KAMCO Music started life as KAMCO Records in 1998 – a label through which I could self-release Popland’s Groovy album. 17 years later, KAMCO Music (physical releases are so passé) embarks on a new adventure with digital distributor Believe Digital with the re-issue of my three solo releases thus far.
Previously released only on Bandcamp, this EP is now available at iTunes, Amazon (etc) and the relevant streaming platforms for the first time. Contains the radio-friendly “I Want What I Can’t Have” and you can buy it for a reasonably low price.
My first album since 2001, was released on the 20th anniversary of my first LP, Democracy (with Watchmen). Notably distinctive for containing mostly jazz-pop numbers (!) and also having a single rejected for radio play by Mediacorp Radio viz. “Beyond the Ashes”. Now you really need to pick this up!
Originally released under the Watchmen moniker (and also only on Bandcamp), I have decided to reclaim @midnight EP as a solo release. Significant for featuring a youthful incarnation of The Groovy People viz. Esther Low (keyboards), James Lye (guitars), Low Han Quan (drums) and Brian Leery (bass). Mid-priced as well! Enjoy…
It’s been two months since the release of Emo FASCISM and people have asked whether I was happy with the response to the album. Well, no, to be honest I am definitely NOT happy. It’s not that I expected massive CD/merch sales or crowds at my launch gigs – but perhaps I had thought that the music scene had grown somewhat since the last time I had released an album in Singapore viz Popland’s Groovy (1998). Back then, I had pressed a thousand CDs and sold more than half (yes I still have about 200 copies at home) but this time I cautiously pressed only 300 copies and at this stage, 250 copies remain unsold.
So the new album has been out for more than a week now and to be brutally honest, I feel utterly disappointed by the lack of response. But wait…. what did I truly expect? The CDs (and T-shirts) to be sold out and that all my friends would pack out my shows? Ah yes, the problem of unrealistic expectations – the agony of hope not fulfilled.
After all, wasn’t the recording of the album for my own benefit? Yes and no. Indeed, the album has had a carthatic and therapeutic effect on the emotional rollercoaster that is now my daily existence. Yet, one cannot help but yearn for the acceptance of your peers, which is represented (rightly or wrongly) by attendance at shows, CDs and T-shirts sales. With all my low self-esteem issues bundled into and identified with the ‘success’ of the album, you can imagine it has not been an easy week for me.
Add to that complicated relationship difficulties and it’s not too far-fetched to suggest that I feel royally fucked-up at the moment. But wait…. that would ignore the positives and I really need to focus on and give recognition to these factors in order to survive and ultimately thrive. So here goes…
It was wonderful playing with Pat, Ray, Nelson and Ben (aka The Groovy People) and on stage I felt invincible. It has been amazing to collaborate with Lydia once again, she is so talented that my heart wants to burst – she is my protege in every sense of the word. The fact that she disappears before the end of the month makes this even more bittersweet (typical innit?)
To everyone who has attended the shows and purchased the CDs and T-shirts, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart — I do cherish each and everyone of you — you give me hope that maybe I’m not a FAILED MUSICIAN after all….
Things are brewing over at Emo FASCISM central. The CD is being pressed even as I write, a pre-release streaming arrangement is being worked out with Spotify and the digital album has been uploaded to iTunes.
However, if you want to download a track NOW, you can pre-order the digital album from Bandcamp, which will be released officially on 1st August. The song is “Texas” — probably the first song that properly kickstarted the writing of Emo FASCISM.
For those of you based in Singapore, you can wait for the first week of August when limited copies of the CD (with two bonus tracks) and a T-Shirt will be available for sale! Until the album release, you can listen to the 4-track sampler (“Silver”, “Dare”, “Edge” and “Beyond the Ashes”) at Soundcloud.
We are about seven weeks away from the launch of Emo FASCISM Launch Week!
As far as the music is concerned, Pat and I are working on the final mixes of the 12 songs that will make up the CD. A 4-track sampler is now available at Soundcloud with opening track “Silver” the final teaser in the set. Check it out below.
Eric has done his part – the cover design – and the art concept will be carried through on the CD sleeve, merch and posters (with the assistance of the lovely 23賴). See below.
Four dates have been confirmed during the Emo FASCISM Launch Week. Details to come soon.
Emo FASCISM will also be available on Bandcamp and iTunes in August for those unable to attend any of the gigs.
Very excited about this new milestone in my musical career and none of this would have been possible without the amazing Patrick Chng, who has been an inspiration and endless source of encouragement to me to record a new album after all these years!
So, look out for more news to come in the weeks ahead.
“Beyond the Ashes” is the second teaser off the upcoming album, EMO FASCISM – due in August.
Catch Kevin Mathews/The Groovy People play “Beyond the Ashes” next Friday, April 26th at Identite 9.3 – KAMCO MUSIC at Home Club from 8pm. Cover is $12 (one free housepour and free entry to Kicks! afterwards). Also on the bill – Enec.e, Tricks & Cider and TypeWriter.
“Dare” is the first track to be made public from the Emo Fascism recording sessions which took place mainly in September last year at Patrick Chng’s excellent home studio. The album will consist of ten tracks (with two bonus tracks on the CD) and for the most part I wrote, sang, performed and produced the lot with Patrick engineering, mixing and mastering the recording. Only one other musician played on Emo Fascism (“Dare” to be specific) and I am proud to say that it was none other than Daniel Sassoon.
Daniel has of course, in the past, been closely involved with legendary S-ROCK bands like Livonia and Electrico. Of late, Daniel has been leading the instrumental rock outfit – In Each Hand A Cutlass – and is renowned for his talent and skill on the guitar. Sometime back, I had finally recorded a proper demo of “Dare” (which has been kicking around for decades – I shit you not) and sent it to Daniel for feedback. What I got was an offer to contribute guitar ideas to the track and I jumped – didn’t need to asked twice! So earlier this year, Daniel laid down his amazing guitar lines (and a mind-blowing solo) for “Dare” in a fecund three-hour session at Thom’s Loft.
And now you can hear the results! I am particularly proud of the final product and I am so excited to be able to share the first fruits of our labours with you all. If you liked what you heard, I hope you will share the links on your respective social media platforms and spread the word around! That would be so cool and greatly appreciated! Remember – Emo Fascism is due for release in August 2013.
Well, seeing as how the theme behind the album is “breakups and breakdowns”, it’s somewhat sombre in tone. In that respect, it’s quite keyboard-oriented and does not vary too much in terms of instrumentation. The lyrics are key but the melodies will also communicate the sadness that pervades through the album.
Here are some inspirations, which hopefully will give you some idea of what I’m trying to achieve…
It’s the first week of October 2012 and the new album – Emo Fascism – is done. Well almost. The fact is that the songs were all built up from foundations established in the last couple of years, from basic Garageband files. These GB files were imported into Patrick Chng’s Logic software (at the Neptune) and we tweaked the sounds, added new instrumental backing and recorded new vocals (in many cases, numerous harmony and backing vocals) in order to arrive at the ten main tracks to be found on Emo Fascism.
Those of you kind folk who follow me on Twitter or Facebook would be aware that I made an announcement recently about releasing a solo album next year. Yes it’s finally going to happen and it will be called Emo Fascism. The music scholars amongst you will know that this is inspired (or stolen) by the original title of Elvis Costello’s classic LP – Armed Forces, which was Emotional Fascism.