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James Bacon - Biography / Discography



James' career has taken him across a diversity of musical genres, spanning 2 decades.

In service of other musicians, he has worked as a producer and engineer, providing recording, mixing and mastering for numerous commercial releases. He has also worked as a session musician and musical arranger.

He is a graphic designer and photographer, and has undertaken various aspects of music consultancy.

He has written for International Piano Magazine, and has recently collaborated with jazz pianist and music educator Mark Polishook to produce an online article focussing on pianos, pianists, and the specialist recording process that piano-based music demands.

James has written and performed classical, electronic, experimental and rock music, both as a multi-instrumental solo artist, and in collaboration with other musicians. He plays piano, bass, electric guitar and synthesisers, and has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of programming and music technology.

He has written around 60 commissioned pieces for use in film, TV and documentary.

James' current focus is on multimedia music presentation. Since the beginning of 2014, he has produced around 50 music videos and a full-length commercial DVD, with another in the pipeline: he is recording his key-cycle work Through Time and Space: 24 Preludes for Solo Piano - set for DVD release early 2015.


DISCOGRAPHY: 1996 - present


Maite Guirre - Granados


ARTIST: Maite Aguirre

ALBUM: Granados - Danzas Españolas (to be released 10th Dec 2014)

ROLE: Engineer, producer, photography, sleeve design, videography


Spanish concert pianist Maite Aguirre chose to record one of Spain's greatest composers for her new album. Two days were dedicated to recording these twelve dances. On the third day, there was a chance to make a video of the most famous piece from the set: Andaluza.

Remarkably, Maite was able to deliver a superb video performance on the first take.

Now London-based, Maite is not only a solo recitalist, she is also an in-demand conductor and educator, and plays as one half of a four-hands piano duo.





ARTIST: Sheffield Chamber Choir

ALBUM: Stabat Mater (to be released early December 2014)

ROLE: Live audio engineer, mastering, photography and sleeve design


A live concert performance by the Sheffield Chamber Choir with soloists, recorded in high-resolution audio, with video from 2 camera angles.

The acoustics at St. Maries, Sheffield, are magnificent. With two Neve-designed ribbon mics in situ, the choir and instrumentalists varied their location throughout the programme: a trumpet from a distant balcony; the choir moving to the back; a vocal soloist from out of view.

Such varied staging was the vision of conductor, Robert Webb. By keeping the mics static, the listener experiences the width and depth of the performance during stereo playback.

Sheffield Chamber Choir



Wayne Hussey - Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades


ARTIST: Wayne Hussey

ALBUM: Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades (2014)

ROLE: Mastering engineer


Wayne Hussey is perhaps best-known for co-founding and fronting The Mission. Previous to that he was a member of The Sisters of Mercy and Dead or Alive.

Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades is his second solo album. A stylistically diverse record, it coheres around his distinctive songwriting, vocal and multi-instrumental talent.

Initial discussions about what style mastering would best suit the programme led to a shared aim to avoid the current trend for "loud" records, allowing the music to breathe and shine dynamically, as classic albums used to.

As Wayne's studio is based in Brazil, the entire mastering process was undertaken via internet file transfer.

On his current UK tour, I had the pleasure of duetting a piano arrangement of Swan Song with Wayne at his Sheffield concert.

The Mission - Official Site



Roy Todd


ARTIST: Roy Todd

ALBUM: Seasons (DVD) - to be released 9th Dec 2014

ROLE: Recording, mixing, mastering, videography


Having won a global online audience in recent years, composer-pianist Roy Todd is to release his first DVD - Seasons.

Accompanying the footage is an interview in which Roy explains his approach to composition, pianism, and the role of technology in modern music presentation.

Roy Todd Music



Zoe Helena - Paint Me Colours


ARTIST: Zoë Helena

ALBUM: Paint Me Colours (to be released late 2014)

ROLE: Producer, recording and mastering engineer


A talented singer-songwriter at the start of her music career, Zoë came here to record her debut EP. She tracked simultaneous guitar / vocal performances, adding guest acoustic bass and her own backing vocals afterwards.

Zoë is also a talented artist. She produced a set of paintings for her EP, which we then formatted for the CD packaging.

She will be launching her EP with live performances starting January 2015.



Callum Hilton - Debut


ARTIST: Callum Hilton

ALBUM: Debut (2014)

ROLE: Producer, recording and mastering,, photography, graphic design

Pianist, cellist and composer Callum Hilton's talent first got the attention of the national press in 2011. Shortly after this, he was awarded fullabroad.

In early 2014 pianist, cellist and composer Callum Hilton came to the studio to record his first piano album, aged just 11. Since then he has supported his album with a series of live performances.

I worked with Callum's family to organise a succesful Kickstarter campaign, enabling the young musician to purchase a new cello, as he had outgrown his previous instrument. Central to the campaign was a video presentation, featuring performances on both instruments.

Callum attends Chetham's School of Music, with full scholarship.

Callum Hilton



Rhett Nelson


ARTIST: Rhett Nelson

ALBUM: A Way Back (2014)

ROLE: Pianist and piano recording engineer

Pianist, cellist and composer Callum Hilton's talent first got the attention of the national press in 2011. Shortly after this, he was awarded fullabroad.

Rhett Nelson is an LA-based composer who is regularly commissioned by Warner Chappell and other publishers for his powerful and cinematic writing.

Our collaboration resulted from Rhett searching YouTube for a piano sound that suited his work.

Rhett is just the right combination of exacting and helpful. He initially supplied a guide piano part, and we worked from there. The recording features studio performances from a Utah-based orchestra, amongst other instrumental soloists.

Rhett Nelson's page on IMDB


Gabriele Baldocci


ARTIST: Gabriele Baldocci

ALBUM: Video for Sheer Piano Attack (not yet released)

ROLE: Recording engineer, videography

ly commissioned by Warner Chappell and other publishers for his powerful and cinematic writing.

International concert pianist, and Professor of Piano at Trinity Labarn, Gabriele Baldocci has recently recorded and performed duets with the legendary Martha Argerich, to critical acclaim.

His most recent project was something of a very different nature: a piano album dedicated to the music of Queen.

A lifelong fan of Queen's music, and of the sensational voice of Freddie Mercury, Gabriele commissioned a series of piano arrangements from various composers, along with his own classical arrangements.

He chose to record on our studio Bösendorfer - a piano of gravitas, drama and lyricism.

After audio duties were taken care of for Sheer Piano Attack, I suggested we record a couple of impromptu videos. Improvising beautifully, Gabriele seamlessly wove together a number of favourite Queen melodies in two separate improvisations: Love of my Life and We are the Champions.

Presented simpl from three angles, Gabriele's fabulous piano talent, and the legendary songwriting of Queen come together to make for a very special pair of video performances.

Gabriele Baldocci


Mark Polishook - Sheffield Improvisations


ARTIST: Mark Polishook

ALBUM: Sheffield Improvisations (2014)

ROLE: Recording engineer, videography

Jazz pianist, lecturer, and music philosopher Mark Polishook originally got in touch via Hurstwood Farm Pianos, Kent. He, like myself, had purchased a Phoenix System piano from Richard Dain, inventor of the system.

With much to discuss, our first project was an extensive online interview, in which we discussed the specal recording considerations pianists and engineers face, pianos, piano maintainance, and the evolution of recording in parallel with technological advances.

A month after publishing the article, Mark and I collaborated to video a series of improvisations to put online.

Following this, we are now to record a full-length DVD. Work starts November 2014.

Mark Polishook



The Mission - Different Colours EP


ARTIST: The Mission

ALBUM: Different Colours EP - 7" Vinyl + Digital release (2014)

ROLE: Mastering engineer


The Mission's Different Colours EP featured a song from each of the band's 4 members, following their 2013 album, The Brightest Light.

Audio masters were prepared separately for digital and vinyl release, as the medium of vinyl requires a different kind of optimisation.

The Mission - Official Site



Songs of Brazil and Argentina


ARTIST: Luicano Botelho (Tenor) and Liz Marcus (piano)

ALBUM: Songs of Brazil and Argentina (2014)

ROLE: Recording, mixing, mastering


International tenor Luciano Botelho teamed up with Liz Marcus (Guidhall School of Music and Drama, London) to record a diversity of modern South American songs for voice and piano.

Subsequently this album has received some excellent press, and in The Classical Reviewer, Bruce Reader notes:

"These artists are nicely recorded with excellent detail".

Luciano Botelho



The Mission - Swan Song (single)


ARTIST: The Mission

ALBUM: Swan Song (2013)

ROLE: Mastering engineer / remix with Simon Hinkler


Swan Song was The Mission's follow-up EP to their 2013 album, The Brightest Light. It features a radio edit, a track called More Than The Truth and four remixes of the title track.

Simon Hinkler and I collaborated to present the "Deconstruction" remix, our first time in a studio together in 17 years.

In Simon's words:

“I worked with my old friend James Bacon on this. In the 90’s we were two thirds of electro band Mindfeel, and as such have spent countless studio hours together, so I thought it would be interesting to apply some of that aesthetic to a Mission remix. I set off at 6am and drove up from Devon to Sheffield. The first half of the day was a bit mad, with Dave (Allen) in London, uploading missing vocal and guitar files and us downloading them into the mix. But we decided on the vibe pretty much straight away – taking out the chord changes and rooting it down to just the verse bass line, which all the other recorded elements work really well with. James put in a keyboard pad, and all in all I think we achieved quite a Mindfeel-sounding mix of a Mission song.“

The Mission - Official Site

Simon Hinkler - Official Site



Sarah Jay Hawley and the Nutrinos - Dissolved Girl Unplugged


ARTIST: Sarah Jay Hawley and the Nutrinos

ALBUM: Dissolved Girl Unplugged (2013)

ROLE: Recording engineer


to capture the full chorus, 2 pianos, and an orchestral and percussion ensemble.

Sarah Jay Hawley co-wrote Dissolved Girl with Massive Attack for their hit album Meezzanine (1998), which topped the album charts in the UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Fifteen years later she decided to revisit the classic song with her band, the Nutrinos, in an unplugged, live-in-the-studio recording. A special piano sound was required; the rich and dark tonality of the Bösendorfer Imperial was perfect.

Recorded as a vocal / piano / acoustic guitar trio, Sarah and her band recreated the mood and magic of the original, whilst adding a fresh perspective to this widely-loved song.

Sarah Jay Hawley on iTunes



SingSoc album


ARTIST: University of Sheffield Singers' Society (SingSoc)

ALBUM: 15th Anniversary Concert - Live Recording (2013)

ROLE: Live recording engineer, mastering, sleeve layout


With SingSoc's anniversary performance, featuring a world premiere of a composition by their conductor, Robert Webb, the remit was to capture the full chorus, 2 pianos, and an orchestral and percussion ensemble.

This was a special occasion; the atmosphere of the memorable performances at Sheffield University's Firth Hall can now be enjoyed again on disc.

SingSoc website



One Cure for Man Album


ARTIST: One Cure For Man

ALBUM: Serenade The Damned (2013)

ROLE: Engineering and mixing for The Sheltering Sleep


James Parkinson - aka One Cure For Man - needed an acoustic piano recording for the final track on his solo album - The Sheltering Sleep. The sound of the Bösendorfer was exactly what he was after for this piece.

One Cure For Man



Martin Archer - Blue Meat, Black Diesel and Engine Room Favourites


ARTIST: Martin Archer

ALBUM: Blue Meat, Black Diesel and Engine Room Favourites (2013)

ROLE: Recording engineer - piano and vibraphone


Vibraphone virtuoso Corey Mwamba and pianist Laura Cole performed avantgarde pieces directed by composer and saxophonist Martin Archer. With a strong sense of improvisational freedom, a number of takes were recorded, such that they could be edited and reassembled in Martin's own studio.

The dynamic range of the vibraphone was surprising, and very careful miking was required to provide suitable separation between it and the piano.

Martin Archer on Discus Records



Last December single


ARTIST: Gregory S Davies

ALBUM: Last December (single - 2013)

ROLE: Producer, recording, mixing, mastering


The follow-up EP from Gregory S Davies and his band.

Available on Bandcamp



Santiago album


ARTIST: Gregory S Davies

ALBUM: Santiago LP (2013)

ROLE: Producer, engineer, mastering, guest synthesisers on Power Cut


Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gregory S Davies first came to record in 2011. With a raft of excellent songs to capture, there was an immediate sense of possibility, and an atmosphere of positive teamwork and cameraderie.

With recordings for a new EP and the second LP already underway, the studio ethic has always been to work towards results of the highest possible quality - both in terms of the performances and the audio capture.

Great care is taken during the mastering process to preserve the dynamic range of the material.

The song Power Cut, along with several others from this LP, has received airplay on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio Wales, and BBC Radio Shropshire. The song Rat Trap was BBC Radio Shropshire's song of the month in March 2013.

