Glitchin’ Accomplished

Well, I’m back from a week’s visit to Amsterdam. It was nice for Glitchpuke to be reunited again. We played two gigs and recorded in Studio -2 in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where our first album was laid down.

Our first gig was opening a jazz jam session in the awesome vegan non-profit eatery, De Peper. It’s a familiar spot to all of us in the band, and we were happy to be the house band for a night. However, we weren’t able to use the restaurant vibe/format to our advantage. Glitchpuke has always been about making unexpected use of situations. However, just like our gig at The Waterhouse, we found it tricky to be “the entertainment” on a stage. Audience expectations in this situation are so constrained. Afterwards, I thought we should have explicitly tried some audience interaction, or some very unusual way of playing. What actually happened was, we got into freak-out mode pretty fast, paid little attention to the crowd, and most patrons left.

During the jam session, myself and Sidney had great fun playing some hard swing. Playing more conventional grooves was one new area that we both enjoyed exploring during the week.

Our other gig was in the art/performance space Mixtree. This was more our bag – small stage, arty mood, and some lighting to create mystique. I liked the gig but Andrius and Sidney had reservations. With free music in particular, it can be very hard to agree on what’s a good or bad performance!

Our favourite Amsterdam cinematographer Kim “Bas Raad” was there to shoot some footage, so stay tuned for that.

Finally we went into the studio last Monday for the afternoon. I haven’t listened to it yet – gonna get fresh ears by waiting a while.

I think Glitchpuke found it tricky in general to work without the platform provided by studying in the conservatory (where we could work with teachers and consultants on music promotion & management). And encouragement was not the only thing I missed. When we were inside an institution, there was an obvious direction for “subversion”. That’s not so clear in the real world where attention is a scarce resource and freaky music can seem like a squandering of that resource. Then again, noise and experimental music is getting bigger and bigger right now.

My next goal for Glitchpuke is to bring the band to Ireland. There we’re hoping to be able to put in some solid rehearsal, do more recording, and get on some festivals.

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Gig Dates

We had some troubles with our Amsterdam dates, including cancellations and a venue getting shut down by the authorities! But we’re pleased to announce a pair of performances made possible by the great people at OT301. On November 26th we’re opening the long-running jam session at De Peper. And on November 29th we’re playing in Mixtree, in a collaboration with Natusha Croes, an Aruban-born performance and visual artist.

We’re also really looking forward to a recording session for our second album, on November 30th, in Studio -2 in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. It’ll be a challenge to create a new band sound in less than a week of rehearsals. We love how our debut album turned out, but we wouldn’t be satisfied with just recycling those techniques and moods.

Also on the agenda are a photo shoot and a video shoot, so expect some eye candy in December.

Personally, I can’t wait to be in Amsterdam again! It’s been 5 months.

Blogjam

Our tour in Amsterdam will happen from November 25th to December 1st!

While we confirm the last few gigs, here are some blogs for you to check out. They have the self-awareness and curiosity I’d like to achieve here (someday).

Liz R, a self-described “lesbian trans musician/visual artist/writer/curator” blogs with a no-nonsense and emotionally engaged perspective on computer game culture and design. This post, about identity and expression in writing electronic music, is cool: sound as a commodity

Nick Montfort is an expert on “interactive narrative” and “digital poetry” among other things. His blog is both techy and creative, and I like the bare fact that there are people out there pushing these frontiers. Here he does some pop-culture critique: Why I Hate The Martian

James Hague runs a pragmatic programming/game design blog. For those who, like me, can’t code, here’s a piece on how to find focus for a creative project: Advice to Aimless, Excited Programmers

Finally, Dan Voss has a sophisticated blog on improvised music. He posts quotes, interviews and music theory titbits like this analysis of a Steve Coleman exercise: Steve Coleman and Dominant/Half-Diminished Seventh Symmetry

Dissect Your Brain

Just a quick word to say that OUR ALBUM IS OUT! 11 tracks of seriously atmospheric, and at times heavy, music, with a lot of heart too (I think). I’m proud of it.

Stream it now on our bandcamp page. And let us know what you think here or at facebook.com/glitchpuke

The cover for our first release, "Dissect Your Brain". Artwork by Kevin Higgins and Robert Higgins, photography by Gediminas Stepanavičius.

The cover for our first release, “Dissect Your Brain”. Artwork by Kevin Higgins and Robert Higgins, photography by Gediminas Stepanavičius.

Link

Speculative Development

I have to give a shout out to a great post by Robert Yang (one of the writers who inspired this blog), where he introduces the term “speculative development”. Robert is a game designer and he’s talking about an explorative, messy, joyful, rule-breaking approach to developing graphics and sounds for games… but I can’t think of a better phrase to describe Glitchpuke’s music-making!

http://www.blog.radiator.debacle.us/2015/02/we-are-drugs-speculative-dev-tools-and.html

Pushing processes past their limits, feeling the physicality and resistance of our materials, short-circuiting traditions – that’s what I want the band to be all about.

BTW, we’ll be doing some editing work this weekend to cut up the recording we made last year, and at the very start of March we’ll have a preview track or two up on our Soundcloud.