Tuesday, 13 December 2011

still alive

So, it's nearly the end of the year. Man, that's flown by. Evidence is right here in front of me when I see how long it's been since I wrote here...
This is mostly to assure myself that I still exist.

For nearly a year I have been writing and recording the new album, starting with a month in the chapel in Wales, a time which is described in previous posts.
We are still not quite done recording, but damn my boots it if we won't be very soon. At this point I have written and recorded 25+ songs and it will soon be crunch time in terms of culling the litter. A painful process which I am kind of dreading. Kill your darlings, mr. Bonk. The really are darlings to me, a lot of the time.
Conversely, I honestly don't think I will ever stop writing songs, so fuck it, there's always another batch.

We have an awesome mixer Mark Bishop, who has already mixed a few tracks, and I can honestly say it is going to sound SWEEEEET.

We have played some memorable shows this year, perhaps most of all the Safety First Records launch gig at the Yard a month back.

In the first part of the new year we are playing some concerts at the Glad in Borough (a cosy old pub, utterly charming), so look out for those on Facebook. Seems to be the only place we announce our shows these days. If you don't use Facebook and still want to be kept in the loop let me know, then I shall write a physical letter to you!

I wish you merry end to the year 2011. Next year it's the olympics and I will be thinking of ways to get out of London, unless someone gives me a free ticket to the handball final.

love Soren

ps. We have finished our Safety First Records website, so go and check it out!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Even Stevens

A couple of us went to see Sufjan Stevens here in London last week. We agreed that was one of the best gigs we have ever experienced. Wow man! Sufjan really is one of the most brilliant artists of our time. If you get the chance to see him in your city, don't be cheap, pay what you have to to experience this spectacle!
His latest cryptic album Age of Adz really made so much more sense when seen live. All in all just awe-inspiring for this humble klaktician.

We are still playing monthly at London's Book club for the fully unplugged L&U nights. If you get the chance you should really come down and check it out. These are really the best nights of music I have come across in London the last decade (not just because we are playing there...). There's a feeling of community amongst the artists and the crowd seems to really be part of the night. Active listeners, engaged but quiet and respectful. I hope we can continue to do this monthly slot for a while. It seems our band has really found its feet down there. We are playing 'together' more than ever before. I think, as a spectator, you have a better chance of understanding what it is we are trying to do in this set up. And hell, hearing the violins and brass sans amp is pure joy! Biggest challenge is for yours truly to 'project' those songs enough.

Two Brothers' Blood
The album we recorded in Wales is still being tinkered with. In amongst our other worldly duties we have been making lots of additional parts and minor tweaks to the album. Boiling things down. Simmering new ideas. Raising difficult issues. I am guessing we will take another few months to finish up. But, it's going to be fucking amazing, I'm sure of it!

Our own Safety First Records has signed a few more acts now. Our latest addition is Furnace Flowers which moniker of the amazing folk singer Felix Holt. Felix and I are currently recording his first EP in my studio. Click here to listen to one of our first layouts.
Also, soon we will be releasing the new EP for the Polly Tones, which we can't wait to show the world.
But the next big thing that happens is the release of Jack Cheshire's already much acclaimed album 'Copenhagen'! Keep your eyes peeled for that one, it really is a spectacular album.

Klak Tik is a happy band and the summer is looming and there is an infinite amount of music yet to grow in this life. Some will bloom here and bounce around our 5 dimensions before leaping into your universe. Some will spring from you. Everything in between is fireworks.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Balder but bolder

So, the fourth and last week has started here at the Chapel. It's been a beautiful experience so far. John and Matt left Friday morning and again it took me a while to get used to being alone. The days are lovely and bright, the nights kind of long, dark and lonely. Just me and way to much Famous Grouse.
The two weeks I had here with the boys proved mighty productive and it now looks likely I'll be coming home with a full album of songs. Bits and pieces still to do at home, but mostly it's all there. We recorded from early morning until late night every day they were here, pretty much, rarely interrupted by anything but walks, runs, whiskey drinking and other necessary evils.
The last time I wrote I really didn't have any idea what it is we were making, but slowly the music is starting to sink into me. I think we will be very pleased with what we have done. It's funny how something that comes from your own conscious can feel so alien at first, but it really does. I could compare it to having someone else's baby, but that would be a bit off, so forget I said that. Perhaps a bit more like pinching your brother's running shoes and then, almost annoyed, taking a few runs to get used to them. Yes, that actually happened. And I won't apologise, if you are reading this, it gave you are perfectly valid reason to buy a nice new pair, and to smack me a dead leg for that matter.
Stop ramblin'.

