Nostramus 2011

Steve Spon (UK Decay, In Excelsis, The Big Eye and Nostramus)-or just plain ‘Spon’ as everybody knows him, is the main man behind Nostramus.

After the demise of progressive trance collective-The Big Eye in 1996, Spon was asked by a then new record label (Recordings of Substance), to put together an album of “Intelligent Drum and Bass”. He had previously been ‘moonlighting’ on the drum and bass style for a number of years whilst working with The Big Eye.

Earthlights, Recordings of Substance, 1997. HEMP005

Earthlights, Recordings of Substance, 1997. HEMP005

The result was ‘Earthlights’ (Recordings of Substance – HEMP 5 CD, HEMP 5 DJV VINYL), it was released in Europe in July 1997 and America (Shadow Records – SDW035-2 ) in March 1998. With contributions from guests including Prince Malachi, Caroline Nische, Derek E. Smith, and the MC13 ~(both from Click Click).

One critic described the ‘Earthlight’s’ sound as;

“Pagan Drum and Bass”  (DJ Mag, June 97),

Earthlights, Shadow Records (US), 1998. SDW035-2

Earthlights, Shadow Records (US), 1998. SDW035-2

another as;

“Seething drum’n’bass, dark sound effects and samples culled from a LSD scared imagination”  (Mix Mag)

Predictions EP, Recordings of Substance. 1997. HEMP 4 -CD

Predictions EP, Recordings of Substance. 1997. HEMP 4 -CD

In 1997 a single called ‘The Predictions EP’ was released, (Recordings of Substance – HEMP 4 – CD & Vinyl)

It featured the tracks ‘Dark Jewel‘ – featuring the vocals of Caroline Nische  and three re-mixes of the title track – ‘Earthlight’ – from the album ‘Earthlights’.

Later in 1997, a Nostramus track ‘Emerald’ appeared on a vinyl ‘split’ on the ‘Hypnagogia’ label (GOG1201 – Vinyl) and another track, ‘Ten Thousand Year Rush’ to a CD compilation (‘Hybrids’ – GOG CD 002) on the same label in 1998.

Later that year a new Nostramus collaboration with guests Caroline Nische and Merlyn Bodrun produced a track called ‘Cerche’ for a Fi Sci Records CD compilation. (‘Eclipse of the Moon and Falling Star’– FSC 001)

NOSTRAMUS 1997 Spon with Caroline Nische and MC13

NOSTRAMUS 1997 Spon with Caroline Nische and MC13. photo by Hugh Byrne

A number of Nostramus tracks appeared on various compilation albums at the end of the nineties, mainly tracks sourced from the album; ‘Earthlights’.

Nostramus also re-mixed tracks for other artists including James Hardware and Slab. Nostramus music has in turn been remixed by, The Sunrise Society, Witchman, Justice and Dark And Lovely.

Bomb Babylon. 1999. Special limited 'Exodus' edition

Bomb Babylon. 1999. Special limited 'Exodus' edition

Later in 1999 an attempt to produce a follow up album, ended in disaster as the recording studio folded before the album was completed.

A limited edition special of 50 copies of the doomed album were produced to celebrate Nostramus’s live performance at the Legendary Exodus  ‘Free The Spirit Festival’ (August 1999)
– the CD album was entitled ‘Bomb Babylon’.

Nostramus went live in 1997 to help promote the releases. The live shows included guests MC13, Caroline Nische (both incidentally, from ‘Potent’), DJ Tryst (from ‘Hypnagogia’), Flo (Drums & Percussion) and sometimes Prince Malachi.

The live show became a regular feature of the Hypnagogia Collectives monthly regular gatherings. These were overnight party’s with an eclectic mix of live performance’s, DJ’s, art installations, light shows, drum workshops all imbued with an atmosphere of brooding drug-fuelled experimentation.

Prince Malachi guests with Nostramus

Prince Malachi guests with Nostramus

The live shows culminated in 1997 and 1998 at the legendary Exodus – ‘Free the Spirit’ festival, in front of an audience of thousands. For these show, international “New Roots Messenger” – Prince Malachi guested on vocals for a couple of songs including ‘Babel’;  it was the highlight of the entire festival for many.

2004 saw a collaboration – ‘Hero Of Bamboo Stick’  (Jolt Records, Jolt001. Vinyl white label 12″ single) – with Mc’s Mention and Golden Child.

Earthlights Re-Mastered 2009, Diamond Seeds Productions, DS-NS-001

Earthlights Re-Mastered 2009, Diamond Seeds Productions, DS-NS-001

In 2009 Nostramus released a re-mastered version of the 1997 album – titled –  ‘Earthlights- Remastered’ (Diamond Seeds Productions DS-NS-001).

Doomsday Dot Com, 2011, Diamond Seeds Productions, DS-NS-002

Doomsday Dot Com, 2011, Diamond Seeds Productions, DS-NS-002

In September 2011 the ‘official’ follow-up (second) album was released, titled – ‘Doomsday Dot Com’ (Diamond Seeds Productions DS-NS-002)

As well as continuing to produce experimental Drum and Bass, Nostramus’s Spon, also plays guitar for the reformed legendary post-punk-goth pioneers – UK Decay.

His guitar playing provided a “unique sound” -sometime angular and aggressive, sometimes dark and psychedelic – helping forge UK Decay’s path towards the emerging ‘Gothic’ style’ during the early 1980’s.

