no work, no play, no nothin'

Over the last few months leading up to our trip we've been remarking 'oh, the time is going to fly' - but no amount of saying that prepares you for just how fast it goes. with a day and a half left in our house and just a few more in the country we're in battle mode. With visa problems thrown in the midst with packing and trying to see family, it's a maelstrom of perpetual destruction etc. I'm lacking sleep and any kind of head space to think much beyond basic must dos.

I will try to find the ableton serial - but i think the best chance will be on the PC laptop which i think may be on its way to your place this afternoon... will you be home??

I like the sound of what your saying with GEM - whilst i like the music - I think the song itself does not work well enough to exist just simply. My feeling is that we need to develop other points of interest to make it work.

I wont have time to listen through the album properly till the flight so no more comments yet. I hope that i'll be able to gain some new insight once away from the whirlwind of recent life and post some helpful thoughts from the road. Apart from that the future, from this point is a mystery.

all work and no play

dave, could you possibly find the account details for ableton live - i'm happy to go online and look up the stuff we need and ask them about transferring the license from the old laptop to the new etc etc, but i can't get in without the account details. i think that's about the only thing that needs to get done at this stage.

i've worked on gem a little bit more (any suggestions for a new name?). i'm thinking i'd like to really do something that's a more jarring resolution at the end, possibly cut to some very distorted (but not necessarily loud) drum loop right at the point the singing finishes. i also think i'd like to have more variety in the processing of the voice, so it's not just one fx setting for the entire song, but that different lines have different distances and sounds etc. i've also done some minor things like bring down the volume of the ride cymbal, louden some of the guitar atmosphere at the beginning etc. i think it's getting somewhere, but is probably too early to quite tell yet.

any more thoughts on an altered track listing?


beaming in from pluto

bec and i went to bjork last night - wow. a technofile's wet dream if ever there was one. the actual band consisted of two electronics guys, though each with their own separate setups, a drummer (chris corsano, who actually is much more of a percussionist than a traditional drummer in his technique - lots of scraping and little gong-bells etc), a keyboardist, then a 10 piece brass band/backing vocalist section. but of most note here was the electronics. mark stent, who has produced much of her greatest stuff, was one of the electronics guys. part of his setup was one of those round touch screen synth things you sent me a youtube link to a couple of years ago. but on the big screens to the side of the stage, and also on large tv screens on stage, was vision from an overhead camera on it, so you could see what he was doing with it to generate the sound. and when he wasn't on that, both electronics guys had other touchscreen controllers which functioned basically like our controllers do, but were all glowing touchscreens which changed format from song to song so that sometimes they were basically just volume faders, at others they controlled filters like in the little box on the bottom left of ableton when we load in fx etc. then there were kaos pads etc, all of which were filmed from above and cut in to the big screen footage. it made the process very tangible. the whole set was actually incredibly physical. sometimes, it almost sounded like pure white noise being filtered with a backbeat. and of course there was bjork. the brass section/backing vocals were good too, and gave her a wide scope to flip between heavy electronics and much more organic stuff.

sufjan stevens was excellent in a very cerebral manner. bjork was excellent in an incredibly physical manner. it's been a good couple of weeks for gigs. the only problem being that battles did their only sideshow last night as well, so couldn't be seen. oh, and i was out of town when tunng was on.

i got some new screen mesh today which is incredibly fine so we can now screenprint as much detail as we want.

my only problem with a poster format for the inside would be a budget one - i don't have access to any full colour printing larger than a4, and i think you'd probably want full colour for those images. do you want to do your own version of that cover i did, or are you happy for me to play with it? i kind of did a quick thing because i had a vague idea. i've thought also of the possibility of having more of the blue stuff, maybe smaller ones, or non uniform parts to it, rather than just the two circles, which were just the first thought.

as to a launch show, i don't have anything planned. i'm holding off until there's actually an album. in terms of how the live set up will eventually be, i'm fairly certain now that there'll be about 4 other people to fill the gaps you leave, 3 singing and possibly playing simple instrumentation, and 1 (hopefully steve) on digital bits.

