Closer but I still have to finish this alone

Closer but I still have to finish this alone

At last (I may have said this many time before but.) I am almost finished!

I have almost completed this long journey at lest I know I am now on top of it with the first iTunesLP vol.1 Anthems actually completed in the digital sense, so there is nothing left to add visually or programming but it’s still one step more in that I have to re-mix down the whole album to a higher mix standard as I realize that so many people now listen on small ear buds and I want it to sound great so it is still waiting in the wings while I try and gather enough money to do this last process. 

I though I would put up a Kick Starter campaign to see if I could generate support but that brought another realization that I have no direct connection to a fan base for the music I have made in the past and this is due to my own constant attempts at keeping as low a profile as possible and just letting the music do what ever it does.

I don’t have the power to muster campaign support or the knowledge and even though I have face book, in truth I have no idea how to use it and don’t really like the direct communications and groveling you need to do to alert people to your cause.

My campaign on kick-starter is not going to be realized and I knew this after the first 3 days as I could not really get behind it myself as it goes against everything I have done in the past. To promote myself to get people on board is not who I am.

Times have changed since there was a meeting place (record shop) where people could all congregate and listen to the latest sounds or find out what was happening in the scene and no days in this internet world information is spread all over the place and un less you are prepared to put in the time to pester everyone then you will not be heard in the noise of so many other people doing it.

Anyway I learn as I travel through this new way of making music and eventually releasing my music.

I realize its not going to be easy getting my new music out there and it will rely on those that do hear it making the effort to promote it to their friends on twitter or Facebook or via iTunes links or however they tell others about music they like.

I still believe in what I am creating and I know like I always have in the past that good music will always find an audience that appreciates it and so I have to just hope that once it’s ready for release even if it takes a long time it will still rise up and be noticed above the noisy music space that now exists.

I am still excited with what I am creating and just want it to be perfect as I know quality is very important and after spending a ridiculous amount of years on this I need to know it will be the best I can make it so now I’m looking at March 2013 for the release of Vol1 and possibly Vol2 but don’t hold your breath as I have been promising this project for 8 years. Its not easy working alone on something others don’t understand and its especially hard when they don’t think what your doing is anything but a hobbies and a focused from depression and it has been a good focus from my depression but that’s because I know how good it is and also how it could be a success and help others around me if it takes off as even though everyone is now making music you do also (if you make something really good) have the potential to distribute it to the world and that’s a dream I have ha all my life in making music, to get it to people all over the world so yes it keeps me focused and I will see it to the completion and then its up to those who hear it to decide if its worth their time and support to tell others about it and help me be a success at the end.

On another note My depression is not as bad now days I don’t seem to have the dark times although I do have some deep moments but not dark anymore so things are looking up in many ways.

update .. almost ready (again)

I felt it was time I write an update blog just for the record.

At last everything is in its final stages I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 lonely years from inception to completion and still I am tweaking it over and over.

I used to laugh at how easy it was for me to make new music and yet still sell so many without actually realizing the effect I was having in the uk underground music scene

I now realize with hindsight that this project must have marked a radicle change in me as an artist and in the industry I have been a part of for so many years as it was no longer just about the vibe it some how changed into it being about the ‘art’ and when I think about this change it sounds totally anal to me as it was only ever about the vibe in the past.

I console myself in knowing that the vibe I loved has slowly eroded and in parts has all but disappeared (or at least changed radically) due mostly to the invention of the mp3 iPod as people could all of a sudden consume tons of music very quickly and then dispose of it and in doing so they never really got the ‘vibe’ of a great Anthem tune pounding on a massive 20 thousand watt sound system while 30 thousand people all danced to it. The were preferring to have their own music in their ear plugs rather than a collective musical scene

it transformed into a pair of little white ear buds on a small player for a single person and the added addictive forward and backward skipping button that people instinctively pushed after only a few seconds of a stolen download on a low quality mp3 rip.

So yes I had to get creative ‘Arty’ with my music or ‘arsy’ depending on my mood but I don’t feel I have compromise the music vibe I just realized a long time ago

(8 years )

That the big events and way to enjoy my style of music (collectively) was changing and I had to find a way to captivate the power and excitement and energy of my music to each indevidule and in a different way

I never though it would take 8 years to create something that in the past would have only taken a few weeks or months (if it were only the music).

Anyway it’s almost done but I am once again re-tweaking the first two albums still not feeling I have that perfect quality stereo sound for little white ear buds.

Yes its frustrating trying to make a perfect sound when in the past a fat baseline and 909 drums and a riff was all I needed knowing that the volume in a club took care of the rest but those days have gone so my music has to now sound like perfection almost pop its so crisp and it takes a lot longer to tweak as I am and never have ben a professional record producer .

So anyway I have spent the last month recalling the mixes (again) and doing them all over and that’s still going on

The iTunes LPs are almost completed having had to find another programmer (which is so so difficult to do) but he is good so that stress is over and my plan is back on track,

Money is still tight like I can not explain as working 8 years on a dream that has yet to sell anything in a world where its more likely to be stolen than bought is not easy at all and can be very soul destroying as everything cost so much to do (programmer) and the time to do anything is also a pain as I have to do so much of it myself due to money constraints.

But all this said I’m upbeat having changed my Flouxatine tablets (for depression) when I moved back to the UK (almost 1 year now)

I actually don’t feel as depressed and my work keeps me totally occupied every day but in truth I rarely go out and have great difficulty handling stress and any sort of serious drama but my cool cat has settled in the UK at last (he hates the cold) and he is like the loyalist dog a person could own 

(Yes I know he is actually a dog trapped in a cat’s body)

So its nearly ready and hopefully Apple wont spring anything radicle changes on me with their next set of retina requirements as I did ask them and they said there was no change to the itunes LP spec as yet which is good as doing it all over would kill me.

I am going on holiday for a month in a few weeks but will still work online and hopefully when I get back to the uk I will be uploading final iTunes LP albums in September for Pre releasing to those that want to pre order them

Oh also my book ‘The rip’ has been proofed a few time and I feel this is also nearly completed that also was a bit of a night mare as you have to have a proof reader that understands your story so I when through a few of them before finding another si-fi geek who was into my plot but I am still tweaking that in-between the music so that it will also ready prior to releasing the first set of albums.

Its been a long journey and is all been put down in a musical mission covering 9 albums and a final book with the main story line being volume 1-6

Its epic and unique and hopefully worth people buying it and enjoying the whole massive musical trip

I also feel like the depression is no longer so heavy on my shoulders so everything is good right now

Its time for the final prep before releasing this adventure. 


Going mobile?

Going mobile?..


If you have read my ranting’s then you will know that I am a gadget geek and I love Apple products.

You might automatically assume that I have all the latest Apple gadgets and gizmos and I do have a few, especially when it comes to computers but actually one thing you might be surprised to know is that I don’t actually own an Apple iPhone

*GASP* I can hear it now as you read this “what no iPhone?”

Well actually I have not owned any sort of mobile phone since 1993

Gasp again then LOL 

I know sounds impossible that anyone could not have a mobile phone in todays world but I don’t, although I do have my reasons.

Back when everything was so hectic in my life (1988-2000) my hands were into everything, radio stations, parties, music and much more

But around 1993 especially, my phone would never stop ringing, in the supermarket, on the toilet, everywhere, it would ring as soon I would end a call and it was really annoying  as I came to realise that having a phone actually made my life worse rather then better and once this realisation hit me I just decided to throw my mobile in the bin and that was that 

If people wanted to call me they would have to use the land line and leave a message,

it was one of the best things I did as it did not lower my work productivity at all or make life difficult I realised that there was always a phone handy if i needed to call someone and if not then those calls could always wait until I was at home so I freed myself from being at others beck and call (excuse the pun).

I still today laugh at the woman pushing the pram on the phone like things are so important that you have to take a call no matter where you are? its almost like people want to look important in a crowd now days and are wishing the phone would ring just so they can talk very loud and look busy even if they are cueing to pay for their weekly shopping. 

Anyway for me

I have never looked back from this way of running my life but now having written two iphone apps  I realize that there are areas of knowledge I do need to know better and that you can only truly understand if I actually own and use an iphone myself (that’s funny to me as i still dont want people ringing me).

I mean when I borrow someone else’s mobile I feel like an old fart, as I don’t know how to use them like… and i really should know.

I understand the tech and I have bought iPhones for my nearest and dearest and so now i might need to own one just to not look like an old fart when i have to use one.

If you’re wondering, I should point out that up till now I have tested all my iPhone apps on an iPod touch.

Maybe it is about time I got a iPhone but with that thought I’m wondering if my life will once again be controlled by others ringing and making requests that put me in the position of having to change what ever it is I’m doing at that moment.

Maybe I can hold out for the iPhone 5 loll

Will have to see if I can put it off a bit longer


YouTube are still Just using smoke and mirrors to continue to exploit Artist

YouTube are you still Just using smoke and mirrors to exploit Artist  or are you going to allow the Artist to get paid for the content your streaming that you don’t own?

Since YouTube started they were known from the very start to upload peoples music and video content themselves without consent just to get people coming to their website 

Its true they would Shamelessly exploit anyone in order to become the massive company they are now and it worked.

Well nothing seemed to have changed at YouTube, they still let anyone upload content without out trying to help the true owners of it  

Yet in the real world times have changed for those using this digital landscape.

I don’t have a problem with fans doing things with the right intentions at heart for the Artist as they are not at fault as the system of today is all about comunication ‘sharing information’ .

Since those eairly days there are now some legal rules that allow content owners if they choose to request YouTube and others to take down their content.

This is a legal requirement forced on companies like YouTube 

But this is not the extream action that an Artists want to do as there are bettways to make the system work, especially if the uploader most likely would be a fan wanting to just tell the world how good the track or atrist is.

There is another way for Artist to gain some income from the playing of their music on YouTube and without resorting to demands to take their work off of YouTube.

You know those little banners that pop up on YouTube videos. Well that’s advertising and someone is getting paid when that flashes up even if you don’t click it

but is it the Artist? NO.

The thing is, YouTube don’t actually want the true owner to be payed for the videos you watch and so they won’t let Artist enter this lucrative arena where they can be paid via an advert on a fans page (that is playing the artist song).

This is once again YouTube pretending to be the friend of all but really just using other people’s media for their own financial gains.


But the system is in place to allow Artist to gain that money!

I have for almost a year now been trying to join their revenue program and all I have to do is be allowed in, but YouTube intentionally keep it in “beta” saying its not open yet, but really they have the big boys in there raking in advertising income while locking everyone else (us little people) out so as the keep the income of the billion other smaller artists income all for themselves and i’m sure there are billions being made in advertising views.

I can’t think of a better way to say it other than is thieving, making money off someone else’s hard work without compensating the owner.

I have found hundreds of fans that have posted loads of my music on YouTube. The view hits have been huge and I’m not getting paid at all.

I don’t have a problem with the fans as they are doing what they consider is fair to help promote my music but the advertising of all those people hearing it is an income being generated but not going to the Artist whos music the viewes are there to hear someone else (YOUTUBE) is getting the money so the Artist is just a means to an end with the Fan one side and YouTube the other.

I am unable to get revenue from the advertising that each user generates when my music is being streamed to them via YouTube but thats the whole point isn’t it?.

One day and I hope its soon these digital con merchant companies will be old news but I doubt they will care as they are just in it to steal from the true artists and creators of content as its always been.

YouTube are not creators of content only a means to stream content and as such should be paying for every piece of content on their massive database to all the owners of it.

but they don’t they rake in the advertising revenue for themselves and the select few who have the means do sue them and eveyone else is shut out of the game.

Scumbags have been all over Artists since the digital age took hold

But…. for all those that might be included as a scum bag thieves, 

Please know that since the beginning of the digital revolution I have never made any of my catalogue available for sale in digital form NEVER! Not one track! On any SHOP ONLINE 

MY MUSIC IS NOW EXCLUSIVE TO ONE COMPANY iTunes this means if it’s anywhere else then it’s illegally there and if its bought from any other place then iTunes then its not a legal purchase.

Its not on Spotifi or any of these streaming radio places that also dont pay what they claim to to be paying to Artists its only for my fans directly from iTunes and word of mouth as always is how it gets to the people that matter.

Some time in the near future I hopefully will get a chance to sue people like YouTube as I can prove my work and where its available and when that day comes I hope all these thieving scum bags lose all of their ill gotten gains but sadly i know already that they will already have stolen enough revenue leaching the blood out of the true content makers to not care.

YouTube you need to pay for the work you use right now and allow artist to get paid for the enjoyment their music is bringing people on your web site.

Open the door to the advertising revenue as without artist you are destined to die so don’t bite the hand that feeds you

This is the smoke and mirrors excuse YouTube have used for over a year now while they still continue to rake in the income from its use.

This is a Beta program, and we’re in an ongoing process of refining, improving, and scaling the system up to meet everyone’s needs.


Bills, bills, bills, and still not a release!

Bills, bills, bills, and still not a release!

Something I have learned the very hard way is when you take things up a level thing incrementally get harder and cost more.

Its like walking along the sea front on a clam day. The wind is nice, it’s a bit cold but you enjoy it and the sea is just sliding in and out slowly, that lovely shushing sound of the pebbles rolling up and then back as the sea breaths in and out.

That is when things are easy. In my world of music it used to fell like that. I could go into the studio and I was part of the furniture I just plugged in and all the equipment just bent to my breathing it was not hard work and it was enjoyable and easy to do, I was the music my passion flowed with no complex stuff  just the calm sea and a nice walk was how easy making music was to me back then and i loved the challenges and would live in my little studio room until i had expressed the vibe i was trying to create but i loved doing it.

 Go on READER close eyes and your mouth and take a slow deep breath`!

 In through your nose and then slowly open you mouth and let it out.

Go on do it…


That was how easy making music was for me back in the days when raving was massive and dance music was still called electronic .


Things have changed so much. I can’t say I find it hard to make music but now the making of music is almost incidental to all the other stuff you need to also do.

It feels like I’m trying to take that same breath in a room which is filling with smoke and I am choking as I try to breath out.

Its not that I have lost the ability to make music its just now the fight to complete the task ( and breath out) is so much harder because its no longer just the music I have to complete.

Its all the digital stuff I’m having to do before I can release anything and exhale and thats because the industry has changed so much from just making a record and putting it into a shops

The real cost to complete any single task is no longer about just making the record. Its much more intricate now if you want to get the attention of the public.

I have to be so precise about quality using so many different expensive applications and paying for other peoples specific knowledge in this digital world just to ensure that I am making something that’s of more value as everyone wants more than just the music if they are going to buy it.

Music can be ripped for free so now I need to offer so much more in order for people to want to pay and get the true value in what I am doing.

I know I could continue to just knock out tunes as MP3’s but in todays world they are worthless and disposable fodder for a world where music is now just a small file you can delete and replace for another and as for the pressing of vinyl (the old way) with the few record shops left, it is just as pointless a way to continue.

I know I have had to move forward but the bills the bills the bill

I made a track once in less than 5 mins while my girlfriend was drying her hair and she was shouting at me to be ready but I had this idea and it involved only 4 parts I had in my head and i had to do it but time was against me (women don’t take the word ‘ just 1 min’ very well) but i had this tune in my head and i had to express it before it was lost.  it used just

1 break

1 stab sound

1 vocal sample

1 bassline

You would think that it would be a bish bosh, waste of time but I am always firing with ideas. The track was called ‘Moon stomping’ it took 5 minutes to make and I had it in the shops on Vinyl in less than two weeks and it sold in the first month 20,000 copies on 12”.

It’s a simple tune but addictive and back then it was a perfect rave record and no- one else was on my tip or style. Playing a tune like that at a rave of 20-30,000 people, the quality was in the volume, it was about having the right sounds and being fresh. 

I did not have to be so precious with my production or the cover on the artwork. Most of my artwork back then was hand drawn or  was cut letters stuck onto a label then photocopied.

5 mins while my girlfriend was drying her hair!  lol

Sounds stupid but music is a funny thing and being creative can sometimes be even funnier. You just know what works and if it’s good then its good as its all about the vibe.

It was easy to take risks with music I never put my name on hardly anything knocking tunes out that I knew were good but also protecting myself from the negative kick back if people did not understand my style

So here I am now 21st century music maker

I can still make music, I love it and my skills have improved over the years as my history in the charts will confirm but now I am stuck in so much new technology which I have to wade through in order to release anything worth the attention of the digital world public.

Artwork has to be polished and to spec, design, story, game, digital platform specifications are mind boggling

It’s not really music any of this stuff but it all has to be done and because of this I have had to sit on 6 really cool albums (I think) so that they stand a chance of being noticed in the crowded space of the throw away digital music world.

6 years! and during this time I have been trying to live and pay bills while doing this but also paying Hugh amounts of technical bills also.

The first two years of my digital work were written off totally as I started the massive project doing it all as Flash comics and videos

Apple kicked Flash out and I had to start all over again

People close to me (who should support me) are totally tired of me and my attempts to finish this project it’s now a boring story of “it will be finished soon” which i seem to say a lot and being told in response “get a real job” which is now the general perception of those around me

I think that’s sad as I know what I’m doing g is really cool but there is always a point when you can say “it will be out soon” one too many times and people start to think you’re a “west of space, living in dream land” and still the bills the bills the bills

All need to be paid.

I have sold almost all my studio gear and still the bills are coming but getting a full or part time job would just set my work back even more. The project is just so big and it all has to complete around the same time

I never realised how big and technical it was and how expensive it would all be but still I think it’s the dogs nuts and really cool but if no one tweets it or Facebook’s  it then I’m still stuffed.

Is this what being an Artist is about now days?, I suppose it is

That calm walk along the sea front is more like the hurricane season and I’m still there now, pushing against the gale to get to the other side.

Then there’s the final process “soon” I will be releasing it and it might still get stuck under a pile of music being release and never get seen

That will be the worst thing as then I would have been proved to have been a “waste of space”

I have been in this situation a few time before in my life, on the edge of loosing everything but somehow my belief in my work and what I do gets me through and I manage to get back up and the bills can all be paid again but this time there is so much more doubt with the world as it is (in recession) and pirating as it is (stealing seems acceptable) and how disposable music has become.

Will anyone care?

and if they do will they actually care enough to buy it?

or only care enough to only steal it?

Most people don’t get the opportunity to put their life into a project like I have always done.

I think people generally they take life day to day and they make ends meet but I’m not like most people I have always believed if I work hard with the passion I have for what I do and believe in what I’m working for I can succeed!

I can make people happy with the music i make and also make a financial return from my passion in music allowing me to continue being creative and paying my bills after all my efforts and risk.

So if you’re wondering about this blog

This was me thinking out loud, as I know “it will all be out soon” lol  at least when it is i can exhale again..



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Mark Ruff Ryder © Strictly Underground Records Since 1988