Dunwich Dreams

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2011 by learnwithxela

These two tracks originally appeared on a 7″ on Fred Thomas’s Life Like label in 2011, but sadly due to a manufacturing problem the single ended up being limited to a mere ten copies. Since nobody ended up hearing here are the tracks for your enjoyment. They were written a couple of years ago and have plenty of references to the movie soundtrack work of Fabio Frizzi. Music blog ‘The Radiant Now‘ ended up asking to post these, so I remastered them and there’s a zip over there on the blog (with artwork) – streaming is below.



Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by learnwithxela

So here it is, the ‘final’ Xela album, and it’s been a while coming. OK, so it’s not technically the final album chronologically speaking (‘The Sublime’ and ‘My Memories of Gallifrey’ were finished after this one) but since it’s being released now, it may as well be the last album. It seems fitting too – I wrote the record in 08/09 while camped out in my childhood home with my laptop, FX and Pro-One synthesizer squeezed onto a dresser table while I recovered from a bout of illness some years back. The idea was to write a record that would serve as some kind of therapy, something I would enjoy making and enjoy listening to, so to act as an ‘ending’ to the Xela project in general seems perfect to me.

You see I came up with Xela in 1999, when I used to make shonky beat tapes for girls at school and pretend it was all other people’s tunes so they wouldn’t be so dismissive. As soon as the name stuck, it took on a life of its own and the shitty jungle, hip hop and garage tracks became more melodic, escapist sounds. At the time I was working at Halfords on Bescot Stadium (Walsall’s football ground) selling bass boxes and fitting car stereos, and my mates were pushing me to max out on the bass content – voila ‘For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights’ was born. This was an album where I wanted to capture the dank griminess of the Black Country (the wider area where my hometown resides – hint, it’s NOT Birmingham) but give it hope, because I hoped I’d get the fuck out.

Fast forward twelve years and I did make it out, I do miss it – but it feels disingenuous to still find myself shackled to a moniker that was born mostly out of a specific place and possibly time. The last two years, living in the US and still recording/performing under the Xela name has been weird for me. This was a project that for better or for worse lived and died in the muddy puddles outside the Arboretum, and in the 50p bin on the VHS stall at Bescot Market. It doesn’t have any relevance here in Massachusetts, and that’s why I’m bringing things to a close. I’ll still be making music of course, but it feels good to say ‘this is the end’ of this particular era.

Fittingly, ‘Exorcism’ contains field recordings I recorded in the Park Lime Pits in Walsall, a flooded limestone mine that I spent much of my childhood traipsing around (when I wasn’t in front of a screen, anyway – would hate you all to think I’m an ‘outdoors’ type).

For those of you that want to download a ZIP with artwork, here is is – http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/u64fw7

The Sublime

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by learnwithxela

My latest album and final part of the trilogy ‘The Sublime’ is finally out in the world. This has been an epic undertaking getting all this material finished and out there over the last few years so thanks to everyone who’s stuck with the records. The cassette has now sold out at Digitalis but there will be copies up for sale soon at Boomkat and Mimaroglu Music Sales, so anyone who wants the ‘original’ version should definitely check there regularly. As with the previous records, the lovely Dekorder label will be issuing a vinyl version next year, so don’t worry wax fondlers, your time will come!

Check HERE for samples

Love Is A Dream

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 by learnwithxela

My collaboration with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is now available. It comes bundled with the LP version of Jefre’s fantastic new album ‘Love Is A Stream’ and as usual it’s very limited, so be quick if you wanna make sure you grab one!

Love Is A Dream

Mix for Fluid Radio

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2010 by learnwithxela

Hello everyone… so I was asked to do a mix for Fluid Radio, and I thought it would be nice to exorcise some of my ambient demons and keep my inability to play music of the same style (within reason) for more than five minutes in check. I tried to keep it vaguely summery, and then it rained. And became slightly cold. It feels slightly less relevant now, but still, enjoy.

Listen to the mix here!

Track List:

Black To Comm – Wave UFO II. b (Dekorder)
Jon Mueller – Remembered As (Type)
Reuben Son – Sensual Square (Private Chronology)
Fenn O’Berg – III (Editions Mego)
Pale Blue Sky – Someday, Sometime (Arbor)
Edward Williams – Man – A Choice for the Future of Life on Earth? (Trunk)
Raven Chacon – Hasta’aadah- for Wind Ensemble (Anarchymoon)
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson & Carlos Nino – Find A Way (Mochilla)
Virginia Astley – Too Bright For Peacocks (Rough Trade)
Celer – Cantering In A Copper Dress (Low Point)
Thomas Köner – 42 7′ N 19 6′ E (Fario)
Clara Rockmore – Band 2 : Ravel – Habanera (Mississippi)
Popol Vuh – Why Do I Still Sleep (Uniton)
Emeralds – Overboard (Off the Deep End) (Wagon/Gneiss Things)
Geoff Mullen – Bongo Closet III (Type)

The Divine

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 by learnwithxela

So ‘The Divine’, the second part in my trilogy of albums which came out on tape a while back (on the fab Digitalis label) is now out on LP on Dekorder. Just because I love you, you can listen to Side B in style thru Soundcloud here!

The Divine cover

New site

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 by learnwithxela

OK so I’ve finally dispensed with Myspace… it was long overdue and WordPress seems like a much better way to get things out. Also (and here’s the clincher), it fucking works. How many times do you end up posting crap to Myspace and it fails on you? Argh. And if you want to get in touch (I know y’all love Myspace messages) well, there’s this thing called email which does a real good job of replacing Myspace messaging. And Twitter. So you can expect semi-regular updates on Xela-related activities (new releases, etc)… which will probably be a lot more comprehensive and available than, say, Myspace. This is not a rant.