2022 | Mellifluous
This album represents what is, to me, anyway, my eighth ‘proper’ release, the other seven being released either on other third party labels, or my own imprint.
This blog post is a culmination of posts taken from my home page and details the timeline from conception through to release.
Eh up! Long time etc.
Hope you’re having a decent time of it? Strange days indeed… but I won’t go into that.
As far as I’m concerned, the last ‘proper’ album I released was ‘Paracosmic’, way back in 2017. I guess by ‘proper’ I mean a body of varied work written over a two or three year period.
Obviously, I’ve stuck a couple of decent ambient albums out since then [we’re talking the seriously well-received ‘Meditations’ and its companion album,’Medications’], but I feel I’m now ready to put a ‘proper’ new LP out. By ‘proper’ I mean it’ll comprise of a compilation of what I deem to be some of the better, varied pieces that I’ve been tinkering with over the past 5 years or so.
Anyway, having already compartmentalised the pieces I think will make the cut, I feel it’s a great LP; I’m happy with it, and I think you will be, too.
This time around, I’m not doing a kickstarter. Instead, I’m thinking about a nifty pre-order system for a limited edition LP, which’ll be pressed on blue-green vinyl. I will also release a CD version in 6-panel packaging replete with a booklet of photographs and words.
In order to get this project off the ground, I need to gauge an idea of who’d be interested in buying either the vinyl or CD [or perhaps both for the completists amongst you]! by simply clicking on a ‘vinyl’ and ‘CD’ polling button which I have set up on the homepage, here. This poll will close on mid-summer’s day, the 21st June.
C’mon; you know you want to!
Update | July 2022
As promised, I closed the poll on the 21st of June. Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who either contributed, or those of you who’ve got in touch with me directly to let me know their preference around the physical release of this new album.
I’m going to name it Mellifluous, which I think is an apt description for this release.
My poll had a strong response!
Looking at the results, I arrived at my decision to order 100 copies only of each format.
Because of the ongoing global demand for pressing vinyl, I’m afraid that deliveries won’t commence until around October.
The vinyl edition will be pressed on 130gm mint-green transparent wax and will retail on my BandCamp at or around the £19 mark.
The Compact Disc will ship in a 6 panel digipack, complete with an 12 page booklet and will retail at or around the £11 mark.
Postage and packing costs will be additional and will obviously depend on where you’re based.
The last time I self-released, this is the step that properly screwed me over and lost me considerable money, as I’d seriously underestimated the costs of shipping product abroad – especially to the States and Australia, which sometimes cost almost as much as the record itself! CD isn’t quite as astronomical, but needless to say, I will be shipping the stock as securely and economically as I can.
The record has been mastered by old buddy Chris Bagust at Marmalade Masters and it’s sounding punchy and strong, which is good news. If you’re ever in need of a solid, reliable mastering engineer, then Chris is your man…
I will announce on the usual channels when you’ll be able to pre-order both CD and vinyl on my BandCamp.
In addition to the record itself, I’m also planning on selling some limited edition high-quality hoodies and some rather beautiful wooden coasters, both of which will sport the rather fetching lucid recordings logo.
Update | August 2nd, 2022
Righto, I have some progress to report!
I’ve now launched the pre-release on my BandCamp. It’s the first time that I’ve used this feature on BC and I have to confess to initially finding it somewhat confusing.
However, I think I’ve mastered it, and it’s now all live.
The five TPs [test pressings] for the vinyl are almost ready to be shipped from the pressing plant, so I’m seriously looking forward to hearing how they sound when they land here in the UK.
Chuffed as fuck to report that both the vinyl and the CD were flying off the proverbial shelves yesterday. However, things [inevitably] appear to have slowed today, so I’m hoping that the 70 or so of you who expressed an interest in the vinyl edition will place your pre-orders soon, otherwise I’m liable to lose a shit-ton of dough… :-/
To those of you who’ve already come on board with this, I salute you.
Thank you for your support, as ever. x
Update | September 1st, 2022
So… the pre-release on BandCamp ends this coming Sunday night, and the album is released ‘properly’ on BandCamp exclusively on Monday 5th September.
I’ll roll the album out to all other streaming and download sites [Apple, Deezer, Amazon etc. etc.] towards the end of October ’22.
In other exciting news, I had the vinyl TPs [5 test pressings] back from the plant last week, and I have to say that they sound absolutely fantastic!
All five are clean, quiet, flat – I am really impressed when I compare it to my last two releases on vinyl. ‘Peace Odyssey’ was unfortunately, in hindsight, a rather noisy affair, and whilst at the time I thought that ‘Paracosmic’ was a great pressing, both of these pail in comparison to these test pressings.
This bodes very well for the limited edition coloured press, Seriously – I can’t wait to see the finished product!!
As of today, the album is released as a BandCamp-exclusive until I roll it out to all streaming & other digital platforms towards the end of October, or thereabouts.
In the meantime, I’ve recorded a track-by-track ‘podcast’ where I talk about the genesis of each piece, using unreleased dubs of each track as background audio.
Click on the widget below to take a listen. It’s interesting, if you’re into this kind of thing, Enjoy!
Bruce talks about tracks on Mellifluous
I can hardly contain my excitement. This afternoon, a UPS courier delivered, as promised, my consignment of 100 vinyl copies of my new album, neatly packaged in four individual boxes, all the way from Taiwan.
OK, there are those that will proclaim that I’m not doing my bit for global warming and suchlike, but I could conteract that argument by saying that these days, I take a bare modicum of flights abroad, I don’t use my vehicle as often as I used to [although that’s probably more to do with the ridiculous price of fuel at present, if I’m honest] and I consider myself to do my best to be as environmentally friendly as I can be as a westerner.
But all I’ll say is bollocks to all the environmental ramfications. After religiously collecting loads of 7″ singles and albums in the seventies and eighties pressed on a variety of colours and even picture discs, to release some of my own music, pressed on a lovely colour that looks beautiful as it spins on a turntable platter has been an aim of mine since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I can now proudly say that I’ve achieved this!
I did a fair amount of research prior to deciding to use Mobineko to press my new record. As you may or may not know, vinyl has had a massive resurgence in popularity; like everything, it’s cyclical. Consequently, there are a lot of pressing plants springing up, offering up all manner of weird and wonderful options for the aspiring artist to release his/her/their music on the plastique fantastique. However, a lot of these companies are reliant on old pressing technologies, using machinery from decades ago, that has been reconditioned and brought ‘up-to-date’.
Mobineko, however are different. They have invested in a brand new pressing plant; new machinery, new printing presses, all based overseas in Taiwan. The Taiwanese staff appear to be totally into providing the best quality product that they can, and this has been evident from the quality of the test pressings I received, and the updates on my website account, which have proved to be 100% accurate in terms of timings all of the way through the ordering process. I cannot recommend this company highly enough,
Anyway, back to this afternoon. I’ve signed for the packages, ripped open one of the four boxes and there they are; securely packaged in packs of 10, my lovely new album on glorious vinyl. Upon pulling a copy out for inspection, I’m struck by the quality of the printing of the outer sleeve; glossy and vibrant; just as I’d envisaged.
The inner printed insert looks great, and then – the record itself – all I’ll say is that it exceeds expectations! It looks beautiful. The mint green was definitely the right colour for this release – when I hold it up to the light, the transparency is perfect. I guess the acid test was giving this copy a play on one of my turntables, so I opt for the house deck – my Denon DP30L.
There’s always a worry that a copy of a record pressed on coloured vinyl may have more surface noise than a standard black vinyl copy, but in this case, that’s simply not true. I watched my record spin on the platter and the glorious audio spilled into my headphones and I struggled to hear much in the way of surface noise at all, aside from obviously the gaps between tracks where a little low-frequency rumble was evident. That’s to be expected.
Later in the day, I took a second copy out to my studio to see how it sounded on my transcription deck, my pride and joy – a Technics SL10 with an SME III arm and Jico/Shure cartridge/stylus combo. It sounded wonderful. I’ve since tested a further five or six random copies and they’re all the same – quiet, flat and pressed dead centre.
I had a call from Alpha, the company in High Wycombe that I’ve used for my last three CD releases, to let me know that the CD version of Mellifluous was ready for collection. Whilst not feeling the same level of anticipation and excitement I’d felt about receiving the vinyl copies, I was still genuinely looking forward to checking out the artwork for this. The art for the CD is entirely different to the vinyl and, true to form, Alpha didn’t disappoint. It looks fantastic. The 12 page booklet is printed beautifully, the 6 panel pack is sturdy, and the audio obviously sounds like a digital copy should do. For those of you who ordered the CD, you’ll be pleased to note that some of the tracks are full-fat – because of the timing limitations on vinyl I had to trim a few of the compositions down a tad to ensure timings didn’t exceed the 21 minute mark each side, but for the CD, each track is there in its entirety and also a lot of the album is segued using field recordings I make from day to day experiences.
I’m convinced that, like vinyl and cassette have, the humble Compact Disc will be the next to achieve a second wind in terms of being a collectible format, and those of you who have stuck with this reliable and attractive format through thick and thin won’t regret it when values start to increase off the back of a renewed popularity driven by ‘the kids’…