Tag Archives: violin

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

 

All things Kev

So, as you may have heard me ‘banging on about’ on social media, and in person, I have a new violin. He’s called Kev. Rest assured my original violin and I have been through significant counselling, and many honest talks. 1,700 gigs under my belt with only ever my original acoustic violin, so its a bit of a change. Especially as Kev also has five strings, is made of Kevlar, and I’ve changed my looper to accommodate some other changes. Gulp. Pleased to report that I’m over the moon with Kev, who I bought from his lovely makers Bridge Violins, in Sleaford, Lincs. They were very happy to tweak Kev to my bespoke wishes, which turned out to be keeping it exactly as they had designed it.

It all sounds much more like it does in my head, when looped and layered, now. I am so excited about getting out there live with Kev, and capturing all the new sounds I can create with new songs, on the next album. Already planning that in my head, but holding off until I have the looper and new violin sound sorted live. It seems I can remember more songs, for live, and perform more per show with the new set up, which is also a bonus.

Secret and not-so-secret gigs have already taken place in Sheffield and The Lakes, and next up is Lobau (DE), Lisbon (PT) and Bonn (DE), to show off Kev and my new groovy sound! Last up in the year is my “Kev’s First Christmas” (Sieben Secret Santa yearly show) to round off the year. I play two sets, I give you crap presents, I host it like a cheap gameshow host on speed. What’s not to like? Tickets on sale for that shortly from my shop πŸ™‚

Matt – October 2019

 

 

Introducing the new band member of SIEBEN

This will be a real new development in the Sieben sound, believe me.

See for yourself, if you’re in the area, as you are cordially invited to my

FREE SECRET GIG TO LAUNCH β€˜KEV’ new band member of SIEBEN- my new kevlar five-string electric violin, new looper (*now with added loopiness and vocal mic).

He needs a first road test. You are invited πŸ™‚
Sunday 22nd September – 4-6pm – The Dorothy Pax, Canal Basin, Sheffield.
STRAPLINE FOR THE EVENT: “DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU!”

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™‚

next Sieben gigs

Just had lovely gigs in Croydon and London. Two quite different nights, for sure. Croydon was lovely and rowdy, one where you fight for attention. London was hushed and reverent. I’m up for both, but the second of these is far more rewarding in terms of being able to play soft, hang on a note, and play the dynamics of the room. However, having ‘Crumbs’ up my sleeve certainly helps with the former: The more up-front, up-tempo and beats-based nature of the material lends itself to being ‘banged out’ to an enthusiastic crowd that aren’t either still, or afraid to let themselves be heard. Either way, its people who come and support live music, and they are the lifeblood of any scene, for any artist. More often these days artists are surviving from the merch they drag along with them. Having an audience is what drives us, and what we survive from, as independent artists.

Next up, I have two concerts at opposite sides of Germany, Freiburg and Zwickau, both in November. And both sure to be brilliant nights. After 1,600 or so concerts I’m as enthusiastic as I ever was, about playing live. But without the nerves πŸ˜‰ Find details of both these shows in my concerts page.

My last gig of 2018 is a secret little affair, that is just word of mouth, and for those of you on my mailing list. I’ll play two sets, a set of my older material, and a set of Crumbs, in the beautiful Dorothy Pax bar, down at Victoria Quays, the canalside basin in the centre of Sheffield. Sat 22nd Dec. Limited to 50 tickets only. Β£10. Tickets from my shop. I’ll be handing out seasonal gifts, snacks and some music for all of you. Will be an intimate and lovely night, and a perfect way for me to finish my musical year.

Again, thanks to all of you who come along to the live shows, and hope to see you all again. Keep music live, go see local bands, find some new music. Find venues and promoters where you like what they’re doing, go along, share their posts, spread their word. There’s nothing wrong with open mic nights or covers bands, but that might be all you’re left with if the live scene, and independent artists, promoters and venues aren’t supported πŸ™‚

Matt Howden – Oct 2018

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?!

 

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