Smoke Thief – Maggot Brain (Funkadelic Cover) on the ROLI Seaboard RISE 49

I’ve always loved the song ‘Maggot Brain’, from Funkadelic’s album of the same name. Unfortunately I got arthritis when I was 30 or so, and it made playing the guitar kind of tough. I never thought I’d be able to jam with this song as freely as I’d dreamed, but the Seaboard RISE 49 really broadened my horizons and let me give it my best.

I feel ROLI have delivered an instrument that gives articulatory control back to the player, in a way that feels more organic to me than some separate pitch/vibrato joystick. Also, with so many midi controllable articulatory settings, one has a lot of setup options dynamically that can make it easier to play for people who find traditional keyboards a little challenging from time to time. Being able to slide across notes and articulate in different ways helps me balance my style and rest certain fingers when I have to.

The Funkadelic original is truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, legend has it Eddie Hazel was told to play as if his mother had just died. it’s an inimitable piece of music, but as other musicians like Flea have been paying tribute of late, I hope it’s okay that I’ve also set foot on this hallowed ground. I would like to dedicate this performance to my late papa, Will, the man who believed in me and my music enough to turn the Earth in such a way it made my dreams come true.

Lastly, I would like to thank ROLI for their huge support and for endorsing me as one of their official artists. It’s an honour to be showcasing this instrument and a just few of its billions of possibilities. Thanks so much for listening. If you would like to support more music like this, please visit



Working with higher sample rates in Ableton 10 & Logic X

Firstly, it’s pretty simple to work at higher sample rates if you wish to check it out.

The best way is to set your DAW project and your audio interface to record at a higher sample rate at the very start.

In Ableton 10

In Ableton this is done in the Prefs menu. The highest possible setting is 96kHz, but you can actually export at rates as high as 192,000.

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 14.50.59.png

Ableton seems quite happy with exporting files at different rates than they were originally recorded.

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 14.54.29.png

Due to the unique way Ableton handles audio, you can even change the sampling rate (in Prefs) midway through a session and you’re previously recorded clips will stay in time. Ableton can also handle importing any clip at any sample rate, and play it back properly, no matter what setting has been selected in Prefs.

In Logic X

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 14.52.55.pngLogic can handle audio all the way up to 192khz

Logic’s sample rate settings are found in  ‘Project Settings’ . Again, setting your project to record at a certain rate at the very start is the best practice here.

Changing the sampling rate in ‘Project Settings’ halfway through a session in Logic will skewer the tempo of all existing audio. Things will sound like Alvin & The Chipmunks if you try to switch to a higher rate. If you want to change the rate, you will have to export each stem at the higher rate and then drop it back into the session so that the samples match the project’s sample rate.

Were these musical legends created by a mismatch between a sample and project settings? lol

Logic automatically converts files you freshly import if they don’t fit the sample rate of a session. Beware of that, if your aim is to make a master at 192kHz, importing a 192kHz file into a 44kHz project will downgrade the sample rate of the imported file. If you started at a lower sample rate, but want to ultimately have a larger, 192kHz project, bounce each stem out at the higher rate, change the sample rate in Project Settings, then replace the audio.

Some key points to note

1. Most plugins seem fine with higher quality audio, but some older plugins are seemingly unable to run in higher sample rate environments. 96kHz seems pretty much within the range of all plugins.

If you do have an issue with a plugin not being able to adjust to a higher sampling rate, one workaround is to bounce the stem (with the offending plugin active) running such a plugin at a higher sample rate and then reimport it into the session, thus not needing to run the plugin live at the higher sample rate.

2. If your aim is to write to CD, they tend to be 44.1kHz.

3. Exporting a 48kHz sample (for example) to a higher sample rate like 192kHz won’t magically change anything in the audio, but it will affect any processing on that audio, so plugins may yield more data and higher frequencies in that environment.

4. Higher sample rates mean larger files and cause the CPU to work much harder, so it’s definitely worth considering how that will impact your music making.

Final thoughts 

Ignore the haters lol

Ultimately, you want to find a sound you like and one that complements the style your making. Even just with plugins running in higher sample rate environments sound more open, to my ears anyway. Delays and reverbs extend further harmonically, and that can bring a certain lusciousness and openness to your mixes in my humble opinion. A hell of a lot of hela-loved music has been made at 44.1kHz, but who knows, higher sample rates may help you uncover an aesthetic you like in your music.

