Tag Archives: looping

You wait patiently for one apocalypse, then two come along at once…

Unprecedented times. With that in mind, and all my European dates wiped off the map for the next few months and with who knows what disruption later in the year, I’ve had to change some plans.

Having just finished the new Sieben album 2020 VISION, I’d planned to sit back for a bit, send it off to manufacture, get CD copies back, send them to press, all in time for European dates and tour with a September release. With things they way they are, I’ve decided to push the album release forward to May 1st. No point it being upstaged by an actual apocalypse, I guess.

I’m planning on adding it to my Bandcamp, and then Spotify, iTunes etc if I can make the deadline. Some videos are in commission already.

I know this is of little consequence with what’s going on in the world currently, but to me its my livelihood and sanity! So, I will carry on. With us all possibly in self-isolation for the foreseeable future, I thought I’d add the album as “pay what you like” – so if you have no money you can still have the full album. (*NOTE: I tried this, but it wouldn’t let me do this with pre-orders, so will be offering free download codes to those with no money – simply email me if that’s any of you πŸ™‚ ) And I have you as a captive audience! Had planned to do CDs, but for now this will have to suffice. Without the gigs I have no money to make the CDs

Keep well out (in) there, and see you on the other side. My ray of hope is that many people may question the nature of the modern way of living our lives, the rat race, the pace, the “endless more” of the society we inhabit. Or they may talk about loo roll. Either way, I’m going to try and add some content online when I can, in an effort to keep people’s spirits up. 2020 VISION may be my most apocalyptic work, but its upbeat and chirpy, irreverent and bouncy – we’re not counting the lyrics, here, right? πŸ˜‰

Keep well and be nice,

Matt – March 2020

2020 VISION album now complete

So, it’s all in motion now. That odd period for an artist between being consumed with writing an album, then having to wait endlessly until it’s out and you get to hear it. You’re supposed to ‘shut up’ at this point and get on with preparing for concerts to play the material, but I’m still on the high of having worked my ears to the bone (if that’s possible) to the point of ear-blindness, a well-known ailment of the self-mixing musician.

Anyway, its done, and its a new chapter in what that Sieben-sound truly is. I know Kev has mightily improved the oomph of those beats, and the fastness of the bass sound. But he also appears on the album in conversation with me. and then it gets more bizarre.

Release in Sept 2020 – but if you’re signed up here, or coming to my live DVD recording concerts announced earlier today, then you’ll get the chance to have it a lot sooner than that, as you are my faithful flock. I’m also toying with the idea of several layers of tiered release, for instance; just the CD (with government information sheet on how to poke your own eyes out, and with cut-out 3D specs with no lenses, of course) or CD and limited edition lathe-cut vinyl single; 2 x 10″ clear, lathe-cut vinyl; Sieben leather violin bag etc – We shall see…

The track listing for the album is as follows:

1 We’re All Fucked’ Kev / 2 Enzosonbenzos / 3 Reckoning Beckoning / 4 Death Tape Updated For 2020 / 5 Shirt Of The Apocalypse / 6 Berylsinperil / 7 Vision / 8 The Darkness You Have Drawn / 9 You, My Cult Of Blight / 10 Come And Ride In The Cult Of Light / (bonus track) 11 Can’t Get You

And here’s a sneak preview of the not quite finished cover for the album:

Hope to see many of you on the road in the next few months, zombieCoronaVirusApocalypse-not withstanding. Or at my Live DVD recordings in June. The tickets for are now in my shop and for sale! If you’re coming from further afield and want help with accommodation, getting to Sheffield from airport, or good food and drink in Sheffield then just email me and I will help πŸ™‚ I’m planning on doing two sets on each of the two nights, so covering material pretty much from the dawn-of-time Sieben to Apocalyptic-end Sieben and albums in between. Only 70 spaces per night, these will be special and bespoke evenings πŸ™‚

Releases Sept 2020

Matt – Β March 2020

Kevlar Kev, Enzosonbenzos, and Beryls In Peril…

Work is now firmly underway for next Sieben album 2020 Vision. I am firmly engrossed (if not obsessed) by it, with tunnel vision for it in any free time I have.

I’m aiming for 2020 Vision to be released in September 2020, ready for my tour support with Goethes Erben, and other gigs and festivals. Those of you signed up to my mailing list will be offered copies before that, of course, as usual πŸ˜‰

So far the following tracks are ‘about finished’:

Kevlar Kev Β – Β or “Kev, we’re All Fucked” – I’m still undecided on the track name for this album opener. It also includes me talking my way into the start of the album for the first time ever – and a talking violin called Kev! Possibly the daftest (and fastest) Sieben song to date, out of all my albums. At the end Kev shouts “Maciek time!” and all hell will break loose with a synth solo from my friend (and fellow 7JK-er) Maciek Frett.

The Darkness You Have Drawn – almost finished, though I have written the bass line three times now, mixing it each time, and being unsatisfied. And think that string top line will have to be replaced, when I get home tonight. Definitely a full-throttle one on the album.

Enzosonbenzos – the first track I wrote for the album, and now definitely feeling like the crummiest mix, currently, despite my best efforts. And I’ve mixed it 8 times already. Hey ho, will get there. That’s how these things work. I’ve surpassed it with other songs, and learnt stuff along the way that will feed back into this one. Β Got a good groove to it, bedded into a 6/4 beat. And this track (and this album) has become quite focussed on two-bar simple bass lines that roll round and hold firm while the music moves from under them.

Shirt Of The Apocalypse – A Sieben track with swing to it, finally πŸ˜‰ Featuring the beautiful vocal talents of Conor Nutt, (he of Winston Macabre and other projects) singing, and contributing some fabulous words to this track. Perhaps the mellowest track on the album, by a long way. And an absolute pleasure to have Conor on this track- I love the ‘powder and glistening’ nature of his voice, and the thoughtful nature of his lyrics.

Beryls In Peril – A track that starts quite dubbily, and then bursts out. It has the new dissonant, atonal, elements I’m after in the ‘top lines’ of this album. I always push to break new ground of my own, with each release. Even more so with 2020 Vision, as with Crumbs, breaking the mould of what I ‘usually’ do. Where Crumbs tried to reason with the world, 2020 Vision tells it to take a hike, and raises a mocking, comic finger to the greed and ignorance that is pulling our world and species into extinction.

Reckoning Beckoning – a re-work of Hellfires track Anubis- Director Of Weights. (1999). I used this to set the production style and tone for 2020 Vision. (Because I don’t have to think about the writing and arrangement of the piece). This is somewhat souped up from the original, and (like the rest of this album) much more grounded in the bass and beats than previous Sieben works – mainly because I can, Kev the Kevlar five-string violin has massively influenced the sounds I can get now. The beats are sounding more electronic and compact, in a great way. Earlier albums of mine are also very much heavier in their use of top lines and intertwining violin melodies than this one. And Reckoning Beckoning gets this treatment, with an added ‘stutter’ effect I’m using, that sounds very ‘synthy’.

Can’t Get you – a little cover version to lighten the mood, a little.

Death Tape Updated for 2020 – Just finished this, so have no perspective on it. But it has some weight – in the words I have ‘sequestered’ from two other sources to mash together, and the other worldly vibe of old-Sieben combined with a chill factor I have never achieved as yet on a Sieben record. Sourcing this has haunted me.

Vision – Not quite finished, but the central pivot of the album, thematically. quite rocky beats (all violin, of course), bass and guitar (again, all violin) but some close-harmony and dissonant hummed and sung vocals that take it to another place.

2020 Is The Start Of The End Of The World – Nothing more than a title, currently, along with a vague notion to start with a very heavy list and ‘sieve’ down ’til I see what’s what.

I’ll add some content, and teasers, nearer the date, but have been trying to keep this under wraps as September seems a long way off, currently. I’m cracking on with the album, and making good ground presently. There are plans for some limited tiered-release for 2020 Vision; possibly with 10 leather Sieben bags, limited edition 10 copies of lathe-cut vinyl, and cinema specs you can look through and see the apocalypse happening live. There are no lenses in the specs, of course. You just have to look around.

Matt Howden – Jan 28th 2020

 

2020 Vision

Happy New Year, all! And congratulations on making it to a date that’s straight from a Dystopian sci-fi novel. Not unlike the current world we find ourselves in. To that end, I’m working on my next Sieben album. It’ll be called 2020 Vision, so I’d better get on and finish it ready for release in 2020. September is the plan, along with a Live DVD that I’ll be recording somewhere intimate in my hometown of Sheffield. Never released a live DVD before, and as 2020 sees 20 years of me doing Sieben, it seemed somehow appropriate. The DVD recording may possibly be 2 concerts on consecutive nights, with a small audience in somewhere special. More details when I’ve got something concrete to tell.

