2010
here’s the church I plagiarised.
Also - something i mean to mention each time is that I choose the time signature of each track according to the month plus year - i.e. …
2010 = 3 + 1 (january) = 4.
February was 5 and March is 6. This month 7 ad etc ad infinitum blah blah blah

here’s the church I plagiarised.

Also - something i mean to mention each time is that I choose the time signature of each track according to the month plus year - i.e. …

2010 = 3 + 1 (january) = 4.

February was 5 and March is 6. This month 7 ad etc ad infinitum blah blah blah

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it didn’t take me too long. Here’s the MARCH track, again - FINALLY. It’s been a pretty busy month in more ways than one or two so sorry - to myself more than anyone.

This is by far the most love/hate of them. there are parts i adore and parts that grate but such is life.

Here’s the sound listing for your leisurely perusal -

I have to mention one sound that i love but couldn’t use because it was too quiet. I found it in the kitchen at work whilst preparing umpteen cups of stimulant for my obviously hard working colleagues and the strip light kept buzzing and ‘tinging’ on and off - it’s was quite rhythmic in an irksome way but dammit, it was too quiet and sounded awful whatever i did with it. bah.

the next one is a massive CHEAT. I did some recording in March with the band, Mr. Heart, with whom I’ve the great pleasure of playing bass. I very cheekily recorded Helen hitting a snare on the initial sound check. If it’s any consolation (to me it’ll do), it distorted really badly and only just resembles the actual sound.

The next one, and the most obvious in the track is the intricate church bells. I picked them up on tour in a Holland with my live band having just filled myself with what was described as a ‘super-burger’. It was actually one of tastiest burgers I’ve had the privilege to encounter. The architecture in Holland is incredible - new and old - I’ll stick a picture of the church in question on here in a bit. The bell chorus on the hour in most towns is really pretty but without being sinister - which is always encouraging. 

The next bit formed a few of the really biting samples. Like the trance style stabs that come in about a minute through. This is a recording of a band in Amsterdam. We had a show there and arrived at the venue having already dropped off gear and had a welcome  shower and a horrible burger. Apparently hardly anyone there was expecting us. We were supposed to be cancelled as out the back of the venue a fun-fair had been erected and was in full flashing/pinging/slot-machine/puking swing - in the midst of which an album launch show was going on for Kiki - the venue owner’s girlfriend. We had little idea what was going on, or if we’d be playing a show at all, so we checked out this Kiki. Hmmm - not my thing - but i took a recording of it and on the bright side, we got to play. Yeah, we definitely played. 

A funny thing - and I’ve just realised this - I found a recording that I’d made that stretches on for well over 2 hours and it confused me when I initially tried to record it in but I’ve only now figured out what it was. We played another show in a town called Pijnacker near to Rotterdam - it was the best show of the tour and so, naturally we got stupidly drunk. The night I staid with a very generous man from the one of the other bands that had played that night. We arrived at his house at stupid time in the morning to find a little villiage of guneapigs in his living room. About 7 of them were rolling around making that squeaking clicking noise - so I tried to record them which scared them all away but I left the recorder running - so I’ve a recording of me and my drummer slipping ourselves into sleeping back and sleeping for 2 and half hours. Fascinating I know.

The next one provided the majority of noises. It’s literally a last ditch attempt to pick up SOMETHING so i could make this track. So, on our way to catch a train to catch a plane from Amsterdam airport, I just recorded the walk. Bycicles - my favourite - come in about 30 second in or so. The sound of cars passing, a horn being hit and everything you might expect of a city - but it was Amsterdam. It definitely WAS NOT Manchester.

And the final one - there isn’t much here at all really - is a sampling of a fun game that my bassist devised while we sat, back in Manchester, in the pub, having just got home. The game comprised of sitting a beer mat on top of a close-to-empty-pint glass (which terrified us to the gut after the just-over-half-pints we’d enjoyed in Holland - just enough, like a finger of fudge - we are greedy English people) - and then simply flicking the beer mat off. The suction makes a noise as you flick the mat so I recorded it. What a great game that was.

So yeah - an eventful month but not much has gone into the track purely because it was SUCH an eventful month. sod it

x

Me working on the FEBRUARY track

Me working on the FEBRUARY track

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finally - here is the belated FEBRUARY track - made up of manhole cover noises, radio 4 clips, duck tape and the noise that my x-box makes when i toggle through the menu. 

I’ll put up a more expansive description soon but here it is for now. I can tell you that there are 2 spoken samples. One says -

"say bye to the house"

the other says -

"they’re only meaning, they’re only purpose in life (is) millions of pounds per individual"

A bit sombre this one but with enjoyable parts. not my best work xxx

JANUARY track

I lost my phone last year. I never lose anything as everything has a right place but it slid out of my bag, onto the backseat of a taxi and into oblivion on my way home from dropping off gear at the studio after a gig in Liverpool that received pathetic dribbles of applause from the littering of Wednesday night drinkers.

It was at this point I realised I could get my grubby mitts on an iphone. So, naturally, I did. While exploring this lovely reactive object I found the voice memo application. These things are usually crap but the condenser mic on the iphone is a massive upgrade from the distorted flam delivered by the nokias I’ve whistled ideas into in the past. Hence, this here concept was born…

I make a track a month for a year. Each track is built of found sounds from the month and made and mixed only within that month.

