Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 - a creatives review

Hello friends,

We made it! We survived the Ending of the World. I knew we would, I didn't doubt it for one second. I knew we wouldn't accidentally destroy this magnificent planet, no matter how hard we tried to make things difficult for her, she will always prevail against the tiny arrogant god complex monkeys.

Time for my review of my year. All over the internet people do reviews of the year, in TV, in Film, in Politics, in Sport, in Computer Games, in Board Games, in Conspiracy activity etc. All of the reviews are just one persons opinion, or at best a couple of people who share the typing, but they all claim to have some higher perception on their subject of review. I won't do that, because it doesn't matter one bit what I thought was the best (or worst) TV, Film, Game etc. I'm going to focus on my own life, as I am privileged enough to get to live it here with all of the other opinion generators.

2012 has been another big year for me. Since leaving the daily office grind back in 2011 I have been adventuring around the creative lands in my own unique way. My adventures were very outward and adventury back in 2011, but in 2012 they have, for the most part, been inward facing, introspective and self growthy. There have been smatterings of outward, extroverted and self expressive moments such as the handful of gigs I have done with Donny Stax, the One World festival and my adventures in the land of busking, and if you want to know more about them things then I advise you venture back through my year of blogging, all of them have been blogged about.

Here are my internal reviews of the big sections of this year for me, in chronological order:

At the beginning of the year, I wasn't really sure what was going on. I had been working on my four seasons project (an album a season) and my plans had been to do a winter one to complete up the project. I dropped it, I dropped winter as if it were a cheap mobile phone falling out of a plane and into a frozen lake where it shattered into two thousand and seventy one pieces. The winter album never happened...because I started work on something very different and very special instead.

My whole year had been made exciting and creative thanks to one person, 2012 has been the year of Donny Stax. I checked the Chinese calendar to see if this was meant to be the year of Donny Stax, but I can't read Chinese so I'm not sure if the intricate and beautiful Chinese characters said 'Donny' or not. I know this wasn't the year of the monkey, because I did all my monkeying around back in 09 and 0-10.
Anyway, the winter album dissolved, and 'Fine' took it's place.

'Fine' is still available, it's even on Itunes and Spotify and all the other music sitey places. We made it in a few months, and it contains 'Live Up There' which has been spun several times on BBC Introducing The South as well as making it to their 'Best of 2012' show which is on tonight (30/12/12). It was an ambitious project for a first album, but working with Donny Stax was easy, we clicked quickly and worked at the same pace, 'jet-propelled'. Each time we met at Castle Stax we would knock out a new song. One occasion we even managed to get two songs done in one session. The album came together quickly and by May we were twiddling our thumbs trying to work out what to do next.

Most bands would at this point probably start hitting up the live scene like it was lines of cocaine in a porn stars arse crack, we however, didn't. We did a few live gigs, some open mics etc. but our hearts were in the studio, making new music. So for the summer we worked on a bunch of songs we intended to sell to other artists or record labels for hard hard cash. We had a bunch of them ready by July, but we had no idea how to sell them to we released them ourselves.
'Free Music (Donate Now)' came out in August and it is available from bandcamp at, done more as an experiment in creating Pop, it was a strange record. Neither Donny Stax or myself really felt that connected to it, so it never got that much promotion or attention. It did however contain the track 'Separately' which has had numerous radio spins on redshiftradio by my good friend Benjamin Stubbs.
The best two weeks of this year were in the summer at One World festival. Big shout out to all my peeps from the Soggy Biscuit Improv group as well as all the other wonders of the One World. I wrote a big blog about that back at the time, which you can read here.

The year has been full of weird coincidences and moments of growth. One World was full of that, but both Abi and I have had loads of bizarre nature moments, sky moments, people moments and moment moments, moment to moment. Now the word 'moment' looks wrong to me, I've written it out too many times.

Anyway, musically, I continued to work with Donny Stax, we moved on to another album project, one more for us and not with the aim of selling any of them. We took our time and tried to construct new and interesting creative explorations of the musical realm. The result of this was released in December and can still be bought from bandcamp at

'Self Aware' was our most ambitious record, and allowed us to try many new things. We explored the electronica realm with it a lot more then our previous two records, making up whole tracks around repetitive synth lines. The result is the best of the three records we put out in my opinion. We got a track from it spun on redshift radio again several times. Listen to it here just below all this text. The whole album is very positive and upbeat, looking for solutions to problems rather then getting all down in the mouth about how shizza everything can seem. This is the most positive and self affirming record I have ever worked on, and the title felt very fitting. Mr Stax also upped his game massively for this album, adding singing to his repertoire and some fantastic rapping and crazy song structures. Winning it was, winning, winning, winning.

I also managed to squeeze out a little solo musical effort this year, my very first electronica record. I also wrote a story to go with it. 'Sounds for Drowning Robots' it was called. It had amazing artwork done by Mel Pellatt, and it is available from bandcamp also.

In-between all the music making and crazy moments with the world, I also did a whole heap of busking, quite a bit of computer game playing, and lots and lots of tea drinking. What a good year.

To finnish off this year I went and recorded a new track with Mr Stax called 'We Survived the End of the World', which will feature on our best of album (due out early 2013).

I hope you have had a good year too, tell me about it in the comments if you like :)

Bring on 2013
Happy New Year everyone

Peace and infinite love
                                                                                      [adj] - Andy D Jackson

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderful year... 'people dont buy what you do, they buy why you do it'.. you do it with passion and love and that can only bring exciting and fulfilling times xxx thanks for making me :-)