Latest releases, news about works in progress, and other news.
Ambivalent Scale Records – Catalogue, studio, contact address, information on what is available directly from A-Scale and order information.
The Devil in the Grain
Just After Sunset – The Poetry of Rainer M. Rilke (re-release)
Imagination Feels Like Poison
Murder Ballads (Incest Songs)
Martyn Bates & Elizabeth S. live in Greece on April 5th
Martyn Bates & Elizabeth S. perform live in Athens, Greece on Friday the 5th of April. The venue is The Drugstore. Tickets are available from several places including the venue for €9 to €13. (The Monochrome Set is playing the following weekend.) The performance will be followed by a DJ set.
Martyn Bates new solo album released Nov. 13th Unsung
(Updated March 19th)
Unsung – the new solo album by Martyn Bates (voice/guitar) completed September 2012 and produced by Alan Trench & Martyn Bates. Released on November 13th. Place your order through A-Scale now! Send an e-mail to () with your name, country and what you want to order, then we will get back to you with payment instructions. Cost: £10 + shipping: UK £1, Europe £2, USA/Japan/Australia £3. The album is now also available through iTunes store and other online music stores as a download. The physical album could also be bought through Rough Trade.
With Unsung Martyn Bates takes on the more traditional role as a singer-songwriter, armed solely with his guitar for accompaniment, save for the occasional sparse colouring. At this time — when this particular role has been explored and done to death & beyond by long lines of both old and young musicians — one would think that there possibly could not be much to add (not that singer-songwriters generally are out on a mission to add something to the format). But as we know from the past history of Martyn Bates and Eyeless In Gaza, they do invent, they do new things, they sound fresh over and over again. So this is exciting, indeed!
From initial listenings to the album, one happily fails to find anything reminiscent of the new breed of singer-songwriters that tend to sound so same-ish, even when they try to sound “alternative”, “sensuous” and “independent” suggesting the listener would be convinced that it (albeit artificially) “sounds so right”. Here, in contrast, you find someone who plays and sings as if no one has ever done any singing accompanied only by his own guitar playing before. The lyrics are thoughtful, the music is lush and different, the voice is superb and the music is respectful of the intelligence of the listener. Still the music is certainly not dull or gloomy, but spirited and infectious. I think you will agree.
– Jerry Nilson
New! Read the review in The Wire, March 2013 by Mike Barnes and a review by Tim Peacock in Record Collector. Another review of Unsung is found at Mix-Grill published by Dimitris Antonopoulos.
Songs: 1. Years, 2. Caustic, 3. Wait & See, 4. All the Days ’Round, 5. Unsung: the Sun Knows; 6. Muted Music, 7. No One, 8. To Read Your Way, 9. Love Came to My Door, 10. And This the Day. (Playing time ca. 41 mins.)
Albums currently available from A-Scale
(Updated April 20th)
Albums available right now from A-Scale are these:
Eyeless In Gaza – Butterfly Attitude Cd, 1 signed copy, 2012 (£12)
Eyeless In Gaza – Orange Ice & Wax Crayons Cd re-release, 2012
Eyeless In Gaza – Everyone Feels Like a Stranger Cd, 2012
Eyeless In Gaza – Answer Song & Dance Cd, 2010
Eyeless In Gaza – Summer Salt & Subway Sun 1xCd, 2006 (same as released as part of the 2xCd, 3xCd box later)
Eyeless In Gaza – Plague of Years “best of” Cd, 2006
Eyeless In Gaza – No Noise: The Very Best of Eyeless In Gaza Cd, 2 copies, 2005
Eyeless In Gaza – Home Produce: Country Bizarre Cd, 2003
Eyeless In Gaza – Song of the Beautiful Wanton CDR ONLY with booklet & original sleeve artwork, 2000
Martyn Bates – Unsung Cd, 2012
Martyn Bates & Max Eastley – Transformation Songs CDR ONLY with some original artwork (signed), 2007
Martyn Bates as Migraine Inducers – Dissonance/Antagonistic Music 2xCd, 2007 (early experimental) (£14)
Martyn Bates as Migraine Inducers – Americas Dissonance Lp, 2007 (early experimental)
Martyn Bates – Your Jewled Footsteps “best of” Cd, 2006
Martyn Bates & Troum – To a Child Dancing in the Wind Cd, 2006
Martyn Bates – Mystery Seas (Shayo Edition) Cd, 1995/2006
48 Cameras – Right North 2xCd, 3 copies, 2012 (features “guest” appearances on 3 tracks with Martyn Bates & 1 track with Peter Becker also) (£15)
Martyn Bates could also on request create and sign CDRs of solo works unavailable elsewhere – all Cds would have some original artwork by Martyn Bates.
All albums are £10 except where noted + postage and packaging UK (£1), rest of Europe (£2) and outside Europe (£3). Americas Dissonance Lp cost extra for shipping depending on where you live (ask us). Send an () with your e-mail to receive a Paypal address to send the money to!
Twelve Thousand Days “overview compilation” Insect Silence
(June 18th 2012)
Twelve Thousand Days (Martyn Bates & Alan Trench) new “overview compilation” entitled Insect Silence is planned for release later this year on the Russian label Infinite Fog. The album will contain a few unreleased tracks and selected tracks from their previous three albums and Ep.
The song list: Ferns*/Cruel Hunting-The Greenland Whalefish*/The Cutty Wren/Locksley Hall/The Moon is Down/Beauty Is Fading/All in the May/Landgate/Once Loved/Cries Distant Calling/Dun Fox/Plea/To the Shore* (* previously unreleased).
Post-War Baby – Martyn Bates youtube video
(April 17th 2012)
Post-War Baby – a Kodax Strophe/Dissonance filmette – inspired by Elizabeth S.
Martyn’s 15 favourites published in The Wire
(April 15th 2012)
‘Ambivalent 15’ chart published in the March issue of The Wire.
To Fuck Up Tradition – Interview with Folk Musician and Publisher Alan Trench
(April 15th 2012)
To Fuck Up Tradition – Interview with Folk Musician and Publisher Alan Trench published in March 2012 with interesting information relating to Twelve Thousand Days.
