Thursday, 27 July 2017

Track 3: Kiln

So, here we go with Part 3...

TRACK 3: KILN

This is a song of contrasts, it's a bit of an angry rant, feet stompy, but a bit non committal as well, pretty much given up in the fight, wants it all to be over, but might still have a tiny slither of rebellion to hand should an uprising occur. Not the best description of a 3 minute song ever, but it's what you are getting I'm afraid.
A visual representation of life inside an ultraviolet kiln

Musically the drums made this song shine, and the build up and drop out nature of the whole thing keeps it interesting (I think so anyway, you may very well disagree). This was one of the songs that worked nicely in the band setting, and Macey ultimately used some of the band jam to construct this song sandwich, the vocal was shaped in the rehearsal rooms, giving it that screamy edge and energy that was lacking from the original demo.

This song got chopped and changed a bit to work. From the electronica pieces that I originally handed Macey, this one needed building up, there are a lot of vocal layers swirling around right there.
With the lyric to Kiln, I was going for a need for repair vibe, via the use of fire and brimstone, the hot ovens to burn out the rebel in us all, to harden us to the harsh world, mould us to societies whim, and be damned whatever we ourselves may want. That's a bit depressing and bleak, sorry about that (there are other songs coming that are more optimistic I promise).



Just a quick aside, when I came to putting together these video's to go with the songs, I used an online video making tool called biteable (which ironically it isn't). It's a good little tool, they update its content frequently, and you can sign up to use a trial version before forking out your hard earned cash to support your online video editing habit. Okay, back to the blog...

Many of the songs on '7 Billion' were completely electronica in nature, not a real instrument anywhere near them, which fundamentally was not a problem, but when we came to try and work them in a live room setting, many of them would not translate. We had many attempts to make 'Given Half a Dance' work for a band, but we could never get it to sound good, something was always not quite working about it. 'Kiln' never had this problem, it was one of the best sounding in the live environment, like it was born there (which, it kinda was).

Check back for Part 4 where my ego is going to get a bruising,

Peace and infinite biscuits

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)
Buy a copy of '7 Billion' for someone on
Earth that doesn't yet have one

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Track 2: Where the Warp-zones Are

So continuing on...

TRACK 2: WHERE THE WARP-ZONES ARE

Based around a guitar riff of mine that I had been playing for a few years, and married to a Massive Attack style drum beat and bass, the recorded version of this song had one foot firmly in electronica (which is odd because songs don't have feet!). While we were doing the band style rehearsal sessions this song became a rock anthem, hitting hard and big. The bass line Paul came up with made it to the album, and the vocals were also shaped in those sessions.
A visual representation of a warp-zone,
made with love and photo editing software

The lyrics are about the chaos of life filtered through computer game metaphors (mainly 2D side-scrolling Italian plumber mascot based ones) and electronic robot logic. I am a big fan of the imagery of retro gaming (having grown up with it), the simplistic A to B logic and crippling difficulty of early gaming. The main element from Mario that inspired this the most was of course the green warp-zone pipes, you know the ones, they lead to secret little rooms with treasure and a couple of guard turtles. Sometimes they have tiny 'Audrey 2's spitting fire at you (just bop those bad boys on the head and down the warp-zone pipe you go).

I guess I wanted to use that odd imagery to construct a metaphor for life's strange twists and turns, the ones you can't plan for, but hopefully you can fight off the mini boss and come out flashing with star power. Strange metaphor for life, sure, but somehow relatable? Maybe?

Originally this was going to be much later in the running order of the album, but it found a warp-zone of it's own and jumped the queue right to number 2, lucky little biscuit. Macey played around with this one lots, mixing the sounds around, trying to give it more of the punch of the live full band version, and he did a damn fine job wouldn't you agree? (Please agree in comment form)



As this had been a riff I had played on guitar wandering around our flat, it only seemed fitting to try and do an acoustic version of it, so that's what we did, and would you ruddy believe it! It's right here! On this blog about Cosmic Bos music? Yes, look, it's just underneath these very words you are reading right now...press that play button, go on, you know you want to (winky face)



From the live rehearsal sessions Warp-zones changed more then any other song, we never recorded the rocky heavier version as it didn't fit with the template Macey was working off of. A song that did take some nice juicy rocking up was Kiln.

But that's a story for another blog (the next one in fact)

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Track 1: Given Half a Dance

The first song to blossom out of the bunch was Given Half a Dance

PART 1: GIVEN HALF A DANCE

The original version of Given Half a Dance was well over 5 minutes long, with a minute and a half long introduction full of 'oooo's, it was decided a couple of minutes could be sliced off of it so it would be more single worthy and possibly played on the radio (which it hasn't really been).

The song is about building our own path/dance from what we have been given, using a rising number structure in the verses as a nod to the 8 circuit model of the brain (as popularised by the Cosmic 'Robert Anton Wilson' in his book 'Prometheus Rising'). I am a fan of the idea that we build our own fate by the choices we make, and it is totally possible to stop, make changes and try a different dance if we need to, life is full of choices, we get what we are given and have to make up the rest for ourselves.

As this was going to be the first song we released as Cosmic Bos, we felt it important to make a special video to go with it. To that end, we took a trip in October 2015 to Avebury, a whole team of us in a van. It was on that very video trip that 'Treeman Productions' got it's name (Macey plays the Treeman in the video). We went at the perfect time, just as autumnal colour shifting was gracing the forrest, as you can see in the video, the trees were displaying vividly.



Nick Jackson shot the video, a few weeks before he went off travelling around the World for 6 months. Macey and I continued to work on the album.

I recorded a little acoustic version of this song while doing the little acoustic session that I did. Here it is in video form.


We started doing rehearsal sessions with Charlie Gibbs on drums and Paul Bradley on Bass (both from Meta-Cassette fame). From these rehearsal some of the Cosmic Bos songs started to come to the forefront, one such one was 'Where the Warp-zones Are'.

But that's Part 2, and that's coming tomorrow.

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)


Monday, 24 July 2017

The Story of Cosmic Bos '7 Billion' Debut Album - Introduction

Hello friends,

I've written a big old blog about the new Cosmic dog (Bos): it goes a little something like this...
Album cover for Cosmic Bos debut Album '7 Billion'

INTRODUCTION

The debut album '7 Billion' by Cosmic Bos was released on the 4th of February 2017 to a wave of indifference and unnoticement, which is not a surprise, it's not like Cosmic Bos is a known of brand or popular artist of the moment (at least not at that moment), far from it in fact. Still, that album is out there and has been since the date mentioned previously, and if someone is meant to encounter the album and get something out of it for themselves, then they will, or they have already, or they might be listening to it right now...probably not though, I don't know, I'm just some words on a blog.

I (Andy Jackson - generator of the blog words) spent the best part of 2 years working on '7 Billion', and for a year and a half of that it had been with the awesome Chris Mace (Macey/Jeffrey/Treeman), it is he who shaped the album out of the rag tag bag of musical swag i had dumped upon him.
Simple times of birds and rainbows.

Cast your mind back, way way back, to the heady summer of 2015, a simpler time before Brexit and Trump presidencies, it was that carefree summer that I handed Macey about 30 instrumental electronica songs I had built in Logic on my Mac (of the apple variety, not the rain variety). Some of the songs had guitar on them, none had any vocals (although lyrics had been written to most of them), all of them required a lot of work in order to, well, work.

Macey had a task ahead of him that was for sure, but he was up to the challenge, taking no time (well, some time of course, it would be impossible to do in no time what so ever), we recorded guide vocals over that beautiful 2015 Summer, as well as starting work on tunes Macey had that required some Andy based lyrical action. Nick Jackson (my bro) and Macey had amassed quite a library of tunes in some state of finnishedness, and some of these would be worked on over the album construction period.

The EP I did before Cosmic Bos
So, in the 2015 Summer of new music, the project was known as Mr. Jackson 'Continuity'. I had put an EP out the year before called 'Tea in Paradise', and that had gone under the name Mr. Jackson, and these songs were originally going to go the same way, as an electronica double album (oh I do have some pie in the sky ideas). As we worked on the songs, it became clear quickly that Macey was shaping them into something bigger and better, and it felt like a new artist name was needed to release this material as it was no longer just a Mr. Jackson project.

My wife (Abi Jackson) and I came up with 'Cosmic Bos' while sitting on the beach having a nice travel mug of tea. Bos is Dutch for forrest, which is why we went with that, and we like things to be Cosmic, makes them more exotic sounding.

'7 Billion' is available in many forms online right now, well, I say many forms, but's it's only really as video or audio form, there isn't an Occulus Rift special version, or even a CD, no one buys them anymore. Here is the band camp link where you can listen to the whole thing for free, and also buy it if you want (although, not much point if you can just listen to it for free...should have thought this through a bit better).


