Archive for the ‘new songs’ Category

My new favourite Doozer song.   1 comment

Radio On by The Doozer


Details of tour and new record here.

Posted February 22, 2011 by peteum2013 in new songs, the doozer, Uncategorized

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High Fidelity: Pete Um's "Evil" and The Beta Band.   4 comments

Here’s a classic bit of Grist, or at least it is if you’re me. So, what, two years ago or thereabouts I do that song Evil which has just a smidgen of a sample of some guitar and some claps from some Beta Band tune – I don’t even know which one to be honest. I don’t do much sampling any more (in fact I keep meaning to force myself back into it because I’m obviously not a proper musician and I could do with the assistance basically) but when I do I tend to sort of shut my eyes when I’m doing it like I won’t be blamed for nicking the cookies. I don’t fetishize samples anyway, cos it’s 2010 innit? Maybe I would if I knew how to slice a loop onto my MPC but I’m essentially a dickhead and I march to a different drum. So yeah, because I actually like the Beta Band (one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to and I don’t really know why, cos apart from the films they just stood there and played and normally I like a bit of something going on) I kind of got infected with the vibe and to my mind that tune owes more than a few strums and claps to the old BB. There’s the kind of underdog’s ontological wrestling bout feel or tale of spiritual redemption or whatever it is that sounds like such a sincere rallying cry kinda vibe coming out of Steve Mason’s mouth and has the power to uplift in some weirdly northern English soully type of way. Hmm, put like that maybe the song owes nothing to The Beta Band ha ha! Anyway as soon as my pal Pilar in Hamburg heard the tune she professed herself a fan and before long was on at me about making a 7″ on which it would feature. Given she hadn’t engaged in the joys of negotiating one’s way through the treacherous terrain that one must cross to produce a piece of vinyl I was not holding my breath, but the project has crept along over the months for something approaching a couple of years. Then, recently, I heard the Greenmind bloke Mr Baker had booked Steve Mason to play at The Haymakers in Cambridge and I asked to support, only in part because I thought it would be funny to bust out the track in front of him and see if his face did something funny. Plus, if I’m honest, I thought he might like it. For one thing of all the music he’s made over the years I am a particular fan of his Sings Nelly Foggit’s Blues in Me and the Pharaohs record as King Biscuit Time, and in particular the track Little White. In fact just doing a bit of research for this post I came across the following description of the song by an Amazon customer:

“The EP’s real gem is ‘Little White’, a short, sombre effort that really doesn’t sound like anyone else – Mason really is some sort of unfocused genius with melody, and the sheer colour of his music. “

Excellently put, I would say. I’ve tried to rip off that short sombre vibe matey refers to several times, I can assure you.

Anyway, despite the fact that I forget the power supply to my mixer and it throws me a bit the gig goes quite well. Partly this is due to the fact that Simon decides to pay me in Guinness and partly because the soundman Rob misunderstands my request for a high table and has me sort of sat at a desk, which seems to work and lends itself to a whole range of intuitive upper body performance tics. After a couple of tunes I am pleased to see obvious signs that Mr Mason is not only present but also possibly enjoying himself. Alas, however, at the very point at which Evil begins he rises from his chair and goes to exit through the back door, at which point Simon (who is hip to my little Evil plan) twigs what is going on and hurries over to him to awkwardly explain that he is about to miss something he may well not give a fuck about. Indeed this must be the case for after he cocks an ear for a few seconds in the direction of the stage he continues out the door and I am ever so mildly crushed.

Then the Steve Mason section of the evening begins and although the band have a slight air of the “what the hell are we doing at The Haymakers” about them everything sounds pretty tight and polished and Steve’s voice carries everything along in that manner which is oddly difficult to define, and by the time they do I Walk The Earth there is a sense of BRITISH SOUL UNDENIABILITY feedbacking around the North Cambridge pub. After the show Steve’s reputation for not really being a fan of bullshit leaves me unwilling to exploit any shmoozing opportunities, and besides I’m enjoying some agreeably random chats with some agreeably random punters. However, just as I’m set to leave my Guinness levels must have been sufficiently high for me to speculate that it is not entirely unreasonable for the support band to say goodbye to the main act and when I do this I am pleasantly surprised to quickly find my “old man in a pub” routine, as Steve styles it, praised for its virtues. He also speaks to me quite matter of factly about a couple of other support slots I might step into on the rest of the tour, and asks me if I have a pen to write down my number. As I don’t he darts back inside the pub and when he doesn’t reappear for a few minutes I follow him inside because I am concerned that I am the one getting the favour and he’s the one doing the legwork, and, sure enough, there’s Steve Mason from The Beta Band at the bar queuing up to get a fucking pen so he can write down Pete Um’s number. I should relish this funny little moment of course, but instead I just feel massively Englishly awkward as usual.

Anyway, blah blah blah, eventually I get asked to play London and Brighton but unfortunately I can’t do Brighton because I have to go to Huntingdon to learn about mentees the following day but I do get to play Cargo last week. My set isn’t that great, partly because the whole Neil thing makes standing up on-stage and asking for attention a bit pointless but also because it is a bit pointless when the sell-out crowd are watching the World Cup in the adjacent bar, or all of them apart from about 15 people anyway. Luckily for me however, one of those people is Steve Duffield, formerly of The Beta Band. Thus it is that when I wake up the next day and switch on my computer I have a Facebook friend request from Mr Duffield, who is gratifyingly keen to find out where one can buy Pete Um vinyl online. As usual when anyone asks me this question, and in marked contrast to the amount of effort I generally put into making sure this information is anywhere near under anyone’s nose, I send Steve an exhaustive list of where you can get your hands on that sweet Um shit. As an afterthought, and because I’m half thinking about Evil and The Beta Band connection, I mention that there’s meant to be a single coming out of Germany but I don’t know where you can buy it. About a month previously Pilar had told me I should be receiving my personal copies of the record in the post within 7 working days but since I’d seen neither hide nor hair of them I’d come to believe they were missing for good. So, with a degree of spooky inevitability, as soon as I’ve sent the Facebook message and go in search of cups of tea and whatnot, I discover the bloody things are on our downstairs table. And this, dear reader, is how the first person to buy Pete Um’s Evil is a member of the group that sorta inspired the song. Pretty cool huh?

So, if anyone wants to buy into the conceptual wormhole that has Steve Duffield doing for the Um brand what John Cusack did for his old outfit, or even just buy a copy of the 7″, I have a few available at, say… £3.99?

I wish I had a link to direct people to a place where you can buy it online, as you can somewhere, but I am waiting on that. Suffice to say that the single is a split between me and Miss Hawaii, is the first release on HomeRec and has no catalogue number as far as I can tell. My tracks are of course Evil, as well as That’s Too Close. Miss Hawaii brings us Oyasumi. 300 for the world on randomly-coloured vinyl, i.e. they are all different!


Pete Um/Miss Hawaii 7"s arrive from Germany.

Local Person   Leave a comment

If you want to see me on the 25th I’m afraid it’s going to cost you £32. Also, apologies to anyone who plays guitar.

A traitor to himself.   2 comments

Been posting a lot of stuf on my Tumblr thing recently, seduced by the simplicity of uploading or linking to pictures/video/text and especially the 1-audio-track-a-day allowance. I’ve just written a thing about a new track I did using the AdrenaLinn 11 (beat-synched filter FX amp-modeling drum box), which is one of these:


Yeah, Tumblr’s pretty cool, but no-one seems to use it yet. With this kind of net tech stuff I’m always sandwiched in the middle between the cool early-adopters who are pioneers of the form’s use and the lumpen mass of who finally get into it and then baubs on about it when it’s crushingly mainstream. And at that point, I’ll shut up.

Posted August 24, 2009 by peteum2013 in new songs, pete um

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Noise Eyes   1 comment

Sometimes people seem so eager to be influenced by one another in the music-making community that I’m surprised they haven’t got white wool growing out of their heads. Somewhere I’ve got some video footage of me standing on Cornish moorland ranting about how everyone’s into Noise, or Free Folk, and musicians are falling over themselves to try and incoporate aspects of these genres into their work. The Noise thing is particularly interesting, because here is a type of music that should resist all but the most determined connosieur of wrongness, and yet Wolf Eyes et al are underground superstars. I saw the band live a while ago, and they were really good – much more ROCK than I thought they would be in terms of rhythmic flow and riffage. I also own some of their records and I find them quite interesting for their openess to sonic possibilities. On the other hand I’m annoyed by Wolf Eyes because there’s something kind of fucked up about the way their cultural product is consumed. It just isn’t right that some skinny kid in a cap at a gig can find genuine aesthetic reward in the spectacle of a middle-aged American in a black T-Shirt and long hair twisting an oscillator and punching the air with a beercan. These are the reasons why:

Japanese folk, amongst others, have been doing this for ages. Why do white Americans make it “cool” and get paid?
It’s great to see people expanding their horizons but there is a danger that if you take something that is meant to have an inherently repellant quality to it and turn it into some beer-swilling machismo rockfest to bang your head to then you have robbed it of something.
I will now contradict that by questioning why a “free” music shouldn’t stumble across a tune once in a while, or simply a tone that doesn’t sound unpleasant? Will people think they are gay, or have sold out? These bands seem to have gone up a bit of a stylistic cul-de-sac to me. Why do the drums have to be this sludgy thud, the riffs doomy, the electronics so squealy? Why is the imagery of the titles so cartoonishly bleak? Leper War? Stabbed In The Face?
Are these guys consciously or unconsciously providing the soundtrack to American foreign policy? Should they be?

I dunno, I’m a bit confused about my take on the whole thing. The problem is that making extreme music isn’t actually the hardest job in the world. A lot of what I do is basically taking random noises and trying to make them sound evocative in some way, and evoking pain, dread and violence doesn’t really do it for me. I guess I’m a bit better at “sad”, “regretful” and “confused”. I mean, if you had told me 5 years ago that Boomkat would sell out of the latest primitive free electronics sludgecore title in next to no time I would have thought I’d have died and gone to heaven, but I feel like I ordered the wrong revolution. I guess I was waiting for something a bit more like KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT, but I can’t even get into that. It sounds too clever, too mannered.

You see, me and Dave rail against this kind of thing because we unceasingly demand total PURITY and we usually end up rattling. We make up bands with names like Floorpedal (3 or 4 boys crouching over pedals onstage) and Noise Eyes (see above) and we talk about picking fights on the net. I was going to make a Noise Eyes MySpace page but I’ve got too much MySpace action already, and yet I wanted to upload some of the music that I’ve made lately on the TEAC reel to reel. It’s more or less all loops of MPC and OSCar, filtered, FX’d and pitched, plus multiple layers of backwardsness. Some of it is a little chewy, but some of it sounds quite nice, if you get me? I’ve been trying to upload it to Esnips all morning, because for ages everytime a file uploaded I would get an error message saying “Upload denied. Suspected copyright infringement” Jesus fucking Christ. Anyway, this is what I’m on about. I’m hoping you might like it because some of it sounds a bit sub-Wolf Eyes.

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Posted May 13, 2008 by peteum2013 in new songs, pete um, TEAC, Wolf Eyes

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