вторник, 17 май 2016 г.

Mytrip live radio session @ Subfactor 15/05/16

A full-recording of my live session for Subfactor on Bulgarian National Radio's Binar stream. The first hour we talk and listen to neat tunes, then we swim in 50 minutes of Mytrip drones.

понеделник, 9 май 2016 г.

Ræppen & Leaver Tour 2016 - Cambridge, Bristol & back home

Yet some more weird times, for a change in Cambridge 
07/06/16 Screaming for the elderly folks of Cambridge
So today is another strange gig for Leaver, because we're joining Tim in a show where he's playing blues stuff alongside a Cambridge based funk / reggae / ska band. After a great and scenery drive from Brighton (we didn't take the highway thankfully) we're in Cambridge and have plenty of time to wander around. Daniel goes for the tourist thing me and Tim hang out at the Aaahh Real Records surrounded by label boss' Ian crazy lego collection. After a quick coffee we're heading to the venue, where the local band is already doing something between a soundcheck and a band practice so we have some time to kill. Daniel is coming back with some friends of his, both Evgenia and Nate are cool so it's nice they join us for a walk around.

Once we're back from wandering around the canal and the park nearby we do our thing and around 9 pm it's show time. Tonight is certainly not our night even if we play ok. It's just the people who're obviously here to see their friends play some happy music. As you can guess most of the audience decides to fuck off right after the band so Tim plays in front of fewer people but it's as usual an awesome fun times. Once we're finished we quickly pack and head back to Ian's place where we chat for a bit and then zzzzzzZzzzzz. 

Myth's drum machines and bananas in Cafe Kino, Bristol
07/08/16 Last show in Bristol
By a crazy chance our Bristol promoter and friend James, who happens to also open our last show is in Cambridge. So after a nice breakfast and coffee we head to find him and we're on our way to Bristol. It's a pretty long ride, but we get to Bristol around 5, kinda just in time to set all our stuff in the gig room of the superb Cafe Kino. There's a piano there so tonight we're starting the set with the intro Stoimen Stoyanov played for the album (an intro I slightly mess up few hours later, but people said it felt more real, good to know). So after a quick soundcheck we get upstairs for dinner and damn that's tasty. I go for falafels and awesome cherry cola and it's pretty much the best meal I had outside Tim's place on this tour. It's just proper so we're pumped and ready to play our last gig. It starts around 8:30, sadly not too many folks show up, cus there's another huge event just round the corner, but the vibe is cool so both us and Ræppen enjoy it. What's ahead is a 2 hour drive back to London, 1 hour of sleep then few trains and a plane to Sofia.

Tour is officially over now.

Big ups to Tim for making this happen, big ups to everybody who booked us a gig, scored some merch or just showed up. We are now home.

Stream the album:

And help us get rid of the tour merch leftovers: leaverdrone.bandcamp.com

неделя, 8 май 2016 г.

Ræppen & Leaver Tour 2016 - Birmingham, Brighton, Chatham

04/05/16 Black Sabbatch riffs and loud PAs in Birmingham
We get to Birmingham and it's a chill ride or at least it looks like that cus I think I spent it sleeping, oh what a surprise. The venue's placed in an industrial part of an industrial city and it's pretty nice. Alicja who's running Centrala, a space for (but not limited to) Eastern European culture and arts, is already there so we're in for a quick chat. It seems she's from my favorite town in Poland, mighty kingdom of falafels - Poznan. We set up the sound in no time, we do soundcheck, Tim even records his one because it sounds pretty nice and we head for a walk. An hour and a bag of chips later we're back. It doesn't look as if it'll be a pretty busy night so we wait for bunch of people to gather and we start. Tim's doing Ræppen tonight and it sounds massive through the PA, I still think his favorite set for the tour. We go shortly after him and we surely do play our best live so far. I guess the Centrala ambience does the job cus everything sounds and feels nice. After the show Richard, who's the other person running Centrala takes us to their place. We talk for few hours, eat great pizza and a traditional Polish meal, which Alicja has prepared for us and it's awesome. It's sleeping times, and that's the best. Tomorrow we're leaving the house at 9 which is super fine cus we'll have a plenty of time to explore Brighton. In the morning we're meeting their kid Iwo and his fluffy dachshund, with a complex name I can't seem to remember. He's a cute dude with an attitude, just like his parents.

It's around noon and we're already in Brighton. I've been waiting for this moment for two years, because that place is magic. This time however, we catch all the tourist experience since last time we arrived pretty late and the whole city was already asleep. Now it's pretty full, stores are open, people are everywhere and after we stop the car at The Green Door Store and Tim and Daniel grab a quick bite we head to the beach where we spend the next two hours. Hanging out at the sea is the best, we do something between napping, chilling, nothing, whatever and we're back to the venue for soundcheck. The Green Door Store sounds amazing as usual and it doesn't take us long to do our stuff. Still plenty of time before the show starts so we fool around, drink Dr. Peppers, eat some more chips (some of us go for cheese & chips, not mentioning names) and it's show time.

Broken Star play some oldschool electronics with mostly ebowed and heavily effected guitar, they sound pretty good, and surely have good moments. After then we're on for a blended set because our friend Geoff, who's in charge of the Spirit of Gravity event series thought we're playing a collab set, however we cut our set a bit shorter to leave Tim summon the Sami spirits once again and it works pretty good as the sound is massive and let the music feel as it's supposed to feel. I might have get off the stage to scream among the audience, who knows. Tim does few very interesting passages during his set playing with stones he picked at the beach which gives a very nice touch and sense to the whole set. After us are SQ feat KET from Sweden. They have a very interesting sound, with modulated vocal samples and minimalist soundscapes, over which are placed glitched and loud sounds triggered via Wii controllers. A pretty interesting set up overall, would have enjoyed it if it had more extreme peaks but still felt nice. Shortly after the gig we're already packed and head to my friend Matthew's house where we're spending the night. It's a crazy student house, with 7 artist dudes living there so you can imagine it's a pretty special place hahah. Shutting down times. Tomorrow is a short drive, which means more time to explore lovely Brighton.

06/06/16 Weird times in Chatham
So we're not leaving Brighton before 2 pm today and me and Daniel head to a three hour walk in Brighton. More Dr. Peppers and hanging out at the beach before we head to Chatham. It's a short drive nonetheless.

Around 7 pm we get to the place, finding a parking spot is a bitch, but we manage to score something not too far from the venue, which tonight is a bar that is already pretty crammed. Not sure how bar people will enjoy the strange Ræppen & Leaver agenda, I guess not too well haha. It's a huge bill tonight. With people playing stuff from guitar ambient, experimental folk to grunge and whatnot. We're not on until 11 pm so it'll be a long night. We grab some hardcore fried stuff, but can't seem to find coffee anywhere, so things are getting harder haha. Anyhow, the show starts and I can't really seem to take track of what's happening. For sure I dig Interstellar Noise Drive who does some really nice minimal guitar ambient over nice morphing ambiances coming from a computer. Later I find out that the backing track was actually written by Matt, who's promoter Abi's boyfriend and also our host. Then there are the Dead Puppy guys, which have some good guitar work in their music, but the pedophile references of their closing song I don't really dig. Old people singing about 17 y.o. chicks wanting them ain't really my cup of joe. Then Tim plays Ræppen and bar people come shouting, dancing strange dances, asking for the sound level to be decreased. Tim's answer is to get even louder, but I guess that's how you treat drunk morons. Next is us and I seem to have lost a cable and can't really do half of the stuff I play live, so I'm just fucking around with textures, while Daniel handles most of the music. Drunk people are still disrespectful and I end up storming and shouting across the whole bar during our last track. Sadly nobody drops their drinks. 

