More Cowbell

I can't sing. I can't really play anything besides cowbell (MORE COWBELL!). But I love to make music.

The "scratch" in Scratch Factory originally came from the idea of record scratching. Not that I can do that. It involves physical dexterity, and such things are pretty much always non-starters for me.

But scratch music (Coldcut, Steinski, even Skinny Puppy in their way) has had a huge influence on me and the music I try to make.

Scratch Factory started life as an idea for a record company, which died when I realised I had no desire to make records. Just music.

I hope you like it.

Movie Music

I can't sing worth a damn, and I don't have a mic or a recording space anyway. Also, I can't play anything. These would ordinarily be seen as pretty much making music a non-starter for me, but no. I like to think I revel in the challenge, but it's been said I'm just too dumb to know when I'm beat.

Either way, I've gotten drawn into making music using first off, the many loops and samples available as GarageBand loops. Second, samples ripped from my own eclectic music collection. And third, vocal snatches from assorted films. Sometimes a line or even just a voice will twig with some melodic or rhythmic thing in my head, and I'll walk around for a few days trying out beats and lines until something works, then it's thirty-six hours in front of GarageBand trying to bring it to life. Here's where it goes:


Trevor Howard's heated delivery cooled off with some Cole-Porter horns, and some crazy Afghan guy strumming up a storm of good times. Also, more cowbell.

You Are In Love (We're Not Married):

The droll sexified tones of Monica Bellucci, the bombshell of bombshells, mixed with the smooth brass stylin's of Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass, along with the usual dose of GarageBand tenderness, served chilled.

Only Diamonds Never:

Take the greatest James Bond theme of all time (and that's some stiff competition) and, um suck out everything that makes it good in order to play around with samples. This track features rather more actual playing of music than most of the latest output; no claim that this implies improved quality

Carpenter's Moon:

Because John Carpenter has made some fine movies, and some fine soundtracks. They Live and Big Trouble in Little China are nothing but good. Especially their soundtracks, which Mr. Carpenter handled with his usual panache.


This represents the completion of a long-term dream of mine: to create a song out of the AWESOME "tribal" rhythms of the 1933 classic film. I think it needs reworking, for three reasons: the bass line needs to kick more, the vocals need to be clearer (and perhaps less varied), and there's no Parker Posey.

Nova Reaction:

An outpouring of a bunch of Brazilian 1960's bossa nova I'd been listening to, and Guy Ritchie. It made sense at the time.

The Old Skool

Long ago, in the dark ages prior to GarageBand, I made music with sequencers and four-track tape decks. Some samples that I'm not too embarrassed by:


Me, a Roland R-8 and an Ibanez

Thank You

Primitive but I like it


Glenn yelled at me for calling it a waltz.

Sad World

Little story: I realised that by combining a three-bar and a four-bar pattern, you could create a twelve-bar pattern in which no two bars were identical. So I made this.