Saturday, 18 August 2012

No more freebies!

OK, we decided that it's time for a change. Since we re-started X-Amount last year we have been giving all of our stuff away free. The thinking behind this was that we were unlikely to make much out of our efforts anyway, our music can be difficult, and also we thought that giving it away free would widen our audience.

Well, it does not seem to have worked out that way. Maybe because neither of us are very good at promotion and publicity. Plus, when we do e-mail people about what we do, record labels and others, we just get ignored. We have had hardly any responses to all of our efforts. We do not know people in useful places.

Most of the work we have been doing has been in the hope that things will grow and also that some of our friends and family will appreciate and maybe enjoy what we do (which they often do, despite what we put them through!). 

There have been one or two people that really do enjoy it, and there has been some positive feedback, and for that we are extremely grateful. So, thank you if you are one of those rare people. We really do appreciate it.

However..Our latest album, although free, has been downloaded just twice (according to the stats on BandCamp).

So, it seems giving it away free doesn't even work anymore. It is very difficult to work out where, or if, we have gone wrong because we don't get any feedback, but something somewhere isn't working.

We actually need to raise some money now, for essential software in order to keep going. Plus it would be nice to put some money into future projects if at all possible. So far all CDs pressed and publicity has come out of our own pockets. This is why there were no CD copies of "Six Months.." made this time. I did mention that we could make some up to order but there was no interest. The thing is, we believe our music to be good and worthy of interest.

I have recently been accepted onto an MA course, and for this the University in question want to see me develop the ideas that we have been using for X-Amount. This could potentially widen our tiny audience, and will definitely expand our art.

With all this in mind we have decided to start charging small amounts for our music. I see it as the equivalent of buying the two of us a beer in return for an album of music (that probably contains months of work). Seems reasonable to me.

If you look closely, there will still be the odd freebie, but they won't last forever. Prices will appear on BandCamp in a week's time, so if you want to grab "Six Months Of Community Service" or "Degraded" for free, now is the time!

We have plenty of material to come in the near future. I plan on re-mastering the "Leakage" and "Fat Bankers" albums from the 1990s, with extra tracks and expanded artwork. I also discovered a whole load of unreleased stuff from years back that still sounds fresh and dangerous, so that will appear at some point, but best of all is that we have an entire album's worth of new material to come out that just needs mixing and mastering.

We will of course keep you informed, and we will stay busy.

Love and peace

Simon and Andi.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Can - The Lost Tapes - parrallels

I got a copy of "The Lost Tapes" by Can recently, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. A magnificent 3 CD box set of unheard Can material, a project seven years in the making.

The box comes as a 10" presentation (like a reel-to-reel tape box) and besides the CDs there is a book inside that contains liner notes by Irmin Schmidt (Can's keyboard player). At one point he is talking about a track called "Graublau" which was made for a film. He says:

"I wanted to find a sound design where the sounds and noises would mix with the soundtrack but also work on their own. At home I recorded hours of short wave radio and made loops to which we then all played together in the studio. In the editing room Peter Przygodda (the editor of the film) and I compiled the shortwave radio, the music and the fades between them and the film soundtrack. At some point the sound of a propeller plane became the sound of shortwaves in which would then slowly appear a groove: the noise of the motor turned into music."

Interesting parallels, of which I am proud..

Buy the box set (I command you):

Simon x

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Simon's Photography Site

I have a new site for my photography work. I have always had a love of the British countryside and in particular it's woodland and coastal areas. The site features galleries of woodland photographs put together over eight months for an exhibition last year, as well as some recent work capturing coastal areas of Kent.

There are also galleries that feature some of my more abstract and urban photographs, and you may recognise some of these as they have been used for some of our cover artwork.

The site has an online shop, you can buy prints, framed or unframed and digital downloads for as little as 50p. It takes credit card payments and PayPal, and works in GBP, Euros, US & Canadian dollars.

I will be updating regularly and will also keep an occasional photography-centered blog over there. Please explore..

Thank you

Simon x