Saturday, 29 October 2016

#MoreInCommon Review

The first review of the HOPE not hate compilation is in and includes the following sentence which has pretty much made my day.

"The British Space Group’s ‘Si-Fi’ is an addictive slice of psychetronica very much in the tradition of Delia Derbyshire’s radical experimentation."

Thank you to Gus and to Louder Than War.

Full review is here...

The album is here...

Friday, 28 October 2016

#MoreInCommon HOPE not hate

Out today is a new charity compilation in aid of HOPE not hate that features a brand new tune from The British Space Group called 'Si-Fi'.  I'm in fine company too as the comp also features a fab Chris & Cosey tune, Portishead's Geoff Barrow's Beak> project, Welsh punk legends Anrehfn, my good friend Adrian Shenton and so much more.

Here's the album blurb...

This is a compilation album to raise funds and exposure for the charity HOPE not hate. The concept behind the album is to show that however diverse the artists included are musically they all share a common goal which is one for peace and tolerance. Every penny raised goes towards HnH. For more information visit hopenothate.org.uk

You can stream and buy the album via the player below.

Peace.


Monday, 4 July 2016

Actively Listening

Very pleased to be able to share with you all the lovely words of Mr. Grey Malkin of the very fine The Hare and the Moon writing in The Active Listener who has kindly given 'The Phantasmagoria' the most glowingest of glowing reviews.

'With 'The Phantasmagoria' The British Space Group have created something that feels inexplicably familiar yet also unique and compellingly unusual. The fact that these pieces come from different EPs is lost as the album continues, they expertly morph and merge into an effective and engaging whole that is wholly transportive'

You can read the full review here -
http://active-listener.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/the-british-space-group-phantasmagoria.html?m=1


Monday, 13 June 2016

Fractures, both real and auditory

Some of you may know that back in July 2015 I took an unplanned short cut down a flight of stairs breaking various bones, my tibia in particular.  Surgery ensued and everything was nailed back together and much of the last 11 months has been dedicated to recuperation and physiotherapy and learning how to walk again to the point where I was just using a stick when I was out and about.

Until that is three weeks ago when my leg decided to give way on me at the top of a flight of steps and I crashed to the bottom breaking my bloody hip this time. And yes, you've probably guessed, the same leg.  So, more surgery, more nails and the stick goes and sits in the corner and I'm back on crutches for the next, hopefully short, while.

It's not been what you'd call a fun 12 months.

There have, of course, been good things too and one of those is happening today with the release of the latest compilation from the very fabulous 'A Year in the Country' blog which features an exclusive British Space Group track called 'An Unearthly Decade'.  The name of this compilation that I'm writing to you about whilst nursing my broken leg, would you believe 'Fractures'.  Oh irony how I love you.

As with all the compilations in the series the album is based on a theme,  for this one it was '1973'. 

Most of the themes sounded intriguing but I knew due to what had happened and my then imminent return to work I was only really going to be able to commit to one of the releases so I chose the one that caught my eye the most.

So what happened in 1973 well, it was the 10th anniversary of Doctor Who and musically it's also the point where glam rock is becoming well and truly established (or 'dead' according to Marc Bolan) so I started to wonder about what it would have sounded like if the BBC had demanded that Doctor Who had adopted a glam rock strut alongside it's customary bleeps and boops.

The finished version is available today along with a plethora of other goodies from some friends - Keith Seatman, Grey Malkin (The Hare and the Moon), Paul Snowdon (Time Attendant) and David Colohan - and some fellow travellers  - The Rowan Amber Mill, Listening Centre and more.

The album is available in various beautifully packaged editions plus as a download from the ubiquitous Bandcamp page below.

I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Louder Than War

A lovely review of 'The Phantasmagoria' has been posted by Simon Tucker on the Louder Than War site.

Thanks folks I am truly chuffed.

[extract]
'With these EPs Ian has collected a wealth of material that deserves to be heard by all that love the esoteric and the magnificent. The sheer depth and breadth of the music here means you can guarantee repeat listens where you will always discover something new. A soundtrack anthology to a as-yet-unmade series of films, The Phantasmagoria collection needs to be in your collection.'
http://louderthanwar.com/british-space-group-phantasmagoria-collected-phantasms-eps-review/

'The Phantasmagoria' is available on disc and download from the Quiet World Bandcamp page.

