It pleases me greatly to announce that, any day now, Ape-ology will be on sale in my web store.

What is Ape-ology? is still an FAQ, so, before anything else, here is some clarification and back story:

The majority of newcomers to my site and social networking pages are, unsurprisingly, not aware that Apes, Pigs and Spacemen had a life after the two albums (Transfusion & Snapshot) and three EPs (Antiseptic, Safety Net, Seven) that we recorded during our time with Music For Nations. It took over six years to extricate ourselves from the legal cesspool that engulfed us after that ill-fated relationship, during which we were unable to record or release anything under the band name.

Our first independent release was the album Free Pawn in 2003, which was available exclusively from the band’s website. There then followed a string of four Eps: Monkey Mettle, Simple Simian, Dirty Monkey and Fives. Again, these were only available, as limited editions, from the band’s website. Compared to now, the Internet was then a primitive beast, used by far fewer people. Bandwidth was a joke, so the quality of downloaded mp3s was low. How many of you can recall dial-up connection and paying about a fiver and waiting for hours to download a couple of megabytes of data?

Because we had no budget for mainstream advertising (that hasn’t changed!), the only way people knew about the releases was by word of mouth/ Internet searches, and they could only gain access to the material if they were Internet users. Consequently, a fair proportion of people who have discovered/ re-discovered the band since then had absolutely no idea about the existence of the Free Pawn album or the four EPs that followed.

With an increasing amount of people asking to get hold of copies of the EPs - newcomers, and people who had worn out or misplaced their original copies - the incentive to re-release them grew.

However, I didn’t just want to re-release them in their original state. The recordings were made in less than ideal circumstances. I had just gone through a ludicrous five-year investigation, courtesy of the taxman, which would have made a great five-season comedy reality TV show that would have been like a cross between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Meet the Incompetent Fokkers. The end result was the taxman conceding they’d made a mistake, but, in the meantime, I’d been made bankrupt and  forced to sell my studio, along with my entire guitar collection. Studio facilities were, to say the least, limited. I was always super proud of the songs and the performances, but they didn’t have the desired studio polish that one associates with ‘big studio’ production.

For me, any re-release had to mean making the tracks sound how they would have had we had the required budget and accoutrements. And, over the past few months, using every available free moment, this is what I have set out to achieve. I knew it was going to be a major undertaking. In some ways, it’s taken longer than recording two albums from scratch: In addition to replacing and enhancing many sounds, I wanted to utilise as much of the existing audio as possible, which, in itself created a few headaches. Locating all the source files was a bit like an Indiana Jones quest. And then, resurrecting, editing and cleaning up every file before I did any post-production work was a long job. I had the additional incentive of wanting to complete and release Ape-ology before I embark on the pledge campaign for my next solo album, so it was worth putting in the extra sleepless nights.

As the project drew closer to completion, I sent the first mixes of the tracks over to mastering engineer Dave Draper. Dave is one of my most trusted friends and one of the country’s finest producers/ mix/ mastering engineers. He’s mastered all of my solo albums, and is always my first go-to guy for honest appraisal of my mixes. ‘Fuck ME!’ was his response to the first Ape-ology mixes. ‘When you said you were doing this, I expected some minor mix tweaks and improved dynamics. This is fucking PHENOMENAL! It’s like a brand new album!’

I took that as confirmation that I had achieved my goal. All of the original performance and energy, with in-your-face vocals, brutal guitars, growling bass and huge drums.

And that is the back story. What will Ape-ology comprise?

You will get a data DVD on which will be:
1. All four remixed and remastered EPs (Monkey Mettle, Simple Simian, Dirty Monkey, Fives) and three additional bonus tracks, which have been given the same treatment. A total of twenty-one tracks.
Every song will be in two formats: .wav files for those who want to burn full-quality CDs, or listen to them on your media player in full glory. And 320k mp3s, so you can add them easily to your iTunes or media libraries. All tracks will be in clearly labelled folders to make navigating super simple.
2. Printable CD sleeves for each EP.
3. An exclusive Ape-ology lyric booklet in .pdf format, designed by Haluk Gurer.
4. A fantastic card wallet cover, designed by Ian Husbands.

The collection will be priced at £17.99 and will be arriving in the shop very soon.

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