I’m excited to have a lot of gigs booked already for 2020, including a tour support for Goethes Erben on their German tour. Lovely of them to ask me along πŸ™‚ I’ll also be playing other concerts in Germany, so around 12 booked already. And Slovakia for the first time, as well as Portugal, Austria and France once again. Those that are confirmed are already on my concerts page.

2020 Vision will be on CD, woodcut, and possibly vinyl. Collectors editions may include specs through which you can see the apocalypse. Simply pop them on and look around, there are no lenses in them. And that’s kind of the vibe of the album, really πŸ˜‰

Really looking forward to getting out there on the road, armed with Kev the Kevlar violin, and showing you my new sounds. Wishing you all a lovely 2020, and hope to catch up with you at some point in the year πŸ™‚

Matt – Jan 2020

 

vinyl apologies!

Dear all, my sincerest apologies that the Kickstart vinyl will be delayed. As Jon started the first lathe-cut of the single, his lathe started playing up! He’s currently waiting on a replacement. Estimated send-out time is now the start of August. I am currently writing addresses on envelopes, and the little extras are bagged and ready to go. I will keep you informed, but my apologies once more πŸ™‚

Hopefully each of you who ordered the vinyl now all have your download code for the Kickstart Extended EP? (My apologies, Vincent, you were on a separate list πŸ˜‰ And those of you who were in the video, too? And those of you who purchased the woodcut? πŸ˜‰

If anyone can’t fathom how to get their download, let me know and I will send you the files! And if you’ve downloaded before all 9 tracks were added, you can simply download again and get all the tracks. I was just waiting on getting the remixes back- all in, now- and all wonderful. 3 young up-and-coming producers have given it their own take on tracks from the Kickstart EP. I like Bandcamp for many reasons, both as an artist and a punter. One major reason being I can download a full-bandwidth version of any album I’ve bought, for listening in my studio, and download another, mp3 version, for listening on my mp3 player whilst travelling or walking to work.

And those of you who have pre-ordered the digital EP should already have 2 tracks, but will get all 9 when I “release the pre-release” tomorrow afternoon πŸ˜‰ Of course I shall yell and proclaim ” Release The Pre-Release” as I press the button!

Can’t tell you how excited I am to play the launch of this on Thursday. (Last few tickets still left, but should be sold out on the night). Mostly because I can’t wait to unleash my new band on you! They’re students of mine, and all really ‘on it’ – no pet project, this, they are all in it because they’re really good. They absolutely ‘rock’. For the looping set after I’ve delved into my back catalogue, and re-learned how to play We Wait For Them and Donald.

Then its concerts in Norway, Tramlines in Sheffield, Germany, France, and Louth πŸ™‚ Hope to see some of you at those. Thanks, as always, for the support with what I do.

Matt – June 2019

Video woodcut vinyl

Hello! πŸ™‚

Plans taking shape for Kickstart The Empire!

The vinyl has sold out. Thank you all πŸ™‚ You should all have codes, as I’ve emailed each of you. Vinyl should be with me soon, and I’ll email again to tell you its in the post. As an added bonus I’ve added an extra download code, which you are welcome to give to a friend, leave at a bus stop, give to a kind stranger, as you wish πŸ™‚

I’m busy filling each of the baggies that come with the vinyls and woodcuts. The ‘Empire seeds’ were going to be sand, but when I filled a little baggie last night with some, its reddish-brown builder’s sand hue looked way too hardcore, too Breaking Bad and dodgy to send through the post, so I’ve opted for two different things for the vinyl and woodcuts. If you’ve ordered them you’ll find out what πŸ˜‰ Both are suitable metaphors for growing an Empire…

The woodcuts are now up for sale in my shop. I was going to make it a “live shows only” thing, but have such supportive people all over who simply can’t go to shows because I don’t play near there! So, ever-grateful as I am that people indulge me with what I do, I’ve added them to my shop.

