Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond

Radio Interview from RTE in Ireland now on Soundcloud

July 31st, 2013 · Comments Off on Radio Interview from RTE in Ireland now on Soundcloud

When I was in Dublin a few weeks back, I was interviewed for Culture Cafe on RTE 2XM. It’s a really good interview – you can see a bit of it on the YouTube clip at the bottom.

The interview covers the project with Daniel, and some good questions about being a musician/band on the internet. Well worth a listen. Big thanks to Nessy for such interesting questions!

Here’s the entire interview, which features 3 of the tracks with Daniel Berkman, on Soundcloud –

And here’s the YouTube clip:

Tags: Music News

“Mum! Quick! Steve’s Released More Music!”

July 15th, 2013 · Comments Off on “Mum! Quick! Steve’s Released More Music!”

I know, you were thinking, “it’s been days since I heard anything new from Steve. What’s up with that??” So, here are two new things.

…Well, three new things, actually, but one of them you’ll have to buy to hear 🙂

Firstly, here’s another of the complete shows from the gigs with Daniel Berkman in January. This is the 2nd gig of the tour, and as with all the others this is the entirety of the duo/trio stuff from the show. The track that plays first in the widget, Yosemite, is possibly my favourite music thing I’ve ever been involved in. Here, listen:


You can also now buy JUST the digital downloads of all 10 shows. It’s £25, which is the same price as the USB stick, but if you want to swap, I’ll do a straight swap for your USB stick order, and you’ll get 5 albums now as downloads, and the next 5 as their finished, at roughly weekly intervals. Message me, OK?

Next thing up is a wonderful bit of serendipity – last week I was on a panel for an excellent event organised by the Music Producer’s Guild. One of my fellow panelists was Mark Kelly, keyboardist with UK prog legends Marillion. Mark, as it turns out, is a supremely nice bloke, and we got along like a house on fire. So along with drum-genius Roy Dodds (of Fairground Attraction fame.. and Lawson/Dodds/Wood 🙂 ) we started hatching plans for new music. Mark’s first suggestion was to take some of my existing work and add keyboards, to see if our sound worlds collide in interesting ways. So, he improvised a number of layers over the first track he chose, which happened to be Accidentally (On Purpose) from the album of the same name. The results are both beautiful and interesting, and are the precursor to, I think, a lot more music from the two of us and whoever else we end up getting to join us 🙂

Here it is:

Lastly, the artwork at the top is for Academia, the latest finished show in the FingerPainting: Complete series. Recorded at Stanford Uni, here’s the opening track from it, with me playing a beautiful 6 string fretted Spector bass, that I borrowed from our host for the evening Rod Taylor, and which used to belong to bass legend Chuck Rainey. Mojo to spare!

Tags: Music News

“conversational hegemony”, or how lobbyists hijack the terms of engagement

June 19th, 2013 · Comments Off on “conversational hegemony”, or how lobbyists hijack the terms of engagement

It’s kind of in the job description, for Lobbyists to try and limit the parameters of any discussion to the ones that concern their particular paid interest. Lobbying is high-dollar stuff and getting into time-wasting concepts like ‘fairness’ and ‘seeing things as they really are’ are not what good lobbyists get paid for.

They get paid for ‘conversational hegemony’ – taking over the parameters of any discussion, so that even before they put their point across, the fencing around the subject is skewed in their favour. Thus recording industry lobbyists, like the BPI in the UK and the RIAA in the US, have successfully made so much of the discussion about ‘music’ – particularly at a policy/government level – about their particular set of economic concerns. Namely:

“how do we protect the virtual monopoly that we’ve had until now on defining ‘success’ for recording artists, controlling the avenues of manufacture, distribution,  promotion and publishing/licensing, and thus leave in place our usurious terms of engagement with the artists whose recordings we exploit for financial gain?” [Read more →]

Tags: New Music Strategies

Sneak-peak At A Track From Nie mój cyrk, Nie moje małpy

June 17th, 2013 · Comments Off on Sneak-peak At A Track From Nie mój cyrk, Nie moje małpy

Just put another tune up on Soundcloud, this time from Nie mój cyrk, Nie moje małpy.

It’s called ‘Supernatural‘, and the lyrics are taken from two of Artemis‘ older songs – Supernatural and Beside U.


