Monday, 28 April 2008


is the latest song to be completed for the album.

Of course it's very electronic, but it doesn't remind me of anything so I guess it's distinctly NK.

Also started the new live arrangements for the EY event, previously the songs in our live set where pretty similar to the album versions but through boredom we decided to revamp them. As Sarah puts it, give them the "Jive Bunny" touch, don't let that put you off though.

I was asked last week what do I play on stage, that night the answer to the questions was nothing, because of a technical hitch, I had taken the wrong laptop to a gig and therefore no software was installed. Fortunately I had a copy of the backing tracks in iTunes as I burnt a CD for Sarah to rehearse to. I therefore mimed the whole thing whilst loosing a stone in sweat.

The NK live set-up consists of Logic with a stereo backing track consisting usually of the percussion and bass sounds plus any difficult sequences or arpeggiated lines. We usually keep some of Sarahs backing vocals or harmonies in to add a fuller vocal sound. I then have tracks prepared with the various sounds that I play live, I use my controller keyboard to select the tracks which have the relevant AU software plug-in loaded. I can then tweak the sounds using the controllers on my keyboard. I also use my Korg MS20 controller with the stand alone software application running separately on another machine. This is just like having an polyphonic MS20 synth. The main Mac connects through to a MOTU 828 MKIII interface, along with the vocal Mic and the output from the MS20 software. These are mixed live with FX added to Sarahs vocal.

Goodbye is a fitting title for this post a I'm now off to Zurich for a few days, Goodbye! Matt

Thursday, 24 April 2008


I'm constantly looking, searching, listening for new music and occasionally I stumble across something that stands out. A month ago I noticed a video posted up on a design forum I visit. It was for a track called "Divebomb" from a band called "The Whip"

I've had the album for a few weeks now and I must say it's pretty good.

It's a mixture of LCD Soundsystem, New Order, Gus Gus, Ladytron, Chemical Brothers. Perhaps on the outer edges of electro but still a great album.

Standout tracks - "Trash", "Frustration", "Fire", "Divebomb" & "Sister Siam" These were all previewed on iTunes before making the purchase. Five tracks out of ten made buying the full album a better choice.

I started thinking about how I use to discover music back in the days before the internet, I guess it was reading NME, Melody Maker & Smash Hits. Obviously you couldn't really hear any tracks before buying something so more often than not I would end up buying something that I hated. However because I had spent hard earned cash from paper rounds or glass collecting at the local working mens club I would end up playing the music to death in any sort of attempt to make myself like it. I think this broadened my horizons somewhat and I'm glad of it.

The only downside of discovering music via the internet now is that you get to hear the music before making a purchase. I know this sounds completely mad but there was something nice about buying a whole album before hearing it and then discovering something wonderful.

Take for example the new Ladytron album, Rob from EY has been telling me it's great and he can't stop listening to it. I want it now, I don't want to hear poor quality versions on Myspace, if I listen to them too much I might not buy the album when it comes out in June.

I'm not sure what to do about letting people hear our new stuff, In a way I want people to buy the album and listen to it from start to finish. Mmmmm what to do?


Monday, 21 April 2008


Buy your ticket NOW!


1980 - The Spinners
1982 - Duran Duran
1983 - Depeche Mode
1983 - Kajagoogoo
1984 - Depeche Mode
1986 - Erasure
1986 - OMD
1986 - Depeche Mode
1987 - Human League
1988 - Erasure
1988 - Depeche Mode
1988 - Bronski Beat
1990 - Kraftwerk
1990 - Nitzer Ebb
1990 - The Who
1990 - The Shamen
1990 - Depeche Mode
1991 - Caberet Voltaire
1992 - Madonna
1993 - Depeche Mode
1993 - Erasure
1993 - Kraftwerk
1996 - Erasure
1997 - The Lightning Seeds
1998 - Lighthouse Family ( I can't believe that!)
2001 - Depeche Mode
2001 - Goldfrapp
2003 - Pet Shop Boys
2003 - The Human League
2003 - Goldfrapp
2004 - Duran Duran
2004 - Erasure
2004 - Goldfrapp
2004 - Karl Bartos
2005 - Depeche Mode
2006 - The Prodigy
2006 - Client
2007 - Matinee Club
2007 - Marsheaux
2008 - I AM X
2008 - The Human League


P.S When Depeche Mode play, I generally see them on all of their UK dates


I really enjoyed the Human League gig in Sheffers last night, was very interesting to see Phil doing his thang.  The 'girls' made me chuckle too, very glam...
I would definitely add this gig to those filed under 'Not a true fan, but I'm glad I can say that I saw them'.  Along with Jacko, and Iggy Pop.
I thought the new Carling Academy venue scrubbed up well, and I like the fact that the League referenced the infamous Roxy nightclub, the venue's original use.  Lovely grubby Sheffield heritage, a bit like the egg box building.
It was great to hear them do Love Action, as we do a mean cover of this track.  If you get a chance to see us live soon, you will hear this one (guest vocals courtesy of Winny-Winston).
Ooh - I forgot Chromeo and Bonde do Role on my gig list.  A hazy but enjoyable memory from The Plug last summer.
Happy Monday!
Sarah x

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Friday, 18 April 2008


With our recent spate of seeing live bands, and having drunk a very large glass of wine, I thought it would be a nice random excercise to see if I can think of all the live bands I've ever seen.  The list is in some sort of loose chronological order.  So here goes;
The Wonderstuff
Pop Will Eat Itself
Neds Atomic Dustbin
Bon Jovi
Primal Scream
Michael Jackson
Jesus Jones
Queen (minus Freddie)
Iggy Pop
The Charlatans
Robbie Williams
The Verve
James Brown
Macy Gray
Ocean Colour Scene
Jools Holland
Sam Brown
The Darkness
Scissor Sisters
Hayseed Dixie
Justin Timberlake (Annie's fault)
Lamar (Jennie's fault)
Bands I would LIKE to see include;
Hot Chip
Paul McCartney
Fat Boy Slim
Happy Mondays
Of course there's loads more too.
There was quite a large chunk of my life (1994-97) when I was far too busy raving to go and see 'proper bands'.  This was though a significant musical period for me, from what I can remember...I went to a lot of clubs and Renaissance events, i think (?)
Sarah x

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and we are going to see The Human League on Sunday, so I though I would post our instrumental version of 'Love Action'. We have yet to finish the vocals for this. I actually think this is better than HLs live version, but then I would say that. :-)

UPDATE, I removed the link as it was annoying me, if you want to hear Love Action follow this

Tuesday, 15 April 2008



Finally been diagnosed with an inner ear infection. I was beginning to worry I had permanent damage as I have tried every decongestant and earwax softening treatment going. Sarah also advised on a Hopi ear candling session that I was booked for this weekend but finally after a good poke around the Dr said it's an infection.

So hopefully within the next few days when the antibiotics kick in mixing can start again, just in time for my ears to be buggered from the Human League gig. Yey!

Rob from EY has asked for a editorial for the site so gonna be working on that tonight!


Monday, 14 April 2008


Embarrassingly, my favourite Human League song was 'Temptation' - that is until someone recently corrected me that this was actually Heaven 17 :-(
Oh dear...but then I have met Pink Floyd, Lemmie out of Motorhead, Fletch out of DM and Jimmy Page (on different occasions)  and didn't have a clue who they were either.  Welcome to Sarah's world.
I've also regularly danced around Tom Jones while he ate his dinner - but ask me about this some other time.
And yes, I knew Phil Oakey in a professional capacity - funny how things work out!  He was always extremely pleasant and seemed like quite a gentle, un-assuming kind of guy (quite the opposite of Sid Owen - RICKAAAAYYYYY).  Mr Oakey always had a twinkle in his eye, and liked a nice cup of coffee.  Although I should add, I wasn't all that sure of who he was at first, naturally.
x x

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Well I have been pretty shit for updating this for a few weeks, sorry!

Getting the balance right between work, family and NK is sometimes difficult and the past few weeks have seen NK suffer. Not feeling particularly well has also not helped as the studio space basically has the ambient temperature of the outside. The last few weeks has been pretty cold so working in that space is not that appealing, if you think about the scene in Blade Runner where the guy works on the eyes, well that's how it feels.

