Taking it slow in mix-down

Zlaya is working from a semi-permanent studio in a hotel basement in Barcelona that he's recently moved into. I dont have a picture of him or his set up. Thats a bummer really he deserves some attention as his role as a partner in this adventure is crucial. But here are a few more pics of the SONG CREW I recorded with in Studio 150 in Amsterdam back in May instead. So yeah - getting started on mixdown took a while because Z was between work spaces, and now that he's into it its taking a while again coz it just does when you start trying stuff out. I like it this way tho. No deadlines. Do what you can when you can....and get it right is the motto. I just got a rough mix of a song from him today that Im pretty happy with it. Ive also decided to record a different version of it. So...the mixing is part of a circular process not a straight line to the finish...more like a meandering trail with some side-tracks and back-tracks and re-records as new sounds spark new ideas. Focusing on the finish line just takes me outa the process and away from dealing with what comes up as it comes up. And.... Im enjoying the process.... it merges mixing with performing. Getting it right. Everyone in a hurry - fuck that. We got all the time in the world (photo Misha & Madelief)



Shows come and shows go but the music sticks around

A show will come in out of the blue then dissappear into thin air like a bubble bursting the moment it hits the surface. Thats what Covid is like. Ive had 3 or 4 of these tenuous, transient offers come up in the last few weeks. Here one second gone the next. My gig list currently has 3 shows on it - they seem to have survived so far. Im not looking any further into the future than that. Everyone in the business is hedging their bets. So am I. Covid has just intensified things by putting what was already shifty onto even shiftier sands. I learnt long ago that it's best to just focus on the things I can influence, like finishing a song or an album, enjoying the day job, being with family...stuff like that. The latter is a tough call for me because half of my family are locked up away from me in Fortress Australia. Shows come and shows go but all I really want to do is write music and record it so I can hear it back to see what it sounds like. It helps. Thats it..the shows can wait. The picture below reminds me of how we are hard wired for survival. And how the music sticks around




Working Musicians

Currently finising off the recordings we did in Studio 150, Bethlehemkerk in April. I always like to let a recording session go dormant for a month or two before coming back to it. Its a kind of litmus test for whats been commited to tape/drive - if I still like it after all that time its worth working further on. If not it isnt. Most of the tracks have been delivered to my mixer/producer Zlaya. All I know at the moment is that we created good energy together in that studio and thats what we have captured in these recordings - the whole team working IN the song together and in the moment. Thats what I hear when I listen to the session bounces. Its good.



New album(s) on the way

Ive written swags of songs during covid and am heading into Studio 150 Bethlehemkerk in Amsterdam to record a bunch of them in April. The 9 or 10 tunes I plan to track in there belong together, but more to the point they lend themselves to being recorded with a big spacious room sound. 150 is a former church and Im looking forward to getting in there and "playing the room" with Madelief van Vlijmen on bass/piano/keys and bvs, Mischa Porte on drums/percussion and Stefan Wolfs on pedal steel and guitars. We plan to use the ambience of the big church like an extra instrument and extra band member. I thought long and hard about not hiring expensive stuido time (150 is high end of the market lush), especially in the current shit climate, but this bunch of tunes is really going to benefit from true ambience in a way that cant be done with digital modelling. I have a whole bunch of other material that Im happier to faff about with at home via file swapping without the added cost of big studio time, but these tunes are screaming room and depth. Ill be working on the home-recordings in parralell so have 2 rekkids at least, maybe 3 on the way. In the meantime, the little combo I have together for the Studio 150 sessions in April is sounding very exciting and imparting serious vibe to the material. There is an environmental theme on the new to-be-recorded record - I feel I have found a musical language that covers my feelings about it without sounding redundant or cliche. What a relief! Working title STAR & COUNTRY



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