News: January – Happy New Year

It’s the 1st January 2017, so it’s time for a fresh start, time to turn over a new leaf, time to make new year resolutions, and of course time to crack on with all of the new ideas.

I’m hoping to start this year on the right foot, and this requires some thought and planning. We all feel obligated to do this in some shape or form as it provides an aims for our achievements.

Last month I posted four blogs on Planning Creativity, and through writing these I have essentially made my plans for the year, and have other ideas ready to be planned.

I would like to let you know of a few things happening this Month…

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Human Imperfections EP – 27/01/2017

NEW RELEASE – On Friday 27th January 2017 I’ll be releasing my new EP ‘Human Imperfections’. Since performing the live show alongside Matthew Creed (Jammy Custard), I’ve developed a new found love of playing drums, and this EP is about just that. It’s the first time my drums (often only heard live) will be featured on a record, so I decided to take a step back from the electronic sound a little and just play. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. If you would like to hear it first, keep reading, else you will be able to purchase it on my Bandcamp page, and listen to it on Spotify etc…

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Human Imperfections EP Launch at Gwdihw – 25/01/17

 

Independent Venue WeekIf you would like a chance to hear the new record live, then come and join me at Gwdihw in Cardiff where I’ll be headlining at Lloyd Griffiths amazing night All My Friends with support from Simeon Smith and Tetrahex. You can buy tickets here

Creativity BlogThis month I’ll be blogging about a constant battle many of us face; Life vs. Creativity. I’ll be introducing the idea of what can stop us from being creative, and the hard/awkward decisions we’re made to make in order to compensate. This is a subject close to my heart as it’s been a constant struggle for me, so please read, comment, and talk to me. I’d like to hear how you deal with the battle yourself.

Future Plans – I have two more releases lined up later in the year and more blogs, so keep your eyes and ears open for news and updates, it’s best to follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more frequent updates @5thspear and Instagram for giggles

News: 2016

So it’s begun. We’re already 13 days into 2016, and I can’t believe it. Any fellow creative will understand. I look at what I’ve done and I think of all the time that I wasted, it gets me down, I get upset. HOWEVER. 2015 was also packed with a load of stuff that pushed my music making passion forward. You can scroll down and look through sparse blog posts regarding what I got up to. Adding it all up it actually puts a grin on my face. I’m very lucky to have gotten to where I am so far in such a short period of time.

The highlight I’m looking forward to though is this…

MY FIRST HEADLINE SHOW.

To see my name in big on a poster like this is awesome. I’ve stepped into a few bars around Cardiff to have people say they’re coming and looking forward to it, which I hate to say, makes me hella proud of myself 🙂

Blue Box Promotions is run by the legend Adam Whitmore, who I’ve met before at networking events and who also takes part in a lot of other promotion groups around Cardiff. When he first invited me to come and play at Free For All festival I jumped at the chance of kicking the new year off with a festival show. When he asked if I would headline the Friday night, I was ecstatic.

Thanks to all. Lets start 2016 with a bang… After those big flashy things exploded in the sky… Peace x

News: What’s about to happen… New releases, Networking, Sŵn Festival and more!

I briefly spoke about what’s been going on this year, but didn’t mention what’s about to happen…

Workflow has been few and far between due to increased live shows and the day job. I spent quite a bit of time concentrating on how I was going to start performing my music live. Chose a drum kit, and created an Ableton Live template to have running beside me with my Livid Instruments CNTRL:R, a small Korg Volca Keys Synth, and sometimes a little Akai MPK Mini 2 Keyboard (mainly for playing the synth). Playing that synth live is a pain on the ribbon controller…

I’ve still got a lot of work to do on the live aspect of playing. I make a point of meeting members of the audience and talking to them about what they enjoyed, and try getting some honest critisism. Some love it, but some get bored of seeing someone ‘just play drums’ and want to see something more. I try to put as much into my live show as possible when I’m playing, but I think taking it one step further may be the key.

First of all what I’m playing. Live drums can’t be good enough if I’m just playing what’s already on the track, so my aim is to start experimenting more. Filling the holes a little, stripping back to the idea of live drums being texture to add to the production, something extra you don’t hear on the original to make my live shows unique. I discovered more recently that if I try recording my drums to place into my productions that it kills the need for them live, but I don’t want that to happen. For this reason I think the most I’ll ever record in is the odd cymbal or percussion. Adding a live sound on top of electronic drums is so much more powerful.

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NEW EP RELEASE 10/07/14

With this in mind, on the 10th July I’ll be releasing a new EP for you all to enjoy, entitled ‘Imperfections’. This release for me is a middle ground. I’m wanting to release another album by the end of this year, but that’s quite far away, so I wanted to get something out there for you all to enjoy in the meantime.

This EP is made up of 4 tracks… ‘Running Crows’, ‘Dancing Dragons’, ‘New Dreams’, and ‘Underwater Coin Catcher’.

