Happy New Year my good friends!
To celebrate the successful change of date, there are four new Collider EP's available for download here at Big Phil Records.
They are all 'pay as you like', so I'll leave that bit up to you.
Enjoy, and chill out to some new ambient sound from Collider.
Click the pic to preview and download.
Just over a year ago, I had an episode with depression and anxiety that I could not ignore. It's a year and a bit later. I've left two jobs, and managed to stay in one. I've tried different combo's of anti depressant/anxiety meds, before settling on a daily 60mg dose of fluoxetine, or prozac to give it its common name. Ive had some fairly minor panic attacks, and a couple of major ones. I've leveled out somewhat, thanks to the meds, but I'm not cured. Im handling my condition a lot better, but it still beats me some days. I've dabbled with some pretty dark thoughts. I wrote about it for a while, until the effects of the prozac seemed to dull my edge.
These things always seem to happen in the spring and early summer. Not so long ago, I woke up through the night, having a full on anxiety attack, which put me out of action for a couple of days. They really exhaust me, and I only take meds for those as and when they happen. I had two anti anxiety meds which would put a randy bull to sleep (16 hours solid deep unmoving sleep, anyone? Not as pleasant as it sounds..), and am now pretty much settled on one that I take very conservatively, and in emergencies only. I've still had some pretty bad days, the most recent being yesterday (21st May, 2015), and yesterdays was by far one of the worst dips I have taken in a good eight months.
So.. What did I do? I mean.. I've had a year to build up experience, and ways of dealing with this illness, (which, I have come to accept, is exactly what it is.) so what have I learned?
Well, first up,Im still here, writing about it, aren't I? It's taken me a while to get my words back, or at the very least, have something to say that is A – Interesting, and B – not me repeating myself. Sure, I do think the prozac dulled my creative side a little, but I really had run out of things to write about.
So, on the subject of meds, I have been taking a daily 60mg dose of prozac, to help with the depression. It really has helped. I can now get through 90 percent of my days without having any kind of emotional breakdown, or other episode. They still happen, but less frequent and not nearly as severe as one year ago.
Thats one of the things about anti depressants that I have learned. They don't cure depression. In the same way that a crutch doesn't cure a broken leg, and nytol doesnt cure a cold, prozac does not cure depression. What it does do however, is make the symptoms easier to deal with on a day to day basis.
Which, leads me to another realisation. When I nosedived yesterday, It felt pretty bad. I was close to submission (not in a suicidal way, before you worry, depression is a long road from suicide..) and ready to withdraw. The usual symptoms.. Panic, fear, despair, exhaustion, muscle and joint pain, social anxiety, the full collecters edition. If I hadn't been on meds... well... lets not go there. But I fought on. I called my wife (who is endlessly and unconditionally supportive during these episodes.. More on that later) and she listened to me as I calmed down, and managed to get the feeling into plain English. I was able to get through the rest of the day, which is something I would not have been able to do before, without withdrawing immediately. But I'm digressing...
I knew I was having an attack of depression. I could immediately identify the problem. I then thought to myself, “Be cool, you'll cheer up eventually”
But then, I thought.. “No.. Thats wrong. It's not about cheering up. I wont cheer up soon. I'll recover. I'll get better.”
Know what I mean though? It hit me, that this was not a mood issue. This was the symptoms of an illness. Cheering up had nothing to do with it. My mood didn't dip. I got sick. It's that simple. Being someone of a minimalist nature, to have reached that simple answer through thought and consideration was a real big thing for me.
Im not in a bad mood. I'm sick.
I also knew I was going to be in for a rough couple of days. After most of a lifetime of fighting, I know the drill. Sure enough, on came the fatigue and exhaustion, mixed with the wired sleeplessness. The thick headed sensation, the walking through wet concrete sensation, the mindlessness and all the works which I dont need to go into. But this time, I felt prepared. I knew what to expect. And I didn't think 'Oh no, the prozac doesn't work, I still have major clinical depression”, I accepted that it is working, and very well. Doesn't mean it's cured though. I doubt it ever will be. Its such a part of my life, that accepting it and losing the guilt and embarrassment seems to make sense. Like I pointed out earlier, a crutch wont cure a broken leg. It will help you get around easier though.