The Kickstart video is now released! SEE IT NOW! Immeasurable thanks to Adam Ryan who has made this video, and the wonderful people who showed up on a Saturday morning to act silly and dance. I’ve emailed you all with Kickstart download codes as a thank you. It’ll be on here first, shortly before I start begging you all like a weeping Instagram Influencer, to share it for me πŸ˜‰

One note on the EP, sat on my Bandcamp. If you’ve bought something physical from me you should already have 6 of the nine tracks. The other 3, the remixes, are all being completed as I type. Thank you, Sidney Dawson, Charlie Eades and JG Stockton. I’ll be adding these soon, and you’ll then get all 9 next time you visit the site.

The launch for all this is in 2 weeks time, at The Dorothy Pax in Sheffield, some tickets still left. This will be the only show with the full band playing the Kickstart tracks and a full set, and once again its been an absolute pleasure to rehearse and record with some of my students: Estelle Varley on drums, Jamie Rupik on bass, fellow tutor Sean Ryan on guitar, Will Sandbach on synth, and Jake Austin on keys. They rock! These are never ‘pet projects’ (“ah, hope them young ‘uns do well, bless ’em” etc) They’re all in it because they’re good enough, and nice to be in a band with. And they certainly are.

Thanks, as always for the continued support for what I do, and indulging my musical whims. I absolutely appreciate it.

Matt – June 2019

The vinyls are now available for pre-order…

Just letting you know first, as you are my faithful. There are only 60 being made, so if you want one I suggest ordering it now πŸ™‚ They will be available around or before the 27th June. You also get a code for the extended digital Kickstart The Empire! EP and your very own 9small) bag of Empire! See my shop for details πŸ™‚

first video for Crumbs album-Sell Your Future!

What a joy it was, the Hometown Album Launch this week! Absolutely packed with a super-enthusiastic crowd. Fabulous, thank you.

Sell Your Future Official Music Video is now live:

Loving this video and its vibe. Made lovingly by Chris Ogden at Long Chalk Media, and a brilliant job he has done for sure. My heart-felt thanks to those who came along and danced in an underpass on a warm Saturday morning.

I’ll be giving the Sieben band another outing this weekend in Sheffield, on the Tramlines fringe. After that its Rebellion punk Festival in Blackpool, and the official launch of CRUMBS!

Roll up, roll! Enjoy it – and please like, share and recommend where you see fit. It all helps for a cottage-industry such as myself with Sieben, to get to the nirvana that is breaking-even πŸ˜‰

Matt Howden – July 2018

pre-order crumbs now

You lovely people on my mailing list can now pre-order crumbs before anyone else from my shop, should you wish πŸ™‚

You want some?!

 

Hometown album launch streamed to your home!

I’m very excited about the ‘hometown’ album launch of my new album ‘crumbs’ for numerous reasons.

Firstly, I reckon its my best ever work. (Though I challenge you to find a band or artist that doesn’t say that as soon as they’ve finished their latest opus). Its certainly different, and a new direction for me. Now wasn’t the time to let everyone float off into an abstract world.

I’ve done much that’s different, on this album. The two bonus tracks on the CD release are versions with a full band. And the hometown launch will be my first ever UK gig with a full band. I’ll be looping for the first half, solo- something I firmly intend to keep doing as my live show. But the second half will be with a seven (of course) piece band, just to make this launch even more super-special. We’ll pretty much play the ‘crumbs’ album in full. I have to say, band rehearsals have been sodding amazing, and I can’t wait to unleash this on you all.

That I chose Friday the 13th July for the hometown album launch, and then find that the canker at the root of this album arrives on the same day…

Lastly, this event will be streamed direct into your home or device, should you so wish πŸ™‚ More details on that soon, but we’ve already been setting up and plotting and planning for this for a while. It will be β€œHigh definition audio and video stream brought to you by Solastream” available here at www.matthowden.com – the audio will be mixed separately to the concert audio, to sound the very best it can. There will be multiple cameras, and indeed their own broadcasting satellite thingy. Sorry if I got too technical then;)

To be at the album launch in person, buy tickets here. It would be so lovely to have you there in person. Get tickets, now! This is a unique one-off event that will be magical, for sure.

To have the concert streamed to your home (and indeed I’ll be coming over to talk to you during the performance) stay tuned for news which I’ll be announcing here soon.

Here’s a snippet of the first track I’ll be playing on the night, the first track on the album. Written with potus in mind. Its called I Will Ignore The Apocalypse:

 

Crumbs album launch in Sheffield

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