In Part One of this interview, we dug deep with Tim Bowness about his latest album, Late Night Laments, released by Inside Out on August 28. Our concluding segment has more about the new album, but also catches up on Tim’s other recent projects, as well as an update on Progarchy’s favorite online music shop, Burning Shed. As with Part One, a transcription follows the jump.
In Part 1 of Tim Bowness’ latest Progarchy interview, Tim discussed his previous solo albums, working again with his first band Plenty, reuniting with Steven Wilson for fresh No-Man music, and how it all feeds into his new album Flowers At The Scene (released March 1 on Inside Out Music). Part 2 was an in-depth look at the new album’s music and players. To finish up, the conversation branches off into the process of writing, the genesis of Tim’s label/online shop Burning Shed, the state of the music business and more! Note that [brackets] below indicate editorial insertions.
I’ve always found your lyrics very, again, distinctive and appealing. The words for your songs, if you read them on the page, they look very sparse; they’re epigrammatic, or they’re almost like a hymn text. But they convey a lot of emotion and meaning when you sing them – It’s like you hear what’s behind them, kind of like a minimalist take on lyrics. Was there anyone who particularly influenced how you write lyrics – or melodies, for that matter? Where do the words come from for you?
I think the words in some ways came before the singing, because I used to like poetry, before I ever really was in a band. So I’d always loved reading, and still am a fairly avid reader of novels and poetry. There were a lot of lyricists I adore, so, I think … Joni Mitchell is an absolutely fantastic lyricist. But I can’t say there’s any lyricists I’ve been particularly influenced by.
I think that, in terms of that pared down style, I guess I always quite liked people like Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter and Raymond Carver. Certain writers like that. And, although I don’t think I’m anything like them, that might be the core influence. And there’s also, there’s an English poet called Ian Hamilton, who has a very sparse approach, and I always used to like his work.
And so in some ways, it’s kind of closer to that; it’s closer to the poetry that I grew up reading, without being particularly like it. And as I said, I’m a fan of many singers, many lyricists. Again, Roger Waters, fantastic lyricist, fantastic concepts, but I can’t say it’s particularly influenced me. So maybe it comes from outside of music, the lyrical element of what I do.
Plus, I also think it comes, of course, from my own experiences, my own obsessions, my own emotions. So that’s thrown into the mix.
Would Philip Larkin be in the mix? It just occurred to me that was another person that kind of worked in that epigrammatic, lyric style?
Yeah, very much so, yes indeed! The Collected Works of Philip Larkin are on my shelf.
Well, it’s amazing how busy you are, because along with all of what you do – your solo work, No-Man — you also co-direct one of my very favorite online shops! And it’s certainly a favorite of all of us at Progarchy. Burning Shed is just a wonderful place to buy music from, even across the pond. You’re listed as a co-director; what does your role there involve?
Well, I still – the newsletters you receive, I write them.
The text that goes on the site, I write it. So I suppose, in a sense, Burning Shed was my idea of a company. So I started burningshed.com as an idea of doing cost-effective, experimental solo albums. And so initially, we released three CD-Rs. So the idea was originally in 2001, online, on demand, cost-effective solo albums that labels wouldn’t be interested in. So Steven [Wilson] gave us a Bass Communion album; I gave a Samuel Smiles live album; Roger Eno gave an ambient album. And almost from the off, it did better than we thought it would do.
Vinyl Box Sets (box set pre-orders)
King Crimson 1969-1972 and King Crimson 1972-1974 are limited edition box sets presenting the band’s seven studio albums from 1969-1974 in their 40th anniversary edition mixes (by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp).
1969-1972 also includes a double LP of rarities and a full-sized replica of the original King Crimson timeline booklet which accompanied The Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson.
1972-1974 contains a fourth album featuring a complete alternate version of Larks’ Tongues in Aspic – mixed and produced by Steven Wilson and featuring the LP’s original US artwork – plus the expanded edition of USA (in its 2013 mix by Robert Fripp, David Singleton and Tony Arnold). The set also contains a full-sized 24 page photographic booklet of the band during the period plus a poster of the King Crimson album art as it originally featured in The Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson.
All albums are cut from the same hi-res masters used for the 40th anniversary CD/DVD-A series, pressed on 200g super-heavyweight vinyl, and presented in their original sleeves.
Pre-order CD 1969-1972 for 2nd November release and 1972-1974 for 23rd November release. A bundle of both boxes is available for 23rd November combined shipping.
Be Bop Deluxe
Sunburst Finish (boxset pre-order)
A deluxe 3cd/1dvd limited edition box set of BBD’s beloved 1976 studio release.
Remastered from the original tapes, this edition features 39 tracks, stunning 5.1 and stereo mixes by Stephen W. Tayler, album session out-takes, a BBC Radio In Concert performance from January 1976, a rare John Peel Show session from February 1976, along with an unissued and previously unreleased 1976 Harvest Records promotional video for Ships in the Night and a session for BBC TV’s Old Grey Whistle Test show from January 1976.
Includes a 68 page book with previously unseen photographs and an essay by Bill Nelson, plus a facsimile of the 1976 Sunburst Finish tour programme, postcards and a replica poster.
Pre-order for 16th November release. An expanded and remastered double CD edition is also available.
Cries And Whispers 1983-1991 (book pre-order)
Cries And Whispers is the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s A Foreign Place, Anthony Reynolds‘ hugely successful biography of Japan.
Detailing the fascinating musical adventures of Richard Barbieri, Rob Dean, Steve Jansen, Mick Karn and David Sylvian from 1983 to 1991, the book takes in Sylvian’s solo work, The Dolphin Brothers, Dali’s Car, the brilliant but ill-feted reunion release Rain Tree Crow, and more.