I wanted to keep a vibe going throughout the EP, so I spent an afternoon creating ideas for it a few weeks ago in one session (picture below high on caffeine after I’d finished the session in my living room). Those ideas I arranged a week later in my studio, and I’ve been mixing them whenever I’ve had the chance to since. Finally I’m at a point where I’ve just got a few small changes to make before mastering them to send to you, and I really hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’m planning to do a short performance of this EP along with a couple of older tracks on the 16th July at Fizzi’s networking event at Fourbars in Cardiff. This is a free networking event for musicians and creatives to get together and meet each other. Create contacts, make friends… It was a great evening last time, and I’m so pleased to have been invited back to play for them. Although it’s a little nerve wracking.

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Free Music Networking Event 16/07/15

I would also like to mention that after the previous meetup I got in contact with Ian Tully, one of the attendees who runs ‘Cardiff Electronic Producers Group’ on Facebook. These guys meet up once a month or so, and the next one will be held at Waterloo Gardens Teahouse in Penylan, Cardiff on the 30th July. I’ll be there so it would be awesome to meet some fellow producers.

Last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST I would like to announce that I’ll be playing Sŵn Festival 2015 in November. Details about venue etc will be announced closer to the time, but I’m so very pleased to be featured at this event.

swn-festival-listings-poster-web“This year’s Sŵn will take place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th November (a little later than usual due to the Rugby World Cup) across a bundle of venues in Cardiff. If you’re new to the festival, all you need to know is that one wristband gets you in to all the venues (subject to capacity), as you walk/run/meander around to discover as much new music as possible.” – http://swnfest.com/

It’s always nice to see how other people describe you too –> http://swnfest.com/artist/5th-spear-2/

News: What’s been going on… (With audio and video to enjoy)

So, previously I spoke about the beginnings of this year. Playing ‘Dim Sŵn’ in April, and the following gigs that playing such a great festival led to.

Well I have to say I’ve been kept busy. Since I’ve supported Bloodsport and Giant Swan at The Abacus, an art gallery that replaced the old bus station ticket office here in Cardiff. It was such a cool little venue to play, and the bands I was supporting were great to meet, making some awesome noises. Both bands were experimental and unique in their own way. I was massively impressed by Giant Swan’s crazy setup of of drum machines and guitar pedals. I felt silly asking them afterwards whether they had sidechain compression setup in there somewhere, the kicks were pumping so much. They didn’t even know what i was talking about. Pure, clean, analog noise. Awesome.

Shortly after I was given the honour of supporting ‘Slowly Rolling Camera‘. A band consisting of some AMAZING musicians, with jazzy electronic sounds often compared with ‘The Cinematic Orchestra’. I felt so lucky to support these guys, and to see some old friendly faces again. Their drummer being the amazing Elliot Bennett, and the tech head behind it all Deri Roberts, not forgetting their amazing bassist Aidan Thorne. All of which and worked with whilst studying at Uni. It was great to see what they’d moved on with and accomplished together.

This set saw me stripping back to just a laptop (no drums), controller and new Korg Volca Keys synth I’d picked up the week previous. It was an odd situation playing at the back of the venue next to the mixing desk, which I quite enjoyed as for once I could hear what the audience were hearing, yet led to people wondering when I was playing, thinking that I was DJing. However, it did lead to some wonderful comments such as ‘Is this Goldpanda‘ or, ‘This really sounds like Bonobo‘. I saw this as a good thing.

Anyway. My brother caught a few short clips and here was my fave.

Next saw me playing at Gwdihw. A small popular alternative bar tucked around a corner in Cardiff City Centre. They get quite a few bands playing in there, but this was a first collaboration between ‘All My friends‘ and ‘Electronic Music Wales‘, a night I hope they continue to do. All acts were electronic based. A duo called ‘Superhand‘ were headlining, with fellow support from a new group called ‘Ghostlawns’.

Superhand had elements of Clark in there, with vocals that reminded me of Emika. Some really nice chilled vibes, but crazy at times.

Electronic Music Wales were nice enough to invite me down to the venue for an interview earlier in the week, with a very passionate blog runner Harish. This was my first video interview, so I had no idea what to expect………..

I later got a last minute opportunity to play a short set at a new venue. Ten Feet Tall.. This was an odd mix of bands playing together. Fellow support were ‘How I Faked the Moon Landing‘, and indie band fueled by sounds akin to The Killers.

Tellison were great headliners, and again another great band to meet. Lovely guys, the lead having a day job working for Sega, which is freakin’ sweet. Their sound was a mish mash of bands such as Death Cab for Cutie and Reuben etc. One of the first bands in a while that I’ve walked up to afterwards and requested to buy a CD from, and I’m still listening to it. Some great tracks from these guys. Certainly my ‘cup of tea’ when I’m in the mood.

So that’s what’s been going on… Expect an update of what’s about to happen shortly…