Firstly, just to let you know that calling out from my solo album Mandala is today’s featured free MP3 download on Allaboutjazz.com, so make sure you pop over there and grab yourself some free music if you don’t have the album yet. There’s a great selection of past free tracks archived on the site too so it’s well worth a visit.
Many of you will probably have noticed that over the last few days I have been beavering away setting up a bunch of pages and profiles for my new band Little Alex. This is a collaboration with Steve Alexander in which we combine the live looping of my solo project with live drums and percussion from Steve. I though it was about time I posted something here on the blog to let you know where we’re at right now.
We’ve been on Twitter for quite some time now with both myself and Steve posting. Incidentally, Steve also has his own Twitter account now so do go say Hi when you get a chance (his username is @SteveADrums). Over the last couple of days I have also started up a profile on Reverbnation which is home to our mailing list if you want to keep up to date with progress. We’ve already had a fair few people ‘like’ the Facebook page, which has been great. Last night, and only for the sake of completeness, I gritted my teeth and put together the world’s most half-arsed MySpace page. If you feel the need to visit that one, please bear in mind that I can barely get my head around it’s out-dated and glitchy interface; but at least we have the username
We’ve been busy writing new material and recording various demos at Little Alex HQ. Unfortunately we have nothing to play you at this stage because we’ve yet to play together in a proper studio with all our gear. So far Steve has been playing sampled drums in the studio due to space and noise (!) restrictions. We’re looking at having our first fully live rehearsal next week…
Now for the geek stuff. You have been warned…
My live looping rig has expended somewhat with the addition of a Pod X3 Pro and FBV shortboard thanks to the lovely folks at Line 6. I’ve hooked this up with the old faithful Lexicon MPX G2 in the effects loop which has given me access to some seriously scary sounds. The Pod feeds directly into the Looperlative LP1 which goes straight into the desk for recording. For live playing I managed to get my hands on Cass Lewis’ old touring Warwick ProTube IX which has a stereo effects loop and dual DI outputs. I’m finding that it’s becoming increasingly important to keep the bass in stereo to get the full effect from some of the more spacier sounds I now have access to.
And Steve has been working on a brand new drum setup for the Little Alex project. It’s a much smaller kit with some more esoteric cymbals so we can have access to some really interesting colours and textures. He’s also looking at adding some toys into the mix too; kalimba and baby glockenspiel should be the next additions. We’re trying to keep electronics and samplers out of the drum rig at this stage to simplify our on stage setup, but we haven’t ruled it out entirely for the future. Here’s a little blurry shot taken by Steve this week to show the kit’s latest incarnation..
Anyway. Didn’t intend for this post to be so long! Hopefully next time I blog about the band we’ll have something to play you. We’re working towards putting together an EP to release later this year. We’re hoping to play a slot at the Limelight Music Festival at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow next month, as we will both be up there for the week working on another project. Watch this space (or one of our other many spaces) for announcements of upcoming dates.