Where You End, and I Begin, San Raquel

I am proud to announce that our new EP Where You End , and I Begin is out now. Compared to our last effort this release is far more sophisticated and we have made far better use of the studio to add extra elements to the music that would not be possible live. We have achieved a far fuller more musical sound with this recording. It is also a more accurate representation of who we are as a band. We had the privilege of recording all the tracks with the JB Pilon at Buffalo Studios. It was a joy to work with JB and we will be hopefully recording again with him soon.

In an age of an overabundance of music is sometimes hard for me to justify putting any music out there; are not our ears already over saturated? Is there anything new left to done? It is my hope that what we have done as a band is original and worthy of attention. For although there is a great abundance of music today much of it is cynically commercial, formulaic and unoriginal; this release is none of those.

Although I think the title means somethings something different for each of the guys for me the music speaks of erecting emotional boundaries and the simultaneous presence of beauty and ugliness in all things. It has been a long rode taking these songs from basic ideas, to full compositions, to the getting them recorded . Along the way I have learnt to appreciate what we have is a band more and I am excited to see what we come up with next.

I hope you enjoy the music.

Toby Coe

London, April 2022

What I am Listening To, February 2022

2022 is already proving to be an exciting year with two new releases from Porcupine Tree The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Karnivool. The Porcupine Tree reunion has come as a surprise as for many years Steven Wilson has been adamant that the band getting back together was totally out of the question. Regardless, they have now released a new song Harridan. However, this is not a full reunion of the classic lineup as Colin Edwin is no longer part of the band.

The first thing that struck me when listening to Harridan is the absence of Edwin’s bass playing (Steven Wilson is playing bass on the recording) the bass feels more functional and does not add anything interesting to the track, the tone is and the rhythmic approach used are far more in keeping with Steven Wilson’s solo music that of Porcupine Tree. These criticisms aside, the song was enjoyable to listen to and does not sound like anything I have heard from the band before. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. I am curious to find out if the band will change there sound significantly from the style they had adopted for their previous album The Incident , will the album be very guitar-centric and heavy or will the band move into new sonic territory? Alternatively, will they readopt a softer sound they were know for in their earlier years. If this song is indicative of the rest of the album it would appear that Porcupine Tree are going to continue to write within the darker aesthetic the band are best know for.

One of my favourite bands Karnivool have also put out a new song All It Takes to promote there new album that I believe will be coming out sometime this year. I am excited to discover that Forrester Savell has returned to mix for the band. His mixing achieves a high level of clarity and space in the mix that is usually never part of the makeup of heavier music. Every instrument can be heard distinctly but not at the expense of the overall sound of the song. Karnivool do not release music often I think this is a smart way to operate as it means that a significant amount of anticipation surrounding each release. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is someone like Steven Wilson who is constantly releasing new music, for me, there can be no excitement surrounding a new release by him; his audience are totally oversaturated. However, it must be said that with greater anticipation comes great pressure on the artist to present to the world work that is worthy of the long wait. Tool are an extreme example of this, with there being over ten years between their last two albums. Their latest effort Fear Inoculum was certainly not worth the wait.

I have also been listening to the new song from The Red Hot Chili Peppers Black Summer. This the first song the band have released since they have replaced Josh Klinghoffer on guitar with John Frusciante the player who is responsible for their best work. The levels of anticipation surround this release were very high as many hope the return of Frusciante will allow the band to return to a more powerful sound. There is also a cult like following of Frusciante online which having been starved of sustenance for so many years is now able to gorge itself on more music from their idol.

I need to give the song a few more listens but my initial impressions are that the song is an odd choice for a single. The main problem in that Anthony Kiedis lyrics are not very strong in verses. The references to climate change is clichéd and are reminiscent of celebrity activism and empty gestures. However, there are 16 other songs on the album so I hope that one of these will be better that this initial offering.

Looking ahead I will checking out some artists I have never listened to before: Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares, The Caretaker and others. If you have any other suggestions on what I should add to the list please leave a comment.

What I Am Listening To, December 2021

Recently I have been branching out and checking out some new music; here are my latest discoveries.

The first is the excellent David Bowie album Station To Station I am slowly working my way through his back catalog and this album is the most recent stop on that journey. The album is refreshingly short at only 38 minutes in length. My favorite track is probably Golden Years which despite sounding somewhat dated and cheesy has a undeniable charm. What I always enjoyed about Bowie is his constant willingness to change and experiment and take risks. He never stayed in one stylistic place for a very long time and was always searching for something new. It is hard to believe that the person who wrote this upbeat and fun music would later be responsible for an album as dark as Blackstar. Also, his work has never had the feeling of being egotistical, although Bowie is clearly the center of attention there is more to his music than mere egotism, it is not centered banally on the person “David Bowie”. Rather, the focus is on the persona he adopts to help him express a certain facet of his character. Whilst these personas are clearly the product of Bowie’s mind they remain once removed from the man behind the music. For as an outsider it is difficult to determine which elements are attached to David Bowie the man and which are free creations of his aesthetic intelligence. In an age of a confessional and overly intimate relationship between artist and audience via social media it is refreshing consider the likes of Bowie who left much to our imaginations and intelligence to figure out. They don’t make them like Bowie anymore. There is a literalness to today’s culture that is nauseating. As much as the great ease of access that the internet offers is undoubtedly a good thing there are also negative aspects to such advancements, one of them being that information (especially that of the half-baked kind) is too easily available. This can lead to unparalleled levels of group think and pot analysis.

Next is Brian Eno’s landmark album Music For Airports. This album was as far as I am aware the first  body of work that popularised the new genre of ambient music. Further, the idea of music performing a functional as apposed to a purely artistic purpose is not something that fits with the usual historical presentation of the 1970s when the album was released. What expressions of Eno’s individualism are present are through the manipulation of existing musical material rather the performance of anything new. The idea of the producer as the composer, is perhaps a novel and one that foreshadows the innovations that would be pioneered by those creating hip hop years later. The music is a times impersonal and for this very reason but also strangely moving. The lack of percussion gives the work an ethereal quality which makes the album in a certain sense closer to classical music than anything mainstream.  

I have also been listening to The Original Soundtrack a compilation of music by 10cc. The best track by far on this album is I’m Not In Love which has become far more well know than the band who created it. I did not like the rest of the album; the clichéd ideas that are expressed in the first few tracks about Paris are boring. Later in the album a racial slur is used (whoever wrote the liner notes for the CD I have is strangely not bothered by this). I think it is fair to say this album has not dated well; I will be listening to it more out historical curiosity than for pleasure.

If you have any suggestions as to what I should listen to next please leave a comment.

Merry Christmas.