Tuesday, 5 April 2011

We made some music for Jotta

Art-collaborating-exhibiting company Jotta caught us stealing their delicious pies cooling on their Asplund oak finish windowsill, and in return for not telling our parents made us agree to compose some music for their series of videos. It was a no-brainer really- I don't want Mama Kingdom finding out about our transgressionin'.

Watch the video above. There are three songs on the soundtrack, two are ours. Guess which one is not. First correct answer wins a jpeg made by James.

Of course, if James answers correctly he'll send himself his own jpeg and the universe will implode.


This song is by a guy called Damian Aspinall, and it's a band favourite, so we thought we'd post it for you.

This record apparently is very rare; we couldn't find any info online about it. Not sure what that says about Mr Aspinall's music career. It's commendable that he even made it in the first place. The sleeve basically has a press release printed on it. The whole thing's pretty brilliant. His wiki page looks suspiciously self-written (PROMISE: I shall never write my own wikipedia page)- I love that there's a link to a European royal peerage website at the bottom of it.

If you came here via Fake DIY, then you've already read as much as we know about it. The b-side was a reggae song, which is probably best left unheard. Download it below:

Damian Aspinall - Don't Give Me A Hard Time, Baby!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Yesterday I wrote a candid post about how I felt now that my single has been released. For some reason, blogger didn't post it and now it's gone. But it was really great, honest.

It's strangely anti-climactic, when I think about how long the process was, from finishing recording and mixing the single (not to mention the 18 months over which the songs' writing gestated), to finally have it 'out'. It's out online, at least- if you go to the iTunes store or Amazon you'll see the three songs that make up the single (2 a-sides and a b-side) alongside an inexplicably blurry reproduction of the sleeve. I could have sworn my painting skills were sharper than that but jah well.

There's a kind of fog of war over the whole thing... There's been basically no press coverage of the release (except for that oddly hamfisted gutting I mentioned below). I met up with my manager today to assess the damage; 60% of the physical copies of the single were expected to be sent to Japan. This, due to recent events, isn't going to happen, presumably because the Japanese have more urgent issues to address right now. So now we have the very real possibility of hundreds of 7-inch DK records languishing in a stock room somewhere until they're eventually melted (is that what they do?) and turned into lino or something.

But something unanticipated happened yesterday evening. We noticed a curious spike in traffic on the facebook page, the website, the soundcloud etc. People from around the world had somehow been lead to our pages- hits had multiplied exponentially.

I was in the dumps this morning, so seeing this was extra special. When yesterday dawned and the single was released online, the DK team wasn't exchanging congratulations. We were 'putting this one down to experience', and coming to terms with the fact that we might have wasted the last six months. So even a few extra hits, and maybe a few purchases has made a big difference to me. None of it looks as bleak as it did this morning.

It took a while to work out why but my managar cracked it; Empire Of The Sun had linked to our facebook. People noticed and listened to us. Some of them liked it, so thank you Empire.

I could leave this episode here, and settle for the idea that Empire just happened to find us and were into it (which would be awesome), but I have a theory as to how they came across us, and I warn you, it's boring. But that word 'candid' is staring at me from the top of this post so I'll continue.

I'm an animator, and I sometimes work alongside a sibling of one of the members of Empire. We started talking about it once and I linked him to my stuff; so I'm thinking this is likely how they found it. I also met with Ministry in Australia a couple of years ago, who at the time rep'd PNAU so it may have happened that way as well. Either way I am very grateful. I want to get in touch with those guys and thank them in person. It was just a simple post for them but it made my day.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

So... the SINGLE

At long, long, long last, the first DK single is coming out. It's a double A-side: new song Vinyl, Skipping Ever Backward and old song that everyone's heard already Through The Ice. I think the digital release also comes with Amputee Spirit, which will be weird for me because the song has changed quite a bit since I recorded that version. Anyone who attended our last show at Queen of Hoxton will have heard the new version.

I did the design myself! It took ages though. Lots of umming and ahhing betwixt the label and I. I was hamstrung by having adobe on one computer, having internet on another, and having to travel between each every time someone asked for a minor change. The image above is the back of the sleeve without the small print.

The promo copies have definitely been sent out, because Google Alerts notified me that a website called The 405 (yeah I hadn't heard of them either) has written a review! They hated it by the way, which lead me to think about what I am about to put myself through. I've been writing all these songs for two years, and now they're coming out, and being subjected to scrutiny, I'm going to have to weather it as best I can.

I may sound naive but I honestly didn't think people would hate these songs. Secluded within a rather convoluted piece of copy is a valid point from the reviewer - that songs that plagiarise other efforts aren't healthy. But his references in regards to Vinyl are a spectacular bevy of misfires, and he takes such pain to name drop an array of bands (and, bizarrely, the colonial 1800s? Dude, really?) that the whole thing resembles a student article and smacks somewhat of aspiration above his station.

People, upon hearing my music might level a similar trite evaluation at me, but I think that this would be stupid. Stupid, because by doing so one ignores why these songs are great, and they are great, biases accepted. I never claimed to be a great singer, and it's my job, not the critics', to come to terms with that and accept that people will find my voice too abrasive, or simply bad (although I am in tune, I'll have you know), especially when everything else about the production exudes pop, love it or hate.

I think, also, that it's too easy to hate on it. When I receive someone else's view, informed or nay, on my stuff I go back and listen to it with their opinion fresh in my mind. I have to admit, I leave myself wide open with these tracks. They're total, inoffensive pop, without an ounce of venom (at least not explicitly, although the subject matter for me is real enough), and it's a fine line artists like myself walk.

If you do pop music, with choruses and hooks and all the staples, do you hold out for a bigger deal or do you settle for a small indie release? Labels are hesitant, and the fact that we radiate between mainstream potential and a cult fanbase make any of these acts, be they Cocknbullkid, the now defunct Primary 1, Sunday Girl etc. an unknown quantity. There's a Venn diagram somewhere that shows how a less popular act will become richer releasing their work themselves than a much more successful act pushing their record through the major label grinder. Suffice to say there is an awful temptation to publish all of my work and as the saying goes, be damned, rather than wait for a label with the promotional machinery in place to come to me.

I can't really conclude this post because as yet there is no conclusion. Over the next few days I'm going to await the inevitable press response. They will, I expect, be few, as I think everyone knows that if I'd released two years ago I would be a hotter topic now. I have to accept that this was perhaps a mistake, and that much of the blame rests with me. All I can hope, if only for my own peace of mind, as that the reviews that are written about my double a-side single, Vinyl, Skipping Ever Backward and Through The Ice, radiate as much as I do between one end of the spectrum and the other, and don't all sit too far down the bottom end...

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Micachu's new album

So it's appeared. Hi. I'm in 2011. I'm back and my single is coming out soon and i'm trying to make music videos but it's hard work. I painted the sleeve design myself. Just you wait.

Here is a track from Micachu's new album because I like her stuff.

Thursday, 23 December 2010


I have to come clean: I haven't even been on this site for at least a month. To be honest I was kind of scared; my last post was staring me in the face, because I looked at it and knew nothing had changed since then. The release date, for one reason or another, of my first single (finally, I know) has been pushed back to Feb. I'm taking the opportunity to redo the artwork for it. In January the band and I are knuckling down and revamping the live set. We'll be gigging again in Feb.

In the absence of a publishing deal I have a job; and that's kept me far too busy to energetically do more music for the last month or two. A recent flurry of live gig attendances has re-fired my resolve to write again, and my great new manager has been pushing me on. Leaving my old one and going with her has turned out to be a sound move.

So yeah, new year etc. I sense the same things I told myself this time last year coming back. Will this finally be the year all this work reaches fruition? 2011? Yikes. I've been doing music for most of my life and have almost nothing tangible to show for it. That's not despair on my part; but simply that in the digital age you can work for years and have nothing to hold in your hands.

I started another blog with my friend Simon. It's mostly about comics but it'll inevitably include other things. We've recorded a few podcasts but frankly don't feel confident enough to put all of them out. I've also been making comics, lots of them. At the moment I'm filling up three of four pages a day with comics and illustrations. I need to scan them in and clean them up but even the Christmas holiday hasn't given me time to breath and get some of my own work done.

My job, by the way, entails animating a pilot for a new TV show for Channel 4. You'll have to wait until September I expect, but when it comes out the phrase 'FISH FINGER FOR LATER' will make a whole lot more sense.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

I have been real busy

We have done lots of recording and rehearsing and we are sounding real goooooood. planning video for our first single.

Monday, 28 June 2010

I did some drawings for a website

called platform and you can see them here. nice to be doing some illustration that isn't GUYS WITH GUNS!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Messhof on Creators

Mark Essen one of my fave game artists has a new feature on the Creators website. See the link below.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Part Hideout

now has a video, cha-pulnk!

Thursday, 3 June 2010


I'm gonna be honest here. Yeah I spent half of yesterday making a 3D model of myself, putting it through photoshop, typing in reams of code and doing up the DK myspace.

But I KNOW it's no good. not for DK. It looks cool and I frakking love my 3D head, don't get me wrong, but it's not the right look for us. anyone can tell it isn't. so it'll be like that for a week or so i guess, and then i'll change it again; make it more tactile and less electronic. If anyone has a lo-fi electro band who needs a facelift though, you know who's html to steal.



Friday, 28 May 2010

ANother day in the life of LOSERBAND

wow, we played a smashing 'gig' last night, in camden, all three people there thought it was amazing. that's cos they were all MY MUM. hopefully we'll never play this bullshit again and we can die happy. fuck me, i fucking hate these shit promoters. i could do their job better...

watch this space for more on this story as it develops.

Friday, 14 May 2010

This Tuesday

We're playing in Hoxton on Tuesday with The Good Natured and Naive New Beaters so it may well be good times.

Hoxton 18 May 2010