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...


 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

New previews

Over the last few months, I've been teasing little bits of up-coming releases. I thought I might as well, as everything in the schedule has been shunted back quite a bit from where it was originally planned. One album was supposed to come out last November, but has since changed labels, release month and release year. Hopefully it shouldn't take too much longer, and then I can start to talk to you all about these things I have in the pipeline. 

Anyway, those teasers - I basically cut up some nice looking videos from various sources, and started posting them to Instagram stories. I liked the idea that I could tease a new track, and all traces of it would be deleted after 24 hours. It was very me, so I started putting them up a bit more regularly as the months ticked on, and over time I've experimented with putting the same ones on different socials, to see where the reactions were better and what people said. Twitter didn't do too well, but Instagram stories was a hit. YouTube, the jury's still out, but the views haven't been stellar, and someone unsubscribed the other day when I uploaded two new previews! Haha. Oh well. 

Here you go anyway, here they all are in their glory...

 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 

 


Monday, March 1, 2021

Si begg remix

It's March! Lovely!

The weather is still rubbish though, so to get you through, here's a remix I did of Si Begg, which is out today:

So weird to be on a Si Begg project - literally have his albums stacked up at home, so to be asked by him to cook something up is unreal! I remember doing the first draft ages ago, in a right huff as I was in a terrible, terrible mood because Villa had thrown away a lead at bloody Arsenal, and we ended up losing in the last minute, which was utterly painful. That first draft, you'll not be surprised to hear, ended up being awful, so once I'd calmed down, I went back into it, and did this version. Sounds pretty good I reckon!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Can't get you out of my head

Adam Curtis is back!

You may remember him from such films as Hypernormalisation, and The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel. OK, maybe not the last one, but definitely the first one.

You might also be aware of the connection between his films and my music, as it's appeared in a lot of them since about 2014. His last outing, Hypernormalisation, even managed to get me a credit at the end of the film, which was very nice.

Anyway, after a long break, he's back with 6 (count em) new films, all under the title 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'. I've seen the first two, as I'm resisting the urge to binge them all and just let them sit in my head for a few days before going back in, and I was a) delighted to be delving into the murky world of Curtisism again, and b) nicely surprised that some of my music popped up during various segments.

Now, you might be thinking 'Gavin, why don't you know in advance what he's putting in?' and to that, I'd say: 'well, he makes everything himself, and is no doubt still editing it all about 5 minutes before he sends them to the BBC, so has neither the time nor the energy to submit cue sheets. Plus, he layers different tracks together a lot, so would be a nightmare trying to unpick it all'. So there. Plus it's kinda cool that he collages so much stuff together that he probably forgets what he's used and where. And he's busy. Always busy.

ANYWAY. I thought I'd keep a handy list here as to what stuff he's used of mine in the docs, as it's just nice isn't it? I wrote a sort-of passive aggressive tweet once about the time when loads of satan stuff got used on Hypernormalisation, and I thought labels and agents would batter down my door asking to work with me, and the only thing that happened was a dude at a label tried to use me to get Adam's email address so he could just send him all his music instead. So with that in mind, I resolved to always just big myself up, if no-one else was going to do it for me.

Here we go then, I'll update it as I watch them, but for parts 1 & 2, here's the stuff of mine he used:












UPDATE! Just watched part 3, and whereas it was a bit light on the ol' satan stuff, there was a cheeky bit of this one, slithering into a scene involving an irate American in the suburbs:
 

UPDATE 2! Blimey, part 4 is tough stuff, eh? Found one or two bits peeking through, which were the intro riff to this-


and there was also a tiny bit of this old ambient thing I did years ago (it's appeared in a fair few bits of his before)


Oh, and he loves to play the clattering, reverb drenched intro to Evil Dogs too:

UPDATE 3! Yes, nearly at the end now. I don't think anything new popped up, apart from one intro to something that's been buzzing around the whole series so far that I just couldn't place. Turns out it's this, from Revenant:

LAST UPDATE! Finally watched the end episode last night, and whereas there wasn't anything new, there was this in the credits! Lovely:



Friday, January 22, 2021

Split out now!

Today sees the release of a little split tape I put together with Charlie Coxedge.

I run a little label called This Is It Forever, and about two years ago, I started doing little cassette splits, where I'd take one side, and someone else would take the other. It's been really good fun, and ever since the band became just me, I've been able to share the satan sound with some people I really like. 

This one's the sixth so far, and my track on it, 'An Tiaracht', is a relatively new one. the thing I like about these splits is that you can do stuff quite off the cuff, and pretty quickly - there's no big schedule, and you don't have to sit on things for that long if you don't want to. They've always been good as little snapshots of the more experimental side of satan too, as you get about 10-15 minutes to do whatever you want with. Naturally, I always want to make something fucking massive.

Anyway, really hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for a lot more satan music this year!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

An Tiaracht

Howdy!

Well 2021's off to a banger isn't it? Picked a hell of a day to announce a new release didn't I? Oh well.

Anyway... here's the first bit of new satan material for the year - a track called An Tiaracht. It's part of a split tape with Charlie Coxedge, and is out on my own This Is It Forever label on Jan 22nd. Charlie took side B, and weaved this gorgeous looped ambient guitar piece called Who Is To Say, and I basically wanted to make a wall-of-synth style thing, which I think I've managed to do. I guess you'll be the judge of that. 

Here's the cover I made, which I thought was pretty good. Quite like using text in weird ways now, after years of just thinking 'yeah, that's a nice picture - use that as the cover. no text' as a template for releases:


The name, incidentally, comes from this tiny island off the coast of Ireland. I discovered it on one of my usual wikipedia rabbit holes, but just look at it:


It's deserted now, but had a functioning lighthouse and small living quarters for people to work there. The buildings are all still intact, but it's only birds that inhabit the place now. 

Tape is out Jan 22nd, pre-orders open on the 15th!