Anyhow, for such a problematic evening we manage to pull this one off... somehow. After us is The Reactor Core is Splendid, a project we've been hearing a lot of stories from Tim and he does live up to our expectations. Broken, outsider music, total deconstruction of guitar playing and structure and everything, with strange lyrics and flat, senseless singing (in the coolest way you can imagine). This guy is the best thing I've seen on the tour for sure. He has something really special and surely can piss people off. Gotta love it. Proof's below! Should have bought CDs. 

The night is over we head to Abi's place which is just above the bar, where we meet their three cats, which are awesome. Black lady Knicks is slightly being friendly, the ginger Little Dude keeps his distance and Squish actually comes over and establishes contact. ZZzzzzzz times now. The morning feels good, Tim's having some issues with his body because of too much fried food he says, so no more fry ups the next few days. We get some nice coffee, take a shower, have some toasts and we chat with Abi and Matt, who are the nicest people ever and have an awesome collection of Clive Barker books and whatnot. Abi's art is all over the walls of their house and it's a shame I didn't take some sneaky footage. I love the three cats are present in most of her paintings. That's how you love your cats! 

It's 12 already and our parking ticket is about to expire, which means time to hit the road to Cambridge for our penultimate show of the tour. Sad times.

вторник, 3 май 2016 г.

Ræppen & Leaver Tour 2016 - Lincoln, Wallington, London

Honestly, I've been too lazy to even start this one, but here I am catching up on what's been happening during the Ræppen & Leaver Spring tour in England right after half of it has passed (daywise, most of the shows are yet to happen).

29/04/16 A flight and 5 hours of driving to get us to Lincoln
The morning starts fine as the plane taking us to London is a late one (at 11:40 am wohoo). Getting there with no issues, three hours of blasting KPD-0 on my earbuds and we're landing. We play the Snake aka proper English queueing and then we meet, Tim Holehouse, our tour buddy and the guy who booked this whole thing. It's been two years since the last time we toured England together so it's great to be back for another travel. We jump in the car and that's where we spend the next 5+ hours because of the insane traffic on London's ring road. Yeah, it's bank holiday on Monday so everybody's travelling.

Laugh Motel
We get to Lincoln around 7 pm to find we've missed the show of the awesome Peter K Rollings and his Experimental Sonic Machines. Thankfully recordings are already starting to pop up. However, the rest of the show is going with full force and we're just on time for Laugh Motel, which I think was a debut gig for Dominic, He's actually a very interesting visual artist, his stuff is all over the walls in the super cosy Decimal Place, the spot we're playing tonight. His set is very nice, based on tiny looping melodies and textures, played on three small synthesizers. Tiny imperfections make the music very intimate and sincere. After him Laser Pig are on for a weird mixture of dance music, theremin passages and high pitched opera-like singing by the lady in the duo. After them another duo is on - Agents of the Culture Industry. They blend live visuals (played on an old TV) with very textural and complex noisescapes, definitely something I'd be glad to see again on a huge sound and maybe not one, but a wall of TV screens. And then we go. Tim sets up, we do the same and he's on for a blues set that quickly warms the hearts of the attendees. We waste no time and play right after he's done. We do a quiet set, we mess a few things, but it certainly sounds better than what we did in Sofia so it does the job. People seem happy about it so we can call it a night. Not before we hit a pub nearby though. People drink pints I go for a lemonade, an hour later we hit the beds in Decimal place. It's been a long day.

30/04/16 A day off for travelling and lasagna
After a nice morning chat with coffee and croissants, which cool dude Dex, who's been running Decimal Place for over 10 years (and has a big heart for tapes, vintage music gear and all kinds of interesting art) we head back to London where we're spending the next three days. Tim's lady DiDi is our kind host and we hit the store before we nest in her new home. Tim cooks us a rad veggie lasagna. A meal that I've actually haven't had since my last times in London. And Tim doesn't disappoint once again, it's an ace treat and needless to say I find it pretty hard to stay awake after it. Even though I think me and Daniel even managed to go for a walk around the 'hood. Good boys.

