Friday, 24 December 2010

a traditional xmas list

my list is now online at the zine and also below.

Top 10 for 2010

hi folks.
Because I'm a traditionalist at heart here's my top ten of 2010.

It's not ranked in any way these are just the ones I remember particularly digging. Obviously there were many more that could be here - everyone who passes through these pages is worth a listen, it's the whole point of the exercise.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has sent something to me. I'm way behind with my listening and it's been a tedious last few months not getting to listen to much music. I'll get a new issue up early in the new year.



Andrew Chalk - Ghosts of Nakhodka

(Siren 017)
The first ever review written for WWR (or ECReviews as it was called then) was an Andrew Chalk album. He set my benchmark for what constitutes a perfect release and has subsequently exceeded it on numerous occasions. Let's be straight here if you've not listened to me yet about just how good this here fella is and gone out and sourced every one of his available releases then really what's the point in you reading me.
Andrew is at the absolute peak of his game at the moment. everything he lets us hear is another plateau, higher, grander and more panoramic than the previous. Ghosts of Nakhodka is a real showcase piece consisting of one longer piece of sumptuous drone music followed by a cavalcade of shorter instrumental sketches each of which throws out more moments of beauty, clarity and empathy than many musicians manage in a lifetime.
If you're not buying everything he releases then you're not buying anything that matters.

Chemins - cdr #5
Apparently this is the last we'll see of Chemins for a little while which is a damn shame. Their five little cdr releases have been one of the absolute highlights of the last year. The good news is thought that they're going away to concentrate on writing a full length album for release next year sometime.
CDR #5 continues where the 4 previous left off with Chemins luxurious soundworld of slow drones and introspective guitar interspersed with flickering electronic and rolling builds all present and accounted for. This time out though the lovely wee fellas have added a host of other interesting twits and textures to the mix. There's a vaguely lounge jazz air to one part and a distinctly middle eastern flavour to another before the whole thing rises for a euphoric conclusion.
It all adds up to yet another really rather wonderful 20 minutes spent in very good company indeed. I cannot wait for the album.

Mendel Kaelen - Remembering What Was Forgotten
Firstly my apologies to Mendel. I've had this fabulous album for a little while now and liked it so much I was carrying it around with me so I could keep playing it. Of course the inevitable happened and it got misplaced. Happily, earlier today it resurfaced so I can both listen to it again and also tell you all just how good it is.
Kaelen operates in the area of psychedelic drone augmented by field recordings which is nothing we haven't seen or heard before but the deeply ingrained sense of effortless beauty that runs through the four constituent compositions is just sublime, even at it's most bombastic - 'Light of Nature' - it is still beautifully poised with a distinct sense of implied melody behind the drawn out tones. I keep getting ridiculously lost in this album, only surfacing when the final chords die away and even then only long enough to press the play button again.
An exquisite album. Hugely and unrepentantly recommended for all lovers of the magic of the drone.

Sujo - Dimona
(Inam Records)
it's always a good thing when new Sujo drops through the letterbox. His heavy as hell grinding take on the post-rock monster is one of the most cathartic musical interludes I get sent here at WWR heights. 'Dimona' is a brutal half an hour of almost Godflesh levels of intense beauty. It's got a looser vibe than the erstwhile industrial - metal superstars but it hits the same level of uncompromising fuzzy and monolithic dystopia.
Undoubtedly this is one for the more 'metal' or 'rock' inclined among you and I pretty much guarantee you'll love it but in all honesty I'll happily recommend it to everyone cause it's ace!
(inamrecs AT

Dead Shall Not Have Died In Vain / Dysthymia - split 7"
(Diophantine Discs n=23)
Two track, two act single on 7" vinyl (my favourite format) from one of the best labels around is always going to get me to sit up and pay attention. Both artists are new to me so we'll begin in the traditional manner with side A.
Dead Shall Not Have Died In Vain which sounds like one of those Canadian post rock outfits that were in vogue a few years back - Godspeed Thee Silver Pan Am Flames or somesuch - is the nom de guerre of one Marc Benner. Here he layers crashing metal over lush ambient drones. It's just the right mix of noisy and mellow and is way, way, way too short.
Dysthymia is my first exposure to the music of Diophantine label head Kyle Wright. Right from the off this is a very different animal from the one living on the flip side. The music here is a massive crescendo of grinding noise laced through with a looping siren call. It builds and builds before erupting in the inevitable money shot of screeching soaring sound. It's great fun.
To sum up - everything released on Diophantine is worth hearing - Everything!

Viosac - Dawning Luminosity
It'd be true to say I wasn't overly blown away by the previous Viosac albums that had kindly been passed my way. It wasn't that they were bad, they just weren't to my tastes. This time out though Graham Stewart has produced an album that is fully in line with what I love in my drone music.
'Dawning Luminosity' is a three song set of processed Moog drones that hover in the air and morph themselves into increasingly complex Venn diagrams. The music is distinctly electronic but holds a tactile warmth which you can almost feel as it swirls around you. I love this sort of vintage sci-fi soundworld that old tech just oozes so well and couple with some truly delightful and restrained musicianship this album is an absolute dream.
If like me you're a fan of the space drone of people like Tangerine Dream or Cluster then I really do recommend this one to you.

Hearts of Palm - Earth Headed Heart
(For Noises Sake)
An always welcome return from Cincinnati based experi-mentalists HOP who are here joined by C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core) on violin. Unlike their previous recordings this is a solid 30 minute block of unadulterated improv. It's noisy, chaotic, anarchic and fun. HoP are very much of the Faustian school of improvising and build their music from hard edged shards of metallic scree. All good improvisation is introspective in that it is reliant on the participants being fully focussed on their part in the whole but HoP's brand doesn't promote introspection on the part of the listener, at least not in this listener. Instead it promotes big cheesy grins as one becomes gloriously ensnared in their multi-layered tangle of textures, instruments and sounds.

Marsfield - The Towering Sky
(Faraway Press 16)
This album is like an octopus. It’s a many tentacled beast afloat in the murky depths manipulating it’s appendages in a manner that is not easily understood by onlookers but makes perfect sense to the octopus itself. It’s beautiful to behold, graceful beyond belief and you wish you could do it but you can’t because you‘re not an octopus. And yes I am drunk but that doesn’t stop me from being right.

Nurse With Wound - Paranoia in Hi-Fi (Earworms 1978-2008)
(United Dirter DPROMCD69)
It's been a while since I invested in a NWW album. She and Me Fall Together was the last one. I didn't think much of it and it catalysed a feeling that I'd been having for a while that the albums were just getting churned out and the quality had taken a nose dive. For a long time NWW had been my bench mark and I still dearly love many (and I do mean many) of the earlier albums but I'd gotten lost in the avalanche of releases and there was no way of carrying on so I didn't. Then the other week I was mooching around a little record store and spotted this little beauty with it's 99p price tag - yes that is right ninety, nine, pence. It had to be worth a shot.
PiHiFi consists of 4 long tracks of edited together highlights from the Nurse back-catalogue by Andrew Liles. Only a real obsessive would be able to spot where all the segments come from and I'm not even going to try but those bits you'll recognise and those bits you won't are married seamlessly with some of the deftest editing I've ever heard. It's an absolute corker of an album and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially at that price.

