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Full PANTECHNICON Recordings catalogue – all available from Bandcamp in multiple formats, including lossless downloads (recommended), and on all major streaming platforms.

 

Guy Hatton: Harlequin Fields (Part 2) (single) (2021)

Episode 1 of the move Forward Into ‘22 is the new single from Guy Hatton, which gives us a tiny advance glimpse of his next album (provisionally titled “Hanging On In A Hurricane”).

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards and Programming.

Written by Guy Hatton, recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: Collected Works 2013-2018 (album) (2021)

For the very first time, we’ve made Guy Hatton’s solo catalogue from 2013 to 2018 available on all the major streaming platforms. 22 tracks, with a running time of two hours and forty minutes, this compilation includes the EPs “Daylight” and “When The Moon Is Fat”, the mini-album “Switch On Your Electric Light”, the album “Feedback Alley” and the singles “Bad Hombres” b/w “”Lady Viola”, “Clockwork Dog” b/w “Aurelija Dub”, and “Nitrogen Neck” b/w “Hope You’re Doing Marvellously Well”.

bigEZ: Silent Hours (single) (2021)

Quentin Churchill takes the lead on this sumptuous finale to the bigEZ archive release project.

Written and composed by Guy Hatton & Quentin Churchill.

Quentin Churchill: Vocals
Debra Robson: Vocals
Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at Lion Studios, Leeds, UK. Produced by bigEZ.

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Guy Hatton: The Faraday Café (single) (2021)

Picking up on a theme first briefly introduced at the very end of “Crystal Ball Miranda” from the “I Am Concentric” album, the fully fleshed out version, now entitled “The Faraday Café” forms Episode 6 of the ongoing Drive To ‘21.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards and Programming.

Written and produced by Guy Hatton, recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester UK.

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bigEZ: Countless Ways (single) (2021)

Fall in love with the gorgeous voice of Debra Robson on this haunting ballad, a tale of passion and lust!

Written and composed by Guy Hatton & Quentin Churchill.

Debra Robson and Quentin Churchill: Vocals
Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at Lion Studios, Leeds, UK. Produced by bigEZ.

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Guy Hatton: Blue Town (single) (2020)

A surprise bonus single for Christmas 2020!

Composition by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: Double Shadow (For J & T) (single) (2020)

Another slice of superlative guitar-led instrumental rock with classic roots and a contemporary twist from Guy forms Episode 4 of the ongoing Drive To ‘21. But who or what are J & T?

Composition by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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bigEZ: Everything Under The Sun (single) (2020)

The Drive To ’21, Episode 3 – Originally recorded over 25 years ago, this previously unheard gem was lost in the vaults until being rediscovered in June 2020. We are absolutely delighted to be able to present this superb slice of quality 90s pop/soul to the public for the very first time!

Written and composed by Guy Hatton & Quentin Churchill.

Quentin Churchill and Diana Smith: Vocals
Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at Lion Studios, Leeds, UK. Produced by bigEZ.

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Guy Hatton: Stroppy Little Poppy (single) (2020)

The Drive To ’21, Episode 2 – another new single from Guy Hatton for 2020! This track is a standalone single release, and will not be included on any future album.

Composition by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: The Death Of Air (single) (2020)

First new single from Guy Hatton for 2020! This track is a standalone single release, and will not be included on any future album.

Composition by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: I Am Concentric (album) (2019)

This is the second full-length album in a series beginning with “Feedback Alley (2017), and features guest appearances from Phil Meadows on saxophones and Andy Tillison of The Tangent on organ and synthesisers. It consists of five all-new compositions, including the single “Nitrogen Neck”, which appears here in extended form.

All compositions by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.
Phil Meadows: Alto & Soprano Saxophones (tracks 1 & 4).
Andy Tillison: Organ and Synthesisers (tracks 3 & 5).

Recorded between September 2017 and November 2018
at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, and at contributors’
own facilities. Produced, engineered and mixed by Guy Hatton.

