Quick post to say that I had a great weekend at Summer Bummer Festival in Antwerp! The organisers Sound In Motion had put together a trio of Tullis Rennie, Dirk Serries and me, so it was a first meeting; although I knew both of them and had played with them separately before, the two hadn’t met! We all felt the set went well, and plans are afoot to do more with the group. Summer Bummer is a fantastic festival that I’d really recommend going to next year, and we were incredibly well looked after too. The set was recorded, so I’m looking forward to hearing it back – meanwhile here’s a nice photo by Geert Vandepoele…
You can pre-order your copy of the fourth Sloth Racket album ‘Dismantle Yourself’ today from Luminous! I’m so happy with how this album album sounds and it’s great to get it out there…
As well as the CD edition with hand-printed sleeve, for this release I’ve created a companion zine to go with the album. The 20-page, A6 zines were printed by Footprint Workers Co-operative in Leeds with bright blue ink on recycled paper. The words and graphics inside came out of my process of going through the studio sessions to pick the final album tracks and give them titles: my listening notes always include these things, and this time I decided to work on them a bit to make finished pieces of writing. When laying out the text for the zine pages I incorporated graphics similar to the ones in my scores for Sloth Racket and Favourite Animals compositions.
The CD sleeves come in five different colour inks – randomly selected when I ship albums, or you can take your pick when buying from the merch table.
It’s in the album thanks list, but I should say here once again how grateful I am for the support of the Fenton Arts Trust and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust. I was able to get grants from them to support the album recording: a two-day session in February at The Chairworks studio in Yorkshire. After three albums made in single day sessions, the aim was to have more time to work on the music in the relaxed setting of a residential studio. With more time for experimentation, the focus of the recording was the exploration and development of the new material, collectively improvising the composed starting points into finished pieces. Of course, all that will be straight out of the window as soon as we set off on tour in September and get our teeth into the music on the road!
Sloth Racket is hitting the road this Autumn and releasing a new album! After a huge amount of work and multiple grant applications, I’m incredibly happy to announce this run of nine live dates around the UK. Touring is where we can really get into the music, and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I love playing with this band! Check the flyer below for all the dates, and you can find all the info about venues, who will be sharing the bill with us, how you can buy tickets and everything else tour-related at slothracket.co.uk/tour.
The new album ‘Dismantle Yourself’ will be available to pre-order from Luminous on 12th August, and is released on 2nd September. I’ll post here when pre-orders are up too.
See you somewhere out there in September!The tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Rob Thorpe of Summit, who put us on in Salford a few weeks ago, filmed and recorded this piece from our set. A nice record of the Ripsaw Catfish tour! More to come soon.
I just found this video of a duo set with Benedict Taylor from last year, when we played at the excellent Scaledown night at the King & Queen in central London. Really pleased with the music!
In August I’m heading to Belgium to play at Sound In Motion’s Summer Bummer Festival 2019 in Antwerp! The festival have put together a trio of me, Dirk Serries and Tullis Rennie. A first meeting in this lineup, so it should be a really nice set. The rest of the day looks great too…you can read more about the festival on the Sound In Motion website.
New tour, new flyer! I’m pretty pleased with this one, which is a digital mash-up of Angela Guyton‘s awesome Catfish logo design and some hand-written/drawn text by me.
Anyway, it’s been a while since Anton Hunter and I – aka Ripsaw Catfish – have been on tour, but it’s happening this June. We’re playing four dates in the North of England and London. If you’re in the vicinity of any of the gigs, come out and hear us. Our second album Namazu, which apparently came out two years ago (!) on Raw Tonk Records, will be on the merch table too. Onward, Catfish!
Out today is something I’m really happy to be involved with: Boundaries, an LP on the new multi.modal label. Based at SPARC (Sound Practice and Research @ City), a research centre at the Music Department of City, University of London, multi.modal is run by Tullis Rennie and Claudia Molitor. In their own words:
‘multi.modal is a new London based record label that muddies the borders between improvisation, field recording and composition. Each release on the label will triangulate these artistic spaces and reflect contemporary music practices, which tend to be collaborative and multimodal.’
I was lucky enough to be invited to work with City University Experimental Ensemble in April 2017, making a new graphic score, March Of The Egos, for them as well as playing my piece Off-World (as heard on the Favourite Animals album). We performed the two pieces at IKLECTIK, and it’s this recording that you can hear on side B of ‘Boundaries’.
The title of the release refers to side A of the LP: two interpretations of Chieko Shiomi’s Boundary Music. This 1963 text score reads: ‘Make the faintest possible sound to a boundary condition whether the sound is given birth to as a sound or not. At the performance, instruments, human bodies, electronic apparatus or anything else may be used.’
The Boundaries album is distributed by NMC Recordings and can be ordered from their website. I also have a couple of copies that I’ll be selling at gigs, so come and find me on a merch table somewhere soon!
Lastly I should mentioned the beautiful design work by Alexander Rennie. Look at the gorgeous cover!
Update: I’ve been alerted to a lovely review of this record on the Further blog, in which Mat Smith describes CUEE’s performances of my pieces as ‘a vibrant, colourful, euphorically noisy collision between noir jazz and electronics’ (Off-World) and ‘a discordant, joyously sprawling piece wherein each instrument and player seems to be vying for airtime’ (March Of The Egos). Thanks Mat!