Is That It ?

I’ve been reading a book lately called ” Is that it ? ” and its an autobiography of Bob Geldof. I havent read a book in years. I mean , I’ve started some and not finished them because I lost interest , so they dont count. I have something of a short attention span , and as my school reports will testify , I am easily distracted.

However , this book , is un-putdownable and charts the life of Bob Geldof ( Is He a Sir Bob now ? ) from his childhood as a gawky kid , to the forming of the boomtown rats , right through to the massive ” Live Aid ” mega-event.

I feel something stirring in me , and I felt the same thing when I seen Annie Lennox being interviewed on HardTalk ( BBC news 24 ) about the kids being born with Aids in Africa. As I watched Annies video showing a little 7 year old kid , born with aids , who then contracted tuberculosis which went to his brain. I watched that little kid , and wanted desperately to do something to help………but what ?? I am only one guy who makes music…….which leads me back to Bob Geldof.

All Bob Geldof was , was a guy in a band. Thats how He would describe Himself , even though I think the guy is a legend.

Say what you like about Him , but y’know , He had the balls and the sheer audacity to do something , instead of sitting waiting for someone else to do it. He had the tenacity of spirit to tell the politicians to put their hand in their pockets , because he was so thoroughly convicted by the moral outrage he saw.

In His book , he tells the story of just one of the horrendous things He witnessed while in Africa , trying to understand the gravity of the problem and understanding how the money from Live aid should be distributed. He says in his book

” I came out of one of the long huts and saw a small boy squatting by a pool of his own urine  and diarrhoea. He looked about 4 months old but malnutrition is deceptive. He was nearer two , the age of my own child in England. A tattered dusty piece of cotton hung from one shoulderacross His distended stomach. His face was huge , a 2 year old face on a 4 month old body. His eyes were moons of dust and flies. He was crying , and the tears rolled down to the awful swollen stomach before they dried in the heat. Only a few yards away were His family , but they were too ill to notice. The diarrhoea strickled out in a steady flow. Then , as i stood there , the child began to shit out His own intestines. He had nothing left inside to evacuate except the torn shreds of His own stomach which had been ripped open by dry grain. I was watching a child die. There can be no doubt that the little boy is dead now. But He will not die in my imagination, There , nothing can free Him from the agonizing process of death which is fixed in my mind. “

This isn’t old news !

This is still happening , even now………

I am just one man who makes music , but the inequality and disparity in the economies of the world makes me sick to my stomach . Everytime i see people throwing out food , or complaining that they dont have the latest mobile phone , I just feel angry at our attitudes and complacency.   Maybe if others share the same desire to do something , we can make a difference too…..but how ?

If anyone has any ideas , i’d be interested in hearing them.

I dont know who it was who said this , but its potent.

” All that is necessary for evil to prosper , is for good men to do nothing

Make it Go: The Launchpad as Monome (Part 1 – Startup and MLR) (via Machinae Soundscapes)

Make it Go:  The Launchpad as Monome (Part 1 - Startup and MLR) So, you’ve finally got yourself a launchpad.  You’ve installed the drivers and the ‘Launchpad Edition’ of Ableton Live. . . . And you are totally underwhelmed. The clip launching is nice but that’s not what you got it for, is it?  You want to slice clips, make drones, and step sequence monome style. Well, you can.  And, contrary to the instructions that come with the Launchpad would have you believe, you don’t have to spend a dime on Max4Live, or … Read More

via Machinae Soundscapes

TripSwitch

New track called ” TripSwitch “ uploaded today and I thought it’d be cool to explore my reasoning behind it , and what I was trying to achieve by making it.

Probably my earliest musical memory was of christmas , i think…….and I’m sure I was in a pram , so I mustn’t have been more than 4 years old. I remember a song that was playing in the town centre , with all the people hustling and bustling and the words were ” I’d like to teach the world to sing , in perfect harmony “. I’ve never found out who sings it , but i have a feeling it was the seekers / new seekers. There was something about the combination of the christmas tree lights and those words in the ears of a 4 year old boy that was magical , and maybe something i’ve been subconsciously trying to recreate ever since. The message in the words was a good message , but there was something more that i have never been able to put my finger on……..and i’ve managed to drag it out in a few tracks.

” UsuryVille “ is another track that had the same retro , almost kitsch kinda new seekers vibe. When you think of the Flintstones theme tune , or the Star trek ( original ) theme tune , or any of those late 50s , early 60s shows , they just had this sound that was so optimistic , almost naive. I really dont know what to call it. It feels like an itch I cant scratch. Part of TripSwitch was about that feeling and there is a Mellotron choir sound towards the end of the track that for me , typifies what I was trying to get at , trying to scratch….

The rest of the track was about the sample ( I uh….had to bypass the computer. The magnetic field erased the program……….When we reach 20,000 megahertz…..we throw this switch , and a powerful magnetic field vibrates these forks at a precise frequency ” ) , which I have no idea about where it comes from , and would be grateful if someone could identify it , and the beat , which was supposed to sound relentless , and sorta trance-inducing.

The whole idea was that of man starting to play God , messing around with things they dont really understand ( although they say they do ) , cloning human cells , smashing atoms in particle accelerators , grafting an ear onto a mouses back in the name of scientific endeavour , and i guess I was hoping there is a failsafe , or a tripswitch if things go awry.

This all connects to the feeling I had , looking at the christmas tree as a small boy , listening to the naively optimistic words of the angels singing ” I’d like to teach the world to sing , in perfect harmony “. To me , they were angels , and i wonder where that naive optimism went…….. that 50’s vibe where  an advert for toothpaste was frivolous and innocent .

Probably sounds incredibly silly to you , but im thinking out loud , finding catharsis , scratching the itch if you like……..trying to discover what compels me to make the music i make.

Maybe I try to recover my innocence …….. Maybe this track is about Humanitys loss of innocence.

I hope we can recover it.

New Directions

For 9 years I lived on an island where the only entertainment was a local band playing in a local pub , or karaoke , or the occasional club that played popular cheesy chart music and the stuff of rave compilations.

I was making music , not knowing where it was coming from , with no real influences that i could pin down. Styles come and go , and I’ve always tried to be true to the music rather than copy someone else just because it was popular at the time. My goal was always to make unusual music that no-one else was making , and something I could be proud of.

The whole “live ” thing has got me thinking.

I got really immersed in the whole IDM thing , because i’ve always made IDM , even before i knew what IDM was , or before anyone put an official ” tag ” on it. I love mixing genres , thinking outside the box , stepping beyond comfort zones and boundaries , cos i love adventure , but the whole IDM thing has gotten very dreary , almost synonymous with ambient music now , and I want to make something more fresh , more alive.

As mentioned before , i’ll be taking my first steps into the whole ” live ” scenario in a matter of months , and I wont be playing the meditational kinda shoegaze IDM i’ve made in the past. Thats ok for albums , where people are sitting at home relaxing with headphones on , but a live event is a completely different ball game , so ……. I’m gonna adapt my style for live-work. It’ll still be me , with the same party quirks , and you’d probably know its me a mile off , but it’ll be different dynamics.

Just wanna shift it up a gear or two. Anyone who knows me , knows I work on about 100 tracks at any one time ( thats not an exaggeration ! ) , and there is still a lot of tracks to come that are more mid-paced. They’re good material so I dont wanna just throw them away , but its gonna speed up a bit. I’d just prefer an audience to dance and move their feet rather than stroke their beards in time to the beat.

Its a new direction. Im not sure where its going , but i like it like that. Life is a journey , and I , like my music , am a free spirit , hellbent on adventure