Saturday, 14 December 2013

Networked Blogs

If you scroll down the sidebar a bit you'll find a new addition to the blog.  As well as the usual subscribe and email notifications options you can now also keep up to date with Quiet World and Wonderful Wooden Reasons via Networked Blogs should that be the sort of thing that you'd like to be able to do.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Music Review: V/A - Classroom Projects Records JBH049CD)
This newer release of music by children lacks the sheer gonzo insanity that made it's precursor on the label - 'Music For Children' by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman - such an amazing and compulsive listen but has much to recommend it in it's own right.
Collated from a variety of recordings made by school children between 1959 and 1981 it features folk songs, experimental oddities and a version of 'Bright Eyes'.  For me the definite highlights are the moments of avant-garde wonderfulness scattered throughout the album courtesy of an album by the name of 'Sound & Silence' but there are many moments of simply sublime music littered across the album, and a version of 'Bright Eyes'.
I was in primary and secondary school through the 1970s (the year of the latest recording here is the year I started senior (comprehensive) school) and so this sort of free and rather bucolic approach to musical education brings back some strange memories and raises some odd feelings (even though the songs we sung in school were in Welsh).
It is a wonderful selection of tracks that manages to hold that sense of wistful nostalgia whilst also remaining vital and entertaining.  Even on a version of 'Bright Eyes',

Wonderful Wooden Reasons is a webzine dedicated to experimental and non-commercial music of all forms.
Please visit to access our extensive archives of music, book and movie reviews.

Book Review: Tove Jansson - Comet in Moominland found a great old Puffin edition of this in a charity shop recently and it turned out to be absolutely fantastic. Apart from having a beautiful cover featuring Moomintroll, Snork Maiden and Snuffkin on stilts walking across the seabed it also has sumptuous images inside such as Moomintroll pearl diving in one of Hokusai's waves and Sniff staring through a telescope at the titular comet passing through Van Gogh's Starry Night sky.
The story tells of Moomintroll and Sniffs journey to the astronomers to discover whether the comet they have been having premonitions about is going to hit the planet.  Along the way they meet a variety of weird and wonderful folk and have many odd little adventures.
The book is filled with awe, wonder, imagination and warmth and was a truly wonderful experience.

Wonderful Wooden Reasons is a webzine dedicated to experimental and non-commercial music of all forms.
Please visit to access our extensive archives of music, book and movie reviews.

Music Review: Yann Novak - Paradise & Winchester U14)
If I was to tell you (which I am actually about to do) that these recordings were made on the Las Vegas strip I'm pretty sure that the sounds that would start running through your head would bear little resemblance to those that make up this very lovely album.
The two areas of the strip where this was recorded, and after which it was named, are here represented at their 'quietest'.  Occasional sirens, disembodied and disassociated speech along with amorphous and dislocated sounds pass through the tonal wash that centres the piece.
It's a refreshing (a strange term for souds that are quite this claustrophobic) and oblique piece and one that is as nebulous as I imagine the place itself to be without once resorting to the conceptual cliches that haunt people's perseptions of the place.

Wonderful Wooden Reasons is a webzine dedicated to experimental and non-commercial music of all forms.
Please visit to access our extensive archives of music, book and movie reviews.

Music Review: Andrea Borghi - Music per Nastro (Tape Music) Records spect16)
This time round Borghi brings us 10 tracks of electric ambience realised using bass, mics, computer, effects, samples & field recordings. According to the inlay it's intended to be a tribute to 1960s tape music but in what way I'm not certain.
What we get is a pretty involved and restrained set of predominantly synthetic sounds - buzzes,  creaks, jitters, clangs - that together create an eerie and generally lonesome atmosphere of forlorn abandonment.
It's quite restrained throughout and never does anything overly obtuse or eccentric.  Instead it maintains it's pace and it's aura throughout to create something quite immersive and nicely unsettling.

Wonderful Wooden Reasons is a webzine dedicated to experimental and non-commercial music of all forms.
Please visit to access our extensive archives of music, book and movie reviews.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Yair Yona's - A Day in Tel Aviv

Yair is an Israeli musician who I've been in contact with for a few years now.  His current project is the absolutely fabulous Farthest South whose first album I wrote this about recently...
Farthest South - Omens & Talismans
What we have here is a new ensemble featuring a couple of guys who've, separately, made a big impact on us here at WWR and now have, along with two new faces, teamed up to collectively blow my mind.
Saxophonist Albert Beger and Yair Yona (bass / effects) are here joined by Barry Berko on guitar and Yair Etziony on electronics and bass have exploded into action via 4 tracks of warped and blistering jazz influenced improvisational fire.
It's a stunning set with Beger's sax and Berko's guitar soaring over a shifting bedrock of sound. Occasionally things turn to a quieter more introspective direction but for the most part it's a pretty euphoric and ecstatic cavalcade of sound.
here's what they sound like...

What I'm trying to direct your attention to today though is another side of his work.  When he's not heading South on his bass he is a very wonderful - John Fahey-esque - acoustic guitarist as showcased on this series of 10 songs recorded around and about in his home city of Tel Aviv.  I think this is well worth some of your time.

you can watch them here

Friday, 22 November 2013

that post-Autumnal feeling

Out today is the first of two new releases on Quiet World; 'The World After Autumn' by me.

I've been slowly piecing this one together for quite a while.  The album's longest track ' The Daughter of the Sea and Me'  is layer upon layer upon layer of sounds and took over a year to get to the point where I was happy with the mix.
In a way it's almost a follow up to the 'Simple Ghosts...' album I made with Rhod and Steve the other year in that it's almost entirely acoustic and is very much a product of my various environments with sounds sourced from my garden, my classroom, one of the local beaches and of course my cramped and cluttered studyo (part study / part studio).

It's available on CDR in the usual very limited signed and numbered edition of 50 from or as a download from the Bandcamp link at the bottom of this post.

i hope you like it.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wonderfully wooden reasons

now online are the first updates of the new 'look' Wonderful Wooden Reasons.  it actually looks exactly the same but instead of doing the monthly update thing that has been driving me nuts for the last few years I'm adopting a more writer friendly as and when method that I can fit easier around my workload.

here's the link to the WWR site -

I've also just uploaded a new mix covering this months reviews..


Sunday, 15 September 2013

All You Need Is (Geoff) Love

The first album I ever bought was a copy of 'Star Wars and other Space Themes'  by Geoff Love and his Orchestra.  It was about 1979 and I bought it in a jumble sale in next town along from the one i grew up in.  I think i paid a staggering 10 pence for it but I can't be sure.  I remember my mother looking at it disdainfully and asking what on earth I wanted it for which even at the time - at the grand old age of 9 - i thought was the stupidest question ever.  i mean look at it.  it's beautiful

Almost everything about it was designed to ever so slightly avoid copyright infringement.

She relented and I walked home the happiest kid in town and only got happier when the needle hit the groove.  I cannot begin to tell you the joy this album gives me.  the version of the Doctor Who theme is to die for and Star Trek isn't too far behind.  This was the beginning for me of a love for rearranged cheesy lounge music that has never gone away.

A good few years later a friend - now sadly no longer with us - turned up at my house with a gift he'd dug out of the back of a cupboard where it had languished for about a decade.  he handed be the carrier bag and my breath caught in my throat as i pulled the ugliest LP cover ever made from the bag.

But, oh my.  the track listing.  The perfect, and I do mean perfect, sister album to the one I already had.

It's another frankly awesome experience of the finest cheese.  The drum break in Batman is blistering.  Steve Austin never sounded so kitsch, Wonder Woman would still be shaking her star spangled booty and Spider Man is doing anything a spider can but he's doing it with a strut.

There are a couple of odd choices in there that don't really live up to the Superhero billing.  Dick Barton, The Saint and Blake's Seven not really living up to the title.  But album run times need to be filled and there were only so many superhero films and TV shows.

It was on the frankly insane 'Close Encounters...' album - credited to Geoff Love's Big Disco Sound - that Blake's Seven (check out the copyright free Liberator on the album sleeve) really came into it's own.  Along with the Omega Man theme it's the highlight of a collection of very unlikely disco reconstructions of sci-fi themes.

Through the rest of his career Love continued to churn out the reworked themes.  Westerns, TV shows, Disaster movies all felt his baton waved over them.  The Bond one is another to look out for.

He also did many, many more albums of love themes, kids music, etc.  there's a banjo one, several with Shirley Bassey and the one with my favourite title 'The Biggest Pub Party in the World: 36 Boozy Ballads' which is one of the most 1970s British sounding titles ever.

Anyway,  if you live in the UK and have ever looked in the record racks of a charity shop you will have seen many of Geoff's albums.  I counted 23 in one box once. Most of them are pretty awful but in amongst them are some real gems like the ones above.  So, to celebrate Mr Love and his busy, busy orchestra here is a mix I've made featuring some of my favourites from the 4 albums I've shown you up there.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, 9 September 2013

In Space No-one Can Hear The Quietude

I'm having great fun making Mixcloud mixes at the moment.  I thoroughly enjoy doing the WWR ones but I'm in dire need at the moment of finding a way of making the zine into something that fits into the busy busy of my life.  I have an idea but that's something to lay on you all another time.  there is a new issue almost ready to go i just want to get two and a half more reviews down and then it'll go online later this week.

In the meantime I'm exploring different sides of my musical tastes that don't really get a look in within WWR.  I adore lots of genres of music.  I'm a magpie for the stuff.  if i find a genre i don't know I'll attack it and strip mine it of everything i like.  The Quietude mixes I've been doing of late are kinda reflecting some of these, in particular the more spacey and / or library music based ends.

Anyway, there's a new one (#13) gone online called 'Outer Space & Outta Sight'.  It features some library music, some Daniel Padden, some ukulele Star Wars, some Krautrock, some Bernard Hermann and a little bit of nu-jazz.

it's here - i hope you dig it.

Stewart Lee and the Children of the Stones

I'm entirely certain that there are plenty of people out there who share my love of the odd, the fantastical and the wonderful in British film and television of the 60s and 70s.

I was giving 'Children of the Stones' a long overdue rewatch the other day whilst simultaneously googling the show and cast members to see what else they got up to when i came across a 30 minute BBC radio docu on the series called Happy Days: The Children of the Stones narrated by Stewart Lee.  I already knew he was a fan from the segment he did a few years back for one of Charlie Brooker's shows where he compared 'CotS' and 'The Changes' to more modern fare, 'Skins'.

The 'Happy Days' doc is light but fun and is well worth a listen if you're a fan.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

27 well spent minutes

I've just finished watching this rather lovely little documentary about Bruce Russell of New Zealand's finest sound manglers The Dead C.
It was made by his daughter for a school project and is very much deserving of your time.

27 minutes with Mr. Noisy- a documentary about Bruce Russell from Olive Russell on Vimeo.

Friday, 2 August 2013

from irish quiet places with love.

i'm coming to the end of a week long jaunt to the far side of ireland - dingle to be precise - and have managed to avoid getting too wet.  have also got two nice quiet field recordings from two Irish churches.  one that had building work going on outside and the other had tourists wandering around.  at a cursory listen the sound pretty nice.
i'll post them when i get home.
also went to a fabulous little museum and took lots of photos.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Just like Martin Luther King, I had a dream...

except in mine I was at a garden party where one of the guests suddenly floated up into the air and was shot.

everyone panicked except me and Ms. Marple who soon realised that the dead man was the Mekon. We investigated and discovered that the killer was a Treen named Lurpak.

it wasn't as deep or as profound as MLK's but at least now the Mekon won't be terrorising the 1950s of the future & Mars is free of his tyranny but I bet Dan Dare is spitting feathers at not being there at the end.

Ms. Marple for the win.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The siren call of sleep

 About a year ago I was honoured to release a frankly beautiful album of Eric Satie pieces as interpreted by Susan Matthews.  I'd been listening to her music (via Wonderful Wooden Reasons) or some time and when at the beginning of 2012 I decided to reboot Quiet World and start featuring a wider variety of people she was one of the first people I asked.  Even though she only lived a half hours journey away we had never met and indeed only did so when she moved slightly further away.  We now meet up semi-regularly for delicious food and chat at a nice little vegetarian cafe in Carmarthen.

Well, this week she has very kindly released one of my releases - Somnia - on her own Siren Wire label.  It's a deep and dark soundscape piece that is an evocation of sleep and dream.  As a borderline insomniac I have a love / hate relationship with sleep.  I find it frustrating as it's often slightly out of reach and so when I finally hit a point where sleep is easily attainable I sleep too deeply for the dreams to surface with me leaving them as vague and indistinct sensations that can then colour the rest of day.

Somnia is an interpretation of this; the flashes of emotion, the spasms of recollection, the glimpses of essence and the phantasms of memory.

“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
Werner Herzog

  photo hollowayfront.jpg

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Funk This Funking Heat

The UK is melting / basking (depending on your perspective) in a heat wave at the moment so I thought it was time to share some of the sultrier sounds from my record collection.
So, for your delectation, here is a selection of European library and soundtrack pieces.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

This music is Radiophonic

as is usually the case I find myself almost completely unable to slow down now that I'm on holiday.  I'm 4 days in and I've posted a new issue of the zine, done two new Quietude mixes and booked a gig (more on which in another post on another day).  I'm awful at relaxing.

anyway, here's the new mix.  it's one that expresses a personal passion and one I've been wanting to do for a while now.  hope you enjoy.

As I'm sure long time readers and listeners will have gathered I absolutely love this shit. Love to the point that I've done two EPs of my own take on Radiophonic music. I'm currently working on Part 3 which should be out by the end of the year but in the meantime here's 'Phantasms' parts 1 & 2...

Monday, 8 July 2013

Reasons that are wonderful 1...2...3

It's Monday afternoon, it's really bloody hot and my hay fever hasn't kicked in for which I am extremely grateful.  yesterday was an absolute dog of a day filled with sneezing, sniffling and general bleurgh.  I'm new to all this hay fever palaver as I never had it before about two years ago.  I'm not a fan.

anyway through the fug I've finally managed to get a new issue of Wonderful Wooden Reasons online featuring write ups of...


Andrea Borghi - Vetrale
Bruno Duplant - Quelques Usines Fantomes
The Infant Cycle - Drop Out Center
Mark Lorenz Ksela - Eins+
Mecha/Orga - 53:30
Monos - Everyday Soundtracks
Joao Castro Pinto - Panaural
David Rothenberg - Bug Music
Carlos Suarez Sanchez - Transit Mundi
Keith Seatman - Boxes Windows & Secret Hidey-Holes
Teledu - Soiling Charge

Douglas Adams & Gareth Roberts - Doctor Who: Shada
Derf Backderf - My Friend Dahmer
Mark Gatiss - Doctor Who: Last of the Gaderene

K.W. Jeter - Infernal Devices
Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill - Nemo: Heart of Ice

A Good Day to Die Hard
The Battery
Battle Los Angeles
Conan the Barbarian
Iron Man 3
Seven Psychopaths
Terminator: Salvation

there's a Mixcloud also which I'll put here for those of you who don't want the words.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Taste of the Weekend

Morning folks

It's the first Saturday of my holiday and I'm starting to relax but am still pretty twitchy from the comedown from the unrelenting furore of the end of the academic year.  to try and meld my restlessness with the more relaxed me that I'm trying to head towards I spent the morning making a new Quietude mix.  It's been a while since i did one of these and it was a bit of fun.

those of you with eagle ears may notice a snippet of an, as yet, unreleased track from me at the end.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Spreading the Love...Intergalactically

every now and again - roughly once a year - I get the urge to do something with a beat.  It's an urge that goes away fairly quickly but it happens so rarely that I tend to jump on it when it happens.  Today was the day that the urge hit.  I really should have been marking essays (and indeed am) but it was nice to take a break for an hour or two and run with an idea. 

Because these things are generally so different from the things I usually do and because when I did the first one I was obviously in a fairly silly mood and named myself as 'The Interplanetary Love Orchestra' I've continued to do so.

Anyway here's the new one.  Hope you like it.

and here are the older ones...

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Buildings need love too. Especially broken ones.

and here we have the second new Quiet World release for this weekend.

Kostoglotov - Love Song for Broken Buildings

Kostoglotov (or Daryl Worthington as he's otherwise known) is a London based musician who first came to our attention via the two albums he's passed on to Wonderful Wooden Reasons. I loved them! He makes beautiful post-Cluster, neo-Krautrock electronica full of light and colour and Quiet World is delighted to bring you this new excursion into his world.

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Strangest of Pilgrims

I've been neglecting this blog of late but truthfully I've been so busy I've been neglecting pretty much everything. I have though, over the last few days, had the chance to get on top of the next couple of Quiet World releases the first of which is available today.

Every now and again my friend and esteemed collaborator Banks Bailey sends me a digital file of something beautiful that he's recorded during one of his expeditions into the wilds of his home in Arizona.  On this occasion it was a rather lovely recording of a Hermit Thrush.  It made for fine listening but I think I was in a bit of a fidgety mood that day as I started playing around with it, cutting it up, dropping the pitch, etc and soon discovered I had what sounded something like a bamboo flute.  Over the next day or two I added some of my watery field recordings and then started playing along with it adding snatches of electronic drones. It took a while to get the balance right so as not to loose either aspect - the natural or the digital - but I'm pretty pleased with the end result.  

it's available in the usual ltd edition signed and numbered version from the Quiet World site or as a digital download from the Bandcamp below.

I hope you like it.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The morning...well, afternoon...after the night before

It was a long time coming but my first gig in about 10 years, and indeed first ever solo gig, happened last night.  It was an absolute blast.

This was the fifth of these themed nights at The Parrot bar in Carmarthen.  So far it's been Nurse With Wound, Sublime Frequencies, Coil & the Esoteric Underground, Sun Ra and now Ambient / Drone night.  I played a mix at the Esoteric Underground night but this time out I had a different idea.  I'd been saying that I wanted to play a gig or two this year and this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, particularly as these nights have a dedicated if, let's say select rather than sparse, audience.  This meant that my first time making drones on a stage was going to be a nice mellow anonymous little outing where i could ease myself back into the whole live performance thing.

It didn't quite work out that way.

When my name appeared in the event title I had a feeling that that idea was blown...

When my name appeared on the monthly listings I had a stronger inkling...

When Matt's Stretching Horizon's column appeared in the local paper on Wednesday i was fairly sure...

The big orange writing on the sign on the door did nothing to alleviate my fears...

(photo by Rhod)

And when I saw the goodly amount of people who turned up on the night I was certain...

early crowd (Quiet World alumni - Adrian Shenton & Susan Matthews amongst them)

(photo by Si)

later crowd (there're more to the left of shot and at the back right where the comfy seats are)

(photo by Si)

It's really good to see so many people willing and wanting to come out on a Thursday evening to hear something that they probably had no previous idea of just cause they saw a little article in the local paper.

We arrived early to set up and sound check...

(I love my old suitcase - there's a mixing desk and a MfOS:WSG underneath what you can see)

...only to discover we had incompatible plugs - i'm all old-school jack plugs whilst the Parrot's PA is XLR.  Luckily this was sorted by the technical genius that is Aled (thanks fella) and everything sounded nice and loud.

this is (a blurry) Aled (who worked the bar and the kitchen from 5 until midnight - kudos)

(photo by Si)

Either side of my performance we had DJ sets from first Simon

and then Matt

Matt is part owner of the club and the proprietor of the Tangled Parrot record shop upstairs (recently described in The Guardian as one of the 10 best independent record shops in Britain). These nights are also his idea (and he's recently grown a very distinguished jazz beard).

(photo by Si)

I started at around 9:30 and played a 40 minute set in front of a projection of the the pylon I used for the cover of The Prescient Machine sleeve...

 (photo by Rhod)

...and the Aurarora videos as made and provided by very buff monkey Mr. Rhod Thomas.

This is Rhod in a gold crash helmet (it's not from the night I just like it).

(photo by Jody)

The set went pretty well,  it was a little difficult to hear the subtleties of what was happening from where I was sitting and also there was a gaggle of very loud folks by the bar who talked for most of the set.  I was expecting that though - it's a pub after all - so that wasn't any sort of problem for me although a few people mentioned later that they found it annoying - Rhod described one of his video clips as being filled with "the fucking screeching nag guffawing'.

I was so pleased about the projections, I think they really helped create the vibe.

(photo by Rhod)

(photo by Rhod)

(photo by Si)

(photo by Rhod)

(photo by Rhod)

Here's a quick little vid edit

For a first gig back and all nerves aside (I've always got terrible stage fright - even when I'm teaching a new class) I think it went really well.  Met lots of new folk and finally got to meet Adrian after several years of typing to each other and had a thoroughly good time.

Many thanks to everyone who came along I hope you enjoyed it (one person told me I sounded like Tool but without the guitars - I think he may have been drunk).
A particular thanks to the Parrot crew - Matt, Si & Al - for being a fantastic bunch of chaps.
Long may these nights continue.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

30 hours and 7 minutes

it's not that I'm nervously counting you understand but that's how long it is until I make my return (30 hours and 6 minutes now) to playing live.

The set is pretty much as ready as it's going to get.  Some of it is fixed in stone, some of it is entirely improvised and some of it is maybe a bit weak but is resisting all efforts to build it up. ah well.

hopefully it'll be fun.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Heliostasis and the Quiet World

Good morning from a grey and cold Sunday in Swansea.  I say grey but it's a light sort of grey.  light enough to make the prospect of a walk later today an enticing idea.

I've been playing around with Bandcamp over the last few days (and will continue to do so for the next few) and have uploaded a new release and one of my very first.

The new album is something that's been sat on my hard-drive for about a year now because I'd forgotten about it.  I found it again on Friday and so decided to make it available for all to hear.  The title came about during a conversation with my partner as I'd abandoned the working title (because I couldn't come up with a cover design) and was bandying around words like 'entropy', 'heliocentric' & 'stasis' (yes I am reading a lot of science fiction at the moment) the latter two of which she smashed together to give the title.

the second upload was the first full album I made as Psychic Space Invasion (another name that got mashed together after a conversation with Sioux).  It was made in the back half of 2002 and I started letting people hear it in early 2003.  It was never intended to be the start of anything.  It was just something i was pottering with using a computer that a good friend (Hi Jason) had kindly made for me. People seemed to really like it and so I just kept making more copies to give away.
I never charged for copies of This Quiet World and so I'm continuing that tradition by making this a FREE download.


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

consumed by righteous fury

i was going to do some music today but instead spent a large chunk of it trying desperately not to be consumed by hatred for the asshole tory politicians (and the fucking idiots who voted them in) who from today have simultaneously set about dismantling the NHS (britain's single most important and wonderful institution), cut benefits to those most in need and have awarded themselves a massive and utterly unwarranted tax break.

i'm nowhere near as politically active (or informed) as i used to be but i am still a pretty committed leftie.  i made a decision a number of years ago to make my politics more personal and to try and express them through my life.  i generally no longer involve myself with big issue topics and simply try and live an ethical life.  the sheer, rampant scumfuckery of these arseholes is dragging me back to a level of hate and anger i thought i'd left behind.  i think these bastards need to burn but i don't want to think thoughts of hate.

with that aside, i'm just back from a nice weekend in Cheltenham where i successfully managed to buy myself far, and i really do mean far, too many books.  i spent last weekend clearing shelf space and decluttering my very cluttered 'study-o' (part study, part studio). only to have completely refilled the shelves less than a week later.

have also been rediscovering the joys of Cluster, and lots of other contemporaneous German bands.  i love that era and delve into it from time to time looking for both old favourites and something new.  it's Cluster who have stuck hard and fast this time mostly i suspect because of the synthiness of the set i'm putting together. 
the newcomer to my ears is Klaus Schulze who I've never really tried before but decided to give his 'Cyborg' album a try and it's phenomenal. the spacey synth of Cluster and Tangerine Dream soaring over some really intoxicating dronework. i listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed, a few of his others since but that's the one i keep coming back to.

tomorrow there will be music.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

employment is the bane of creativity (but not it's death)

work getting to be so intense over the last 2 months has meant that Quiet World hasn't been getting my full attention but it has been getting my passing attention and as such there are 4 definite releases on the horizon.

First up is an intense little drone album from the very wonderful Brian Lavelle called 'My Hands Are Ten Knives'.  Brian's been on a real roll of late - check this magical free download of his out - and this is another missive from that good place he's in.

The second is 'Love Song for Broken Buildings' a very nice guitar based ambient set from Kostoglotov who may be familiar to those of you following my Wonderful Wooden Reasons where I've featured two of his recent releases.

The other two releases both feature me and my two most regular compatriots.
The first is a collaboration with Banks Bailey called 'Strange Pilgrims'

The other is an as yet untitled split (not a collab) with Darren Tate.His track is a beautiful and restrained drone piece, mine is an anything and everything musique concrete mash-up.

Further in the year there will also be another Philip Corner album. This time featuring his work with gongs and field recordings - I've heard it, it's magnificent.

hopefully some more plans will come to fruition in the near future but that's all I've got for you for now.  These releases should start appearing sometime within the next month.


crackle, rattle, hum & thrum

The set for the Parrot is really starting to come together at last.  I'm relying a bit heavy on the laptop but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It's how i originally had envisioned things working and had kinda moved away from it for a while but it does seem the best way to go for me i think.  It means there is a much closer relationship between my recorded sounds and my live sound than I'd been envisaging recently as I'd kinda moved into the idea that it was going to be an all synth sort of deal but that turned out to be a little problematic.  They are obviously still going to have a strong feature on the set but in a far more decorative nature rather than being the root sounds.

here's the poster again...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Wonderful Wooden Reasons 52

The new issue of Wonderful Wooden Reasons is now online with reviews of...


brb>voicecoil - These Are Not Our Borders
Culver & Karst - Mile High Volcano
Day Before Us / Nimh - Under Mournful Horizons
John Huw Lewis - Moons of Neptune vol.2
Susan Matthews - L'Empriente de nos Regards
Monos - Age and Transformation / Aged and Transformed
Mystified & Seetyca - Suns
Yann Novak - Presence
Olekranon - Barbarians
Rusalka - Underfoot
Sonic Catering Band - A Gourmet's Slumber
Sujo & Sunhammer - Fistula
Vopat - same
Chris Whitehead - Ravenscar


Dan Abnett - Salvation's Reach
Warren Ellis - Captain Swing & the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island
Warren Ellis - Gun Machine
Mark Hodder - Burton & Swinburne in Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon
Charles Stross - Down on the Farm
Charles Stross - Overtime
Charles Stross - The Fuller Memorandum
Bryan Talbot - Grandville: Mon Amour
Bryan Talbot - Grandville: Bete Noire
Bill Willingham & Shaun McManus - Thessaly: Witch for Hire


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Red Dawn (the new one; with that guy who was Thor in it)
State of Emergency

Hope you find something you like and don;t forget there is a mixcloud player on the right hand side (under my cheeky Quiet World advert) that features many of the things featured in the issue.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Performance Anxiety

The back room has been taken over by synthesizers and today I began my mission to really get to grips with my toys and work out some sort of set for the gig in April.  It mostly went well.  there was a period right in the middle of the afternoon where it all came together really nicely into a big looping post-industrial jam and i got completely lost in it.  One of the main problems I'm facing is I'm too uptight about the gadgetry.  I'm so used to working incredibly slowly and self editing and correcting that when I take myself out of that mode I'm too conscious of the 'mistakes' or rather I should probably call them the unexpected little outbursts.  Still, there's a month to go and I'll have plenty of opportunities between now and then to find my path.

Spent this evening typing up the reviews for the next issue of WWR which, all being well, will be online tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday.  I was hoping to have some of the new features in place this issue but the inspection that I talked about in the last post got in the way of me chasing that and so neither of them have happened yet.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

performing for an unappreciative audience and a hopefully appreciative one

so, the inspection is over - thankfully.  at this point I've no idea how it went. It was an in-house inspection where I was assessed while guiding a beginners class on protest music.  The kids were doing presentations on songs of their choice explaining their background and providing an analysis of the lyrics to demonstrate why they thought they were appropriate choices.  I like this lesson.  I teach a lot about protest music and try to keep fairly relevant but obviously my choices are always going to be governed by my personal tastes and background so it's really good for both them and me if they take over occasionally and school me in some more up-to-date rants.  Anyway, the inspector (a lecturer from the car mechanics department - which I say only for information not to make any aspersions on his intelligence - i have two friends in that department) came in, didn't even acknowledge the students, sat with his back to them for an hour and then left without saying goodbye.  Personally I thought it was seriously fucking rude!  and let me just say the presentations and the associated discussions were fantastic.  Every student in the room produced their A-game and nailed it and the inspector didn't even deign to watch.  5 days on I'm still fucking furious!

