More Album News

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After listening to the album last night on headphones after a one week break post mixing and mastering it dawned on me that I didn’t feel right putting individual songs up on Soundcloud or my website. It’s become the norm now to dangle these audio carrots in front of fans to create a vibe and give people an idea of what they will get. Is that right, is that why people do it to the music?

What is an album anyway, now, today, here and now!!? (When I signed a record deal in 1998 it was contractually described as ‘a plastic double sided sound carrier comprised of no less than 8 tracks and at least 35 minutes in length’)

An album is whatever the artist decides it’s gonna be, the internet has set us free.. er.. LOL OMG…etc.

For me this album is an hour journey from track one to track 12. It’s been carefully mastered so that you adjust the volume to suit your ears on track one and then leave the volume knob alone. The idea is that you go from one song to the next in the order I’d ideally want you to listen to it in. If you do this, the album will be dynamic and soft and brutal. How can I convey this by putting sporadic songs on Soundcloud which takes the music out of context and will probably be listened to on computer speakers? Is that what we used to do with our sacred vinyl purchases? Imagine going down to the shop and buying the latest Bowie or Pixies album and taking it home then randomly listening to track 7 on the shittest smallest speakers you could find in the house and shouting, “This is awesome, I feel compelled to write !!!YEEAAAHHHRGGHH!!!!‘ on a piece of paper for the whole world to see… I can’t wait to hear the rest of it on my Wharfedales MOTHERFUCKER!!!”

Dynamics and compression all seem to have gone through the roof in the last 20 years, quite literally, there has been a war on volume to try and get albums mastered so that they are louder and louder and it doesn’t work. (there is plenty of great techno waffle about this on the google box) It’s simple common sense, If everything is at 11 then where do the subtleties go?

This album has been mastered so it goes from quiet to loud and has plenty of dynamics. Drink some wine, smoke a large one and put your headphones on and for Gods sake turn the compressor off on your iPod, and the evil shuffle button, you wouldn’t go to the Tate Modern and randomly flit from one painting to the other, it would fuck with your mind, there is a path to take! Nah, I’m not gonna do any album ‘teasers’ (!!! Teasers for fucks sake!!) For me a teaser is a girl who drives you mad with lust but then won’t let you fuck her, not an album track thrown up on to the internet for the sake of ego, greed and wanton ‘please leave me lots of nice comments’.

I don’t want to do that anymore. If track one is good enough then I hope track 8 is too, if it isn’t, skip it, but then it may not grow on you, it’s there for a reason, it’s not the drummers song anymore, laying in the boneyard. (The boneyard was traditionally the second to last song placing on side 2 of the vinyl, traditionally the place where the shittest album filler song would go, normally written by the drummer so he could buy a house too, and feel loved, back in the 80’s… go and have a look at your vinyl, check the songwriting credits, esp. The Police.) “Hey guys, I know it needs more cowbell, then it will be really good yeah?!” Producer and rest of band: “Fuck it, it’s great, stick it in the boneyard and put it in the past, Stings just written another right fucking cracker and we’ve only booked this studio in the Bahamas for another 6 months.”

I think what I will do is put lyrics up here on my Bjorn Blog and maybe some album credits too, in advance. This might give you a better feel for what is to come…

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24 comments

      1. Oh yeah I totally understand – i’ve been saving up for for the last couple of years to buy to decent stereo so I can listen decent music… decently!… with no MP3 rubbish. Hence the Vinyl question (go on you know you want to – i’ll even pay over the odds if it helps?!?!? – I was at that Bristol gig by the way.. gutted it was so empty but my missus (you may remember having a bit of banter with her?) is now a huge fan and can now pick a six. by seven song out a mile away (and even requests it sometimes at home!) so thanks for that man.

    1. Totally understand, I await the album and will listen to it in the order suggested, with top notch headphones and a beer or two. Cheers!

  1. Hi Chris Totally right about an album being a complete listening experience instead of a collection of songs. Looking forward to listen to the new Six by Seven through my pair of headphones. Will it be released on vinyl again? Thanks for the music and the blog.

    Groeten. Joeri.

    > Op 28-mei-2014 om 12:46 heeft “SIX BY SEVEN” het volgende geschreven: > > >

  2. Good on you, Chris. It won’t hurt people one little bit in these days of instant gratification to wait and wonder for a while. Anticipation is a delicious emotion, but increasingly neglected and rejected.

  3. Given no-one is lurking over your shoulder and twisting your arm for a 12-track template ToTP friendly 3-single singalong anymore, and it sounds like you’ve shed the deadwood, an album is whatever the hell you say it is.

    That’s the kind of artistic freedom that the internet and the collapse of the mid-level wanker labels has given us back.

    Don’t know about everyone else but that’s how I’ve listened to every Six.by Seven album when it came out anyway.

  4. But seriously. The ltd vinyl will be mine. It’s the way ahead. I’m a new fan of Music Exchange in Nottingham. I’ve bought four or five platters recently, all on spec with negligible prior knowledge and i care about them. Like most folks I moved away from vinyl, flirted with CD in wanton abandon and have sinned ingloriously with mp3. I have descended into mass consumption of digital data and even though I find good things it’s transitory. Human monkeys love artefacts, they tea sure and worship them and give them love. Sculpt and form your art into it’s purest form and it will find ears & hearts.

  5. No worries here. I always avoid “teasers” anyhow, as I’d rather experience the whole album as a… Whole Fucking Album. Have I missed any mention of a release date?

  6. I understand you perfectly well, I always hated the shuffle function on my music players 🙂 I highly appreciate you still undertake the effort to produce a whole album, not just single tracks. And I have to check my record collection for boneyards now 🙂 Too bad LOVE AND PEACE AND SYMPATHY didn’t work as you had hoped, but you’re not alone – even Aerosmith want to give up releasing new albums (I hope they change their minds though, loved most of the last one). I’m very much looking forward to the next installment of six.byseven, Never lose your enthusiasm!!

  7. Love your way with metaphors there Chris…… and yes, I totally agree that some – if not all – albums should not be ‘teasered’ in this way but best unleashed in their full, perfectly formed, glory. These days there is so much reliance on – and expectation of – drip-feeding of new music via technology and that just spoils the special definitive moment of record-buying. A band like Pixies did it with their last set of EPs and I wasn’t impressed with the final result – feeling a sense of anticlimax by the time the much-trumpeted album arrived amidst loads of fanfare. I guess that sort of modus operandi is not the Six. By Seven way of doing things and it’s all the better for it ….. considering just how prolific you have been over the last decade or so now – regardless of whoever you have been working with (be it with in collaboration with other band members or solo), I’m continually surprised and astonished at just how many recordings you have been spoiling us all with! It’s so gratifying to see that you are still sharing with your fans your passion for creating and releasing so much new stuff! 🙂

  8. Great news about the vinyl.
    I always avoid teasers and go for the vinyl with music I care about, even if that means waiting a few extra weeks (or months in some cases) for the vinyl version to come out.

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