Rich Patmore has been a creative of the Milton Keynes scene since first rearing his head nearly two decades ago as a solo musician, writes Sammy Jones.

Since then, he has played with groups including Hussler and Starlings and Sparrows, won a band competition with fidjit which granted the group access to record at the prestigious Great Linford Manor studio, and has supported artists including Dodgy, Jim Bob and Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright.

He has also carved out a niche as the ‘go to’ guy for local musicians looking for sexy remixes – in the past year he has collaborated with ‘some of the best MK bands’ including Gwen and The Good Thing, Francis (on a track called My Days Are Better With You which was released by Universal MENA), Project Noise, Forest of Fools and Candidates.

Most recently, he has just worked on a track by Billy Nomad, but with its distinctly summery vibe, that release is being put on the shelf until the sun shines.

“I love doing the remixes, because my starting point is already a great song, so I just get to have fun experimenting with different sounds until I find something that works, and because I’m working on my laptop all I need is a pair of headphones and I can get to work.

“You’ll often find me messing around with beats and sound design at 6.30am on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea,” he says.

“I love having the freedom to just create something new from something that already sounds great. It’s a lot less for me to think about. I don’t have to worry about lyrics and can really just concentrate on the sounds. To be honest I find it way easier to promote something for someone else rather than something that’s purely for me.”

But his craft isn’t confined to remixes for others; other recent projects include delivering a piece of music to accompany drone footage, composing intro music for a podcast, an audio ident for a new app, and Rich is also responsible for the tasty musical accompaniment for Calcutta Brasserie’s post lockdown television ad.

“I’m very lucky that I have a decent home setup which is ready to go all the time – it means I can work on new ideas or develop new ones very quickly, and the quality of what I can record in my own home has come a long way since the days of my first Tascam 4-track tape recorder!”

And Rich isn’t afraid of really stirring things up with his work: “I listen to the original track and work out which individual tracks I want to use. Quite often I’ll just take the vocal tracks and challenge myself to come up with something entirely different to go underneath. I tend to either go super chilled/ambient or make it filthy, and sometimes I transition between the two.”

Remixing work might have occupied his time for the most part in 2020, but Rich did take time out to be productive in his own name, with new material of his own, which is issued under the Rise Bailey Rise (RBR) moniker.

“Over the Christmas period I released a track called D.B.Cooper, about the infamous plane hijacker who parachuted from a flight with $200,000 in the 1970s, never to be found.

“It was originally going to be a piano based song with an electro beat, but during the spring lockdown I recorded a load of guitar parts which changed the song entirely,” he explained, “I then sent the track to a former bandmate (Lee Harrington) and he recorded an epic half time drum part which changed the feel even more.

“An artist friend (IanK) then did the honours with some amazing artwork and put together a video for me too.”

Originally, the plan was to issue a six-track EP called Unless and Until, but that idea has since been scrapped in favour of releasing the songs one at a time.

Given the opportunity to make his mark by remixing any artist at all, Rich would jump at the chance to work on material by US folk artist Bon Iver, aka Justin Vernon: “…because Justin is a genius,” he says, “My only fear would be whether I could possibly do it justice.”

For the moment, he has plenty of new delights to be getting creative with.

“I’m very excited to be working on a few collaborations which will hopefully see release later this year, and I am loving making music more than ever right now,” he smiles, “So, despite the crazy world we currently find ourselves in, things are ok in Team RBR. I just miss seeing my friends at gigs!”

Sunsets and Sunny Sounds

We’ve used these pages in recent months to speak with promoters and bands about the effect the pandemic has had on their industry, which has been nothing short of devastating, writes Sammy Jones.

We will revisit the scene and look to the recovery in future issues, but with gigs not set to make a return for a depressingly long time, it is down to the power of online opportunities to plug the gap, and help keep us happy.

Last summer we spoke with the guys behind Newport Pagnell’s hugely successful Sunset Lounge promotion, who reacted quickly when we went into lockdown and decided to use Facebook as an online tool to keep the live vibes flowing.

Instead of crowding around a stage, we now crowd around our computer screens (from the safety of our own homes) to enjoy the uploaded efforts of musicians’ labours.

When he started the venture with musical cohorts Jeff Sewell and Steve Draper, Gareth Warren didn’t think they would still be operating the weekly sessions this far down the line. Or that they would continue to be so successful.

Sunset Lounge founder Gareth Warren

“…but we’re still going strong,” Gareth told Pulse, “The initial response to what we were doing was truly overwhelming and was consistently busy each week. Obviously, with anything like this, the novelty can quickly wear off, but this is where the true spirit and reputation of The Sunset Lounge comes into play, because the continuing love and support has been incredible. It quickly built back up and has become somewhat of an online institution now,” he said.

And the importance, not only for the musicians but also for the listeners, can’t be underestimated. It provides an outlet, and fills a gap. Simply, music matters. These sessions are more than a chance to enjoy a little tune, and raise a smile. They are a vital service.

“With little or no actual live outlets for players, the online thing has become THE most important tool for any performer.

“It has helped so many people and artists reconnect and find new ways to get themselves and their art out there.”

The lockdowns have had an impact on everyone, and even those of us who think we’ve been coping just fine have felt the effects of being shut off from friends, relatives and – for many – a normal working life.

The Sunset Lounge allows the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, to step away from the gloom and enjoy a little bit of positivity.

“With regards to mental health, my own experience included, being shut off from the world and having your every move watched and judged, the impact has proven a heavy cross to bear, but evenings such as ours can hopefully help give some balance.”

And in a time when there’s very little that you can rely on, The Sunset Lounge is one thing you can have full confidence in: “We just want to give everyone a little break from the madness and to bring The SSL spirit back and let everyone know that we are still here, we are still going and we WILL be back on a stage as soon as we are able to,” Gareth promises.

Until then, Thursday night is the new Friday; a chance to sit back and soak up the sounds from the clever creatives in our midst. If you want to be more than a viewer, the floor is yours – you get to play three songs or 10 minutes of music to the group for the delectation of others.

Hit up Facebook and search The Sunset Lounge and you’ll be taken care of.

Of course The Sunset Lounge’s usual hosting venue, The Cannon in Newport Pagnell has been closed for an extended period of time because of the pandemic, and the lounge has organised a fundraiser to help see the venue with the unrivalled atmosphere through the tough times. Search The Sunset Lounge presents The Cannon Fundraiser on gofundme to show your support in pennies and pounds.

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