Lawrence of Felt plays Martyn Bates on Domino radio + mentioned in new Felt book
(Updated April 14th 2012)
Lawrence of Felt (and now Go-Kart Mozart) plays Martyn Bates and other music he listened to back in the 80’s on Domino radio. Martyn Bates is also mentioned in the recent Felt: the Book (in the first preview pane Martyn Bates – Letters Written is listed).
Twelve Thousand Days 2xCd out in September 2011
(November 6th 2010)
The release of a double Twelve Thousand Days Cd – possibly entitled Hallaluyah the City – which will comprise the first two Twelve Thousand Days albums plus outtakes and other extras is being prepared for release. This will be a Russian based release, planned to emerge Sept 2011.
Martyn Bates appears on 48 Cameras album “Right North”, she said…
(February 23rd 2013)
Martyn Bates contributed vocals and tunes to two tracks on the album – ‘Lament for My Isobel’ and ‘Winding Sheet’ – released on the latest 48 Cameras 2x album “Right North”, she said…. Peter Becker was also involved with these recordings. Released October 9th, 2012.
Martyn Bates live with Eyeless In Gaza and Twelve Thousand Days
(November 6th 2010)
Eyeless In Gaza are making a rare London live gig appearance on Friday December 3rd – with the concert starting at 8pm, complete with two support acts. The Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ. Tickets are £10.
Eyeless In Gaza present a Temple Music evening at Taylor John’s House in Coventry, UK on December 11th. The night will present sets by Eyeless In Gaza, Temple Music, Orchis and Twelve Thousand Days. For tickets check out the Tin Angel website
Twelve Thousand Days At the Landgate Cd-Ep limited reissue Out Now!
(August 1st 2010)
At the Landgate Cd-Ep Shining Day (PL/UK) SHINE 02 (reissue) is out now. This is a signed, numbered edition of 78 only on violet disc. (There are less than 50 copies left right now, August 1st after initial mention in the Shining Day newsletter some days ago.)
This is the reissue of sold out At the Landgate Cd-Ep from the otherworldly realm inhabited by Martyn Bates (Eyeless In Gaza) and Alan Trench (Orchis, Temple Music). The first since the splendid Devil in the Grain album and a taster for From the Walled Garden. Twelve Thousand Days have been playing live, and it shows; although this is a studio recording the sound is both immediate and delicate, with Bates’ sublime vocals shimmering over a cornucopia of plucked and blown instruments and ethereal guitars.
Clocking in at 20 minutes, this is more a mini album than an Ep; the first track, Christmas and May is something of an epic, moving through several distinct parts while hallucinatory spoken word parts phase in and out, while the gorgeous title track soughs and sighs with the immensity of loss. The closer is the duos take on the trad I Once Loved A Lass, though with a dark and foreboding air of menace. The album is housed in a beautifully presented textured booklet with a front cover by Charles Altamont Doyle whilst the back is a detail from the frescoes depicting the descent of sinners into hell from the Rila monastery in Bulgaria, while pictures of Trench and Bates are on the inside pages.
The numbered (78 only) and signed insert (also on textured stock) by Martyn Bates and Alan Trench completes a package which beautifully complements the music, with the whole housed in a plastic wallet. Print throughout is full colour. The attention to detail on this release is destined to make it an extremely desirable collectable.
Price is only 5 £ (GBP) incl. shipping via paypal to email@example.com (do not forget to leave your address).
Shining Day unbelievably still also have copies left of the latest, great and limited Twelve Thousand Days album From the Walled Garden currently available for only 6 £ (GBP) incl. shipping.
Martyn Bates Port of Stormy Lights Cd-Ep from 1990 available again
Sordide Sentimental have found a batch of 100 more copies of the long deleted release by Martyn Bates in early 1990. Port of Stormy Lights is a 3” Cd-Ep with a 20 page booklet. The Cd contains four fine songs not available elsewhere: 3 Weeks and After/She Waltzes by This Window/Beaten Gold/Ways of Going. Price is 10€.
Martyn Bates [not] upcoming Endless Trees album
(Update October 31st 2012)
Eyeless In Gaza [were] hard at work on the material which previously comprised the shelved Martyn Bates Endless Trees solo album, developing the material in hitherto unforeseen directions. The project has taken on new life and energy all of its own, and the shape of any outcome from all this ferocious activity still remains fluid and excitingly volatile! The album as originally conceived featured many organ-based songs, but this may indeed change as the project develops. We do not have an expected release date yet, but things are progressing rapidly here. [This later became the Eyeless In Gaza album Everyone Feels Like A Stranger.]
Martyn Bates’s three 1988-1990 solo albums finally re-released (mp3 format)
Cherry Red records have just made available Martyn Bates’s long unavailable solo albums from the period when activities with Eyeless In Gaza were non-existent (1988-1991). All the albums are available now for download from iTunes store and other online music download shops: Love Smashed on a Rock (Oct 1988), Letters to a Scattered Family (February 1990) and Stars Come Trembling (Oct 1990).
Official release date for these albums is March 16th – the same as for the re-release of Eyeless In Gaza’s great All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life (July 1996) (now available both as a Cd with two bonus tracks and for download).
YouTube video from January 20th – Eyeless In Gaza performs ‘Fracture Track’
See Eyeless In Gaza perform ‘Fracture Track’ (from All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life) live Jan 20th, 2009 in London, UK. (This song was originally performed already back in 1981.) Also see ‘Love is a Gift’ (from Martyn Bates’ Mystery Seas). (The only music videos ever made by Eyeless In Gaza are also available (legally, at least the first, which was the only one released at the time, 1982-83) – ‘New Risen’ & ‘Veil Like Calm’.
Martyn Bates solo performance in London January 20th, 2009
(Updated January 15th)
Martyn Bates will headline a concert (VOCAL CROSSINGS) at the brand new Kings Place venue , at King’s Cross, London. The concert takes place on Tuesday 20th January 2009 at 8pm. Pete Becker from Eyeless In Gaza will join Martyn for part of this set. (Tickets are available through the website.)
The concert will feature Martyn and three other performers (all appearing in solo presentation mode) with a particular focus on “unique and distinctive vocal performance”: Linda Hirst (an extraordinary vocal pioneer who worked with Berio and Ligeti and premiered their compositions in the UK), Gabriel Severin from Sub Rosa who will be doing a DADAist voice performance and Mikhail Karikis.