The ‘Doomsday Dot Com’ album, includes a remix UK Decay’s –  ‘Duel’ and ‘Battle of the Elements’. Several other tracks on the album include some of Spon’s “atmospheric’ guitar playing. Also featuring on the DDC album is singer-songwriter Ella Jo, for whom, Spon produced three albums during the late noughties. There are sadly no plans for a return to live performance’s from Nostramus at the time of writing.

The Hidden Core - The Dark Ambience Project, Diamond Seeds Productions, 2010, DS-THC-001

The Hidden Core - The Dark Ambience Project, Diamond Seeds Productions, 2010, DS-THC-001

In 2010 a Nostramus spin-off project materialised with the release of  ‘The Dark Ambient Project’ by ‘The Hidden Core’ (THC).

This came out on Diamond Seeds Productions (DS-THC-001, CD).

As the title suggests, this production was more about dark, brooding and ambient soundscapes with very minimal beats.

“This is the sh*t. I cannot stop listening to this motherf***er. The man behind the muzeek here is spon, and this cat has laid down the most spiritual and earth shaking jungle/dub work that I have ever heard. I highly recommend you check this out if you want to break it down”.

Ink Nineteen, July ’98

Sample, Purchase or Download Nostramus here

DOOMSDAY DOT COM

Nostramus

Doomsday Dot Com: new CD album by Nostramus

"Is this the end of Drum and Bass as we know it?"

Or “how I learned to stop worrying and love the apocalypse”

The long awaited new album by Nostramus is coming soon!

Ten years in the making and after many missed deadlines, the long promised follow-up to ‘Earthlights‘ is about to hit the streets!
Aptly titled ‘Doomsday Dot Com‘ the new Nostramus album will be released during the summer of 2011 and will be available through Diamond Seeds Productions.  There are twelve tracks in total and it will include a reworking of the 2003 classic,  ‘Hero of Bamboo Stick‘ with Mc’s Mention and Golden Child from Check One Two.
Special guest appearances also of Neo Folk and D & B singer Ella Jo also grace the new album, with a remix of  her 2008 epic ‘He Who Dares Wins’ from the Alter Ego album. Other guest appearances include samples from an early Federal Billy who later changed his name to Prince Malachi who featured on Earthlights. Also included is an extraordinary remix of a post-punk-goth pioneers, UK Decay couplet of songs; Battle of the Elements’ and ‘Duel’ which are fused together in flamboyant and trully original panache.

Altogether ‘Doomsday Dot Com’ makes for a stunningly eclectic collection of styles that range from classic D & B, Dub, Jungle, Steppers, breakbeats, Liquid Funk, Darkwave and even comes diced with tinges of Gothic guitar playing by Nostramus’s main man Steve Spon, who also doubles as guitarist for UK Decay.

“The fantastic ‘Doomsday Dot Com‘ by Nostramus will be the next release on Diamond Seeds – a prophetic gathering of Drum and Bass tunes and samples.
After the Japanese earthquake it seems that time has overtaken some of the themes and has left Spon from Nostramus wondering what the reaction will be to his material. He says that all the material on the album pre-dates the horrific events that have burdened Japan.
The album is a sound concept tapestry with a strong musical current, including samples which expose media hysteria amongst other, lighter themes. It is a comment on the phenomena that shape our early 21st century; times where fear is founded for some, and a plaything for others. He exposes the human responses to dealing with a world that we cannot control including elements of superstition, anger and the need to release stress in a musical whirlwind of joy. Nostramus encompasses all these emotions, waltzing the listener through a reality check – reminding us to question our distorted world, keep our feet on the ground and trust our senses. The delight in this work is the unceasing movement between light and shade, the highs and lows, the scowls and the smiles…..
Was Drum and Bass ever supposed to go this deep?”
Diamond Seeds Website description

Ian Buckingham: DJ, Producer and Webmaster on ‘Doomsday Dot Com’…….

“The last time I enjoyed an entire album by a single artist was the life changing moments I heard in The Wall and The Dark Side Of The Moon. Not to forget Jarvis Cocker, Ian Brown, Underworld, Richard Ashcroft, Groove Armarda, Faithless, Royksopp.
The album is beautifully produced  with calming yet dark undertones, a kind of horrific beauty that soothes and terrifies all at the same time….and talking of time, Nostramus has mastered timeless, I would play these out time and time again…the track selection is well stitched in unison, the production is outstanding and is a joy to listen to.
 This is Spon from Nostramus’s greatest work yet and will inspire not just me but many aspiring producers, engineers and artists alike. The heavy undertones and massive themes are enjoyable the whole thing lifted me mate…well done, its very good….but then deep down you already knew this!”

DOOMSDAY DOT COM will be released by Diamond Seeds Productions as a special limited edition, strictly limited to 50 and will solely be available via the membership of the Facebook Nostramus page, until a licensing deal can be brokered.

www.facebook.com/nostramus

“Nostramus is on the warpath, poking fun with vivid imagery and throbbing ambient sub-dubscapes. Exploring media samples and images captured from ‘the dot com’ then combining into a psychedelic convolving audio-visual wasteland. All captured and recorded on his very own ‘I-Brain’ V 2.3.”

“Is this the end of Drum and Bass as we know it?”

Licensing required for this product!
Please contact Diamond Seed Productions
diamondseed3@googlemail.com

www.diamondseeds.co.uk

www.doomsdaydot.com