

For more details... check this post on their blog.


Friday, April 06, 2012

In case you missed it... "The Path Between The Trees" went live yesterday

One of my dreams came true yesterday when my net label - we are all ghosts - launched it's first release - "The Path Between The Trees" by Cousin Silas. I can't stress how excited I was... and still am.

My only hiccup was that the embeddable player for Archive doesn't always work... it doesn't work in Chrome, for example. If you want to listen to the album using the player, please use Safari and wait about 10-20 seconds for it to buffer.

If you haven't grabbed the music... which is free... then go here or go direct to Remember to pick up the artwork too.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Loving... "buy both and feel deceived" by Toaster

If I were to provide a list of adjectives that I like in my music, I would say... immersive... emotive... stirring... engaging... and quirky.

I love quirky music. It's an adjective that doesn’t get used often to describe the music I hear... in part because I don't get the chance to listen to the more abstract ”out there” experimental music that I used to. I also think great quality unique abstract electronic music isn’t as easy to find as it was in the days of Earth Monkey Productions, for example... or maybe that's just me?

That said, quirky is an apt description for the wonderful album by Toaster entitled ”buy both and feel deceived”... recently released on the fantastic Invisible Agent netlabel (I should say re-released as it is a coming-together of two previously self-released EPs along with two additional tracks). The unique nature and approach of Todd aka Toaster comes shining through on this release... the soundscapes presented easily identifiable as originating from him... from his worldview.

However quirky is only the tip of the iceberg... and if I was to just call this album quirky it would mean a disservice to Todd and my taking the easy route towards convenient over-simplification. It's far more than just quirky. ”buy both and feel deceived” is deeply engaging with immersive ambient soundscapes that provide space to ponder... as well as robustly ”out there” upbeat abstract electronic moments that raise the pulse and inspire me with their rejection of inertia and the status quo.

Take ”Panties” for example... it's hard not to think of Aphex Twin or Orbital when listening to this track... and yet it is distinctly Toaster too. It is wonderfully abstract, quirky and ”out there” electronic music... something that fits the headphones but deserves a large sound system. ”Speaker’s Valise” and ”Drunk, Walk to Lake” are similarly expressive in this manner... constrained somewhat by headphones... yearning for the wide expanse of a decent, loud sound system (a sound system I can not have due to living in a semi-detached house with neighbours who have small children).

And yet Toaster can really deliver an ambient soundscape too... ”Vacations”, for example, is deeply Ballardian and reminiscent of Cousin Silas’ earlier work. Extremely atmospheric and downright creepy at times... I love it.

My favourite track is ”I think everyone has gone” which seems to blend both elements into a marvellous soundscape... that is both deeply immersive and expertly layered... presenting sounds that both calm and intrigue.

I would highly recommend this album to anyone with a fondness for unique, expressive electronic music. Some tracks may not be easily and instantly accessible... but music isn’t always about easy... you want easy, watch ”the x-factor”... if you want music that inspires and stirs the soul then you may have to work for it... and if you are prepared to... I hope you find music like Toaster’s ”buy both and feel deceived” as rewarding as I have.



Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The back graphic and tracklisting for the upcoming Cousin Silas release

I just dropped the above image over on we are all ghosts.

Next stop... the release itself.

I can't wait.


Loving... the Innsmouth Magazine

When doing some due diligence on the name "we are all ghosts" for my netlabel... I came across the Innsmouth Magazine from Innsmouth Freepress. They are a Canadian micro-publisher dedicated to horror and dark fiction... very much Lovecraftian in nature. On their website they provide daily non-fiction and free triannual short fiction. They also print and electronic anthologies... including the Innsmouth Magazine.

In the eighth edition of the Magazine... which is available for the Kindle for £1.03... there is a short story entitled "We are all ghosts" by Peter Derbyshire. I've downloaded the magazine and look forward to reading this story.

At just over £1 for an edition... I'd recommend fans of weird fiction to check it out.


Seven questions... with Hirobleep

Hirobleep is a German electronic musician who's work is mainly influenced by minimal techno, acid, 8bit, and electro. We've connected on Twitter (he is @hirobleep) and I find his music interesting... it certainly is minimal but in a really good way.

We got chatting and, as I always seem to do, I asked him my seven questions... he responded via DM on Twitter. I've included my questions as a wee reminder.

1) Who are you and what do you do?
2) What are you working on at the moment?
3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
- Name place that has inspired you.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
4) What drives you to do what you do?
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
6) What role does community play in what you do?
7) What is next for what you do?

Here are his answers... albeit I think #4 got lost in the ether:

Tom forwarded me a copy of his answers to the 3rd, 4th and 6th questions... which appear not to have made to me.

Thanks matey!

Tom recently released his an EP entitled Systematic Disorder for free on Bandcamp... I've embedded it below for you to listen to. Enjoy.



Related Posts with Thumbnails