So, thank you for your patience and support, everyone. You are all very excellent.
Collider is a new musical project from Jamie (Mr Bear) Pearson.
For a long time, I (Jamie.. hi..) have always had a strong interest in ambient music, and have been composing and experimenting with sound as long as I have had a laptop and a set of headphones. I felt that the difference between my electronic pop music, and my ambient music had become so large, that I needed to separate the two. Collider is the result.
Collider is a far removed sound from the techno-pop sound of Mr Bear. Collider concentrates on deep ambient music, chillout and experimental sound. Inspired by the music of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, William Basinski, Stars of the lid (and so on, and on and on...), Collider is often without rhythm or any discernable structure, concentrating more on sound, echo, and layering of chords and simple riffs.
'Coastal' will be Colliders debut release, an EP consisting of one title track, with deep ambient and looped mixes of the main arrangement.
You can hear a demo version of the title track below.
So, I am going back to a new doctors soon, and will probably be back on the meds. I don’t take this choice lightly, as my moods have been dipping drastically (and unfortunately, noticeable to others) and my anxiety has been peaking. I have no explanation for it, but I know something new must be done. I feel I have got so far on my own, without medication, and sticking with my plan of diet, exercise and generally being as busy as I can manage, but just recently, the levels became peak s and troughs once again. I had a textbook panic attack on my own at work, while about 20 feet up in the air, (the usual symptoms, tight chest, dizzy, loud, breathless, etc. You know how it is..) which was weird, and as unpleasant as you would expect. Then the lows hit.. I was managing them privately (with the help of my ever patient and understanding wife.. we do a little co counseling, usually over breakfast) and managing to keep myself to myself at work, which is easy, as I am on my own 95% of the time. Then, the lows REALLY hit. Severe mood swings, uncontrollable crying, fits of anger, wanting to kick the crap out of anything one minute (which is odd, as I have never kicked the crap out of anything before. Or anyone. Anyone who knows me will agree that I am the least aggressive chap you will have the pleasure to meet) then fighting back tears the next, then barely unable to function or move without extreme effort.. All in the space of three hours. So.. off I jolly well toddled from work, back home again, where I booked myself into a new doctors for a new spin on what might be going on in my zany head, and to rest up for a few days. Having these extreme dips, mood swings and panic attacks happen in such short spaces of time can really take it out of a chap. After such an episode, I find myself thoroughly exhausted, physically and mentally. The air feels as thick as wet concrete, my joints hurt, my back hurts, my front hurts (yes, it actually physically hurts ) and it is all I can do to get up the stairs. Thankfully, my creative side has not been affected (it seems to flourish!) and I was able to sit in my chair with my posh studio headphones on, and compose and produce some new ambient pieces of music. I was able to go really deep, and experiment with the sounds of various loops I have been working on for an EP I am hoping to put out very soon. I love ambient music, especially during these stormy, unsettled periods, and I especially enjoy making it. So, as hard as it feels at the time, there is a positive outcome. I will be back to my job soon enough, and will be truthful to anyone who may ask about my leaving suddenly. Then, off to the doctors once again, to see where that takes me.
I’ll keep you updated, as and when I am able. And don’t worry. I’m ok. Just a little spun out. I’ll be right as rain soon enough. I always am..
This was written about three weeks ago, with the intention of adding more, but it never happened. So, I decided to post what I had originally written as a stand-alone blog. It’s still in the ‘stream of consciousness’ style of writing, so sorry if it seems a bit babbling. Actually.. No. I’m not sorry. It’s from the heart, and one should never apologise for that. Read on…
While on the hunt for venues to gig at around my way, I have come across so many places that do not expect to have to pay performing musicians.
It took two years, moving to Maine, not playing much yoyo, and a minor mental breakdown, but I finally got 'DO!' finished and out!
I began writing for 'DO!' with the intention of creating a minimal pop record in the Mr Bear style, and found that I was so taken up in other projects, that I was beginning tunes and not finishing them. Basically, I had lost my mojo for production for a while, so spent my time on other projects, such as making hot sauce, hosting music parties with my wife at our house, creating pop up shops and art workshops with Wren, and having a full time job on the side of it all.
