Original Music Production & Edinburgh Recording Studio

Imaginary Creatures album release ‘Danse Macabre’

kirstys blogWe started off 2015 with the continuation of the production of Imaginary Creatures rock album entitled Danse Macabre. The album is now finally complete after 18 months and is available for sale and download.

David started off many years ago originally writing fiction and by using his creative writing skills he discovered that he could write lyrics which started seriously from 1995 to 2000 where  he had a fertile period writing many lyrics for his own amusement. This culminated several years later and gave him the inspiration to write his first album under the name Imaginary Creatures entitled The Butterfly’s Dream.

The first album was a fantastic learning curve, it fired David up which gave him the ambition and confidence to start writing the follow up Danse Macabre. These albums would never have come to fruit if Offbeat producer Iain McKinna had not been involved, he worked David’s ideas into an end product and contributes his own musical ideas and influences to the music.

David says, “Well, I really enjoy my time working at Offbeat. Iain and Kirsty are great to work with, and we usually manage to have a good laugh as well as getting quality work done. What could be better?”

David adds. “When I came into Offbeat I had no idea how to make an album, so that was very much a learning experience for me. So now with that experience under my belt (and with Iain also having the experience of what it is I am trying to do) we have been able to make this one a bit more cohesive. The first one had some good stuff on it but it was a bit uneven, it seemed like a random collection of tracks. This is more like a proper album!”

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David has a unique style of writing about topics which he feels very strongly about that evoke a response from the profound to the trivial,”It tends to be story’s or abstract ideas, as there are plenty of issues in the world so there is no shortage of material”

And not being a musician doesn’t stop him expressing own musical ideas. He spends time listening to all his favourite albums giving him the many ideas to add into his tracks with an array of influences. This album is so exciting as Iain and David have managed to get some amazingly talented players on it. Like Drummer Ted McKenna of SAHB whos spectacular drumming  throughout has given the whole album the right energy and  weight to really showcase David’s very talented writing skills, with the addition of Iain’s production skills and who happens to also be playing Bass, Guitars & Lead Vocals on this 70s influenced Rock album. Guitarist Keith More and Blue Oyster Cult’s Joe Bouchard both have contributed spectacular guitar parts, and sax players John Burgess & Kenny Tomlinson have added performances to two tracks a piece.

David says “I started seriously writing lyrics in the mid 90s. That’s not counting the stuff I did as a teenager, which thankfully no-one will ever see! I had also written a fair amount of fiction, so I came to it with experience in creative writing when I started. Then from 1995 to about 2000 I had a very fertile period where I wrote tons and tons of lyrics. I just wrote for my own amusement, at that time I had no idea of actually doing anything with them. Then when I decided I wanted to start recording some of this stuff, I had a ready-made back catalogue that was fairly substantial, and it seemed to me that a good proportion of them still stood up with little or no re-working. So about half of the first album and all of the second come from that slush pile.
Not being a musician myself, I don’t have any musical ideas of my own, everything I do comes from stuff I have listened to. When I was a teenager, all these great albums were coming out by people like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin that are now great classics, but then they were brand new, and it was a very exciting time. So I have loads of influences that come through. On the new album, one track has a sort of cool jazzy vibe, one is a heavy slow blues, there is a jumping little rock’n’roll number, I’ve even attempted a Supertramp-style prog opus led by classical piano and strings”.

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I asked David how he managed to get Joe Bouchard on this record, “I just asked him! About three years ago, when I was looking for a way to make something happen, I emailed him and sent him some lyrics. He was quite encouraging about the material and in fact ended up using one of them as the basis of a track entitled “Everybody Goes Insane” on the last Blue Coupe album, ‘Million Miles More’. So I got a writing credit on that album, which was nice. So we kept in touch, and when I was preparing this album there was a rocky track that I wanted a slide guitar lead for. So I asked Joe if he would do it and he said yes. I’ve always been a huge Blue Oyster Cult fan, so having Joe play on one of my songs is amazing to me”.

