Lamb ‘Gabriel (Si Begg’s 5.1 Futures Remix)’ (from ‘Gabriel’ single, Mercury (2001))
Sometime NovaMute artist Simon Begg remixed this single from Lamb’s third album, What Sound (2001). The mix finds Begg in wild trip-hop style, delivering a relentlessly chunky break positioned just fast enough to straddle the frontier with drum ‘n’ bass. Over that beat, Begg drops in abruptly obscured vocals from the original, randomised sounds and whooshing filtered synths to create a sense of urgent euphoria. The mix was available on limited 12-inch and CD formats of the single, and can also be found on the 2CD collection Lamb Remixed from 2005. The mix was titled 5.1 Futures, which was presumably an error given Begg’s use of the name S.I. Futures for a slew of memorable NovaMute releases.
Words: Mat Smith
A work in progress (c) 2021 Documentary Evidence
self-released | download | 26/05/2014
Extreme Environments is a free, download-only album from former NovaMute artist Si Begg made available through the Soundcloud platform.
The album is instantly more sonically intricate than Si Begg’s last album proper, 2013’s Permission To Explode, showcasing a strand of brutal ambience across its ten short tracks. Howling drones, glitches, crisp static and ominous tones are responsible for giving this a largely threatening tone, offset by occasional periods of reflection and slowly-evolving, heavily-shrouded melody. ‘Location 4’ almost sounds like a finely wrought piece of minimalist composition or the soundtrack to a particularly harrowing scene from a Darren Aronofsky flick, while the tranquil euphoria of ‘Location 6’ could be a missing track from Brian Eno’s The Shutov Assembly.
‘It was originally going to be a couple of tracks to show off my new sample library and instrument [Kontakt] that I developed,’ explains Si Begg by email, ‘but then I had so much fun I decided to do a whole LP of this kind of detailed / immersive stuff. Then I thought I’d whack it out for free as it’s not something that is in any way commercial and also it hopefully will promote the product a bit along the way.’
Since departing NovaMute, Si Begg has made a name for himself as a commercial composer for advertising and other media. Such a career move inevitably requires a degree of flexibility and the ability to switch between styles on a whim. Whilst ostensibly an ambient giveaway, Extreme Environments nonetheless highlights that Si Begg can turn his hand to more or less anything with an equal sense of space and depth.
Read more about Si Begg’s Extreme Environments sample library and Kontakt instrument here.
Download the free Extreme Environments album from Soundcloud here.
Stay tuned to Si Begg’s YouTube channel for a series of videos to go with the album.
1. Location 1
2. Location 2
3. Location 3
4. Location 4
5. Location 5
6. Location 6
7. Location 7
8. Location 8
9. Location 9
10. Location 10
(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence