TuneLeaks Completed!

Well, the “Last Chance To Hear” album is now completed, the artwork almost nailed, and we’re just about ready to ship everything off for manufacture.

Thank you everyone who came along on the TuneLeak journey! You will receive more information later this week about ordering “Last Chance To Hear” from my Bandcamp page, if you are so inclined.

This was a fun experiment! Based on your feedback and my own experience, I’ll definitely do something similar for the next album, maybe with a couple of changes.

New TuneLeak! – Last Chance To Hear Part 1

Unleashing… the opening track from my new album-in-progress, Last Chance To Hear!

Appropriately titled, “Last Chance To Hear Part 1”.

(Yes, there is a Part 2 and it will most likely close the album.)

This is perhaps a little more over-the-top for me than usual – one part demented chat show theme and one part acerbic call to arms. Then everything goes to heck.

You can listen to it (and purchase) right here.

As always, the new track is available for download from the TuneLeak website. If you purchase it, you’ll receive an equal discount off the album once it becomes available. Everybody wins!

Revenge Of Dr Komodo (New TuneLeak!)

Hi and welcome to the first TuneLeak for 2015!

Revenge Of Dr Komodo – available for purchase here!

In this new track, Progressive Rock and Rockabilly ignore the advice of their friends and spend an unforgettable night together in an unbridled fit of forbidden passion. The result speaks for itself.

Revenge Of Dr Komodo is most likely the third part of a new mini-suite for my new album, Last Chance To Hear. But all those part numbers get confusing after a while, so this time I gave the track a proper name. The villainous Dr Komodo bears no relation to the otherwise similarly-manic bass player in the accompanying video.

The usual TuneLeak rules still apply! If you’re kind enough to purchase Revenge Of Dr Komodo, you’ll receive the same amount as a discount off the album when it’s released.

And for the eagle-eared amongst you, Revenge Of Dr Komodo also marks the triumphant return of the duck from Diabolique

Merry Holidays and New TuneLeak!

“The scourge of the city I spy in the sky…”

And so, the centrepiece of the new album (so far) begins. Or continues. Or concludes. Whatever.

Merry holidays everyone!

Hope you have a wonderful break, if you’re lucky enough to get one. I’ll be thinking of you all here as I enjoy a cold rum on a hot Christmas morning.

Now, as a self-indulgent present to myself and anyone else who might be interested, I finally “finished” the Spy In The Sky suite. (At this time of year we prefer not to use the term “abandoned”.)

Spy In The Sky Part 3 is an 8-minute sonic immersion of dense production, whispered lyrics and dueling solos. It’s now streaming at TuneLeak, and also available there for download. You probably know the deal by now. If you purchase the song from TuneLeak, you’ll get an equal discount off the album when it comes out, and earn my everlasting gratitude:

tuneleak.com/?page_id=55

Thank you for your support through 2014! Next year should bring the new album Last Chance To Hear, some live work, and more TuneLeaks from other projects…

best wishes
Ben.

New TuneLeak – Spy In The Sky Part 2

Spy In The Sky Part 2 is the latest track sort-of-completed from my album-in-progress, Last Chance To Hear.

Part 1 has already been leaked. Part 3, the extended finale, is wrecking my head as you read this. Part 2 is the big transition. Prepare to be shocked by my first-ever use of drum machine samples and hints of electronica!

As always, the usual TuneLeak deal applies. If you’re kind enough to purchase the download, you’ll receive the amount you spend as a discount off the album when it’s finished.

You can take a listen here.

New TuneLeak – Spy In The Sky Part 1

My new “TuneLeak” is up now – an instrumental called “Spy In The Sky Part 1”.

It’s the first part of a three-piece suite I’m tinkering with. This was the easy part. It started out as an introduction to the song proper, but grew from there in a fit of procrastination as I realised how challenging the next part would be.

Anyway, it’s now streaming and for sale at TuneLeak. Which means, if you’re kind enough to purchase it, you’ll get a discount of the same amount on the album when it comes out.

Everybody wins!

TuneLeak Explained

tuneleak combined2

TuneLeak

This is an idea I’ve been thinking about for a while.

It takes me quite a while to record an album, and for a lot of that time I’m sitting on almost-finished songs that I’m excited about but nobody else gets to hear. It might be much more interesting if I released them as I recorded them. They might not be finished yet, but as long as everyone understands that, I can happily go about the rest of the recording, secure in the knowledge that everything will become clear once the album comes out!

Like other independent artists I’m also very interested in fan-funded models. But I’m uncomfortable with the idea of asking for funds up-front, and then disappearing for a year or so until an album is finished. I’d much rather people get something for their money immediately (and often), with smaller outlays.

And finally, I read a lot of press about how the album is dying. This upsets me. Albums are a big part of my musical life and I don’t want to abandon the album format in favour of singles only.

So this is why I’m launching TuneLeak, a new music platform just for albums.

As I continue to record my new album, I’ll officially “leak” early versions of each track and make them available for purchase as digital downloads. When the album is finally released, you’ll receive a discount equal to the total amount you spent on the leaked tracks. So, if you download, say, five “TuneLeaks” at $1 per track, you’ll receive a $5 discount on the album. You don’t pay twice for the same song!

I’m excited about the idea and I’m putting my next album up there as the pilot project. If it works out, I hope to get other artists involved down the track.

Viva la album!

Introducing… TuneLeak!

