zYklen – Pleura (2020)

Created during a low-point in physical health and mental well-being, these songs were recorded quickly with little to no sequencing, relying on playing and performing. Returning to the recordings during recovery uncovered some gentle, sometimes somber, sometimes tender moments had been captured.

An album was assembled from the many hours of music, with song titles paying homage to the medical language within the many letters received. Although this sounds bleak, the process of writing and as a means to document recovery has been very cathartic.

zYklen – Pölym (2020)

A compilation of songs recorded over the past year or so which focus on melody, harmony and counterpoint as opposed to purely textural or abstract composition.

The intention was always to create an album to showcase these songs; providing a gentle, musical experience that could have been encountered at any point in the last thirty (plus) years at the meeting points of documentary soundtrack, new-age or ambient electronic music.

zYklen – Sonation (2019)

Recorded between Mar & Sep 2019, these compositions were inspired by "Sonation" the sound produced by birds, using mechanisms other than the throat. Structures such as the bill, wings, tail, feet and feathers, or by the use of tools.

Rather than attempt to replicate or manipulate directly the sound of birds, the inspiration for this project was to produce an ambient, drone-like "Sonation" using an instrument not conventionally associated with producing sustained or melodic sounds, in this case a single (hybrid analog/sampling) drum machine.

As with most other zYklen releases these are all single-take recordings of loosely structured improvisations. This time with a fixed 10-minute recording window.

zYklen – Alignment A (2019)

Recorded between Nov 2017 and Nov 2018, the tracks featured on Alignment A+B were composed in single sessions and recorded to stereo in single takes. They feature little to no editing, retaining each performance as captured, often using a single instrument, or at most an ensemble of 2 or 3 for each composition.

Although melodic phrases feature throughout, timbral and tonal transformations were more important to achieving the desired rising and falling intensity, taking the listener on a journey through moments of beauty to more atonal textures.

The running order of Alignment A+B is also chronological. Presenting the compositions in this way further extends the concept of a listening journey which follows the order in which they were created.

zYklen – Alignment B (2019)

Recorded between Nov 2017 and Nov 2018, the tracks featured on Alignment A+B were composed in single sessions and recorded to stereo in single takes. They feature little to no editing, retaining each performance as captured, often using a single instrument, or at most an ensemble of 2 or 3 for each composition.

Although melodic phrases feature throughout, timbral and tonal transformations were more important to achieving the desired rising and falling intensity, taking the listener on a journey through moments of beauty to more atonal textures.

The running order of Alignment A+B is also chronological. Presenting the compositions in this way further extends the concept of a listening journey which follows the order in which they were created.

zYklen – Ramat Ridge I (2016)

EP 1/2 inspired by the view of the Tamar Bridges from recording studio.

All tracks performed live in one take with only a little mastering to balance dynamics.

Start by loading a selection of environmental sounds, piano, synth, etc into sampler and manipulate from there. Spend a few hours getting a collection of sounds which work well together. Normally have a main theme and variation, once I know the start point and peak, the arrangement is improvised from there.

Try to keep the length between 5-8 mins and complete 2 or 3 versions (first is normally best). Always complete compositions in one session to ensure focus is not lost.

zYklen – Ramat Ridge II (2017)

EP 2/2 inspired by the view of the Tamar Bridges from recording studio.

All tracks performed live in one take with only a little mastering to balance dynamics.

Start by loading a selection of environmental sounds, piano, synth, etc into sampler and manipulate from there. Spend a few hours getting a collection of sounds which work well together. Normally have a main theme and variation, once I know the start point and peak, the arrangement is improvised from there.

Try to keep the length between 5-8 mins and complete 2 or 3 versions (first is normally best). Always complete compositions in one session to ensure focus is not lost.

zYklen – London Live (2018)

Remastered album of live performance at The Brixton Junction, Aug 1998.

This album was improvised live with each starting point a "config" within the sequencer. Using two analogue synthesisers, a digital sampler and two analogue effects plus small mixer, allowed the creation of evolving soundscapes that are unique to each performance.

zYklen – Performants (2017)

Remastered album of archive material recorded between 1994 and 1997.

Performants is about spontaneity, room for error, feedback and chaos. Creating freeform sound, where environmental and chance factors are captured within a narrow time frame, free to follow any path as it evolves.

Recordings are achieved by using analogue synthesisers and effects, allowing the creation of liquid soundscapes which evolve during performance - having a microphone or short wave radio attached to the system allows outside forces to influence the proceedings. All equipment is heavily modified to gain access to modulating every aspect of their sound.

As feedback is an essential ingredient in the mix, the creation of each piece is a fine balance between keeping enough level in the system to yield an output but not so much that the sound become saturated. Careful enveloping and filtering of the feedback level is kept in motion by a chain of gates that step sequences, samples and oscillators, which themselves may be triggering other sequences and oscillations, which may in turn be contributing to another sequence... you get the picture.

The audible and voltage outputs of each unit are capable of being applied to the inputs of any other and with their output influencing the amount of level being applied elsewhere, a huge complexity evolves, which only requires the smallest change to modify the mood or pace.

Combined with feed back and sample looping, it creates a very tense and fragile song structure which can implode or expand into complete distortion depending on many chance factors.

zYklen – Monitor (2017)

Archive of cassette tape recordings made in the period 1994–1996, remastered in 2017 and re-released in 2020.