Blue Light Fever
Blue Light Fever
Originally signed to Pete Waterman's PWL label, it was then passed on to Coalition Records. This was a Warner Brothers subsiduary, home to a motley crew including the following: Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, Apache Indian, Jools Holland, Sybil, and ex-Yargo vocalist Basil (Appropriately enough the label's affairs were run about as well as Fawlty Towers....). Production and recording began in earnest and a supporting cast of additional musicians was assembled. Matt handled vocal duties in the main, but was aided by Little Annie (also known as Annie Anxiety - a chanteuse noir who has collaborated with luminaries such as Crass, On-U Sound, Adrian Sherwood, Coil, Nurse With Wound, Current 93, Wolfgang Press, and most recently Antony Hegarty of Antony & the Johnsons), Glenn Sharp (of electronia outfit Tremble, an excellent guitarist/ songwriter who is now a professional flamenco player) and Adam McConnachie (a flamboyant and sinister gangster/poet, a man of whom much is rumored, but little set in stone).
Various attempts were made to mix the album in top-class studios, to no avail. Lee Montiverdi (from All Around The World Records) initially mixed some tracks, as did Danny Hyde from Coil (with Peter Christopherson even agreeing to produce specialized vocal treatments). The problem was that, back in those days, the tracks were simply too complicated to mix in the traditional fashion without it taking a minimum of 3 days per mix - and some tracks (eg: "Shutdown") were in fact made up from several "mixes" that were then spliced together. In one studio SIX Akai samplers were running, with all 60 outputs in use, and a second mixing desk had to be hired in as the 96-Channel one had run out of inputs.
At a thousand pounds a day, costs were mounting fast and patience was wearing thin for everyone concerned. In the end it became obvious that it would be cheaper for the label to buy Matt a studio and let him mix it himself. Other extravagances included extensive brass sessions which took place with players led by Gary Barnacle (Level 42 sax player, and session musician extraordinaire who played on every conceivable hit in the 80's, from The Clash to Paul McCartney) for a track that was never even released (possibly due to the fact that it mixed Roman brass fanfares with cheesy house piano, searing noise guitar, industrial beats and an outro that contained over 30 samples of copyrighted material within the space of a minute). After a painful gestation period the album was finally completed in 1996, but by then the label's finances were in a shambles and Warners' accountants cut the project before anything could be released. The album then sat on the shelf for 5 years and was only released due to the tireless efforts of his manager, "Dee Bee".
After a brief period with a publishing company run by Phil Collins' ex publisher, Dave Massey, it eventually found a home on Robert Miles' Salt Records. For the main single off the album, "DJ", breaks producer B.L.I.M. was enlisted, and helped it achieve some degree of visibility in the dance arena, with DJs such as the Plump DJs spinning it regularly. The label, however, was used to the kind of sales Robert Miles' records achieved.
He was their only other act and, having had a global hit with "Children", had a dedicated fan base. Unfortunately, prior to the emergence of online distribution, selling records by new artists was a very different proposition - the costs of which had possibly been underestimated. Upon release the album, along with its singles "DJ" and "Shutdown", garnered many favourable reviews including: “elaborate and frequently beautiful electronic music”, "ambitious and unique debut" (NME); “if you live for the next Warp release don’t miss this” (DJ Magazine); “astonishingly original, brilliant and completely uncategorisable” (Music Week "Cool Cuts" Chart - no.12) Enthusiastic DJ support came from the likes of Plump DJs, Laurent Garnier, Andrew Weatherall, Touche, Pete Jordan, Atomic Hooligan, Fluke DJs, Mr Scruff, The Egg, Jody Wisternoff (Way Out West), Harry K (Apollo 440), Ann D, Jason Holmes (Fat City Records), and Baby Anne - along with radio support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Steve Lamaq, Vic Galloway, Gill Mills, the BBC's "New Room", XFM, and Capital Radio. A 30 minute Radio 1 session for One World followed but eventually a combination of bad timing, exhuastion and a lack of promotional funds led to the project being eventually put to one side.
After being released from his Salt Records contract Matt took an extended sabbatical from the music business, retraining as a Music Technology teacher and departmental technician, until 2009, when the temptation to make a racket became too much. The initial plot was to strip the music down to it's most basic, primitive form - just vocals, guitars, bass and drums - absolutely NO excessive arrangements or mind-bending production techniques. Just a straight-ahead rock project (albeit one that married The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster with The Gun Club, Sonic Youth and a touch of Adam and the Ants). Needless to say, upon purchasing a new computer that could probably run a continents ballistic weapons system this project has been put on the back burner.
Finally armed with a production system capable of taking on the madness that is Blue Light Fever, new material will be emerging soon - expect excessive arrangements and mind-bending production techniques. With a dance beat. Live shows commenced in September 2010 and were met with an extremely positive response. One punter is quoted as saying "you're the only person who can make me get up and dance!".
The accompanying EP - "Head For The Exit" - is available for free download here: http://hermetechmastering.com/Examples/HFTE-FLAC.zip A new dubstep epic titled "Elephant Moshpit" is also complete and combines creaky dubstep with a pseudo-glam rock stomp. It is free to download here: http://soundcloud.com/blue-light-fever/elephant-moshpit-2011. From 2011, Matt moved into the mysterious world of Eurorack modular synthesizers, and has been slowly building an enormous "Frankensynth", mixing all the best of analogue and digital in a huge, hands-on performance synthesizer system. The musical fruits of this endeavour have taken things into a new, more experimental direction - the name of this project is SpiteZoo Experimental Lab and the following Soundcloud page already contains a large number of new tracks: http://soundcloud.com/spitezoo-experimental-lab Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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