Really enjoyed our performance at the beginning of the month at The Rose Hill in Brighton. Thanks to all those that came out to see us, and an extra special thanks to the sound person (Abe), not only for giving us great sound, but for reminding me to actually start the cameras that I had setup! Had to make a quick stage exit and turn them on! Not sure when our next performance will be, but not too long hopefully.
Amy and I will be playing as RAVINE/MACHINE again on the 4th December at The Rose Hill in Brighton. We have support from R.Dyer and I AM FYA. I think it’s going to be a great night, and a great way to start the festive season. Come along, there will be mince pies! Tickets available here.
Well, the gig at Spirt of Gravity on Thursday was a lot of fun. It was our first performance as RAVINE/MACHINE and despite the trip hazards, allergy poisonings and misbehaving laptops, the end result was great. I definitely want to play more gigs in this format. I’ve wanted to work with a visual artist for a long time and Amy is the perfect match. Her beautiful photography, which forms the basis of her projections are wonderfully augmented by her intricate and unusual manual projections. It’s really inspiring to accompany them with my sound. We are organising more gigs now (Brighton and London), so watch this space. If you want us to play please get in touch.
I have my first performance on Thursday playing as RAVINE/MACHINE, a collaboration with experimental film-maker, Dr Amy Cutler. Expect analogue projections powered by candles and carousels, accompanied by haunting textures from my DIY drone box. We’ve been discussing this project online for over a year, but due to current circumstances only got to collaborate in person in recent days. Be lovely to see some of you there.
New Cutlasses album A Consequence of Distance releases today! Last December, I put up an open request for artists on Twitter to collaborate on a project inspired by the parlour game Consequences. I created an initial set of sounds using acoustic instruments processed through a palette of DIY effects that I have made. I then sent these to the artists, who worked with them and sent them back, iterating like this until we had finished a piece of music. Today you can finally hear the results!
Available on Bandcamp https://cutlasses.bandcamp.com/album/a-consequence-of-distance as a digital download, or on the physical format making its big comeback, CD! Housed in a lovely hand-assembled laser cut case. All profits donated to charities to help arts venues struggling post Covid and fighting Climate Change. If you buy today, Bandcamp are donating their share to NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a racial justice organization, so even if this isn’t your cup of tea, why not buy some other music today, so you can help the artists much more effectively than streaming, and contribute to achieving racial justice!
Spirit of Gravity is Brighton’s longest running (and best) night for experimental music. I was honoured to return, this time with a streamed performance. I can’t wait until I’m able to attend SoG again as a punter when Covid restrictions relax.
I’ve managed to get the hardware working (based around an STM32f446 with a WM8731 audio codec), but I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall with it sonically. Everything is working as expected, but I’m not as excited by the sound as I am with my Glitch Delay, which I use on pretty much everything!
I had an idea to port the firmware to VCV Rack, so I could easily try it with lots of different modules (with one or 2 exceptions, I only really own modules I’ve built myself). Here is a very simple example (ironically I do own Rings and a Turing Machine).
If anyone interested in granular wants to try Sands on VCV Rack (Mac only currently), then email me. I’m keen to get feedback, and suggestions, or even see it working in a patch you’ve made.
My new EP, “The Days That Remain And Those That Follow” is available now! This EP was recorded in the first half of 2020 and reflects at a macroscopic scale, on the insanely tumultuous events of the year, but on a more personal level it echoes the anxiety and joy of impending parenthood.
The somewhat immovable deadline of my son’s birth provided a power motivator to finish the tracks, even though he arrived slightly before the tracks were totally completed. The pieces were created using my DIY instruments and effects, starting off as live improvisations, and slowly polished into finished pieces.
I plan to do some track breakdowns, to dig into how these were put together. Check back in the following days.
Thanks to all of that ‘attended’ our performance last night. Combining a fairly involved audio setup with a 2 camera visual setup was quite tricky, and I was a little nervous about it all, but it all seemed to go down ok.
Everything in this case is DIY (including the case itself). It all starts with the Befaco Instrument Interface, that’s the pre-amp for my guitar, and all the other instruments. After that, everything is going through an effects loop of guitar pedals (DOD volume pedal, Devi Ever Shoe Gazer, EHX Memory Man with Hazarai, Digitech Hardwire Reverb) via a Syinsi pedal i/o 1U tile. I was originally using my Khronos module for the delay->reverb, but actually the Teensy DAC was just too noisy, and seems to be noiser now than ever, possibly because I’m running a lot of modules from a cheap power supply board. I will make something similar using a module with an external audio codec at some point. After that the sound is routed to the modules I’ve designed, Glitch Delay, Audio Freeze, and 2 Looper modules. These form the core of my sound. I have the Foxfield Gearbox as the master clock. The Music Thing Turing Machine with Pulses is sending triggers to the looper to randomly cut up the loop. My alternate RadioDrum firmware for the RadioMusic, is providing all the drum sounds. The Befaco ADSR is responsible for that pulsing distortions at the end of the set. Everything is then routed to my 2 mixers, a passive one that I designed, and the Rakit 5 mixer. Ideally I’d like to get a eurorack mixer with some EQ, I’ve got my eye on the Befaco Hex Mix, but it looks like quite an involved build, so need to find the time. See here for more details on the modules I’ve designed and the piezo noise boxes.
R.Dyer and myself were supposed to do a live show last month at the Rose Hill, but it was cancelled for obvious reasons. Why not watch us from the comfort of your own sofa instead, perhaps with a warming glass of Brandy? Playing Saturday 23rd May 8:30 UK time.