2ndMOUSE — “Communique”

ImageIts been a while since I released a collection of note , as I’ve been concentrating releasing single tracks , and being involved in firstly , the “Touched” album , which was a project I highly believed in , for macmillan cancer relief , and lately , the Sectioned v4.0 compilation on Section 27 Records , and its been a great process , most notably for the networking opportunities and the new contacts I’ve made throughout………many thanks to Martin Boulton , Roel Funcken , Tom Roberts and Tam Ferrans in particular.

Now , however , is the time to release something new , called “communique”

You may or may not know that my studio is called “Transmission Studio” , and communique follows along that same theme of communication , and as music probably pre-dates written or spoken language , is more direct , to the point where a chinese person could understand a piece of music composed by a Bolivian , despite the lack of words or language.

I just have a few loose ends to tie up , but “Communique” will be released within weeks , via Section 27 records.

 

Thanks , as always , to Teo for the stunning cover artwork He has Imagineered.

Ballad For Robots ( Tin Man Mix )

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I released Ballad For Robots a few years back , and its been one of my personal favourites , as it typifies and encapsulates the sound I always wanted to achieve , and was my “goal” sound. In saying that , it was never quite on target , and I always knew more could be done with it , in terms of drawing the melody out more , so its been something of an “itch” that I needed to scratch.

It was inspired by the video that accompanied “All is full of love” by Bjork , who I regard as an incredibly unique and inimitable talent. The idea behind it was one of how our attitudes to robots will change as they become more and more advanced. Today they may be little more than dustbins on wheels , but what of the future ? At the rate that technology is currently progressing , the question of A.I. will undoubtedly arise. How will we define it ? As mankind strives to make automaton in his image , how will society adapt to it ?………apprehension……fear……? And will there ever come a point where these automatons  become self-aware , or even be afforded rights ? If they are programmed with human characteristics and capabilities , will they become autonomous , and have needs such as we do ?

I know it all sounds nerdy , but these questions will undoubtedly arise , and at the current rate of change , possibly in our lifetimes. That said , I’m still patiently waiting for my own personal jetpack that Tomorrows world promised me I would be scuttling around on in the year 2000.

I’ve always had a desire to fuse deep emotive music with unique electronic sounds and I’ve had an innate kinda magnetic gravitation to these contrasts since hearing “The Model” by Kraftwerk  many years ago , followed by the industrialism of Depeche Mode using hammers on anvils as snares , and finally the Hi Tech Soul of Detroit Techno artists such as Juan Atkins , Derrick May , Blake Baxter , and Carl Craig which was the ultimate marriage of soul and machine , making new permutations and juxtapositions possible.

This new mix sees a lot of new revisions , and represents a more complete model of what I originally tried to convey the first time around , but was restrained from due to my lack of technical experience in some areas. I thought the track was too good to go to waste , so I’ve chipped away at it and mined it for gold. I’ll fully release it at some point after I add a few more bells and whistles and get the mix just right , but its almost there as it stands.

Listen to Ballad For Robots ( Tin Man Mix )

“Touched” album ( update )

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When I was first approached to release my track “Celeste” on this charity album , I didn’t have to think about it at all , and immediately jumped at the chance. If you know me at all , you would know that Bob Geldof is a personal hero of mine , and I really admire what He achieved in bringing relief to Ethiopia with Live Aid , and when I think about it……..about how one small thought , one little spark of electricity firing up in one mans mind , and then I think how far that one little spark reached , it really makes you think about what we can achieve when we really make the effort. One pebble , but the ripples spread far and wide.

You could also think of it in terms of a seed. One tiny mustard seed , the size of a grain of sand , grows to become a massive tree with its own ecosystem , and a universe of tiny creatures all living together , symbiotically , because of this one tiny seed.

Since reworking my track , which I had to do , as it was old to me , I’ve seen this thing grow and grow , and those ripples are spreading far , far beyond the confines of that very first  initial “spark” , and I’m not only stunned to find myself on this , but also extremely proud of the joint effort by everyone involved , when I see this taking shape , and see more artists get onboard to give it real momentum and klout.

as if the line-up were not already amazing , it was announced yesterday that The Future Sound Of London would be contributing a track !!

