Tiny Pushes Vol.2 (All the Wrong Buttons)

Over the last year or so, I’ve been re-mastering and re-releasing all the music I made between 2000 and 2013 as Calamateur. The latest of these – a mini-album called Tiny Pushes Vol.2 (All the Wrong Buttons) – is out today.

Here are ten little-known facts about this weird wee record:

1. The phrase “tiny pushes” comes from the Helen Keller quote, “The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

2. The album is chock-a-block full of samples I “borrowed” from second-hand records bought in charity shops, hence the plethora of pops, clicks and crackles.

3. All the samples were fed through my BOSS SP-303 Dr.Sample, one of the finest musical contraptions ever invented.

4. ‘Sine Wave in my Saviour’s Side’ and ‘Upper’ were played by Verity Sharp on Radio 3’s Late Junction.

5. Most of the keyboard parts were played on a broken Yamaha PortaSound PSS-680, given to me by a friend when he was moving house.


6. The ultrasound scan on the album artwork is of my niece. The ultrasound scan of her twin is on the cover of Tiny Pushes Vol.1. They turned 16 this year.

7. ‘Akatombo (The Red Butterfly)’ is a Japanese children’s song. According to Wikipedia, it’s a “nostalgic depiction of a Japanese red dragonfly seen at sunset by an infant being carried on an older sister’s shoulder”. Also, “in a 1989 nationwide survey… ‘Akatombo’ was ranked as by far the most-loved song in Japan”. Pretty sure they weren’t listening to my version when they made that decision.

8. One review stated, “there are more ideas in these two albums than Travis or Franz Ferdinand could muster in a year.” While this probably (definitely) isn’t true, it was a nice thing to read.

9. As ‘Sine Wave…’ fades out, you might recognise the mangled, time-stretched voice of a certain former-Radio 1 DJ who sometimes played my records.

10. Every one of these songs was recorded in a room with pink walls, overlooking Beauly town square. My gear set-up was something akin to the one shown here:

TP studio 2005

Get the album here.