Available on Bandcamp



Steven M Halliday - A RElation of a Journey EP


ARTIST: Steven M. Halliday

ALBUM: A Relation of a Journey EP (2013)

ROLE: Piano composition and performance for The Infinite Expansion


Steven M Halliday - composer, sound designer, musicologist and producer - originally came to the studio to record some piano parts for a new composition. During the conversation, I asked if he would like to listen to some of my piano pieces. This led him to commission a piano improvisation for his upcoming EP.

The remit was to fill the central section of an ambient piece of music with something that evoked the formation of the universe, in about 1 minute 30 seconds. OK - why not ?

I recorded 10 takes, with Steven giving feedback on what was working each time. In the end just one full take was used.

The EP is very interesting, unusual, and beautifully and uniquely presented.

Read a review



Richard A Bielicki - The Sacred and the Profane


ARTIST: Richard A. Bielicki

ALBUM: The Sacred and the Profane (2013)

ROLE: Producer, engineering, mastering, graphic design


Award-winning composer-pianist Richard A Bielicki made world premiere recordings for a collection of his piano works in 2012. The energy, excitement, depth and virtuosic challenge of these pieces required a hugely concentrated atmosphere in the studio, with much discussion between the two of us.

Completed in around 3 days, the results are testimony to a truly great composer-pianist.

Samples of this record were subsequently featured exclusively in International Piano Magazine.

Available here



Through Time & Space - 24 Preludes for Solo Piano


ARTIST: Beth Pei-Fen Chen

ALBUM: Through Time & Space - 24 Preludes for Solo Piano (2012)

ROLE: Composer, co-producer


I composed this key-cycle work throughout 2009. In 2011, I asked pianist and musicologist Beth Pei-Fen Chen if she would be interested in recording the complete set, and she agreed. Her quest for the singing qualities in pianism, and her background in historically-informed performance practices, made for an interesting interpretative approach to the work.

Beth also gave guidance in the presentation of the score, particularly with regard to slurs; her PhD thesis dealt specifically with the development of Mozart's slurring.

Samples from this disc were presented in International Piano Magazine.

Available here



The Singing Piano I


ARTIST: Beth Pei-Fen Chen

ALBUM: The Singing Piano I (2012)

ROLE: Co-producer with Beth Pei-Fen Chen, engineer


Recorded at the same time as the disc above, The Singing Piano I takes a range of works from the baroque to the present day, exploring the singing qualities of piano composition.

It was of particular interest to record this album on our studio Bösendorfer Imperial, with its sustain-enhancing Phoenix agraffe system.

Samples from this disc were presented in International Piano Magazine.

Available here



Artery - Civilisation


ARTIST: Artery

ALBUM: Civilisation (2011)

ROLE: Producer, audio engineering, mastering, synthesisers


Legendary Sheffield post-punk band Artery reformed in 2007, after a 20 + year absence. They had been asked to play the prestigious Meltdown Festival in London, curated that year by Jarvis Cocker. The success of their Festival Hall appearance - filmed as part of a documentary for DVD - fuelled their desire to continue as a band. A new 4 track EP - Standing Still - followed.

Having seen the band play a life-changing show in Sheffield in 2009, I was delighted to be asked to join the group as keyboard player in 2010, when they had a change of line-up. I immediately offered to record and produce a full-length album.

The first five drum tracks were recorded in the rehearsal room, with the remainder being recorded here. All instrumental and vocal parts were then tracked in my studio, and I then worked very closely with guitarist Murray Fenton to crystallise the mixes.

In fairness, Civilisation was pretty much a co-production between myself and Murray, but when it came to album credits, he and the band were very generous to suggest I take the producer credit; I do so above only as a matter of consistency.

Civilisation is a hard-hitting and completely sincere critique of the world we live in. It is possibly too challenging to appeal to a wide audience, but to those who can handle the material, it offers a dark beauty, with edgy and memorable performances, lyrics and instrumental motifs.

The front and rear covers are by French digital artist Christophe Dessaigne, and were licensed exclusively to Artery for the album.

The album received some excellent reviews in over 20 magazines, both online and physical.

Artery Civilisation line-up: Mark Gouldthorpe (Vocals) - Garry Wilson (Drums) - Murray Fenton (Guitar) - Simon Barfield (bass) - myself (keyboards).

Artery - Official Site



Cell:Adore - Burn Indigo


ARTIST: Cell: Adore

ALBUM: Burn Indigo (2010)

ROLE: Mastering Engineer


The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Chris Johnson, Burn Indigo was a labour of love. Recorded primarily at Null Moon Studios, Chris came here originally to record some acoustic piano parts.

Later he requested to master the album here. We did this from stems - a stereo track for drums, another for guitars, another for vocals, and so forth. With his powerful and dynamic tracks, we wanted to ensure a degree of mixing flexibility duing the mastering process.

Available on Bandcamp



Go Galleon - Manchester Road


ARTIST: Go Galleon

ALBUM: Manchester Road (2009)

ROLE: Co-writer with Shaun Doane, engineer, producer, sleeve design


Manchester Road was the second album resulting from a songwriting partnership with long-time friend Shaun Doane.

We both enjoyed playing a range of instruments. I covered guitar, bass, keyboard and programming duties. Shaun delivered some huge-sounding vocal performances, wrote the lyrics, and added a number of percussion touches.

The album was launched at The Boardwalk, Sheffield, with Ryan Taylor playing keyboards.

BBC Radio Sheffield's Iain Hodgson offered radio support, including a live session and interview.

Available on iTunes



John Bailey - Sikent Compositions


ARTIST: John Bailey

ALBUM: Silent Compositions (2009)

ROLE: Producer, recording and mastering engineer


Composer and pianist John Bailey was commissioned to write a musical contemplation to complement a photographic exhibition by Colin Wilson - Silent Compositions. The work had first been performed on September 28th 2007 at the Derby Museum & Art Gallery.

These beautiful and reflective compositions feature live studio performances by John Bailey (piano), Heidi Parsons (cello) and Romola Smith (clarinet).

Available on Bandcamp



Roy Todd - Serenity


ARTIST: Roy Todd

ALBUM: Serenity (2009)

ROLE: Recording, mastering, photography and graphic design


Belfast-born composer and pianist Roy Todd has enjoyed extraordinary online success with Serenity, alongside his many other albums. Individual tracks from this album have received over a million plays on YouTube alone.

The artwork features a series of photographs I had taken in the previous year. Whilst walking up to Stanage Pole one Sunday afternoon, the lighting became spectacular. The weather had started out sunny, but rapidly changed. A mixture of bright, setting sunlight combined with the gathering clouds overhead, produced a unique variety of ccontrasting colours and a breathtaking sense of atmosphere.

When Roy enquired about the artwork, I remembered this series of photographs, and offered them for use with his new album. The sense of tranquilty and space seemed to complement the music perfectly. Samples of the package are over on the design services page.

Roy Todd Music



DO$CH - Route Of All Evil



ALBUM: Route Of All Evil (2009)

ROLE: Recording engineer, producer, guest keyboards


For this album, the remit was again to capture the band's live energy and driving rhythm. Drums, bass and main guitar parts were tracked simultaneously in the band's rehearsal room. With the basic tracks captured, vocal parts were recorded back at the studio, and additional guitars and keyboards were layered.

Artwork by Martin Bedford




James Goodwin - Blue-eyed Devil CD


ARTIST: James Goodwin

ALBUM: Blue-eyed Devil (2008)

ROLE: Engineeing, mastering


Blues and boogie pianist James Goodwin not only has a phenomenal piano technique for his style of music, but he also has an authoritative knowledge of the history genre, and subgenres.

For this recording, we allowed the piano to go slightly out of tune, and used a close-miking technique to capture the mechanism of the piano.

We also dedicated a mic to James' patent leather "performance" shoe, which pumped the grooves out on the wooden studio floor as he played.

James Goodwin



Nicola Farnon - Here I Go Again


ARTIST: Nicola Farnon

ALBUM: Here I Go Again (2007)

ROLE: Sleeve design


With photography by Clare Lount, Nicola and I worked to produce a sleeve with a different kind of feel to her 2006 album. We took a picture of some ivy growning up the garden wall, cut it out in Photoshop, and adorned pages 1 and 4 of the booklet. For fun.

Nicola Farnon



Isabel Chaplais - Selected Piano Works


ARTIST: Isabel Chaplais

ALBUM: Selected Piano Works (2007)

ROLE: Engineer, producer, graphic design for CD


Isabel's recording was the first to be made on the studio's Bösendorfer 214, back in 2007. Her virtuoso programme was exciting to record, and still attracts praise from visitors to the media page.

