Archive for the ‘RPM’ Category


Rising From The Deep – Startled Okapi! No. 18

Originally recorded for the RPM Challenge back in February 2008, and then issued on Hallo Excentrico! later the same year. And now it’s back again on Startled Okapi! Here. With a couple of bonus tracks not available on any other version of it, firstly Rodents Probed Melanie, which was released as part of the Roughly Produced Masterpieces by Very Us Artists, which was another RPM contribution from the same year, which started my association with Very Us Artists which eventually led to Foreshadows.

The other bonus track, Uppercrust, is an early version of Ghosts Of Horses, which I found recently in the original files for this album and had never previously made public. You’ll need to download the entire album to get these two.

The only other out-take from the album was Cradle, which was later released on the first Catacombs album. Ana all being well, there ought to be another Catacombs albums along early next year.

The plan is, as I’ve mentioned before, to have all the albums up at Bandcamp so they can all be found in one place. There are a few more reissues planned for later on this year, as well as a couple of new albums. In fact, they may well be a new album up this month. But as I’m looking at moving sometime in the next few weeks all plans are provisional.

While I’m here, I should also mention that A Plot of Knives now has its own Bandcamp page and there’s already a release there. The Footprints Ended In The Middle Of The Field – which was recorded during June 2013. Once again, the plan is to add all the albums to this page – there’ll be should another within a couple of weeks – and at some point, I’ll add a separate page here for APOK as well as a discography.

And finally, just to prove I’m making new stuff and not just plugging my old stuff :-) here’s a new track. Via Soundcloud, as WordPress seem to have now decided that I can’t upload any MP3 tracks without setting up a dedicated music site (or something like that it appears) – despite the fact I’ve been uploading MP3s on here for years. Oh well…


…are now up for download on Bandcamp. The page is Here – so go and get them if you’re so inclined. The usual price structures apply of course.

RPM Challenge 15 – Day 26

Posted: February 26, 2015 in Music, RPM

Well, it’s virtually all over for another year – I managed to finish the entire thing yesterday morning. So I now have 2 completed 14-track albums, which amount to roughly 90 minutes of music made this month from scratch. Which is some kind of record for me I believe.

I’ve got titles for both albums and I still need to sort out artwork too (that will be done tomorrow) and I’m hoping to get the whole thing in the post on Saturday morning. Unless something emerges in the next day or so, there are no off-cuts all this time around – I’ve written 28 tracks and used them all, although there are still a few unfinished ones floating about. One or two of which I may well come back to in a bit. I’ll post the artwork and a full tracklisting once I’ve got it all together – most likely tomorrow I’d think.

Here are a couple more finished tracks:

On The Turning Globe

Zones Of Interference

RPM Challenge 15 – Day 20

Posted: February 20, 2015 in Music, RPM

What the inside of my head has been feeling like this week…

Just over a week left now and I’ve got 18 finished tracks – more than enough for 1 album, but not enough for 2 just yet. So I shall have to press on for a bit it seems. There are another 2 that are virtually done and a number that are on the way. Getting myself over the finishing line this year is going to be a bit harder than usual – but that was the point of attempting to make 2 albums in the first place.

The way it’s going now, I feel that it will more likely be 1 long album (a double for those who still think of albums as being on black vinyl in 12-inch cardboard sleeves) than 2 discrete ones as otherwise the second one will run the risk of sounding like a pile of off-cuts and remixes. Which can have its charm – but sometimes that kind of stuff doesn’t get a public airing for a reason…

As usual with this, I have no title for the thing yet or any finished cover art. That will come this week as I should have some time to actually complete everything, as I’ve had very little free time at all this week and have been forced to snatch the odd half-hour here and there when I can. Hence the crows…

Here’s a couple more finished tracks:

Porcupine Dilemma


…The very last (at least I think it is anyway) Digital Vomit compilation.

