Isolated contains two tracks that were written after Lutra but before I started work on my third album, Doubt. They felt like they lived in their own world, apart from Lutra and Doubt but coming back to them I still liked them so decided to release them as an EP.
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.
Lutra made its way on to two more shows in the last week. I was really pleased to be featured on the Comfy Show and Yourarelistening.to on NTS. Again I was honoured to be played alongside some great artists, and in the case of youarelistening.to, recordings of police radio from Melbourne!