darren and emma seek sunlight. they hate rules. they make rules. they need money to nurse their baby rats. nothing will be good again. it can never be like before. but sister lives. where is spaceship mark.
Artist: The Great Electric
Cat No. : Van 276
Release date: October 27th
The Great Electric was formed in the winter of 2012 by Malcolm Doherty (Guitars, FX), Rob Hyde (Drums), Darren Hayman (Synth), Duncan Hemphill (Tones, Drones and FX) and Pete Gofton (Bass/Production).
Alumni of bands as diverse as Hefner, Kenickie, GoKart Mozart & Mum and Dad, the band was united by a love of the classic German electronic and progressive acts of the 1970s coupled with the pop music sensibilities, hooks and production of 90s bands such as Stereolab, Quickspace and Electric Sound of Joy.
EP1, self-recorded and released on Static Caravan is the Great Electric’s first release and showcases the band’s love of combining a hypnotic heaviness with accessibility – thickly layering melody onto bedrock of driving bass and drums, often lending the songs an almost pop patina.
Opener ‘Matter of Time’ sets off at a breakneck motorik pace, introducing layered analogue melodies and a metronomic bassline before giving way to a chorus that sits somewhere in the middle ground between Focus and Fantomas. The track fades into a fug of Gilmour-inspired guitars, analogue electronics and found sounds.
Jump Over The House is a triumphant, energised hybrid of 60’s Detroit soul and a locked, motorik pulse, overlaid with a subtle vocodered line straight out of millennium-era Trans Am. If you booked The Great Electric for your birthday party, they’d open with this song.
The EP’s lead track, Music and Colour establishes a rigid bass motif from the off and builds into the embodiment of perfect space age pop – constructed from layer upon layer of repetition, hypnotic drones and heavy washes of analogue melodies and counter-melodies.
The EP closes with M.O.P.E.. Building over 9 minutes, the track is a dichotomy of ‘Animals’-era Pink Floyd atmospherics and Sir Lord Baltimore barbarian rock. The song gathers pace before the wheels come off entirely and it rattles into Blue Cheer covering Yes’ ‘Heart of the Sunrise’.
2014 will see the band finish a debut LP ahead of organising a small number of live dates later in the year.
300 edition 12” vinyl Red Vinyl pressing
Buy The Great Electric – EP1 from Darren (inc P+P)
Despite the fact that I don’t write songs for these records one of the most fulfilling projects I have been involved with in the past few years is Papernut Cambridge.
Papernut Cambridge is the brainchild of Ian Button who currently drums in the Long Parliament. Live, I drum for Papernut, but on record I contribute keyboards and saxophone and bits.
It’s just such a beautiful sound that Ian makes. One of those bands that exists in it’s own universe. The band features’s lots of other characters from my musical past including Jack from hefner and Robert Rotifer as well as artists as diverse as Mary Epworth and Ralegh Long. It’s a band made up of front people, but somehow it all works. This will make you smile.
The record can be bought as a beautiful 7 inch boxset with a download code included – 12 main album tracks plus EIGHT bonus/alternate and extended mixes exclusive to the vinyl version. There is also a super cheap CD version.
Here’s my favourite song of this year by Papernut Cambridge
Buy the Papernut Cambridge – There’s No Underground 3 x 7inch Set Direct from Darren (inc P+P)
I hand-painted 20 covers for 20 CD EPs for the Independent Label Market on Saturday 12th July 2014 at Spitalfields. I’ll be on the WIAIWYA stall.
The EP features four new recordings of dog songs including one cover and one new composition.
I’ve also made the EP available for download from Bandcamp below. You get high quality scans of all the paintings with the download.
Buy from Bandcamp.
You can now buy the third four Occupation posters. The posters are A4 and will be sent in a strong cardboard tube.
Buy Occupation Poster Set 3 (including P and P)
You can now buy the second four Occupation posters. The posters are A4 and will be sent in a strong cardboard tube.
