Meantime life outside goes on all around you

cassette by BUNKR

Photo by BUNKR

I’m over the moon to have a new track released on this superb compilation from Castles In Space. ‘The Isolation Tapes’ contains music recorded by artists in lockdown during the 2020 COVID-19 Corona Virus Pandemic.

The Isolation Tapes has 3 parts; CD, Cassette & Download, each with different tracklistings. My track, under the ‘A Farewell To Hexes’ moniker is on the cassette, but all three are chock full of truly great and fascinating music, and this release is highly recommeded with or without me!

Buy here: Castles In Space bandcamp with all proceeds to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

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Background Information from Colin Morrison of CIS:

CiS062//The Isolation Tapes:

Castles in Space brings you a stunning collection of new music recorded in isolation during the COVID19 lockdown//Released 29th May 2020//

A total of 62 tracks across CD//Cassette//Download selected from more than 250 submissions.

// A charity compilation in aid of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust//

On April 3rd 2020, two weeks into the UK’s total coronavirus lockdown and in an attempt to find something positive as a break from ping-ponging between high anxiety and frustrated bemusement, I sent out the call for submissions for a new compilation of music, which had some clear stipulations.

The message read as follows:
Submissions are requested for inclusion on CiS062 – “The Isolation Tapes”.
Submissions must have been recorded between:
Monday 23rd March:
The date the UK lockdown was imposed
and
Friday 17th April:
The closing date for submissions to the project.

Submissions *must* be new works recorded by the artist in isolation.
Castles in Space will handle mastering and manufacture, we just need your pre-mixed masters.
Submissions must include an image which represents the artist or the creation of the piece in isolation.
Release date for CiS062 is 29th May. Profits will be donated to Cavell Nurses’ Trust www.cavellnursestrust.org
They assist nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of coronavirus.

Please send submissions to
hello@castesinspace.com

The results were positively overwhelming and easily surpassed anything that I could have hoped for. I thought that I *might* be tapping into something, as some conversations with musicians I know and work with were indicating that the enforced period of downtime was proving to be extremely productive. Albums were being finished. Ideas exchanged over Zoom conversations were being laid down on hard drives around the world. There was, quite literally, something in the air.

By the end of the 2.5 week period the window for submissions was open, I had received somewhere in the region of 250 submissions. Pretty much all of them being of astonishing quality and accomplishment. While this was extremely heartwarming and satisfying, it also presented a real challenge in that the editing job was going to be massive and difficult. Further criteria were therefore set to assist the selection process.

1. As a general rule, anything too dark or dystopian was out. There were several sampled politicians and creeped out drone-a-thons, but I quickly came to the decision that this release had to offer something uplifting for the listener. We had to find some light and positivity in the darkness. For me, the tracks that worked best offered a droll commentary on our unprecedented situation without being overwhelmed by it.

2. The works really did have to be conceived and completed between 23rd March and 17th April. That rule was enforced pretty hard. Anything that had been “finished” or had undergone a “final mix” during that time was deemed to not meet meet the criteria for submission. It was important for me to capture the moment in the reaction of the contributors. Hopefully this global lockdown situation will never happen again, so I was viewing this as a one time only opportunity to document something unique.

3. As the submissions rolled in via email, Twitter, Instagram and facebook, it quickly became apparent that the original idea of releasing one cassette volume was not going to be sufficient. There was simply too much good stuff coming in. The scope was therefore quickly expanded out to include a CD volume and a cassette with three sides. ‘Side three’ being a download only selection.

And so began the selection of around 60 tracks which went forward for mastering by Jez Butler. Jez did a fantastic job of carefully mastering everything to a consistent, steady level. Brightening and de-harshing where necessary. There than began the marathon weekend long session of sequencing what tracks were going to go where. Once a final selection and sequence was decided upon, Nick Taylor was engaged to do his usual superb job on the artwork.

The finished compilation offers more than 60 tracks across CD, cassette and digital download.

The images submitted by the contributing artists add another dimension to the project and are available to see at castlesinspace.com

The Isolation Tapes project is sold in support of the magnificent Cavell Nurses’ Trust. A wonderful organisation which helps nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of coronavirus.

It is sincerely hoped that you will find much to enjoy in The Isolation Tapes. It was both an absolute joy and an arduous headache to put together (in a good way). The final edit was extremely difficult and there is certainly enough stuff in the can for further releases if these volumes find some appreciation.

As ever, thanks for listening.
Stay safe and well.
Colin Morrison
Castles in Space. May 21st 2020

Christmas Single

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My new single ‘It’s Another Christmas’ is now up on bandcamp exactly here.

