Salford Streets Homelessness Charity Album

Salford Streets album cover

Salford Streets album cover

I’m proud to be involved in a compilation album called “Salford Streets” which aims to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, and raise valuable funds for the Emmaus facility in Salford, UK. The album features new music from 35 bands and musicians from Salford and surrounding areas of Manchester, Bolton, and further afield, and included my track “Half Past One“.  It only cost £3.00 for the whole album, so please support this great cause by downloading it here:

Salford Streets – buy the album here

 

Banco de Gaia – All Sleeping (mistrust remix)

Here’s my remix for Banco de Gaia’s All Sleeping EP – out now on Disco Gecko Recordings via Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes etc. Here’s what the man himself has to say about the EP…

“It seems only fitting that as summer slips into fall, I release this ode to rest and relaxation.

The ‘All Sleeping’ EP features the original track, which is blessed with flutes from Tim Wheater and violas from Patrick Dunn, plus three additional remixes.

The high priests of Sacred Bass, Desert Dwellers, provide a jittery yet soothing mix, while Mistrust’s electronica musings darken the original mood. Finally Hibernation lifts us back into a sweet space with a solid downtempo mix, sealed by the additional bass.”

Buy now at http://bancodegaia.bandcamp.com/album/all-sleeping-ep

David Cameron likes George Orwell

It’s official! I’m sure David Cameron (allegedly) likes George Orwell. Well, surely he must. 1984: surely an inspiration – a template for us all. Why else would he allow this country (England) to descend into some Orwellian shadow-world, a dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. A place where the super-rich tell the masses that the poor and vulnerable are to blame for the country’s economic woes; where the same poor and those unable to beat the never ending trap of poverty will become cashless – forced to buy food from “official” government outlets. “UK Food  – Sponsored by ASDA”.

The poor and vulnerable: add to that the long-term sick and those with mental health problems, those who want to work but can’t get beyond the application forms. We’re told that they’re to blame – they’re the ones who are bringing the country down; destroying opportunities for the rest; stifling economic and educational growth. Spending our money on Sky TV, fags, booze, and putting their own kids into poverty. Gradually removing our children’s future. It’s reinforced in the endless diatribe of the “free press” – the  frenzy of someone to blame. It’s easy to blame to vulnerable. Try playing “Spot the Satellite Dish on the Council Estate”.

Well, no more. The poor and vulnerable will no longer be able to spend our money on the things they want. It’s food or nothing. No choice. The poor and vulnerable will become “The Cashless Society” – Sponsored by Visa/Master/Amex” or whoever wins the contract to provided all state benefits in the form of a top-up credit card. A card that will come with a 20% admin fee. A fee paid for by….? Spend the money on what we tell you to and where we tell you to spend it, or else. ASDA/TESCO etc.,  will become the shop of necessity rather than choice. Those who have a job or a privilege will have cash. Those who don’t will not.

Orwell described a world where whatever the ruling classes told the masses was the truth. They believed it. No matter how harsh or wrong, no matter if there was a contradiction from one day to the next. Dissenters were removed, punished, told to retract their “lies”. However, it’s not 1984. Newspeak is alive. The poor are to blame for all our woes and the past of the Banking Crisis, poor political decisions and economic crises are written out of history. If you were given a roof over your head when you were homeless, when the politicians said you needed a home with enough rooms to house the sick, mentally ill, vulnerable, and they’ve died, grown up, got better, you’re no longer allowed to stay there. Either that or stay and we’ll penalise you financially. It’s as though those previous decisions and policies never existed. Written from history.

My interest in all of this?

I’ve got a job. My wife is carer to her 21 year old son who has autism. He can’t go to work. He can’t cope with people, with life outside our family. He’s on DLA, soon to become PIP. He spends his money on food, heating, electricity, and other essentials, and a few things to keep him sane – to take his mind off all of his phobias and anxieties and depression. Things to stop him from spiralling into an early grave. He’ll probably never ever get a job, so it’s going to be a life on benefits for him. Which means some administrator somewhere telling him to spend his money on food and the rest going straight to the utilities companies. His sister has problems too. She’s just been diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum too. She needs things to keep her sane and to give her some focus in life.  Whether she is lucky enough to get a job, I don’t know.

Until then, it’ll be food or nothing for her. Their future is bleak. They’ve already had a bad start in life. No qualifications because of their disabilities. Disadvantaged and competing against the best. I worry about them and their future. Do the Super Rich, the Media Owners and commentators, the politicians and the people who will not question what they’re being told, the people who say they want to help the needy, truly understand the plight of millions of people who are vulnerable and may join the cashless society, really care, really understand what sort of society they’re creating. IngSoc comes alive. Third Class aisles in Tesco replacing the Bread and Cakes. Disinfectant sprays replacing security scanners.

Finally, do those companies know what they’re doing? From morning till night, droves of unemployed, unwashed, benefit scroungers shopping for Smart Price food. How many of their more wealthier patrons will continue to shop there when they’re having to associate with the great cashless brigade?
gullible fools programmed by worthless hacks in the pay of the super rich join in the demonisation of the most vulnerable

Disclaimer

I don’t proclaim that David Cameron likes George Orwell or is inspired by him. In fact, I’m rather reluctant to criticise him, as he’s having a bit of a hard time from the rest of the Conservative Party. Maybe I should have go about Michael Gove instead.

