Friday, 15 February 2013

December 2012

The month began, as it often does, with a very satisfying All Tomorrow's Parties festival.  Our party was fortunate to include Brian as a last minute attendee.  There hereby follows my largely impenetrable notes on what I saw (see comments in the left margin).

A particular mention should go to the mix tape swap, in which I managed to track down someone who could swap like-for-like with my Future Loss cassette.  He went and got some tapes from his car that he'd made when he was fifteen.

• • •

Upon returning home, it was time to settle a long-outstanding score:  that of Mostly Noise.  Ex Libris had intended this live compilation to be one of its first releases.  The disc catalogues the exploits of the wtss music collective I ran in the North Antrim area during 2002.  Unsurprisingly, other records always took precedence over it, and it wasn't until the intervention of Bandcamp that a platform for its release became available.

• • •

Another long-standing commitment - that of Future Loss' first batch of recordings 'Rattle On The Jaws', was digitally released on the 5th.  Three years' worth of audio was crunched into a finished product, along with last-minute additions and overdubs that had eluded me up until now.  It remains our most accessible work to date, and finally reveals Stuart Stone's excellent work he did for us in the drum stool.

Not forgetting that the rest of the band's material also became available here.

• • •

Milky Wimpshake had asked me to do some recording for a benefit album last year.  Some of the tracks that had been tracked during that session (carried out, coincidentally, on my thirtieth birthday) were still outstanding.  A morning's worth of mixing and they were finished and dispatched to Pete Dale.

The record that featured the MW song (not to mention My Attorney and Future Loss contributions) is available here:

• • •

As the month crept closer to a close, Brian began screen printing the sleeves for the physical releases of the Future Loss material.  Large amounts of chopped up card began to fill the Twelve Whitby dining room.  Brian worked very hard to create over a hundred sleeves that would house the cassettes.

His design was a direct inspiration from a Portland, Oregon print shop called Stumptown who - had it not been for the high cost of international shipping - would have received our custom.  Instead, Brian fashioned a similar stencil on their 'Brad Pak!' sleeve, and cut and folded it himself.

• • •

During the final week before Christmas, Future Loss began work on their fourth record.  Songwriting that had been trickling along since Brian's arrival in November was flailed into shape, and four tunes were recorded with Alex Hall on drums.  Some very late night - and cold - hours were put in at the rehearsal rooms tracking the guitars and bass for these.

The overall approach on these new songs is one of restraint of 'Occluded Front', coupled with the hypnosis of 'Vast Active', but with the production values of 'Jaws'.  We'll see.  The drums have a narrow, punchy feel to them, with as rudimentary a mic up arrangement as possible: