September 16, 2020No Comments

House / techno mix, Andrew Weatherall stuff, circa 1998

Tonight’s pick from the archive is this vinyl set from late 1998. It was recorded in my student bedroom on the top floor at 24 Royal Park Grove, Leeds, LS6 1HQ. This was the view from my window in the direction of Kirkstall.

I was really into Two Lone Swordsmen at the time (which was current in 98, obviously Sabres of Paradise came before that) and used to listen to a lot of that kind of stuff while most of my contemporaries living in the area were more into the burgeoning acid techno and trance scenes, neither of which were really my cup of tea. Not that I didn’t enjoy some nights out of that ilk; such as Templehead, and various things I’ve forgotten the names of that took place at the West Indian Centre

But anyway, I recored this mix on my trusty decks (when heat death of the universe finally arrives the last intact objects will be Technics 1210s). Rounding off with the luscious Rico’s Helly, followed by Hardly Breathe by Weatherall side project Deanne Day.

It gets cut short because the tape got chewed!

I have 14 mixes here on on Mixcloud. Do have a dig through if you find yourself unable to find any other music on the internet!!!!!

September 2, 2020No Comments

Back in the studio

Over the past few months I’ve not made any music. I had hoped that 2020 lockdown would present a good opportunity but March to August turned out to be my busiest months ever work-wise, made more difficult of course by the fact that schools were closed. And on top of that my mixer died and had to be sent off for repair (it was replaced under warranty so all good).

I finally got everything hooked up again yesterday and it’s great to be able to pop in there without it feeling like a chore. I have the Behringer TD-3 at my disposal now as well as the Volca Modular which I’ve hardly scratched the surface of. Planning to get some tracks together by the end of the year.

Studio kit list

I like to work with hardware and record everything live for a more natural, and less programmed, feel. I then finish things off later on the computer.

I definitely don’t use all the gear at once, most tracks use two or three synths plus some effects. But I probably still have too much stuff.

  • Akai APC40
  • Alesis 3630
  • Alesis Midiverb II
  • Alesis Quadraverb
  • Behringer TD-3
  • Behringer Ultrapatch Pro
  • Boss DS-1
  • Korg Electribe Sampler
  • Korg MicroKORG
  • Korg Volca FM
  • Korg Volca Keys
  • Korg Volca Modular
  • Korg Volca Bass
  • Mackie Mix8
  • Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6
  • Novation Circuit
  • Novation Launchpad Pro
  • Roland JU-06
  • Roland TR-8
  • Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK desk
  • Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O!
  • Zoom H5
  • Zoom MS-50G

February 12, 2020No Comments

Week 07

On being a creative person trapped inside a technical person’s brain

Read more

January 31, 2020No Comments

DJ mix of my tracks

I have just recorded this DJ mix, with a selection of firstperson tracks from 2017-2018. Putting it all together feels like a good way of closing this chapter. I am pretty proud of a handful of these tracks for personal reasons. YMMV of course. Learned lots and now it’s time to do something a bit different... and perhaps more considered.

People in the US might not be able to play it on Mixcloud owing to the fact they have to process a waiver form saying that I produced all of the tracks in the mix. So just under the Mixcloud embed please find a direct link to the MP3 file.

Selected Firstperson Tracks 2017-2019

Selected Tracks 2017-2019.mp3 (direct link)

January 29, 2020No Comments

For The Future

Further to the previous post, here’s some new music! As usual it’s on SoundCloud which is embedded below.

Just under that is the Bandcamp release where you can buy an uncompressed WAV copy (sounds much better) for just £3.

‘For The Future’ on SoundCloud

‘For The Future’ on BandCamp

January 27, 2020No Comments

Spouting music into The Void

This tweet by Ron S. of Anode Records encapsulates well how it often feels to share your music online. For me it’s borderline embarrassing to announce to the world your own creative work. And the way it goes is that you build it up… and spend days (sometimes weeks) fussing over details and over-listening until you have pretty much no idea if it’s any good or not any more.

