I have to make an apology to anyone trying to download things from The Steinberg Principle bandcamp page at the moment.  Basically, paypal decided that I was a charity organisation – which I am obviously not – and decided to suspend my account until I provided them with more information about the charity that I represented.  Obviously, the answer to that is simply go and change your status on your profile to something else – which I did.  However, paypal did not pick up on the fact that I had and as such the current situation is that I called them and I’m waiting for them to lift the restrictions on my account.  Until that point, it is unlikely that people will be able to download tracks for the project, for which I can only apologise.  I know a lot of people are keen to buy tracks, especially the latest one by The Unwinding Hours & RM Hubbert so I am sorry – normal service should be resumed shortly.  In the meantime, do pop over to the bandcamp page and check out all the tracks by all the kind and wonderful artists who have contributed so far.  Thanks and apologies once again.

TSP On Spotify

So The Steinberg Principle is now on spotify.  I’m going to use the site – as soon as I understand it – to make playlists of music that I really love.  I’ve already posted TSP1 which you can find HERE.  It’s just a mix that has been helping me relax the past day or so.  I hope that you like it.  I don’t really know if this is going to be a weekly thing, a monthly thing or just a whenever the hell I feel like it thing but I hope you enjoy.

Fieldhead – Riser

Fieldhead’s record ‘They Shook Hands For Hours’ was a wonderful moment in my 2009.  It made my top 10 of 2009 easily and is a stunning piece of ambient, grainy, static smothered brilliance.  It really is a record that everyone should own, in my opinion.  So, I was more than a little excited when I noted a new EP available from Gizeh Records.  ‘Riser’ is the follow up EP to last years stunning debut album and is quite simply one of the best things I’ve heard so far in 2010.  It’s got me really excited about music today.  From the moment I saw the stunning cover art work and read about the concept and ethos of the project I was excited to hear the results.  Paul had mentioned it to me a while back but I’d kind of forgotten about it until now.  The musical style of this EP is similar to the debut with all the same atmosphere and ambience as before.  However, the focus of this record is the human voice.  The female voice to be precise.  The project is described:

Each track on this EP started life as a series of vocal recordings supplied by one of the five contributors: Anna-Lynne Williams (of Trespassers William), Chantal Acda (of Sleepingdog), Anneke Kampman (of Conquering Animal Sound), Elly May Irving (of Glissando) and Esker (of The Boats and The Sea). These recordings were then shaped and coloured to form the base for the music to grow from and to merge with. The result is a beautifully coherent whole, the warmth of the human voice working hand in hand with the emotive tonal drifts of Fieldhead’s electronics. 

It is funny.  Anneke, Anna-Lynne and Chantal are 3 of my favourite female vocalists, so I was pretty certain the mix of Paul’s wonderful music and their stunning voices would engage and captivate me.  And so has proved to be the case.   The track ‘An Arrow’ featuring Anneke is just amazing.  It really is one of my favourite pieces of music this year.  Just stunning.  This is an intelligent and interesting work.  It’s refreshing.  It’s exciting.  And it’s simply brilliant.   You can buy the 10” from Gizeh Records store which will be accompanied by a free download of the record.  At £7 it really is a snip.  I cannot recommend this man’s work highly enough.

 Also – the cover art, WOW.  It’s one of the most beautiful images or pieces of album art I think I’ve ever seen.  I’m in love with it and with this record.  Buy it now.  Enjoy.

Pawn/Zoe Keating

Sometimes just sitting trawling through music on the internet is the most rewarding past time.  I don’t often get the opportunity to induldge in this hobby for a variety of reasons but when I do I really do like to immerse myself in a full blown exploration.  I really do scour the musical depths to find new music. 

Rich from Glissando recently pointed me in the direction of a wonderful radio station called Fluid Radio and I cannot recommend the site highly enough.  It’s jam packed with music I love and I have been like a kid in a sweet shop since I first paid a visit.  I just keep going back and discovering more and more new and wonderful music.  I think I could spend a dangerous amount of time just wasting the hours on this site.  And it’s through this site that I discovered the 2 artists mentioned in the title of this post.  This is not a review but an introduction of sorts, to the wonderful music of Pawn and Zoe Keating.

Pawn is Hideki Umizawa from Japan.  He blends ambient acoustic sounds with field recordings and electronics to create some of the most beautiful music I have listened to in a long time.    If you want proof, go here and listen to the wonderful tune taken from his latest record ‘Above The Winter Oaks’.  The imagery that this title conjures could not sit more perfectly with the sound of the music on offer.   There is a lovely description on the Fluid Radio site of his new record which states:

Just like each snowflake is made from the same makeup but remains unique, so too are the tracks on Above The Winter Oaks. Listeners will be compelled to return to this stunning record many times, especially once summer has passed and the first day of winter begins.

I cannot think of a better way to explain this music.  It’s simply stunning.  Please check him out here.

Zoe Keating is a Canadian born cellist now living in San Francisco.  As people who read this site probably know I am a sucker for some good cello and this is some GOOD cello.    The track  on Fluid Radio entitled ‘Optimist’ taken from her new record ‘In The Trees’ is amazing and has left me desperate to hear more.   The first thing that struck me about the track was the way that it was so intelligently arranged and just ebbed and flowed at the right times to keep me hooked.  I am fascinated to hear more and will definitely be checking out her record as soon as I can.  It is certainly not your straight up cello record by the sounds of what I’ve heard elsewhere.  She seems to cross over between classical cello and ambient electronica and in doing so seems to have captured a niche market with some considerable success.  Definitely one to follow up if you like cello me thinks.

Anyways, I can see myself spending more and more time using Fluid Radio and you should too if your taste in music is in an way similar to mine.  Enjoy

Depression Alliance UK project update

So I thought I’d just do a quick post to remind everyone about this project I’ve got on the go to help raise money for Depression Alliance UK.

People affected by depression,  are not ‘just’ sad or upset but have an illness, which means that intense feelings of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains.

Sometimes people may not realise how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.  It is a very serious illness and impacts on lives everywhere. 

Elliott Smith, Vic Chesnutt and Mark Linkous were all musicians who suffered from depression and ultimately sucumbed to the disease.  In an attempt to raise money for Depression Alliance UK I asked musicians from across the world to record and submit a cover version of a track by one of these artists.  Each track would be made available to download at a cost of £1 per track with all proceeds going to Depression Alliance UK.  To date you can download tracks by:

Lotte Kestner, Burnt Island, Kieran Naughton (Deserter’s Deserve Death),  Sleepingdog, Small Town Boredom, Rob St John, There Will Be Fireworks, Luke Joyce (The Gothenburg Address), Glissando, Rivulets and Pink Pills.

A track by The Unwinding Hours & RM Hubbert is due to be uploaded soon and there will hopefully be more submissions as well.  If you are a musician and were touched in some way by one of these artists, please do get in touch as I’d be keen to have more submissions for the project.

And please, please, please.  Download a tune.  Even if it’s just one of the tunes.  It’s still an extra pound towards the charity.  You can find all the tunes here  Enjoy.