While most of the tracks are recent recordings, there's the odd blast from the past that I thought would fit the vibe, plus I've included a non-edited track from start to finish, exposing the process of making things up in fine detail
Enjoy the journey Cubest027 takes you on and remember, keep it real ...
2017 04 19 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Bass; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Vocals; Steve Radford: Alto Sax, Piano; Martin Urmson: Bass; Francesca Maria Solinas: Vocals, Percussion; Helen Farrell: Percussion; Megan Smith: Sax, Percussion;
I like unusual starts to tracks, so here's an unusual start to the album. This one sounds like we've checked in to Bedlam (again). It's a military march with a solid yet funky bass. Megan creates the tune on sax and things look set, yet 1:45 in it drops into a percussive passage. Martin changes the bass line and the mood becomes decidedly cheeky. Suddenly Jean-Michel recites a passage about film production techniques in a German accent. Maria's voice swirls and Jean-Michel accompanies her on guitar. Marcus comes in with a squelchy synth sound, then Megs is back with her motif. You can hear a little piano in the background. Jean-Michel returns on vocals and rounds the tune off. There's an explosion of sound from a dodgy cable and things come to a confused halt. It's all very peculiar
2018 02 21 - Marcus Valentine: Piano; Keef Chemistry: Melodica; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Alberto Sciusco: Acoustic Guitar; Steve Radford: Alto Sax; David Insua-Cao: Drums;
Something a little more sophisticated now. Nice beat, good bass, gentle guitar strumming and that wicked guitar link by Jon. Steve is free to wander on sax and there are snippets from Alberto on acoustic guitar. My part is minimal, a short echoey flicker of notes at intervals. Alberto's guitar sounds lovely. There's some solid drumming and bass work, while Jon maintains his lick throughout, a sterling feat. It's a bit Jazz FM, but it's so good! We have sax, then guitar, alternating well. When it quietens down you can hear Marcus on piano, a nice touch
2018 02 14 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Vocals, Drums; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Gloria Lanci: Synth;
Cube volunteer, Ben, popped into the auditorium and said hello. I was sitting on the drums with a mic at my side and felt inclined to burst into song about him. He didn't stay around long, but that didn't deter me from carrying on, imagining what he was up to. There's a nice contrast between the slide guitar riff and Marcus' synth stabs, a mix of vintage and futurist. Martin's bass lines are excellent, sometimes rock solid, other times up and down the frets. Now and then I encounter difficulty both singing and playing the drums, especially with making up the words as I go along. Although the track's levels are blowing here and there, it has interesting elements throughout. Solid fun. 'Yeah', as Jon says at the end
2018 02 07 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Alberto Sciusco: Acoustic Guitar; Matthew Richards: Drums;
Dawning like a new day, the players limber up and set off at a gentle pace. I'm doing some heavy breathing down the mic and imagining I'm jogging. Even Matthew is standing while playing the drums. There's a plinky organ line and a regular boing on slide guitar. It's reminiscent of a middle-period Pink Floyd track, circa Atom Heart Mother. That, or the Magic Roundabout. As we proceed I get more and more out of breath, until Matthew cleverly brings it to a halt and we finish cleanly. I remember it being a lovely moment during that evening's session.
2018 02 07 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Vocals; Martin Urmson: Bass; Alberto Sciusco: Acoustic Guitar; Matthew Richards: Drums;
Off-kilter riff, off-kilter drums and irregular, tuneless parps from me on melodica through an effect that sounds like a kazoo! Martin's bass is good. Jon comes in on vocals with a repeated mantra. It's obscure, yet evocative. It's a difficult thing to sing and play that riff too, so hats off to Jon. We drop out and I bring up my melodica effect onto Jon's vocal, then decide it's interfering and drop it out again. Matthew swells the cymbals up into a wall of sound, then Jon stops, Martin overruns the cue, but finds a great point and note to finish on, as the cymbals subside ...
2017 07 19 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Steve Radford: Alto Sax; David Insua-Cao: Percussion; Matthew Richards: Bass; Megan Smith: Sax; Tim Robertson: Pocket Trumpet;
I employed some creative editing at the start of this track, as I liked the initial bass line, but there was precious little of it I could use cleanly. My nod to Brian Wilson. It's a groovy track with great percussion and bass. I like the interplay between the two saxophones and the trumpet. As well as that, there's some interesting riff development between the guitar and keyboard that David picks up on later. Jean-Michel's guitar adds more to the soloing going on, interjecting the brass and woodwind. It drops (as is our way), then David picks it up, working on that riff, then cranks it right up in double time for the final furlong. The way it ends is just hilarious. I've noticed a penchant for playing the last note amongst the orchestra members
2018 01 17 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Vocals, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Alberto Sciusco: Synth; David Insua-Cao: Musical Toys; Matthew Richards: Drums; Sam Pearson: Cow Bell; Jack Whitestaff: Percussion; Tim Robertson: Clackers; Sriram Natarajan: Guitar;
This could have so easily been our parting call, but I already had something in mind for the finale. It's a romp right from the outset and the stage is set with my heavily-effected vocal chant. David adds to the comedy with delightful squeals and squeaks from his collection of musical toys. Marcus carries it along on keyboards, but we're all attentive to what's ensuing and the tune writes itself. The final minute tails off really well. Great cymbal sounds. Good shit, as Marcus proclaims
2017 12 13 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Samples, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass; Martin Urmson: Six-String Bass; Ramon Sanchez: Drums, Vocals; Just Mike: Percussion; Ram Natarajan: Guitar;
This collection wouldn't be complete without including just one track without edits, complete from start point to crumbling end. I'd transformed the user manual for our mixer from text to audio and laid it out on my sampler, triggering it as and when. There was a lot of information to get through. Jon's guitar sets up the riff, Ramon is on it on the drums, in comes the bass ...hang on, there's Martin's six-string bass, plus Jean-Michel on a four-string bass. It's an interesting sound, upbeat yet shambolic. We run through the welcome and the features. Ramon and Jean-Michel are working well together. Then we come to the caution. You can hear that Marcus would like to play his organ, but I'm not being attentive at first and keep interrupting him. By the legal disclaimer we've hit a jerky section, with some fuzzy bass slides. It then swells into a manic progression with us all going for it. There's just enough time for some important information and the orchestra push on through to the final thank yous. Thank you and goodbye ...
- keef chemistry
Download the zip file here (8 tracks @ 320kbps = 90mb):
(The files need to be zipped before download. This may take a while, so please be patient ...)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License