Happy music making!

Asami’s new album ‘A’

My co-writer for our music project Rinon has released her own album ‘A’ and it’s absolutely incredible. Asami’s new album ‘A’ features her singing in Japanese, English, Spanish and Swahili, as well as playing drums and percussion.

A legendary session musician in Japan, Asami began playing drums at the age of 3 and across an illustrious career, has played with the likes of legendary Japanese singer Yuzo Kayama, idol groups Morning Musume, AAA and Momoiro Clover Z, as well as a host of American artists, such as T.M.Stevens, Lee Sklar and Chaka Khan‘s band Rufus.

Asami’s world-reknowned drumming skills have led to her endorsing drums by Soultone Cymbals, LP Percussion and even designing her own custom drum sticks for various companies.


Having toured with some of the biggest names in Japanese pop music and so it’s no surprise to hear some of the most influential talents in session music appearing on her latest solo CD. Lee Sklar is a veteran bassist who featured on a lot of classic recordings by the immeasurably popular singer Yumi Matsumoto and at age 71, he recently toured Japan with the prog rock legends Toto. His humble, musical wisdom flows through every groove he puts down, and it adds a wonderful flavor to several of the tracks on ‘A’. Also starring on the album, the inimitable Luis Valle on trumpet, Tony Maiden on guitar and Pedro Eustache on saxophone.

asami a

The album is available on iTunes, Spotify and the CD can be ordered from Amazon.

The album’s opener Sonodores is a vibrant, latin-influenced song complete with blazing horns and Spanish lyrics. Asami is featured on both drums and vocals. This leads us into Kimi No Kawari Nante Nai Kara is an upbeat, driving j-pop number with a really catchy chorus and some subtly wondrous drumwork. The third track Sun And Moon features Asami’s sublime vocal nestled in a warm, traditional koto arrangement. This song feels like the best anime ED you’ve never heard and illustrates Asami’s chameleon-like ability to play in various styles with a deep sense of authenticity and artistic intent.
The fourth track Hana Shigure (Flowers and Rain) has an evocative ambience and immediately captivates. The song was recorded in a Japanese shrine, so the atmosphere of the trio’s heartfelt performance is almost tangible.
This piece is deftly followed by Tsurugi, which sweeps us up with a rolling river of congas, shakuhachi and shamisen. Next is Asami’s very personal interpretation of John Denver’s Country Roads, a colourful arrangement with a mix of both English and Japanese lyrics and backing vocals that express her fondness of and experience of the world’s different musics and cultures.
Negai (Please Give Him Wings On His Back) is a powerful, anthemic, pop-rock number that has such a strong atmosphere, it would also be a great inclusion in an anime or emotional movie.  Tamashi no hono (Soul’s Flame) is classic jazz-fusion/funk and displays Asami’s effortless virtuosity as a drummer, with some truly inimitable drum fills, it’s a song that should appeal to any fan of Tower Of Power or Marcus Miller.
The album closes with the serene アンティノウスからの手紙 (Letters From Antonis), with truly stunning Japanese lyrics and an earnest, beautiful vocal delivery, this is a warm finale to an album that really exceeds in all areas of musical enjoyment.
The album is very well mixed and in my opinion, the CD is a very worthwhile investment, as the album lyrics and photos are beautifully laid out and the high sound quality really shines through. I cannot recommend this album highly enough.







2018 studio investment fundraiser


I have made this in the hope of raising £600 to buy a Roland AE-10 electronic sax .

Basically since I got arthritis in 2015, practising the real sax has become a bit tough. My aim is to get one of these new electronic saxes for my studio recordings and for future live shows , as they’re easier for me to play and more sonically flexible. I love my sax but often if I play it, whatever song I’m making sounds more jazz. With the Bluetooth MIDI outs on the AE-10, I can transform the sound into anything I like – from an ambient pad, to a kind of Blade Runner-style synth lead.

l am optimistic that it would bring me closer to capturing the melodic approach I’ve developed on the sax and I have a lot of productions that really just lack an organic sounding melody, so using my breath to define phrases and vibrato to make them more vocalesque, I can do it in a way that is more intuitive to me than twiddling a joystick on a keyboard.

