Thursday, June 10, 2021

Live sets

As you might be aware, I've not actually played live as a solo outfit yet. That seems mad, considering the band's been me since mid way through 2019. Anyway, I'm not one to complain about venues shutting for over a year, as a lot more musicians have had it way harder than I have.

That said, I do miss playing live a lot. even the boring stuff, like loading in, or getting a Premier Inn at 1am and cracking a Red Stripe in the room, eating a hastily put together Toby Carvery, etc. So I did my best to try and replicate the live set I was going to debut at ArcTanGent this year, before it was sadly postponed. I've been working on this set for a long time, and I've added little gadgets and gizmos to it over time, and it's become something I'm really, really proud of, and so desperately wanted to show it off to you all.

I thought to myself 'fuck it, I'm not letting this go to waste', as I didn't have anything else in the diary, and would prefer others to get back on their feet first, whilst I could get to grips with touring on my own. I still might book one or two shows for this year, who knows, but for now it'll most likely be next year. Anyway, I rigged up two cameras and recorded an out from my snazzy new mixing desk, so you can see me in glorious HD and listen to me crystal clear too. 

I ran through the whole live set, which at the moment is 5 tracks long, but clocks in at just under an hour. Oops. I'll be putting up a new track each monday over at the satan youtube channel (hit that subscribe button!) so here's the first one, a rendition of Skylon (from the album Revenant)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Circles I

A lot of you will think "two albums in one month? Are you mental? And the answer to that is probably 'yes'.

But, you have to believe me when I say that I actually never intended for so many records to all come out at once. Circles I is only happening now, because Providence has already been and gone - that was already delayed anyway, so everything has been squished into this mad pile of stuff that will be chipped away at during the course of 2021. 

Anyway, Circles I.

First off, here it is for pre-order (or regular order if you're reading this after Friday)



I feel I should write something about it, as it's quite a strange record. It all started back in the glorious summer of 2020 *Scooby Doo style flashback* - I'd just moved house (for the second time in about 6 months - not recommended), to where I am now - a little terrace in Saltaire. It's really nice here, and the weather was also really nice, so I sat down and thought about making some new stuff. I played around with a few bits, and before long I had two sort of sounds going: loop station guitar ambience, and jittery electronica stuff, aided by the purchase of several sample packs. Now, if you don't know what sample packs are, they're sort of a cheat code for anyone who doesn't have thousands of pounds (or dollars if you want to get American about this) to throw at vintage gear - why pay for the machine, when you can pay considerably less for some wav files of someone playing the machine? I opted for the latter, as the former would've broken my bank, but the upshot is I was playing around with all these samples - slashing them up, pitching them all over the place, speeding them up, slowing them down, y'know, just generally fucking with them. It was great fun, and inspired me to keep making more and more stuff.

After a few months, I had so much new material (I blame the football season being delayed - you'd be lucky to get a two track single out of me if it hadn't), I aimed for a double album. I sequenced them, and then had a brainwave. Why do just a regular album, when you can be really difficult and do a sort of mixtape/ unskippable album, like that weird dEUS thing! 

I'm a bit enthusiastic when it comes to doing weird things, especially with music. I like the idea of resurrecting older technologies and techniques, as nothing really matters anymore in terms of music biz stuff. Certainly not at my level anyway - it's quite liberating to be able to do any mad thing you like. Although I suppose the trade off is you never get big or make any money, but that's by the by for now.

Anyway, one of my favourite bands, dEUS, did this album back in 1994 called 'My Sister = My Clock' - it was a stop-gap release, especially for fans signed up to their mailing list, to tide them over until their second album proper 'In A Bar Under The Sea' came out the following year. For some reason, they decided to sequence it all as one track, so you couldn't skip anything and had to listen to the whole thing if you wanted to get the full experience. It reminded me of those CDs you'd get back in the day, where you rewound the first track and got a secret song. So I thought, sod it - I'm gonna copy dEUS and do this thing as one big mixed song, one big track, and see what happens. It might be stupid, it might not work, or it might be a cool bit of fun. I guess you'll decide that, but I liked the idea, and so sequenced two albums worth of material like this. Circles II will appear at some point in the year, but for now, enjoy Circles I. 

Oh, and those field recordings interspersed between songs on the album are made by me - I walked around Roberts Park and recorded it on my phone. I thought if I was taking you on a little journey with this one big track, I could also try and take you somewhere by recording the sounds on my doorstep.

ENJOY!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Albums, albums, albums

 Hi!

Yes, I've been a bit slack updating this, but I kinda figured that you'd all know about albums coming out and all the stuff from other places, and I don't really want this little space of the satan-web being overrun by endless announcements. I like just chatting on, to be honest.

That said, I suppose I am going to have to do a roundup of Providence's greatest hits, just because it's nice to keep track of stuff, and you also might have missed them.