Producer Iain also enjoys working on David’s albums. “It’s fairly specialised working with a lyricist and interpreting ideas which are in peoples head, which I’m doing more and more of these days”, says Iain.”When things work out it’s a real buzz. David is always very clear on his brief which makes things easier. Of course, I add my own influences to the tracks, like on the excellent song Babylon on which things really came together early on in the project. At that point I felt this album was going to be great”.

Danse Macabre by Imaginary Creatures is available on Itunes – Amazon mp3. Spotify, Birnam Online CDShop

Catalogue No IMAGC002CD
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/danse-macabre/id1031312405

Khylune – Shut Up & Dance

 I’m currently working on creating the music and producing the single Shut Up And Dance for the truly gifted LA based Malaysian singer Khylune here at the Offbeat Studio. It’s a fantastic example of a Multinational & International Remote Production. Once the backing track for the music is completed I will Dropbox it to Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia where Khy will record the vocals before sending the resulting takes back for me to Mix and Master here in Scotland.

I’ve also involved Guitarist Keith More in the project. Keith has his own studio in London so he will be recording the guitar parts there and Dropboxing them back to me to insert into the track. See previous blog about Keith.

The song was written by Khylune and  Nashville based songwriter CJ Watson, author of “The Everything Songwriting Book” and “Essential Songwriting”. CJ’s songs have been recorded by James Otto (Mercury), Lisa Shaffer (Lyric Street), Jason Whitehorn (Arista), Mustang Sally (Curb) and others and Trent Jeffcoat (Montage) made a video of Watson’s “Forever Hold My Peace”.  Find Out more about CJ.

Khylune’s extended years spent in Palm Springs were greatly influenced by his late foster Dad, the famous Artie Mogull.  He was the producer and A&R executive who discovered or signed, among others, Bob Dylan, Laura Nyro, Bill Cosby, Olivia Newton-John and Wilson Phillips.

At various times, Mogull worked for nearly every major pop music label, including Warner Bros., Capital Records, and MCA, and for several years in the 1970s he was president and then owner of United Artists Records. Still hard at work until the end, he founded a new label, Insane Records, dedicated to distributing music via the Internet. Find out more about Artie Mogull.

Collaborations with Keith More

Guitarist and Mix Engineer Keith More is based in London where he runs Selective Records. I first met Keith in 1987 when he worked with me at Edinburgh’s legendary Sonic Studios. Together we created music for TV commercials for Scottish Power & The Edinburgh Evening News as well as recording sessions and productions for several Edinburgh songwriters and musicians.

Now Keith is working remotely with me on two projects. He is about to feature playing guitar on Malaysian singer Khylune’s next single Shut Up & Dance. I am creating and producing the music for the single… more about this in a future blog…

As a mix engineer Keith is also currently mixing a track I wrote for a studio project called Offbeat Rhythm Section I’m working on with Electric Violinist Kirsty Anderson. The song is entitled You Made Me Feel.

Keith’s studio is specifically designed for mixing and boasts a Trident Fleximix desk, loads of outboard gear and a Pro Tools based recording system. The track will be released in the Autumn on Itunes and other online stores with a video to accompany it . Find out MORE about Keith at his website.

Some of Keith’s guitar credits include work for : Joe Satriani, Tina Turner, The Michael Shenker Band, Paul McCartney, Five Star, Fish, A Flock Of Seagulls and Asia.

Keith’s Endorsements and sample CDs

• Ibanez (The 540 series)
• Patrick Eggle (his blueprint became the LA Pro 2)
• Yamaha (producing his own signature guitar
• Marshall Amps (helping create the final presets for the now industry standard JMP 1 pre-amp)
• Trace Elliot (R&D for the Speed twin range of guitar amps)
• Toontrack – producing the Akai version of their best selling ‘Drumkit from Hell’ sample C.D. library
• Toontrack – EZ Drummer’s entire midi library – currently the world’s top selling drum software
• Se – Product development