MuZiK KluB

Mug Shot…

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I’d like to thank Rob Dickinson for sending me this mug! He sent me an email the other day thanking me for all the MuZiK KluB releases and how he had enjoyed discovering so much new music through it. To thank me he said he had bought me something off eBay as a present and a memento to the MuZiK KluB coming to an end. Thanks Rob, it’s you and so many others like you that keep me going. For that I can’t thank you enough. My tea will taste so sweet from now on!

Free album Thank You

As the MuZiK KluB is coming to an end, I decided to make a compilation of some of my favourite tracks which feature guitar and drums to release as a Kickstarter Vinyl album but then as I listened while I was mastering it, and the sun shone through my window, I decided to give it away for free; for the summer and as a thank you to everyone on this mailing list.

Most of all I’d like to thank each and everyone of you who has ever bought a release and especially you troopers who bought them all.

You are a patron of the arts, each and everyone of you!

And thanks to Charlie for playing the drums for me when I needed them. I picked these tracks because Charlie is on all but one or two songs and they all seem to fit together really well despite being recorded over a period of 4 years. There are some poetic acoustic tracks and some rocking band tracks. I hope you like them.

Please feel free to share this and give it to friends. It won’t be up for too long mind…¬†CLICK HERE¬†to download or just to listen.

EX II Kickstarter RSD…

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I’ll be launching a Kickstarter for EX II on vinyl this Saturday, which is record store day so we can have our own RSD celebration without getting all commercial.

I’m so pleased with this album¬†because it’s been years in the making and although it was quite quick to record because it’s mostly all live it was fastidiuosly put together and laboured over like no other record I’ve ever made before. It sounds monstrous. I’ve paid such attention to detail to the instruments used that everything on it is from the 70’s and the album has a very authentic feel, exactly how I wanted it. It took me years to save up and put the sound pallet together for this record. It was all recorded analogue and mixed on an old soundcraft desk.

I’ve also spent ages sitting on it, going back and listening after long breaks to make sure it still sounds good. I really feel like this is the start of something new for me, this album goes much deeper into a kraut feel than the first EX album. It’s definitely out there and I’m not going to post any tracks up in advance on soundcloud because I want the record to be listened to properly on decent equipment, in two halves, full blast. It rocks.

It’s only coming out on vinyl and limited to 300. No CD or download, sorry, that’s just the way I want it to be.

I’m also going to offer a reward (at no extra cost) whereby, if you pledge, you can choose to have your name on the album as co-producer. The front cover photograph (above) is looking pretty mean too I think! (yeah that is me).

Hopefully, together, we can make this a reality. Roll on RSD / Saturday.

KluBMiX!33

I don’t really know what people thought of this album when it came out apart from what I was told at the time. The press girl I worked with refused to work it saying: “It’s nothing like the album before!!” I played it to some friends and they said it was great but too different. Yeah, I knew all that. It took some balls to put it out but I had to do something. At the time I started to write it, two people had just walked out of the band on the same day and given me no reason why and the band collapsed overnight. At the time, because of this, I was suddenly financially in the shit again shall we say. I’d manufactured all these records and put everything into promoting Love And Peace And Sympathy with the idea of having a live working band and all of a sudden, after a really great gig in Poland with Public Image LTD, ¬†the band was no more. I’m not bothered about that now and I received an apology from at least one ‘traitor’! It’s all crap under the bridge but it is the background to that album.

I was so distraught that I locked myself away and one good thing to happen was that I formed the MuZiK KluB. That was the idea that I should record demo’s and sell them to keep me going while I’m making the next record. I think that is why I love this record and it’s my favourite album because it was made with all the love and help of the fanbase and in return, everyone who helped me got a credit as executive producer! The names on the back of that record are etched in there forever.

