Unconventional Industrial Artist
If you can cope with what has become my contentious long-term audio-literary diary on the harrowing collapse of sound European civilisation, consider browsing around this site for some of that good, honest, old-fashioned musical variation. It will not necessarily be pleasant, I would imagine.
I display a small selection of my assorted Modern Art paintings. They're degenerate and abstract, favouring Outsider Art Primitivism with elements of Surrealism, and Expressionism when it comes to the figures, maintaining a vague non-movement Realism to everything else. I've been attempting the latter for about half a year, edging closer to sanity and unlearning bad habits. My spirit sapped by the conditions of Kali Yuga, I think, really, that we could refer to these paintings as pseudo-art. I would like, in time and laboriously, to my natural limit, to mitigate the damage of the worst impulses as much as can be done. Representing the real-world as closely as possible by correct detailed observation and attention confers greater benefit if one is truly to align with any genuine philosophy of Beauty, and with the fundamental generative principle of Nature that fulfils the cycles of the universe. There is no need to fantasize, elaborate, or lie for the sake of ego or hubris. When I attempt to sell the decadent pieces I have painted, of which there are far more than displayed, I usually charge £10 for a painted canvas, or £20 if I am pushing it. I do not sell my realist works as I am not convinced they are good enough for what they are to put a price tag onto. Anyone can paint a few squiggles as a second class pot-boiler, and European tastes are not really refined as they once were. Perhaps exploiting the boorishness of indiscriminate consumerist Neanderthals is cynical of me. They remain the vast majority of the West though. I like to hand my developing realist pieces to family members on request though, as presents.
The project name was picked as a sardonic wordplay on the idiom ‘reach for the stars’ which means the achieve something difficult, but which also evokes mercantile qualities that I find rapacious and that I associate with the crass, sell-out attention-seekers of the music industry. There's something banal about its overuse also. Not everyone can attain mastery, and egalitarianism is for slaves.
It was also intended as a serious reflection on what I personally deem "psycho-cosmology", with a recommendation to clean up and whiten our perceptual universe – to think clearly, and to pursue truth. The stars, looking down coldly on us, would be as good a place to start as any.
In general, I attempt concept albums, so there are a few common themes I return to. Musically, I compose bleak Electroacoustic and Post-Industrial experiments, ominous Dark Ambient, morose modernist Neoclassical and even a varying selection of fairly accessible Folk-Industrial (or perhaps electronic drumming Neofolk) crossover pieces, as well as melodic Techno-Industrial 'Pop', harder Industrial music, and synthesizer based 'vintage' soundtracks, with an eye to history. It's quite hard to categorise by genre, as many of the albums are completely different from each other, and freely mix different styles of Western music, from the traditional to the contemporary. Some pieces have poetic spoken word lyrics, delivered in my rough, acerbic singing voice, and some don't. Some pieces are politically charged, and some remain ephemeral and abstract. I have never been interested in writing commercial lyrics, so do not make any conventional popular music theory concessions. Most of the verses began as structured poems, with formal metre and rhyme, re-arranged slightly later when I set them to music.
I refer to my project as 'middlebrow' in that it's too intense and serious in concept for casual listening, and more elitist than is generally expected in the mass of low IQ Semitic gibberish that passes for 21st Century lyrical popular music and yet is still a very long way below the beauty of Classical music, the real, only, music of Western civilisation. I think I somehow tread the line between dark underground anger and genuine aesthetics, very raw, and deliberately lo-fi (mastered in other ways by professional audio engineering courtesy of J. Stillings), and DIY in nature. I'm working on bringing it closer to a Classical structuring, or at least proper Folk, minus any aspect of the soiled, degenerate modern world.
I favour live physical instruments and have a violin, autoharp, ocarina, and acoustic guitar to work with, as well as utilising an M-Audio Oxygen 25 keyboard running piano emulation software such as PianoTeq7. I compose most of my rhythms from scratch using the Re-drum software drum machine that comes with Reason 12 but am also fond of implementing found sounds & field-recordings, spoken audio samples drawn from contemporary mainstream news, random members of the public, and alternative media commentators, and home-made percussion picked up on Dictaphone.
BFTS has never played live, and never will. Besides being unwieldy to perform as a live solo project due to the multiple instruments, I also hold a great disdain for the lowest common denominator of modern audiences, too busy becoming intoxicated and boorishly heckling round the side of their iPhones to pay any attention to what I'm trying to convey. For the same reason I don't court record companies or music journalists as I have no desire to let the former mutilate my vision whilst ripping me off, or to sit back whilst the latter censor me, misrepresent me, or get offended at what I have to tell them, bitching and groaning and gossiping like the pseuds they are, and scuppering my potential sales in the process, making the public's minds up for them. I don't understand reviewers who review what they don't like, or don't really have much interest in. Consider the reason and logic and integrity of that beyond journalistic ego, just what is the point? You can be genuinely passionate about something if you want to boost it in public. Otherwise, just ignore it and leave it alone. This music is quite far from the mainstream (lack of) taste of music executives also. I'm sure they'd wish it didn't exist.
If you'd like to hear my full canon of commercially available work, head over to Bandcamp. Odds and sods of former days remain on YouTube (hint: add the search term "topic" after the project name):
Note: if you click on the small crotchet symbol with the three horizontal bars to the right corner of each album player below, you can listen whilst reading my personal album notes.