Rotten Fish Head – DVR129


Memory. Mechanical Memory. Malfunction. Bit Rot. Big Data. Lifelogging. Cloud Disorder.
Digital Dementia. Data Compression. Memory Distortion, Recording Technology…
Rotten Fish Heah is a compilation around the theme of memory, decay and entropy,
inspired by the mechanical failure of hard drives.

Get it at either Bandcamp or

As for RPM… well, it’s coming along. I’ve got 9 finished tracks now which add up to a shade over 29 minutes in total. So, if I’m still looking at making 2 albums, that means I’m about a third of the way there. Which is a little troubling as tomorrow is the halfway point and I still need to make nearly another hour’s worth of music. And hardly any free time on any of the 3 Saturdays left? Hmm…

Oh well, at least it actually will be a challenge this year.

The finished tracks, I hear you ask? Well, here are 2 of them.

Analysis Paralysis

The Unfamiliar

RPM Challenge 15 – Day 8

Posted: February 8, 2015 in Music, RPM

So, the first week is over and I’ve no more finished tracks to share than I had after the first post. However, I do have a pile of stuff on the go and a bulging folder of rough MP3s sat on my hard drive waiting for me to have a listen back. 11 tracks in all as of tonight, although a few of them still need some major work and a bit of judicious editing as well. Here are a couple of the better-sounding ones:

7NM1 (Rough Version)

Jury (Rough Version)

There will be more later on in the week, as tracks get finished. I usually start a great number of tracks in the first week or 10 days and then the ones that show most promise tend to get completed and the others drop by the wayside. Some get finished off later on – but not that many overall. This year, I’ve already started more tracks than I did in the whole of last year’s RPM – I know this as I keep a written record of the whole thing every year, otherwise I’d quickly lose track of what’s going on. At the end this year I may scan some of the pages in and share then, just to illuminate the process slightly…

Getting 2 albums-worth of finished tracks is going to be a challenge however, as I said in the last post. The obvious thing would be an album of more beat-driven stuff and a separate Ambient one – an idea which I’m trying to resist as it’s a little too obvious, even if the tracks come out about 50/50 each way. Still, I’ve got just under 3 weeks yet, so plenty of time to nail it – even if, I discovered yesterday, I’m not going to be about much (if at all) on any of the 3 remaining Saturdays – which means I shall be pulling some late nights and very early mornings in the next week or so.

RPM Challenge 15 – Day 3

Posted: February 4, 2015 in Music, RPM

Not a great deal to report so far, but it’s still early days yet. I’ve got 12 tracks so far in various stages of completion and – a novelty for so early in the month – one finished track to share.

Switch Space

Of the others, there’s nothing so far that I’d even want to share as demo versions right now. Maybe by the weekend there’ll be something, although there are a few promising ones emerging already.

By my reckoning, for two albums-worth of tracks I’ll be looking at somewhere in the region of 80 to 90 minutes of music as most of my albums normally (by design) come out somewhere about 45 minutes. This is far more than I’ve ever managed in a month before so getting it all done is actually going to be quite a challenge to fit in around everything else I have to do right now. Still, if it means I have to stretch myself a bit then it’s all good. Every year I end up with some stuff that surprises me – even if it’s not always for the better – and I can tell already that this year is going to be no exception.

Here’s my motto for the month:


Catacombs Volume 3

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Music, New Releases, RPM, Startled Okapi

As promised in the last post, Catacombs Volume 3 is now up on Bandcamp – the download page, with full track previews, is HERE – the usual pay-as-much-or-as little-as-you-want applies…



1 – Brewing By Arclights – 2:29
2 – The Astrologer In Full – 4:44
3 – A Locked-Room Mystery – 2:29
4 – Storks Fly Into The Night – 7:18
5 – Sleeper Cell Radio – 1:29
6 – Balsa Wood Hills – 3:01
7 – Undecided – 2:01
8 – Travels In One Direction Only (Full-Length Version) – 7:01
9 – Fragile – 4:14
10 – They Had Ventured Into The Forest – 5:03
11 – Leave The Flag – 2:30
12 – Between Two Points – 3:18
13 – Quagga – 3:21
14 – And Then… Nothing Happened – 3:05

