Over the last few years, I have contributed to a couple of releases by my close friends Avrocar, an experimental guitar and electronic band. Our last Avrocar LP, Against The Dying Of The Light, was largely recorded late at night in various lofts and back rooms around Birmingham’s suburbs. I’m extremely proud of the sprawling tracks we created at this time, which I hope captures the late night environment within which they were recorded.
We have copies of the album available to purchase at Avrocar’s Guidance Bandcamp site and there are a few samples below
We have also just released our new vinyl only mini-LP ‘Summer Blonde’ and have a limited number of copies available through Bandcamp.
Epic45 have just released Weathered which is a CD album of reworked tracks from their 2010 LP Weathering. The track I provided vocals, lyrics and clarinet on has been reworked by The Toy Library:
Where’s the boy I used to be, where’s the girl I used to know
living alone, may be in time?
Feel the weight upon my shadow, looking down in to tomorrow
may be a dream, keeps you awake?
I’m the catcher in the rye, I won’t fail until she find me
hidden away, with people who prey.
April 26th, 2012 | Category: Release, epic45 | Comments are closed
Vox Pop is the final release on Make Mine Music featuring many artists across a 13 track compilation. It is now available to stream with a free WAV download and limited CD available from the 16 January 2012.
There are two July Skies contributions on the album. The first is Requiem For A Village, a collaboration between July Skies and epic45, recorded one Sunday evening in Wheaton Aston, 2003. Rob, Ben and I built up guitar and bass parts and I laid down a sketch vocal take with the intention that we could record it again at some point. We gigged the track at The Spitz in London and at the Pop Revo Festival in Denmark as a closing track to the July Skies set. Between then and now, the vocals never were re-recorded, the master tracks got lost (presumably deleted) but a rough mix survived on CDR. We felt that the final MMM release was a good opportunity to dust down the track some eight years later. With a final flurry of recording and mixing by Ben in November and December 2011, at 8.41 minutes in length, Requiem For A Village is now complete. We feel it is a fitting track to end MMM070 marking the closure of Make Mine Music.
There is also a July Skies demo of a song recorded to a cassette in 1998 titled London Girl. It’s about a year in after starting to play guitar when all I had was a cassette recorder to capture ideas. With a bit of improvising I managed to create a primitive two track system by playing the cassette back to another recorder whilst laying down electric guitar on top. This is the sound of very early July Skies as songs started to evolve. It was an exciting time, practising and recording between bedroom and garage. The garage sessions were always much more experimental with the ability to turn up the amp and experiment. The joy of opening the garage door in the summer and playing to the world passing outside.
The cassette kept rolling, capturing ideas and early tracks (Southern Orchards, Swallows and Swifts, Frozen Artic Ice Floes, Wiltshire Skyline, etc). I sent out the occasional track at the end of mix tapes to indie/shoegaze friends made on the Internet as we traded CD/tapes. Listening back, London Girl is definitely influenced by a little known band called Orange Cake Mix, which is a solo project by Jim Rao. It’s worth tracking down his releases Another Orange World, Silver Lining Underwater and Lovecloud and Secret Tape if you like lo-fi experimental pop. He made some lovely lovely music which certainly inspired me at the time. I wonder what he is doing now…..
So there you go, MM070, its over.
Towards 2012 and the release of the A Day In The Country LP
Birds Fly South For Winter (II) is a new July Skies track available exclusively on theMusic & Migration IICD compilation released by Second Language. The album is available to purchase now as a limited release.
1. Rowan and John Aitchison: Passing Through
2. Dollboy: Birds in My Mouth
3. Ellis Island Sound: Snowdon Aviary
4. The Hardy Tree: The Cutty Wren
5. Haruko: We’ll Be Birds
6. James Brewster: Dissent En Route
7. Piano Magic: The Way of the Birds
8. The Home Current: Theme from Mizieb
9. Marissa Nadler: Dead Birds in Arkansaw
10. Sophie Hutchings: Between Two Hills
11. July Skies: Birds Fly South for the Winter (II)
12. Chronomad: Bolbol
13. Padang Food Tigers: Honey Stole the Crown
14. F.S. Blumm: Wandervogel
Thank you to all the people who have made contact following the recent announcement about Make Mine Music. I am very much still making music and working on the next July Skies’ album A Day In The Country. The release will be subject to finding a label that can assist with resources to help complete recording of the LP.
It is clearly sad to see the end of the label but there are good reasons behind such a move. Nothing lasts forever.
On reflection, the two Make Mine Music outdoor gigs at Howe Park, Sheffield were a particular highlight (curated by Ian Boyle who created the stone sculpture we played in). Kicking back amongst the grasses under blue skies at the height of summer, as various Make Mine Music bands played live. The music made drifted across the country park into the valley beyond.
I understand that before the door closes on label, the missing MMM028 by August Stars will finally be released! So a big thanks to Scott, Glen, Jon, Darren at Cargo Records, Phil at Norman Records and everyone else invovled in making the extensive list of releases happen over the years.
In other news, there have been a number of recent releases by friends over at epic45. Their early albums have been rereleased by Preco in Japan. The releases are housed in 6 panel digipacks along with extra tracks across bonus discs.
Norman Records currently has a quantity of these Japanese releases: