Fog Over The Nation (or How a Soundman Says Goodbye… In Arabic)

Hello. It’s been rather a long time since I last wrote, and to the small-but-vocal minority who demand regular updates on my waking moments, I can only apologise.

But the fact is, everything’s been a bit of a blur, almost entirely as a result of the closure of Bush House on July 12th, and the corresponding release of my tribute album ‘The Ghosts Of Bush’. Tracks from the album  have received airplay on Resonance FM (always first on the list!!), Radio 4‘s Broadcasting House and my two favourite 6Music programmes, Gideon Coe and Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone. It turned out that Gideon was himself a staffer at Bush House not so long ago and on the building’s historic final day opted to close his show and the day’s programming with an extract from ‘London Ta Ke Kira’.

In addition there were plugs for the album on the Today Programme and The World Today, as well as a slide show on the BBC World Service website featuring the photography of Bogdan Frymorgen and a re-adapted version of Emma Crowe’s ‘Bush House Nights’ with an extract from my stairwell recordings floating away in the background like a sort of ghostly undertow. Provided they haven’t taken it down yet, it should be available by clicking here.

Moving on, for those of you not already well-versed in Arabic, have you ever wondered what your voice would sound like translated into that noble language?  Well, thanks to BBC Arabic cultural programme ‘XTRA’ running a feature on ‘The Ghosts Of Bush’, I finally got to find out. This could well be the proudest single moment of my career to date, and huge thanks to super-producer Rihab Khatab for making it happen. I’m thinking of starting some sort of campaign to have my voice translated into as many languages as possible, what do you reckon?

And still there’s more! In addition to all this very welcome exposure, positive feedback has been pouring in by the sack-load. Here are just a select few of my favourites:

“..Just listened to your thing on 6music and it went well with breastfeeding, in case you need to know.” – Ein Petit Gibbon

“Proper authentic Radiophonic Workshop vibes, what’s not to like?” – Datassette, Ai Records etc.

“By making this album, […] you went from being a bloke who works at the BBC to being part of its creative legacy.” –  Qntm Ntvs, Mantile Records etc.

“Evocative”  – Peter Horrocks, Director of Global News, BBC

Robin The Frog? I’m going to write that down” – The Kronos Quartet – ALLEGEDLY  

“Some tracks, particularly the first one, have quite large DC offsets on them. […] Best regards and good luck”  –  STEVE

So, with all this excitement I’ve decided that what’s really required here is a limited run on VINYL. Indeed I’m delighted to announce that The Fog Signals will shortly release a very limited run of 200 LPs with full colour sleeves and deep, dark, haunting grooves in which to place your needle.  As we speak the lacquers have been cut and I’m awaiting the arrival of test pressings.  And just in case that wasn’t excitement enough, here’s a sneak preview of the sleeve, using the beautiful photography of Lisa Hack:

Ghosts Of Bush - Front Cover

More news to follow soon, much more hopefully.  In the meantime, is it too much to hope that all of this activity might result in some sort of trophy? I need something for the mantlepiece…