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Steve Aston tributes

June 14th, 2020

Steve Aston (composer and leader of Grimaldi Cinématique) left us a year ago today. I miss him very much. Give his music a listen.

Three beautiful tributes are online now. They are all well worth a listen:

James Holden, Marcus Hamblett and Mark Holub’s BBC Sessions out now!

May 29th, 2020

James Holden, Marcus Hamblett and Mark Holub met for the first time on the 19th June, 2015. BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction show’s producer’s invited them to come to the legendary Maida Vale studios as part of a series where musicians collaborate with other musicians they’ve never met before.

Despite coming from quite different musical backgrounds – electronic, folk and jazz – the musicians quickly found a lot of common ground and the music quickly flowed effortlessly. Saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman died just a few days before the session and all three were big fans, so they quickly decided to rework his signature tune, ‘Lonely Woman’, into a somewhat funereal, somewhat joyous ambient drone, (slightly stylistically reminiscent of ‘He Loved Him Madly’, Miles Davis’s tribute to Duke Ellington).

Holden brought a piece in progress, which for reasons unremembered became known on the day as ‘Brain Helmet’. Using Holden’s own ‘group humaniser’ software, Holub’s drumming didn’t have to slavishly follow the synthesizer’s tempo, his playing fed back into the master clock so the modular synth and drummer have a symbiotic relationship. Hamblett improvised on his cornet and the results could be seen as a precursor to Holden’s album The Animal Spirits.

The EP is closed by a frenzied version of Hamblett’s Vibraphone Piece. The album version of this piece begins very smoothly, hinting at the influence of Harry Lyman’s kitsch exotica or Ennio Morricone’s lounge numbers, but appearing here without vibraphone the track is freed up for wild flurries of thunderous drums, fleet fingered distorted guitar and animal wails from Holden’s modular synth. Holden went on to contribute synthesizer to the album version of this track.

Listen to the EP on Spotify here. We have plans to release a physical version on Bandcamp – keep an eye out for details.

Steve Aston’s Grimaldi Cinématique now available digitally

December 24th, 2019

Willkommen Records have made the two albums ‘Waltz For Grimaldi’ and ‘Venison Night’, written by the much missed Steve Aston, available via Spotify, iTunes and all good digital music platforms. The two albums were recorded by his band Grimaldi Cinématique then mixed and signed off before he died. They are exceptionally beautiful and you should give them a listen on Spotify then head over to Bandcamp to buy the limited double vinyl.

New Marcus Hamblett track featuring Colin Stetson out today

October 25th, 2019

Marcus Hamblett’s epic new piece is out on Spotify etc now, you can listen here.

It features saxophone colossus Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Bon Iver etc) on contrabass clarinet and tenor sax, Emma Gatrill on alto sax and warped vocals and Thomas Heather on drums (and artwork). Big thanks to Mary Anne Hobbs who premiered it on BBC 6Music yesterday. It’s the last track to be released before the whole album is out on November 15, you can preorder that here.

Marcus Hamblett’s second album, Detritus, released November 15

September 2nd, 2019

The first taste of Marcus Hamblett’s new album, Detritus, landed on Spotify etc on Friday. Mary Anne Hobbs premiered it on her BBC 6 Music show and called it one of her favourite albums of the season! The lead track, Lost At Sea, features the unmistakeable voice of Kate Stables from This Is The Kit, who Marcus also plays cornet with.  Listen to it on Spotify or other platforms now!

It’s an upbeat number – drones, guitars and drums creep in from behind ambient studio chatter to settle into a groove that will spellbind fans of Can, Stereolab and Aphex Twin alike.

The album features contributions from James HoldenColin StetsonEmma GatrillBen Lanz (of The National, Beirut, LNZNDRF), Mathieu Charbonneau (of Timber Timbre), Tom Heather (of Eyes & No Eyes, Woodpecker Wooliams), Helen Whitaker, Kev Nickells, Etienne Jaumet (of Zombie Zombie) and more. It’s out November 15th via Willkommen Records and you can presave or preorder it here.

You may well have already watched or listened to Marcus Hamblett without knowing it. A highly sought-after session player, collaborator and enabler, Hamblett’s CV boasts a multitude of projects with high profile acts including Villagers, James Holden, Laura Marling, This Is The Kit and more.