The evening will begin with Sub Rosa’s co-director Guy-Marc Hinant’s journey into the record label’s archives of renowned, historic and rare voice recordings of A. Artaud, M. Duchamp, Gertrude Stein and others.
The evening’s performance will be in two parts with a 20-minute interval and will close with an improvisatory performance bringing all the artists together.
Martyn Bates comments on Dissonance reissues
(October 11th 2008)
Martyn Bates full comments on Dissonance in connection with the 2007 re-release on Beta-lactam Ring Records.
A Map of the Stars in Summer lyric book + Cd – Out Now!
(April 13th 2008)
A Map of the Stars in Summer – a new lyrics book by Martyn Bates – collects together mostly previously unpublished Martyn Bates & Eyeless In Gaza lyrics. (120 pages) It is accompanied with a Cd containing 5 new songs by Martyn Bates and also one new song by Eyeless In Gaza! Lyrics to the songs are found in the book.
1. Reedsong (Elizabeth S./Martyn Bates)
2. Red Berries (Martyn Bates)
3. A Needle To North (Peter Becker/Martyn Bates) by Eyeless In Gaza
4. Fell Hill (Martyn Bates)
5. Start Where You Are (Martyn Bates)
6. Where Was the World (Martyn Bates)
This is a great mini-album by Martyn Bates & Eyeless In Gaza that is destined to become one of the more popular releases by Martyn Bates. Splendid full songs throughout, with Elizabeth S. joining in on banjo and voice. The Eyeless In Gaza piece is also a great song and would easily stand out on any album.
The book+Cd is available directly from the publisher. (Price: 26 €, incl. shipping worldwide.) Release date March 31, 2008.
Spin Vows Under Arch Cd by Nick Grey & The Random Orchestra
(September 4th 2008)
Late July a new album by Nick Grey & The Random Orchestra was released – Spin Vows Under Arch – and Martyn makes a fine vocal contribution to the piece ‘Couvre-Feu’. The album is on the whole quite good and could be bought directly from Beta Lactam Ring Records, and while you are there do not forget to pick up the latest Eyeless In Gaza album too (unless you already have ordered this box or double-album) – Summer Salt & Subway Sun.
I have listened to Nick’s earlier Thieves Among Thorns album and think it is very good too!
Letters Written & The Return of the Quiet Cd re-released on Cherry Red – Out Now!
(March 10th 2008)
Cherry Red Records is this month re-releasing Martyn Bates’s albums Letters Written & The Return of the Quiet on one Cd. The Return of the Quiet has been remastered by Scott Davies. (The previous Cd release was in 1996.)
Letters Written 10” from 1982 is usually counted as Martyn’s first solo release (as his early Dissonance tape was notoriously hard to find and to listen to for those who got across it). In my mind this is one of the best things Martyn Bates has ever done and should not be overlooked by anyone with the slightest of interest in Eyeless In Gaza. This album still sounds very vital and moving in its sweet simplicity. The front and back cover photos captures the mood perfectly! The Return of the Quiet (1987) was a fine effort by Martyn Bates to change direction as a musician when Eyeless In Gaza activities was shelved for a few years. It is a sober, reassuring and somewhat poppy album delivered with much confidence and resulting in good, strong songs.
Songs of Transformation Cd with Max Eastley – Out Now!
(Updated September 2nd 2007)
Martyn Bates recorded back in 1997 with Max Eastley an album called Songs of Transformation. Virgin UK had planned to release it, but since the person who handled the project left the company, it was shelved until now. The album is now out on Musica Maxima Magnetica (August 24th). The running order is as follows: If All The Young Men/John Barleycorn/The Cherry Tree Carol/George Collins/The Red Herring/Nottamun Town/Down In Yon Forest/Two Magicians/Cruel Sister. Sleeve features photographs by Elizabeth S. of the ‘Singing Stone’ that inspired the project all those years ago. The album was produced by Martyn Bates, Max Eastley & Peter Becker – Peter Becker was inexplicably left out in the credits. You can listen to ‘The Red Herring’ at the Martyn Bates myspace site.
The album is available for 11 £ incl. postage to around the world. Send your order with e-mail to A-Scale (please, see below the next item ‘Dissonance’ the full list of available items from A-Scale and ordering instructions).
The album features very good singing by Martyn Bates to an interesting musical setting provided by Max Eastley’s well-known interest for natural sounds and self-built instruments. It is somewhere between the Chamber Music, Murder Ballads musics and the atmosphere of the Twelve Thousand Days’ albums.
Here is part of an interview with Max Eastley where this project is discussed.
[Old news:] Max Eastley and Martyn Bates have submitted a script and music for a BBC TV programme. The script is called The Song Bone. They are working with a director/film company “that are totally into it” and they will do it even if BBC will reject it. It will be “animation/film – no actors”.
Max Eastley and David Toop have released an album that Martyn thinks is great – New and Rediscovered Instruments (on Brian Eno’s Obscure label, later reissued by Virgin) and their “follow-up”, 20 years later (!), Buried Dreams is also excellent.
Martyn Bates “Expanded Discography”
(Updated June 28th 2009)
Henrik of NDN Records (who released Martyn’s Dance of Hours Cd-Ep in 2001), has put together a comprehensive discography with a much better collection of scans of the different releases covers than what could be found on our Martyn Bates discography page. It is especially very nice to see the labels of all the records on the web!
Songs of Transformation & Dissonance reviewed in The Wire, January 2008
(December 27th 2007)
The Wire has published a really nice interview of Martyn’s two solo releases during the last year in the new January 2008 issue of The Wire written by Keith Moline. You can read it here: Songs of Transformation & Dissonance.
Dissonance reissue on Cd & Lp – Out Now!
