Thursday, March 30, 2023

Like tears in rain

Sometimes I use that Blade Runner dialogue from replicant Roy, y'know the one, the 'tears in rain' one, to make a point. Or to have a laugh, depends on my mood.


Thinking about twitter's slow, gradual slide into a sludge of nazis, weirdos and grifters got me thinking about it again. Imagine, if you will, a time before twitter, a time before Facebook, youtube, etc. It was a real wild west, a real 'fuck knows how any of this works, but just press up some CDs and jump in a car and let's go on tour'. It wasn't any better in truth, just different. I was young, life's always fun when you're young because you have youth, you have energy, you have that wide eyed optimism that things will somehow turn around for you at some point. The gigs were shit, and the CDs never sold, but you had fun.

I'll be 40 next month, which scares me shitless, I'll not lie. Only seemed like yesterday that EP02 got a magazine review and I was like 'yes! surely I'll get signed to a label now, right?!' - nearly 20 years later, I'm still waiting lol. But y'know, I had fun. Whatever.

The real kick in the teeth though, is thinking back to all that time, money and effort the whole music industry invested in stuff like twitter and facebook. To watch it all slowly disintegrate, like Myspace before it, would be hilarious if it weren't so depressing. I know managers and labels that spent ungodly sums 'boosting' Facebook posts, and trying silly little angles to get followers on twitter and stuff like that. And for what? Fuck all, it seems like at the moment. What a waste.

I came off Facebook a few years ago, and felt great. Never once felt the urge to return, even for the band. Twitter's impending doom is a little more depressing though - it really was a better network for stuff before you-know-who took over and tanked the whole thing. Was never perfect, obviously, but still. It rankles. Like, what else is gonna go down anytime soon? It's hard enough for DIY musicians at the moment, without these billionaire dorks fucking things up for us. Prick.

Anyway, rant over. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe - managers who said we couldn't get a booking agent until we had 10k fans on Facebook, actual bands spending real money to boost funny videos of pandas to try and game the algorithm. all these things will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Monday, March 6, 2023

I Hope You Like The Bundesliga


Are we sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin... 

It's time (already) for album number 12. Considering the band has been going for 17 years, you'd actually probably expect a few more albums in that time, but due to various side projects, doing-things-as-EPs, and just a general slow down some years, the count is currently still at 12.

Anyway, this new one is a bit different. First off, it's coming out on Golden Ratio Frequencies, the sort-of ambient, sort-of new age, sort-of noise label run by Alex of Salford's finest purveyours of slow motion mayhem, Gnod. So, this one will sound different. There are no beats, no synths, no mad samples or post-rock guitar action, it's just 4 tracks of pure, foggy guitar based ambience.

In fact, you can trace the whole record back to this one tweet I did:

That was me messing about with a new pedal I'd gotten, an Electro Harmonix Freeze - it sort of captures one element of whatever it is you're playing, and stretches it into one continuous tone. Whack that through my reverb and delay pedals, and ho boy, you've got yourself a big ol' washy ambient album.

So I recorded these things, and sent them to GRF, not knowing it was actually Alex from an old band satan had played with waaaaay back in the day - Manatees. The band used to play on much heavier line-ups back then (I'm guessing the metalheads liked our computers), and it was on one of these that we got to know them a little bit. They split up though, and we all went our seperate ways (as these things tend to do), so I was very nicely surprised when Alex piped up on the reply email saying it was him! Small world.

Anyway, due to covid, scheduling difficulties, real life stuff, and a variety of other things getting in the way, it's taken a little while for this one to come out, a little like my January album 'Falling But Not Alone' - that ended up being in limbo for about 2 years - this one has had its own fairly intense backstory too.

But it's here now, and if you'd like to pre-order a tape, you can do so by hopping over to the label's Bandcamp here.

The name, by the way, was just a joke I kept saying to my girlfriend Sophie - back in lockdown, the first football to come back was the German Bundesliga, so I started watching it, and really enjoyed it, so when all football eventually returned, I kept watching the German league, to which I'd exclaim "I hope you like the Bundesliga!" every time there was a match on. My team is St. Pauli btw (although who's isn't it? What a bunch of lads)

Anyway, there you go - I very much hope you like I Hope You Like The Bundesliga.