Releases news

We’re pleased to announce that there are two ORE releases due in the very near future:

Archispirostreptus gigas
CD only – limited to 100 copies

This release will go on sale at the Supersonic festival in Birmingham, 19th-21st October 2012. Once it’s gone, it’s gone; there will be no reprint.

CD and digital album

This release is also being timed to coincide with Supersonic but is a non-limited release.

Granolithic features four tracks, none of which were included on the recent EP Beyond Tree and Stone. Ranging from peaceful, immersive drones to fierce, shredding distortion, via raga-based improvisation and a tribute to the “Lady with the hammer”, Soviet Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya, this is heavy music like nothing you’ve ever heard.

What do all those things on
the floor do?

In advance of our performance playing support for OM at the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth, here’s some proper effects-geekery which may be of marginal interest to folks who enjoy making a racket with amplified tubas. Of which there aren’t all that many. Hey ho.

I’ve recently made some changes to my live setup to remove some kit that wasn’t, in the final analysis, working too well. The Danelectro “Reel Echo” tape delay simulator I’ve used previously may come back into play at some point if we can find a way of stopping it from clicking when brought into the circuit.

Also gone is the Bass Big Muff. Amazingly, despite how good it is with electric bass, it simply doesn’t give a meaty enough distorted sound with tuba when used with settings that prevent constant howling feedback. At higher gain, it’s OK, but then there’s all the screeching, and The Jesus and Mary Chain we are not.

My biggest recent revelation was my discovery of Blackstar equipment. If you don’t already know, Blackstar comprises various folks who used to work at Marshall, and are dedicated to producing high-end valve-based gear. Buying the HT-DIST (HT stands for high tension – because they come with a step-up transformer to give you the necessary voltage) was a bit of a gamble, because you can’t try pedals out with a tuba in a guitar shop. BUT the gamble paid off. This thing is magnificent with tuba. It preserves all the low end and you get a fabulous warm, rich, distorted sound.

In place of delay I’ve added my EHX “Ravish Sitar” pedal. It not only processes the signal to give a sitar-like lead sound (which I turn right down to get the dry signal only) but has a second output which gives sympathetic resonance, just like having loads of sympathetic strings on an Indian classical instrument, without quite so much faff in tuning them. It allows you to select the scale you want – tonight, Matthew, I’ll be using an Eb Raga Bhairav scale, and even program in custom ones. Appropriately enough, it has a nice “om” symbol on it, too.

ORE and KK Null announced for Supersonic Festival 2012

“ORE and KK NULL are delighted to announce a distinctive collaboration as part of Supersonic 2012.

In many ways, KK NULL’s collaboration with Lash Frenzy (with Sam on tuba) at Supersonic 2010 acted as a proof of concept for the amplified tuba sound of ORE, so it’s entirely fitting for Capsule to bring the two entities together this year. Better still, KK NULL and ORE have gelled so well in the early stages of working on this collaboration that they have also decided to release a CDr single of jointly-composed material, which will be available at the festival.

They will be performing a specially-written piece together, culminating in a vast cacophony of sound. Be scared.

This performance is one of a number of special collaborations taking place at the tenth edition of the festival.”

We will also be participating in the OXBOW ORCHESTRA:
“In advance of the world assault subsequent to the band OXBOW’s spring 2013 release of their long-awaited new record the THIN BLACK DUKE, there is this, the OXBOW ORCHESTRA. Strings, woodwinds, brass, operatic backing vocals and classically contained renderings of the OXBOW song book and featuring EUGENE S. ROBINSON and NIKO WENNER from OXBOW, the ORCHESTRA delivers songs new and old in a format unaccustomed to the blood and sweat of a typical OXBOW outing.”

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to both of these performances immensely.

For more information about the festival:

First day of recording the debut album

We went on an adventure today, which involved hunting obscure electronic whatsits (that’s a technical term) in Birmingham city centre. Having acquired said whatsits, we settled down in Sam’s studio to begin recording our debut album.

And so, we thought it might be nice to share some initial audio dabblings in the form of another Earth cover which we’ve used to test the setup. It’s Charioteer, from the Pentastar LP, and if nothing else it proves that our tubas and lungs still work in the unexpected sweltering heat. We are trve (kvlt) athletes.

The first fruits of our labours is on the downloads page of this site. The sound is every bit as heavy as we were hoping it would be.

Rehearsal videos – 1st July 2012

2012 has been a year of refinement and development for both of us – both in our individual playing and what we do as a group. The sound of ORE is constantly evolving; there’s more improvisation than ever before, and much stronger melodic material. We’re also placing a significant emphasis on our material working acoustically, without any support from amplification or effects. We have also both stopped shaving our heads and have newly-impressive flowing locks. Or something like that.

To that end – here are a couple of videos of our rehearsal on Sunday the first of July.

A tune that we first played live in Bristol earlier this year is “Rebirth”. This has become a more flexible structure as it’s gone along, and is working quite nicely now.

Those of you who have seen us play live will have heard us do Earth’s “Ouroboros is Broken”; we’ve now added “Charioteer” from the Pentastar album. Stuart plays his Wessex “Bubbie” travel tuba on this tune, giving the lead line a lighter tone than usual.

Day 7 – our final day with Alex.

We made it! Seven days of intense collaboration and exploration, culminating in a gig at The Cube Cinema in Bristol. We decided to give our lips a rest all day until the evening of our gig, so day seven was all about our final gig with Alex.

Following on from a storming set by Anta was interesting. We have been developing our live sound over recent weeks and had decided to play our gig at The Cube quietly, acoustically + some amplified reinforcement. It’s a small venue and we wanted to keep the sound of our instruments as pure as possible. Anta and the other acts on the night were pretty loud so it was interesting to hear the juxtaposition.

We enjoyed playing very much and appreciated the warm response to our set. As usual we were playing around a structure, according to how Stuart conducted proceedings. This always makes for a fresh experience but I didn’t think he’d actually make us play THAT COVER!?

Despite a mess up on the audio recording, the whole thing was filmed.

Thanks to everyone that made it down to see us.


Our week with Alex brought a lot of stuff into sharp focus for us. We have plenty to reflect and build on. We are going back into our bunker for a bit now to write and develop some stuff, and to plan the next stage of ORE.

Day 6

By the sixth day of recording and exploration our lips were practically falling off us.

We wanted to conserve our energy for our gig the next day so went for a fun session up at Gullet Quarry again. David brought along a second furry friend, so we could explore some exciting recording techniques.

At one point we all wondered off around different sides of the quarry and fired notes across the space at each other. Sonic weapons!

And…relax. A whole day off until our gig at the Cube Cinema the following night. One funny from day six was when we contemplated what the reaction might be if we put “large boulders to sit on” put on our gig rider.

Day 5

What a great day!

Firstly, we headed to Gullet Quarry [PDF] in The Malverns, for a recording session. We had a lot of fun playing within that acoustic landscape. Improvised, sparse drones seemed to be the order of the day. Towards the end of our time there Alex went down to the water to play some solo stuff.

Following on from this we played a gig at short notice in the EC Arts space in The Mailbox shopping centre, Birmingham. We were joined by our guest Alex Sramek and a great group of improvising musicians including Trevor Lines, Lydia Glanville and Simon Gray. We were really pleased with how this went. A few more people in attendance would’ve been great but we did far too little in promotion to expect anything else. It was a great experiment and EC Arts are keen to have us back!

Photo: Simon Riley

Day 4

A storming day of playing and recording. Everyone thoroughly knackered at the end.

Tomorrow we hope to record some stuff in a quarry and we’ll be performing, with guests, at 8pm in the ground floor Harvey Nichols shop in The Mailbox, the EC Arts space. Free entry, limited capacity. Playing alongside the other great improvising musicians tomorrow will be our primary contrabass collaborator Alex Sramek. Expect sounds like THIS from him!

Hope to see you there.