Wormwoodiana

I am delighted to have a blog post all of my own on the very fabulous Wormwoodiana blog.  If I tell you that I only actually subscribe to one blog and it's this one then you'll guess how happy I am at this moment.

The author of the post, Mark Valentine, is one of the curators of the blog and editor of the associated magazine - Wormwood, is a writer of extraordinary fiction of the extraordinary and if that sounds like your cup of tea then I cannot recommend his (and John Howard's) series of stories relating the adventures of an 'aesthetical detective extraordinaire', The Collected Connoisseur, highly enough.  It was one of the books that I was reading during my recuperation from last years accident that most strongly influenced the tone of the third Phantasms EP.

Thank you Mark.

[extract] 
"These artful and affectionate compositions transport us to tales of other worlds that we seem to half-remember, re-activating our yearning for the lost and strange."

http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/phantasms-british-space-group.html


Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Phantasmagoria

About 6 years ago I came to the painful realisation that I probably was never going to soundtrack one of those cool gothic Doctor Who episodes of the Philip Hinchcliffe era full of robot mummies, dilapidated country piles, mad scientists laboratories and Victorian sewers.  The bird hadn't so much flown on that one as much as that the egg from which the bird would have to hatch in order to one day fly away had never been laid. So, I made my own.

The process was simple.  I came up with some characters led by a Thomas Carnacki, John Silence, Doctor Who type chap and a list of plot points that I thought gave a suitably vague story arc (so that I didn't have to do any actual story writing) and then composed around that list.

I wanted this to be a fresh new start so I used an entirely new (to me) set of musical tools both to avoid slipping into any old habits or any of the same old compositional tricks I've used over the years and also in order to get a more appropriate sonic pallette and so armed I set about writing a suite of tunes that would evoke the music that had defined my ears.  In line with the soundtrack idea I deliberately kept the music short and, in order to evoke an air of suitable menace and otherness,  fairly atonal but on a couple of tracks I tried my hand at a tune or two which was a big step for someone who'd spent the last 12 years avoiding them like the plague.


That first Phantasms EP came together over the course of a couple of weeks and the response was enthusiastic enough to plant the seed to make another one.

By now though I'd satisfied my Doctor Who hankering and I wanted to take inspiration from another show from my youth, Sapphire & Steel.  A show that had such an impact on a young me that I still flinch when having my photo taken. I got far more involved with my plot points this time round and I needed to remind myself of the oddness of that particular show and the way the mundane bled into the obtuse.  Like the show, I wanted to avoid the obvious, keep resolutions to a minimum and maintain a fairly constant atmosphere of unease. This second EP duly made it's way onto Bandcamp

By now I realised that this Phantasms thing was destined, in the great tradition of science fiction, to be a trilogy and so I duly embarked on the third part and hit a creative brick wall.  To do the final entry in my holy trinity of Wyrd Britain sci-fi I'd have to have done 'Quatermass' next but that seemed to me to be a project in it's own right but I really wanted to round things off and say goodbye to these, partially formed, un-named travellers who have lived in my head for the last 6 years.

And so, in the end, I did just that.  I envisioned a story whereby the travellers are summoned to go on a journey to say a final goodbye to their comrade who has chosen to finally stop in this new place.  He stays, they depart and all eventually find their way home.

This one was undoubtedly the most difficult of the three to write and record.  Half of the music came fairly quickly but then I kept getting distracted from it by work commitments and various other projects but once I'd established the narrative the final tunes were written and recorded in a few days.  This third EP was finally released onto Bandcamp a few weeks ago, some 5 and a half years after the first one went live.

So, over half a decade on from the initial whim to do something different and having enjoyed doing it so much that  I've now adopted a new name under which to record this more, I suppose, radiophonic and hauntologically inclined music and I've decided to give the three EPs their time in the sun.  Having previously only been available digitally via our Bandcamp page I've now collected the 3, given them a spiffy new name, some smart new black and white artwork and have made them available on disc for the first time.

BTW - The three separate EPs are still online for those who may already have some of the parts and have no need to buy all three.

The Phantasmagoria is out now and available on both disc and digitally via the Quiet World Bandcamp page.

I hope you enjoy.
Ian