01/05/16 Wallington times
Today is a gig day. Takes us about 45 minutes to get to Wallington. We easily find The Brook as Tim's played there pretty recently and knows the owner Andy for ages. We grab a coffee and are ready to soundcheck. It's so cool to see a venue of this size - let's say concert room fits 50 people - has such a good and dedicated crew. Something you barely see in big venues in a country I wouldn't be naming, but I guess you get the point. Anyhow, shortly we're good to go and wait for the show to start. Tonight we're playing what seems to be a singer-songwriter night, so Leaver is definitely the strange bird on the wire. Anyhow, people don't seem to mind our stuff, even when I start screaming. They do enjoy Tim's set a lot so having in mind the other acts on the bill are also pretty good I guess it's a cool, cool night. Huge ups for The Brook, awesome, awesome place. Another proof size doesn't matter and only how much you want to make things happening and moving forward.

Tim soundchecking in The Brook
We come back home and eat pizza. Still can't decide what's better - sleeping or pizza. I'm sure my tour mates will tell you the answer behind my back.

02/05/16 Weird times in London
It's no secret I don't really like London. Way too busy and complicated for my taste. I mean I like London only if I stay at home and chill... oh yes and for the veggie fry ups (we've scored one yesterday, tomorrow we have another one coming, yes).

Big cats of Catford
So when we head to the gig, I don't have my expectations high, cus you know how big cities are - either great show or a total disaster. Tonight is just weird. Amersham Arms is a nice place, definitely has some history and it looks as it has nice sound. However, the event we're playing is kinda different. There are 8 acts total, each of them about to play a 10 minutes long set, which blends into the next one. Me and Tim are in the second batch of performances (I go for a Mytrip set tonight, cus 10 minutes won't work for Leaver at all... it actually barely works for anything but maybe free jazz or harsh noise). The show starts with Super Football Champion Cup Boy and I think that's my highlight for the night. Guy plays and interesting piano piece on a Roland synthesizer, it's heavily effected, but very sparse and moving. Ani Glass also does some interesting vocal layering and looping, but when a disco beat enters I kinda lose the vibe.

No, I don't have an endorsement, I'm a sober boy
When it's my turn I play around a field recording snippet I did in Tesco the other day. Then I fuck around with my last pieces as Mytrip - Human Geometry and People are Broken and before I know the next act is on. Vera Bremerton does some vocal improvisations on two mics, one reverberated and the other one fed through iDensity. Not entirely my cup of hot beverage, but it blends so good with what Tim does. His set gets super intense and nicely built, however sound gets fucked up and clips terribly, we don't know who fucked up what, but surely it spoiled the vibe big time. That plus the fact it's been quite an empty night... Weird times in London, like I said. The night ends with an unexpected walk through the area, cus we miss our train. We catch another one and here we are at home again. Zzzzzzzzzz, oh no, watching one more Nashville episode first.

Recording stuff at 9 Unit Rehearsals, London
03/05/16 London sessions
Today is the last day off on this tour and we make sure we get the best of it. Tim and DiDi bring us to a cafe for our second fry up and it's real good again. Then we chill for a few hours and we head to 9 Unit Rehearsal Space becuase we're into doing some writing, recording, whatnot. And three hours later we manage to come up with two collab pieces, written, practiced and recorded. Only few bits and pieces need to be added, because our gear was pretty limited and we'll have the first Leaver / Tim Holehouse collab. Labels get in touch, that shite is pure gold!

That's how you spend a day off in London! The rest of it - me catching up on series and Daniel doing the tourist thing. As I'm finishing this it's once again time for Zzzzzzzz because tomorrow shit gets real and we head for Birmingham - the first of our 5 remaining shows, before we head home.