I’d been collecting old synths for years and when I sat down in the studio to write I felt that each synth had it’s own charm and character, one would be good at noises and the other quite rhythmic, just like a band member. The great thing was that none of them would ever be late or send me an email saying: “Had enough, see ya!” Boy, I needed a bit of that. What I love about this record is the space. I was right down on my luck and yet I seemed to turn towards my voice more than ever before, not hiding it or burying it in a sea of guitars. The song Give It Time has the best opening line ever:

“Nectar card slice cocaine on glossy cracked porcelain.”

The record was also a statement of intent in that I was so pissed off with the band breaking up all the time that I just wanted to change it so drastically that only real fans would be left behind and I didn’t care how many.

I was shocked at how many emails I got from people saying they loved it. Or was I? I think I spent more time on that record than any other before and I can still listen to it now without once thinking: “Shit, I wish I hadn’t done that.”
I only pressed up 300 and now there are about 10 left. Someone has put it up on YouTube now so I’m making it available as download, now that all the vinyl is almost gone. Back then when I put it out, I didn’t want anyone to hear it before buying it. Remember those days?

At the moment I’m working on a follow up to the groovy Kickstarter only CD I did a while back, the Krautrock inspired six by seven: EX. Actually, this is another record I’ve spent months and months working on (probably years if you count saving up for and finding the equipment) and I’ve done it in a very specific way. I’ve only used instruments from the 70’s, mainly Korg MS20 and MS10 and also a Korg KR55 drum machine which I had to wait ¬†4 months for after buying as it had to be shipped from Japan as they are very rare. It’s the same drum box that Daniel Miller had in the late 70’s and it was used extensively by early Mute artists Depeche Mode and Fad Gadget on their early¬†albums. So, six by seven EX II¬†is very intense and building and groovy with real drums and the songs are very long. It’s not finished yet but I’m settled now on the tracks I’m going to use. It’s going to have 5 songs on it…3 on each side..but how?!! You’ll have to wait and see.

I shall start a Kickstarter Campaign to make it on vinyl really soon.

The six by seven : EX album was on CD only and I’ve had lots of emails from people asking me to re-release it on vinyl. I’ve looked into doing a double vinyl with both the new and the old together with different coloured vinyl but it will be super expensive to make. I’d have to charge ¬£40 a copy and wouldn’t be able to sell it in the shops. I might do a questionnaire to see how many of you would be into that. It could be great to make it really special but the trouble is that it costs exactly twice the amount to manufacture a double album as it does a single and you can’t sell a double album for more than ¬£22 in the shops. If I make it double I’d have to charge ¬£40 for it on Kickstarter to make it work but then I couldn’t sell it in the shops because you can’t charge people ¬£40 and then sell it for ¬£22 a couple of months later.

This time around I’ll make it available on CD too as well as vinyl. It’s going to be a unique record, much like KluBmiX!33 was, unique in spirit, but¬†it won’t sound anything like that record. It’s exiting for me to be making music this way. I went to a Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at the Tate Modern last weekend and I was fascinated by the way he made his art, in projects with the materials that he had at hand. Sometimes he too was broke and would make art out of things he found lying around, but he always kept going. It was inspirational. I think that is why I love KluBMiX!33, it was done out of desperation, on my own, on 8 track but I did it to the best of my ability and what came out was completely different yet now it stands the test of time (with me) and is all but sold out. (Took a while but will now become legendary. Incidentally, the six by seven Hollywood Splatter vinyl has done much better than I expected and also down to the last 8 or so copies.)

I know how many of you want us to carry on in the original line-up and believe me I’m working on it. I need to survive first and foremost and I need to work out a way for us all to get back in a studio and record together again. It’s very difficult as people have jobs now and other commitments and it’s hard for everyone to find the time all at the same time to do it. We don’t have a record deal and we would need about ¬£10.000 or more to fund it. That’s probably too much to ask for at the moment. That won’t stop me trying to think of a way to make it happen. It has to be worth it though, it has to pay for 5 peoples time and it has to sound right.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the last hour this morning sitting here writing this and listening to KluBmiX!33 again…and it’s looks like Spring is coming at me through the window next to me. I’m gonna walk to Sainsbury’s and buy a fat free yogurt.