This has been running on Facebook and Twitter today, and so far, no-one has got close, but if you can work out how I made the raindrop/sonar-like sound at the beginning with my bass, you’ll win a free copy of the album (which is otherwise only available as part of the full FingerPainting set, available on Bandcamp

Here’s the tune. Please feel free to share the link around, comment, like, repost etc 😀

Tags: Music News

Brand New Music And How To Get It

June 14th, 2013 · Comments Off on Brand New Music And How To Get It

My internet bandwidth at home is taking quite a battering today, as I upload gig 3 to Bandcamp, in preparation for sending the download codes to all those who’ve bought the Dropbox/Bandcamp versions of the FingerPainting full set. At the same time, I’m putting some of the tunes from gigs 2 and 3 on Soundcloud, so you can hear what you’re missing 🙂

The album of gig 3 is called “Nie mój cyrk, Nie moje małpy” which is a spectacularly brilliant Polish phrase that means ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys’. Here’s why: [Read more →]

Tags: Music News · New Music Strategies

Expanding Audio Orthodoxy – Recording, Mixing, Mastering

May 21st, 2013 · 6 Comments

As you know, I’m in the middle of mixing and mastering 11 hours of new music. It’s taking a long time, but the results are some of the best audio work I’ve ever done. So let’s have a chat about audio recording. 🙂

My thesis: The received wisdom of how and why things are done is, it seems to me, based on a resource equation that exists in a paid studio environment.

The factors are time, budget & complexity.

The assumption is that if a project is simple it’s because the budget is small and therefore time will be tight. Thus mixing from the multi-track to 2 track without getting too fixated on the final version maximises time in the studio, doing what studios do best. You make it sound as good as possible through the speakers there & don’t worry too much about continuity between tracks, consistent leveling etc. Those wouldn’t be a productive use of mix time. [Read more →]

Tags: New Music Strategies

Twitter Brain-dump About The New Music Economy

May 16th, 2013 · 4 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.42.20Just had a rather extensive twitter-rant about art, commerce, indie, labels, work, commerce… that sort of stuff. Here are the tweets: [Read more →]

Tags: New Music Strategies

Lots of lovely press for FingerPainting/ToryCore/Gigs…

May 14th, 2013 · Comments Off on Lots of lovely press for FingerPainting/ToryCore/Gigs…

Torycore with their inspiration - Alex Webster and Tom G WarriorIt’s probably worth noting that most of the time, I can’t get arrested, press-wise. For myriad reasons, more people are apt to talk about what I do than write about it… perhaps I’ll explore my hunches as to why in a later post, but for now, I get to celebrate one of those rare weeks when this isn’t the case at all!

Torycore ::

So let’s start with Torycore. I’ve just got back from a weekend playing a sold-out show with Torycore at Glad Cafe in Glasgow as the finale of the Behaviour festival. [Read more →]

Tags: Music News

FingerPainting track by track – Antidote To Everything

May 6th, 2013 · Comments Off on FingerPainting track by track – Antidote To Everything

Antidote To Everything: (hit play)

So, imagine this – it’s a year since we’ve last seen each other, we’ve just released a recording of a show that, to us, sounds impossibly wonderful. Listening back to it elicits a feeling of ‘did we REALLY play that? wow!’ Such is the joy of improvised music.
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Tags: Music News · Musing on Music

How To Apply A Discount Code In Bandcamp

May 5th, 2013 · Comments Off on How To Apply A Discount Code In Bandcamp

Today’s the last day for the ‘awesomenessftw‘ 10% discount code on orders for the new album…

Here’s how to apply it.

  • Click ‘buy now’ on whichever USB or CD package you’re wanting (if you just want the download, it’s ‘name your price’ so feel free to knock 10% off what you initially thought you’d like to pay, and type that in instead 😉 )
  • note the minimum price for the package you’ve chosen (indicated to the right of the ‘Name Your Price’ box).
  • Click on the invitation to add a discount code (circled in the pic below)

  • type, or cut ‘n’ paste ‘awesomenessftw’ into the box that appears and click ‘apply’ – type the code without the ‘ ‘ at either end. Keep all the letters lowercase.
  • You’ll then see that the price to the right of the box where you type in the amount you’re wanting to pay has changed – it’ll be 10% lower than it was. You can now type in that amount (or any other amount above that, though the discount code seems unnecessary in that case 😉 ) As you can see in the picture below:

So there you go!

Buying the whole set at this stage helps us to pay for the time it’s going to take to mix and master all the recordings and then to press the CDs and load up all the USB Sticks. It also means that you can get immediate access to the dropbox folder with the daily updates in it (there are three tracks from the 2nd gig of the set in there now), and/or each gig sent to you via a Bandcamp download code every time they’re finished being mixed.

How To Upgrade Your Purchase:

PLEASE NOTE – if you’ve already bought the download on it’s own and want to upgrade to either the CD or one of the ‘get the whole set’ versions, please just email me and we’ll sort that out. The full amount you’ve already paid will be credited against the upgrade. No problem.


Tags: Music News · New Music Strategies