Future Weather: A Deep Dive

Back in the autumn of 2020, as I was preparing to release the Future Weather album, someone suggested I write down the story of how it came about and how I pulled the whole thing together. Then on release day, November 6th, my Mum died – she had been isolated in hospital for two weeks due to the pandemic.

In shock, I did a bit of promo on automatic pilot but – for understandable reasons – I didn’t have the stomach for music promotion and with no gigs planned due to lockdowns, I just got on with family matters and put the album to one side. Now, almost three years later, with a number of new projects out and underway, I discovered the following text tucked away in a folder on my laptop, I thought that I might as well publish it.

Future Weather, 2020. Here’s a deep dive…

From 2016 to 2018 I was occupied with side projects and Brynovsky took a back seat. It wasn’t until 2019 that I started working on a new Brynovsky album. Frustrated by not having finished any tracks for ages, with songs starting to pile up, I presented my album to a very reliable music buddy. His verdict was EP at best. I was deflated, but deep down, I knew he was right, the concept for the project was not executed well enough and I promptly dropped seven songs into the recycling. My mind turned to some side projects – songs that I liked that I had thought about releasing under another name – and I resolved to finish mixing all the songs I had and regardless of style, pick the best ones.

Back in 2011, I was on tour with The Congos with my dub band. I had somehow got the job of stage manager as well as support act on the hastily organised tour. I was glad to help; my band needed the exposure and I thought the experience would do us all good.

The Brynovsky dub band only really ever had one set and if we had kept going, some of the jams we used to play at rehearsals would have started creeping into the set. One favourite was a one-chorder, very rocky for us, with a high energy. The band wanted to put it in the set but we had no intro, structure or ending. We did play it a few times as a soundcheck and I could see from the reaction of the few people mingling around that it was a solid track and had legs. Ever since then I have been trying to turn it into a song and after a number of false starts, one day in 2019, I thought up some new words so the nameless tune could finally have its day. Thus, Future Weather (the song) was born.

Once I had decided to go for a proudly eclectic album, it all came together in a month or two. Four songs from the original album remained and the seven or eight dropped tracks went into storage, waiting for the lyric machine to come good. When I looked at adding new songs, the best ones were all based around acoustic guitar, an area that Brynovsky hadn’t really delved into before.

A few friends helped me to filter out the best and helped me to figure out the track order too. The opener and single, Ain’t Gonna Work, is an acoustic guitar based song which I made by re-recording a demo with my new mahogany topped acoustic guitar. Two other songs came together in the same way: Venus and Stony Ground. Stupid Rules is a remix of a 2017 master which also seemed to fit. Too Much of a Good Thing is more like acid rock with an Egyptian type melody, nothing like anything else I had recorded but I liked it and added it on its own merits.

As I was finalising the mixes I was stopped in my tracks by the murder of George Floyd. Sickened by the daily police brutality going on in the US, it triggered powerful memories of getting caught up in riots in London back in the day, seeing people trampled by horses and friends getting beaten up by cops. A song emerged from that on the piano, written in a couple of hours and recorded in 2 sessions, one to make a demo and a second to finish it off. Hope is the fastest song I’ve ever made.

Random facts: The solo on Ain’t Gonna Work was recorded with a Yamaha acoustic guitar with piezo pickups and a fuzz pedal. The bass on Hope is a programmed upright double and the solo was made by playing my melodica twice (in different octaves). The bass on Half the Wealth in the World is played on my four string bass guitar (strung B, E, A, D). Stony Ground contains no mandolins, they are double tracked acoustic guitars with a capo, but it does have a harmonium. Future Weather (the song), I call it dub rock, I don’t know what that means. Venus is an inexplicable song that has survived several years hanging about due do its hypnotic charm and ability to beguile and confuse. It is notable for its lack of attitude or rebellion and for the flute played by Lucy Button. Innocent Life was the foundation of the original project and is intended to be a welcoming and inclusive offering of solidarity for the downtrodden. Stupid Rules is about the rise of fascism in the 1930s – no, wait, the early 21st Century. Too Much of a Good Thing has a video of me dancing. Downwardly Mobile is a bit sad but so is life sometimes. Blank Page explains how I feel about life and the joy of creating something from nothing. A blank page could be seen in a negative light, but to me, I only see opportunity: the thing created represents the change that we all need. “Every morning is a blank page”. It’s not about amnesia, not so far as I remember…

If you like CDs, T-shirts, downloads or streaming audio, head over to brynovsky.co.uk/music/ to check it out.

Dub Section – One Track Every Friday

After working on a number of varied projects from folk music to experimental soundtracks I finally turned my attention to finishing off a pure dub album that I started pulling together a couple of years ago.

Encouraged by a decent collaboration with musician producer friend, Johnno Casson – we co-produced the track, Live It Up by Walken400, which went down very well with Tom Robinson on his BBC 6Music show back in 2020, I became determined to finish off this project.

After a few sporadic lurches: choosing a collection of old songs, stripping out vocals and instruments, putting them back together and then running them through some outboard gear I finally have come to what will be my fourth studio album, Dub Section. I am going to release one track from it every Friday for the next twelve weeks, starting today leading up to a release date in January. You can listen to Power Vacuum now.

Twelve wee dub gems pulled from the archive, mashed to a pulp and reformulated. Full of saturation, swirling phase, big reverberation and messed up repeats it’ll be, I hope, a delight to the dub afficionado and anyone who, like me, is a fan of; The Scientist, King Tubby, Lee Perry, Mad Professor, Linval Thompson and Dennis Bovell.

Expect a full release in January 2024.

