2011: A Year in Review for Abubilla Music

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We take a look back at the year, bringing you our best bits of the year.    Now, as you read on, keep in mind this is still very much a part time thing – a fist full of Saturdays.   If you translated the year into a full time studio, we’d have produced 10 Saturday Morning Canasta Club Albums, worked with 31 Discovery Artists, travelled to 44 countries and produced 417 videos.  So, we’re pretty happy with our part time year and we hope you enjoy the review:

1.  January:  Flat Planet Launch of Gus’s Discovery Album:    Arab Spring Spreads from Tunisia to Libya and Egypt.  The month saw us rushing to finish our fourth album in the London studio, while shamelessly plugging our thirdJimmy started his music lessons.  And we launched our first live gig  timed to launch Gus’s Discovery Album.    Here’s  the  video for the penultimate song on Gus’s discovery album, Agatha’s 18th:

And here’s Whisper, which is on the fhird album and Gus’s Discovery Album and shows lots of footage around the London and Spanish Studios and features our very own Sophie.

2. February:   Sao Paolo and Breathe.  We formally launch Gus’s Discovery album and Jimmy and Mike take a trip to Sao Paolo to begin recording the global remix of 71 Hours to Monday.    We were still calling our fourth Album, What Would Martyn Say?, but at least we knew one of the best songs on that album would be ‘Breathe’ by Andy and Rob.  In February we started talking about it being the stand out piece.   Here’s Mike in Sao Paolo:

And here’s Breathe, which will be a video sometime in 2012:

Breathe by AbubillaMusic

3.  March – Africa and Ventriloquist Dummy.   Horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Sheen meltdown in US.  We introduced our favourite ‘Best of the Nest’ you tube short and then set off to Africa to record the tribes of Malindi for the Singing Wells Project in partnership with Ketebul Music.   First, the Dummy, which represents all the wonderful blogging completed by our lovely assistant Hannah:

While we had a lot more recording to do before it was finished, the bulk of recording for 71 Hours to Monday occured in March, so a good time to show the video – 71 Hours Global Re-mix (a cover of same song off first album), with a lovely string session of Clare, Milly and Sophie, our very own opera singer, Camilla Bull and Winyo and Makaden.

4. April:  Michael’s Discovery Album.  Will and Kate Marry.  We return to London to work on final touches to Michael’s Discovery Album, recording and mixing final versions of I’ll Be Frank and Millbank, both of which will appear on the fourth album and Michael’s Discovery Album.  Here’s I’ll Be Frank with a great Sax outro from Andreas:

I’ll Be Frank by AbubillaMusic

 5.  May:   Andy goes ‘Soundtrack’.   Osama Bin Laden bites the dust.  Andy writes a quick piano piece for Hunter’s Video Censure, while the band continues to finish up Michael’s Discovery Album and our fourth album.  Here’s ‘Censure’:

6. June – Stupid Blogs.    The studio goes silent in London as we move to Spain for the Summer Jam.  But we continue to  blog about  ridiculous things.   The most important of these, which we discovered, and now has 80 million hits was dog tease.  Try to remember this, without the stupid ad, watching it for the very first time:

In Spain, we finish off songs for the fourth album and write a few more.  One was ‘A Market Town’, which came out of no where with stunning vocals from Louise; here’s the video:

We also woke up at 5AM to film Footprints down at Marbella.  Here’s the video and Greg’s commentary on the making of the video.

7.  July:   Finalising the Mix of King Henry’s Tears.   Murdoch empire in middle of phone hacking scandal.  We continue final mixes and overdubs for King Henry’s Tears and Rob finishes up graphics.   Here’s the video from the villa version, with tune mostly led by Ed:

8.  August:  Our First Cover is Finished.    US leaves Afghanistan.    Studio closes for the month but we continue to prepare for fourth album – we now are calling it King Henry’s Tears (sorry Martyn).  Mixes are fast and furious; here’s  our only cover, featuring Charlotte Reed:
I’ve Just Seen a Face by AbubillaMusic

 9.  September:  Tati Enters Studio   Occupy Wall Street starts.  Tati enters the studio and Hunter releases Aiden’s Dream.  Well, the teenagers took over this month and we had Tati in the studio preparing her Discovery Album.   Meanwhile Hunter prepares the final to Aiden’s Dream.  Let’s start with Tati and some of her studio performances:

And here’s Aiden’s Dream.

10. October,  The Launch Party of King Henry’s Tears and Our New Website:   Jobs dies.  We launch King Henry’s Tears, which is mastered by Dan Dan,  and our new website, which is designed by Wes at Nebulo Strata, at our third live gig and introduce Tati as our new Discovery artist.    We also launch the Hand.  Greg works on her song Child of Fury, her first Abubilla video (beyond all the live gigs).  Here’s Child of Fury:

11. November:  Abubilla Music back in Africa – Batwa Tribes of Uganda and Luo Tribes of Kenya:   We were back in Africa to record the Batwa and Luo tribes.   There were so many magic moments, but here is small selection of audio and video moments.

A.  Francis and Jessie.  Francis is the leader of the Batwa singers.  We pulled him aside with Jessie on guitar at our hotel in Uganda to record:

Francis and Jesse Excerpt by AbubillaMusic

B.  Jovah and Jessie.  Jovah was the lead singer of her Batwa tribe.  We convinced her to travel with us to Nairobi to record this with Jessie on piano.

Jovah at Ketebul Early Mix by AbubillaMusic

C. the Joginda Boys.  Near Homa Bay – Joginda plays kick drum, snare, bass and rhythm guitar.  By himself:

D.  Ohangli Drummer:  Stick with this one – from a mild drummer to Keith Moon in seconds:

12.  December.  Another Live Performance, Another Discovery Artist and a Final mix of Tati:    Matthew and Mary get engaged in Downton Abby.   A very busy month for us as well, as we return from Africa, mix Tati’s Discovery Album, begin recording of her Develop Album, and launch our next Discovery Artist, Chris/Charlie.   We are in final mixes of Tati’s Discovery album, which we will launch on January 22nd at our Gig at the Half Moon.    Here is my favourite Tati track:

03 Wodwo by AbubillaMusic

That’s it.  Oh, except the Bone Guitar finished it’s global travels in 2011 – here’s the data:  4 Continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America) 16  Countries (Australia, Brazil, Czech, Finland, France, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, and USA ) and 28 cities (Melbourne and Sydney in Oz, Barcelona and Marbella in Spain and Anchorage, San Fran, LA, Wash DC, Outer Banks, Williamsburg, Vermont, NYC, Chicago, et al, in US).

We wisih all of you a fantastic 2012 and hope you had as much music, dance and laughter in 2011 as we did.  We’ll leave you with a nice little video which we wish we did – good way to end the year:


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