12th August

adminDiary

Liase with Pete and Peter regarding the eight (!) forthcoming Shed releases.

Receive a package from Lee Fletcher which includes some interesting and rare Bowie material as well as a great mix of the new Centrozoon song ‘Make Me Forget You’.

Along with ‘The Me I Knew’, it’s one of the two songs I wrote with Centrozoon during my last stay in Germany in June/July. Both pieces are more structured and conventionally ‘romantic’ than our previous work together and were premiered live just days after being written. Immediately, they established themselves as a perfect balance to the more extreme, beat driven aspects of the set. As a live band, the communication has developed well and the material become more consistent. As yet though, we haven’t decided how to proceed regarding promoting/assembling the very varied work we’ve composed together. In addition to the album proper, Pat Mastelotto and Bill Munyon have come up with an excellent album’s worth of remixes.

All of this reminds me of other outstanding projects I’m currently in the process of evaluating:

No-Man: The follow-up to ‘Returning Jesus’ is 80% complete. Barring final arrangements and instrumental voices/choices, the material is mostly there.

Composed in December/January, the sound has taken further certain aspects of its predecessor without repeating it. Lyrically personal and emotionally raw, from its inception it’s been one of the most inspiring and affecting albums I’ve been involved in making.

Bowness/Chilvers: We’re two thirds of the way through a follow-up to ‘California, Norfolk’. The material is more loose, epic and sonically experimental than before, but contains one or two more standard songs.

Unexpectedly, more Jazz and World influences than before. In addition, ‘Overstrand’, our album of outtakes and alternative versions of songs from ‘California, Norfolk’ is nearly ready. In many ways, it’s as good as the album it’s accompanying.

Echosphere: An ongoing series of echoplex improvisations with looping musicians Deive Montaigue (guitar) and Andy Butler (bass). We already have hours of material to sift through and the editing is where the real work will come in, I suspect.

Henry Fool: two studio songs and three live songs into the second Fool album. ‘Pills In The Afternoon’, one of the new studio tracks, is perhaps the strongest and loveliest thing we’ve done.

Other unfinished work includes songs written with Roger Eno, Fjieri Group (also involving Richard Barbieri and Gavin Harrison), Halou and Rhinoceros (a couple of intense post Trip-Hop pieces). Not to mention the two ‘lost’ albums: Samuel Smiles album of Nick Drake covers (which may one day get completed) and ‘It’s A Long Way Back To The Dark, Dark And Dark’, an album of spoken word and textures written with Peter a couple of years ago.

Damn, I feel tired even thinking about the above!

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Cinema-wise, see the extraordinary ‘Hotel’ by Mike Figgis. One of the new breed of low-budget ‘digital’ films, Figgis has extended the ideas he initially presented on ‘Timecode 2000’ and shown himself to be one of the most original directors of recent times. By turns, pretentious, indulgent, unique and crudely funny, he’s becoming something of a toilet-mouthed Peter Greenaway (not an entirely bad thing!). The film also features a superb Figgis composed soundtrack with hints of Eno, Massive Attack and Miles Davis. Freed from the restrictions of big budget Hollywood, Figgis is trying to find a new vocabulary for cinema. He may not be entirely successful, but his bizarre efforts are well worth supporting.