I’ve never been any good at writing anything approaching an artist’s statement. I’ve cobbled things together when I’ve had to, but I’ve never been very happy with them. I’m not, or at least, don’t think of myself as a particularly “conceptual” person. But I’ve been reflecting recently on why I choose to make music in what little spare time I have (which, to be fair, is still more than a lot of my peers).
I started making music again after a very long break in 2015. I had been a drummer in two bands, and in between tinkered around with guitars and various bits of electronic music-making equipment but not with any seriousness. I drifted away from even wanting to make any music, trying various other creative endeavours, some of which I still do enjoy (e.g. photography and design). But in 2015 it just felt like music was something I wanted to give another go. I wasn’t in a position to play in a band, having become very rusty at drumming (and not having a kit which didn’t help) and my guitar playing was (and still is) pretty woeful.
Taking a course in Experimental Sound Art led me to new ways of thinking about making sound and music outside of a traditional band set-up, and the reasonably low barrier of entry to sound making on a laptop opened up my ears to new possibilities.
Now I play gigs and record when I can, and as my confidence has grown have enjoyed collaborating with others. Operating in a small pond and being bad at schmoozing and promo means that realistically I’m never going to “shift a lot of units” (but hey, I’m definitely open to that lucrative 6 album deal of course).
The main reason I can think of why I do this is because it helps. Helps with long standing issues of anxiety and depression. Without wanting to sound grandiose it also helps in some way to find meaning and deal with all the other stuff that goes on in life, not least the general madness going on in the world right now. Although occasionally difficult and frustrating, it’s fun and fulfilling. I think that’s why I do it.
FluxHaus is a new collaboration between myself and another Linear Obsessional artist, Kassia Flux. For this one I’ve put away the guitar and concentrated more on electronics – and gong. We’ve got two gigs coming up in December 2018 – one at Boat-Ting on Monday 3 December, then we’ll be playing at the Arts Café in Hither Green on Sunday 9 December.
Now on Mixcloud: a selection of tracks that have influenced me, plus some I’ve been enjoying recently – and cheekily, one of my own.
- Kassia Flux – Hove
- smallhaus – to the birds, to the light
- Windy and Carl – Balance (Trembling)
- Grouper – Alien Observer
- Abul Mogard – The Purpose of Peace
- Simon Scott – Insomni (extract)
- Amp – Alrightfarout
- Popol Vuh – In den Gärten Pharaos
- Ben Clayton-Wolfindale – I Lived on Planet You
- Tangerine Dream – Birth of Liquid Plejades
- Christina Vantzou – Some Limited and Waning Memory
- Stereocillia – Wormhole – i
- Slowdive – Shine
Mixcloud assures me that it is OK to upload mixes due to its arrangements with various licensing companies. It is not my intention to infringe copyright, so please contact me if you would like me to remove anything.
Lutra will be having a low-key launch event of sorts at Linear Obsessional Live at Lewisham Arts Café on Sunday 12 August. Although nominally Lutra-focused, I’ll playing a more improvised drone-based set.
I was thrilled that Lutra was the featured album on the Sonic Imperfections show on Resonance FM on 23 July.
Three tracks were played – a wave from the water, to the birds to the light and lutra.
I was pleased to be in some very good company too – I featured alongside some great tracks from releases on the Champion Version label amongst other things.
You can listen to the show on Mixcloud.
Lutra, the new smallhaus album, has been released by Linear Obsessional Recordings and is available as a CD and pay-what-you-want download.
The CD is packaged in a flexible translucent plastic case, with wrap-around cover and 4 page mini-booklet of notes.
Lutra was written and recorded between July 2017-March 2018 and uses different approaches and techniques from its predecessors, unweather and six. The result is 8 shorter tracks – reflecting my love of psychedelia, 1970s ambient, shoegaze, post-rock, drone and music concrete.
“An enveloping, immersive wash of precision moulded sound” (Richard Sanderson, Linear Obsessional Recordings)
My new album, lutra, is due to be released imminently on the wonderful Linear Obsessional records.
lutra was written and recorded between July 2017 and February 2018. A departure from the sonic collage of unweather, lutra uses different techniques and features 8 shorter, more focused tracks.
Richard Sanderson, head honcho of Linear Obsessional has written these kind notes about the release:
Following on from his slow burning self-released cassette “Unweather”, “Lutra” is the first CD release by smallhaus (AKA South London based guitarist, electronicist, percussionist David Little). It expands his singular sound environment into a full-screen, full-colour and hugely enjoyable collection.
At times this almost feels like a tribute to the classic sounds of 70’s ambient – the choral textures, the infinite guitars, the synthesizers, but it’s done with a knowing wink and a contemporary layer of grit and dust. But mostly it’s an enveloping, immersive wash of precision moulded sound.
lutra is, of course, dedicated to otters everywhere.
Here’s a short video I made to mark the occasion:
I’m excited to announce that the collaboration with Felix MacIntosh (Tigersonic) and Igor Olejar (Autorotation) is going to become a “proper” band – DIF ID. It’s early days yet but we’ll be looking at getting some gigs in the next couple of months.
Combining a range of influences, from dub to electronica to psychedelia, DIF ID is also exploring experimental means of performance – more on what that means shortly!