So after all that, and even though you primarily make music for your own enjoyment, it would seem a shame to just leave it on your own hard drive forever, never to be heard by anyone else. And if you’re me (which I am) then you know full well that it’s amateur dad-techno which probably has niche appeal to a handful of your also-40+ cohorts. But… well maybe those people would like to hear it. It would be great to get a bit of feedback too. Is it any good? Do you like some bits? Does this have any merit at all? So you send it privately to ten or so friends and family. Be honest, tell me if it sucks. Anything!

But you don’t hear back for a few days so whatever... out goes the Tweet and a Facebook post. May as well throw it out there.

But then still nothing. No interactions or responses. Awkward.

So you then worry that everyone thinks it’s so terrible that they don’t know what to say. So you look at the stats and, no, that seems not to be the case because because, well, twitter gives you tweet analytics:

  • Impressions: 179
  • Likes: 1 (thanks bro)
  • Retweets: 1 (my other account)
  • Link clicks: 1

And Facebook:

  • 3 people reached
  • 0 engagements

So one person clicked through and listened to the track on SoundCloud. In 36 hours. The tweet is now well buried.

The reality seems to be that it’s pretty difficult to get people to hear what you’ve recorded. Is nobody interested in this sort of music any more? Or are they just busy? (probably this) Is it because there’s a zillion hours of free music uploaded every minute? Or is it the algorithm making it essentially hidden? (could be) Is social media just a bad way of sharing music unless you’re Calvin Harris with 12.6M followers?

If the problem was just that the music is crap I would expect a lot of clicks but no likes. But there are near zero clicks. Nobody is hearing it to begin with.

This, in part, led me to giving up for 18 months. What’s the point? But then I missed doing it and got quite low because I wasn’t doing anything creative in my life (work is mostly technical these days).

So it’s 2020 and I’m starting up again. And it’s not at the standard I would like yet. So the answer is to make more and more stuff. But then to be more selective. Fail lots and get better. I’ll continue to share it because why not. But like Ron, above, I won’t expect any of these tweets to blow up anytime soon.

p.s. Ron S’s Planet Z tracks are pretty great. And thanks to anyone who did spare a few minutes to listen to my new tracks (thanks Tom, Ben + Daniel!) And thanks Dad for buying a copy on Bandcamp 🙂

February 14, 2018No Comments

Firstperson playlist on Spotify

For anyone with:

  1. A Spotify account
  2. 1.5 hours to kill
  3. No other music to listen to...

...well you're in luck because here's a playlist of all my Firstperson stuff on Spotify:

Follow firstperson on Spotify:



January 12, 2018No Comments

Nested Worlds EP available to pre-order

My EP 'Nested Worlds' on Anode Records is now available to pre-order from the following outlets. It will be released on 26 January.

Listen to previews here on SoundCloud:

December 12, 2017No Comments

new music – hardware series

I have finally completed my series of ten tracks. They are all intentionally club-style techno tracks made in a retro 90s-inspired style, using a collection of hardware (i.e. not on the computer) to see what I could do and what I could learn from the process.

Four of them have been selected to be released by Anode Records (see here and here) based in St. Louis, Missouri which is a great honour. The four track EP will come out some time in the new year.

I'm now working on a set of more refined ambient and / or dubby re-works of these tracks - reprocessing and reusing some of the recorded elements. I expect to get some of those completed in the next two months, studio time allowing. Studio time is quite sporadic due to this being my spare-time hobby, and having a lot of work on at the moment and of course a family who presumably want to see me from time to time 🙂

You can find more of my music on Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

 

October 29, 2017No Comments

New track – L6 (loops series)

Grabbed some time over the half term holiday to work on some new music. Here is a deep / dub-style techno track:

soundcloud.com/firstperson/loops-l6

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