Tag Archives: looping

The halfway point of LOCKDOWN SIEBEN

Well, it’s five months since what started as ‘make a little video of a couple of songs’ turned into a project that aims to make 100 videos (55 so far), 10 albums reworking the best of my back catalogue (Volume 6 release this Friday, with the concert in the evening), re-learn 105 songs (92 so far), and make 105 index cards!

Friday sees the release of Volume 6, and just over the halfway point, I guess. I made a video of what’s happened so far:

It’s been amazing, demanding, and intense throughout, made brilliant by your support and enthusiasm. Despite 2020 absolutely falling apart at the start of the year, for all of us, this really has sustained me, and been an island of sanity. An odd but fitting way to celebrate the 20th year of doing my Sieben project. A weird and wonderful unification of my work past and present has taken place, in part led my the army that is Kev, (my kevlar 5 string violin) but for the most part, by you 🙂 I look forward immensely to another five months of giving it my best to entertain you and amuse you. And give you a little island of sanity, too, hopefully.

Matt Howden- Sept 2020

2020 VISION CDs, US TIME SPECIAL concert, Ogham music stands

Hi all, hope life in Lockdown, stuck at home, stuck at home working (me) or god forbid leaving the house and working, is treating you okay!

Some news, then…

2020 VISION CDs have arrived and are now for sale in my shop. If you’d prefer to order from Bandcamp (you get the files too) I’ll be adding it there in a day or so- please feel free to do so, if Bandcamp is more convenient. Also remember you can bank transfer or paypal to me if you don’t like shoddy looking home-made WordPress sites like mine! (I do the best I can!) If you have bought the digital but want the CD, feel free to guilt-free downloading of some LOCKDOWN SIEBEN material as recompense 🙂

I shall be online each Friday EVERY week, it seems, for LOCKDOWN SIEBEN live in concert – with all the gang, Kev, The Upstairs Hoover, Apple, Amber and Ogham Stand. This week Surprise Frenchman pops in for a visit! What will happen next in the ongoing saga at Sieben Towers? Probably a gig, with a touch of added silliness. And the warm and lovely vibe you’re all bringing to these online 🙂 All this stuff is archived regularly on my Youtube channel.

To that end, I’ve started a Facebook group called LOCKDOWN SIEBEN which you are most welcome to come and join, should you wish. It’s lovely to see the pics from your end, chat, get requests, interactions 🙂

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VOLUME 1 & 2 are now on my Bandcamp, Pay What You Like. I’ve been busy learning things that take my fancy, material old and new, for this- and to vary the live concerts as much as is humanly possible. At the minute I’ve managed to learn, map, and loop 51 Sieben songs and 7 covers. And have 22 older songs yet to re-learn. So LOCKDOWN SIEBEN may well be an eight-album CD boxset when all this is over. I’m just looking into that now.

Thank you all so much for your generosity: of spirit, with your mails, interactions with myself and each other at and around the concerts; and financially, purchasing the albums online or physical, over-paying, simply leaving a tip – it is most appreciated.

Finally, there will be a US TIME SPECIAL concert on Saturday/Sunday 21st June, as well as the normal (ha ha, normal!) Friday concert. For everyone, of course, but to accommodate the different time zone, or those of you who are near me, but are night-birds! It’ll be Sunday, 1am GMT. And all my neighbours will be asleep 😉 I’ll add it to my gig list after the weekend.

Hope to see you on a Friday! 🙂

Matt

 

The LOCKDOWN SIEBEN SERIES

Hi all 🙂 Well, what started as a quick online video of a couple of Sieben songs has swelled slightly!

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN now sees a LIVE ONLINE CONCERT each Friday, 8PM GMT, from Sieben Central (my home studio), and is evolving into something of a soap opera, featuring The Upstairs Hoover, George the cat, Kev, and Amber’s antics. (coming soon- Garden Cam featuring my first remote-but-in-person audience member). Catch it on my SIEBEN Facebook LIVE tab.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VIDEOS can be seen on my VIDEO tab, or on my YOUTUBE channel. There are currently 19 – 14 individual videos of songs, and the five live concerts that have taken place under Lockdown.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VOLUMES 1-7 are now underway; LIVE ALBUMS, with sets matching the live concerts. They’re live and raw, and possibly the best versions of the songs I’ve ever produced. Who’d have thought just plugging in and playing would sound best? Doh. That’s twenty five years and thousands of hours of studio time put to shame in the space of seven weeks. Hey ho, couldn’t have got here without them, though 😉 They’re all initially on my Sieben BANDCAMP, but will go on to iTunes etc shortly. But they’ll always be ‘pay what you like’ on my Bandcamp. So do, even if that’s just downloading it for free. Times are hard in many cases, and my aim is to entertain you, and myself, during lockdown and beyond. This isn’t going away for a while yet, and neither am I 😉 This may eventually go to a 7 CD boxset, as some of you asked for that. Just the small matter of getting 2020 VISION on CD before that, and getting enough sold to make it possible 😉 But your generosity with merch purchases post-concert have been incredibly heart-warming (and useful!), with people using the LS albums as a tip jar, a concert ticket, or paying even more than an album would cost- all most generous, and very much appreciated.