The Great Lode (Yeah, go on, say it out loud and look at your scrotum)
Last Monday we went to an abandoned copper mine. Once the largest in the world, no less.
Since reading Sons & Lovers I had wanted to write something about the toiling miners of the North (or indeed Wales...), so when Matt starting talking about what George Orwell once said on the matter we decided to write a song from the perspective of a miner.
John had read about this mine called Parys Mountain, about 20 miles from here, in a guide book only that day, so after inquiring we booked ourselves a tour of the mine with the intention of recording some of the vocals down there.Unexpectedly the tour was really quite exciting. A nice man by the name of Ronald (I know what you are thinking, thankfully it wasn't that Ronald) ventured 40 fathoms down into the mountain where we were taking through the blackest maze of muddy shafts imaginable. Almost a full three hours we were underground before an impressive cave with little orange lakes of copper coloured water opened up to the darting beams of our head lamps. Inexplicably this cave, though smaller than the others we had seen, had an otherworldly reverberation and Ron looked proud when he saw our excitement. With much care being taken to dodge the drips of ultra acidic water from the ceiling, we pulled out our recording equipment from the sodden overalls and managed to do a few vocal takes.
15 minutes later, when the most TV static like ceiling of stars conceivable spread out before us, and I had done a much needed wee, we felt very happy to be outside again.The results of the adventure, apart from the obvious adventure itself, will hopefully find their way onto the album, which by the way is still nameless.

I can smell the Smoke
I am so used to being here by now, the dreamy landscape and the sense of daylight, even now in winter, so I really feel a bit worried about London crashing into my bloodstream again. From what I could understand Matt and John felt more or less electrocuted by the hum buzz upon their return to the Smoke. I guess there is no avoiding it, if you want to be able to buy Grolsch at all hours of the day. And more importantly, there are people I am starting to miss terribly, who might forget about me if I don't soon reclaim my place in the other world.

Anyway, still lots of plucking to be done before such challenges.

Take care, you city gulls,
Soren (and Matt and John)

Penrhos Chapel #2 from Sorenious Bonk on Vimeo.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

looking over my shoulder

I finally managed to find internet, here at the Seacroft, a pub allegedly set nicely on the seafront. I wouldn't know, however, as the densest of clouds seems to have found rest right on top of our cosy shire.
I am enjoying a nicely poured Guinness (I am only 30 miles from Dublin) and a mushroom risotto which, apart from being the first meal not prepared by my own, or indeed Matt(atouilly)'s hands in a weeks time, isn't anything to get my stock boiling.

The first week of four here has nearly passed and I feel submerged in a handsome mix of cabin fever, awe, stillness, panic and inspiration. As expected it has been all too vivid being alone for this first week. In fact it's only about five days since Matt and John left, but it feels like a lot longer, ha. The silence is, as anticipated, deafening. Nothing but my ever progressing tinnitus, and the shrill screaming competition (think 'most annoying sound..' scene out of Dumb & Dumber) of my thoughts, which still feel as tangled as a my own good locks before they were mercilessly shed. The only time I hear my voice out loud is when I sing, or speak to someone on the phone. I feel like I have really become a singer. A singer - the creature that communicates only by song.

The music is... the music is... something is happening. Really not sure what I am doing to be honest. I had written about 25 songs, albeit sketchy, prior to arriving here and hoped it would be a breeze to knock something into shape, but predictably it is not that easy, Bonke.
I constantly go from being excited about something new, to shocked at how shit I am. From steam coming out of my ass to trouble keeping the steam up.
One thing is certain, the next Klak Tik album will not sound like the old one.

In between the musicating I am thoroughly and whole heartily enjoying this place. The amazing chapel, the fields, the coast, the baffling sea and the unbelievable privilege it is to spend a month in a place of such unfabricated beauty.

Miscellaneous notes:
Today I saw a peregrine. The other day I saw a massive school of porpoise passing the South Stack lighthouse (see picture). I also nearly ran over a rabbit on the way here. oops.
Below is a few pictures I took today, from morning to night. Notice how still the sea is. I literally don't think I have ever seen a sea that still. And it has lasted for 5 days! A storm is coming, uhh.
I had forgotten how much manure stinks. I don't really mind the smell so much, in theory, but the tractor was literally sprinkling shit right outside my window and I could almost taste the stuff in my mouth. Perhaps I will add to the liner notes a list of tracks recorded in that smell, but I am sure it will be obvious.

Oh and of course, below you will also find a little video diary from the first few days with the boys. All fun and games.

keep you posted.

A happy and deranged loner about to have a another pint before going back to work,

Penrhos Chapel #1 from Sorenious Bonk on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Dear diarrhoea,
In a week and a bit Klak Tik are going to North Wales to record a bunch of new songs! I (Soren) am going for a whole month, whilst John and Matt will be there for two-three weeks. We have hired a converted chapel by the rough Irish sea. It looks beautiful.
We will be bringing my whole studio and setting it all up there. Hopefully the peace and quiet will bring a focus to the process which we could never achieve in London where I feel there is always a pint or a picture to go to.

We will try to keep up a little video diary, so watch out for that.

See you soon,