Andy Tillison appears courtesy of The Tangent (www.thetangent.org)
Phil Meadows: www.philmeadowsmusic.co.uk

Back in 2016, Guy Hatton released a mini-album entitled “Switch On Your Electric Light” which introduced the idea of a continuous piece of work in which the individual compositions were written, recorded and largely mixed in the order in which they appear on the album, the whole project gradually growing from beginning to end, from blank canvas to completed picture. This approach was also applied to 2017’s “Feedback Alley”, and is now also to be found on this recording, “I Am Concentric”. The record is intended to be treated as a single, integrated piece in which each distinct “song” is just one part of the whole.

The first part, “I Am Concentric”, opens with a high bell and gurgling synthesiser arpeggios before a Philip Glass-like combination of organs, chattering percussion, strings, brass and woodwinds leads us towards Salvador Dali’s explanatory statement: “It’s true I am eccentric, but in the same time, I am CONCENTRIC”. This gives way to electric piano and synth stating the primary melody, swiftly followed by a heavily pitch-shifted solo by Phil Meadows on soprano saxophone, deftly interweaving funk and more abstract melodic statements. Eventually we hear the full written melody, complete with its riff-laden B section, and this then makes way for a floating string melody layered over a funky bossa nova-inflected rhythm (but still retaining the 7/4 meter), after which Hatton’s guitar takes the lead, toying with the D minor tonality, before the main theme returns. That’s not all, though, as the organs and woodwinds provide an intricate tail-out.

“Hollow Road” rises slowly from the smouldering embers of the previous piece. Driven by a four-note guitar motif, reminiscent of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” but outlining an ambiguous F major/minor harmony, it features a simple but haunting melody on the characteristic guitar/synthesiser combination. This is followed by a guitar solo that skirts around the clean/crunchy tonal border, after which the F major tonality temporarily gains precedence, a flute melody takes the lead and a brief synthesiser solo pushes us back towards the theme. The run-out holds a surprise as the ambient street sounds suddenly intrude just as the piece is coming to an end.

The introduction to “Nitrogen Neck” brings together crashing synths and eerie choral and synthetic textures which lead in turn to the most obviously rock-inspired piece so far, with a heavy backbeat and clanky Rickenbacker bass. The structure of the piece is loosely based on a modified but somewhat disguised 16-bar blues form, and the addition of a more harmonically-divergent bridge section. Once again, the guitar and synthesiser take the lead, moving from unison to harmony and back again. The guitar solo is a pure high-gain rock’n’roll declaration, and is followed in turn by Andy Tillison’s scuttling Hammond organ adding to the full-on high-energy atmosphere. This eventually breaks down to allow tremolo strings to hover menacingly before opening up into a joyous string interlude underpinned by a throbbing synth bassline. The main theme returns, and is extended by way of a riffing 7-piece brass section. The track finally descends into chaos.

Out of the mayhem that is the final moments of “Nitrogen Neck” comes a single long note which heralds the arrival of the calmest and most haunting part of the album: “Flurries”. The introduction progresses unhurriedly through a slow-moving string melody, then the bass enters in anticipation of the statement of the main theme. This explores three variations on the same basic material, using different patterns of harmonic and melodic tension and release, followed by a bridge which briefly veers towards a more hopeful major tonality before a final variation of the first theme. The rhythm section picks up a steady pulse as the strings return, joined this time by a Mellotron and insistent piano arpeggios, but this collapses again into the guitar solo, which winds its way melodically through the whole chordal structure of the composition accompanied for the most part by a stripped-down electric piano/bass/drums rhythm section. Phil Meadows’s alto saxophone takes up the melodic standard, also playing a full chorus as the accompaniment again picks up momentum, before we are presented with a recapitulation of the theme, this time with the addition of a spacey echoed guitar which slides in and out of focus in between phrases.

The last note of “Flurries” is also the first note of the final section, “Crystal Ball Miranda”. The “space guitar” from “Flurries” is now more prominent with its plaintive Bb ringing out over a pulsating drone in F. Over this we hear a stretchy synth riff before the rhythm section crashes in with a solid 6/8 beat. Hatton’s guitar takes the lead, guiding us towards a brooding string section and a punchy synth/guitar riff which lays the foundations for the main theme. Various guitars, synthesisers and strings present what is probably the most uplifting melody of the whole record, performed twice before leading to Andy Tillison’s exquisitely-crafted synthesiser solo and organ accompaniment, blending strong thematic motifs with freer improvisation to create a distinctive section all of its own. A linking passage connects this to Hatton’s more free-form solo with its jazz-influenced harmonic alterations. Next up is a restatement of the main theme, but we are still not done. Echoing the structure of the introduction, the guitar once again comes to the front, and the strings also reappear, this time with the addition of a French horn melody and a brief woodwind interlude. The re-entry of the rhythm section heralds a powerful brass statement divided between trumpets, trombones and the Prophet 5 synthesiser. This begins to fade out, but as it does, it reveals yet another layer – this time based around two vibraphones, Synclavier, low strings and cor anglais, which carries us to the actual conclusion, marked once again by the voice of Dali.