from this point on I'm going to take a slight break from being all about work and give some focus over to prepping myself for my upcoming return to live performance.  the venue is booked and the date is locked in.  I'm hopeful that it's going to be a fairly low-key affair but at this point I'm not sure if that's even an option.

here's the poster...

The Parrot is a lovely little venue and record shop staffed by some lovely folk with great taste in music.  for the last few months they've been putting on these themed nights - Night with the Nurse, The Esoteric Underground, An Evening with Sun Ra.  They've been great fun and a nice way for lovers of odd music to get together in this fairly musically conservative little area of the world.
This one raises the bar (especially for me) and hopefully will be a shape of things to come.
Firstly though I have to get some practice in.  I'm a preparer by nature.  I don't like to go into things half cocked.  I want to know I've got everything I need in place and be raring to go.  As such I'm taking over the spare bedroom for the next month and am going t have my gear on permanent set-up so I can just walk in and make some noises whenever I have a spare couple of minutes.  It should be good fun.

With three new releases on the horizon but not necessarily very imminent I do have a little something to tide you all over in the meantime.  This is a mash up of three old unfinished pieces I found when going through some old discs.  I hope you dig it.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

the perils of a brittle epidermis

Been quiet around here lately as we yet again have an inspection going on in work.  Colleges (and schools) in the UK are subject to endless bureaucratic interference and we go through these really intrusive inspections with tedious regularity.  anyway it'll all be over tomorrow (Thursday) and I can go back to relaxing a bit and doing fun things.

there are a couple of new releases in the pipeline - three that are very imminent - but in the meantime I'd like to present you with a new digital only release.

this is a extended version of an aspect of one of the upcoming releases.  As a component in the piece it has a purely textural function but I liked it on it's own also so it's become one of my little pieces of digital ephemera that I like to throw in the direction of your ears.

hope you like.  more news to follow soon.


Thursday, 10 January 2013


It's Quiet World's (and Wonderful Wooden Reasons) 10th birthday this year and to start off the festivities here is our first release of 2013

Matthew Shaw - Sandbanks

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Disquiet World

So, the question at hand is what to do with myself this year?

And, I must admit I'm at a loss.

I have some ideas for new things for Wonderful Wooden Reasons which should be a bit of fun as long as I can get people on board with them.  It'll hopefully make the new issues a bit more of an event rather than simply a set of reviews.  More on this as it happens.

I've also a series of releases lined up for Quiet World by some really interesting folks starting with the delayed Matthew Shaw album in about a fortnight.

What I can't decide on is what to do with myself.  I've always loved teaching and I'm generally pretty good at it (even if I do say so myself) but this year has, so far, been a real chore.  Now this may well be a malaise following on from the hyperactive turmoil of the last two years but I'm bored.  I'm just not connecting with the subject matter or the students to the extent I usually do.  I teach in a rolling, interactive documentary style that relies heavily on my enthusiasm for the subject matter at hand and I'm worried that without that enthusiasm it just becomes a bloke droning on and I would rather quit than let that be the case.

So, what to do?  Lecturing is the one job (of many tried) that I found I was good at.  Do I leave and throw myself into something new or do I stick at it and try to reconnect. If it's the former I'll need to think what it can be. If it's the latter I think I'll need to redouble my outside interests to find a balance between work and play that will allow the good feeling that one of them engenders to infect the other.

It's something to puzzle over for the new year.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.

basilisk stare

i have a hangover so bad that I'm pretty certain I could kill with a single glance.

while you're not feeling sorry for me you may like to check out the Wonderful Wooden Reasons Best of 2012 issue which is now online.

hope you all have a fabulous new year.