Photons EP

•October 31, 2012 • 2 Comments

Been a long time coming this . . .

You know me, I love a good rant, and love nothing more than to rant about how difficult it is for the industry to sustain so many labels and digital releases.  There just isn’t any money left in the pot, its a big world business model, operating in our little world, it doesn’t work!  So I though, lets get back to basics, as close as you can get to selling vinyl out of a boot in this digital world, cut out the middle man, keep it simple.  So I wrote a cracking tune, and asked a few key artists I enjoy and respect if they fancied chipping in on the project, and you know what, they did. . . . .

      Photons EP – Remixes by

  • Galaxian

  • Pip Williams

  • *TBA !

  • Ryogo Yamamori

  • Jay Mass

  • North bay

  • Laws

  • Tekkaz

………..RELEASED LATE NOVEMBER (more previews up soon)..

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PHOTONS EP LAUNCH PARTY @ BAD EDIT

Photons party poster

CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE

August update.

•August 12, 2012 • 3 Comments

I thought it was wise I jumped upon here, its been a while now . . . .

There have been a few developments for the Mazzula project since I last posted upon here.

Firstly, there have been a couple of podcasts which have gone down well, which I was surprised by seems as neither of em were exclusively electro.  I decided to diversify a bit, and seems as my love affair with all things electronic started with techno, it seemed wise to return to familiar pastures as far as DJ’ing is concerned.  I think I might hold on to this mentality for the time being.  I’ve included a mix for download at the bottom of this post, or here.

Also, I figured in Dave Clarke’s chart with ‘Saturdee Night‘ and appeared in an interview he did with DMC, in which he cites me as his ‘curveball favourite’ (young artist at the mo), read the interview here.  All spiffing stuff, and lead me to wonder . . which way next . . . .  which means a return to playing live, which I haven’t done properly for a couple of years now.  This, of course leads to the question, what exactly does live mean?

I can remember this p**sing me off last time out . . . .

My lil self

Recently there has been all sorts of stuff on the internet surrounding what exactly constitutes a live performance, from the brutal honesty of Deadmau5, to the hilarious antics of the now unsurprisingly defunct Swedish House Mafia, or whoever they were.  The spotlight has definitely fallen upon the stage for all the wrong reasons, to the delight of vinyl aficionados, but triggering some serious inward thinking for the electronic community.  I recently took part in a radio show, where the view was that live electronic performance can and does exist, with myself the only person there who had given up on the art of performance for the sake of pragmatism, for example, why take a pile of gear with you, when you can pre-record the gear in the home studio?  It wont fit in a dj booth anyway.  I must say that I was totally alone in this view, but also that I was the only person there who hasn’t had a guitar, and has never been part of a band so my theoretical grounding is different.  Importantly, it was notable that one of the guests on the show is pursuing a Phd in electronic performance, which to me kind of suggests that there must be an actual need for advancement in this area, and perhaps it isn’t as understood as we would like to think.  You know what, Deadmau5′s honest rant might have done us all a favour in initialising this badly needed debate.

In the case of both Deadmau5 and The SHM, the emphasis seems to have switched towards a holistic view of performance, as in the whole effect, from coordinated lighting, dancers etc, the music just appears part of the greater whole.  This is not new.  I can remember years ago, reading an interview with The Prodigy, where Liam Howlett discussed how it would be impossible to perform it all live and would need 5 people reaching around all the synths and that.  As I remember, they used DAT’s and stitched a performance around that (correct me if i’m wrong).  Then, it was very much about the front men, some dancers and some effective visuals.  Still, if you were in the crowd, you would know that there wasn’t much live about it, but you didn’t care.  The performance might have been lacking musically, but there was still a show.

Even without the big show, there are still questions about the nature of electronic performance.  A couple of years ago, I was on stage once with a very respectable underground techno live act, who had a click and go set up on pro-tools, with the person involved just messing with FX.  I can imagine this is how the majority of artists do it, but I fail to see how purely using sequenced hardware on stage is, in the performance stakes, any different than sequenced Logic and a pile of softsynths.  This is a dangerous viewpoint I know, it questions everything, even the mighty Orbital and their mammoth ‘live’sets.  I can remember that I had a terribly difficult set up on ableton to sequence live that evening, 30 channels or so, and was pretty disgusted that someone could just click and go, but you know what, the punters all enjoyed themselves, his set being the highlight.

It wasn’t long after this that I decided to cut down on these complicated sets and start mixing full tunes, with the odd addition of drum machines or even singing (yes, singing) to try and constitute a performance.  I know others who have done similar.

There is an undeniable truth here, in that live musical performance for those in electronica is just that, a choice.  Something that I always struggle with is this . . . . so I’ve written a track, mixed it down, and mastered it beautifully, it sounds as good as it ever could do.  Performing it live would mean, taking this track and breaking it down into its constitute parts, so I can sequence it live on stage with ableton, with all the compression, careful eq and nice mastering lost.  So for the sake of performance, there is a sub-standard end-product.  I struggle to understand this when Im in a nightclub and noone is interested in what I’m doing technically ..  Why should I wheel around my entire home studio if this is the case?  Having that choice, which is not there for those populating the world of guitars and drums, doesn’t exactly force people to find interesting ways to perform.

None of this should be surprising as at the end of the day, computers were built to cut down on our workload through automation and in music, we are trying to undo that, or at least accepting the elements we like and avoiding those we don’t, its almost as though the parts just don’t fit.  Its a complicated business, which is why people do Phd’s. Was it Heidegger who said that we only focus upon the advancement of technology, rather than to hold it back and try and understand it?  Its a constantly moving target.  I think this has indeed happened, we find ourselves so far down the track and cant remember how we got here.  The fact is that little has changed, apart from that the quality of what we actually experience at these shows has gone up, from Daft Punk in their spaceship to Hawtin’s lightwalls.

This vid below, of Tim Exile and Co’s new superbandband ‘Mostly Robot’ is a decent effort at a proper live band type setup with electronica.  Although a fair proportion of it seems to be effecting the sound, rather than performing it ‘live’, and there are also traditional elements too, such as the keyboard player and vocalist adding to the performance factor.  See what yer think, me likey.

And here’s a downloadable DJ mix for yer, all cheating of course, with ableton, maschine and a pile of VST’s.

Faces n Spaces.

•June 1, 2012 • 1 Comment

Habit May 2012

“. . . . unlike web-spacesfaces, you can believe. .. . .  .  . “

Another busy month with plenty of my own music shizzle happnin, alongside a healthy slab of Stoke Techno Militia stuff to report back.

I’ve been hard at it this month, pulling out all the stops to try and recover some of the ground I lost over the last couple of years of non/little-activity.  I sent out promos of the LP to a few producers/dj’s I respect and got some decent feedback as well as tunage appearances on a few podcasts, and DC’s Whitenoise.  Oh, incidentally, Dave Clarke described the Mazzula project as resulting in “some weird but strangely enticing electro hybrids”, weird eh?  strangely enticing eh?  Its a middle of the road description though, and could probably be interpreted, or even spun, in any number of different ways.  At least it’s honest, which is a luxury in this day and age.

Honesty is a rarity in producer land, when was the last time you saw a ‘this is f***in sh*t‘ comment on a track on soundcloud, or anywhere for that matter?  Perhaps this is something to do with how people use soundcloud to network, swapping comments almost, although soundcloud was never meant to be a social network.  It has become a weird world, where not everything is really as it appears. . . . .

Although most try their very best to resist overly whoring themselves on Soundcloud, Facebook or anywhere, it is difficult when you are trying to promote an album or whatever.  A cunning strategy which I notice a lot, is adding plenty of people on soundcloud, 1000′s sometimes, knowing that because of this networking element, a certain portion of them will add you back, networking yes?  But then the ‘clever‘ bit comes in, when all of these added friends are removed, so it looks as though lots have followed yourself, because your musics are ffff’in mint.  Although outwardly cunning, I don’t really understand the end game with this one, is it that a passing A&R man might pass by and spot a heavily supported, undiscovered gem? ARF!!

This kind of thing has been going on for years (myspace anyone), and each to their own I suppose, we’ve all done something similar at some point to get music out there.  But all this tomfoolery amounts to is it being fiendishly difficult to figure out exactly how well, or not, people are really doing.  Some significant producers have a relatively small amount of users on Soundcloud or Facebook.  At the end of the day, if you aint appearing on the charts on Juno or wherever, the only way to measure how well you are doing is through gigs, as unlike web-spaces, faces, you can believe.

