Ambient, EDM & electronica works with Ian Staples
Ian Staples: slide guitars, basses, keyboards, Hammond, noises-off.
Jon Seagroatt: soprano, tenor & C melody saxes, bass clarinet, tenor recorder, vibes, keyboards, programming.
Richard Hamel: vocals, lyrics, keyboards, programming.
Bobbie Watson: vocals.
B So glObal; B So glObal (Plastic Head, 1993)
B So glObal; The World Is Covered In Windows (Plastic Head, 1996)
Omlo Vent; Mild Landing (Plastic Head, 1995)
Miramar; Miramar (Emergency Broadcast, 1996)
B So glObal
B So glObal was an alias used by Ian Staples and myself during the 1990s.
B So glObal’s musical origins can be traced back to Ian’s long running interest in what he originally termed ‘floating soundscapes’ – music which later became more widely known as ‘ambient’.
From the early ‘70’s onwards, Ian made numerous multi-track recordings, primarily of electric guitars, employing a wide variety of innovative playing techniques.These recordings tended to be non or even anti-narrative, textural pieces. In this approach, they were related more to then contemporary American practices than to those of European composers, for whom structural tension and release still played a key compositional role, however ‘avant-garde’ their music sounded.
These experiments gave Ian the idea of writing for installations and exhibition spaces, and he approached me to collaborate on the project.
Some of the pieces we wrote were eventually released as the first, eponymously titled, B So glObal album. Though originally conceived as a studio project, B So glObal outgrew it’s origins to become a gigging band. We were subsequently signed by Chillum Records, who released the second B So glObal album ‘The World Is Covered In Windows’ in 1995. Although B So glObal were signed on a multi-album deal, Chillum folded in 1996. Work had already begun on a third album, and we had recruited Rich Hamel and Bobbie Watson to the band as vocalists.
Below are ‘Moilike’, the first track from the eponymously titled B So glObal album, and ‘There’s Nothing But Moles In The Deep Blue Sea’ from ‘The World Is Covered In Windows’. Below those are two tracks from the un-released third album.
Both of the released albums are available for digital download from: Bandcamp.
The physical albums are available from me, via Paypal, here, or from Discogs: B So glObal and The World Is Covered In Windows.
Ian Staples and I also used the alias Omlo Vent during this period. The 1995 album ‘Mild Landing’ was the outcome of studio experiments using unstably sync’ed drum machines and a slew of aging keyboards that had frequently unpredictable output characteristics. The resulting improvisations were recorded to 8 track reel to reel tape or 2-track DAT.
The music was in part an extension of a long-standing interest we had in the sonic experiments of early albums by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. These influences were manifested in the eruptions of dark humour, the collapsing rhythms and the deceptively hesitant, but oddly affecting melodic lines that characterise the sound of ‘Mild Landing’. We were also keen to experiment with improv as a method of instant composition / subliminal structuring within the genre of electronica.
The album itself was commissioned by our then label, Chillum, who, on receipt of the master tape for the second B So glObal album, suggested that we should go back into the studio and experiment without limitations or preconceptions as to outcome.
Omlo Vent sometimes made guerrilla live appearances at selected unsuspecting venues, much to the consternation and bafflement of audiences, but mostly the project was confined to studio downtime.
Below is the title track from ‘Mild Landing’:
Miramar was a 1996 side project of Omlo Vent & B So glObal for myself and Ian Staples.
As Miramar we released ‘Test Tunes’, a 4-track 12″ single, on Dave Ellesmere’s Emergency Broadcast imprint.
A bit like Omlo Vent and as mad as a box of frogs, we squeezed ambiguous dance rhythms out of an ancient raft of very erratically-synced electronica.
As B So glObal, we would play these tunes live as part of our nominally ambient set. ‘Eclectic’ should have been our middle name…….
Del Turko 3 was a massive work-out of a tune in 3s rather than the more usual 4/4, over which we layered psychedelic slide guitar and delay-looped soprano sax. Unfortunately, we never recorded the whole magnum opus…..a shame.
One day, perhaps…….