[adj] - Andy D Jackson explains the trials and tribulations of being a multi million selling award winning musician in his brain.
from busking to recording, live craziness to general musings, this is the blog for you if you like reading things written by people, because it is that...yep.
So Bojack got into this weird scuffle this one time with a seal, a navy seal.
It turned into this whole thing, it was in the news at the time, a few years back now.
Well, anyway, I went and set some music I made with MusicMakerJam to this altercation that Bojack had with Neil... here it is:
As you can see, fun was had all round. For more adventures of Bojack Horseman you should visit Netflix and watch it all, it's awesome.
Thanks for your time, please like, share, subscribe but most importantly keep breathing (don't worry if you forget, your body does it for you while you think about chips covered in cheese, maybe three kinds of cheese, or chips with cheese inside them...yeah)
Thanks for stopping by my blog, you are purrfectly welcome, I hope you know/like Bojack Horseman, if not then you really should, it's probably the best adult animated show out there at the moment (calm down Rick and Morty fans, I said 'probably'!) and the 4th season (which dropped on Netflix last month) is off the hook amazing in every way. I count it as the best season of a show for 2017, with Master of None coming in second (that show is also flipping awesome).
Here is a musical tribute I made to the beautiful pink pussy, Princess Carolyn, Smooches!
She is one sassy kitty, and her story arch in season 4 is one of the strongest, a bit of an emotional rollercoaster if you know what I metaphor.
Well, I've got the next one finished too, and will release it in good time (I'm no longer subscribing to bad time, it is not welcome around here no more), it's about Bojack himself, and a scuffle he got into with a Seal over some muffins.
Ahh, the beach, wonderful place indeed. For the last 3 and a half years my beautiful wife and I have lived with the beach as our garden and a picturesque elevated view of the surrounding area as our window view. It's pretty special 😁
I am a creative type (writerous-musicianous) and have been trying to capture the awesome nature of the massive art show that happens every day on the beach. Pictures speak a thousand words (if the text is small enough) and filters enhance them, but somehow the filter makes the picture more authentic to the actual experience of life. (no it doesn't)
There is sand on our beach, and billions of pebbles, if you want pebbles then we got 'em.
Sometimes though, the colours need a bit of teasing.
☕️☕️ (tea break)
I like purple quite a bit, it's probably my favourite colour, at least top 3.
Tinted purple the beach takes on a sweet tin kinda quality. Like a quality street kinda quality. Yep. Nailed it!
The beach is so dynamic for getting all filter prankster on, and instagram offers some pretty sweet photo editing things on the phone app. I use an app called Enlight which I downloadeded from the apple tree store. It's pretty darn good 😊
Just a couple more pics with filter tricks for ya. Thanks for your precious procrastination time, it's valuable.
How's it going? You keeping well in these interesting times of uncertainty and confusion? I hope so. At least there's always technology to keep us distracted and perplexed until the future is here and we can all live inside our own holographic utopias.
I got a new phone! Why is that interesting you may be asking, well, let me tell you. I am an odd cookie when it comes to technology, I haven't had conventional TV for 17 years and my mobile phones have made children think I'm some kind of historical relic from Tudor times.
Now that I have joined the 'computer in my pocket' generation I had some catching up to do. Apps are pretty good, simple to use and they fit in your pocket, and boy do they make stuff easy. The view from our window overlooks a park with a lake, frequently it is breathtaking to stand and look out at the shifting colours and birds flying all over the sky (of all places)
Nice view, new phone, time for some filter fun.
Gotta say, this was a lotta fun
Ahhhh, there we go. A few hours wasted mucking around on my phone 📱, and now a minute of your time stolen as well.
TRACK 13: CHANCE ENCOUNTERS ON THE STAIRS (ACOUSTIC) - lost track
When I originally handed Macey the tunes I had been working on, there was over 30 songs, plus we added loads more from Macey and Nick's musical achieve. With that much material, there would inevitably be songs that didn't make the cut and fell by the wayside. Some of those tunes never get touched, some get worked on but then dropped, others come a long way but are just not right for the project as a whole. One such song on this album was 'Chance Encounters on the Stairs', which I will perform for you now in acoustical form.
