8 years ago
23 December 2008
As you've no doubt noticed it's been quiet on these pages for the last month, so my apologies if you dropped by seeking regular news, updates and gossip.
Apart from the hectic preparations and the eventual launch of Thirty-Second Annual Report (and simultaneously relaunching Industrial Records Ltd.!!!) we've been finishing off various Carter Tutti projects, collaborations, remixes, filming, editing etc. and traveling a fair bit (although nowhere exotic, shame!).
So... now Nick has returned home for Xmas we are essentially hibernating for a week, or so. With: brief forages to the supermarket to replenish the fridge, movies and TV on tap via AppleTV (as usual there's nothing worth watching on terrestrial TV), a big Xmas tree that looks as if it has landed from another galaxy (one of Cosey's many talents) and friends/neighbours popping round bearing festive and/or pagan cheer we are pretty well sorted. Well as long as we don't get any power cuts or run out of gas for the central heating!
As the wonderful Goons once said... "Ying Tong Merrily On High", to all!
Normal transmissions will resume sometime in January 2009
26 November 2008
I recently bough a Lensbaby Composer lens for my Nikon. I guess I was taking a gamble as it wasn't exactly cheap, what with all the accessories and add-ons and stuff, and I'd heard the build quality could sometimes be suspect and they can be quite difficult to use, successfully. Well I found the build quality to be fine, maybe the earlier versions of it weren't so good but using it does indeed take a fair bit of practice and I'd say it's definitely not intended for novice photographers. But luckily with a DSLR I can just keep taking shots and adjusting the camera exposure and trying different aperture discs until I get the effect I'm after. I haven't taken any prize winning photos yet (not even close), just a bunch of shots from around the house and the garden, but even after a couple of days use I'm completely hooked on this lens system. It's amazing, quirky, sometimes frustrating but highly creative and utlimately very rewarding.
Of course I've heard the argument (a lot): "why use a Lensbaby when you can get a similar look using Photoshop?". The answer is that while the PS method has it uses (in post pro, for example) I feel it's a lackluster imitation of the real thing. That's not to say I won't be using Photoshop with my Lensbaby shots, I'll still be using it for further exposure adjustments, colour balancing, cropping and other such image tweakery.
But I'm also I'm pretty excited at the prospect using the Lensbaby with my D90 for HD video, something that would have been out of the question until recently. Shooting HD video with a Lensbaby looks far better than doing a simulated 'split focus' effect using a video application in post production. Even having to reshoot video to get the effect 'just right' it's still a lot quicker and better quality than hours spent experimenting, composing and then rendering in After Effects or FCP.
My first Lensbaby attempts are up now on my Flickr pages:
14 November 2008
On our return from Poland me and Cosey both went down with bad head-colds and generally feeling shitty. I have a theory that the stale recirculated aircon on Ryan Air flights is responsible for laying us low. Though it seems that every time we fly with any 'low cost' airline we get ill shortly after. Anyway... the Wroclaw trip was interesting. The city was quite sombre and grey, as were many of the people but the festival organisers were great: friendly, enthusiastic and very professional. We also did the usual touristy stuff, wandering and snapping. It seemed as though there was a gothic church at every corner, so lots of photo opportunities.
The acoustics at the venue were a little off kilter because of the extremely high ceiling but the show sold out and there were lots of hard core fans screaming for their fave songs. The atmosphere was pretty charged and everyone had a great time, including us.
Flikr images from the trip are here
26 October 2008
I've posted some photos on my Flikr pages from our recent trips to (and Cosey's subsequent 'talks' at) the Frieze Art Fair and the Liverpool Bienniale.
I've been a longtime Nikon SLR owner, actually when I think about it I was (occasionally) using Cosey's Nikon F back in 1974 and later her FE, until I got my own FE2 in the early eighties, followed by an F301 and various lenses I've collected over the years. I continued to use my F301 until a couple of years ago, when I bought a digital Sony DSC-F828. The F828 was OK (ish), it handled well and had a good lens and even infra-red capability but had some annoying 'quirks' as far as image handling and image quality goes. And it definitely was not DSLR. I almost got digital Nikon a few of years ago (a D70) but I wasn't totally convinced by the picture quality/features/price ratio, well not enough to splash out more than a £1000 or so. Anyway what with one thing and another (coincidently a PRS cheque arriving the same week as the Nikon announcement) the D90 pretty much fulfills my needs, and like I said I'm extremely pleased with it. Feel free to comment on the photos... don't be too brutal though
Link to photos on Flikr
All these photos were taken with my new Nikon D90 DSLR - which I'm very happy with.
15 October 2008
The Gristleizer (or Gristleiser) is making a comeback...
To find out more go here >> from-which-gristlizer-came << and scroll to the bottom of the comments.
The original TG Gristleizer - via this link
14 October 2008
I've been a little lax keeping up to date here over the last few months, what with one thing and another. We (Cosey and me) decided that some long overdue DIY jobs around the house needed doing before autumn sets in, and as they were all outside jobs it took longer than we expected due to the variable weather here lately. But it's all pretty much completed now, I just need to replace one large interior window pane inside our studio, which I cracked while being a bit too handy when chipping away at some paintwork.
Also... we've been setting up, or rather re-activating, Industrial Records as a fully fledged Limited Company again after leaving it dormant for more than 25 years. This is to coincide with our new TG release on IR: 'The Thirty-Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle'. Lots more details on that are HERE. But it was a major undertaking (by our terms anyway), registering IR as a company (again), registering for VAT, getting a registered office address, making a business plan for the bank, and a ton of other boring legal stuff that's needed these days! Then we (actually it was mainly Cosey) had to put the 'product' into production. Which translates into having to cope with various suppliers, manufacturers, printers, distributors, shippers etc. etc. etc. All the screamingly frustrating stuff Mute usually to do for us for a 'major' release. Not that they've stopped, they just aren't involved in this release.
In between running Industrial and DIY we've also been recording with Millimetre and producing a dance remix for Excepter, but more on those projects later.
Next week we are both at the Frieze Art Fair, where Cosey is on a discussion panel, and where we are launching 'Thirty-Second Annual Report'. In a couple of weeks we'll be at the Liverpool Biennial where Cosey is 'in conversation', and on November 7th we are playing at the Wroclaw Industrial Festival in Poland. After all that lot we are taking some time off, as Spring 2009 looks to be busy for TG. Can't say more right now but we could be flying west, then west again.
I've recently posted some really old TG photos on my Flikr pages. Even if you're not a TG fan they're definitely worth checking out. My, my... how we've changed!
17 August 2008
Fashioning a workable (and practical) realisation of the TG multi-channel audio for Cerith Wyn Evans' A=p=p=a=r=i=t=i=o=n sculpture took far longer than I expected. Admittedly, I knew it would probably be challenging working on such a complex large-scale project, co-ordinating with a lot of (talented) people and getting it all finished to a tight deadline. But not that it would mean to the exclusion of almost everything else I was working on with Cosey. Which now puts us in a position of being at least a month behind on completing all our current non-TG activities: outstanding remixes, various collaborations, solo work and of course our (now) overdue FVotSE film.
The upside (yes there IS an upside) is that A=p=p=a=r=i=t=i=o=n is truly astounding and something you just can't appreciate unless you experience it 'in situ'. We ran our first A=p=p=a=r=i=t=i=o=n test last week in a warehouse in London, well about 90% of the finished structure was up and running and the Audio Spotlights still needed polished metal covers, but everyone present was completely blown away by the TG sound track and how well it works with Cerith's sculpture.
• here's a link to short video clip of the test run •
Because of the technology used, the way the TG soundtrack is configured, the fact that the Audio Spotlights are at different heights and that the highly directional sound reflects off any nearby surface (including the backs of adjacent Audio Spotlights, which all slowly turn at the slightest gust of air, or movement) the sound has the impression of NOT coming from the structure at all but from the space surrounding it. It's a totally unique work and something you have to interact with in all its TG 3-dimensional audio glory to really appreciate.
So... right now we're time managing and juggling hours in a day, trying to prioritise a whole bunch of delayed, unfinished solo and Carter Tutti projects and even trying to complete some long-needed DIY around the house before Autumn sets in.
But no more TG... for while at least.
07 July 2008
Unfortunately our summer break was cut short. The audio project TG are working on for our collaboration (A=p=p=a=r=i=t=i=o=n) with artist Cerith Wyn Evans reached an unexpected level of complexity after the initial recordings. Being TG's resident geek/boffin I've been attempting to find solutions for some demanding logistical (not to mention cutting edge) sound configurations. If we can pull this off the way we'd like to then the sculpture is going to be astonishing, unique and very 'TG'.
So here I am (yet again) ensconced in the studio in the middle of summer. At least this week it's been raining a lot, so we haven't missed out on too much.
29 June 2008
I've put up some recent CarterTutti (& TG) photos on my Flikr pages, feel free to make comments on them.
Sorry this entry is so short but we're now taking some time off for a long needed summer holiday.
More updates next time...
24 May 2008
Sorry for a lack of posting/blogging/whatever here lately but for the past 5 weeks or so we've been busy writing, jamming, recording, editing and rehearsing Throbbing Gristle and CarterTutti material for our forthcoming live shows in Europe and the UK. We're now at a stage where 95% of our sets are ready to go, just a few tweaks here and there. It's been very intense working on two new and completely different sets at the same time but it ALL sounds (and looks) wonderfully fabulous. As usual I'll begin taking photos while 'on the road' and will post selections on my Flikr site.
08 April 2008
Despite the unforeseen setback of Cosey's ill health earlier this year we can now announce that Carter Tutti will definitely be doing some live performances during 2008.
See above or GO HERE for more details. Check with the venues for ticket info and availability, sorry we don't have more details right now.
18 March 2008
I've been getting concerned emails and comments on the interweb about my 'gear sales' on eBay.
Basically saying: "are you mad?, why?, please don't, are you short of cash?, they should be in a museum, keep them, don't sell them" and so on and so on. I'm sure you get the drift.
They are all valid points, and yes I can absolutely see where these concerns are coming from and no I'm not doing it for the cash, well not at the moment at least. I have kept back some 'unique'ish' TG items: the Gristleizers, some other hand-made fx units, a Bolex movie camera, a 'blood-stained' microphone and a couple of battered TG flight-cases. But I have a history of 'off-loading gear and moving on' every 5-10 years or so and previously I'd sold (my personal) TG and C&C gear to private collectors and through specialist auction houses. This time it's through eBay and it's generated a certain amount of interest and forum chatter. I'm not going to attempt to justify what I'm doing, I don't need to but I will explain my reasoning.
Well, apart from (the not inconsiderable) space considerations, I just don't use some of this gear anymore and I'd like other musicians to 'take up the mantel', so to speak and carry on using it while it all still works (and hopefully in new and interesting ways). One of the main reasons I started selling my old gear 10-15 years ago was that much of it was failing, malfunctioning or broken and I was spending a small fortune trying to keep it all going. So I sold it to buyers who could afford to repair, cherish and use it to make music for a few years more, as it deserved. I'm not the only member of TG who's passed on 'retired' gear so that others can get something else out of owning it either.
Also one of my morbid fears is that Cosey and I (or even all TG) will die in a plane crash and our TG and C&C archive, which even apart from the gear is MASSIVE (it literally fills a whole room in our old 'school' house) will be dumped in a land-fill never to be seen or used by anyone ever again. Irrational and possibly quite improbable I know... but hey! that's me.
Now... if someone from a museum or gallery wants to take this lot off my hand's I'm sure we could come to some arrangement but they'd better hurry.
11 March 2008
I recently posted a Chemistry Lessons update: HERE
01 March 2008
I mentioned last month that I was intending to put my unsold gear (below) on eBay but try as I may I've yet to creat a 'Seller' account. I must admit that a year ago I was very anti eBay, as I'd been ripped-off (twice) some years ago. But I gradually got drawn back in during 2007 and ended up with some really good buys last year, mainly effects units and pedals.
But here I am still trying to set up a Seller account but ebay won't play ball (after 4 weeks!). Various eBay technical departments have tried to reassure me that there shouldn't be a problem setting up my account to sell stuff BUT it basically boils down to this: they are aware of a problem, they don't know why there is a problem and they don't currently know how to fix the problem.
So in leu of finally (if ever) setting up an eBay Seller account I am putting ads in various places with a link to my 'Gear Sale' page and a PayPal 'Buy Now' button.
OK I've managed to set up a temporary eBay account that will let me sell stuff for the time being: this is the link.
I've also added a few more items for sale.
Some of you may already have heard, or not, but Cosey has been very ill since the begining of the year. This meant the majority of our upcoming projects and all our current activities were rescheduled or put on hold. Cosey's health has improved somewhat in the last week, although she still has a way to go before a full recovery, but we are now in a position where we can attempt to slowly begin catching up with our most pressing or outstanding work.
Number one on our 'to-do' list has been starting our Feral Vapours film, which will now be released on DVD much (much) later in 2008 than we originally planned. We have also completed contributions for a number of compilations and collaborations that will be released in the coming months (details when we have them). We will definitely be playing some Carter Tutti shows in Europe this year but are waiting on final confirmations before we make any announcements, which will be soon. In a couple of weeks we will also begin preparations for a few European Throbbing Gristle shows this Summer.
01 February 2008
I'm selling my Monome 40h USB controller (actually now sold) and my DS Evolver desktop synth as I just don't use them quite as much as I'd like to anymore. If anyone is seriously interested in making an offer for either unit then please drop me a line. But if no one does I'll be putting them up on ebay next week (4th or 5th Feb).