I’d like to introduce you to TuneLeak! Here’s the full press release. But first, the logo by Freyja Dean!

tuneleak combined2

TuneLeak

 

For Immediate Release

Australian Prog Artist Ben Craven To Release New Single Through Innovative Music Delivery System ‘TuneLeak’

“Seriously well-distilled and blended” – Van Dyke Parks

Brisbane, Australia – Much to the excitement of prog music aficionados across the planet, Australian cinematic progressive-rock singer-songwriter Ben Craven is releasing his new single through an innovative new music delivery system he’s developed called ‘TuneLeak’. Ben Craven’s new single titled “Critical Mass Part 2” is now available through TuneLeak at http://www.tuneleak.com.

Ben explains, “This project is being driven by music industry commentators saying the album is dead. I agree it’s an endangered species, at least commercially. As a musician and a listener, I’m very attached to the concept of albums as coherent collections of songs and all the emotional ties we make with them. So for this album I’m trying a different business model – which I’m calling ‘TuneLeak’ – where I can engage the audience at every step of the recording process, officially ‘leak’ songs well before they’re finished, and hopefully even get paid!”

The new single is part of Craven’s highly anticipated forthcoming third album tentatively titled ‘Last Chance To Hear’. Says Ben, “’Critical Mass Part 2′ is the first song I’ve recorded for the album, and the first track I’m putting out there on the TuneLeak website. It’s a short, sharp instrumental, and sounds like outer-space spy music. There is of course a ‘Part 1’ and I’ll be leaking that track very soon as well!”

Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, immersed as a toddler in the era of big prog rock, Craven taught himself guitar and keyboards and joined a series of bands. None of them remotely played the kind of music that had been burned into his mainframe as a kid. Nonetheless, the songs he wrote accumulated steadily. In 2005, Craven dispensed entirely with the band approach and recorded his debut album, ‘Two False Idols’ under the name of Tunisia. The result was a work of incredible maturity, with influences ranging from Pink Floyd and Brian Wilson to the likes of Bernard Herrmann and John Barry.

Says Ben, “My usual suspect influences are Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, Yes and King Crimson. But just as important are composers like Bernard Herrmann, John Barry, Henry Mancini and John Williams. I seem to blend progressive music with film soundtrack elements. I’m also a Brian Wilson tragic.”

As Craven worked his first album it became painfully obvious that the music business was in the midst of a sea change, and most of the old guard didn’t seem to realise they were the cause. Very quickly he took an anti-DRM stance and released the live acoustic EP ‘Under Deconstruction’ as a high-quality free download.

Craven stepped up a gear for his sophomore album, ‘Great & Terrible Potions’. Delivering on the cinematic promise of ‘Two False Idols’, ‘Potions’ went widescreen (literally) as Craven blurred the boundaries between conventional songs and orchestral soundtracks. Augmented by a stunning cover designed by legendary artist Roger Dean (Yes, Uriah Heep, Asia), ‘Potions’ was dense, complicated and unashamedly pretentious – everything a good prog rock album should be! Or, to put it another way, Craven sounded exactly like someone revelling in the creative freedom that could come only from not worrying about what others wanted, and delivering what he felt instead.

And now Ben is working on his latest masterpiece! He explains, “In keeping with the idea of the album as an endangered species, the working title is ‘Last Chance To Hear’. It’s shaping up to be another solo album in the true sense of the word where I play just about everything, like on my previous album ‘Great & Terrible Potions’. The difference this time is a much greater portion will likely be instrumental. Not that I dislike vocals, but sometimes the music can be strong and emotional and moving enough to stand on its own without them.”

Here’s what the press raved about Ben Craven’s previous release:

“Heavy-duty prog rock monster” – Anil Prasad, Innerviews

“Cracking virtuoso performance by an absurdly talented individual” – Classic Rock Society

“Craven’s one-man-band production is a prog opus for the 21st century” – Musoscribe

“All the drama, thunder, strum and drang you could want the spiritual grand child of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson to bring” – Midwest Record

“Craven’s tremendous ability to combine memorable hooks with complex progressive rock and cinematic orchestral music is astounding” – Sea Of Tranquility

“Press play and this album does the rest” – Muzikreviews

In closing Ben has this to impart to his fans and listeners, “The music business is becoming an increasingly cynical place. The landscape is dominated by reissues, remixes and repacking of old material in what feels like a ‘last hurrah’. But there are still true believers out there flying under the radar and producing music primarily out of love and obsession. Not because of contractual obligations, deadlines or other market forces. I’d still be making music if the industry was truly dead and buried. But I’d much rather people listened to it!”

For more information: http://bencraven.com/

“Critical Mass Part 2” video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEslxIiq8GM&list=UU7olqUV2tLHKaqPAyu8RKmA

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

The TuneLeak Manifesto

TuneLeak is a different approach for releasing music. It’s like getting to know someone gradually over a meaningful period of time, rather than telling them you love them on the first date. Most importantly, it’s about albums. That is, TuneLeak features albums as they’re being recorded.

As each individual song is worked on, the artist will “leak” an early version. It might just be a rough demo. Or it could be almost complete. It will probably sound different when the album is finished. But it will be out there for all to hear.

These leaked tracks (“TuneLeaks”!) will be available for purchase as digital downloads. When the album is finally released, TuneLeak customers will receive a discount equal to the total amount they spent on purchasing the leaked tracks from that album. So, if you download, say, five “TuneLeaks” from a particular artist at $1 per track, you’ll receive a $5 discount on the album. You won’t pay twice for the same song.

It’s not quite crowdfunding. It’s not quite pre-ordering. It’s artists and audiences coming together on the creative journey of making an album.