Tomorrow we will begin the track by track breakdown, starting with (coincidently) Track 1 : Given Half a Dance

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

COMING THIS SUMMER! - New Bos!

Hello lovely friends and earth colleagues,

Big things have been happening all over the world, seems like you can't turn your head to look at something amusing to the left without something life changing happening just out of view to your right, we need some new approaches to living if we are to ever understand this chaotic world.

Fear not fellow human, for freshness is coming, scientists and engineers have been tinkering with things, I can't be more specific then that, I am not an insider, just a dreamer with a laptop, but still there is more to be hopeful for then fearful of, trust me I'm a badger.

The inverted cover to the verted album
Well, anyway, I can tell you about the exciting new changes coming to Cosmic Bos, we will be getting a flashy new look (at some point when we've actually designed it), and new material will be dropping all over the internet like fish sometimes do from the sky. Nick Jackson has officially joined the Cosmic Bos crew as a full fledged member. We had the initiation ceremony last week (videos were posted but removed by the Men in Plaid).

Chris and I (Andy) had a little look over all the material we have stored up in the electronic vaults, added Nicks material to it, did some swift calculations and deducted that we have lots and lots of music. Now we need to get it out to the world, Gia deserves to hear what we have done (we will put some speakers out in a forrest for her, so she gets a proper 4K music experience).

Bos is going to get Groooooooovy (with a few less 'o's)

Before that though, I (Andy) wish to share with you the journey we went on making our debut album '7 Billion', it was a fun journey, and we got an album out the end of it. Over the next couple of weeks I shall be posting the track by track breakdown, I hope your eyes spend some time reading the words, and your ears spend some time listening to the songs that the words are babbling on about.

It should be fun, and if it isn't, then don't read it, no one is forcing you to (unless you are living in some kind of robot utopian future where humans are forced to read pointless old blogs on the internet to help power the robots futuristic WD40 production plants)

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson from Cosmic Bos

P.S - if you are interested in spending some sweet sweet cash on music you heard on the internet, then here are some links you will probably find appealing in some way:


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Unbelievably Attractive - all about the lyrics

Hello dearest friend,

You are one attractive being you know, you really got it going all, everything is attracted to you, or at least reactive to your energy. You want lots of things in your life, a truck full of stuff, a shed full of bread, a hat full of smaller hats for some reason, I don't judge, i am not qualified to do so and would not presume to interfere with your lifestyle, what you choose for you is your bag (and the rest of your outfit of course).

Did someone say codswallop? ... No, no-one ever says that anymore.

Now I wish to help you believe the unbelievable (which obviously is technically impossible - but humour me for a while, you might get a silly quip out of it).

Unbelievable, yet, somehow, believable.

Peace and infinite love

Cosmic Bos

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Equality - Cosmic Bos '7 Billion'

Hello friends and accidental link clickers,

Equality - what is that?

Basically it means things being equal, one for one, two for two, fairness, all about the fairness. This world seems a bit confused by this concept, and as such has been running some incredibly unequal plans right by our very noses (these plans have no smell which is why they slip by so easily). It doesn't take a genius to have a little look around and see how unbalanced everything is, the rich always be getting richer and the poor always be paying for it.

I don't like doing the politics thing, I'm a musician and writer, not a politician, armchair or otherwise. I like to dabble in language manipulation for the purposes of entertainment , where as politics is all about idea manipulation for the purposes of votes. We have seen a few magnificent bullshit machines take office all around the globe lately, spinning some fantastical fairytale concepts into policies.

I find the whole thing to be like a poorly written movie, complete with an ensemble cast, always with some returning characters from previous instalments in the bloated 'democratic' universe of films, with a whole bunch of tired old plot lines being ushered out to feed the masses. We have seen it all before, it's boring, move on. Let's have some adults doing some actual politics to sort out the mess that all this pathetic show politics has created. The world won't fix itself, let's sort it out.

So Equality, let's have some of that please.
This song is available on the debut album '7 Billion' by Cosmic Bos, not sure if you were aware of that or not, but, you are now. You can listen to the album on spotify if you have one of them, or you can purchase the thing from any of these fine links below, how wonderful life is.



So forget about all the politics, it doesn't really help in any way, if we pay less attention they may all just go away! Maybe. Worth a shot.

Peace and equal love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)