This song was dropped mainly because there was to much work needed to get it up to scratch, the song itself was fine, but the recording was wonky like a donkey. It might turn up in the future in a more rounded form, who knows, that's the beauty of music...or something like that.
So to conclude, 12 tracks (and another one), the whole album. It was a labour of time and love that I am really proud of, my ego is satisfied. Macey did all the hard work, not me, and he deserves all the credit, Nick as well helped out loads, recording bits and bobs, coming up with some licks and tricks. It has been a collaborative effort indeed, and the videos wouldn't exist without Abi & Mel both working their creative magic.
Also Charlie and Paul require shout outs for all the work in the rehearsal rooms, it is an amazing team of people that have all helped silly old me make a record, I am humbled and overjoyed.
When we had been getting close to completion it kept feeling like there was always just a couple more things to do, to tweak, to tighten, to tinker with. At the final stage, Macey did an amazing Producer display that completed the whole thing. As previously mentioned, 'Pondering' (Track 6) was an interlude song. Macey never worked on it during the development and the version that was to go on the album was my original organ and vocals only one. It didn't fit, when we did our listen throughs to the whole album it stood out. We were considering dropping it altogether. At the last minute, Macey ditched all the music, kept just the vocal, and built a whole new track out of it. It's one of the best on the album (in my opinion), I take my hat off to Macey for making such a beautiful thing.
Thanks so much for all the time you have spent reading this, it means a lot to me, even if I have no way of actually showing you it. Stay amazing in every way :)
so friends, we made it to the last song on the album...
TRACK 12: EVERYTHING IS OKAY (LIVE)
Although the final track on the album has a very singer/songwriter feel, it was actually written in the same way as the electronica ones. I improvised the acoustic guitar and then jammed other instruments over it, it was my 'F' song, originally called 'Focus'.
Since the original version was almost completely unusable, it was decided we would record it live in a studio. I really wanted it to have a raw feeling, stripped down, bare, so we didn't do any rehearsal prior to our studio time. Macey was on piano, Nick on bass and beardy old me (Andy) on guitar and vocals. We filmed it all as well for internet prosperity.
This is the nice little song to end the album, a hopeful happy little ditty, dreaming of a better tomorrow and remembering that actually everything is okay most of the time.
The title is in reference to the work of Danny Shine, a youtube activist that goes out on the streets with a megaphone and a big sign saying 'Everything is Okay'. He's great, you should check him out.
The title is also a nod to Rufus Wainwright, in particular his awesome song 'I Don't Know What It Is', which dreams of a beautiful headline on the New York Times. Also, the line 'As the Google Flies' is an inside joke with my wife regarding sea birds (Googull images!), and the fact that it use to be the crow that was the go to bird, but now it's google maps that do all our flying for us.
So there it is, the final track on the album. I do have one more cheeky lost tune to share with you as well as a Conclusion to this blog, so it's not quite over just yet. But the album is, that's the whole thing, track by track.
so friends, part 11:
TRACK 11: UNBELIEVABLY ATTRACTIVE
Constructed more traditionally (as in, I wrote it on guitar first), the version of this that I handed to Macey was a relentless assault of guitars, drums, keys, plinky pianos, bass and other miscellaneous instruments. Macey stripped it out and gave the whole thing some dynamic which it had been in drastic need of.
For the lyric, I wanted to write about the law of attraction in a meaningful way, trying to help myself be positive, to attract the right things into my life, to understand that whatever I put out is what's coming back, not just the nice fluffy cloudy things.
This song was always destined to be the climax of the album, and as such we worked hard on getting it right. For a while it had a speaky bit over the long middle 8 break, but it never really added anything to the song so we deleted it from existence. Because it is such a long song, it took a long time to develop and we worked on it intermittently throughout the album construction process, revisiting and revising it often.
As this song had been written on an acoustic, it was very easy to strip it bare and give it a good old acoustic version. Here it is, the stripped bare.
So the album was all there, mostly. We had the dancey songs, the thinky songs, the inner and outer songs (and the shake it all about songs) etc.
