Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Finished recording an EP with a banjo-wielding singer called Olivia Lila Preye. Banjo conjures up so many redneck connotations for most, but it can sound really sweet, and her odd-timey songs (math-folk?) are interesting, unusual and beautiful, so I really enjoyed getting into them. We'd started working together in November 2008 but other than a few days here are there the songs sat in the can til March 2010.

John Blease played drums and did a few percussion loops. Ben Trigg played some cello. I did the rest - synths, drum programming etc. Stay tuned for mixes/release.


With no money [or internet for all of February] I had no option but to stay home and work for a few weeks on the new MA album. The live parts were recorded on Dec 16th @ Fish Market studios, with Ben Lamdin engineering.

For those who don't know: Ma is led by saxophonist Tom Challenger [or Cake, as we call him] of Outhouse/Red Snapper. Before I joined, Ma had existed for some time as a trio with Ross Stanley on organ and Dave Smith on drums. They recorded a great album Jyketie in 2008 that sadly very few people have heard or probably even know about. They began to change direction when I saw them with Steve Arguelles guesting on live sampling [also a drummer, check his duo Ambitronix / his label Plush]. Ma had never sounded like a regular organ/sax jazz group but now they sounded even more original.

After seeing this I basically invited myself to join them around May 2009. I used to do live sampling with [TTT's] Tom Rogerson, it's actually how we started off - in a group with Cake too. The two Toms also did a really interesting duo record last year Cable Street Shorts [recorded at Urchin Studios].

MA is the one band I'm in where I don't play guitar. I did some synth stuff on the record, but otherwise it’s just live sampling/processing of feeds from Cake, Ross and Dave mostly using Ableton Live.

On the 20th MA did a gig for the Loop Collective's Loop Festival at the Vortex [above photo from soundcheck: Alex Bonney, who was also on hand to assist with live sound]. A few weeks later it got aired on Jazz on 3.

'Noir' - MA. [Live @ Vortex 20.02.10] by mattcalvert

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


We were delighted when we turned up at Barden's Boudoir on Feb 5th to find Beatcast setting up to film and multitrack record the whole gig as we’d been talking about doing live recordings. I was still jet-lagged from being in Malaysia for the last two weeks of January and I think by the time we played I'd been awake for 36 hours. They also did an interview outside in which you can see I'd been up longer than usual. Was a great night [put on by Different Class Radio] and good to have our August 2009 tour partner Gold Panda DJing after us.


Finished EP3 on Jan 4th.
Like EP2 it was made quickly [recorded Dec 19-20 in Urchin Studios, 21-23, 27-29 at mine, and mixed at Urchin 30-31 + Jan 2 with out friend Dan Cox, then mastered on 4th]. Lots of the ideas had been in place since August/September, but we didn't record until December mostly through hesitating about new ideas since we were aiming for something different, but reassuringly it got some good feedback when released in April [on Blood and Biscuits]:

Subba Cultcha 7/10
Soundblab 8/10
Alt Sounds