Darren Tate - Nature In The City
(Fungal 036)
The ever wonderful Mr. Tate returns with another scorching set of Cluster style cosmic voyages melding keyboards, guitar and field recordings to create a set that from the moment you hit play heads straight through your third eye and drags your mind behind it on a whistle-stop tour of all the most colourful non-places it can find. I love it when he gets his synths out as I don't think there's anyone who can do the cosmic thing with the ease that Tate obviously can. This is well worth tracking down a copy of.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

suddenly there was music

was meant to be working yesterday - for the next 2 years that's going to be pretty much a default setting for me - but the new medication that i'm currently taking really knocked the stuffing out of me - fortunately it's very short term so only 9 more days and i'm off it.
I thought i'd relax for half an hour or so and get my equilibrium back by playing with some sounds before getting on with work. 6 hours later i took the headphones off with a new piece of music finished that mixes my synth drones with one of Banks Bailey's beautiful field recordings from the Rincon Mountains in Arizona. I'm waiting to hear his take on it but i'm pretty happy with it. it's pretty gentle stuff which is where my head is at currently. my one real concern with it is the artificial synth noise which i might try and soften into a more organic sound but i'll wait an see what B has to say on it first.

Beautiful sunny day here with my mother and her husband on their way to visit bringing me my old gramophones that they've been storing. I'm going to use them in a class on tuesday and thursday this week as most of my students don't even know about vinyl let alone the old shellac 78's. Bloody philistines.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


The BBC Radiophonic Workshop has always been a big influence on the music I listen to and the music I make. The wonderful noises they made throughout the 1970s shaped my ears in ways nothing else ever did. Doctor Who alone would have been enough but it is merely the tip of a very large iceberg indeed.
Lately I've been re-immersing myself in the work of people such as Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire and John Baker and got the idea to try and create a set of Radiophonics of my own, Phantasms is the result. It was created between 5th and 14th of September 2010 using a virtual FM7 synth (and a few other little twists and turns). It's as unrepentantly electronic as my music ever has gotten or is ever likely to get. I hope you dig it.

Buy it here or listen to it below.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Teaching again & some new music

I teach my first class in about 7 years tomorrow. I've been doing more individual student work over the last few years and so have been away from the rigours of front of class teaching. For a long while i didn't miss it but over the last year or two i've got the jitters for it again.

I'm going to be teaching three courses this year which meant my summer went out the window as i was just sat here writing lessons. It was a lot of work and i haven't even got half of it done yet but i'm ahead and off and running as of tomorrow at 9.

last week i got the impulse to make some new tunes. I've been listening to a lot of Radiophonic Workshop stuff of late and had the idea to put together some electronic miniatures - sort of my own Doctor Who soundtrack album. It's all done on a virtual FM7 synth and i've kept it as live as possible. Each track was recorded with the minimal of layering and post-production work. I've avoided the endless tinkering and tweaking that usually happens with one of my compositions and instead i've let the originals stand.

It's unlikely i'll put this out as a cd but i think i'll make it available as a Bandcamp download (and as a mixcloud cloudcast for those of you who dont want to pay).

Here's to only track that's online so far - it's probably the most successfully soundtracky piece of them all.
2 by quietworld

Monday, 16 August 2010

ambient dub anyone?

over the last few years i've been slowly putting together a collecton of tunes under the tongue in cheek name The Interplanetary Love Orchestra. It's very different from what i generally do, i call it drum 'n' lounge.
this last couple of days I've finished a new tune, this one has more of a dub feel to it though.

here it is - along with the other three tunes if you've not heard them...

Blackberry light by quietworld

the video for that last one is the drive up to the faerm where my mother lives. i'm holding the camera steady - the path is that bumpy.

Monday, 9 August 2010

wonderful wooden reasons #35

The August issue (#35) is now online complete with attached Soundcloud mix. (which is at the bottom of this post if you just want music without the words)

As usual you can read it at it's own website - here - or at it's myspace page - here.

It's the usual ragtag assortment of drone, ambient, noise, psychedelia and wierdness with even a touch of post-hardcore lunacy this month.

reviews of...

Beequeen - Time Waits For No One
Andrea Borghi - Moltiplicazioni
Chemins - cdr#4
Clutter - Yellow Light Discarded
Rod Cooper - Accepting the Machines
Dead Shall Not Have Died In Vain / Dysthymia - split 7"
Everything But The Gargoyle - Four Flies on Grey Velvet
Hall of Mirrors - Forgotten Realm
Marinos Koutsomichalis - Trevor Jones Studio Sessions vol 1
Goh Lee Kwang - Hands
Dale Lloyd - Akasha_For Record
Mopey Mumble Mouse - I Am Happy Being Nothing
Lasse-Marc Riek - Habitats
Mathieu Ruhlmann - As A Leaf Or A Stone
Hiroki Sasajima - Nille
Seasons (pre-din) - Occasionally I Forget To Breathe
Spoils & Relics / BRB>Voicecoil - Split LP
Syrinx / Playing With Nuns - Split
Nicholas Szczepanik & Juan Jose Calarco - Lack Affix
Various - Dark Meadows Recordings sampler
Viosac - Dawning Luminosity
VipCancro - Tropico

I hope you find something you dig.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

North Wales Jaunt

this last week i was bumming around north west Wales.

we stayed here...
Llanfair pg

This was the view from our room
view from our room
the pointy mountain nearest the left is Snowdon.

Did a lot of mooching around but best of all we went to Port Meirion
port meirion

which was where they made...
port meirion

port meirion

port meirion

port meirion

port meirion

There are more photos on my flickr page

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Wonderful Wooden Reasons #34

hi folks
the new issue (#34) of Wonderful Wooden Reasons is now online as is the mixcloud mix.
It can be read either here or here

It's the usual mixed bag of genres. I hope you find something you like.

albums by...

Fukuoka, Garcia, Henritzi, Izarzugaza, Karpenter, Mantizidisor
Grozny Penthouse
Rolf Julius
Marinos Koutsomichalis
Richard Moult
David Newlyn
No Context
Quetev Meriri
Seasons (pre-din)
Philip Sulidae
Darren Tate
Carlos Villena
David Wells
Simon Whetham

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

First review of 'The Earth in Play' now online

big thanks as ever to Frans over at Vital Weekly.

Following his solo 'poppy' sample madness of 'Handle This Wino Like He Was Angel' (see Vital Weekly 721) Ian Holloway returns here to his familiar background that of drone music, along with Darren Tate, who is of course known as the man behind Ora. He plays 'squeeze box', guitar and percussion) here, while Holloway takes responsibility for piano, wooden flute and sea recordings. Its divided in two parts, of which the second is the longer piece. The first is an intro like piece for some flowing synthesizer like sounds, and then it goes into the second piece, the main thing. Its hard to recognize many of the instruments used in this tracks, squeeze box? percussion? A guitar, yes, sea sounds, yes, piano too. Its perhaps too easy to say that this is just a beautiful piece of music, but it is. A great slow flow of sounds, a quiet sea on a calm day type of music. Nothing more, nothing less than just that. Nothing new under the burning drone sun, but in these capable hands a great piece of


I'm up to my eyeballs in work here at the moment. Between writing the new issue of WWR (online this coming Sunday all being well) and writing the lectures for the (now three) courses that i'll be teaching come September I'm drowning in work. Lecturing wise I'm trying to get as much done now as i can before i start the 2 year course i'm signed up for in august which will be a ridiculous amount of extra work. hopefully the extra cash will make things feel less of a chore cause i'm brutally skint.

anyway, i've been pottering around quietly with some tunes for the Pendulum 2 (not it's finished title) album i've been planning. i'm four tracks into it and it's sounding pretty good so far. this is one of them. the vid was made on my digital camera walking along Pennard cliffs, Mumbles promenade and Llangennith beach. hope you dig it.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Earth In Play album art

i've been a busy chappy today working on the art for the new album. I'd done a version the other week but wasn't really happy with it so today i really went to town on it.
I'm pretty pleased with the finished version. the album will be going to the printers sometime next week so it'll be out in about a fortnight.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mixing the Quiet World

It's been a pretty tedious day today. It's been pissing down all day and so I've spent it sat here feeling cooped up and slightly ill. I really wanted to spend the day under a tree with my book and a bottle but the weather put paid to that idea. also was meant to be going to a gig tonight but my lift cancelled at the last moment and i couldn't be bothered to go on my own so, crap day followed by crap evening.
but it did mean i could get on with something I'd planned to do the other day and so i busied myself making a Mixcloud mix of old Quiet World tracks. There's one unreleased track on there (the second) but the rest are all taken from previous QW and ECR releases. hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Gambolling dirt

After about 10 months of promising to do it i've finally finished the new collaboration with Darren Tate. It's a two track album called 'The Earth In Play' and it's a lot mellower and less intense than recent releases. no keyboard drones on this one it's all acoustic. Darren sent me some accordian and strange percussive noises (made on a guitar and a bowl) which i mixed with some field recordings, a great long layered wooden flute drone and some of my rudimentary piano playing. hopefully you'll dig it. i like it and darren's response was pretty enthusiastic. no release date as yet but i'd hazard a guess that it'll be in about a month.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

grave hunting

Went for a long walk the other day and took some photos. the second one was taken from where i was crashed out in the third one.

An ancient burial site in a place called Tinkinswood.

another ancient burial site. this one was for a greyhound.

taking a well needed break. it was unseasonably warm after such a long cold winter.

tired, so very tired.

have run myself ragged over the last week and a half but able to go back to work soon for a bit of a rest.

the new issue of the zine is up. no podcast as yet as i've not had time but hopefully soon.

a new review of A Brief Sojourn arrived today from Evening Of Light - my thanks to Oscar.

In terms of quality releases, things have been running smoothly for Welsh drone/ambient label Quiet World. A recent example is A Brief Sojourn, a collaboration between Banks Bailey and Ian Holloway, delivering well over half an hour of finely blended drones and field recordings.

The sound on this album is most comparable to that on Summerland, where both men worked together with Darren Tate. A heavy dose of nature sounds like rain, birds, rustlings, are combined with subtle melodies, drones, and pulses, together forming a varied and atmospheric whole. The drones and weather sounds form an organic backdrop for a broad scala of unique ‘voices’.

The release isn’t very extreme at either end of the intensity spectrum; it maintains a stable level of layeredness and volume, without any strong eruptions of noise or silence. A perfect companion piece for a journey, a meditation or relaxation session, and the like. It’s a tad dark and ominous at times, so A Brief Sojourn will primarily be of interest to lovers of more obscure drone and ambient, but that goes for most of the Quiet World titles thus far. Compared to what went before, in any case, this one is certainly no disappointment.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

chilling with tea and a book

on holiday for two weeks. can't afford to go anywhere exotic so staying put and disappearing off on jaunts. today though is all about watching old episodes of doctor who, reading a victorian era who-dunnit, walking into mumbles for a mooch around and then getting a late breakfast in my favourite greasy-spoon cafe before heading home to repeat the first two.

got a new review yesterday for A Brief Sojourn and very nice it is too. thanks michael.

On A Brief Sojourn, Quiet World head Ian Holloway (formerly Psychic Space Invasion) constructs wonderfully solemn ambient gloriousness out of synthesizers and Banks Bailey's crisp, bucolic field recordings. It's a stellar match – this isn't the first time the two have collaborated – as Holloway's gloriously low-key drones coalesce perfectly with the incidental recordings: a trickling creek, wind in the thickets, insect symphonies... All together, the disc has that uncanny ability to take you to (your own mental rendition of) the sound sources themselves, though imbued with an inner tranquility that meshes perfectly with the pastoral nature of the audio. Through the album's lone, substantial composition, several stretches of mood are encountered, including periods of uplifting lightness, vague menace, and dreary longingness. Certainly, one of Holloway's core talents is his ability to conjure up these feelings with such minimal sonic output – it's all about sound placement and the choice of tones. Design aside, however, what results from all this is a thirty-six minute passage of sound that is at once marvellously listenable, exquisite to rest to, and more than a little reminiscent of ambient work by Biosphere – especially with regards to the field recordings, which remind one of a less polar formulation of Geir Jenssen's atmospheric designs. A subtle treat. - Michael Tau,

Thursday, 25 March 2010

New items in the Quiet World Shop

I'm having a clearout and as i have a lot of stuff knocking around the house this may take a while.
Most of it will go on ebay (user id elviscoffee) but a lot of it will be added to the shop on the QW site.

I only started doing this earlier today and as I'm otherwise occupied over the coming weekend it's unlikely to be added to in the next few days but over time there'll be a large amount of cds and books appearing on there.

Contact me if you're interested in anything.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Celtic Mystic?

another review of the new album, this time from The Sound Projector. I'm a pretty new convert to the zine. i've known about it for a while but it kept slipping off my radar. he updates weekly with about 5 new reviews and i think it's well worth ckecking out.

Celtic mystic Ian Holloway was last heard from us when he was musing about the fragility of dragonfly wings at the end of last year. On Handle this wino like he was an angel: Baubles & Gewgaws 2002-2008 (QUIET WORLD 13), he delves into a secret folder on his home PC, contents of said folder of a nature and value known only to himself. Said contents built up over time when he was producing numerous albums and tracks as Psychic Space Invasion between 2002 and 2008. On that basis, one might be forgiven for thinking this is just a collection of anonymous computer music, but this little Chinese puzzle is a far more interesting listen than the banal filtered samples and boring processed loops that most creators manage to summon up from their Samsungs. I rather feel Holloway has somehow left a collection of his own mental imprints in the very circuits of his PC, and he needed only activate a few keystrokes to let these strange ideas and impressions come tumbling out.

I'm so glad Wino is getting nice reviews. I really didn't know what to expect as it's so different from anything else i've done in recent years. it's a good feeling when you get positive feedback on something.

have a great weekend.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The reviews are coming thick and fast at the moment

this is from Indieville and is written by fella called Michael Tau who i did that little interview with last month. He says very nice things about my music and I thank him for it.

Nothing delights me more than a forty minute ambient epic, and Holloway delivers in spades. Treading the same water as Biosphere's Substrata album, She Loves to See the Sky moseys gradually through a metamorphosing passage of sound, toying with various background textures, field recordings, and synthesizer drones along the way. It's a relaxing but substantive trip, imbued with a naturalistic quality that is evoked by way of faraway birds chirping, wind rustling, and general outdoorsy audio. Seldom does this disc force its way into the sonic foreground, so to speak, although some indefinable metallic clatter is heard on occasion – seldom to grating effect, but more so to add variety to an otherwise subtle release. She Loves to See the Sky is, ultimately, a fundamentally restful album, and it's perfectly suited to accompanying the listener to bed. With lights out and a comfortable nook ready, this is nothing short of a marvellous treat.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A Brief Sojourn reviewed in Rumbles

Banks is most definitely not from South Wales - Arizona actually - but another nice review.

Ian Holloway & Banks Bailey are a couple of sonic explorers from South Wales, here presenting their album "A Brief Sojourn," which is a single thirty-six minute track taking electronics and natural sounds as a basis for work. The synthesizers drone and sway in stereo, while other sounds lurk deep in the mix. The natural sounds are subtle and don't take over; a deep and melancholy mood covers the piece. Very good indeed, and ideal for that 'last CD of the evening' moment.

there's still copies of the album available should anyone want one.


Winter finally seems to be over and it's been a beautiful spring day here. It's still pretty cold but the sun is shining the birds are singing and the park is full of muticoloured wild flowers. Had a good walk through Clyne and fed the ducks which was something i hadn't done for a long long time.

I have some field recordings here that i'm going to upload to here some point soon so you may want to keep an eye out for them. for now though it's time for some tea.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

first review of the new album

Always super quick off the mark, the ever lovely Frans over at Vital Weekly has posted up the first review of the new(ish) album.