There was one thing left to do just to finish this project in the right way. One of the songs I had given Macey was very singer/songwriter style, no drums, just a couple of acoustic guitars and a flute thing. It sucked, so we decided to do a studio live re:record. That would become the final track 'Everything is Okay'. (the next bloggington)
This was one of the first songs Macey developed, the original version was more stripped down and built around the stop/start nature of the riff, Macey took this, added dance sections after both the choruses, and turned the electro dance vibe up to 11. The dynamics in the music are all pure Treeman goodness, turning Equality into a bouncy fun ride. I was blown away by what Macey pulled out of his musical mind for this.
As for the lyric (readable in full in the video just above), I wanted a song about the act of math, taking the 'add','subtract','multiply' approach to the human information sponge (also known as the brain or the mind, it will respond to both). Pure scientific math applied to the chaotic mind of a modern human person, but without focusing on numbers (math without numbers?! are you mad man?!). I approached each line like an equation with each section invariably not equaling equality, except the last one (that did balance).
For a long time this song was going to be track 2 on the album, but in the end we thought it too intense to be so early in the order, we wanted anyone listening to find this little energy gem nearer the end. This was one of the songs developed further in the Bos live sessions, although the band version of it was all about the rocking guitars and pumping drum/bass combo.
Here is the acoustic version of it which has none of the previously mentioned Umph.
While I had been constructing the instrumental tracks way back in that radiant summer of 2015, I had wanted to use mainly electronic sounds because I didn't have the capability to record decent live instrumentation on my own. For guide purposes I recorded guitar acoustically using a USB microphone, I did this on a few tracks (Kiln, Warpzones, Stump the Fee!) all with the intention of replacing them properly later.
Only one of the songs was written on guitar first, all the others were constructed in logic using riffs, except the originally titled 'After Effects', which would go on the become 'Unbelievably Attractive'. (the song for the next blog, fancy that!)
When Macey gave me this song to work on, it was 90% done, the chorus was complete, it just had some space for verse vocals, which conceptually were also already there thanks to the chorus. This was an utter joy to construct, all the swirling backwards guitars and warm glowing atmosphere made me feel like I had turned up to the party very late with the cherry for the cake.
This was going to be the second single for a long time, and we had a great video idea as well, but due to complications and haircuts it never came to fruition.
This was an exercise in recognising child like innocence that permeates deep into adulthood, we are never as grown up as we think we should be, and aren't we all still just kids playing games in the great big sandpit of life? (Some of us are for sure)
This song was worked on in the Bos rehearsal sessions and we played it pretty good, probably the most like the record we managed to get a live version sounding. This didn't effect the recording though, as that was pretty much complete before I got to write the verses for it.
From the live Bos sessions, there were 7 of the songs that we worked on more then the others, they would have probably made up our set if we had done any gigs (which we didn't) and they were: Given Half a Dance, Warpzones, Kiln, Lampshade, 7 Billion, Kids Play Games and Equality. (which just so happens to be the next part of this blogthology)
Oh this song, this was a tough one. The original version had the working title 'X denotes the negative' and was scrappy at best. With badly recorded guitars (by me) and an overabundance of bongo tracks, it was a hard sell. Macey was not a fan, and I kept pushing him to work on it. He tried hard to get it to work, but alas, it wasn't having any of it. It was a block that I had faith we could get over.
This was (in my humble opinion) the strongest song lyric set on the album, and I really wanted it on there. In a last attempt to appease me, Macey took a musical butchers knife to the song, stripping it bare and starting again.
Macey wrote this song in that move, changing the chords and structure, and coming out with a banging dance number unlike any other tune on the record. We redid the vocals and added in the sample of me pretending to be a TV economics professor from the university of selfrightousville, and BAM! it was there.
For the video for this song (see completed article just above these words), I delved into my editing past, strapped on my 'key phrases' lampshade and went spelunking at ye old prelinger archive (it's a website with copyright free video material available to anyone). Being the thrifty fellow that I am, using my free copy of windows movie maker and several copyright free hours of old footage, I constructed a nice recycled video. It took me ruddy ages to do because movie maker kept crashing and burning under the weight of all the files, by version 15 I had it locked in.
Retroactively this new version of the song was converted once more, into acoustic form. Here is the video result of that transformation. This is closer in chordage to the original version.
