I have been reborn…

I’ve been working on my first lot of new music for a while over the last few weeks. I had got burnt out on making music for quite a while, but I have my mojo back BIG TIME!

I’ve loved heavy metal for a long time, I grew up with it, chose it as my own as a teen, and have been rocking out ever since… Rekindling my love for heavy sludge sounds last year with GURT and others led me to start working on some new Harmonica sounds of my own. RUKE (my heavy music alter ego) was back, loud and proud!

So, there’s a heavy ep of six tracks percolating away of the PC, which I had great fun blasting out in our front room on Sunday. There is a way to go to get these tracks right, but a solid foundation has been laid. And whilst driving around earlier this week, I had a eureka moment…

I was listening to an ace compilation of Brazilian metal acts from Terrorizer magazine, and I thought, blimey, isn’t heavy metal amazing? There is a big umbrella of metal with all kinds of crazy genres underneath it… what if I made eps and albums in all those genres and styles, but with HARMONICAS?!? Kapow! I had another crazy idea to fixate on (I tend to get a bit OCD over projects and ideas), and act on.

SET-UPThere we go, my musical obsession has another facet to it. Heavy Metal Harmonicas are GO!

Heres a teaser… https://soundcloud.com/ruke-622656462/stomper

Megalithic musings..

Not sure if there’s a pattern on here yet, and not even sure if there should be one. I think this site is becoming my space to think and express my thoughts to the world.

Last week was hard work, physically at least. There were quite a few business events, and sorting out things for my course kept me busy. Valentine’s was an odd day, with a mixture of feelings, predominately lovely, but the morning was tough, and I had to deal with anger issues and feelings of resentment. Recycling lots of book for charity and a serious amount of cleaning and tidying were amazing therapy, as were a long hot bath, wine and a wonderful meal that my wife made for us.

Whilst I was in the bad patch on Valentine’s morning, I was listening to some really heavy music. Music is incredibly therapeutic for me, even more so since I’ve been making it. Very heavy music takes me to another place, and quite literally blows away all of the detritus, negative feelings and emotions. I spent quite a while making some really heavy loud music on Sunday, which sounds bloody fantastic (to me) through headphones really loud. It’s quite liberating creating and listening stuff like this. I heartily recommend it.

I can only play for a short while at present, as my fingers have softened off from not playing ukulele for a while. At present, I’m making the sounds heavier and more messed up by adding distortion and amplification through my PC. At some point, this’ll go live, and there will be a new amp, mics, pedals and a repaired ukulele. For now, learning to play heavier and fstaer again is my goal, and making my fingers tougher again!

Thanks for listening.

Finding my voice…

Howdy… I’ve been rapping today. No, wait, come back…

A few years back, I made a few EPs in the guise of MC Spacecat, a twelve-year-old kitten from the tower blocks, who is backed by the taciturn DJ Tyrone. It was weird, yet fun rapping in character, quite liberating actually. This year, I’m writing a mini-series about Spacecat and Tyrone which also traces the history of hip hop from the early 80s to the present day. It’s going to be a multi-media affair, with music and videos too.

I’ve written some raps for Spacecat in the first chapter, and worked on some instrumental tracks in the guise of Tyrone, based on 80s synthesiser sounds from Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. Where does the rapping come in, you ask? Well, you need to hear Spacecat’s words too, so I’m doing them. When I did the earlier EPs the raps were almost comedic, with a funny ‘street’ voice, as it was a cheeky kid rapping. This time round, it’s different, as ‘Spacecat’ is writing more conscious words and raping more clearly. I’m learning how to flow, emphasise and pitch words, what works, what doesn’t, and how to sound, well, good.

I’ve been reading some really good articles from some of my favourite MCs, and the major thing that comes through is that you have to love hip hop, to really feel it, live it and be it. I get that. Not in a fake, gangsta swagger kind of way, but in your heart and soul. It’s not about money, cars and booze, it’s about craft, respect, lyricism, truth, honesty, what matters to you as a person and other people too.

I’ve rambled a bit here, but my point is, I’ve started on a journey which really started when I was 12 and heard hip hop for the first time, like Spacecat, and was transported by words and beats to another level. Finding my voice is the missing piece, and something I’m learning by doing, listening and being. Hope it makes sense to you all. Thanks for reading…