He's wrong about it being my first album of shorter tracks, there've been 6 others, but on the whole I think it's a pretty fair assessment.


As far as I can remember, I think that all of the releases by Ian Holloway had just one track. Usually a drone based piece of around forty minutes. That's about the extend of his work, with minor differences here and there. Then this new release comes a major surprise. Apparently Holloway sometimes creates weird, little pieces on his computer, which he calls 'little diversions, games, distractions and brainstorms' which never fitted on any 'real' release. All of these little pieces were kept over a period of eight years and are now collected here. This is by far not the Holloway we know, no long form drones here, hardly any organ like sound, but something which is probably best defined as plunderphonics. Lifting his sounds from various types of media (CDs, TV, internet: who knows) he cuts and pastes them together in a highly vibrant manner. The CD opens with 'Why M', which seems to be more a click 'n cut piece, but quite soon after orchestral music comes in. Looped, transposed, shifted in true plunderphonic fashion. As said sometimes things are more abstract, in a clicks 'n cut manner, but these tracks are all pretty short. Its a pretty interesting release, but perhaps a bit long for the limited amount of ideas that these pieces have. I think Holloway could have been a bit more selective with these pieces, throw out those with the weakest ideas and over the top effects, like 'Monday's Time', and have with ten or so (instead of fifteen now) a much stronger album. Now its all a bit too sketch like and a bit crowded. I am pretty sure his dedicated fans will be shocked by this release, but I thought it was pretty good as well as funny. (FdW)

interestingly Darren Tate said something similar about it needing pruning but the whole point of releasing ths album was that it was a folder full of tracks that i'd grown to be inordinately fond of and so to leave any out would have felt odd.

It's always nice to get the first review back i'm not overly concerned with them but it is a good feeling when someone says something nice about your tunes.


have spent most of today discussing the impact of punk music on subsequent genres with a bunch of music technology students. there are definitely worse ways to spend a day.

Monday, 8 March 2010

some photos from Oxford

I got to be disgustingly old back in January (40 if you must know) and so sue decided to indulge my passion for all things brass and victorian and took me on a jaunt to Oxford to the Science museum and the Steampunk exhibition they were running. We also got to check out the new look Ashmolean - notable only for the slice that the staircase took out of my finger - and the beautiful Pitt-Rivers Anthropology museum and the Natural History museum which had the best roof i've ever seen.

anyway, here's some photos - i hope you dig them.

* The photos in landscape are getting clipped by blogger so click them to see the full version.

this is the Pitt-Rivers. check out that amazing totem pole. You could lose weeks (and children) in this place. It's jammed with stuff.

T-Rex at the Natural History Museum

Just the most amazing roof. i could have stared at this for days.

The Science Museum goes pseudo science.
This is a real exhibit (not part of the Steampunk stuff) and my favourite thing there. it's for measuring skulls. Isn't it wonderful.

An 'Eye-Pod'
I want one of these suits.peace

ps - it's my brother's birthday today. Happy birthday Stuart here's to many, many more.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

New album out now

Between 2002 and 2008 I recorded and released 7 albums, 2 EP's and various compilation tracks under the alias of Psychic Space Invasion. They were, I'm happy to say, a stylistically varied bunch that ranged from the sinister (This Quiet World) to the cosmic (Pendulum) with excursions into minimalism (All God's Children Got Space), noise (Lullaby For Rhodri) and musique concrete (In the Mean Time) with a few other detours along the way. It was undoubtedly the most creatively rewarding period of my life to that point.

All the time I was making this music there was, hidden on my PC a separate and very oddly named folder into which I fed all the interesting little diversions, games, distractions and brainstorms that simply didn't fit on whichever album I was working on at the time.

The title, 'Handle this wino like he was an angel', was robbed wholesale and wholeheartedly from the novel 'Trout Fishing In America' by beat author Richard Brautigan which I was reading at the time. Only ever meant to be an interim title for the folder it became, over time, increasingly apt as I grew ever more enamoured of it's contents and these previously discarded compositions took on a new life.