(Updated September 24th 2007)
Beta-lactam Ring Records has released THREE editions of Martyn Bates (Migraine Inducers Dissonance/Antagonistic Music) first mythical Dissonance release! This previously tape-only release has not been available since early 1981. This is a very noisy tour de force and a “scream of frustration” over Martyn’s earlier adventures in music, which helped clear the vision for what was to come. In the even more rare ‘Americas version’ of the tape later released in the US, one could catch glimpses of musical light seeping in here and there through cracks in the wall of noise, giving hints of the early Eyeless sound. There were other musicians cast in a similar situation at the time as Martyn, like Throbbing Gristle, DDAA, David Jackman, Clock DVA and others, who gave expression to their own frustrations in similar fashions. But Dissonance is very distinctly different in being more personal – it sounds like an experiment in breaking out from oneself, trying to get out of the confines of ones previous context and conceptions, in order to try and get at the future tabula rasa.
The releases on offer are:
Migraine Inducers Dissonance/Antagonistic Music, 2xCD $20
– Available June 26, 2007. First pressing of 1000 copies in a deluxe 5 color gatefold sleeve with the first 50 being numbered and signed.
American Dissonance, Lp $25
– Available September 18, 2007. Ed. of 150 copies on 220 gram vinyl.
American Dissonance/UK Dissonance, 2xLp $100
– Available September 18, 2007. Ed. of 25 deluxe edition with a bonus LP "UK Dissonance" in a gatefold sleeve, numbered and signed insert.
The official press release:
“…it’s an amazing, long lost missing piece in the UK post-punk/DIY jigsaw.” The Wire/April 2007. Freed from layers of sand, the ancient seal is cracked and the stone portal pried away. A hoary blizzard of slowly settling dust and mold is finally sliced by the first tantalizing glint of a mythological cache. At long last a lost experimental classic from the earliest days of the UK diy movement is delivered from legendary obscurity. “…violent anti-music: I think this is a brilliant tape…hauntingly beautiful and totally refreshing sound.” So wrote Geoff Rushton (aka Jhon Balance) in a 1980 issue his Stabmental magazine about Martyn Bates’s “Dissonance” cassette. Originally released as a micro-edition in the UK in 1979, the more definitive American version was released as a cassette in the US shortly afterwards. For the first time “Dissonance” sees a limited edition CD and vinyl reissue, appended by a bonus disc with the 1994 “completion” of the piece. “Dissonance” presaged Martyn’s solo career and his work as part of Eyeless In Gaza in a most unusual way. Rather than directly suggesting what was to come, the cassette, instead, suggested a composing and sound AESTHETIC that exists to this day. That first cassette-only cri-de-coeur would have you believe that Martyn would be the next Nurse With Wound. Instead, rather like a more extreme Vice Versa or Human League, with Bates literally finding his voice, the later music (solo and with Eyeless In Gaza) evolved into a textural, fractured, DIY chamber pop INFORMED by the avant-garde, occasionally straying back into outright experimentalism (Pale Hands I Loved So Well, eg.). That Eyeless In Gaza (and let’s not forget Peter Becker) and post 70’s Martyn Bates manifested from “Dissonance” makes this bizarre and essential release even more of a precious find. If Martyn had not recorded another note, this would still stand as an extremely important early, incredibly forward thinking moment of sonic exploration. Dynamic, visceral and jagged but musical and deliberately constructed, “Dissonance” captures, maybe even defines the zeitgeist of the DIY attitude that was rising in the heady days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. An undeniable antecedent and a true revolution.
Track-listing somehow got left out of the sleeve notes, but what you will find on the 2xCd release is:
Tracks 1 to 20: AMERICAS DISSONANCE
Track 21: DISSONANCE REMAKE, part #1.
Tracks 1 to 9: DISSONANCE /ANTAGONISTIC MUSIC by MIGRAINE INDUCERS
Tracks 10 to 19: DISSONANCE REMAKE, part #2.
Reviews of Dissonance – all reviews found here, they include among others these:
I recommend to (re-)read the nice and important interview by Geoff Rushton (aka Jhon Balance) in Stabmental magazine (mid-1980).
Eyeless In Gaza – Concert in Spain October 27th
(Updated November 8th 2007)
The concert was very successful and the band played some new songs never played before. The set-list: All the Young Men/Cry Mercy/Monstrous Joy/Still Air/Snow Rages/Needle to North/Dust Alphabet/Fell Hill/Red Berries/Dark’s Chorus/Throw a Shadow/Evening Music/Harps in Heaven
Eyeless In Gaza played live in northern Spain on October 27th at this year’s Periferias festival in Huesca. The venue was the Palacio de los Deportes in Huesca.
Other artists that played at the festival included: Six Organs of Admittance, Larsen, Robin Williamson, Jenzo, The Waterboys, Thee, Stranded Horse, Andy Votel and others. Photo © Pedro García.
To receive announcements early on future concerts, join the .
The John Barleycorn Reborn compilation albums are available now
(September 2nd 2007)
Martyn Bates contributed an exclusive piece to the second volume ‘Death’ called ‘The Resurrection Apprentice’ (which is a version of the soundtrack for the short film by the same name directed by filmmaker Dan McQuaid). The sixty-five track, three part set John Barleycorn Reborn is now available to buy as an instant download. A 2xCd set is soon available too! This set is a discovery of folk music from dark britannica.
To hear, explore and possibly buy the set as a download, visit Woven Wheat Whispers. Further information is available at an exclusive site for the project. (No longer, Summer 2008.)
Article on Eyeless In Gaza & Martyn Bates in the April issue of The Wire
(April 12th 2007)
There is a prominently featured fine article on Eyeless In Gaza & Martyn Bates in the April, 2007 issue of The Wire. The Wire should be available in many press shops around the world, but otherwise you can contact them via their website. There is also a nice article on Terry Riley, who has been of some influence on Eyeless In Gaza. Now you can read the article here – Eyeless In Gaza – Patterns under the plough.
Other recent reviews on Eyeless In Gaza & Martyn Bates includes reviews of the recent overview albums of Eyeless In Gaza and Martyn Bates respectively on Sub Rosa at Terrascope Online.
Twelve Thousand Days’ new album From the Walled Garden Out Now!
(Updated September 23rd 2007)
The third album length release from Martyn Bates and Alan Trench, From the Walled Garden, is out now on the Shining Day label. Release date Oct 29th 2006, Shining Day SHINE 05 CD. You can order the CD directly from Shiningday by paying £10 (including shipping) via Paypal to
Track-list: Who Lives Here?/Ballad of the Cutty Wren/Song of Slowsand/Monument and Effigy/All Will Fade and Die/Sparklenight/Cries Distant Calling/Thistles/The Cruel Mother/Miracles Beginning.
