You know how it is. You’re sitting there on Facebook minding your own business, cringing at the number of dumb farm-related games people want you to play, when all of a sudden there’s a ray of light. A kindred spirit of the synth world appears and says, “give my music a listen mate, will ya?” And of course, I’m more than happy to. Especially when I’ve listened to nothing much more than The Cure and Brian Eno for the last three years.
John Beagley is another lucky sod who appears to hail from London, or thereabouts. Already gaining airplay in South Africa and Australia, John cites a Howard Jones influence which is why he contacted me. The tracks on his ReverbNation page don’t have a pure Jones sound, which is good. I found myself making notes of the six tracks. ‘Conspiracy’, the last of the tracks, I thought sounded the most commercial and had a very good vocal.
Looking through John’s list of influences, I see a lot of artists that I’ve followed over the years, besides Mr Jones – Thomas Dolby, Depeche Mode, Human League and Jean-Michel Jarre to name a few, plus a few that I can see I’m going to have a few words with him about, namely John Lennon, INXS and U2.
The wonderful news is that John is a Mac user running Logic 9. In the 90s he was part of the group ‘So It Is’, and at that time they had a fair number of synths, drum machines and rack-mount modules. Sadly, the group disbanded after eleven years, and John himself stepped away from the music scene for a few years more. In 2004 he was able to purchase a Yamaha AW16G 16-track hard disk recorder, a Korg N1 and a second-hand Boss DR-660 drum machine. Sequencing came via Master Trax Pro running on Atari’s 1040ST. One of those earlier tracks, ‘That Was Then … This Is Now’ appears on John’s SoundCloud site (see link below).
There’s the promise of an on-line and CD album this year, which is very good news. On the back of the half-dozen tracks I’ve listened to so far, I’d say that it won’t be too long before John gains more airplay or is picked up by an independent label and given a deal. His six songs have already received over 7700 plays, and his ReverbNation page has had over 4600 hits to date.
John’s new album, ‘Flying From a Hillside’ is available for download NOW via this LINK.