So here be the first instalment. It’s called January for obvious reasons and I’ve put a wee list of all the sounds used below … in case they happen to be of interest.

Bathroom extractor fan –

I was lucky enough to spend new years in Portrush in Northern Ireland in what can only be described as a glass box on the beach. Some friends have just moved out there and scored this flat on top of a cocktail bar overlooking the shore and the skerries (a littering of rocks a few miles out – I spent a good while smoking on the balcony and watching suicidal waves throw themselves against the things). The wind around there is dense and squeezes through any gap it can, so the extractor fan in the guestroom on-suite would rattle and whistle almost constantly. This noise comes in about 2 and half minutes into the track providing a clacking beat.

Portrush Pub –

We ended up in this pub after a stunning meal in a restaurant I’ve forgotten the name of. Four of us were sat in this back room with an open fire having a quiet one when a salty dog with shaved head, watery eyes and guiness in hand interrupted to tell us how much he loved coming to Manchester to get pissed and watch Man U play. That was it, we were soon joined by the campest man with 2 kids (and came on to me when we were outside, fag in hand) and a family, mum, dad and 2 girls. I soon found myself uninvolved, thankfully silent in the corner while everyone split into grouped or paired conversation, gaining momentum and overlapped one another. At times like these I like to imagine I have a hearing aid that can’t quite pick out one thing from another. So naturally I recorded it. This sample is in the first real break.

Train home –

This is the opening of the track. What made it in wasn’t what I made the recording for (I originally made it of this strange whirring noise that would tunefully elevate every time the train left a station – fascinating I know). The whistling on there is the alarm that lets people know the doors are closing and the door closing is the start of the beat, conveniently providing the bass drum (with help from a real bass drum underneath). The train took us from Manchester aiport to Picadilly after a hellish 8 hours spent at Belfast aiport waiting for the snow to subside and to be let out for a smoke. I was only let out for said smoke after we’d been told that our flight had been cancelled and it didn’t get much easier when we got to Manc and the free bus betwixt airport and train station took Vee (my partner), myself and 3 other poor sods around the loop of its route and right back to the airport as the driver had completely misplaced a stop.

Snow walk –

This is self explanatory. Everyone made this noise this month. I made this one on the way to work in my ugly walking trainers that despite boasting incredible grip, forced me to learn a new way of walking. There’s only a about a bar of straight walking noise and the rest is a cut up loop in the right ear – if you bother to listen on headphones.

Wee symbol –

This is actually an instrument so it might break the rules I haven’t really made. I found it when rehearsing with Mr. Heart, a band I play bass with. I was over at the singer/guitarist and drummer’s gaff where we occasionally rehearse in this tiny box room when we can’t sort anywhere else. I found the wee symbol near the unused and unusable sofa-bed that takes up half the room and flicked it with an index finger, as you do. It wasn’t the initial ‘ting’ that got me but the absolutely audible resonance – you could hear the wave in it, coming in and out. So it appears about a minute into the track, but flipped, so a section of resonance precedes the ‘ting’.

Washing machine –

Most people are lucky enough to have one. They’re great. Insane neighbours aren’t. Now, I get home from work at about quarter past 7 at night and on this particular night it was my turn to cook but the sofa wanted me for a good half hour or so before I could even think of anything worthy of gracing our stomachs. I finally make to the kitchen by about 8 and start looking at things, wondering what things would look like fried with other things and start putting something together in my call-centre-phone-burned brain when someone knocks at our door.  Vee opens and for the next 10 minutes I’m stood listening to the conversation that goes like this …

Neighbour:

“whatever it is you’re doing, stop doing it!”

Vee:

“I’m sorry, is the TV too loud?”

“No! it’s not the TV. My boyfriend is trying to sleep and theres this ‘BANG BANG BANG’”

“We’re cooking our dinner. It’s 10 past 8 in the evening.”

“Can you not cook earlier. It is really annoying. We even hear you walking up and down your stairs!”

“How else do I get up the stairs? Do you expect me to float up?”

it basically transpired that any move we make in our flat is the cause of crippling emotional stress to a new born baby and a bus driver that gets up for work at 5am. That, according to them, we could only cook before 6pm and no later to stave of any further nerve damage. The washing machine that never gets switched on past 5pm because we know how loud the rattling fucker is was one of the biggest offenders so it made it in. It’s just before the Portrush pub sample. Washing machines are better than insanely in-empathic neighbours.

Chipmonk Drums –

This is a plastic toy that sits on someone’s desk at work, the origins of which I suspect lie near Burger King or thereabouts. It’s a chipmonk from The Chipmonks; the one with the drums and has 2 buttons protruding from it’s back that control it’s arms and trigger what sounds like someone sneazing through a megphone. It wasn’t until someone other than myself who has the pleasure of working on the phones in a customer care centre said that ‘it will probably appear on your next track won’t it’. So, yes, it did. It’s the first snare–type beat and comes in within 30 seconds.

Other stuff-

The bits used that had to be used were a bass drum and ride sample from apple loops; my Gretsch semi-hollow guitar made the melody; the free version of Nlog synth app on my iphone made the bass line and also the bit of synth at the end.

The track doesn’t really kick off until about 3 minutes in and could do with a better mix but what can do, I didn’t have time.

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