Buy Occupation Poster Set 2 (including P and P)
A limited edition seven inch single on Deep red vinyl with download code.
Darren and Emma used to be in the worst two named bands in the history of UK indie.
Darren met Emma in Sheffield and told her he was suspicious of a band who all wore hats. Then her band all put hats on and went on stage.
They started a friendship based on short scale basses.
Darren started writing a song and thought the melody in the chorus sounded like something Emma might write and sing. To avoid legal action he asked her to sing on it.
During the recording session they aspired to make the record sound as much like Bryan Adams and Sporty Spice as possible. If it doesn’t sound like that, then they’ve failed. That was their only objective.
Emma told Darren it was the best guitar playing she had ever heard in her entire life. Ever. Bar none.
There’s a video too, where they both play cat’s cradle beside canals. The video is less like Bryan and Sporty.
There are rumours that Darren and Emma are now making an album of duets.
Full artwork featured on both sides…
BUY THE SEVEN INCH HERE…
Or buy the downloads from Bandcamp
Buy the downloads for just a couple of quid here…
People who have been following me on Twitter will know that I’ve been collaborating with both Sleeping Dog FX and Made By Mike Pedals to design some unique, custom guitar pedals. These have been mostly for my own use but with this latest Vibrato pedal we thought someone else might want to own one.
It’s customized with artwork by me, a drawing of my favourite train in fact! A first generation Diesel Multiple Unit.
There is only one of these! Buy directly from Sleeping Dog FX here.
Here is a video of me demoing a non custom version of the pedal.
Maybe it is so unique that it’s only meant for one person. Me. But I thought maybe someone else would like it.
When ordering, make a note saying you want the Darren Hayman version of the pedal.
Card gatefold sleeve. Numbered and limtied to 500.
I like collections of five or six songs, seven even. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a proper name for them; Mini LPs? Maxi EPs?
I write when I travel, when I’m disengaged. I write when I’m on holiday. I wrote three of these songs in a blue house on the Suffolk coast. There was a piano in the blue house and I bought my baritone ukulele. I tasted every beer from the local brewery and rated them in a table in my notebook.
Leaves and Stars is about the cycle of wedding, christening, divorce, wedding. At the age of 42, too many of my friends are on the third stage. Nothing stays the same. It’s a song about acquiescence and letting go, accepting change and letting it wash over you.
Words change too, or at least their popularity does. Remember when words like ‘blackleg’, ‘scab’, ‘picket line’ and ‘strike’ were more common? They were barbed, sharp, violent words. They were necessary. Blackleg is a song about collaborating with the enemy.
When the School Sold Its Fields is about trying to remember when it first went wrong, or at least when I first noticed things going awry. When I was ten or eleven I remember my school selling its playing fields for a housing estate. Soon all the schools sold part of their fields. Many schools now have housing estates where the kids used to play. The song also concerns a memory I have of me being dressed up by my parents as a ‘China man’ for the PTA International Dinner. Mrs Morgan, our head teacher, had passed away. They held a silence and it was the first time my mind had confronted death. I cried.
Kurhaus Blues was written on an earlier holiday in Semmering, Austria. In fact I have a whole album of instrumentals on the subject of Semmering. We walked around a ruined Kurhaus, lost amongst the mountains and trees. I imagined it when it was new. I do this a lot; imagine old things new.
Loose Change was written by my friend Valentine Leys. She sang one of mine, so I sang one of hers’. Valentine’s is better.
Blue House was made especially for Indie Label Market 29 November 2013. It will also be available directly from www.hefnet.com and a few select record shops.
Darren Hayman, December 2013
Buy the Blue House EP CD Direct from Darren
Blue House comes in a neat card gatefold slip case. Numbered and limited to 500.
Or buy downloads from Bandcamp here.
You can now buy the first four Occupation posters. The posters are A4 and will be sent in a strong cardboard tube.