According to Martyn the album has “a different feel from the others – it is still Twelve Thousand Days, but the canvas and foregroundings of this particular reading are eminently more visible somehow … the record definitely reflects the organic circumstance of its making. Its an obliquely personal album as well, in that the music bears evidence of visibly marking the passage of time and events in both our personal as well as our musical lives – as individuals and as individuals coming together to create.” Subsequent recordings and events have meant that the essential shape of the album has had to be modified accordingly – with the projected three track Ep release Insect Silence being absorbed into the main body of the album. This is a very good album and I recommend you try and get this while it is still available! (This was only a pressing of 300 copies and I believe there are not many copies left now (September 2007).)
From the Shining Day press release:
After the extraordinary critical reception given to the last missive from Twelve Thousand Days, the duo of Martyn Bates (Eyeless In Gaza, Anne Clark) and Alan Trench (Orchis, Temple Music) return with their third, full length album, and the first for the Polish Shining Day label – From the Walled Garden (let’s not forget about At the Landgate MCD, which came out before and included three exclusive songs from the same sessions). Following the same trajectory as The Devil In The Grain, the new album finds the pair once again traversing misty spheres far from the mundane, sending back snatched images and visions of the spirit of Albion, of upward flying sparks drifting and wreathing in the chilly dawn updrafts, of clay, soil, the dank loam of the valleys, the bright, white light of the uplands and, above all, the view from the Walled Garden. Martyn Bates voice has never sounded better than on this cycle of ten songs, backed with minimal yet luscious instrumentation from the duo, aided and abetted on three tracks by Stephen Robinson (The Beloved, Temple Music). The sound, as ever, is acoustically based with guitars and whistles underpinned by bow psalteries, bass, string machine, autoharp, ring modulator, glass harp, moseno, dulcimers, bells, e-bows, thumb piano and pixiphone.
From the Walled Garden – Ten Songs To Tear Your Heartstrings – Song by song:
‘Who Lives Here?’ – A postcard from a strange land, where only ruins can be seen; the reality is very different …
‘Ballad of the Cutty Wren’ – trad arr. Twelve Thousand Days. We had wanted to record this for some time but had to rewrite the words first. Then we couldn’t capture the spirit so recorded it live and added a few overdubs. The cutty wren is borne back again …
‘Song of Slowsand’ – The journey continues, the signs are all around us …
‘Monument and Effigy’ – There is in every life a moment of perfect silence. Recognise it. Grasp it to you …
‘All Will Fade and Die’ – Some are fast, some are slow. A song from a forest …
‘Sparklenight’ – The visual equivalent of silence. A very optimistic song but with a very dark undercurrent. Will you answer the call? …
‘Cries Distant Calling’ – Things speak to us in many ways. Whose fault is it if we don’t understand them? …
‘Thistles’ – Thistles are survivors. They have deep roots. They twist and twine everywhere – chop them down and they will always come back. The seed of the thistle is carried aloft and grows where it settles be the land ever so barren …
‘The Cruel Mother’ – trad arr. Twelve Thousand Days. There was a lady who lived in York and who loved unwisely and murdered her own child. Like the cutty wren we had to perform this live to get away from its “standard” status. The performance was much longer; we ran out of tape …
‘Miracles Beginning’ – Sun rises and flood the land. There is always renewal.
NEWLY ADDED: There is a fine interview with Alan Trench by Benjamin Schreuder at Funprox.com. Published on: Sunday, November 20th, 2005. Benjamin Schreuder previously interviewed Alan Trench for Fluxeuropa in December 2003 and published January 23 2004. This interview was also published at Ikonenmagazin.de with some nice photos. (Martyn Bates was also meant to be interviewed.) Both interviews shed a lot of light on the works of Twelve Thousand Days and related projects. – I am sorry that these articles (that came to my attention much earlier) has not been linked to here before now! Here are some reviews of the album.
Earlier: The Seven Voyages arm of the Cryphanthus nexus has been busy building upon the success of their live settings of the Häxan film, hatching various soundtracks – for example, for a 20’s silent version of The Magician – and preparing various scattered examples early cinematic films of renown – for an unsuspecting Chinese market: East meets West, in what threatens to be a most distinctive, and perhaps hitherto unsuspected manner.
The previous Twelve Thousand Days albums In the Garden of Wild Stars and The Devil In the Grain are now both available for purchase as downloads from Woven Wheat Whispers – a new high quality mp3 music shop at The Unbroken Circle. (No longer, Summer 2008) There are also new comments on the albums by both Martyn Bates and Alan Trench !!
Sub Rosa Records releases new Martyn Bates compilation: Your Jewled Footsteps Out Now!
(Updated September 20th 2006)
Sub Rosa releases the first comprehensive overview of Martyn Bates solo oeuvre and key collaborations – Your Jewled Footsteps (solo and collaboration works 1979-2006) (SR 257). Release date: September 15th 2006. Track-list: Cut Like Sunset (1982) - from Letters Written/Shorepoem (1994) - from Mystery Seas/I Cant Look For You (1996) - from Imagination Feels Like Poison/First and Last February (1989) - from Letters To A Scattered Family/The God On the Tree (1996) - from Imagination Feels Like Poison/Morning Singing (1982) - from Letters Written/Of That So Sweet Imprisonment (1996) - from Chamber Music II/Mirrored In Me (1982) - from Letters Written/Twilight Turns From Amethyst (1994) - from Chamber Music I/Once Loved (2005) - by Twelve Thousand Days - from At The Landgate/Dissonance Excerpt (1979) - by Martyn Bates/Migraine Inducers - from Dissonance/Later War Cries (1990) - from Stars Come Trembling/Poems Pennyeach (2000) - from Dance of Hours/The Garden of Olives (1998) - by Martyn Bates & Anne Clark - from Just After Sunset (though this track does not actually feature Anne)/No-one Spoke (1996) - from Imagination Feels Like Poison/Overflowing Look (1982) - from Letters Written/Cherry Tree Carol (1997) - by Martyn Bates & Max Eastley - from Transformation Songs/Once Blessed (2000) - from Dance of Hours/The Cruel Mother (1996) - by M.J. Harris & Martyn Bates - from Incest Songs (Murder Ballads, vol. 2)/The Dim and the Yellow Light … (2005) - from Leitmotif.