Then, it all went a bit wrong, I got my bum kicked by depression, quit two jobs suddenly in a row, and changed my priorities. I found myself with time on my hands to recover, and found my creativity once more. I delved deep into my library of unfinished musical projects, and spent my time finishing them. I had a blast doing it!
I am happy to have 'DO' out in the open now, as I would like to spend some time away from the whole pop genre (Apart from maybe some live work) and move into my first musical love, ambient and experimental music and sound. My mind is bursting with new ideas right now, and I am very much looking forward to realising them.
In the meantime, please enjoy DO! , and any feedback is always welcome!
16 new and original tracks, inspired by the sounds and music that made me buzz when I was a kid growing up in Britain in the 1980's. Electro pop and exciting new synth sounds were all over the radio. Video games were on tape, and made awesome sounds. Summer holidays went on forever, and we had bmx's for x wings, and sticks for lightsabers.
Computer generated sound made me buzz as a kid, and still does as a grown up. I have utilized many of those sounds from my childhood, to make a positive and upbeat techno pop record.
Or click the picture to be taken directly to the store.
I finished 'DO'! Just need to finalise a few boring things, which are too tedious to mention here, but I am hoping we will be in business within the week.. I'm psyched about this record, as it has taken me two years to make! Ok, I have been making a second ambient record at the same time, and working, and moving, and making hot sauce, and playing yoyo, and hosting music parties, and playing gigs, and getting my head around new music technology, but that's no excuse. So... Keep watching for more news and updates and musics!
A note on mental health, and the bother it occasionally gives me - Part 3.
(A stream of consciousness writing by Mr Bear)
A note on mental health, and the bother it occasionally gives me. Part 1 (A stream of consciousness writing, by Mr Bear)
'Reemicks' is now available for free download at Bandcamp! Thirty three remix and mashup tracks, over two hours of music, 100% free.
Over the years, Mr Bear has made a number of mashups, and remixes. The best of these will soon be available as a free download, right here at BPR! 33 tracks, over two hours of music, featuring remixes of artists such as Syd.31, Sonic Boom Six, Aaron Beatup and Population as well as mashups featuring more bands than you can shake a shakey stick at. Coming very soon. Keep yer eyes open!
Two new Mr Bear albums are 75% complete.
The first, titled 'Do' is uplifting, upbeat techno pop, for road trips, running and cycling. 'Do' takes a big influence from 80's inspired techno pop, such as Human League and Kraftwerk, and modern minimal techno, electro and dance music.
The second album, as yet untitled, will be a full album of deep space ambient music, written mostly through the winter months of the last two years. Influenced heavily by Brian Eno, Stars Of The Lid, Harmonia, and Aphex Twin.
Previews coming soon!
You know that free e.p. I have been harping on about for so long now? Well, it's here! 'Peter' is four tracks of bleepy pop fun from Mr Bear, and features vocals by my good buddies, family, and old bandmates 'Bradshaw'.
So, here's the latest. Boy, are we busy right now. Lets start with some Mr Bear news. Mr Bear will be releasing a free 4-track EP called 'Peter', featuring the boys from Bradshaw, a Thirsk, UK based 3 piece hip hop, rock, macho-pop group, one of whom is Mr Bear's brother, one of whom has been in very nearly every band Mr Bear has been in, and the last of whom is just an all round good bloke and good friend. You'll like Bradshaw. They write songs about how gorgeous they are, and how much ladies like them, even though they have wives and kids. What's not to like? So, anyway, they sent me a twenty minute recording of themselves getting toasted in the studio, and saying 'Now Then Peter' over and over again, and I sampled it and made four tracks out of it. Three feature the Bradshaw Boys, one is an instrumental. So, it'll be out soon, within weeks, especially if Mike Bradshaw gets the photos to me sharpish. Did I mention it is FREEEEEEE? Well, guess what.. Its a free ep! So I shall accept no excuses about anything. One click, and you will have more bleepy pop with some Thirsk humour garbled all over it to keep you amused till you hit the 'next' button, like the ipod kids we are.