This limited deluxe hardback first edition (cloth-bound with a gold and silver foil debos) – designed by Carl Glover – includes many rare photographs, plus contributions from Bill Nelson, Johnny Marr, Bill Bruford, Robbie Aceto, Simon Raymonde, Ivo, Martin Fry, Michael Brook, Tim Bowness, Paul Morley, Thomas Dolby, the late Colin Vearncombe and others.
All copies will come with a postcard signed by the author.
Pre-order for 26th October release. To coincide, the softback version of A Foreign Place will be available at the special price of £13.99 until the release date of Cries And Whispers.
Meltdown: Live In Mexico (3cd/1blu-ray pre-order)
A 3CD/1Blu-Ray set featuring over three and a half hours of material performed during King Crimson’s five night residency at Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City in July 2017 plus audio extras.
The Blu-Ray contains over two hours of multi-camera HD recorded footage, audio soundtrack in 24/48 LPCM, hi-res stereo and 5.1 DTS HD-MA (with ‘picture off’ mode allowing the music to be heard independently in lossless audio).
Mixed by Bill Rieflin from multi-track recordings and presented in two mini-vinyl style gatefold packs with booklet – including photos by Tony Levin and sleeve notes – enclosed in an outer slipcase.
A comprehensive overview of a band at the peak of its performing ability.
Pre-order for 28th September release.
From Discipline Global Mobile:
Three new [IPhone/IPad] apps featuring Theo Travis & Robert Fripp go on sale today.
Each app features a different selection of performances by Travis and Fripp, contrasting in mood and key. This trilogy recreates the unpredictable dynamics of live performance, creating a new experience on each listen.
The three apps utilise a wide selection of performances by the pair ingeniously designed to work together in infinite permutations. Both Travis and Fripp have recorded brand new music for the apps in the studio in 2018, but these performances blend and combine with others gathered from live multi-tracks from the albums: Live at Coventry Cathedral, Thread, Discretion and Between the Silence (2018 3CD) and also concert recordings from Malaga, Madrid, Newlyn, Rome, Broad Chalke and the Bath Festival.
Developed by [Burning Shed founder] Peter Chilvers, who has previously collaborated with Brian Eno on the apps Bloom, Trope and Reflection, each recombines a selection of performances painstaking assembled by Travis from multi-track recordings from over a decade of collaboration, enabling old performances to mix with new, studio recordings to mix with live, and exclusive unreleased material to play with familiar performances.
The apps present a unique type of performance of musical texture and space, the building of long slow melodies, and the creation of slowly shifting harmonic soundscapes. Once the apps are started they will play continuously allowing endless performances by this remarkable duo.
As DGM head honcho David Singleton says in his latest diary entry:
[The apps feature] improvisations and multiple layers that will randomize in glorious ways to create a unique performance every time you listen.
Anyone who has been reading my diaries will know that I am something of a “broken record” in my passion to liberate music from the single “frozen recording” into something more fresh and exciting. Not computer-generated music, which holds limited appeal for me, but recordings no longer frozen into a single artefact …
This is not for everyone, or for all music … I am a huge fan of the well-made recording. But just imagine if you did not have to choose between a number of different, but equally good, guitar solos. Or vocal takes. Or drum parts. They could be subtly combined so that you captured an extended present moment. Perhaps think animated GIF, not a full movie. Here’s to dreaming! In the meantime, anyone listening to the Travis & Fripp Apps will be hearing something that no-one has heard before or will ever hear again.
Not unlike a King Crimson concert …
Having been a stone fan of Robert Fripp’s ambient efforts since I attended a 1979 Frippertronics performance at Detroit’s Peaches Records, I give all three of these apps my heartiest recommendation. Firing them all up today provided a marvelous musical experience while going about my daily business, reading, writing a blog post — or just relaxing and letting two master players do their thing in ways even they didn’t anticipate at the time …
- Buy the Travis & Fripp IPhone/IPad apps singly or as a bundle here.
- Robert Fripp is touring Europe with King Crimson this summer; download free mp3s from the shows here.
- Theo Travis is on Soft Machine’s 50th anniversary world tour in Canada; learn more about the tour (including US dates this fall) here, and preorder the new Soft Machine album Hidden Details here.
- Order Travis & Fripp’s music, including the new bargain-priced 3CD album Between the Silence at Burning Shed.
— Rick Krueger
Allow Yourself (cd/clear vinyl/t-shirt pre-order)
Nosound‘s 2018 studio album Allow Yourself finds the band in a new space once more, wholly embracing Alternative/Electronic influences and incorporating elements from The National, Notwist, and Portishead (alongside a production inspired by Bowie’s Blackstar and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool).
Available as a CD in digipack reverse-board packaging with a 16-page booklet, a limited crystal clear 180g vinyl edition in a reverse-board gatefold sleeve at ‘early bird’ price, and a fetching red t-shirt.
Orders through Burning Shed will receive an exclusive signed postcard & wristband (while stocks last), immediate download of the first single Don’t You Dare and, on release date, the full album as an uncompressed binaural mix & FLAC 5.1 surround sound mix. One customer from pre-orders will be randomly selected to receive a signed vinyl test-press.
Pre-order for 21st September release.
Hello, I Love You 50th Anniversary Limited 7” (vinyl pre-order)
On the 50th anniversary of The Doors’ classic Hello, I Love You, comes a 7” vinyl version of the single with its b-side Love Street.
This edition includes the mono radio mixes of the songs that were given exclusively to radio stations in 1968.
Pre-order for 3rd August release.