Moving on, as previously mentioned way back in the introduction, many songs were worked on that had been written by Macey and Nick. These songs had a different feel to my songs, and I enjoyed writing lyrics for them. While 6 or 7 were recorded and worked on, only one of them made it to the album: Kids Play Games. (coming up in the next part)
This was the very first song written for the project. Its original title was 'Bye Bye 14' and was my test piece, I was trying out some of the instruments, mainly little drum sounds and wibbly bits, a simple bass line to tie it together, a tambourine and a little robot radio thing, nothing special.
I've always been a bit obsessed with massive numbers, those concepts that our minds can't really process, and none really blows my little mind quite like world populations. 7.5 Billion people on this planet right now, more joining the big blue ball every minute, to me, that's amazing.
While doing the Bos rehearsal sessions, we had managed to create a faithful rendition of this song, using a drum pad to have the exact plinky plonky rhythm bits. The biggest additions to this tune that Macey made was the chorus, all the sweeping strings and warming organs that burst out were not in the original version at all, they turned the song from a plinky plonky test song to an epic poignant one (good work Macey).
I wanted to do a big clever animated video for the song, using a map of the world and complex stop motion, but the idea was too big for our limited budgets on both money and time.
As this was the title track for the album it really needed a video (see just above), so I turned to the trusty old interweb, signed up to a stock video site called biteable.com and made the very video referred to in the bracketed bit a couple of lines ago.
The current world population is over 7.5 Billion, but getting the 'extra half a billion' people in the song would have been clunky, so they don't get a mention, I'm giving them a shout out right here to make up for it, Sorry half a billion people, you rock and should not have been left out of this song.
Deciding what song to put out after 'Lucky Lampshade' was tricky, there were several candidates, but in the end it went to 'Stump the Fee!' (but that's the next blog...this is a little tease)
This was the interlude song, the last minute addition to the album that almost didn't make it. More a musing then a song, the original version that I had handed Macey was just three organs that I had improvised and not known what to do with, so I wrote a little poem to go with it.
When we were doing our album listen throughs to see how it sounded, this song stuck out as not quite working, so Macey stripped it down to it's knickers and gave it a complete overhaul. I'll return to this point in the conclusion to this album breakdown.
inverted mushroom pic
So last summer (the 2016 one, you know, the year that all the celebrities died), Cosmic Bos was running along side Meta-Cassette (metaphorically speaking of course, we didn't have races), a whole new batch of songs had landed in my lap and I was tasked with coming up with synth parts for them. If felt like musical Christmas, I had so many gifts to unwrap and play with. Fun times indeed.
Once it was decided that Cosmic Bos was going to release an album, only one song from the bunch felt like it could take the burden of being both it's own name AND the album name...'7 Billion' of course! (but that's the story for the next blog)
When I was naming the instrumental pieces way back in the frantically heady summer of 2015, I was coming up with titles based on letters of the alphabet I hadn't used, by the end of it I had one song for every letter (and a few letters that got greedy and had a couple of songs).
'Lucky Lampshade' was my L title. (more of a double L title really)
While I was going through the process of writing lyrics to go with these bad boys, most of the songs would get a name change, almost all of them in fact, but this song, it was born out of it's temporary title. I played with the lyric for a long time before settling in on 'strap on' as the method one would use to keep a lampshade safely on ones head, this was logic and basic science winning out over creative whimsy.
The single cover
The song was a structural oddity. Macey had wanted to move it around a bit, make it more conventional, but I asked him to persist with it's two part, one verse, one chorus structure, to make it different from the other songs. What came out the other end was amazing, Macey built a whirlwind, layering on elements slowly and methodically until a beautiful mess of sound has you in it's clutches (a far cry from the plinky plonky nonsense I had originally given him).
I didn't know if Lucky Lampshade was ever really going to work, but after it's Macey facelift (or Macelift), I think it might be my favourite song on the album, which is a true testament to the production skills of Treeman himself.
We played this in the rehearsal sessions, in fact, we played it differently every time. We had a swing jazz version, punk rock version, dub version, country pop version, you name it, we probably tried it once. I don't know it this influenced how the recording turned out, but it was always a highlight of the live sessions.
As this was the second single, it needed a special video to go with it. Abi and I spent a long time discussing ideas that would utilise light, since the song was about lamps just as much as it was about shades and their potential luck bringing qualities. We had loads of little finger lights, and rope lights, flashing crystal maze bulbs (as used in Given Half a Dance video), light up balloons, UV paint etc.