Long before I discovered Plaid , Aphex Twin , Juan Atkins , Derrick May etc…..I was completely amazed by a record that appeared out of nowhere in 1988 called “Humanoid” by an unknown artist who went by the name Stakker Humanoid , and when I heard the “snowman mix” of that track , I was stunned. The video was light years ahead of anything else done around that time , and the track was unbelievable. The fact that the mysterious  dancing girl in the video was beautiful , certainly helped to cement the track in my mind =)

Click here for the Stakker Humanoid Video

Then , after a few more singles such as “slam “, “The Deep” etc…., messrs Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain disappeared ( or so I thought….) for a few years , emerging in 1991 as The Future Sound of London , with a few albums such as Accelerator , Lifeforms , Dead Cities , and an incredible single ” Papa , New Guinea ” , which reached No.22 in the UK singles chart.

Click here for Future Sound Of London – ” Papa , New Guinea “

They have reprised their roles as Humanoid throughout the years but mainly record as “Amorphous Androgynous” now , and have remixed everyone from Paul Weller and Brian Ferry , to Jon Anderson , Apollo 440 and the Stereo MCs

So…….to sum up.

To appear alongside The Future Sound Of London on this album , along with other leading names in cutting edge electronic music , such as Plaid , Funckarma , Arovane and about 100 others , is , not only the realization of a dream that I would never , even in my wildest imaginings , have ever thought possible , but it is also testament to the power behind one single solitary thought , and the distance it can travel , the lives it can ” touch ” along the way.

My question to you reading this now is , what thought are you holding in your mind ? What pebble are you holding in your hand ? What are you burdened for ? If you put that thought into action , who knows how far it woll reach………

Please , visit the Touched page. Help this thought create ripples that spread far and wide. Like the page , but more importantly , share the page to your friends. Even if you are not personally interested , your friends may be , and their friends , and their friends.

who knows what this can achieve , with YOUR help

Touched – Music for Macmillan Cancer Relief Facebook Page

The Private Thoughts Of Elastic

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“Those who make peaceful opposition impossible , make violent revolution inevitable” —– Anonymous

I’m not advocating violence , nor am I directly afiliated with Anonymous , except , through similar ideals , such as the end of banking scandals , bankers bonuses , the end of ministers expenses scandals , the end of things like spending £15 million in taxpayer money on ” The Thatcher Museum ” whilst there are people without homes , living on the street , in the snow and frost , and while people who are genuinely , critically disabled are being put out to pasture and forced to work , and their retirement age extended despite those people having already fueled the economy for 65 years.

Why build a monument to the woman who initiated the mechanisms that have , little by little , slowly ate away at the bedrock of our once proud country , which once put all differences of colour , status and creed aside , to unite in solidarity against the armies of the 3rd reich ? We are now so “comfortably numb” that any form of protest beyond clicking “like” is too much effort.

I am against social injustices , and lenient sentences being given to those who should spend their life behind bars , while those who trip up through circumstances of sheer desperation are given harsh sentences , which far outweigh their crimes .

I am against the current trend of targets for teachers , policemen , civil servants etc….who can no longer do their jobs properly because they have so many targets to achieve. Targets that , when reached , receive funding to reach even higher targets.

I am against cuts to health services such as the NHS , and I know it is the governments eventual goal to cut it so much that they will tell us it has to be privatized because it is under-performing , which is totally because they themselves have taken the axe to the tree , due to their ineptitude with the treasury and the nations coffers.

I am against the government paying benefits to those who preach hatred against our country , whilst critical services are criminally underfunded , and our government spend millions in court costs trying to extradite these parasites  , while they and their families live in comfort at the expense of our generous benefits system.

I am against the growing authoritarian , and indeed “Orwellian” control and surveillance , where even our personal emails are now being monitored by GCHQ

This present government is inept and deeply corrupt , and  I have no doubt that violent revolution is coming , due to the continual chipping away at our social liberties by those we elected ( or in this case , didn’t elect )  to serve our needs , NOT ,  to use us as batteries to fuel the unsustainable “house of cards” that is this current capitalist system. We elect them to serve , but they serve themselves , and feed the people austerity measures , presented  in such a way that we are made to feel they are doing us a favour.

The private thoughts of elastic is about the people ( the elastic ) who will undoubtedly snap when they are stretched too far. For the moment , those thoughts are private , but becoming more restless , more vocal , but the day will come when the people will speak a very loud and very clear message…….

”  NO MORE !!! “

There are many many more of us , than there are of them. Its about time we made them aware of this fact , through whatever means necessary.

You can only stretch elastic so far , before it breaks.

Sand Free or Kneel Chained.