(20 tracks, 75 minutes length, 8 pages deluxe digipack + full booklet with all lyrics & credits)
From the press release:
“During those 20 years, against all odds, Bates managed to shape a unique, instantly recognizable form of music – that voice! – based on a deeply rooted, 100% English folk tradition. In our opinion, he is also greatly underrated as a songwriter. In his solo work and in EIG, he has developed what can be called a style: a combination of angst (a working-class hero) and pure melancholia (time irremediably lost, the loss of idealized love), mixed in with an unconditional love of poetry (Keats, Yeats, Joyce) and authentic popular song stylings. In other words, Martyn Bates belongs to a tradition that can be traced all the way back to the troubled times of the Elizabethan era. Your Jewled Footsteps journeys through made-in-England pop, folk, poetry recitation and reconstructions of songs whose origins are long forgotten. In addition to Bates’ essential pieces, the collection also includes several previously unreleased tracks, including some pre-Industrial sound works predating EIG’s formation, in the late ’70s.
Please note that on the design front, we will be introducing a new series featuring the artist in his immediate surroundings (studio, home, street, city?), in the shape of a 8 pages digipack (presenting around 20 photographs) with separate booklet reproducing all the lyrics heard on the Cd.”
Another version of the presentation:
“Speech Rapid Fire: The Lyrical Continuity of Martyn Bates”
“During those years, and against all odds, Martyn Bates has created an instantly recognizable form of music assembled from elements that, though seemingly unrelated, all have roots within the English-Irish tradition. On his own or together with Peter Becker (in Eyeless in Gaza), Bates has developed what can be rightfully called a style: a combination of angst and Northern melancholia (time irremediably lost, faith and idealism, unflinching love, the irreversible). One often feels surfacing the kind of heroism that inhabits one whose crushing task is beyond himself. All that, together with an unconditional love of poetry, places Bates within a tradition that can be traced back all the way to the troubled times of the Elizabethan era – a John Dowland visiting village after village.” [–I couldn’t decide on which version to publish here … so I leave the choice to you, the reader.]
Twelve Thousand Days’ upcoming Cd-Ep Ferns/Hunting the Greenland Whale
(Updated September 13th 2007)
Martyn Bates and Alan Trench is planning for another Cd-Ep release – Ferns/Hunting the Greenland Whale – expected late 2009. It will be released via the Shining Day label and Rough Trade. Track-list: soon.
Eyeless In Gaza – Concert in Antwerpen, Belgium February 17
(April 12th 2007)
The concert was very good according to people present at the concert. Unfortunately the turn-out was rather low.
Eyeless In Gaza gives a concert in Antwerpen, Belgium on Saturday the 17th of February 2007.
Address to the venue
Schouwburg Cultuurcentrum Luchtbal
Columbiastraat 8, 2030 Antwerpen
Website: http://www.ccluchtbal.org/ (tickets + more info)
Price: 12 € (in advance) 15 € (at the door)
(William Street is a support band for the night.)
Martyn Bates – Concert in Geneva September 28th
(September 14th 2006)
Larsen, Baby Dee (recently toured with Current 93), Mir and Martyn Bates will share the night at Le KAB on September 28th in Geneva, Switzerland. Martyn Bates and Elizabeth S. plan to perform Twelve Thousand Days tunes, Monstrous Joy, and other songs never played live before. For more information visit: Le KAB.
Eyeless In Gaza & Martyn Bates – Concerts in Brussels on June 9th & 10th 2006
(Updated September 14th 2006)
The concerts were a tremendous success in terms of the performance, atmosphere and nice supportive people attending the concerts. The organisers were a little disappointed by not having more than around 200 in the audience. Martyn and Pete were satisfied with the sound and their performance, which included many songs never performed before, like the new Voices and Summer Salt songs from the upcoming albums, Summer Salt & Subway Sun and Monster Field (tentative title).
First real Eyeless In Gaza concert outside England since 1986!!! If that is not enough, Martyn Bates will perform in solo capacity the night before at the same venue – a wonderful venue – ‘Eglise Sainte-Catherine’, one of the largest churches in Brussels. Book June 9-10 as the weekend you will visit Brussels this year if you do not enjoy living there already! This concert will more or less coincide with the long-awaited new album Summer Salt & Subway Sun (see below).
Sub Rosa Records releases new Eyeless In Gaza compilation: Plague of Years
(Updated September 20th 2006)
Plague of Years (songs and instrumentals 1980-2006) (SR263) was released on October 5th by Sub Rosa. This is meant to act as a ‘sister release’ to No Noise, in that it features more of the ‘improvised side’ of Eyeless In Gaza’s work. It includes a radically different mix of ‘Mixed Choir’, from the forthcoming Eyeless In Gaza album Summer Salt & Subway Sun. The release will be available via Ambivalent Scale. Track-list: Mock Sun (instrumental) (1994)/Reminding Pictures (1994)/Every Which Way (1981)/Mixed Choir (instrumental) (2005)/One by One (1982)/Before December (instrumental) (1980)/Fever Pitch and Bite 1981/History Book (1995)/John of Patmos (1980)/See Red (1981)/Rose Petal Knot (1980)/Guide this Night (1995)/The Lovely Wanton (2001)/To Steven (instrumental) (1984)/Sun-Like-Gold (1984)/To Elizabeth S. (instrumental) (1984)/At Arms Length (1982)/Lights of April (1982)/To Cry Mercy (1995)/She Moves Thru The Fair (1985)/Falling Leaf -Fading Flower: Goodbye to Summer (1982).
(21 tracks, 77 minutes length, 8 pages deluxe digipack + full booklet with all lyrics & credits)
From the press release:
“This Cd deals with two sides of the group.
First is its deeply lyrical vein, with summits like See Red and Lights of April, tracks that have almost never been included on ‘best-of’ projects, despite the fact that they represent some of the most moving songs these musicians ever wrote.