Soundcloud Copyright Disputes Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, the following is part of a conversation I had with the Soundcloud Copyright Team about a dispute over one of my “official” remixes…..

remix

Hi Copyright Team
Thanks for your reply. I’d guessed it may be some sort of automated system that ID’s content. However, I’m concerned that it just seems to be comparing something like “artist name / song title” and coming up with a possible breach of copyright. In which case, I’ll probably be getting a few more emails from you for my other legitimate official remixes, and so will everyone else who has ever done a remix, a DJ mix, official or otherwise. I’ve also heard of other artists using legitimate acapellas for their own tracks and getting dispute notices.  You’re surely going to get a lot of annoyed label owners, publishers, etc., who’ll have to take the time to reply when you contact them to confirm that someone’s official remix is actually official.

As for my own claim to which you refer – I’m confused, as the latest one (xxxxxxx) hasn’t been settled in the disputes page (“Your feedback is currently being reviewed.”) but is actually live on Soundcloud.

Finally, as for the additional step for uploading my sounds, the remixes concerned have been up for more than a year, so I hope you’re catching up with everyone else’s tracks, especially the ones who appear in my dashboard as uploading a new remix of a Beyonce song or something, which is certainly not an official version!

Thanks

Their reply….

Hi Tim,

Thanks for writing back. These are definitely all concerns that we are focusing on, and we thank you for your feedback about the matter. Please understand that we must have a relatively strict copyright protection system in place in order to operate legally. With that being said, please know that we are always working on improving this system so that it is less painful for all of our users while also reassuring to rights holders that their content is being protected.

Thanks again for the feedback though, and I hope that it isn’t too much of a hassle to dispute your uploaded tracks with a quick explanation of how you own the copyright. We would always be happy to review these quickly and get your tracks back to you.

Thanks again for writing in, and feel free to get in touch anytime in the future.

Best,

SoundCloud Copyright Team

I don’t know what the answer is regarding Soundcloud and copyright, but I’m surprised that none of the major record labels hasn’t come chasing them for hosting so many unofficial remixes that quite obviously contain copyright material.  How long is it going to take them to find every single one of them and issue a dispute? That’s just for remixes. Don’t get me started on mixtapes…..

In case you missed it, here’s Soundcloud Copyright Disputes Part 1

And here’s one of the offending remixes…

Soundcloud Copyright Disputes Part 1

The following conversation recently took place between myself and the Soundcloud Copyright team, after I received the third copyright dispute about official remixes I had uploaded to their website. I’d just become a little bit annoyed that they were questioning my rights over the remixes at the same time my notifications were full of “unofficial” Brittany Spears and Justin Bieber remixes. Part 2 follows later.

soundcloudHi there, I’ve received messages from Soundcloud disputing 3 of my remixes and I’ve sent information to you about them, confirming that they are officially-approved tracks and given you the name of someone to contact at the label which commissioned me. I’m happy that you are checking up on “unofficial” tracks, but unless some other artist or listener is deliberately picking on my tracks, I’m concerned that you seem to be picking on small-timers like me with not many plays and followers, whilst continuing to allow thousands of other seemingly unofficial cover versions and remixes that rack up 1000′s of plays. Unless you are checking on every file that is uploaded, I fear that Soundcloud is heading for the wrath of the major labels in the same way that happened to Youtube, and we’ll all have ads splashed across our pages. Sorry if it sounds like a rant, but can you please explain your policy about uploading tracks and how many more times I may have to settle disputes on my official remixes.

The reply came a few hours later:

Hi Tim,

Thanks for writing in and for submitting this dispute. I can see that it has already been processed, and that the track is back on your profile.

Really sorry about this temporary inconvenience, and thanks for hanging in there while we fixed this problem.

At SoundCloud, we strive to ensure that everybody’s rights are respected. To help achieve this goal at scale, we work with a third-party content ID system that is the best in the market. What happened is that your track was flagged by our system as containing copyrighted content.

We understand that you have to take an additional step and fill out our dispute form to clear your sounds for uploading, and we’re sorry if this is an inconvenience, but we hope you’ll understand that it will help to keep your sounds safeguarded.

Thanks again for your patience,

SoundCloud Copyright Team

I didn’t leave it there, and decided to write back to them, which you can read here….

Continued….

 

London to Brighton at 500 MPH

In 1953 the BBC produced a short black and white film of a train journey from London to Brighton in four minutes. I’ve used a copy of the original film for the video of my 2005 track, I Travel, going along with the recent theme of using old black and white films for my “music videos”. Here, the journey is slightly shorter than the original as I had to edit the video to fit the length of the track. I’ve been looking to get a video for this track for a while and I’d forgotten about this London to Brighton train journey!

Hopefully you’ll think the music fits.

If you like the track, you can download it for free at Archive.org – it’s taken from my 2005 EP called Making Movies – just look for I Travel.