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and how Donna became Idana

Back in November 2012, during the ‘Time is Now’ vocal sessions, we all went to see Lee Perry in Glasgow. It was a brilliant gig, the man was really on form and the backing band were excellent too with Leroy’s pals, Napoleon on bass, and Sinclair on drums. They played for well over 2 hours.

After the show, our vocalist Donna met LSP. She told him she was a singer working with Leroy and asked for an autograph. When she told him her name he said, “No, you’re not Donna, you should be Idana now.” He even drew her new name out very carefully on a piece of paper (see the picture above).

The next day, she looked at the piece of paper and called me up. “So are you Idana then?” I asked. “Yes, I like it” she said, and she decided to keep the name. So that’s how Donna became Idana.



Single Release – Ain’t Gonna Work

We’re pleased to announce our new single will be released soon, on October 2nd. Ain’t Gonna Work takes a look at what it feels like to be stuck in a shit job with no respite on the horizon. Maybe most of us have been there.

It is the opening track from our forthcoming album, Future Weather, which is set for release on November 6th.

Ain’t Gonna Work is a defiant, rolling, driving acoustic strum which gets some help along the way from some pretty nifty Latin style percussion and a fuzz guitar. The artwork for the cover is a still from the video.  We found and edited some striking footage from the 1930s Russian film, Enthusiasm, by Vertov. You’ll be able to find that on our YouTube channel.

We are delighted to present it to your ears on all digital platforms and will be also available to download from our Bandcamp page from 2.10.20.

Blue Budgie (Feat. Ju Ju)

You can hear the first new Brynovsky tune for a few years right now. It is actually a work of words by the uniquely psychedelic poet Ju Ju, set to music in Brynovsky style.

Ju Ju performed Blue Budgie as an unaccompanied spoken-word piece at a festival in a tiny venue and Tim was bowled over by the story it told. Some illustrious artists and personalities who were also present, in low-key fashion, were also stunned by its brilliance. It is a true story, so real that it’s surreal, in fact, Tim and Ju Ju often call it a ‘real surreal’ poem. Thinking about it, most of Ju Ju’s work, yet to be published, is also ‘Real Surreal’. Put that in your blog and post it.

A-n-y-w-a-y, Brynovsky and Ju Ju liked the resulting track so much that they decided to make a video reflecting the ambiguous moral of the tale which could go something along the lines of: when you’re hitching and somebody stops, it don’t mean you’re gonna get a lift. “But where does the budgie come in?” I hear you grumble. Well, you’ll have to listen to the track or watch the delightfully DIY lyric video representation of it that we made.

Blue Budgie (Feat. Ju Ju) is a standalone track which doesn’t appear on our upcoming LP, Future Weather. But we didn’t want it to get left behind and, in our hubris, thought the world might be a very slightly better place if people were able to hear it. You can download on a ‘pay what you like’ basis from Bandcamp, watch the video on YouTube or listen on Soundcloud.

Buy/Listen on Bandcamp | Watch on YouTube | Listen on Soundcloud

New Album – Future Weather

There’s a new Brynovsky LP lined up and ready to go for later this year. Future Weather refers to the belief that in the future, for reasons that are still disputed by some propagandists, the weather might not be brilliant. We have kids on the way up so we actually give a shit.

The album has 11 songs including one called Future Weather. The other 10 songs have different names and we thought that some of them sounded fairly okay so they’ve been included. You’ll be able to hear it all this November.

It has been a long time in coming because Brynovsky have been trying to make up their minds what to do with all the music they have been making over the past five years. Mr Trump and a couple of other people knocked them off-kilter with their bad vibes, spreading out in all directions, but they have now righted themselves.

Future Weather (the album), contains a thread of thought-provoking themes – reflecting the mood across the globe – from billionaires to bad bosses, smart-phone addiction to ignorant bliss, stupidity to the abhorrent Right, state violence to climate change. When all seems lost, the final track, Blank Page, brings some much-needed hope, a chirpy tune which does something to lighten the load.

If you can spare 38 minutes, have a listen (when future weather permits).

The Guitarists Broken Finger

Back in 2001, I must admit I hadn’t played my guitar much for a year or two and I was building a pottery (long story). Whilst I was installing a profile steel roof I managed to get my left index fingertip caught between a large bolt and a high-velocity hammer.

The steel roof responsible

Ouch! And I mean ouch. I instantly knew that I must have broken my fingertip and cursed the fact that I wouldn’t be able to play guitar. As the weeks rolled on, all I could think about was whether or not I would be able to play and how much I would have to adjust my technique to account for this injury which seemed to be permanent.

After several months I picked up the guitar but my index finger was so sensitive I could hardly fret a string. I started researching Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and hearing his story gave me some hope and made me feel a bit better. After 6 months I realised that my guitar playing would never be the same as it was before as I used my index fingertip for a lot when playing expressive lead parts.

In fact, it has completely changed the way I play, partly because certain things hurt quite a bit but also that my hunger to play was revitalised. I had spent so much time programming in the studio, writing from a keyboard and learning about music theory that I had forgotten to pick up the guitar often enough.

So even though I’ve got a weirdly shaped index finger with a visible dent and have to adjust my technique a bit, in a strange way, the accident gave me a massive push to recover, to play more and to get on with making music. Every cloud!

Gigging again

As of May we are now gigging again. It has been a long time.

We played our first unplugged set in Dumfries at the ‘Maidens of Music’ event, both of us singing with me on acoustic guitar and Idana on melodica. We played several tracks from the ‘Time is Now’ LP and several of our new numbers. Considering it was my first outing as a lead singer it went really well so it’s full steam ahead now to the ‘Totally Acoustic‘ event in Moniaive on June 18th where we have to see if we can do it all without mics.

Come to Moniaive of you want to hear us play without the aid of electricity.

PS Contrary to the impression of the poster, it will be just Idana and myself performing as Brynovsky.