Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 - my year of Dave Stafford

As I look back on 2013 the year is overwhelmed by Dave Stafford. 

To recap, I first got in contact with him early in the year to discuss Scape, the Brian Eno music creating app. After a few exchanges of email and blog-comments I thought I should listen to some of his music. And download and listen I did. At this stage I have the following in my library

1.08 GB of Dave Stafford non-eternal albums
2 Bindlestiff albums
A Scorched By The Sun album
2 Pure Ambient samplers compilations
1.03 GB (22:35) of Drone Forest

And then the Eternal albums - growing collections of tracks created by Dave using different Apps
Fairlight Pro - only 6 tracks, just under half an hour - there are lots more but this format didn't grab me (Similarly I have none from the Scape collection as I have the App)
Nanostudio - 4 tracks, 36 minutes - I really like this set and am awaiting more. Complex.
Mixtikl - 61 tracks at over 22 hours. (Plus another 1:20 of outtakes). When put down like that it is a big thing both in size, time and (almost) money (at 50p a track it adds up, but when taken by time quite cheap). Created with an aleatoric app these pieces vary in length, mood, ambience, beat etc. There are some elements that recur, but each piece is different (unless a remix/reconceptualisation) and equally attractive. I find that I put it on random selection most nights and also quite happily jump out of a track before the end without guilt as I know the tracks aren't leading to a climax or a resolution but seem more like visitations from a music that is playing eternally somewhere.

And now we have a new album
classical - only one track so far, but a tweet this morning promised another on the way. The one so far is a Concerto for guitar and oboe. This is some of Dave's most composed music. It has a stately baroque mood (I was reminded of Walter/Wendy Carlos' Switched on Bach [She was Walter when I bought mine, so is still that in my mind] partly because of the tones but also the structure). Amazingly it was all created on the guitar (roland guitar synthesiser), but that is not a factor in what makes it so good: it is just a great piece of music.

All of this music (except Drone Forest) is on his Bandcamp page so you can try before you buy (worth doing - his styles vary from album to album to format - check the blog for various reviews along the way)

Other highlight

Bowie's - The Next Day: played very regularly
Fripp soundscapes - have continued to expand the collection
Podcasts - I have probably reduced music listening due to increased podcast consumption - and very few are music related!
Just bought Archive 828585 from Cabaret Voltaire from BigPond ($15 for the 3 disks) - a nice addition to that period of the Cabs.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Xmas update 1: Kickstarter

Sorry for being away, so some shortish updates.

I have become quite the kickstarter fan - as well as the record label relaunch, also the 99PI podcast, The Magazine-The Book and a massive one called Wipebook (4000 requested 424,314 pledged), Tim Held's album got up, so I have a copy of that which I will review in the new year.

Have just supported another album - Sayonara Kyoto's Midwinter parts 1-9. It's a bit old school ambient - Tangerine Dream, Enigma and such - but the excerpts sound interesting and for only pounds5 you get a digital copy (as long as it's funded). The link is
if anyone is interested.

And also Duende - Bethesda requiem, which is based around kennedy's assasination, and again, a low entry price for a digital download.

There are other interesting reading/sounding albums but one barrier IS the price - a complex piece about Eric Dollard by Adam Bull has a base pledge of pounds15 for a digital download - which means about $30 Australian for a relatively unknown quantity. It is still in my starred list and I will consider it as we go along.

The other barrier though is how much is required. Tim's album and the Duende one were both looking for about 200 for marketting, which seems achievable for a relatively unknown, while Kyoto and Bull both are looking for a few thousand pounds - which might be hard going - it will be interesting to see how they pan out