Next Signals Show - Saturday - August 27th 2011 at Cafe Oto. Slowfoot Records night with Crewdson and Crackle.Cafe Oto
Signals was formed by Chris Gowers (Karina ESP, Trome Records) and Phil Julian (Cheapmachines, Authorised Version) during summer 2004, initially to work on a collaborative performance for the 2004 London Headphone Festival. Following a few more live collaborations, Mark Beazley of Rothko joined Signals in November 2005 cementing the core
Chris Gowers: Bowed Electric Guitar
Mark Beazley: Bass Guitar
Phil Julian: Bowed Gong/Cymbal/Temple Bowls, Electronics, Computers.
Gauss' CD Album. Limited to 100 copies'
Release Date: 1/11/10'
Label: Trace Recordings. Catalogue No. TRACECD011'
Gauss was composed and recorded on April 26th, 2009 at Angellsound Studios and engineered by Crawford Blair
Listen: Ferrar (Extract)
Release Date: 22/5//09
Label: Authorised Version
This release comprised of two live, improvised drone performances recorded in london during 2006 & 2007.Limited to 100 copies, this release was only made available at live Signals events.
A review of this release by Richard Pinnell can be found here
'Headphone Music #1' CD-R and Download.
Release Date: 03/11/05
Label: Authorised Version
A live studio recording made during rehearsals for the 2004 Placard Headphone Festival. The recording is considerably different to the piece performed at the event.
You can download this release from Diogenes Music here
or from iTunes
'Sonur' CD-R and Download
Release Date: 29/10/05
Label: Evelyn Records / Trome Records
Improvised and recorded by Chris Gowers (bowed guitar, effects) and Phil Julian (tape, tone generator) on 29/10/05 at Trome HQ.
Signals have been fortunate enough to have performed alongside many fine artists including; David Toop, Main, Amp Studio, Dual, Jonathan Coleclough, Janek Schaefer, Max Eastley, Alexander Tucker, Rothko, Rameses III, Aidan Baker, Goodiepal, Seeded Plain, Pausal, Koen Holtkamp.
Placard Headphones Festival 2004, State51- 17/7/04 Track performed: Headphone Music 2 performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian (bowed guitar, remote control / minidisc, oscillators) Line-up: David Toop, Main, Amp Studio, Dual, Jonathan Coleclough, Janek Schaefer, Max Eastley (among others)
Retrieval 001, The Foundry, Wednesday 25/5/05 Track performed: Lith performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian (bowed guitar / laptop) Lineup: Hood & Rodgers, Sijis DJ set, Mark Beazley DJ set
Evelyn Night3, The Foundry, London 9/6/05 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian (bowed guitar / laptop) Line-up: Bronwen Stephens, Streetlightunit + Keung
Placard Headphone Festival 2005, State51- 10/9/05 Track performed: Raum Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian (bowed guitar / laptop)
Evelyn Night4, The Foundry 3/11/05 Track performed: Sonur Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian/Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / tape, tone generator/bass) Line-up: Rothko (Mark Beazley solo set); Douglas Ferguson; Douglas Ferguson/Chris Gowers/Mark Beazley improvised set
Still Festival 1, Jackson's Lane Theatre, 20/11/05 Track performed: Lux Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / tone generator / bass) Line-up: Paul Hood; Douglas Ferguson; Alastair Leslie
Evelyn Night5, Barden's Boudoir, 7/9/06 Track performed: Krone Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / bowed and drummed singing bowls / bass) Line-up: Mandelbrot; Rothko; Small Town Boredom; Paul Goodwin
Placard Headphones Festival 2006, State51, 22/10/06 Track performed: Sp0re Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian (bowed guitar / bowed cymbal and singing bowl) (Mark Beazley was unable to attend and participate with this performance).
Fear of Jazz 1, The Pool Bar 15/11/06 Track performed: Sp00l. Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / bowed cymbal/bass) Line-up: Rocketnumbernine; Alexander Tucker; Elite Barbarian
Trome Records Night, The Flea Pit 14/5/07 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (chimes, singing bowl, bowed guitar / gong, laptop / bass) Line-up: Pausal; Rameses III; Aidan Baker
Galvanised Festival, Space Gallery 8/6/07 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / gong, cymbal, laptop/bass) Line-up: My Ambulance Is On Fire; Rocketnumbernine; Goodiepal
The Independent Banquet hosted by Lithe Recordings, Whitechapel Art Gallery 20/7/07 Track performed: 'Whitechapel' Performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley Line-up: Rocketnumbernine; Temperatures
Trome Records Night, The Fleapit 3/6/08 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed guitar / laptop, microphone / bass) Line-up: Pausal; Koen Holtkamp
The Fleapit 9/7/08 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian / Mark Beazley (bowed lap-steel guitar / laptop, microphone / bass) Line-up: Dale Berning; Seeded Plain; Lee Gamble
Trome Records Night, Juno Bar 2/12/08 untitled and unrecorded improvisation performed by: Chris Gowers / Phil Julian. Accompanied on this performance by Keung from Mandelbrot (Mark Beazley was unable to attend and participate with this performance). Line-up: Aidan Baker; Mandlebrot Set
Here's an Interview from Morc Zine
from April 2010 with Chris Gowers:
Q - is Signals a real band, or more a loose collective of players?
The core of the band is now Mark, Phil and me, but we've always agreed that we can perform and record under the name Signals with any number of other musicians provided that there is at least two members of the original group involved. We like the idea that the project is not bound by any strict concept, and can therefore act as a free platform for other musicians to collaborate.
Q - who's playing on the track Quonset?
Mark Beazley from the band Rothko is playing bass, Phil Julian from Cheapmachines is on laptop and I'm playing guitar drones underneath. I feel that we are able to draw from quite different angles and sound palettes through our work in other projects, and hopefully achieve a sense of synergy.That's the aim at least.
Q - if i'm correct, Signals started as a collab for the placard headphone festival?
Yes I asked Phil Julian to collaborate on a performance at Placard, and we've since played there numerous times as Signals. I think that the headphones festival a really good concept; communal listening but without problems caused by poor acoustics, unsympathetic PAs and other people talking.
Q - is it best to enjoy Signals while using headphones?
I wouldn't necessarily say that our music requires headphones for the best listening experience though, sometimes music is enhanced by being projected into a space But I would suggest that because our music is improvised it has definitely developed from being played in a live setting.It definitely requires some patience on the part of the listener, luckily so far I think audience members have understood what we're doing, and have allowed each performance to evolve in its own way.
Q - is Quonset a ''pure' improvisation or has this been processed afterwards?
It's pure improvisation. We recorded the album one Saturday in a studio with no overdubs, much as we do when we play live.
Q - in which way is it different for you to play live than doing a recording session then?
I don't think our processes differ much from when we play live or in the studio, although the end product might be altered by the circumstances.For instance we felt our album sounded more spatial and abstract than our live performances, probably because the performance allowed for more introspection without us facing an immediate audience.
I remember us describing the tracks at the time as 'glacial', which influenced our ideas about the album and in turn helped us with the inevitable and unenviable task of coming up with track titles as they're all named after glaciers.
Q - does it sometimes occur that the improvisation is heading in a way that some of you feel less comfortable about it? How do you respond to that?
As a collective we are constantly listening and reacting to each other, and naturally we will introduce new things individually as the piece evolves.I suppose we always exercise a level of restraint, but if something is introduced that doesn't sit well, or is something that the other members of the group feel unable to add anything to, then we will then work together to alter the course of the piece.Thankfully this doesn't happen too often, I think we've developed a sense of intuition through the years of playing together.
Album Covers/Band Images/Flyers