Isabel Chaplais



Nicola Farnon - That's The Bottom Line


ARTIST: Niolca Farnon

ALBUM: That's The Bottom Line (2006)

ROLE: Mastering engineer, graphic design, front cover portrait


Nicola's album had been nicely recorded. To add a little sparkle, we ran it through an Avalon VT-747 SP followed by light compression through a TC Electronic Finalizer.

The late, great Humphrey Lyttleton gave this record some timely exposure on his Radio 2 show.

Nicola Farnon



Flameheads - The Russian EP


ARTIST: Flameheads

ALBUM: The Russian EP (2007)

ROLE: Co-writer and producer with John Evans


Long-time friend and musician John Evans and I made just one EP, under the name Flameheads, back in 2007, before John moved away from Sheffield. We both played some guitar parts, John played bass, and I played keyboards and looked after drum programming.

Three tracks appear on this EP: The Russian, Swallows Fly and Bought.



Alpine Essentials DVD


COMPANY: Slackjaw Productions / BMC

TITLE: Alpine Essentials DVD (2006)

ROLE: Original music composition and performance


Slackjaw Productons are Sheffield-based documentary film-makers, specialising in climbing films. They also produced Made In Sheffield, a documentary ex[ploring the most influential Sheffield bands in the post-punk era, including rare footage and exclusive interviews with the Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 & ABC and Artery.

For Alpine Essentials, I was asked to contribute 2 pieces - Alpine Dawn and Alpine Ascent - to complement scenes in this technical and informative documentary, commissioned by the British Mountaineering Council.

Slackjaw Film



The Koenig - Smiling Inside


ARTIST: The Koenig

ALBUM: Smiling Inside (2006)

ROLE: Co-writer with Shaun Doane, engineer, producer, sleeve design


At the suggestion of mutual friend, Nicola Farnon, Shaun approached me early 2006 to collaborate on some new material. We approached this album with a spirit of adventure, and the tracks came together extremely quickly.

What emerged was an electro-rock-classical hybrid, all hanging around Shaun's enormous vocals.

A number of live shows followed this first collaboration.



Steve Genn - Wheelbarrow


ARTIST: Steve Genn

ALBUM: Wheelbarrow (2006)

ROLE: Mastering engineer


Steve Genn's solo album - Wheelbarrow - has sixteen diverse songs, featuring a number of guest contributions from Sheffield musicians. Mastered with an Avalon VT-747 SP and our TC Electronic Finalizer.

Available on iTunes



Simon Hinkler - Lose The Faith


ARTIST: Simon Hinkler

ALBUM: Lose The Faith (2005)

ROLE: Mastering engineer


Simon Hinkler (The Mission, Pulp, Artery, Mindfeel, The Flight Commander et al) penned his superb solo album whilst living in the US. What he saw on his daily train commute from New Jersey into New York City provided much inspiration for the songwriting - not least the poignant and classic North Jersey Train.

Having worked with Simon in Mindfeel in the mid-1990s, it was a pleasure to collaborate on the mastering of Lose The Faith. With broadband then quite newly available, we were able to do numerous audio file exchanges via FTP, until the album was finalised.

Mastered with an Avalon VT-747 SP, and our trusty TC Electronic Finalizer.

Simon Hinkler - Official Site



Winter Essentials - DVD


COMPANY: Slackjaw Productions / BMC

TITLE: Winter Essentials DVD (2005)

ROLE: Original music composition and performance


Slackjaw Productions approached me to write a theme tune to play out their documentary film, Winter Essentials, and also requested two other pieces - Setting Out and Descent - to work alongside some specific scenes.

They provided the relevant footage for inspiration.

Winter Essentials was commissioned by the British Mountaineering Coucil.

Slackjaw Film



Kilimanjaro - Going For Broke DVD


COMPANY: Slackjaw Productions

TITLE: Kilimanjaro - Going For Broke DVD (2004)

ROLE: Original music composition and performance


Originally released in 2004, Kilimanjaro - Going For Broke is an emotionally powerful climbing documentary. The four climbers it follows all suffered major injuries, leaving them seriously disabled.

On their road to recovery, their fighting spirits and collective support took them to Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

Slackjaw commissioned me to write the soundtrack.

According to Slackjaw's website, the film is to be re-released soon, as of October 2014.

Slackjaw Film



Cold Haul DVD


COMPANY: Fresh As A Lettuce Production

TITLE: Cold Haul DVD (2004)

ROLE: Original music composition and performance


Cold Haul is an internationally award-winning documentary, tracing British climbers Andy Kirkpatrick and Ian Parnell in their attempt to scale the treacherous "Lafaille Route" on the west face of The Dru.

