ELECTROTONIC 1000 – ‘Action Potential’

Record companies are dead-they just refuse to lay down.

The last three influential musical ‘movements’ (punk, hip-hop and acid) have all advocated the D-I-Y ethic-you can make a record and distribute it without having to grovel to a major label. As an old-school punk-rocker who still believes that ideas, wit and excitement are more important than technical ability, a massive marketing budget and kissing the right arseholes this has always been very appealing. In the old (pre-Internet) days the majors had several jobs, all of which we can now do for ourselves-making the record, manufacturing the record, distributing the record, and promoting the record. All these things used to cost money, your money which would all come out of your £1,000,000 advance.

I made this record at home, using software I bought new for less than £40.

I don’t need to manufacture a hard copy except for maybe vanities sake.

The internet puts my music into cyberspace, avoiding the need of getting records into shops.

Promotion I am only learning about as I go along. At the minute the album is available on BandCamp for FREE DOWNLOAD and all the tracks are on Youtube.

As you are no doubt aware I have very little musical skill-I can play drums and am teaching myself piano but that has no effect on the music I created-all the tracks were created on a PC using loops and samples.

It isn’t important whether the music is any good (obviously I cannot judge that but I will say that it at least sounds okay)), but what is important is that it demonstrates the internet returns creative control back to musicians and artists. I have had to make NO compromises to make this record, and if I were confident that I wanted to sell it (which was not the point anyway) I have the means to do that and it would be all MY profit. I am happy with the record I have made-it represents my musical ability (none), and technical know-how (I can barely open a file), but it is the best record I could make given my resources (Acid Music Studio), budget (ha!), and enthusiasm (limitless) and even though I recognise its failings, I am hugely proud of it. It is my version of a punk record-ideas over technique.

ANYONE can do this-I did it to prove a point, not for fame and riches (just as well, considering). You can make exactly the type of music you want to, distribute it yourself, and someone, somewhere will like it. So why are you still reading this…..?

P.S. If anyone DOES download the album and doesn’t get the front and back covers, send me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you….

(Written to: ‘New York Noise (Dance Music From The NY Underground 1978-82)’ – VARIOUS, ‘Colourful Vibrations’ – KROMESTAR, ‘Anthology’ – SALSOUL ORCHESTRA)

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – Rock n Roll Is Full Of Bad Wools

‘Play One The Drummer Knows…’       

My favourite band-ever. I could have put any of their songs on here but this is the one I have played most recently, last track on the last album ’90 Bisodol  (Crimond)’. With a riff bearing a strong resemblance to ‘Oddfellows Local 151‘ by REM Nigel takes a scalpel to the vacuous skinny indie kid (insert your time-waster of choice here) who, beneath the blandness of his media-trained responses, has no depth whatsoever. Easy target maybe but done with such beautiful precision-the small, telling details are one of the many reasons I love this band so much. He goes on to bemoan the current state of production-line pop bands, before relating an evening spent watching a Crowded house/David Gray covers band in preference to the latest NME Flavour-Of-The-Week up the road.

Their first album sold 250,000 copies-any of the piss-weak rim-sniffers who play indie music would murder their mothers for sales like that nowadays-and they have been beavering away ever since, improving in leaps and bounds as musicians, now being capable of everything from a punk thrash to a polka to a Beatles-esque psychedelic raga. Nigel Blackwell is Britain’s greatest ever lyricist. Better than Morrissey (shock!), Strummer (what??!!) and Macgowan (surely not!?). The most throwaway lines are often the most profound. My favourite couplet, from ‘Surging Out Of Convalescence’….

‘And if I get to Heaven’s Gate, I’ll doubtless have to wait

While St. Peter investigates the inevitable asterisk.’

That is genius in anybodys book.

Half Man Half Biscuit are a National Treasure. They should put Nigel’s picture on the £10 note.

Anyway, enough of my yakking.

Also here is a link to Chris Rand’s HMHB Lyrics Project  http://www.chrisrand.com/hmhb/  your one-stop shop for all things Biscuit-related.