Recently I was looking through my original content for the website, where I had described Improvizone as a "live improvisation evening based around electronic percussion and ordinary electrified instruments."
Thinking my faux pomposity would be lost on too many people, I dropped that text. But it is completely true, we do use standard rock instruments. There are always guitars and bass guitars at Improvizone gigs, although we aim for somewhere beyond the standard rock band sound. Electronic drums are one way we achieve this. Michael Bearpark is another.
There is evidence of our non-standard sound all over the downloads list. But because the list is open to anybody to upload to, stuff can appear that is nowhere near what we want to do at the gigs. I am comfortable with this for the time being, as people can give a score (anonymously) and leave damning comments if they like. When I score items, I'm thinking in terms of the general Improvizone gig fit, rather than how much I really like them. But what if someone wanted a definitive Improvizone sound? What if they said, all this is just chucking mud at walls, give us something that epitomises what people are going to get if they come to a gig?
Too bad, I might have replied, we're improvising, there is no definitive. But as the gigs have come and gone, they have yielded a wide selection of examplary stuff. Lots of these are uploaded already, but a handful of more recent samples are about to be diverted somewhere else.
I have been thinking about having a promotional free CD we could give out, similar to the way people in Liverpool Street station at 9am hand out chocolates, chewing gum and flats in Marbella. OK, so the the flats aren't exactly free.... whatever. Originally, I wanted one of those novel and dinky 8cm CDs you can slip into your pocket one drunken evening, forget about, and then feel the felicitous glow the following morning, as you discover in the folds of your suit trouser a new phone number some cutie slipped you the night before (no, it's never happened to me either). And then find the CD as well. Snapped in half, but hey.
An 8cm CD could have fitted a total of about 19 minutes, fine for a freebie. The trouble with 8cm CDs is that they do not play on all equipment. Players with trays should be fine, they have the little sunken well in the middle for it to sit in. It's the ones with the slitty mouths that suck in your disc on an invisible tongue, those often choke on smaller discs. So I went for the ordinary 12cm disc, considering too that the fit-in-pocket thing would only be an issue in the venue, where practically everyone is wearing suits, which have nice big pockets.
What to put on it? I wanted to use thus far unheard bits of Improvizone that everybody will love and treasure and still be discussing in cyberspace in 15 years time. Although a full-sized CD might be a good opportunity to present a couple of longer pieces that would never have made it onto the downloads list, in fact I've ended up with a collection of shorter ones that are either very recent or were missed for some reason.
So, Improvizone presents its second CD product, something for everyone. Or SE1 from now on, to save on the typing. SE1 features the following contributors.
Stylistically, SE1 has a good mix of all sorts, covering the electronic, ambient, chillout beats and soundscapes description I've been posting all over the place. Here's what's on it.
The tracks on here will be exclusively available on the CD. We will be giving out copies at gigs to anyone who wants one. Also, we will be leaving them in as many book/music/CD shops as we can find that will have them on their checkout counters, flier stations etc. For people who really want it but don't live in London, we will be making it available from the shop at a cost of one single English pound sterling plus postage. The unit cost of these CDs is just about 46p, so if you do order it, indirectly you will be doing us a favour by helping fund our promotional programme. Directly, you'll be paying me 54p to stuff it in an envelope for you and stick it in the post. This is why I live in South Woodford, not South Kensington.
Sharp-eyed clued-up observers will notice the graphic on this CD to be devoid of the usual superfluous copyright and all-rights-reserved notices. These, as we all know, are implicit in any works committed to a listenable medium, under the Berne Convention, and apply to the tracks on this CD and their contributing artists just the same.
The SE1 CD will be released at the next gig on 26 June 2007.