I was approached by Fresh As A Lettuce to provde the entire soundtrack, involving a series of pieces reflecting the moods, challenges, and cinematic drama of the footage.

From around 30 compositions, just under 20 pieces of music were used in the DVD.



Do$ch - Money To Burn



ALBUM: Money To Burn (2004)

ROLE: Recording engineer, co-producer, mastering


Co-produced with guitarist Ian Bartram, Money To Burn was, as far as possible, recorded live in the band's rehearsal room, with Andrew Hinkler providing vocal performances in the studio.

Artwork by Martin Bedford







ALBUM: Restless EP (2003)

ROLE: Co-writer, keyboards, co-production


BBH is a surnames acronym - myself, along with guitarist Ian Bartram, and vocalist Andrew Hinkler, who front DO$CH.

Having worked with Ian and Andrew on all their recorded output as DO$CH, it was perhaps inevitable that we should also produce some original material of our own.

Our first track emerged after I made a location recording of some acoustic guitar in a Landmark Trust building - the Bath House in Wawrickhire. There was a wonderfully atmospheric reverberation in that round, high-dome-ceilinged room.

With an open-tuned actoustic piece captured, I chopped it up into long guitar loops, and added programmed drums and percussion. Ian overlayed his distinctive Telecaster tones, and Andrew penned his lyric and recorded a powerful vocal. The track became Bath House.

Excited by the results, we recorded 2 more tracks: Restless and Broken Home.

A digital-only release will be made available when we have time to organise it.



Do$ch - Sleazy Money



ALBUM: Sleazy Money (2003)

ROLE: Recording engineer, producer, mastering


This 5-track mini-album was recorded almost completely live, with all the focus on the raw energy and groove of the band.

All the band's artwork is by Sheffield artist Martin Bedford




CANHEX - Sentient Seas



ALBUM: Sentient Seas (2002)

ROLE: Additional keyboards, bass, engineering and production

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

CANHEX = CAN (Michael Canning) + HEX (the late Michael Hex).

Both Michaels were born in New Zealand. Michael Canning had moved to the UK by the time the album was made. They had never met in the flesh at this point, but were collaborating via postal exchanges of audio cassettes.

What complicated matters somewhat was that their respective musical responses were coming back on separate cassettes, and they were not working to a click.

My initial role was to synch their ideas in the digital domain. This would have been easy enough, but theirs was freeform, experimental, no-rules art. So we had to make loops, and generally make sense of things, the hard way.

With Michael Canning's guidance, I started to assemble the material. Offering production suggestions of my own, I was encouraged to record some additional performances - a hypnotic bass, some avant-garde synthesisers, and some creative edits.

On the track Vex, I chopped up a small section into the thinnest repeated audio slices, creating a ruler-over-the-edge-of-the-desk effect. Sonically, Vex is the most disturbing piece I have ever been involved in. I think the words Michael and I chose for it were vituperative and misanthropic.

Sentient Seas is a truly idealistic, haunting, daring, uncompromising piece of work.



Soundtracks for Unmade Movies


ARTIST: James Bacon, Michael J Hex, Ghostjogger

ALBUM: Soundtracks for Unmade Movies - Compilation (2002)

ROLE: Composer / Co-writer

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

A compilation of filmic compositions, for Michael Canning's Ghostjogger label. A number of the tracks had already been synched, others from this collection went on to find further life as documentary soundtracks.



Mindfeel - Moral Saviours


ARTIST: Mindfeel

ALBUM: Moral Saviours (2001)

ROLE: Co-writer / co-producer /Sleeve design

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

Moral Saviours represents the best of the "second phase" of Mindfeel, when the band had started to collaborate with a number of vocalists, all with careers in their own right. The album contains Twin Speed, featuring Ben Christophers, Hesitate and Product, featuring Jane Weaver, along with K2 and Resist, featuring Kate Havnevik.

Completed in 2001 - when the band were beginning to run out of the necessary funds to manufacture and promote the album (it was far more expensive back then) - Moral Saviours will remain on the shelf for the forseeable future.



Mindfeel - Twin Speed


ARTIST: Mindfeel

ALBUM: Twin Speed EP (1999)

ROLE: Co-writer / co-producer /Sleeve design

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

The follow-up to Hesitate, this EP featured a collaboration with fellow V2 artist Ben Christophers.