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Guy Hatton: Nitrogen Neck b/w Hope You’re Doing Marvellously Well (single) (2018)

All compositions by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.
Andy Tillison: Organ.

Andy Tillison appears courtesy of The Tangent (The Tangent official website)

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Guy Hatton: Clockwork Dog b/w Aurelija Dub (single) (2017)

“Clockwork Dog” is taken from the album “Feedback Alley” (PANTECHNICON 17002), where it forms part of a continuous programme. “Aurelija Dub” is an exclusive remix of the track “Oh Really, Aurelija?” from the same album.

All compositions by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: Feedback Alley (album) (2017)

This is the first full-length album since 2011’s “Guy Hatton’s PANTECHNICON” and features a guest appearance from Andy Tillison of The Tangent, the first time Guy and Andy have collaborated on a studio project in more than twenty-five years. It features nine all-new compositions, including the single “Bad Hombres” and its B-side “Lady Viola”, which appear here in updated versions, and the new single “Clockwork Dog”.

All compositions by Guy Hatton.

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.
Andy Tillison: Synthesiser solo and additional keyboards on “The Hum”

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, September 2016-May 2017. Produced by Guy Hatton.

Andy Tillison appears courtesy of The Tangent ( http://www.thetangent.org)

A track-by-track breakdown of the “Feedback Alley” album, including recording details, background information etc. In fact, everything you might expect to find in good old-fashioned album sleeve notes, but in digital form because there is no physical sleeve.

1. Feedback Alley:

With both this and my previous release “Switch On Your Electric Light”, I have adopted the approach of writing, recording and mixing/mastering as a single, unified operation. Once one tune is written and arranged to a fairly well-defined degree, I start to think about what I would want to hear follow it, and start more composition accordingly. Occasionally, a tune I have previously sketched out will suggest itself, but by and large, each project is, in a sense, through-composed. I also like to have all the tracks on an album flow seamlessly into each other, which is why I recommend that listeners should download the complete album and play all the tracks in the “proper” order to get the intended effect.

Thus, “Feedback Alley”, the first track on the record, was also the first to be written. It’s based around the distinctive bass line, realised here using IK Multimedia’s MODO Bass plugin and a model of a Rickenbacker 4003 bass in drop-D tuning. I think that somewhere in the back of my mind I may have had Juan Tizol’s standard “Caravan” influencing the vaguely Middle-Eastern-tinged melody with its more conventional B section. The guitar solo was originally played over an alternating D minor to F minor sequence, but then considerable reharmonisation was applied after the event. The last element to be added was the extended introduction, which sees the entry of the feedback guitars hinted at in the title.

2. Transit Of Mercury:

In keeping with the “what happens next?” method (see Part One for an explanation of this), “Transit Of Mercury” is built almost entirely around a simple G minor figure that I heard as a distant answer to the tail-out of “Feedback Alley”. It was originally played by a Synclavier trumpet sound, but was soon brought into the foreground and assigned to two guitars. The harmonies are designed to frame this motif in several different ways, and the answering phrases were picked out from the electric piano arpeggios.

The contrasting B section was a relatively late addition, providing some relief from the otherwise unrelenting G minor tonality. The guitar solo is recorded in three separate parts, each with its own AmpliTube model and settings. The listener might also notice that a couple of the arpeggiator parts from “Feedback Alley” are carried over from one track to the next.

