Thursday, 16 April 2015


See above cover image for  the "Mesh" EP, which is my first release of any solo material since "PVZ" in 2012.

I guess it's not strictly solo, since I am joined by my former Random Noise Generator partner Robert Peck (A.K.A. RJ) on vocals and guitar. Although initially Rob encouraged me to sing, he does a much better job of vocals than I can, and his guitar textures add a pleasing dimension I hadn't foreseen.

I have described the music as being an ideal soundtrack to moments of indecision and transition, and both states seem to occur fairly regularly in my life.

Five tracks and just shy of 20 minutes of music, "Mesh" is a digital only release and out now in the usual places: iTunes, CD Baby, and Burning Shed, where hi-res FLAC audio files are also an available option.

A full length album featuring further solo material in conjunction with RJ will be forthcoming later this year.



Saturday, 11 April 2015

My Basses Part 2

Next up in my bass collection is my Spector Euro 435LX.

I was unfamiliar with Spector basses until a US tour in the mid 2000's, when the Spector artist representative kindly lent me a Czech made Spector Euro, for some US gigs.
Being incredibly solid, well made and reliable instruments they have become a mainstay for me, standing up extremely well to the demands of travel and regular use, and sounding great too.

For some time previously I had been experimenting with playing lower than a Drop D, even with RNG going as far down as an A below the usual E, so my initial interest in this particular model was due to the extra scale length, which is advantageous for down tuning. (Note: the numbers in the model 435 refer to 4 string with a 35" scale, rather than a more usual 34")

I had this particular bass set-up at the Bass Gallery in Camden to play a semitone lower than the bottom 4 strings of a standard 5 string, (i.e. Bflat, Eflat, Aflat, Dflat) and I felt it a good fit for some of the Porcupine Tree material which invited lower notes, such as "Way Out of Here":

….and also more dub infused moments, here on the Ex-Wise Heads track "Gene Pool":

More recently, tuned a semitone higher, it's seen at lot of action with Obake, fitting in really well underneath Eraldo Bernocchi's furious baritone guitars, click here to listen to "Seven Rotten Globes".

Some detailed shots:

 Bridge and Pick-ups.

Neck detail, it's a neck through, rather than bolt-on design.
Headstock and brass nut.  Truss rod is visible, as I removed the truss rod cover to make some adjustments, and promptly lost it.

The bridge, note the tapered Spector strings.

Here's a recent live action close up :

I generally prefer 4 strings to 5, so downtuning is a solution that suits me better when I want to access a lower register.
The clearly defined lower notes make up for the extra hand stretches required, and the sustain is as satisfying as playing some of the lowest notes on a piano.



Tuesday, 7 April 2015

O.R.k - "Inflamed Rides" - Pre - Order now on Musicraiser.

The debut O.R.k. album featuring myself, Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (vocals), Carmelo Pipitone (guitars) and Pat Mastelotto (drums) is now available to pre-order on

There's a download digital option, limited edition CD and a remix contest, full details are to be found by clicking the link below:

Brand new band website can be found at, and the FB page is here.

Please check out this stunning video for our track "Pyre" from Oktopus productions:



Sunday, 29 March 2015

My Basses, Part One of a series…..

Phil Richardson AKA Phil the Hat, who underwent some truly uncomfortable moments as the star of the recent Burnt Belief video for Dissemble, is also a professional photographer who has recently taken some great pictures of a selection of my bass guitars. 
The reason for taking all these shots is primarily that I have been tasked with making a bass sample library from my bass guitar collection, which for anyone unfamiliar means basically recording each instrument with variety of different velocities to make usable recordings of bass sounds that other musicians can use in their own productions.
I hope to have more news on the sample library soon, but in the meantime, I thought I would share some of the photos and write a bit about each instrument.
Phil's cradle set up for photographing the basses.

No particular order, but first up is my Basslab Soul IV. (NB. Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Basslab from Germany, make some truly unique and individual designs, but I chose their most conservative model, the Soul, which is based on a traditional Fender shape.

It's a conservative shape, but made from a very unusual material, a "tunable composite" as well as having a hollow body with sound holes cut in. (see above)
Bridge Detail.

D tuner is just visible behind the headstock on this shot.

Showing the battery indicator light.

Fretboard detail.

I have to confess that initially, I wasn't sure what to make of the Soul, it felt so different from the usual wooden basses I have, that I wasn't sure if I would get on with it.
Any doubts were quickly pushed aside as soon as I recorded with it, it has a very clear low end, and if I am sometimes working on a track and searching for a sound, it's usually the bass that will make further searching unnecessary. I find it works particularly well with distortion.
It has proved to be very reliable, tonally flexible and very comfortable to play. Being a hollow body, it's also very light.
I first used this bass on the Ex-Wise Heads track Accidental Design and it's also on the title track of Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet album, as well as "Normal" from the Nil Recurring EP, to name a few.

More to follow…...

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Metallic Taste of Blood - "Doctoring the Dead"

Here's the cover image for the second Metallic Taste of Blood album, which is due in May on Rarenoise.

Once again myself on bass with Eraldo Bernocchi on guitars and electronics, and also Ted Parsons on drums and percussion, with Roy Powell on keyboards.

Audio samples coming soon…..



Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Abstract Fretless

Late night fretless bass exploration:

…more tracks on my download page here.

Solo Work

Ex Wise Heads Downloads