The Parish News In 2019

My radio show, The Parish News, is going from strength to strength – I may be getting played on a digital network down south sometime soon, but I will try and not count my chickens before the eggs hatch.

The show always follows the same format – it is quite a regular show. As in – the format of the radio show is not experimental but the music is experimental. I wish I had the inspiration to really fly by the seat of my pants and go hell for leather with a couple of dog barks before launching in to a Scat Poem.

But, no.

Instead, I present The Parish News in a friendly style that shares with listeners the music I have been ear-looking at over the week.

The artwork for the radio is getting there too – I have a series of png files that I have collected over the years of flowers. Yunno, arty shots. Here is a brief highlight.

It really is a good laugh – if you want to find out more about the show then head over to www.theparishnews.com – it is a WordPress build that I made. The Parent Theme is Divi and I have customised it to the point it is functional for a radio show. None of the shows are hosted on the site – that is all done on Mixcloud.

Currently, The Parish News is broadcast on Soundart Radio in Devon, UK. It is also broadcast on a couple of community stations in America (KBOG & K-PIP in Oregon and Missouri respectfully).

It sometimes charts. On Mixcloud that is. I think the highest it has reached is No.4 in the Noise Chart – but that was back at the beginning of 2018.

There may be a brief change tot he organised playlist as I hammer “Mr Smith In Rhodesia” every week until the year is out – it is my new shiny thing. It is a protest Text-Composition about British brutality in Zimbabwe. The piece shook me. It is a brilliant work that I have only just switched on to. Åke Hodell is the composer – I will try and write a bit about him in the coming days.

So, here is to another year of broadcast – I really am lucky in that people consent to broadcast my show – I doubt anybody listens, but it is nice to be broadcast.

Artwork for The Gaffa Tapes series of DJ Mixes

A 22 Hour Day

Man, I woke up at 00:45 the other night – I had hoped to fill it with Funs but I just ended up pottering around the house. I’ll tell you what I did do though – I recorded a special Gaffa Tapes take-over of The Parish News. Below, you can listen to it. I wanted to record a new show up in the studio, Creao Studio, but got a bit bogged down in stuff. So, as opposed to the regulare format of the show, I made a two-hour DJ Mix. It is quite something.

Ol’ Reliable

I used the regular equipment that I have – A Traktor S4, Marantz Cassette Decks and a bag of C60 Cassettes. I was fun.

Another thing that has occurred over the weekend is that I am now using the Beta Gutenberg Editor for this Blog. First impressions are a ‘Yes.’ I like it.

There seems to be a lot more white space. It seems a lot cleaner and the controls are lot simpler, but just take a bit to find – if you are used to the ‘kitchen-sink’ editor of old.

I think I will keep it. It’s a winner.

A New Edition Of The Parish News

I managed to record another edition of The Parish News. No biggy – it is something I do every week. This week, I recorded it in my flat with new gear. I have had a Sound Devices MixPre 6 for a number of months now but never really used it for the show – still, makes a change. I used it on the One-Hundred and Ninth Edition of The Parish News.

There is something else that is new. Brand new. I have a new mic. An Audio Technica BP4025 – it is specifically designed for Field Recording so I look forward to using it in the field. It seemed to be good for the show.

If you listen to the enclosed audio on Headphones, it sounds like my voice is just behind the centre point of your hearing. This is because it is a stereo mic (X/Y) therefore giving a lot more width to my voice. It’s reet mint!

Other than that, I have been doing a lot of work – I was interviewed by S. Watson-Power as part of her school project on music. It really was a good, wholesome feeling I got from it. If you want to read the interview, I have transcribed the interview on my Arty Site HERE. I wish her every luck in getting a good grade with her presentation – I was sent a copy of her presentation, but, I figure it is a bit too personal to give away on Sophie’s behalf. So, if she ever wants to make it public I will let you know. But it was sweet.

I will try and write ‘home’ a bit more regularly from now on. That is how I take this Blog – it is a bit like Writing Home. There is a familiarity to it, coupled with a duty – ‘I have a duty to maintain this blog’ is one way of seeing it – the whole stubborn “I’ve started so I will finish” but then there is the tenderness associated with such memories that my blog throws out there every now and then. Ijo Pona is my online Home. And it has had a fresh lick of paint.

Artwork for The Gaffa Tapes series of DJ Mixes

The Gaffa Tapes

The Gaffa Tapes will be a series of DJ Mixes. What is quite nice about them is that I mix them from Cassettes Decks. Yes, Cassette DJ Mixes – not Cassettes of DJ Mixes. See, I have a pair of Marantz PMD 201 cassette decks (complete with VU Meters!) and I am allowed to use the mixer at Creao Studio. This has given me no excuse to not have a go at it – well, if I ever run out of cassettes that’d be a valid excuse …

The idea is to give an option and an incentive for sponsors of The Parish News to chip in and be rewarded – if someone sponsors me US$5/month they will receive the right to stream two Cassette DJ Mixes by my good self. It is kind of an incentive for me to get up to Creao Studio and an incentive to play. An incentive to have fun and not work all the time.

The mixes will last 30-45ish minutes and be a cacophony of hiss, crackles and pops.

I recorded the first ever attempt at it and it has had some success – as I write, it is 64th in the Global Experimental DJ Charts and 7th in the Noise Charts. N’bad for a newb! Here it is …

 

 

I hope to be doing a lot more of them later down the line. It will be behind a paywall on Patreon – so, eventually, you will have to sponsor me to listen to the mixes … but, until then … The Cassette only DJ mixes will be made public until I think I am good enough to earn the right to charge people money for this. They will all be housed HERE – that is, if you want to check out both the free and the paid versions.