Also from Mr Bear - A full length album called 'Do'. It's halfway written, will be very minimal sounding, very pop, very electro, and will feature some re-works of some old tunes that never got a look in. But you'll have to wait a wee while for that yet...
Also from Mr Bear (I know.. Ready to hit 'Next' yet?) 'Old Country' EP. Might not even call it that either. This is basically me doing my ambient post rock thing, and I might not even do it as Mr Bear yet, such will be the difference in sound. The music is written around songs which all came to me in various dreams, something which happens to me often, the difference here, is I was dreaming of Thirsk (my old UK home town) every time. Hey, it's MY head, I can do what I like. This has been a slow burner for a year or so now, but it's in the works.
Mr Bear is also considering doing a ska record, featuring as many friends as I can get to record something for me, but thats waaaaay in the future. So, back to the now, keep an eye out for the 'Peter' EP!
Wren (Mrs Bear) and I have been crazy busy getting settled into our home in Maine, and setting up our shop in our front room, 'Fuego Diablo' which will have all kinds of art, foodie stuff, hot sauce, hand made t-shirts and whatever else we can get our arty little mitts on. There will be a page here, but for now, do have a look at our facebook page right here - http://www.facebook.com/#!/fuegodiablopownal for updates, photos, and all the business. Wren is currently busy painting anything she can lay a brush on, making ketchup and pickles, and making the place look spectacular. I'm busy developing hot sauce for my latest project 'Big Phil's Kitchen' which will be come a regular feature of the shop, and basically putting hot peppers in anything I can think of. Candied Habanero, anyone?
So, keep yer eyes open for whichever happens first!
Finally got 'Groovy News Hour' finished and out there! 16 tracks, most of which have been featured on this years Yoyofactory vids, plus a few that you never heard before..
Available at this website in the 'The Shops' section, or click on the picture for the CdBaby link..
Big Phil Records recently became a proud and happy sponsor of the local roller team 'Bradentucky Bombers'. I figured, if I was going to endorse something local, it was going to be something cool. I knew nothing about roller derby until I worked with Erin, (Frankenbabe) one of the team members, who told me how it works. I still know nothing about it, but my interest was piqued, and thats all it takes with me... Have a look at the Bombers website for lots more info on the team, becoming a sponsor, and roller derby in general..
European Yoyo Contest (EYYC) vid from Yoyofactory, featuring 'Cafe Yaucono' by Mr Bear, out soon....ish.....
Sushi! 3-track e.p. out now on CDbaby!
Click on the picture for samples and to visit the store.
Eric Kolowski freestyles to 'Crikey Mick' by Mr Bear at the 2011 U.S. National Yoyo Championships in Chico, California!
How cool is that?
Here's a remix of 'Sunny Side Of The Street', the new single from Sonic Boom Six.
Go say hi to Sonic Boom Six, tell em Mr Bear sent you.. http://sonicboomsix.co.uk/welcome.cfm
This is going to be the new front page for Big Phil Records. Im currently tidying up the website, changing a few things around, making it a little more streamlined. New store, regular updates, regular blogs, starting with this one you are reading right now! So… Keep watching.
It been a busy few weeks here at Big Phil Records… Lots of happenings since the launch of the website. Firstly, there have been some cool things added to the website, firstly three free VST synths, courtesy of Sporsmaal2 from Tegleg Records, available here -
Secondly, the shop has been updated, with both Mr Bear albums for sale, and a new section with T-shirts and caps! Gents and Ladies sizes are available. I tried to keep prices low, so some have backprints and some don’t. Obviously the ones without backprints will be cheaper, so its up to you innit. You’ll find all that stuff here…
Thirdly, there will be a whole load of releases during the year, the first being a new Mr Bear album, titled ‘Wind Farm’. This is the ambient record I have been going on about for so long… Should be out late Feb/Early March.. Also on...
Hello, and welcome to Big Phil Records! This is the online home of Mr Bear, Pianobong, Big Phil Art, and any other projects that we decide to get going.. Have a look around, listen to some music, watch some videos, download some free stuff, sign the guestbook, join the mailing list, drop in and say hi! I will be updating this site and adding new stuff regularly, so keep on checking in. Feedback is always appreciated, as is constructive critisism.