Mick Mercer’s show – Almost Anglo Saxon track – another play!

What a lovely surprise to find that Mick Mercer played another track from Almost Anglo Saxon on his show!

Mick Mercer - check out his radio show

Mick Mercer – check out his radio show

I was gobsmacked that he played The Ballad of St Margaret – although I had already clocked that Spon seemed to like this track.

Mick Mercer’s Radio Show Here
I had written this song as I discovered that Margaret was a genuine Saxon princess and her family were invited to continue the Anglo Saxon line of English royalty. Needless to say 1066 was not a good year to turn up. She fled with her mother and ended up in Scotland as her ship was blown off course.

The tale becomes a love story as the Scottish king fell in love with her and she became Queen of Scotland. As she was a very religious Christian I wrote the song as a sort of hymn. I wanted to tell this Anglo Saxon woman’s story as she was greatly loved in her own lifetime and beyond.

I feel very honored to have my work appreciated and played on Mick’s show. Almost Anglo Saxon really is a special project. I hope that the world will one day come to know and love it.

Buy Almost Anglo Saxon Here

Alter Ego Lyric Book

Alter Ego Lyric BookAccompanies Alter Ego CD Album

This is a collection of lyrics from the Album Alter Ego which was released by Ella Jo in 2009.

The book contains a section called The Stories Behind The Songs. It gives credit to the co-writers, Terry Bartlett and Steve Spon and an insight into the moods and issues, which influenced the song writing.

The book is semi auto-biographical as well as containing modern urban poetry which has been ultimately set to music.

Purchase book here

This book can be enjoyed on its own or as a companion to the album Alter Ego

Limits Of Milkweed Lyric Book

Limits Of Milkweed Lyric BookAccompanies The Limits Of Milkweed CD Album

This is a collection of lyrics from the Album Limits Of Milkweed which was released by Ella Jo in 2009.

The book contains a section called The Stories Behind The Songs. It gives credit to the co-writers, Terry Bartlett and Steve Spon and an insight into the moods and issues, which influenced the song writing.

The book is semi auto-biographical as well as containing modern urban poetry which has been ultimately set to music.

Purchase book here

This book can be enjoyed on its own or as a companion to the album

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING…..ELLA JO

 

 

 

 

‘A porthole where beauty is born of trouble.Passing through a cleansing, uplifting experience.’

‘Work well crafted will always channel human experience into sweet depths, for those brave enough to share it.’
Tracks – 10

Track List – Lately, Plans That Slip, She’s Gone, She Waits For Gaps, Blue Dancers, Crossing Over, Spellbound Lady, Break The Sound, God Made Television, Through The Gap
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2010
Price – £10.00 plus shipping* Buy CD

ALTER EGO…..ELLA JO

 

 

 

 

Following the Soul’s whisper, Ella Jo reflects on the world and refuses to be beaten. On this album serious issues interweave with the joyous stuff of dreams.
Tracks – 10

Track List – Anytime, shock To My Senses, Cut Me Down, Memories In Red, Little White Shell, Prayer of Isis, Dissolver, The Awakening, He Who Dares, Wins, Can’t Happen
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2008
Price – £10.00 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – I Tunes, CD Baby
Sample sound clips here

Review by Mick Mercer Here

LIMITS OF MILKWEED…..ELLA JO

 

Limits Of Milkweed by Ella Jo

Limits of Milkweed by Ella Jo

‘Melodic nutrition for a runway to the stars’.
‘Good enough for the Space Shuttle’

Tracks – 10
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2008

Track List:  Amarylis, Subplane Highway, Jacob’s Ladder, Goodbye To The Monsoon, Dancing In The Shade, Perception, Heartbreak Girls, Himalaya, Must Be A Mystery, Diamonds Don’t Go

Price – £10.00 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – I Tunes,  CD Baby 
Sample sound clips here

Review by Mick Mercer here

 

Steve Spon Solo projects

Spon’s input on the Diamond Seeds Label

DOOMSDAY DOT COM....NEW ALBUM BY NOSTRAMUS, coming to a planet near you soon!DOOMSDAY DOT COM….NOSTRAMUS
Is this the end of drum and bass as we know it?

A sound concept tapestry with a strong musical current, including samples which expose media hysteria amongst both dark and light themes. Nostramus comments on the phenomena that shape our early 21st century; times where fear is founded for some, and a plaything for others. More info.