It’s a ‘Name your price’ release, but please note that all proceeds go to Homelessness Charity SIMON COMMUNITY NI. Imagine being homeless this time of year and please be as generous as you can. Many thanks.

Also, if you could share this about on social media for me that would really be amazing and appreciated. The more money made, the more people helped – it’s a simple as that.

Merry Christmas.

+A  x

Sod Off!

grass

I’ve finished recording a catchy little number for the 6th Dark Outside. I’m not joking, it’s pretty whistlable. There’s more info on this year’s event here, innit: https://wfculture19.co.uk/events/The-dark-outside

The track, which is about my lawn is called ‘Sod Off!’ and I’ll stick it on Soundcloud or somewhere once it’s been transmitted from Epping Forest on the 2019 Summer Solstice (20th/21st June). Here’s a poster.

TDO-June-2019


It’s nine below zero and three o’clock in the afternoon

Octopus 9 art

Octopus Part 9

The ninth part of my 8-part Octopus series is released on the 9th of the 9th.

It’s a free (or pay what you like) download from bandcamp, and it’s the usual mix of electronics, acoustics and in this case, orchestral sonics courtesy of Richard Moult.

Tracklisting:

  1. The Implausible Man (1980 version)
  2. Dawn Rain / Grissom Aloft
  3. The Elf
  4. The Great Roy Harper
  5. Beware The Catman! (solo live)
  6. Petrichor Light
  7. Ship Of Nothing (acoustic demo)
  8. Tears In The Rain (Performance sponsored by Yellow Tail Shiraz).
  9. On Receiving A Box Of Spring Flowers In London (by Richard Moult)

Total running time 34:28

FYI Octopuses have 9 brains.

Entkommen People

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Hello. I have a new ‘single’ out. Commercial it ain’t as it’s a 12 minute Krautrock style thing over 2 sides of a 7″. The marvellous Polytechnic Youth were kind enough to release it as a limited edition of 250 copies (now sold out at source), but I have a few copies left over at bandcamp if you’d like one. I’m happy to sign them or whetever. They are individually numbered and come with a sticker.

If you’re in the UK I’m happy to sell outside of bandcamp… email me on adamleonard@hotmail.com. Cheers!

Words:

“Polytechnic Youth has been on something of a release spree of late. This absorbing single from the previously low-key Adam Leonard is apparently one of three seven-inch singles the label is releasing simultaneously. Split into two equally otherworldly parts, “Entkommen” is a meditative Berlin-School composition built around spacey, elongated modular pulses, fuzzy 1970s synthesizer chords, sci-fi effects and languid, rippling organ melodies that slowly rise and fall throughout. It’s undeniably “kosmiche” in nature, recalling in parts very early Tangerine Dream, Dieter Moebius and Conrad Schnitzler. It’s drowsy, alien and hugely atmospheric, suggesting that Adam Leonard is not only a student of those landmark German artists, but also a very capable musician.” (JUNO)


“The second of March’s trio of killer Polytechnic Youth 45s is a mighty extended piece of slow building Berlin school-esque electronica extended over 2 sides of a 33rpm disk, recorded by Adam Leonard; initially from a batch of 18 tracks recorded at varying times over the last six years.

‘Entkommen’ is his first release for the label here, and both artist and label rather liked the idea of one extended track across two sides of a 45, whereby the listener must flip the disc at a half way point to continue the piece. It struck us as increasingly unusual and works a treat here…

Adam has amassed a number of acclaimed releases in varying styles, and across a number of esteemed labels over the years. Last year’s full band release (Invaderband) being shortlisted for a Northern Ireland music prize 2017 and was 6Music recommended. Not to mention previous releases in collaboration with The Owl Service and P.G Six.

His electronic home recordings are all well worth investigating and Polytechnic Youth proudly releases the first fruits of those sessions right here. A numbered, limited edition vinyl only 7” hand numbered to 250 copies.”

 

The Drifter’s Escape

Entkommen

Gosh it’s been quiet here. Even tumbleweed would have been an exciting distraction. I’ve kind of been pretty full-on with Invaderband this year, but the good news is The Poseidon Adventure re-soundtrack is virtually finished and will be released next year. In advance of that, a track from it entitled ‘Entkommen’ (meaning ‘Escape’) will be broadcast at this years 5th The Dark Outside event (‘A site specific 24 hour FM radio broadcast in a place where you might never hear it’) on 23rd Sept 2017.

The track will also be released in a physical format by the superb Polytechnic Youth label early 2018.