This collection also explores the group’s more adventurous side through a number of instrumental pieces. This aspect of their output is little known and often neglected, even though it was there from their very beginnings. These two combining currents, where experimentation precedes lyricism (and the other way around), turn this album into a truly new way of (re)discovering Eyeless In Gaza. This unique architecture creates the impression that each side strengthens the other one’s presence.
Probably for the first time ever, the 21 tracks so redistributed provide the band with irrefutable arguments toward its rebirth. Yes, Eyeless In Gaza is one of the most underrated groups.
Let us hope these two CD siblings [the other one being the just previously released Your Jewled Footsteps (solo and collaboration works 1979-2006) (SR 257) by Martyn Bates] finally set the record straight. In this world of ours, will integrity finally pay off ?”
Troum/Martyn Bates album To A Child Dancing In The Wind
(Updated September 18th 2006)
To A Child Dancing In The Wind, Martyn Bates’ collaboration with Troum was released in May 2006 on Transgredient Records: available directly from A-Scale, and also via Drone mail order, and many other outlets. Comprising settings of works by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats, the release includes the following pieces: Mad as the Mist and Snow/The Arrow/The Magi/I Made My Song/To A Child Dancing In The Wind/Mad Reprise. Martyn is singing on 4 of the tracks.
The album has been described as being a “lush and subliminal interplay with and investigation of Yeats’ lyric sensibility … a kind of mystic folk marriage of the supine and the airborne … .” Daniel Crokaert, erstwhile mastermind behind, and creator/curator of specialist label Mystery Sea is currently locking horns with the unenviable task of fashioning the artwork for the release.
This is a very carefully crafted release that features layered, carefully crafted soundscapes that sets you into contact with lost memories of moods and places of your subconscious. The singing is superb and carefully measured. It has the filmic/photographic power of much of the Eyeless In Gaza and Martyn Bates other works. An album not to be missed!
The album received a favourable review in the August issue of The Wire!
Martyn Bates reissue of Imagination Feels Like Poison
(February 10th 2006)
Shayo plan to reissue Imagination Feels Like Poison, late in 2007 ?? – again in digipack format with modified artwork.
Mystery Seas (Letters Written #2) re-release
(Updated March 12th 2006)
This new edition is now available directly from A-Scale. For some time on payments and inquiries should go via me (see the A-Scale link for postage rates). You can pay by cash on your own risk or pay via Paypal to my e-mail address: () (Please, include some little extra to cover my costs at Paypal if using this option: 3.4% + 0.3 euro.)
Re-released in February/March 2006 in Europe (Switzerland) by Shayo. It comes as a redesigned digipack with a very fine booklet. The release was delayed because “[Shayo were] making a small remastering, reinforcing the sound and giving even more warmness and relief.” (Different sound!)
Dark Holler distribution
(February 10th 2006)
Dark Holler still have a few copies remaining from their distribution of the leftover stock of the Ambivalent Scale releases from the now defunct World Serpent label. These include Bitter Apples, Streets I Ran, and Martyn Bates’ solo Mystery Seas. Dark Holler have also re-issued Martyn Bates’ Imagination Feels Like Poison album on the Hand/Eye label.
Leitmotif, Martyn Bates’ mini-album contribution to the Moon series of Hand/Eye releases, is now officially sold out. The recordings might be issued again, however, in a quite different format – as part of a box set of the collected Moon Musics project (at least that was the plan in 2006).
Online forum with an Eyeless In Gaza/Martyn Bates Performance Record and a place to leave comments
(October 22nd 2005)
All Yr Pages: A Performance Record – also a place to leave comments! If you have additional information or simply wants to comment on something, feel free to sign up and contribute!
At the Landgate Twelve Thousand Days Cd-Ep
(September 24th 2005)
At the Landgate is out now (late July 2005) in Poland (www.shiningday.pl) and feature songs from the same sessions as the follow-up album From the Walled Garden. The Cd-Ep is limited to 200 copies (now deleted). The tracks are: Christmas and May/Landgate/Once Loved.
From the presentation: “Twelve Thousand Days have been playing live, and it shows; although this is a studio recording the sound is both immediate and delicate, with Bates’ sublime vocals shimmering over a cornucopia of plucked and blown instruments and ethereal guitars. The first track, ‘Christmas and May’ is something of an epic, moving through several distinct parts while hallucinatory spoken word parts phase in and out, while the gorgeous title track soughs and sighs with the immensity of loss. The closer is the duos take on the traditional ‘I Once Loved A Lass’, though with a dark and foreboding air of menace.”
Film music by Eyeless In Gaza in the recent The Resurrection Apprentice
(Updated October 22nd 2005)
Martyn Bates has written a score for the music of The Resurrection Apprentice, a short directed by filmmaker Dan McQuaid – colleague/collaborator of/with Larry Fassenden/Jim Jarmusch. The work was realised in tandem with Pete Becker – who played on several pieces, recording and engineering the work. It is now listed at the IMDB Movie database site. It premiered at the Fantasia Festival in Canada on July 20th 2005.
The Folklore of the Moon – 3” Cdr series from Hand/Eye
(July 1st 2005)
Volume 4 in the series was released in June 2005 containing a Cdr of new work by Martyn Bates. Leitmotif was Martyn’s contribution to the series. It is inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel. The tracks are: The Dim and the Yellow Light... /The Twa Sisters-Minorie (Child #10) pt. 1/The Lovely Moon/The Twa Sisters-Minorie (Child #10) pt. 2/Midnight Labours/The Twa Sisters-Minorie (Child #10) pt. 3/The Bright Moon.
Beginning in March 2005 and running through March 2006 Dark Holler released a 3” Cdr once a month, every month, on the full moon. There were 100 copies ONLY available for retail sales (via subscription or individual sales). Each Cdr were only to be available until the following full moon. Martyn Bates and several other bands took part in this, like Fit & Limo, Fulci, Gelatinous Resin, The Goslings, In Gowan Ring, Kawabata Makoto and/or Acid Mothers Temple, Narwhal, The North Sea, Stone Breath, Theory of Abstract Light (5ive-related project), Torche, Tara Vanflower (of Lycia), Mike Vanportfleet (also of Lycia), Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice.