3. Bad Hombres:

Yes, a sarcastic riposte to Donald Trump’s demonisation of Mexicans – instrumental music can be political too! This was, once again, built up from the baseline, and having chosen a Gibson EB-0 model in MODO Bass, I was inevitably drawn to thoughts of the late lamented Jack Bruce. Jack was one of the musicians who best epitomised for me the fluid interchange of ideas between jazz and rock, and this track quite unashamedly aims for a bit of a Cream/Hendrix vibe, and the guitar solo section in particular demonstrates my “virtual house band of improvisers” approach at work.

4. Lady Viola:

Time for a ballad. Or maybe a waltz. Or maybe both. A few years ago, when I was writing the music that would eventually form the basis of the Guy Hatton’s PANTECHNICON album, I adopted a method which deliberately avoided writing on an instrument (especially the guitar) in an effort to find new ideas that were not dependent on what fell easily under my fingers, and instead relied on drawing notes into the piano roll editor in Logic Pro and allowing my ears to be the sole judge of their worth. It worked very much to my satisfaction, and I have continued to use it ever since. There are, however, some exceptions. I often tell people that I am the world’s worst keyboard player, but every now and then I might manage to pick out a melody and some interesting bass notes to accompany it.

“Lady Viola” is one such tune. It’s essentially in the key of A minor, but almost never lands on the tonic chord (and just when you think it’s going to, it’s delayed by suspensions). The electric piano introduction which provides the bridge between the hanging chord at the end of “Bad Hombres” and the E7 chord at the beginning of “Lady Viola” proper is programmed rather than played by hand, and the string section is subtly bolstered by a Roland Jupiter 8 string patch. Nothing is necessarily quite as it seems.

5. Fire And A Knife:

This is where things start to get a little complicated. Initially, this seems like a fairly straightforward slice of 80s-inspired funk. And indeed, for a while, it is, with its C minor riffing and contrasting B section with fast-moving harmony. The guitar solo plays over a solid C minor vamp, but with some flexibility in the superimposed harmonies, before collapsing into an unashamed space-rock floating interlude.

What happens next is the big surprise. For a long time, I literally had an extended gap in the track at this point. I vaguely knew I wanted to try a slow melody here, but the piano/string arrangement was quite unforeseen.

Eventually, the funk returns to carry us to the end of the track.

6. Old Crack And Rackety Jack:

I tend to assign my tunes to various broad categories. One of these is “arpeggio tunes”, i.e. tunes built on top of arpeggio-based accompaniments (see “Six Four Eight Seven Four” on “Guy Hatton’s PANTECHNICON”, for instance). “Old Crack And Rackety Jack” is one such, starting in an Ab Lydian tonality before wandering off round the houses a bit. There’s an unashamed Mahavishnu Orchestra influence at work here. The guitar solo sees the return of the alternating D minor/F minor sequence first introduced on “Feedback Alley”, this time with less root alteration, but a much freer approach to chordal colour. Oh yes, and it’s in 5/4 time too.

All in all, I think this might be the darkest-sounding major-key tune I’ve ever written. The title comes from a memento carved into a stone near the Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley, Yorkshire by some long-gone and unknown visitor(s).

7. Clockwork Dog:

It can’t all be unremitting darkness, can it? Maybe every album needs at least one bright, optimistic tracK? If so, this is the one on this record.

“Clockwork Dog” is probably the most conventionally “jazzy” track on the album, based around an AABA form with a funky interlude inserted after the guitar solo, all in the very common jazz key of F major. The virtual house band concept is at its height here, with keyboards, bass and drums allowed considerable leeway to manipulate the basic material, so that the harmonic and rhythmic content is constantly shifting, creating a kind of rollercoaster ride. I never really quantified how much time I spent programming this (altering the harmonies in the electric piano part was a lot of fun especially, though), but I guess a real rhythm section of jazz players would probably have nailed it in a couple of takes.

The other significant point about this track is that it marks the point where I stopped writing the music “on the fly” and began to introduce compositions that had already been sketched out, as the overall shape of the recording was by this point clear enough to allow me to know which existing tunes would fit in.

8. Oh Really, Aurelija?:

The second of the tunes to be drawn from my vault rather than being written “in place” in the album. The title is simply a play on words around the name of a friend of mine. My original sketch for this was quite a gentle, almost ballad-y affair, but here it takes on a rougher edge, with organ and choppy rhythm guitar spread across the stereo spectrum in an homage to one of my all-time favourite albums, Deep Purple’s “Machine Head”. In particular, the introduction to “Never Before” comes to mind, though ultimately the two tracks are very different. There’s arguably a hint of reggae buried deep in there too.