OK, so first off, here's Providence:

To go with it, why not read this interview I did with J Hubner over at Complex Distractions. It was a really nice chat, and we got into some real nitty gritty stuff about me, the band, the album and all sorts. It's good! 

If you were interested in the making of the record btw, there's a cool little track-by-track guide thing I did for I Heart Noise here.

There were nice reviews about the album from Birthday Cake for Breakfast, the aforementioned Complex Distractions, a great write up by Ron over at Textura, and also Chris Nosnibor's Aural Aggravation - he's always so good at writing about satan. 

Oh, and the only other thing that happened was that silly Robert Fripp video... I went on one of those celebrity video message sites and paid him £80 to basically say how fucking class I am. I uploaded it, thinking it'd give you lot a giggle, but ended up going sort-of viral:

 

So yes, that was all good wasn't it? Glad to finally have an album out there now. Speaking of, there are going to be quite a lot of those this year, and I'm gearing up for sort-of-album number 2 of 2021, Circles I. It's... quite an interesting thing, but I'll talk more about it later. For now, here's what it looks like. It'll be out on Shimmering Moods next Friday, and you can pre-order it now.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Stop Calling My Phone: Video Premiere

Delighted to be premiering the latest slice of the new album on the blog.

The lyric video is directed and edited by myself, and I'm super happy to finally share it with you all. I wanted to create something that tapped into the current obsession with nostalgia for the early 2000s, and especially the aesthetics of the early internet, in a hyper meta, pop culture mash-up...

Oh, forget it. Yeah, I'm just taking the piss a bit here, but I thought it was quite funny anyway:


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Für Immer

 Hi!

There's a new satan track out in the world today, taken from the new album Providence. It's called Für Immer, and sounds like this:


It's had a pretty tortured existence, this track. It was originally part of this batch of demos I put together because a label I was talking to had mentioned they wanted to get into the ambient techno area. Knowing I'd done a fair bit of that in my time, they wanted something like that to put out. So I rolled up my sleeves but suddenly thought "fuck, I've not done this in ages" - I was rusty. Rusty as all hell, and after listening to them after the dust had settled, it's no wonder the label didn't want them.

I did manage to get another track from the album out of those sessions - one called Just To Feel Something - so it's not all bad, but I had this thing (originally called 'Spiral' for some reason) that had a good enough feel to it, but was just put together really badly. So I did what I always did, and slowed it down. I do this all the time with things I'm not quite feeling - I'll slow it down and take a load of stuff out of it, strip it back and see what happens. This time it worked really nicely, and went on a sort of múm style trip, featuring foggy atmospheres, cracked pianos and clicky crackles. So I re-named it Für Immer (a nod to my German roots) and put it on the album I sent to the same label. Thinking I'd blown it with them with those disastrous techno experiments, to my surprise they said 'yes!' great! Although, then they didn't put it out and never spoke to me again, but still! 

Get your pre-order for Providence on the altogether nicer Box Records here btw: box-records.com/album/providence

Friday, April 2, 2021

Providence

howdy!

Today sees the unveiling of album number eight: Providence.

It was pieced together from various recordings I’d made over the past year or so, picking up pretty much exactly where Time Lapse left off. I didn’t want it to be just Time Lapse 2 though, so had it in my head that it would be an album of stuff that sort of varies in style, with shorter tracks, but still retain a satan atmosphere all the way though. I think I’ve managed it - well, I hope I have, but I guess you’ll be the judge of that...



It’s coming out on May 7th via the excellent Newcastle based label, Box Records. Matt, who runs the label, is an old pal of mine, and I was very fortunate that he offered to release this record, as it very nearly didn’t see the light of day. It ended up homeless after various industry shenanigans, but Matt was a proper legend when he stepped in to save it. 

I had a bit more fun with song titles too, as the John McGinn one was based on a Villa tweet I made two years ago after we played Norwich, and Stórar Franskur is Icelandic for 'big chips' - I just thought it’d be funny to make the blandest phrase I could think of into something that looked very 'Spotify ambient' as they love a good pretentious Icelandic title. Plus, most Icelanders I know aren’t the Wes Anderson caricature they’re sometimes made out to be, so a big plate of chips was the funniest thing I could imagine in a cutesy faux Scandinavian accent.

The front cover is the big brutalist clock tower in Shipley, in case you were wondering. It’s a photo by the excellent photographer John Cade.

Anyway! The pre-order is open now, and you’ll get the McGinn song immediately, so go on - get one ordered!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Rankin on satan

If you're based in Scotland, you might've seen a show running on BBC Scotland called Shelf Isolation - it's a little programme where famous people chat via Zoom about what arts & culture they've liked during the pandemic. It's a fun little thing, and the latest edition involved author Ian Rankin, long-time friend of the satan. 

Anyway, he talked about how much he enjoyed last year's album Time Lapse, and to my surprise, talked at length about me, my music, and all sorts of other stuff. It was great! So I've clipped it and smashed it on the satan youtube for all to see. Well, until the copyright strike comes, but so far I've avoided that...