Kundabuffa is Dead

Here is the latest and possibly final release from my band KUNDABUFFA.

I have had a few messages asking me 'What's happened to Kundabuffa?'
Here I will try to explain the meaning of all this for the few that are interested and hopefully shed some light on the meaning of this latest album.

But first, some background....

I originally set up my Bandcamp page with the idea of releasing some of my old recordings. I had no intention of releasing new music there. In 2015 my father died and I decided to make an album called 'Mike' as a tribute to him. Then Murphy McCaleb asked to do some recording with me (that ended up as an album called 'Mythical and Angry') and this got me interested in making a long form, through composed piece. All the ideas I was exploring at that time ended up on a recording called 'Black Corridor' which is a half hour piece which is really about death, and my dad's death in particular.

Around this time I really did some research into what was happening in contemporary music and ended up getting into the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada and Knower. I started searching around for a much funkier, jazzier sound but still with the long form through composed approach.

Then one of my students, a singer called Theone Mae Dawes asked if we could collaborate on some songs, so I sent her some of these ideas. This was really the birth of Kundabuffa. (check out the album 'Monad')
As soon as I started working with Theone I realised there was a really strong link creatively between us. Not only is Theone an incredible singer, but also shares my bizarre sense of humour, loves to improvise and loves jazz and funk. Kundabuffa is basically me and Theone and always will be.

In 2018 I decided to try and right some short, up tempo tunes with Theone. This ended up as the album 'Kundabuffa'. That whole album was like falling off a log, it was written in a week and I think think it is possibly the best thing I have ever done.
Now, that album is about (for me at least) anxiety, and trying to deal with anxiety. Anxiety in my opinion is related to a fear of death. These themes have run through a lot of my work but more of that later.
Again, I can't overstate Theone's input as a writer and musician. And the lyrical subject matter, however close it is to my world view, has always come from her.

Once the album was finished we were asked by BBC Introducing to play a live session for them. This gave birth to the first live incarnation of Kundabuffa and produced the recording 'Introducing'
Special mention to Jack Humphries, who stepped in to play bass on the 'Kundabuffa' album and whose input into the band is invaluable. Jack's sound for me is the sound of Kundabuffa, and you will always notice how high in mix the bass is!

Jack, myself and Theone along with Paul Wetton, Rob Groucutt, Hannah Law and Ellie Williams became the first live incarnation of Kundabuffa.

But I wanted to improvise more live and we made a change; We drafted in Blake Probert on keys and pulled the band down to a quartet. This improvising band soon produced a completely improvised album ('How The Story Goes') and we started collaborating with guests like BD Lenz and Lee Jones, two amazing jazz guitarists. Blake's input has been revolutionary. His commitment to improvisation and the moment is total.

(If Kundabuffa still exists it exists in it's potential to come together and improvise, but there I go, creating a future when the band deserves the freedom of not having one.)

So far so good....amazing musicians, an amazing singer and songwriter, lot's of music being made, lot's of creative fulfillment....what could go wrong?

Well, firstly...we hadn't developed much of an audience, and the recordings had not sold at all well. This is really frustrating when you know how good the music is. You see lesser bands doing better than you and you can't help but question how much the actual quality of the music actually counts!

This then makes you question if what you are doing is worthy of anything at all. Perhaps we're all deluded?
Also, our music is great (in my opinion) because it pushed the boundaries, crossed genres and styles and dealt with some quite obscure concepts. Perhaps it was just too esoteric for most people?

Now this is the problem of putting (artistically) your money where your mouth is (check out the song of that name on our debut album). When you declare you intentions it is demoralising when the resounding answer is 'Not interested'

Now, Kundabuffa's music is demanding and requires musicians that can really play and have no fear. But once the band got out and played live not only was I horrified by the lack of interest from the audience but also the pay from these gigs was either pathetic or non existent. These musicians do not deserve this lack of respect. I found this very depressing.
The audience I do have that I have developed over the years (ie. the Progressive Rock audience) were not so interested in a futuristic jazz funk outfit. Without an audience or any gigs the band started to face a bit of a problem. Let's record another album we thought...

