The Haunted House

Sunday, November 30, 2008

BBC Good Food Show 2008

Yesterday Me and Amanda went to the BBC Good Food Show at the Birmingham NEC. This year we had tickets to see a live demonstration by the Hairy Bikers. We set off about 7.30 in the morning so we could get parked. Getting there was quite straight forward and we got in to the show really quickly.

At 10.30 there was a Hairy Bikers demonstration on the British Stage so we sat down to see them. We were seeing them again later in the main theater, but we didn't mind seeing them twice. As you would expect, they were very funny and make a good double act.

This demo lasted around 35 minutes. Once we had finished here we went for a look around the show floor testing lots of the different products on offer. At 12.30 we headed to the main theater so see the Hairy Bikers again. We had seats booked right at the front so had a great view.

Afterward we hurried to the Book People stand where the Bikers were due to do a book signing. We already had their latest book, so we bought their first book ready for them to sign. The queue was quite large. More people turned up for the bikers than security expected so they had to try and improvise a better system. We only had to wait 20 minutes though before it was our turn. They were nice and polite and a good laugh. I bet their hands were hurting after signing so many books though.

We then went for another look around the show floor. Amanda wanted to go to the Gordon Ramsey book signing. We bought his latest book, 'Cooking For Friends', and went over to the queue. Unfortunately they would only allow 1 person per book to queue so I could not meet him.

I didn't mind too much though, whilst Amanda queued I went to the wine tasting section of the show. By the time I went back to meet her I was quite pissed. No, make that completely steaming :-)

Amanda was luck a love struck teenager when she met Gordon. For some bizarre reason she fancies him. God knows why, he looks like an old wrinkled leather football. We must get Amanda's glasses changed :-)

After the book signing we had another look through some stands and made a few purchases. We then headed back to the car for the drive home. We had a really good day, but was knackered by the time we got home.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Strange Days and Strange Ways Single

Work on my next full-length album, Continuum, is nearly complete and I am set to release it in the new year. In the mean time the marketing and promotional engine is getting fired up :-)

Today I have released the first single from the album, called Strange Days and Strange Ways. This is a double A-side single and I am offering it for download FREE of charge. You can't get better value than that :-)

The new album progresses my usual dark, cinematic, beat laden style and I think this single really represents the style of the new album. I hope you like it...

You can download the new single from this link.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Haunts Jr.

A picture speaks a thousand words. Amanda is 13 weeks pregnant. She had her first scan today. We are both thrilled. I guess this means I will be doing some more decorating soon :-) We have kept it quiet so far just to make sure everything is ok, but all family have been told now :-)


Spannish Graffiti

Whilst we was walking around Tarragona we spotted some really good graffiti art near the port. Naturally I got the camera out and started snapping away. Some of the graffiti had been defaced, but I got pictures of the stuff that hadn't been touched. Hope you like them :-)

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Mini Break to Tarragona

Yesterday Me and Amanda got back from a short 2 day trip to Tarragona in Spain. I had some time owing to me at work so I took the week off. We wasn't planning on going away anywhere but Amanda managed to get some stupidly cheap flights to Tarragona. The flights cost 1p per person each way. Can't argue with that. Even the hotel was cheap at 80Euros for the 2 nights.

We flew out early on Monday morning and was in the town centre of Tarragona by 9.30am. We started our sight seeing straight away by doing a tour of the Cathedral which was really impressive. From here we had a walk around town, got a coffee and then lunch.

After lunch we got a bus to the old Roman Aqua duct. This was about 15 minutes drive outside of town. Whilst there we got talking to an elderly German and Swiss couple. In the end we drove back to town with them and we all went out to a bar for a drink. The German chappy introduced me to a really nice drink which was 2 shots of brandy mixed with 2 shots of ouzo. Sounds horrid, but it actually tastes really nice.

After we parted company with the other couple we headed off to find our hotel which was a short walk outside of town. The hotel was really nice. It was very new and 4 star so was quite posh inside. Once we were at our room we relaxed for a bit as we had walked around so much we were shattered.

In the evening we went to the restaurant at the hotel which was really nice. After a good nights sleep we headed out again into town. We decided to get breakfast in town instead of the hotel so we could try some of the nice cafes.

After breakfast we went to the Roman Amphitheater, and then the Archeology museum. These were both quite interesting. This took most of the morning. Afterwards we went t a restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we took a walk down to the port and then went to another cafe for another coffee. Once we were done here we went to the Necropolis museum and then went to a local shopping centre.

The next morning we had to get up fairly early to get the flight back. We had breakfast first and then got a taxi to the airport. We had already checked into the flight online so we didn't really need to be at the airport early, but we still ended up being there 1.5 hours early. This gave Amanda a good chance to do some duty free shopping.

We were back in the UK by 11.30. So we drove home and was back by 2pm. 2 days was just the right amount of time to visit Tarragona. It was a nice welcomed trip away. The weather was nice at around 17-20 degrees. Just what we need as the winter weather starts to bite here in the UK.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nightmares and Dreamscapes Extended

Earlier on in the year I said one of my plans for this year was to re-release all the EP's I put out before Mechanical. The first re-release was the Mechanical : EP Collection, which I released a few months ago.

Next on the agenda is the re-release of Nightmares and Dreamscapes. This EP was quite popular when I released it, but I kept on getting a similar request from people. That request was to make some longer extended edits of the tracks. Well, here you go :-) The re-release will contain the original edits, plus a set of extended edits of the tracks. All the tracks have been mixed from scratch from the old multi-tracks and they have all been remastered. I finished most of the edits a while ago, but I wanted to sit on them and have 1 final mixing session with fresh ears. For all intents and purposes these mix and masters are now completed. I just need to listen to them for a little longer to make sure I am totally happy with them.

As you can see in this post, I have got the artwork completed. The more alert amongst you and those who are a fan of music from Warp Records will see where I got my influence for the front cover. The cover artwork was inspired by Warps early Artificial Intelligence compilations from the early 1990's and also an early Black Dog record.

For the geeks amongst us, the landscapes were rendered in a program called Terragen. I spent ages trying to get the look and feel I was after, and I think all the hard work paid off. They have a Erie and retro feel to them :-)

I am hoping for this release to be fully out by the end of the year. The digital download version will come first and the CD version will follow shortly afterwards. Stay tuned..


Friday, November 07, 2008

Free Radio Frequency Samples

As a Free gift to celebrate the launch of Electronic Critters 2 : Airwaves I have made a selection of my raw source material available to you for FREE.

When working on Electronic Critters 2 I recorded lots of raw radio frequency sounds using a high end radio frequency scanner (shown above). I then used these raw sounds as a basis for the sound programming for the sample collection. In the file below you can download some of these raw sounds to play with. They make a great starting point for some crazy programming.
Click this link to get the samples. The download is 28meg in size and all samples are recorded in 24bit.