Occasionally I get together with these guys and we just play. Anything. For fun. The tapes are always rolling and bits of music fall out. I hope to bring you some random clips from these sessions over the following weeks.
Presenting: “Hymn For A Pool Cleaner 1 (Jam)”
Malcolm – keys
Ben – guitar
Geoff – keys
Dean – drums
Recorded at The Forbidden Room Of Mystery, 25 September 2016.
Ben Craven – The Single Edits – Artwork by Freyja Dean
My opinion has always been that making music freely available on streaming services is an admission that music has no financial value.
Music is not free to produce and I rely on sales to justify releasing more music. Streaming, however, becomes the complete consumer transaction. Physical and digital sales are eliminated as income sources by a minimal streaming royalty rate.
Yet, the market has spoken. Streaming is here to stay. And I cannot afford not to be ‘discoverable’ on streaming services.
So perhaps I can make it work for me.
Ordinarily my albums are designed to be listened from start to finish as each track segues into the next. Not so this time. The Single Edits is a digital-only collection of single edits from three albums, compiled especially for streaming. Each track stands by itself and is ripe for cherry-picking.
It is my hope that this collection will act as a gateway into the Ben Craven musicverse. For instance, someone who discovers the 3-minute version of Spy In The Sky (featuring William Shatner) might also be interested in seeking out the complete 18-minute suite on CD.
Or, if you enjoy the 3:30 edit of No Specific Harm, you might find yourself unable to live without the full 11-minute version on vinyl.
Or maybe even you might just want to download the collection in lossless high resolution audio from Bandcamp instead.
To celebrate the release of my album Last Chance To Hear back in March 2016, I held a launch party at the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane. A small room was booked upstairs and everyone was invited.
I had no band at my disposal. Even if I had, the rehearsal effort required would have been the equivalent of going on tour. I briefly considered playing a solo acoustic show but thought it would be more fun to present a virtual band performance. Armed with backing tracks for drums, bass and occasional keyboards – plus the disembodied voice of William Shatner – the show was billed as Ben Craven & Friends.
With a handful of cameras and audio feeds, the entire show was captured for the high-definition blu-ray release, First Chance To Hear. The audio has been remixed in 24-bit stereo and 5.1 surround. Some of the lighting and camerawork is not completely perfect, so I’m calling this an “official bootleg”!
First Chance To Hear marks the launch of a new record label imprint named Cleanskin Records. Here in Australia, a “cleanskin” is a wine sold under a different label by the winery. It could be for reasons like excess stock, an experimental blend or wanting to supply directly to the public. Similarly, Cleanskin Records exists for musical projects outside the realm of big releases and big marketing budgets, such as live shows and high definition surround remixes.
All copies of First Chance To Hear will be burnt on-demand, numbered and signed by the artist (me)!
View the trailer here:
Blu-ray disc and 24/96 stereo audio download now available from Bandcamp!
Technical specifications: Duration: 96 minutes (approx)
Video: 1080p 24fps HD video
Audio: 24-bit 96 Khz LPCM stereo, 24-bit 48 kHz 5.1 LPCM surround
Media: Duplicated using high quality Verbatim recordable BD-R. Region-free. Backup for personal use is encouraged.
On Wednesday 26 October I was honoured to accept the award for the “Best Instrumental” category in the 2016 Australian Independent Music Awards!
The MusicOz AIMAs are one of the last remaining opportunities for recognition of independent musicians in this country. And a huge shot in the arm for me – my style of music is independent at best. What this means my friends is that prog rock can still be a thing!
And of course, worldwide, there’s good old Bandcamp, selling both digital and physical. If you purchase the CD/DVD from here, you get an immediate digital download to tide you over until the postman arrives!
The Press page has been updated to include all the recent reviews of Last Chance To Hear. It’s always good fun to be reminded that not everyone in the world thinks exactly the same way about things as I do!
Also scattered on the web now are some interviews and podcasts I’ve been privileged to take part in. Here is a sample:
My interview with Anthony Rowsick of Prog-Watch!! It was 11pm on a Monday night when we spoke and I was assisted by neither alcohol nor sleep. Good fun however and many, many thanks to Anthony, Prog-Watch and Progzilla radio!
The Vox Pathfinder 10 is an inexpensive amp (close to AUD $100 new if you know where to look) which makes itt a great platform for modding. This post is mainly for my own records, but also for anyone out there who knows what they are doing. This is the circuit diagram, not drawn by me!