The vast majority of these were recorded between 2011 and last year, with Travels… being the extended version of a track that was on the Digital Vomit ambient compilation back in 2010. Sleeper Cell Radio, Balsa Wood Hills and Leave The Flag were all off-cuts from previous RPM projects – which is a roundabout way of saying that this year’s challenge starts on February 1st and I will be posting the usual round of demos and updates on here as the month progresses. This year, just to stretch myself a little bit more, I’m going to attempt to record two albums instead of one. I’ve no idea how this is going to pan out right now – or even if it’s feasible. It may just be that the second ends up being a remix version of the first or just one long track. I do my best not to plan these albums too much in advance as it never turns out the way you expect it to. So it’ll be just as much of a surprise to me as everybody else.

I also couldn’t end this post without mentioning the death last week of Edgar Froese. Now, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t usually remark on the passing of every musician I’ve been influenced by as this blog would most likely consist of nothing else but obituaries, however, Tangerine Dream were one of my favourite bands and have been a massive influence on me ever since I bought a second-hand copy of Rubycon in our local junkshop for £1 when I was 14. So RIP Edgar – and thanks for everything…


Ok, I knew I said it would only be a week or two – and it turned out to be a month – but they’re up there now. Both Tape Of The Locks and Interiors (Startled Okapi! Recordings No’s 10 and 11 respectively) are now available as name-your-price downloads – so grab them here in the usual range of formats.

There’s plenty of information elsewhere on here about both of these – just scroll down the page a bit for this year’s model or use the RPM category to go back further. I did notice, however, that I neglected to post a full tracklisting for Interiors, so here it is – in all its 37 track glory:

01 The Tomb Of Dido
02 Collector Of Bones
03 Into The Easy Way Out
04 Horizon To Horizon
05 Gone At First Light
06 Enough To Fill A Trunk
07 The Cloth Of The Sun And Moon
08 Winged Helmet
09 When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It
10 Tree Of Golden Apples
11 Breakfast Arrangements
12 Gods Of Two Species
13 By The Signpost
14 Random Access
15 Globe And Sceptre
16 From A Stairwell
17 The Smoking Mirror
18 Christian Science Reading Room
19 The Cat’s Purr
20 John Bernard Books
21 In Golden Green
22 Sword Of Mercy
23 Dust Blows Down The Mountain
24 Juxtaposition
25 One Hiding Place to Another
26 Harmonium Piece
27 A Revolver Hidden In A Secret Compartment
28 In Greenish Gold
29 The Astrologer
30 Sign Of The Black Dog
31 Towers Destined To Crumble
32 Only The Names Change
33 The Statue Of The Lion
34 Errors And Corrections
35 Priest Hole
36 Hobgoblins
37 At The Foot Of The Walls

It looks a lot I know, but as there’s nothing there over 1:52 long – and everything can be previewed at Bandcamp – don’t let that long list deter you.

As it seems likely at this point in time that I won’t be recording another RPM album (I’ve done 8 now and there isn’t a great deal of challenge left in it for me to be honest) in the next few months as mentioned a few posts down I’ll start picking my way back through the previous albums and picking out some high (and low) points along with some notes on how they were all made…

Can be found right here (Now on Bandcamp) as a handy ZIP file with all 14 tracks (320k MP3) and some artwork too – at least until I have a permanent home for it.

Coming soon – the Bandcamp updates I promised back in January…

And while I’m here, can I just mention I’ve been working my way very slowly through dnb365 – a blog full of classic (mostly) 90’s Drum and Bass, a post for every single day of last year in fact. I know I’m a year late with this – and there’s a few posts that have been lost to You Tube link rot – but there’s still enough to keep anybody with even a passing interest in the music more than happy.