So this Sunday we are going to see HL in Sheffield. Sarah has never seen them before but knows Mr Oakey in a former professional capacity so it will be interesting to see what she thinks. I have drawn the short straw of driving, in fact I'm taking Sarah, Baz from Electrobelle and Dave Smith the DJ from HFM and his wife.

I thought I would write about my thoughts on HL and how they have influenced me.

Embarrassingly the first record I owned of HLs was the 12" for Keep Feeling - Fascination. Of course I had heard the singles from Dare but for some odd reason I was never really drawn to them. I was a real Mute head in the early 80's and didn't really get into anything outside of the Mute label.

However, that changed on a holiday to Jersey in 1983. At the airport I saw the Dare album on cassette and having had a Walkman for my Birthday I persuaded my mum to buy me the album. I must say that pretty much stayed on my ears for the whole two weeks and I was slightly annoyed that I hadn't bothered with it before then. From then I have bought pretty much everything they have done.

I think HL suffered from the success of Dare which is understandable considering their age. They famously binned off Martin Rushent thinking they knew best!

Hysteria seemed so stark in relation to Dare, much of this was caused by the learning behind the technology. They decided to use the Synclavier system, something that Daniel Miller and Depeche also decided upon. I think however the missing ingredient was someone who knew how to operate that vast machine. DM had Gareth Jones who had become an expert with that system. Whilst HL should have been evolving their sound I think personally they struggled to achieve anything like the highs of Dare.

Crash I thought was a good album with some really nice tracks, however they hardly had any influence in the production and for them it was a lifeline with Virgin, without the success of that album I don't think HL would have survived. It clearly catapulted them to bigger things but Romantic I have to say was pants. Octopus and Secrets I think are both great albums but for a band of their age I would have liked them to have released more original albums.

Apart from Dare I find it difficult to pinpoint any particular identity in terms of sound for HL. It's clear that they still trade off the success of Dare which is fine as it was such a landmark album, but I think in the grand scheme of things they could have achieved so much more.

That said I think HL are probably third on my list of influences and I look forward to any new material.


Monday, 7 April 2008


Yes I was struck down with the flu so apologies for the lack of updates recently. Progress with the tracks in the past week has also been non existent. So I thought I would give you a quick update with the state of the new tracks.

Dirty Youth
Into The Blue
(You should have now heard as they are on myspace)

At the moment this has a "Close to the edit" vibe the Art of Noise track, not sure what direction this is going in but I think it will be a stomper.

Quite close to the original idea, could be a main track for the album but quite a bit to do on this.

I'm loving this one, quite a complex sequence and of parts happening and it's nearly there but needs a few more tweaks.

Deadpan vocals, very Client like but I think this will develop into quite a strong track.

Probably the most commercial sounding idea, Sarah is experimenting with the timing and phrasing of the vocals but again I hope to do this real justice when it comes to the final arrangement and mix

This is very Kraftwerk like at the minute, not sure which way this will end up but I'd to keep it that way. Probably the first track of the album.

There are also another two new tracks on the way however these have not ben recorded yet and to be honest I haven't heard what Sarah has done with them yet. Don't want to create a production bottle neck so it's going to be a few weeks before these get recorded.

I'm quite encouraged by what we have so far though, the idea that became Dirty Youth I though initially was pants, but I finally managed to take that somewhere I'm fairly pleased with. We will also be putting a new version of Tears & Tinsel on the album.



Watch out for those tumble-weeds!
A quiet week for us;  Matt's been laid up with the flu and I have been in the middle of moving house, so things are a bit subdued at the moment!  We are gearing up for our next gigs, and really looking forward to them. Although - WHAT TO WEAR??  I need a dress to rival Matt's Michelin man outfit, a proper glow in the dark jobby.  Any ideas?
There's a second London date in the pipeline - will let you know the details as soon as they are confirmed.
ttfn x

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Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Thank You

Just wanted to quickly swing by and thank everyone for the amazing feedback on the two new Xerotic EP tracks.  A big thank you to everyone who is posting reviews and comments - keep them coming!
All of your comments are totally inspiring and make all the 'hard work' (hah!) worthwhile ;-)
If you like the Xerotic tracks, you're going to LOVE our new album.  Really exciting stuff!
Have a nice day,
Love Sarah x

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008


...from the XEROTIC-EP have been posted up to myspace.

DIrty Youth & Into The Blue.

Hope you like them.