Now this is really the issue here, and it is my creativity and how that works.
From the death of my father I had set a course creatively that had ended with the Kundabuffa project. This project was five years in the making and I had really invested my creativity into this project. But the apathetic response we got I found quite depressing and the demons got in and my direction (which had been so clear) became foggy. Shall we become a prog band? Shall we become a dub reggae band? Maybe we collaborate, or just improvise, or all these things, or none of them. Too many choices or no choices at all.

Plus now you have a band, each member has their own lives, and their circumstances change. And they have a right to shape the music too. But the flipside of this was the actual artistic investment I was putting into this band, which had become total.

Now Kundabuffa is a concept. It's about life and death, anxiety and redemption. The Kundabuffa (or should we say Kunderbuffer?) is an esoteric concept that I will not describe here (but there is a thing called Google if you want to know more). But if the band had become the  problem, then why not simply kill the band. The music still exists, the concept still exists. But once I removed the expectations, removed the bands future. the idea for this recording became apparent. The songs we had written dealt with a number of issues that were apparent in the band at the time of writing; How do you change? Change your world? Change yourself? Perhaps to save the thing you love you have to set it free, and that means sometimes destroying the concept or idea of what you think it is.

So at this time of writing Kundabuffa has no future. It is over. It is only through living through this  non future that is a hope of producing the shoots of new creative growth.

Kundabuffa is dead...LONG LIVE KUNDABUFFA.

Hidden in the latest album is a set of instructions, they correspond to each song (as well as the artwork)
Here are the instructions in full. I hope that they will help you understand this album a little more.

'Is it Facts or Truth that you are searching for?
Remember that everything is just a part of The Monad.
So start by looking inside each individual song, then end by listening inside every song.
Only by understanding the parts will you understand the whole.

A message to the dominant species on planet Earth.

The organ Kundabuffa that once helped and maintained you and your planet has become the source of your own doom.
You must wake up and look round. The environment of your planet will no longer sustain you unless you can summon the effort to change. Your leaders have chosen to close their eyes to what is apparent.
They are blinded by their own self interest. They have fallen for Kundabuffa's ultimate seduction; they believe they are special because they believe the illusion that they are at the centre of the universe. There is no centre or division. They have chosen not to see the Monad.
To become truly part of the Monad you need to learn how to change. For those of you that wish to change listen on....

The first answer to the question of how to change is all around you. It is in the thoughts and eyes of those closest to you. In your family and loved ones there is a seed you have planted. And your love has made that seed strong.
But you need to cultivate that seed.
Your loved ones have also planted a seed within you. These seeds will grow but you need to listen to their voice and do what is best for them. Learn to respond to move outwards and forwards.
In this way you will learn to respond to those desires that are concerned with what is far and wide. By doing this the short sighted desire of greed and self interest will wither.
It is only by this path that you will learn to truly change.

When you feel the Sun on your face the pleasure is in the fact that you are only experiencing a tiny fraction of the Sun's power. Everything in you is sustained by the Sun. And your steward on this journey is the Moon!
You need to develop an awareness of this overwhelmingly apparent situation.
By refining your appreciation of this you will become sensitive to the poison that your species is now clogging your planet with. You must develop an appreciation of Beauty. Beauty is in the vibrations that emanate from the Monad.
Here our esteemed acolyte Blake shows you how this is done.

Who is the Devil? Do you know?

Is his voice the voice you want to hear or the only voice you do hear?

The Sun sustains all and the Moon maintains all but your species does not know this and does not act in accord with this. You must learn to pity the Sun and the Moon for their care of you is disregarded and ignored.
You think that they do this for some other reason?

Your species is arrogant. Just because from your point of view you are at the centre of the universe do not believe that you actually are! You are like the child that does not understand the love it's parents have for them because from their point of view that love seems absolute.

Learn how to love. Learn how to respect Truth. Learn how to appreciate beauty. Then and only then decide who the Devil actually is.

The spirit of Kundabuffa has departed from this planet. In this world Kundabuffa no longer exists and is only a memory. This memory will fade too.
And this is the final destination for every living thing that has, or will live on this planet.
It is only through coming to terms with your end and the end of everything that your eyes fall upon that you will learn to conquer fear.
Everything is part of everything else. The Sun and The Moon know what they are doing! Appreciate and trust them.
It is only through death that rebirth can happen.

Kundabuffa is dead. Long Live Kundabuffa!'

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