I’ve still got some Bandcamp promo-codes left for the Album, ROADS LEADING, if you want one,  join my fan page on Facebook and ask for one, simple as that.

Habitual?

Speaking of gigs,

If you remember last time out, we were all enthused about recent happenings, what with GhettoBlaster and Fly-Gotic, I think many of us are still sporting our STM profile pics on Facetw*t actually.  So next came Habit’s opening night, which kind of got caught up in it all, to the extent of which many of us kind of convinced ourselves (myself included) that it was another techno night, which of course, as far as I can gather, it was never meant to be, at least not in totality.  It was mainly house of the deeper/tech-ier variety, building as the night progressed.  So we all turned out again,  and again we had a real good time, with some of us “just popping in to support for an hour”, and then completely losing Sunday (again).

As far as the STM are concerned, highlighting was the ever-prolific Kev Willis, who was destined to close the evening.  Myself, I’m more used to hearing Kev as a producer, and when I say prolific, I mean so, I’ve noticed that he seems to be making an effort to moderate his output a bit nowadays, which is great as you really can have too much of a good thing, and very good it is too.  Releasing his own brand of dark, deep techno, and I cant emphasise ‘dark’ and ‘deep’ enough, on various labels, I was wondering how far this style would seep into his Dj’ing, and also how this might sit after an evening of mainly house. In the end it seemed that some thought had indeed gone into this, and even though the night built solidly throughout, eventually reaching Kev, it perhaps was a little fragmented.  I can only salute him for pulling off a set of the finest quality which even though he tried (see above vid) to bring people in, it still did eventually wind up different to everything else played during the eve.  This isn’t a problem, in itself, but its hard for promoters to stand out in a flooded market without a solid identity and this is all important. But f**k it, Kev rocked, and also made a few other dj’s listning think about upping their own game.

I am biased I should add, and always looking through techno/electro eyes.  It is worthy to note though, that sometimes, a reason for us to come together can be apart from the tunage, it’s certainly not everything.  At times, our attempts at promoting our old night LOAD, relied more on the culture than the music.  I suppose the win comes when you combine the two (see my post on Bitjam and Ghettoblaster).  Im sure that Habit will refine things and move on, the curve isn’t that steep, and I’l try my best to support all the way because this is what Stoke needs, people bringing their own projects to life, and developing them.

Before you download the below, it’s worthy of a mention of the DJ who played before Mr Willis, who hammered out some fine musics, rolling deep house/techno played in a coherent, well structured manner.  Excellent whoever you are.

New LP – Roads Leading

•May 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve never done an LP before . . . . . which is strange cos over the years I’ve been quite prolific.

I suppose I’ve always struggled for a common theme which might link tracks together, cos thats what an LP is, it should flow as a single entity.  Now I have a theme, and it’s kinda just taken the passage of time for me to realise, that the period when these tracks were written, was a notable one, and I had a sound then, which I just don’t now.  It was born out of a desire to do something different, mostly written in an out-house come ramshackle lean-to made out of old pallets, its a miracle any of this music happened at all. 2 coats and -8C at 3am didn’t put me off, as condensation dripped from the plastic roof on to the laptop. I eventually had my reward, becoming a regular fixture in the electro room @ Atomic Jam. This is a collection of the music created along the way, by someone driven by a need to be different, to push the boundaries of electro and techno, whilst trying not to be overly drawn in to the fickle come and go of fads and trends.

Nowadays the art of the LP is seemingly becoming lost, with the things becoming shorter and shorter, and containing no ‘filler’.  The question of whether or not an LP is better with ‘filler’ is a questionable one.  I know that its always a thing of curiosity that techno artists foray into all sorts of weird and wonderful areas when building their ‘concept’ LP.  Jeff Mills jazz anyone?  These fillers sometimes seem like the ‘art’ that glues the other tracks together, and it can get a bit pretentious.  So I’ve not done that, there were things that I could have put on, but they don’t truly represent that time, or even what I do.  Thats what this LP is, its representative, its full on from beginning to end (there’s no jazz on it) and it should be, because thats how things are.

I hope you enjoy.

Here’s a set from Atomic Jam

Dj/Live Set Depository and other interesting stuff.

•May 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I thought it might be nice to have somewhere to post interesting sets n that. .

Feel free to suggest things worth posting on here.

To kick off . . . . . .

Carl Finlow

Iv always enjoyed Carl Finlow, not many electro visionaries of this quality left working nowadays.

Clark.

The latest LP is a refreshing break from the usual fare in the Mazzula kitchen.  Below is a vid made for ‘Black Stone’, a frighteningly beautiful (albeit too short) piece from the album.  It’s what you might expect from Warp, and reminds of the piano piece off of  ‘This is England’.  Easy to play on yer midi keyboard too (well I think so).

I fell upon this live set.  Spot the bored looking Berlin scenester chicks lurking behind him heheh.

New – Fire EP

•May 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

My forays into vocal electro/techno have gone down quite well.  This EP contains 2 which featured on Dave Clarke’s Whitenoise.  You cant get hold of these anywhere else but here.

Enjoy

Yeah . . . . . so what?

•May 1, 2012 • 1 Comment

Image

Yeah, so what?

I cant imagine a court order dropping through my door from Mr Banks any time soon.  I suppose the Belleville 3 are circling overhead in methane filled blimps ready to kamikaze into my Fenton bolthole or perhaps a Drexyian terror squad are gonna blast into Ghettoblaster next month with poison electro-squid.  F**k em.

For a while this week it seemed like the Stoke underground came together, perhaps some of us being a little loved up still after witnessing the mighty Jerome Hill at Jared & Co’s Fly-Gotic night.  A proper Dj.  The funny thing is, in the weeks leading up to Jerome, it was difficult to describe what he plays to people who don’t know, because he’s such a good dj, which is an odd thing to say in a market-place where everyone is closely attributed to their ‘brand’ whatever that might be, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The thing about Mr Hill, is that he is a true reader of crowds.  If you search for sets online, they tend to be quite different, there’s one in Berlin, where he’s playing, well, a bit more Berlin-i-fied, a spattering of hip hop ones, acid house, have a dig across soundcloud and see what I mean.  Suffice to say, it was mint, the best Dj I’ve ever seen in Stoke, well I cant think of anyone much better.  It was enough for hero worship aplenty post gig, with the usually hard to impress Djacker chasing after, feeling the need to congratulate with beer, and properly deserved too.  A little more about Fly-Gotic next time out I think, cos I was hammered and don’t think I could give a decent account, rest assured though, it is a ‘must’ for those of in Stoke who aren’t ‘musically challenged scensters’ (Thanks Ben Videohead).

For the record, I spoke to Jerome on facetw*t who reported,

“It was messy to say the least but the spirit was there :) Great night !”.

You know what, he’s right!  The spirit was there, and I reckon thats the ‘loved up’ I spoke about earlier.

Thats why the STM is a goer, cos its a genuine collective of people with no common agenda (although there may be the odd axe to grind) who happen to enjoy the same music and ‘spirit’.  Perhaps I’m getting a bit soppy in my old age, or maybe not . . . . . . for while now I suppose I’ve been written off as a hater so quite the contrary.  But how easy is it to be a hater?

Is it possible to like things too much?

Dead Sound posted an well recognised phrase on facebook, “The More I love, The More I hate”.  Now I’m not sure what he meant by that so I’m not going to risk misrepresenting him.  If it was I who was saying itit would mean that, as I know this ‘spirit’ well  now, that because I ‘love’ what we all do so much, that I inevitably ‘hate’ all the corrupt, bandwagoning, insincere shite that goes on in the more commercial end of dance music in our city.  And it is incredibly frustrating to watch all the ‘musically challenged scensters’ (Thanks Ben Videohead ‘again’) thinking they have found the holy grail.  And if you think its cool not to be a ‘hater’, you need to ask yourself who taught you this and why. . . . . . . . Also, if being a ‘hater’ means daring to have an opinion, and be one of only a few distant voices who would like to see an open playing field for promoters in our city then so be it.

This is why the Stoke Techno Militia is important, because any potential co-olition of our different nights/talents/voices make us stronger. So lets save the ‘musically challenged scensters’ (Thanks Ben Videohead ‘again again’) from themselves, and re-introduce some genuine ‘love’ . . . . . . .

I am a ‘hater’ . . . but its built on a foundation of love, heheh.

Also available for download HERE

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