Despite the power of the title track, and the other 2 pieces, Dr Faustus and Human Error, being favourite works from Mindfeel's later writing period, Twin Speed was only ever promo'd.

Copies still circulate online. With the imminent release of Mindfeel's first album, Constructive Interference, 17 years after its intended release, the boxed copies of Twin Speed we still have may well see an official relaunch.



Mindfeel - Hesitate


ARTIST: Mindfeel

ALBUM: Hesitate EP (1998)

ROLE: Co-writer / co-producer

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

This was Mindfeel's first release after signing to V2 Music Publishing. The title track was a collaboration with Manchester songstress Jane Weaver.

Hesitate gained the attention of a number of national radio stations, and was given much airplay by Radio 1 DJs Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley (Mark and Lard).

Hesitate was released on Fearless Records.



Mindfeel - Cranium Heads Out


ARTIST: Mindfeel

ALBUM: Cranium Heads Out 12' vinyl (1997)

ROLE: Co-writer / co-producer

ough album to explain. Let's start with the band name - the easy bit:

Dance label Club Masters, part of the Sound and Media group, signed Mindfeel for a 4-track vinyl release, before the band were taken on by V2 Music publishing.

Cranium Heads Out enjoyed critical acclaim, both by major and lesser-known DJs of the day. The title track was later used in the soundtrack for the 1999 Hollywood adaptation of Beowulf, starring Christopher Lambert.



Release - 22 Class A Tracks


ARTIST: RELEASE - Charity Compilation

ALBUM: 22 Class A Tracks (1997)

ROLE: Mindfeel - contributor with Play The Game


Mindfeel - Simon Hinkler, Robin Downe and myself, wrote quite a catchy, edgy electronic piece, Play The Game. A lot of people seemed to particularly like that tune, and it was selected for use on the RELEASE compilation.

Our offering is sandwiched between tracks by Underworld and System 7. With contributors from Meat Beat Manifesto, Coldcut, Autechre, The Prodigy, Renegade Soundwave, Alabama 3, and other fine artists from the halcyon days of electronica, 22 Class A Tracks brings back some great memories.

For contractual reasons, we had to receive a nominal payment of £1.00 for our contribution, allowing the charity non-exclusive rights to use the recording. I don't recall ever getting our £1.00, but have lost little sleep over my 33.33p loss on the deal.



Gat Decor - Passion


ARTIST: Gat Decor

ALBUM: Passion - WAY OF LIFE Remixes (1996)

ROLE: No Zero - remixing, additional production


Gat Decor had already scored a huge hit with their seminal dancefloor classic, Passion.

Mindfeel - formerly known as No Zero - offered the second remix on this particular reworking of the track. We were budgeted for this by Way of Life records - part of the Big Life group, London.

Both vinyl and CD versions were released.

The No Zero mix is still showreeled on the official Gat Decor website.

Gat Decor



PRE-1996 - Some additional informaton.


Prior to the discography above, I had been very busy cutting my teeth as a musician, engineer and producer. As far back as 1991 I was making demos on a Fostex 4-track recorder, both as a solo musician, and in number of collaborations, experiments and bands.

Although that was 23 years ago, it feels more like a century, due to the sheer exponential nature of technological advance.

Even basic and free sequencing programmes - such as Garage Band - make my early, primitive set-ups seem prohibitively unsophisticated. But whatever equipment I have been able to afford and assemble, I have loved, worked, and adapted, and it has always inspired me. Sometimes a lack of choice encourages ingenuity and creativity.

As such, I am glad I learned the basics of writing, recording and producing the hard way - with one medicore mic, a couple of second-hand synths, a couple of valve amps, an Alesis Quadraverb, a couple of guitars and a four-track. No midi until the mid-1990s.

My first real experience of how to do things properly came when Robin Downe and myself hooked up with Simon Hinkler to form Mindfeel. Simon had a fine studio set-up: an 8-track reel-to-reel, a great desk by Soundcraft, some lovely analogue synths, digital tape recorders, outboard effects and..... an Apple Mac LCII with about 4 Mb of RAM, and a 200 Mb hard disk.

Both Simon and Robin had a whole set of studio skills I did not have, and they shared their knowledge openly.

That seemed like recording heaven. And it was.


James Bacon, October 2014.


© 2014 pianorecording.co.uk





© 2014 pianorecording.co.uk