play around with the album track order and give me any suggestions - you are much better at that aspect than me.

p.s. i got a comment on my school blog to a post i made about the artwork of matthew collings. i've got a reasonable idea it's actually from matthew collings himself, or possibly his wife, emma briggs, the two of whom collaborate on all their paintings.

everything happening and not happening all at once

The artwork is looking really good. Hand made digi sounds great to me. I think the logos are too big. Like the rounded corners. I bought the recent Squarepusher album the other day and it has a lovely case which is a molded cardboard cd holder which I find a very nice alternative to plastic. I think for our budget a disk dot will be just fine! Another approach to the inner booklet would be a fold out poster. The circles could look really good that way.

Have been listening through the album a bit though mainly while working so I don't feel like I've been able to give it as much attention as I'd like... how unusual!

I'm really not sure about GEM and my preference would be to hold back on anything that we're not totally happy with... I hate listening to recordings and feeling like it's not what we wanted it to be. Another thought that I had was that it could work well to move requited love to a later position... It just has a later on kind of tone to me I think - once a listener is quite settled in.

have you thought much more about playing live to support the release of the CD?

PS - interesting reading the two sufjan reviews - I actually thought that the top one was yours until I got to the name at the bottom.


i tried this

(if you click the image you should get taken to a higher res version)

so we went to reverse garbage on wednesday, and i bought a huge pile of white card. i've been playing around making a few different cd case type things with it to see what i like, but the basic principle is that it's kind of like a digipak, but without the plastic tray - just a button instead, and on the opposite side something in which to slip a booklet/zine type thing. with that in mind, i figured i'd have a go with a suggestion for a front, bearing in mind that i'd like to have a degree of actuall-ness about it - i.e., the cream and blue would be silkscreened by hand and the red printed via printer. so obviously, that limits the colour pallette etc. i played with some ideas that kind of link back to the punches or the lies, but also move forward linking with the new images you've worked on, which i imagine will make up the basis for the booklet/zine. i'm most happy for you to dismiss this outright, but felt inspired to begin something, so thought i just would. thoughts?


gotta love yellow. anyway, here's a new link for the cd at cdbaby. should be on itunes and most other digital places in the next few days (weeks).

Buy the CD
TELAFONICA: The Punches Or The Lies
click to order

any thoughts on the updated recordings?


back to the mundane

so - in view of the fact that we don't have much time left, and that marcella would prefer a weekend day to a weekday night - are you possibly free this saturday during the day to record vocals? we need to record gem definitely, and possibly some other backing vocal stuff - i'll be doing some recording of my own vocals during the week and so we can assess what we need by then.


why does everyone steal our ideas?

have a close look at the artwork for in rainbows. have we been gazumped?

i'm considering buying a novation remote 25 (this one in particular). seems to have most of the knobs and faders of the uc-33e with the addition of a keyboard (which i've really missed for the last couple of years in my music making - drawing midi notation is ok, but sometimes you really do need a human feel).


using lite to lose weight

can you have a look here and tell me what you think of the le version? are the things missing a big deal for what we would actually be using it for - i.e. live performance? the main drawback i could possibly perceive is the limit to 2 external vst effects per project. we are currently running our setup using none, though, aren't we, so 2 is actually a vast improvement! there's a few other things which i don't actually know what they mean - eg rewire etc. could you look through and tell me if there's anything drastic missing from the le version that would warrant the extra $500 or whatever it is for the full version.

i also played around trying to finalise some of the tracks today. i've added a bit of subtle glockenspiel to the end part of tape noise - exactly fits your "some kind of high-ish freequency sound. something crisp and clean - to contrast the muddier sounds" description of what is needed. i quite like it and it adds a bit of melodic interest, which is what the remixers all tended to add that was missing from the original.

i think i've got a vocal recording of blending the edges that i'm happy with. and a possible final mix.

do you possibly have my kodwo eshun book - more brilliant than the sun? i can't find it anywhere and i'd like to possibly expand the quote we used for the sun sets... i'm thinking of reading a whole page or so from that section, getting andreas to do the same, then mix them into item number as subtle field recordings.