Weekend Round-Up-About 8pm

This weekend has been after a week of quite stressful work and it was good to get out and play. I have been asked to design the web store of a great shop in Town and I have been laying the groundwork for that: wireframes and colour schemes. It is a lot of fun but not something to be taken lightly.

Well, I got the contract – I went to show the proprietor of the shop the wireframe and she was delighted with it. Seems it’ll keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

The only downside to the weekend was eating a Five Guys – great. But, massive potions – it kind of turned in to a Man vs Food thing and by the end of it it had stopped being fun and I was only finishing it to make a statement.

However, I then met up with Scooby & Karen – we went to Harrogate Tap and had a few pints (Scooby paid). It was great to hang out with them. It is nice to be accepted for who I am rather than have to put on airs and graces when I am in public. We scootered off because they wanted to catch Eurovision.

I ended up in Creao Studio, after tea, to record The Parish News. It is not a strong show. I was not in the most lucid of states and I lost the thread of what I was saying most of the time and ended up repeating myself until I struck gold. Here is the show –

I was becoming more and more confused and needed a lie down.

Sunday was good though. I woke and checked my email to find that my May Day Dub Mix had charted at No.81 in the Dub Chart on Mixcloud – not something to be dismissed lightly. Then it was a jaunt down to Major Tom’s to see Big Band Sunday. Here are some photos from the afternoon.

The Parish News Enters 2018

My radio show, The Parish News, was recorded for this week, last night, in Creao Studios, Harrogate. I am up to show number seventy-three – The show is still proving to be a bit of a challenge. But, a rewarding challenge.

I have learned a lot from the production of The Parish News – as well as the production of Sound Of Wonder, my friend Stewart’s show. It has led to me studying audio mastering.

The Parish News also exposes me to a whole range of new and exciting music. I am in cahoots with a PR firm in Berlin who send me out some music every now and then and I am tipped off by a range of people I know and respect to buy new music.

The spoken links on the show are still dreadful – but it is a good excuse to leave the flat and not be such a recluse.

My Dad has started to listen to the show, of which I am massively proud. I appreciate he probably hates the music I play but it is always nice to speak to him about the show and receive feedback. He is not the only listener to the show though – I often chart in the top twenty on Mixcloud for the genre of music that I play on my show; noise, avant-garde, experimental & experimental ambient music alongside Field Recordings and Sound Art.

To try and show the stations that I do take my show seriously, I built a website for The Parish News at www.theparishnews.com. It is a simple, one-page build that allows for smooth-scrolling between sections. My good friend, Jem, has offered to do the copywriting for the blurb on the show’s site – so, I will update that when I get around to it. Jem works a copywriter at Weasel Words and I really recommend her for all of you copywriting. Plus, she is ace!

The Parish News really started as a vehicle for the music that I put out on my record label – this, in turn, allowed me to interact with a whole range of artists and other labels so that now Soundart Radio in Devon broadcast my show; which is a massive honour. I am also broadcast on some internet only stations to compliment this.

Whilst the music is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, I get great satisfaction that some people really dig my show and that someone, somewhere gets it.

Chamone! – My New “Michael Jackson” Microphone

A few days ago I asked Allan Smyth from Allan Smyth Audio Visual to help get me a new mic and recording rig for The Parish News. To celebrate, I went and built a new site for the radio show called The Parish News – the site can be found here.

The mic we went for is a SURE SM7B – the same microphone that Michael Jackson famously used to record his ‘Thriller’ album – I know, right!

Here is the show –

I also received a Clarett 2 Pre box to link the microphone and the computer – I am really just scratching the surface with this toy – it will take a good while until I have found the optimum settings needed for the Mic and my voice. As you can tell from the above recording, I need to get the Saturation levels sorted with the quieter tracks (there are peaks and glitches), but I just hope that I have done the music justice.

Sunday Of Muchness

I never really shook myself out of the last dip in health – I seem to have a bad sleep pattern. Still – that is all that is really affecting me; I have learned to live with the rest of my Malaria-Type symptoms. That in itself is quite a biggy.

I woke up at 11:58pm on Sunday evening.

That in itself should be cause for alarm – but I just have to ride it out with the rest of the summer time wamminess.

I did manage to record an excellent radio show the other day – On Sunday, at around 5am I was busy whispering in to my microphone and recorded another edition of The Parish News. Here it is:

Much of a sameness in the above – I tried to speak between the tracks but made a bit of a menace of myself with the pronunciation of an Ethiopian track. Still – all fun and games.

I also had my first contact for a new venture.

I have recently started a service that offers cheap mastering for DJ mixes. Mastering.WTF is the name of it and it can be found on www.mastering.wtf – a fun thing that should help keep my ear to current trends in DJ Mixing.

The site is one I built – a simple HTML build using The Personal Page template by Weightshift. The contact I received was by Matt da Conga – a local DJ and very close friend.

Matt did a hyper-eclectic mix of music for our mutual friend Helen A to play French Horn all over at a charity gig for British Heart Foundation. Hopefully I will be able to get some tickets to that … both parties seem to love the mastering I did for the mix. I will post a link to the mix in the comments section below as soon as I have word that Matt has uploaded it. This is what Helen had to say about it –