Bulbous & Old
Greetings from South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Early on, I developed a liking for the great instrumental hits of the 60s: Surfie twang, TV and movie themes, and also absurd songs - the Goons' "Ying-Tong Song", the Nutty Squirrels' "UH-OH". My own music has sort of followed these two rare strains - instrumentals and novelty songs. I had a few piano lessons and picked up basic music theory as a kid, and continued to muck around on different keyboards ever since . I went through a flute phase and a clarinet phase that didn't last. I've always been into percussion instruments and in more recent years I've also wrestled with the piano accordion. So, I play a few instruments fairly poorly. I can't play guitar, or any string or brass instrument. I've always liked making recordings. My approach to music was all about rhythm and melody and less to do with the chord based approach (although since picking up the accordion, that's changing). I have stuck mainly with keyboards and percussion and knob twiddling, composing, writing.... The accordion got me back into occasionally jamming with friends. It's good to do that. But, these four CDs are very much solo efforts, and all tracks are my own compositions Electronic musical devices came along to help people like me overcome their shortcomings and create reasonably presentable compositions and recordings cheaply, and at home. To me, knob twiddling was a welcome new part of the whole process. I have put together albums for a long time, with some vague idea of selling tapes or CD's, although until now I've barely ever attempted to promote them. After Julie's heard it, I tend to just put it aside. Some tracks did make their way into the outside world and I believe I do have a few fans. I'm drawn to rhythms from all over the place and from all different eras. There's plenty of good non-rhythmic music about, too, but I usually choose to make music with a beat. I'm also after a heightened dramatic or moody sound. I kid myself sometimes that my stuff would work well in movie soundtracks. While I am fairly careful about the crafting of an instrumental tune, I tend to throw down the vocal track in a much looser fashion. Having been forever warped by "Ying Tong" as a child I remain unable to take the popular song form completely seriously, so my songs tend to be silly. On some of these recordings it's the first and only time I've ever sung the song. In more recent years, what with computer recording and editing, I have sometines made the vocals more "lush". Lately, I have been trying not to put on strange foreign accents so much. I'm a bit shy about airing the full extent of my foolishness in public, and the silliest of my songs remain in hiding, heard only by poor Julie. Of those songs which I have chosen to share, some occasionally cause me brief waves of embarrassment which waft over me and then gently subside. In 2006 I pulled all my new and old stuff together, culled and boiled it down into the following four albums: "Bulbous and Old" compiled in 2006 from recordings made in the early 90s mostly using electronic bits and pieces of the era, recorded onto a 4 track. Casio keyboards had appeared, along with the first cheap commercial sequencers, and drum machines. No songs at all during this period, just instrumentals. "A beak is a bird's best friend" is an album of instrumentals recorded in the late 90s. I had put together a slightly more elaborate system using a Mac running a sequencer program and something called a "sound module" which I still use. My fascination for silly songs re-emerged in 1995 when I started writing lots of idiotic poems. "Awesome Gold 2000" (2000) and "Bicycle Sam" (2006) are both a mixture of instrumentals and silly songs. By this stage, I was recording the tracks digitally. "Awesome" has 14 songs and 8 instrumentals. "Bicycle Sam" contains my 12 most recent tracks (mostly songs) along with some very silly songs from earlier times. The discs are eack roughly around an hour long, give or take, and come in slim cases. -Kim Devenish April 2006.