These 15 tracks represent a period in my life of constant exploration, of trying to find a route through music that was interesting and satisfying. These little stabs of sound are the much loved bastard offspring of that search.

The album is available from the Quiet World website here or alternatively you can listen to it by clicking the play button on the mixcloud player below.

I hope you dig it.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

new old music on it's way

over the last couple of weeks I've been toying with the idea of releasing a new album. It's a collection of outtakes dating from 2002 to 2008, the time when I was making music under the psychic space invasion guise. it's 15 tracks of music that never fitted onto one of the albums or was made purely for the joy of making an odd noise.
I'm fairly brutal with my music and if i don't like something it usually gets deleted but all of these tracks must have caught my ears in some way as instead they were archived in a folder named after a line in a Richard Brautigan book i was reading at the time. over time i found that the tunes in this folder were something that i played increasingly often when nothing else was doing it for me and so became increasingly fond of the little blighters.
So, cutting to the now and I've decided to put it out and let others have a listen. Designing the sleeve took forever but I'm pretty pleased with the one i finally settled on.

I guarantee it's like nothing you've ever heard from me before. It's playful, it's obtuse, it's angular and it's fun.
it'll be available from the 28th of February.

Friday, 12 February 2010

i did an interview

it's here.

i'm also working on new tunes for the first time in 14 months.
it's a good feeling.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

new zine now online

i've uploaded the new issue of Wonderful Wooden Reasons complete with the mixcloud podcast for most of the featured artists as one long mix.
i've opened it with a tune of my own for no other reason than i wanted to be on there.
hope you enjoy.

Friday, 22 January 2010

you tubing

been having a day of busy idleness today watching BSG and making vids for youtube.
they're all just single image things except Music Box which is a short video of the track that leads from the gate to the doors of my mothers farm. i'm holding the camera still it's the car that's rolling around. that damn track has already cost us an exhaust and i thought it was getting another at xmas.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

i'd like to be warm now please baby jesus.

i am indoors with the radiators on and i'm wearing gloves and a hat. It is soooooo cold here the house's heating system can't handle it.

as it was fine today we did manage to get out and have a walk along the seafront and take a couple of photos.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


i'm knee deep in books at the moment - i usually am but at the moment it's particularly deep as Borders had their closing down sale in the run up to xmas and so i have a lot of stuff to read.

so far i've read Death of Grass by John Christopher (he also wrote The Tripods) which is one i'd been fancying for a while. It was ok, a less cosy Wyndham-esque apocalypse but without Wyndham's charm.
i'm almost through Dan Abnett's Titanicus which is typical Abnett. not his best but eminently readable.
i'm unsure as to what to read next - probably going to be either Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age, John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things or Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods.
I also have a load of unread graphic novels that i'll pepper these with including Grandville by Brian Talbot which looks pretty fine.

The latest issue of WWR went online just before new year and included a huge list of other people's choices for the year. It was a great response from those people i asked. some couldn't do it and some wouldn't for whatever reason, the only thing I'm concerned about was no response from Banks, if you're reading this fella get in touch - hope everything's ok. the variety of stuff people picked was really varied, Jean-Herve Peron's list was pretty funny and consisted of 10 albums he'd like to record himself.

xmas was the usual turmoil but was fun to see the family up at the farm.

hope y'all had a good time and have a great 2010.

Britain in the snow....

is the most pathetic thing you'll ever see.

swansea has had about 2 inches of snow last night and as a result all the schools and colleges are shut. i'm not complaining about an impromptu day off but it's pretty feeble.

the rest of the country has had a little more than us but not enough to justify changing the television schedules to accomodate a show entirely about the last few days snowfall. Airports are shut, motorways are shut, britain is shut.

then you look at countries that actually have snow to a depth worth talking about and see that they continue functioning as normal. there seem to be lessons worth learning in there somewhere.

i just robbed this picture off Warren Ellis' website because it's fab.