March 2023 blog post: Jabun's new "June22" EP has been released! Join me for the listening party at 8pm GMT tonight on YouTube + Patreon rewards & monthly updates including BTTB recording progress, organ bass pedals, guitar repairs and wedding invites!
Hi everyone and hope you're having a great start to March! The time has come and today I'm super happy to finally release Jabun's "June22" EP! Check it out now on Bandcamp and I hope you enjoy it:
Purchase the June22 EP now on Bandcamp:
After releasing my live and ambient 4th Jabun album Tides in May 2022, I really thought I’d be taking a break from electronic and ambient music to concentrate on my ska-punk project Better Than The Book which between night shifts working retail and other things was slowly but surely working through making its 3rd full-length album. Before even May had come to an end though, I was back to recording some evening electronic ambient jams, and although some of them weren’t great at all, June would bring forth some of my most inspired electronic performances yet!
I already raved about the modular synthesizer performances of Suzanne Ciani in the “about” section of the Tides album on Bandcamp, and to my luck and surprise Ciani was coming to Leeds in June (to my knowledge for the first time ever) to perform with her Buchla Modular System live in quadraphonic! Knowing I’d kick myself if I didn’t go, I bought a ticket and eagerly awaited the evening I’d get to see one of my synth heroes shine on stage on June 22nd! At the time I was still very much listening and researching and experimenting with my own KORG Volca Modular synth, and Decay was the result of some pre-concert excitement and experimentation in the weeks leading up to the big night. Come June 22nd I stepped into the venue to an amazing live and quadraphonic ambient DJ set by Kessie which was a simply incredible experience. As opposed to just the 2 speakers at the front of the stage, there were 2 speakers behind you too, so you really were surrounded by sound as you walked around the small venue hall. Mindblowing! The opening act was an amazing local ambient musician Jake Mehew who played a fantastic set on Modular Synthesiser, Arp Odyssey, and hand-pumped reed organ. After another Kessie accompanied ambient interlude, Suzanne Ciani was ushered to the stage with a grand Leeds welcome and proceeded to conjure her signature incredible electronic soundscapes on her treasured Buchla Modular System. The next 45 minutes or so were a trip out of this world followed by a fun talk with the audience and some further synth jamming, and after an amazing night out, I knew that I’d be setting up my own modular system as soon as I possibly could to release the collected inspiration. Rebirth was the result of a jam the following night.
It’s not always obvious to me whether a random spur of the moment live jam will be released as something more in the future, but as the weeks passed and turned to months while I continued work on Better Than The Book’s 3rd album (along with other things), I found myself revisiting these 2 live performances often and soon realised that they’d become Jabun’s next collective release. After some prep work and subtle mastering, the result was the June22 EP.
June22 is a 16+ minute collection of 2 electronic live performances inspired by the modular synthesizer works of Suzanne Ciani. Both tracks from June22 were performed live and recorded as a single take in June 2022 with only the lightest of further processing to bring the EP together in mastering. The system used in both performances consisted of a KORG Volca Modular Synthesizer running into a KORG Nu:Tekt NTS-1 Digital Synthesizer, and was captured on an Akai MPC 1000 Sampler before being mastered in Ableton Live 8.
Decay recorded on June 8th 2022
Rebirth recorded on June 23rd 2022
Despite being my shortest collective release as Jabun so far both in terms of runtime and track count, and being a bit rough and ready around the edges due to the spur of the moment live nature of the recordings, I’m super pleased with how June22 turned out and really believe it showcases 2 of my most inspired live electronic performances to date. When I close my eyes and let my mind wander, Decay conjures images of walking through a desolate radioactive landscape, alone, a hazy fuzziness clouding your mind and senses as you explore the distorted broken world around you. Rebirth brings images of recovery from such destruction, a time-lapse of plants springing up again from the burnt soil, life and nature reclaiming the land once more. I wonder why my mind wanders to such places when I listen to these tracks? I wonder what images they conjure for you? Whether you sit down to listen intently, have them on in the background while doing something else, or simply immerse yourself in the sounds, I hope you enjoy these uncut live electronic performances from a particularly inspiring month in summer 2022.
This is going to sound silly, but the photo for the album artwork is actually just a pot lid from Eva and I’s kitchen. I recall seeing it one day and noticing how the light bent and reflected off it and thought to myself “What a wonderful texture and image, I should use this for an album cover”! With the metallic nature of some of the sounds from the KORG Volca Modular’s inbuilt reverb, as well as my own imagined narrative of nuclear decay/recovery, I thought this scratched up shiny metal pot lid somehow fit perfectly with the vibe I was going for with June22. Interesting to note too that this is the first Jabun collective release which doesn’t feature any sky and/or sea imagery. I wonder what the next Jabun album will have in store.
All tracks written, performed and produced by Nick Standing [Jabun]
Recorded, mixed and mastered at JabunAudio by Nick Standing [Jabun]
Album artwork, images and photography by Nick Standing [Jabun]
A full credits and special thanks section is available now on Bandcamp, but here I'd like to extend a special thanks to Vlad from World Beyond for acting as my 2nd set of ears and helping sharpen up the images in the album artwork! Cheers Vlad! I'd also like to extend my sincerest thanks as always to everyone on Patreon who helps keep my music going each month, with special mention to the current $10 patrons Nathan Puray and Michael White. Thank you all so much for your help and support in making my musical dreams a reality! You folks are amazing!
Read more on Bandcamp: https://jabun.bandcamp.com/album/june22
To celebrate the release launch I'll be hosting a listening party "premier" for June22 on YouTube at 8pm (GMT) tonight! Check out the link below and come hang, ask questions, and let's enjoy June22 together! I look forward to seeing you there:
Of course my supporters on Patreon are celebrating today with the full download package of the June22 EP which includes Mp3s (+ WAVs for the $10 patrons), full sized album art + cover photo + alternative cover, and a photo from the recording sessions of track 01 "Decay"! As usual the $10 patrons are getting a sneak peek at what I'm working on currently, and this month I'll be sharing another WIP studio demo from the upcoming Better Than The Book album with them! If any of that sounds good to you, then consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 today, and remember you'll be getting the full back-catalogue of rewards for your tier when you join, including the full BTTB, Jabun and Nick Standing discographies, bonus Patreon exclusives and much more! Find out more below:
$1 Rewards: https://www.patreon.com/posts/78068528
$10 Rewards: https://www.patreon.com/posts/78068526
Reward Archives: https://www.patreon.com/posts/50344842
Find out more: https://www.patreon.com/NickStanding
June22 will be arriving on all the usual streaming services/stores, YouTube and Newgrounds shortly, but in the mean time you can listen to the full EP on Bandcamp, or for a quick teaser head to SoundCloud. Enjoy!
Onto updates and news for the month, it's been a SUPER busy and exciting one this time, although not without its frustrations along with the good times as well. Starting with some studio updates, you may recall last month's report of my long time music production laptop finally having to call it a day, and with the relatively smooth migration to my desktop set-up I thought things would be perfect to start recording again early this month. Oh how wrong I was... With the new set-up came a huge problem, long story short, a ground loop noise issue which meant I was unable to record into the desktop without an insane and basically unusable amount of electrical noise / interference corrupting my signal... After a few devices bought and returned, I finally managed to fix the problem with a £20 Behringer Ground Loop Isolator (the HD400), and HOLY MOLEY, I should have got one of these years ago... I've been used to having a small but workable amount of noise in the signal in the past, but this things kills ALL that interference. It is SILENT. I honestly didn't realise getting recordings THIS clear was possible! Feels great!
And with that, I ended up finally recording some melodica, synth and some other stuff to add in some production extras for Better Than The Book's new album (see the $10 DEMOlition Pigeon rewards for further details)! After a rocky start, it's been a very productive month in that department and now there's just 2 tracks left to do before it's ONLY vocals left to record! I'll be hoping to tackle both of those in this coming month, mainly some cello recording + some other stuff. Hopefully it all goes smoothly! I've also had some exciting collaborative work on the cards too in the last week or so, so I'm hoping to share that with you next time. Busy busy!
Next on the news this month, some SUPER exciting updates on gear! After (no exaggeration) almost 2 and half years of searching pretty much daily for them online, including a few near misses, I FINALLY managed to get my hands on some bass pedals for my Yamaha Organ, which means apart from some extra potential effects pedals, the organ rig of my teenage dreams is finally complete! Check it out below:
Considering the extortionate asking prices of some of the pedals I'd seen previously, I managed to get my own BP-1 bass pedals for a great deal, mainly since it was missing the "lid" to fold it up into its own suitcase for transportation. From experience, the main organ's lid just sits on the corner of the room behind my cello anyway, so it wasn't a dealbreaker for me. The Bass Pedals on the other hand now allow me to play basslines with my feet, also freeing up my hands to change settings and tweak effects while still playing, or even play guitar while playing organ with my feet if need be too! With the fully fixed up YC-25D combo organ + BP-1 bass pedals + my home-made rotary speaker, some effects pedals and the amp, and a box of spare parts I picked up earlier, touch wood this should be all my electronic organ related dreams sorted for life! It's been a long time in the works, and I can't wait to put the full thing into some tracks and jams soon (though you'll hear it without bass pedals a tonne in the new BTTB record)!
With the great times comes the not so great though, and shortly after setting up the full organ rig, my Jaguar guitar (pictured above on the left) has been put (half) out of commission... I'd been experimenting with some modifications for it and whether it be due to out of date contact cleaner or just already worn out parts, I've managed to mess up a few components to an unusable level so much so that they'll need replacing... a pain in the backside. I'll be hoping to fix that (and maybe finish the mods?) in the coming month, and hopefully it all goes smoothly. On the bright side, the Jaguar is basically 2 guitars in one electronically, and it's only one of those guitars (The "Rhythm Circuit") which is messed up, so I still have the "Lead" side to play with. Such is the way of luck I guess...
Finally this month, I thought it'd be cool to share with you an update from my personal life. If you're not aware already, I'll be getting married in August, and the invites that I made were sent out earlier this month! I'm super happy with the design I made (and Eva approved) for them, so I thought it'd be a shame not to share it around! Check it out below and hope you enjoy the oldschool and personal vibes!
That about wraps things up for this time! With such a big release, I'll be taking a break from any audio / project rewards in April to update the archives and such, but I'll be sure to check in with monthly updates nonetheless. We shall return to our usual schedule come May! Until then, I hope you have a grand March ahead and enjoy the new June22 EP and I hope to see you tonight at the listening party on YouTube! Thanks as always for supporting my music and take care!
Nick Standing; Better Than The Book; Jabun!
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