Set against this is the slightly more grandiose B section, with its synthesiser fanfare, crashing piano and tubular bells. Finally, the guitar solo sees me using a technique that is exceptionally rare for me: bluesy string bends, enabled by digging out my Stratocaster with its (for me) much lighter string gauges. Oh, and a little nod to the Floyd’s “Echoes”.

9. The Hum:

And finally, the big one. I like to end an album in one of two ways – either a short, succinct statement or a long, rambling discourse. And if I’m honest, I don’t really like short statements all that much. So, long, rambling discourse it is.

“The Hum” is a tune which, unlike most of the others on this album, has had quite an extended gestation period. Two elements formed the basic material: the title, referring as it does to the phenomenon where some people claim to be troubled by an unidentifiable background “hum” either in specific places, or generally in their environment (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hum), and a two-chord pattern consisting of Fmaj7+5#9 (or Amaj7/F) and Fm9 (Ab maj7/F). By sheer coincidence, the rhythmic ostinato pattern that holds down the F pedal note is duplicated almost exactly by a Hum sufferer whose spoken description of the effect can be heard just after the synthesiser solo. The pitch of this description is also exactly the same as my chosen key: F. The two-chord pattern is heard in a number of places and contexts: right at the very beginning of the track in a fairly plain, straightforward statement, woven more intricately into the fabric of the A section of the main theme, and as a short modal shift in the first guitar solo.

The relentless F pulse is broken up by two contrasting sections, one with a simple melody and a less claustrophobic harmonic character, the other an unashamedly grandiose interlude where the melody and a single harmony line are carried by two guitars and two synthesisers over a riff driven by two more guitars, electric piano playing stacked fourths, a Jon-Lord-like Hammond organ and two trombones. The guitar solo is followed by a short spoken interlude, before we get to the only part of the record I didn’t play myself.

I knew quite early on that I wanted another improvised solo, possibly electric piano (which might have emphasised the jazz angle) or, to provide a rockier edge, synthesiser. I also had candidates for the job of both in mind. Eventually the rock urge won out, and I invited Andy Tillison of The Tangent to contribute a 64-bar solo over the F pedal. Andy and I have worked together on many projects in the past, and ran the semi-legendary Lion Studios in Leeds together. We hadn’t done anything together for many years, though, so I was delighted when Andy accepted the challenge, even though he was busy with the final stages of his own album. We exchanged files via Dropbox, and Andy sent me the marvellous solo you hear here, along with an accompanying chordal pad.

The final decision I had to face was how to end the whole thing. I’m not a fan of fade-outs, but for a while, fading out on the second guitar solo seemed like an option, until the idea came to me to revisit the B section melody in orchestral form. You can hear the result of this inevitably spiralling out of control. Even this wasn’t enough, as it turned out, so we ultimately return to the feedback and radio noise that opens the album, having come full circle.

Guy Hatton, July 2017.

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Guy Hatton: Bad Hombres b/w Lady Viola (single) (2017)

Taken from the album “Feedback Alley”

All compositions by Guy Hatton

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: Switch On Your Electric Light (mini-album) (2016)

All compositions by Guy Hatton

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, July-September 2016, produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: When The Moon Is Fat (EP) (2014)

All compositions by Guy Hatton

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, June-October 2014. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton: Daylight (EP) (2013)

All compositions by Guy Hatton

Guy Hatton: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming.

Recorded at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, August 19-25 2013. Produced by Guy Hatton.

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Guy Hatton’s PANTECHNICON (album) (2011)

All compositions by Guy Hatton

Guy Hatton: Guitar
Phil Meadows: Alto & Soprano Saxophones, Electronics
Graham Clark: Electric Violin
Dave Evans: Fender Rhodes, Piano, Synthesisers
Roger Inniss: Bass Guitar
Jose Williamson: Drums.

Recorded at Mutts Nutts Recordings, Leeds, UK, October/November 2010 by Graham Young and at PANTECHNICON Labs, Rochester, UK, April 2011 by Guy Hatton. Produced and mixed by Guy Hatton.

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