Attrition has also been touring around the world to support The Unraveller of Angels and the two EPs connected with it. Dates are ongoing.
“For The Unraveller of Angels I decided to go back to our real independent roots, rather than work within the corporate anonymity of a larger label--they just shift boxes--I wanted passion back in there, “ says Bowes. “So I chose to work with a small but enthusiastic German label -Exglageto. They gave us 2 different CD versions of the album and a vinyl record too and I’ve been doing a lot of the sales myself.”
Bowes says it is harder to do some much on his own but that he’s found Bandcamp to be a huge help with his direct sales going through the roof.
“So it’s worth it. It's going well. We even have a cassette version of the album planned with alternate mixes for early 2014.” says Bowes. “Ultimately it’s about how I feel about the album: I am proud of 'The Unraveller....' I took a long time with it and worked with some incredible people on this record. It’s had so many incredible reviews as well.”
The band has played, or will soon play, shows in: Greece, Canada, Germany, Belgium, the UK and maybe the USA. The maybe comes from the inherent problems with booking a tour.
“It’s always hard work sorting these things out. I book a lot of these myself. Nothing too horrible you know I still love the adventures-- that’s what it's about--making these things happen. “says Bowes. “It’s a different form of creativity to recording but just as rewarding. I can’t imagine my life without all the travels. The people you meet and become lifelong friends; that I will always cherish.
“We also have a video for this being made by French film maker Daniel Gouyette,” says Bowes. “This will be out at the end of the year. It’s not really hard on the heels as another breath of life for The Unraveller of Angels.”
In addition to Attrition Bowes is working on another musical project, Engram.
“ENGRAM is a cross between Kraftwerk and Dolly Parton--no of course not! It is a project I started with my friend John Costello (also an electronic musician in his own right) in 1996. We did one song which was released on Brian Mitchell's Silber records' Alleviation compilation CD. Then things just got in the way and ENGRAM was put on hold. Until last year when we got to talking again and I said, well it’s about time we finished that album. So that’s what we have been gradually doing. The debut 3 track EP, What am I?, is due for release on November 20th. Then we follow with a full length album and the first shows next spring onwards.
Bowes describes the music as a mix of synth, minimal wave, dark ambient and experimental. He says it is a little different than anything he or Costello do solo.
“When I left the college, where I had taught music technology for 16 years, I set up The Cage Studios as a full time operation. So since 2011 I have been doing a hell of a lot of production, mastering and mixing/remixing for bands from all over the world ( often via file transfers these days),” he says. “And yes working with more and more music it has for so many more hours of the day influenced me and inspired me and I've learned so much too. I always want to do more Attrition material. Attrition is my own therapy rather than The Cage. Finding the time for this is sometimes a problem. “
When it comes to production Bowes says that the most common mistake is mixing music far too loud.
“In the worst cases end up with digital clipping. It’s always best if you leave plenty of headroom. For me or whoever masters the material later. It’s a constant battle even in mastering "the loudness war" if you like to call it that--and everyone has a different opinion,” says Bowes. “And that's the thing; this is art. There are technical considerations but this is whatever we want it to be in the end.”
Bowes also has a new project—interviewing the artists he is working with at The Cage.
“This is a really new thing for me, inspired by the old John Peel band sessions I decided to set up a series of these myself. The Cage Sessions, where a band or musician comes here for a day and records maybe four songs and I and my wife Kerri interview them at the same time. I then mix and master the tracks and we are releasing these digitally through our official Bandcamp page, “he says. “We've also got a network of radio stations that are broadcasting these sessions. The first session, with Rossetti's Compass, a band with Mark Warner, Per Aksel Lundgreen (ex Apoptygma Bezerk) and new boy Martin Boweswas released on November 5th”
“The Cage Sessions are an opportunity for bands to do something a little different: new versions of old songs, covers, collaborations, whatever the hell they like really,” he says. “I am planning to release one a month. The second session is ATTRITION singer Tylean's solo work.”