Martyn Bates concerts in Paris and Brussels
(September 24th 2005)
Martyn Bates gave exclusive live concerts near Brussels (Castle de Feluy (www.chateaudefeluy.be, August 27th) and Paris (Black Dog bar (www.blackdog-bar.com), August 28th). This was the first time Martyn performed in solo capacity in Europe since 1996. He was accompanied by Elizabeth S. and in Paris, Pete Becker joined in, making it a very special event!!! There is a burst of activities from Eyeless In Gaza these days and they again wish to reach out to people more than ever.
Not only this, but B’Eirth of In Gowan Ring played In Gowan Ring songs at these events. They sold a very limited Cdr Ep only at these concerts with exclusive material from both artists. These events were organised by Shayo, www.shayo.ch.
12,000 Days/Seven Voyages performs music to silent film Häxan
(July 1st 2005)
Today, July 1st 2005, Martyn Bates & Alan Trench of 12,000 Days are joined by Tracey Jeffries, Stephen Robinson, Christopher Patinos, Elizabeth S., Pete Becker playing music to the silent film Häxan by Benjamin Christensen. It will be as you see on the poster at Blackfriars Arts Centre in Boston, Lincolnshire. (www.blackfriars.uk.com, box office 01205 363 108).
Eyeless In Gaza autobiography
(Updated February 14th 2005)
Martyn Bates is working on an autobiography of Eyeless In Gaza.
Twelve Thousand Days performance
(August 20th 2004)
Martyn Bates & Alan Trench (of Orchis) performed under the moniker of ‘The Spirit and Sound of the Atonal Underground’. Other gigs were planned at the time, but this was the only one until 2007, but then they only played after each other at a small church in England. I also noted: “Not only will you be able to see Martyn and Alan, but Martyn also Steve (of Bron Area, I believe/hope) as well as Tracey (of Orchis) and Elizabeth S (of Eyeless) will all be there.”
The gig was at the Small World Festival on Friday 20th of August. The Small World Festival is under the aegis of ELDC and the Arts Council. Address: Oxbows, Kirkby Lane, Tattershall, Lincs, UK Contact: (44) 01507 343428 Cost of a day ticket is 12 GBP.
(A side note: “The Temple Music project is the latest musical manifestation of Alan Trench (Orchis, Twelve Thousand Days, World Serpent). Temple Music uses various treated instruments to create long spiralling pieces of chilling beauty, each one tailored for a specific ritual purpose. Live performances, though structured, are largely improvisational, and with varied personnel. The debut Temple Music album is currently on release from Shining Day: www.shiningday.pl”)
Review of the performance: The Spirit and Sound of the Atonal Underground (Twelve Thousand Days) performance at Small World Festival, Tattershall, Lincolnshire (August 20–22, 2004) by Noise!
Eyeless In Gaza – Sonic History
(March 29th 2004)
Now available: a commented sound guide to the history of Eyeless In Gaza! 69 sound samples in mp3 (and some more could be found here and on the Martyn Bates site). (Comments written by Jerry Nilson/webmaster.)
Martyn Bates song-list
(August 25th 2001)
You can now find an alphabetical listing of all published songs by Martyn Bates (including a many pieces were he has made important contributions). Have a look at the Song-list!
Dance of Hours, the new solo Cd-single
(Updated April 4th 2001)
You can now listen to a short excerpt above in the “listening section”! There was a very fine review by Tony Dale published in Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine, No.31: Winter 2001/2.
NDN Records proudly presents:
Martyn Bates – Dance of Hours Cd (Mini-album with 8 page colour booklet containing lyrics and artwork)
Tracks: 1) Poems Pennyeach, 2) Wishing-Songs, 3) Stars Above, 4) War-Like, 5) Bethlehem, 6) Alone Reprise, 7) Once Blessed, 8) The Heart’s Song
FIRST SOLO ALBUM IN 3 YEARS BY EYELESS IN GAZA’S MARTYN BATES
Martyn Bates, who is doing his living in Nuneaton, England, has now been recording and releasing his own unique brand of music for more than two decades.
As founding member of Eyeless In Gaza (other member Peter Becker), Martyn has released numerous critically acclaimed albums as part of this always unique, always exploring and experimenting, and always highly influential duo. He has also put out a handful of stunningly beautiful solo albums including LETTERS WRITTEN I & II.
According to Martyn Bates himself, DANCE OF HOURS was conceived to be a third volume of LETTERS WRITTEN: “It’s a work that is firmly in that kind of mould/that kind of strand of what I do. Essentially song-based, as opposed to mammoth MURDER BALLADS type pieces for instance. Perhaps it is more a personal work than some of my recent releases.”
On DANCE OF HOURS Martyn Bates thus continues his pursuit of simple haunting melodies and mesmerizing organ/piano-driven soundscapes, most often heavily layered with his incredibly gifted voice, the most amazing instrument this side of heaven. The music on DANCE OF HOURS is often drenched in the myriad resonances of “folk”, whilst simultaneously circumnavigating any rigid and limiting definitions. Trying to describe or compare Martyn’s fascinating vocal harmonies is next to impossible, but Enya perhaps comes closest.
Martyn Bates: Songs, voices, piano, organ, bass, electric Hawaiian guitar, colourings and misc.
Elizabeth S.: Additional vocals on ‘Bethlehem’ and ‘Stars Above’
Produced by Martyn Bates & Peter Becker
Engineered by Peter Becker
NDN 27: Martyn Bates: Dance Of Hours Cd $8.00
First class in the USA: Cd: 1st copy: $2.00, each additional copy: $0.50
Air mail to Canada: Cd: 1st copy: $2.50, each additional copy: $1.00
Air mail to the rest of the world: Cd: 1st copy: $3.00, each additional copy: $1.50
Send your order incl. payment to:
P.O. Box 131471
The Woodlands, TX 77393-1471
Payment must be in US$: Cash, US domestic money order or check, international money order or check (MUST be drawn on a US bank – ask your bank, they can help).
– Don’t forget to clearly state your name and address on your order.
– If you have any questions or other enquiries, please contact www.ndnrecords.com
You can also order Dance of Hours from Ambivalent Scale in the UK for £7.50 plus postage – see the A-Scale page for postage rates to you.
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