Please don’t feel obligated to support, I don’t want anyone to go to undue trouble, this is just for fans that feel particularly comfortable with supporting my quest to finish more music and stay creative!

If you’re able to donate or just share, it would mean a lot!


Or if it’s easier, it’s also possible to support via Ko-fi .

pokemon yea

I am so strong, indefatigable Pokemon-level strong!

This year I am responsibly becoming a Hot Papa and so every yen I make I wish to use to help bring my family more happiness and security. I have a lot of amazing fans and a good reputation among my peers and senpai as a very capable,  very good soundtrack composer.  Next year I wanna maximize my home studio time to have productive sessions that help me complete more music and also hopefully level-up my YouTube so I can reach new fans.

At at the moment I have a lot of near-finished productions that really just lack a final melody. I have traditionally relied upon synth keyboards, but actually increasingly I find myself disappointed by the lack of intuitive, vocalesque articulation options that the traditional keyboard allows. With my arthritis as it is, I can’t always play guitar or sax as much as I’d like, so i’d like to vary the instruments I play as much as possible to minimize over-working certain joints.

Thank you for reading and for all my friends and fans for standing by me. I will keep believing in my music and keep trying to improve it and myself. I still get lovely messages about the Highway Blossoms soundtrack and the Heart Beat Circuit album, and that rocks my world! I just wanna make more stuff that means something to people, so I’ll keep on truckin’!

g xxx


Heart Beat Circuit is 3 years old today!

My album Heart Beat Circuit is three years old today. Yay!!! It still means so much to me and I am overjoyed that I was able to share so much of my music as well as write alongside some of Japan’s greatest game music composers.

I was super amazed to see this video of incredible dancer Can Nyugen from the dance group Poreotics dancing to my song Krystal this week! Wow!


Hope everyone has a lovely day! g



Summer update!


Just thought I’d do one of those big updatey things cos artists sometimes do this to reflect
on all the magic and stuff. Firstly I’m super hype to have finished a song for a lovely thing, hopefully will have some more info on the release sooooon!

Things are definitely a lot more awesome than they were in 2016 when I got arthritis and C.F.S and had to bail on music. My health’s a lot more bae, I have a less stressful and actually awesome job and I have a 最高Samurai-style home studio where I can just get into the music with no internet or distractions for short, focused DAW sessions. Got my MPC60, REDDI D.I pedal, Esméralda the Gibson Les Paul, the SV1-88 and the Waldorf Blofeld all just a cable away whenever I wanna get creative.


mpc Dh16iWuVMAAuKZH.jpg large

I’ve also learned a lot more about production – it’s taken about 3 years but I’ve figured out how much quantization I like on my beats (or not) and how to compress, level, place and EQ textures so that they have meaning and enough clarity for me to dig them in my mixes.

I also learned to reference more clinically so I can a/b my mixes and decide if they cut the mustard in whatever genre they’re rocking in.

I plan to share some of my beginner’s mixing tips on my Patreon page once I’ve managed to write them in a nice coherent fashion.

This year brings new challenges, including being a super, rent-paying adult person as well as becoming the newest resident of Hot Papa Town (🤱!). *spoiler alert 🤸‍♂️💛

As always, thank you to everyone who’s supported my work both past and present, it’s been a rollercoaster but I’m happy to still be trying to build Wonder Worlds out of frequencies n stuff.

If anyone wants to join The Smoke Thieves’ Guild or buy me a digital coffee you can @ and

I’m looking forward to sharing and creating more whenever lovely opportunities arise (and my newfound adult life of paying rent myself permits!). Thanks for making the ride such a blast! I feel like I’m driving in a muscle car with Bruce Springsteen💕💯🎵💛🤸‍♂️🎼✌️)^o^(^ – ^

Geo (soon to be Hot Papa)


pokemon yea


Heart Beat Circuit

My Heart Beat Circuit CD has sold out but the digital download is hela-cheap now ($6)! Maybe check it out if you like chill synths, melodies n stuff!

#composer #gameaudio #gamedev #gamemusic #soundtrack #music #synth #beats #sax #jazz #chill #chillout