VOLUME 1 IS OUT NOW! VOLUME 2 releases this Friday: https://sieben.bandcamp.com/

So, feel free to download my LS VOLUMES, and I hope to see you at my online concerts on Friday. This week the set is chosen by you- there’s a poll on the fb event page, so feel free to chip and hear the songs you’d most like to hear 🙂

Keep well, all,

Matt – June 2020

 

Friday Sieben, albums like buses

Hello!

Well, it seems Friday Sieben online concerts are now something of a tradition. Didn’t want to bore you all, but am getting lovely mails from yourselves telling me they do mean something to you, and are helping right now. So on it goes… As it’s from a PAGE, you don’t have to have a Facebook account or log in, to watch it.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN – Live Concert 4 – I’ll be performing live from my home this Friday. It’ll be a Facebook Livestream from my SIEBEN PAGE.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMightySieben/live/    –      OR GO TO ‘LIVE’ TAB ON SIEBEN PAGE; if you click ‘interested’ on the virtual flyer it should pop up with a reminder 🙂

8pm (GMT) for the UK   –   9PM CET for Europe   –   3pm (-4UTC) US East Coast

My series of daily videos (Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs) continues on my Youtube channel and I also add the live concerts there. Up to LOCKDOWN SIEBEN #15 now, 3 of those the first 3 online live concerts.

I’m also pleased to announce a brand new release coming out this Friday. I know, it’s like waiting for buses, with some artists 😉 This actually came about from a request (thank you, Jan) to have an album of songs played live, with that new “Kev’ sound that I’ve got. It’s been a bit of a stretch out of my comfort zone in terms of the number of songs I’ve had to re-learn, and it’s tricky when they were written on different loopers, some with very different functions. but I have risen to the task and present you LOCKDOWN SIEBEN Volume 1 – Songs old and new, live looped in Lockdown.  Most are pretty much first-take, and I’m pleased with the warmth I’ve managed to get in the sound, after much tweaking setting up for the online concerts. Sound-wise for a concert it’s the best of both worlds – the studio clarity you can never really get at a live venue. Though lacking the obvious feedback and interaction. Seeing the comment fly by as I’m playing REALLY HELPS, though 🙂 Wanted to let you here know first about this album.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN – VOLUME 1

The track list for the album is as follows:

The Sun  –  Enzosonbenzos  –  Virgin In The Green  –  Sleep, Clara Bow  –  A Firebug Nature  –  Coldbloods  –  Black Moon, Rise Again  –  Ogham The Blood  –  Kickstart The Empire!

This album (Redroom 027) will release on Friday, on my Bandcamp.

* Download for free if you like or need 🙂
* Download and pay a tip or a ticket for my online concert
* Download and buy the album, support the artist – Honestly, do whatever fits you best. I’m doing my best to entertain you (and myself) whilst in Lockdown.

Hope to see you on online Friday for the concert. I will start 2 minutes early, to give you time to settle 🙂

Matt- May 2020

Friday’s the day!

Hi all, hope lockdown is treating you all okay. Lots to tell. And Friday really is the day! For me, at least:

2020 VISION releases on Friday, exclusively on my Bandcamp – two weeks before official world-wide digital release, when it’ll be on all major platforms, and Spotify etc. The Bandcamp-first thing gives me a little better share of the sale, so helps to recoup costs of making the album –  but feel free to buy from anywhere. And if you’re on my mailing list and can’t afford the album (for whatever reason) you simply have to send me a mail and I will send you the album for free. I WOULD RATHER YOU HAVE IT THAN NOT 🙂

Also on Friday, I play my first online gig- be sure to tune in 😉 Its on my Sieben page over at that there Facebook Live. Link is here, and you can set a reminder to start watching, should you wish. It’ll be 8pm UK (GMT) time, and 9pm in CET time. I’ll be at home, in my socks and playing and singing live for you.

I’m hoping 2020 VISION will eventually make it to CD, but just can’t afford to pay out for manufacture currently. I had all sorts of physical release plans, including limited edition 2x 10″ clear vinyl copies with leather sleeves…Oh, and on the 15th May, Kickstart the Empire will also release world-wide, so be on all major platforms.

I’ve also started to create a series of videos from home, playing live called LOCKDOWN SIEBEN. You’ll find them on my Youtube channel, and here’s the first test one. You’ll also find the wonderful new video made by Joao Paulo Simoes from Frontier Media, here. So kind of him to make me this fabulous video.

Hopefully see some you on Friday 🙂 keep well, and hope you enjoy my LOCKDOWN SIEBEN sessions. I’m planning to do quite a few online gigs now I’ve sorted a good sound, so look out for them on Youtube. Or email me and request one, I’ll beam into your house and come and play for you. You have to buy my new album, though 😉

Matt

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 🙂 ) 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? 😉

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 🙂 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 🙂

Releases Sept 2020

Matt –  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 😉

So far the following tracks are ‘about finished’:

Kevlar Kev  –  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.  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 😉 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 🙂 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 😉

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😉 And those of you who were in the video, too? And those of you who purchased the woodcut? 😉

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 😉 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 🙂 Hope to see some of you at those. Thanks, as always, for the support with what I do.

Matt – June 2019

Copyright © 2020. Powered by Redroom Records & Romangie Theme.