 

Click Here to Play “The private Thoughts O Elastic ”

38 Commute ( Roel Funcken Mix )

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38 Commute” always been one of a handful of my own personal favourites , and it’s always been a bit special , and from what I gather , it’s been a favourite of a few others. It started with a patch I made , on a freeware synth ( the name of which I won’t divulge………gotta have some secrets , right ? ) , and I immediately thought it sounded like Boards of Canada , a duo I really admire , as I think they’ve made some of the finest electronica music out there , and , even though I go to great lengths to “take water from my own well” , and stay original , no man is an island , and its impossible to be influenced by nothing at all , so , there I was with this sound , and , I say this without a shred of disrespect , If I’d made 3 Blind Mice , it still would’ve sounded like Boards of Canada , because the lead patch just sounds like something straight off ” music has the right to children ” , and if that title is anything to go by , Boards of Canada themselves would have hopefully been flattered by the similarity.

I maybe hopped on the same train with that sound , and the train went to its own destination with very little conscious effort from me. If you know me , you’ve probably heard my little pet theory of a sound almost having a kind of DNA within itself , and when I make a track , its usually the very first sound I hear that dictates the kind of track I’ll make….almost as if the entire track is already embedded with directions on its usage. I know it sounds like a strange theory , but that’s how I work most of the time , and that’s why every track I make is different from the last , and always will be.

Anyway…..crackpot theories aside , the track flowed effortlessly , and I put it on an album I released a few years ago called ” Aurora ” , which you can find here

It remained under the radar , and made very little impact

Enter Funckarma.

I was browsing electronic music one day , and happened to come across funckarma , via a free compilation on n5md ( I think ) , and it was a defining moment , that started with me first hearing Kraftwerk , then Depeche Mode , then Juan Atkins , Derrick May , and Aphex Twin / Polygon window. With each of these artists , I felt my mind being broadened and challenged , and although I never wanted to copy their music , I definitely felt some kind of a change in my mindset , and really got the spirit of what they were doing , and I hadn’t heard anything else since detroit techno where I felt challenged ( in a very good way ) , as if someone were opening a door. Y’see , I’ve never felt challenged by those who just jump on a bandwagon and do what everyone else is doing , and have always been drawn to maverick pioneers who are completely absorbed by what they do , because I believe thats how I operate myself.

I once heard a story about Beethovens’ family playing his piano concerto ( or whatever it was ) to wake Him up , but they deliberately left off the last note because they knew He would have to get out of bed to come to the piano and press it , such was his obsession , and I love that committal / obsession. If an artist isn’t driven , then he’s not an artist….plain and simple

So I hadn’t heard anyone who challenged me , until I heard Funckarma. I don’t even remember the name of the track , but my jaw hit the floor. I heard an artist I’d never heard of , completely absorbed in , and obsessed with sound. Upon investigation , I found out it was actually  2 brothers called Roel and Don Funcken , not the lone entity I’d imagined to be behind the music.

To cut a long story short , I started out asking for advice about production , mixing , and just generally how to get a polished professional sound , but had no idea that Roel would end up remixing some of my music. I picked 38 Commute because I knew it was good melodically , but at the time , I just didn’t have the knowledge to take it any further , and I wanted to hear what it would sound like when a Professional worked on it.

You can hear the result here…

2ndMOUSE — 38 Commute ( Roel Funcken Mix )

There is also a fan-made video on my youtube channel , that has my original mix from a few years back….the one that appeared on the album ” Aurora “. You can hear that here…

2ndMOUSE — 38 Commute ( Original mix from the album Aurora )

Hope you like it , and feel free to leave comments.

2M

New Archive Link on the site

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Just a quick post to draw attention to the fact that the 2ndMOUSE Archive ( 200+ free tracks ) is now available from my site directly.

Just go to the menu bar along the top and there you’ll see the new page ” Archive “. It will be continually updated with other free tracks , unreleased and exclusive.

I even plan to upload preset packs and soundpacks that you can use in your own creations , so in theory there should be something new each time you check the Archive.

Biotic

Image“Biotic” is one of those tracks that I knew would sound good as soon as I placed the very first note , which was the warm analogue bassline in the intro .Everything just flowed without a hitch.

Some tracks I make give me huge problems as I’m currently treading water with just 2GB Ram. It doesn’t seem so long ago that that would have been more than enough to perform a multitude of tasks , but I’m due an upgrade very soon , and will get as much Ram shoehorned into my next machine as is possible , so expect future material to be raising the bar very soon , and by that , I mean my own. I compete only with myself and my own set of limitations , and don’t really pay that much attention to what everyone else is making.

So yeah , some of my tracks have to be dragged kicking and screaming through a crucible of fire and brimstone. It feels that way sometimes. Not so , with Biotic. Its been a smooth ride.

I’m aware it sounds like Boards of Canada. This wasn’t intentional. I made some patches on a few synths that are very easy to get hold of , and , free , and anything I could make with those sounds would sound like Boards of Canada….even if I played 3 blind mice. I’m not saying that to pour scorn on BOC , as I really admire what they do. The ” music has the rights to children ” album was a one-of-a-kind album….a seminal work , and ” campfire headphase ” , ” twoism ” , the “peel sessions” , were all full of sublime masterpieces , evocative to the extreme and practically embedded in the consciousness of anyone who knows anything about electronic music.

The latest album ” Tomorrows Harvest ” , for me , was a let-down , with the exception of about 3 tracks maximum , and I feel they’ve lost their spark. After a 10 year hiatus , I expected them to return with the electronic equivalent of ” dark side of the moon ” , or an album I still hold in huge regard , namely ” Rhythm & Stealth ” by Leftfield , who also disappeared for a long time , and came back with that incredible album.

Maybe I subconsciously tried to recreate the Boards of Canada track that I wanted them to make , and felt forced to try to make it myself , to scratch that itch , to get my “fix” because I felt deflated and let down by their last album.

whatever the reason , Biotic ended up sounding like a Boards of Canada track , and I’m really pleased at the results. It’s still rough and there are loads of things to tweak , and the feedback has been very favourable. Surprisingly , some think it sounds good the way it is , but there is a lot more I can do with it to embellish what is already there , and introduce some new switches and change-ups , not to mention really nailing down the EQ and making it absolutely rock-solid.

Its just a rough skeleton at present. I need to add more mass , muscle , and flesh it out more , to give it a more complete sound.

Anyway , here is the rough draft

2ndMOUSE — Biotic ( Rough Draft )

 

new album ” Sparrow Island ” , taking flight Now.

Hi

Im back with a new album called ” Sparrow Island “.

 

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Inspired mostly by a recent holiday on the beautiful island of Malta , especially the melodic reggae-glitch infused title track.

As well as Malta , the album became about the general timeframe before and after it , with some tracks inspired by other things such as my dog , getting older , moments of profound detachment and serenity……all told with the aim of having a 50 / 50 balance between experimentation and melody…….avant garde and the desire to make idm with definite hooks and catchy melodies.

Go here to buy Sparrow Island , or feel free to listen to all the tracks at your leisure.

If you have time to respond , it’d be great to know if the album is received positively

Many thanks

http://2ndmouse.bandcamp.com/

2M

Sparrow Island ( taking flight 22nd March )

PicsArt_1363615414265The new Sparrow Island album will be released ( barring any unforeseen circumstances ) on 22nd March.
I would’ve liked it to have been ready 3 months ago , but I have a wife to entertain , a ravenous monster of a pup , an ever increasing amount of xbox games to beat , and I gotta job to hold down , so finding those times when inspiration is free-flowing and coinciding with copious amounts of leisure time is more of a juggling act than it once was. It also doesn’t help that I am “arch-procrastinator-extraordinairre”.

So , there you have it. 22nd March.
Just tying up the loose ends right now , due to getting a few days holiday.

At the time of writing , the tracks are as follows :

1.   Amoeba
2.   Horizon Upgrade
3.   Fractal Pterodactyl
4.   Arms Length
5.   Nalfie
6.   Meridian
7.   Idyll 5
8.   Salt Of The Earth
9.   True North
10. Vanity Blaze
11. Sparrow Island
12. Elephant In The Room
13. Eskimo Girl
14. View From An Aircraft Window

Artwork courtesy of my friend metaForma ( Teodor Tudorica ) , who I consider a graphic genius.
All being well , there will also be a video of ” Nalfie ” to promote the album , featuring the acting talents of my dog Dusty , who we will no doubt be in the running for nominations at the ” Chappie ” dog food awards for outstanding contributions in music anf film.

More , as it happens.

2M

Listen to 2ndMOUSE on Earbits.com

 

2ndMOUSE has been selected for inclusion on Earbits Radio.

“What is Earbits ? ” , I hear you say……

Well , Earbits…..is commercial-free online radio for top independent music.

Its high quality streaming of great music without any of the interruptions , with links to artist albums , bio , website etc…..

Its good.
I wouldn’t have approached it otherwise.

 

To hear 2ndMOUSE on Earbits , click HERE