Negative version of the single cover.
So we tried out a bunch of ideas, and quickly discovered that the UV paint stuff in complete darkness with just a UV bulb, looked freaking sick on a stick. It looked so good on its own that we ditched all our over light based ideas and went full UV. We painted ourselves all UV (well, Abi painted us both actually, I merely sat and got painted), and we painted up some lampshades we had purchased. We shot the video over two evenings using two UV bulbs and a whole load of UV paint.
This song managed to get a little bit of radio play, which was nice.
Once 'Lucky Lampshade' was out, it was decided that this whole project would become an album. Nick had returned from travelling around the world, so the Cosmic Bos live band rehearsal sessions came to an end, and I joined the 'old' band as a synth player and backing vocalist.
A still from the video shoot.
Macey and Nick have been working together for a long time, and in 2013, with Charlie Gibbs on drums and James Finburg on Bass, they had released their debut album 'Something in the Water' - they were known as 'Jipsy Magic'. James left the band the following year and the guys recruited the amazing Paul Bradley on Bass. Before Nick went travelling the guys had been working on a bunch of new material, on Nicks return, with the addition of beardy old me, a new identity for 'Jipsy Magic' was born... META-CASSETTE
While rehearsing Cosmic Bos I had gotten the opportunity to play with these amazing musicians that I admired, I have been an avid fan of 'Jipsy Magic', and I had always hoped that one day I would get to be part of it, it was, and still is, exciting and special getting to make music with such talented individuals. Bos shifted gears back to being an electronica project, but it had been infused with the live musical energies that only a band can give.
Lucky Lampshade made it to the acoustic recording sessions, it's just two chords back and forth so not the hardest song in the world (for any musicheads out there, it's Dm and G)
After such a big epic track, the album needed to calm down a bit, so we went Pondering...
Peace and infinite love
Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)
Me all UV painted up for the video shoot.
Here are the '7 Billion' album links if you were out looking for them:
So we reach part 4 of our musical journey, and this time we get introspective.
TRACK 4: MY BRUISED EGO
Probably the most personal song on the record, this one took a long time to get right. Musically it was there from pretty early on, but the lyric was a struggle. I had the 'kicking me down while trying to get back up' line going round and round in my head for ages, but the lines to follow that went through many iterations before finally settling on the whimpering sounds of a bruised ego.
I think the hardest part about writing about your own ego is removing said ego long enough to honestly analyse it. Every time I felt like I had nailed it, it became clear that my ego had snuck in and tried to big itself up (probably by distracting the rest of my mind with tea and cake - damn you delicious cake).
UV Cosmic Bos artwork by Abi Jackson
There is something very therapeutic about honest self analysis, once you get over yourself enough to realise that we all have these strange struggles with ourselves internally, we all want to be special in some way or another, but really, when all is said and done, most of us, the vast majority in fact, are unremarkable, normal, boring and the same as each other. That's a good thing though, we can't all be the best, the very concept of bestiness allows for only a very select few to shine though.
I come back to this idea in my songs once in a while, as well as voicing the exact opposite idea in other songs, it's fun to bounce around conceptual spaces, language, especially, allows for multiple meanings within the same sentence, and that's awesome (in my humble opinion).
Emotionally life can be a rollercoaster (I think someone might have already said that in song form), and acknowledging our weaknesses as well as our strengths helps us grow and develop, sometimes that ego needs a bit of bruising, even if it hurts.
The built in irony here is that my ego feels warm and fuzzy when someone else gets something from this song, it heals a bit more of the bruising. This song was not attempted at band rehearsals for it's very electronic nature, but it felt necessary to include it on the album.
Retroactively I worked out an acoustic version of 'My Bruised Ego', and it was recording in the great acoustic jamboree earlier this year. Happy times.
The collection of tracks I had given Macey back in that whimsical summer of 2015 didn't really have many singles in it, with 'Given Half a Dance' already used up, working out what song to release next was tough. There was one song that Macey had been strongly draw to, which was one of the more experimental pieces, to say the least, and as it grew in stature, it became clear it would be the next thing we could release...step up to the plate 'Lucky Lampshade'.
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
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)
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'.
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'
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