Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

EP1: the details (and how to get it for free)

Posted on 14 March 2009 14 comments

Article illustration for EP1: the details (and how to get it for free)

I’ve been going on about my forthcoming EP for a while now, and the time has come for me to give you the full lowdown.

Release date and price

Basically, the EP – which is simply called ‘EP1’ – is being mastered right now and will be released on Monday 23rd March. At the time of writing, that’s just over one week from now. You can pay what you like for it (although there’s a minimum payment of £1), and contrary to what I’ve said before, the EP will consist of not 5 but 6 tracks. See, I’m good to you!

I’m also giving away 100 Moo cards here at SXSW to promote the EP’s release, and 50 of these cards have a promo code that will allow you to get it for free. That’s right: absolutely nothing. So if you’re at SXSW, come and see me and I’ll give you a card. You’ve got a 50% chance of getting one with the promo code! (You can tell your friends about the promo code if you like, but it can only be used 50 times, so it’d be nicer if you kept it to yourselves.)

So, there you have it. Expect to see a new sourhaze.com appear on Monday 23rd, sporting the full information about EP1. If you’d like to read more about why / how I’m doing this, check out Studio Diary parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Or if you can’t be bothered, the short version is that I’m releasing two EPs as downloads and will then be combining them into a physical format album later in the year if the sales go well enough to finance its production.

Question time

I’m having a tough time trying to describe my music right now, so I’d like to ask for your help. Based on the preview medley I released a few weeks ago, how would you describe it? Comparisons to other bands are welcome, but it’d be nice if someone could summarise the style(s) without specifically having to refer to other music. It’s a challenge, and personally I’ve become too close to the music to really offer an objective opinion. So… please help!

14 comments

  1. Eric E. Anderson

    Eric E. Anderson

    15 March 2009 @ 12:28AM #

    Wishing I was @SxSW, but alas I am at home. In regards to Question TIme, here is the feel I get from your preview medley:

    Ethereal, Edgy, Electronic, Beautiful, Inspiring and Heavy. Not exactly a Genre recommendation, but hey, I design web sites not music. I love the sound – somehow, it’s a sound that seems to go with your overall design style.

  2. Ben Bodien

    Ben Bodien

    15 March 2009 @ 12:34AM #

    If I had to compare it to existing artists, Aphex Twin springs to mind in places, although it’s somewhat more melodic than most of his latest material.

    From the preview, I’d describe it as laid back experimental soundscapes, bound together by saucy electronic beats.

  3. Ben Bodien

    Ben Bodien

    15 March 2009 @ 12:36AM #

    Oh, Boards of Canada too :)

  4. Dan

    Dan

    15 March 2009 @ 02:40AM #

    Sweet as a nut!

    Judging by what I heard when you released a preview a while back I’ll definately be picking up a copy.

    Have a wicked awesome time at south by’

    Dan

  5. Vincent Le Pes

    Vincent Le Pes

    15 March 2009 @ 06:26AM #

    Generally, you could get away with electronica. Some parts lean toward ambient, some industrial, some downtempo, some house, and just a touch of glitch. Usually someone who crosses genres is referred to as a fusion artist. Fusion by itself refers to jazz fusion…so, perhaps it is electronic fusion? However, I have never heard of that as a specific genre. Rather, any electronic fusion that is not dance music, regardless of influence, is referred to in music terms as ‘electronica’. Your music also has a subtle dark element, not quite leaning all the way to industrial, and a textural, or ambient element, but too upbeat to be straight ambient. This is usually called ambient industrial. Here are links to my suggestions, check them out for your self and see if one fits best in your mind and approach. Below the links to the aforementioned genres is a link to the wikipedia page about electronic genres.

    Electronica – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronica
    Ambient industrial – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambient_industrial

    List of electronic music genres – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electronic_music_genres

  6. Amber Taylor

    Amber Taylor

    15 March 2009 @ 07:31PM #

    Cool tunes. You have an industrial bent mixed in with Brian Eno gone 21st century. The classic musical sensibility of a well recorded lush acoustic guitar and traditional music composition has not been foregone. Belly trance meets VNV Nation meets some Combichrist jaggies. Sounds great!

    I don’t ask to give away all of your secrets, but are you using Reason? What are all the instruments do you play? I have a lot of older analog equipment in my studio and have been trying to decided to go with Pro Tools or Logic, and maybe even Reason for more electronic incorporation. Anyhow like the sound, let me know if you ever want to plan a tour stop in Atanta, GA here in states.

    —Cheers

  7. Nick

    Nick

    15 March 2009 @ 09:02PM #

    I think Vincent nailed it on the head but I wouldn’t be too worried about the genre you fall into. If you sold this on iTunes they would just throw it into electronic like they do with all the rest. You have some really good music here and I will be sure to get it.

    Some other bands that are these lines are STS9, EOTO, and hints of Squarepusher, Wagon Christ, and Bjork (minus the signing).

    Either way, you have come up with some good, original music which is hard to find. Good job!

    Nick

  8. Kevin deLeon

    Kevin deLeon

    15 March 2009 @ 09:42PM #

    I am going with ambient/industrial/Sci-Fi :)

    Either way, I really dig it. Could definitely hear it in a movie score. Going to pick it up for sure when you release it.

    Mind if I ask what software/gear you are using? Might be a cool blog post.

  9. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace

    16 March 2009 @ 08:10PM #

    I’m actually really looking forward to it, Elliot. This is right up my alley. I would call it elliotronica.

  10. Sean

    Sean

    17 March 2009 @ 04:59PM #

    It has NIN circa Year Zero all over it, but with a post rock twist.

    I’d still call it Post Rock though because it reminds me of Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky (all post rock acts) more than it reminds me of anything else.

    Granted it’s probably more electronic than any of those bands and so that would put it into some kind of electronica/trip-hop (maybe) category, but I find those labels far too vague. If you told people your music was Post Rock they’d know what to expect and be about 80% unsurprised ;)

  11. Derrick

    Derrick

    17 March 2009 @ 09:53PM #

    One more reason to wish I could have made it to SXSW. Not that I won’t get the album anyway!

  12. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    19 March 2009 @ 01:15PM #

    Ooh, these are really helpful comments – thanks chaps and chapesses!

    @ Amber Taylor: The majority of the music on this release was composed and programmed electronically, either on external ‘grooveboxes’ or directly within Ableton Live (which is what I use) via MIDI. However, there are still quite a few instruments I play on there: acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, real (i.e: unprogrammed) keyboards, and mbira (the thumb piano). Rhys also plays the rebab, a middle eastern string instrument that we sampled heavily to create a lot of the textures. We used a virtual mellotron to achieve a lot of the vintage keyboard sounds, too.

    @ Kevin deLeon: Sci-Fi, eh? Cool!

    @ Chris Wallace: ‘Elliotronica’ has to be my favourite – I’ll try and work that into a new bio somewhere. ;)

    @ Sean: I think you’re right: even though it’s not really Post Rock, using that label would at least give people an indication of roughly where it’s at.

    So I’m thinking right now that Post Rock Electronica would be a good blanket term. I’d love to get more of your thoughts on this once you hear the full thing on Monday! :)

  13. Annie Anderson

    Annie Anderson

    22 March 2009 @ 11:38PM #

    Elliot,

    Very nice sample! To me, it sounds like new age/ electronica. Sort of a Moby sound, if you will.

    It’s very cool.

    ~ Annie

  14. Mr Colour Drunk

    Mr Colour Drunk

    14 April 2009 @ 08:45PM #

    I would def say, Glitch. Reminds me of Machine Drums tracks. Very Nice though not what i expected.

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