Turned on my record player— It was Rock-a-day Johnny singin’, “Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa Our Love’s A-gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah”

 

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  • “If John Peel was still with us, this lot would be one of his favourite new bands” – The Daily Mirror
  • “Invaderband have set the bar incredibly high … sounds like a lost classic” – The Irish News
  • “A rare breed of a record. Impossibly earworming” – The Thin Air
  • “Definitely one of the records of the year. Magnificent” – SWIT
  • “Sly and cunning with a great hook. I really like this…” – Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 6Music
  • “Really good … smashing record” – Gideon Coe, BBC Radio 6Music
  • “Splendidly anarchic” – Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6Music
  • “Fresh, invigorating & snappy” – Mickey Bradley, BBC Radio Ulster
  • “Fantastic. A great debut record” – Across The Line, BBC Radio Ulster
  • “Incredible. An absolute must-have. Get them into your life as fast as you can” – Stephen McCauley, Electric Mainline, BBC Radio Foyle
  • “On an aural axis that freewheels between Roxy Music and Magazine. Slickly drilled post-punk … Steeped in wit, waywardness and white hot effervescence” – Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
  • “It will be looked back on as a cult classic” – Louder Than Words

Available on vinyl, CD & download via bandcamp: CLICK HERE, or record shops throughout Ireland, UK & Europe. Distributed by Clear Spot.

Label: Tectona Grandis
Cat: TEAK005, released January 6th 2017.

The Dark Dog

In the clearing where you wait
There’s no love and there’s no hate
Only he can know your fate
He is seated at your gate
The dark dog

On the blackened snowy street
There’s no light and there’s no heat
All your paths now obsolete
He is snarling at your feet
The dark dog

Now your mind comes to the boil
And a fog descends on all
Ice is forming on your wall
He is scratching in the soil
The dark dog

It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy

The debut single was born noisily yesterday on Record Store Day 2015.

Buy the digital single (£1), the CD single with b-side (£3.50) and/or T-shirts (£15 – all sizes) on the new bandcamp merch page here:
https://adamleonard.bandcamp.com/album/the-implausible-man-single

We did a single launch show last Saturday (11th April) and it was the best gig we’ve ever done. Here’s a couple of performances from the gig including new song Handcuffed Man Shoots Himself:

Photo 06-04-2015 10 20 02 Photo 11-04-2015 11 25 33 Photo 12-04-2015 10 27 19  Photo 16-04-2015 20 02 14

More UK gigs in August will be announced soon…!

Follow us on the Facebook page to keep up to date:
https://www.facebook.com/invaderbandmusic

Trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro

A review of Octopus Part 8 from Nathan Ford at The Active Listener.

Adam Leonard’s lengthy and exhausting rarities trawl comes to an end with “Octopus Part 8”. For those who haven’t been keeping up, the “Octopus” series has seen him release an eight track E.P of rare and unreleased material every month, for the last eight months. “I’ve saved the best ’til last” Leonard boldly claims, and that sure is saying something. I reviewed the first couple of volumes on their release and they were more often than not outstanding.

What to expect then? Readers who regularly check out our samplers (number 29 in this case) will already be familiar with the terrifying post-punk drone of “Elbow of Termites”, in which Leonard seems unable to decide whether he is Robyn Hitchcock or Dave Brock – rarely has an identity crisis sounded so good! Elsewhere his version of the Beatles’ “Good Morning, Good Morning” is a noisy beast with an odd far-away sound which makes it sound like that annoying neighbor who decides to blast their stereo at 6 a.m. Only, that neighbor has suddenly developed immaculate taste, so you really don’t mind. More often than not though, this is acoustic based, taking in everything from subversions of traditional folk form (a hypnotic radio session version of “Nature Recordings” highlight “The Eighth Tower”),to quirky pop (“Napolean”).

He’s unfairly adept at all of these styles, and defies both logic, and conventional form in his ability to construct a convincing, detailed tapestry from materials which should result in a patchwork outcome at best. I’m not sure if I’d agree with the ‘best ’til last’ statement – that would suggest weaknesses earlier on that just aren’t there – but there’s certainly no signs of a quality drop.

“Octopus Part 8” can be had for free / name your price right here, but only for a month, after which it will revert to £4.00 – still a bargain for a feast such as this. And keep an eye out for the debut release from Invaderband, Leonard’s new quartet, who are making music that he is confident enough to call “the best thing I’ve ever done”. Here at the Active Listener, we’re looking forward to hearing if he’s right – the early stirrings that we’ve heard are pretty flash.

http://active-listener.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/adam-leonard-octopus-part-8.html

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