Tracks – 12
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2011
CD Album Price – £9.99 inc shipping* BUY NOW
Digital Download – I Tunes | CD Baby
Sample clips on Soundcloud


Earthlights 2010 Remastered. Click to buy CDEARTHLIGHTS REMASTERED…..NOSTRAMUS

Described as ’21st century pagan drum and bass’, the ‘Earthlights’ album by Spon’s alter ego Nosramus was released in 1997 by Recordings of Substance in the UK and Shadow Records in the US to critical acclaim. Now remastered in 2010. More info.

Tracks – 10
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2010
Price – £9.99 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – I Tunes, E Music, Amazon
Sample sound clips here


DARK AMBIENCE PROJECT…..THE HIDDEN CORE

A feast of sound-scarped nightmare visions and eclectic journeys. Culled from the darker psychotropic-fueled imagination of The Big Eye, Bud Brothers and Nostramus’s  Steve Spon. More info..

Tracks – 13
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2011
Price – £10.00 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – Available soon
Sample sound clips – Available soon


STEVE SPON PRODUCTIONS : ELLA JO’S ALBUMS


LIMITS OF MILKWEED…..ELLA JO

Ella Jo provides melodic nutrition for a runway to the stars.
This album’s sound-scape provides a rich feast good enough for a Space Shuttle journey. In the Universal Soup of Life, it makes a seriously good sound track. More info..

Tracks – 10
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2008
Price – £9.99 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – I Tunes, Amazon, CD Baby
Sample sound clips here


ALTER EGO…..ELLA JO

Following the Soul’s whisper, Ella Jo gives clues in this album as she reflects on a hard world, but refuses to be beaten. Here there are tuneful explorations of serious issues, interwoven with the joyous stuff of dreams. More info..

Tracks – 10
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2008
Price – £9.99 inc shipping* >Buy CD
Digital Download – I Tunes, Amazon, CD Baby,
Sample sound clips here


ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING…..ELLA JO

This album is like a porthole where beauty is borne of trouble, and passing through it is a cleansing, uplifting experience. Work well crafted will always channel human experience into sweet depths, for those brave enough to share it. More info..

Tracks – 10
Label – Diamond Seed Productions
Year – 2010
Price – £9.99 inc shipping* Buy CD
Digital Download – Available soon
Sample sound clips – Available soon


* January 2011, Subject to slight fluctuations owing to currency conversion rates. CD’s available from Kunaki USA priced at $9.80 plus $4.20 shipping, total price $14.00 (UK = £10.00, Euro 10.80) Delivery to UK and Europe around 8 to 14 days. Payment via PayPal and most major cards.


Steve Spon’s solo projects…a brief biog

Since the demise of UK Decay and then IN Excelsis back in 1985,  Spon has continued producing music for himself and others.

As the resident engineer/producer at ’33’ Recording Studios he worked for a decade on a wide variety of different genre’s. He helped produce many post-punk bands in the eighties and nineties, including Click Click, Karma Sutra, Passchendale, Party Girls, IrritantCrowe Jayne amongst others. He also produced numerous commercial recordings for the ’33 Jazz’ label, as well as co-producing many underground dance tracks for the emerging DJ culture.

Bass lines and drops that Spon helped produce rocked many a dance-floor at that time.The surge in technology in the art of music production during the late eighties saw Spon honing his music production skills. In 1990 he teamed up with ex Click Clicker’s Derek ‘E’ Smith and Graham Stronach to form a new band called ‘The Big Eye”. Described by the band at the time as “Techno–with-guitars”, TBE played a handful of live shows, produced a couple of EP’s and an Album, (both on vinyl and CD) over three years for the London based Hydrogen Dukebox label. Most of these are now out of print, and like a lot of Spon’s past material, are very rare to track down.

Spon latched early onto Jungle – the emerging Drum and Bass genre of music. During the early nineties he crafted a collection of tracks of his own. His material aimed to create a more thoughtful and ‘intelligent’ spin to counter the frantic naivety of the early hardcore rave sound. During this period the classic ‘vocal-lyrical’ approach had taken a back-seat to the repetitive and minimalist sound scape. This suited Spon’s eclectic and original use of samples to create mood shifts that mold deep, optimistic and relaxing sonic journeys. This was Spon’s first major ‘solo’ project with guest vocalist Prince Malachi, MC13, Caroline Nische and Natasha D, the proposed album was to be called ‘Earthlights’ under Spon’s new artist name; ‘Nostramus’.

This was released in July 1997 by London label, ‘Recordings of Substance’ and licensed to the US ‘Shadow Records’ label. ‘Earthlights’ went onto sell a respectable 6000 copies world-wide and tracks from the album were seen on many a ‘chilled–d & b/electronica’ type compilation album. In 2010 Spon re-engineered and re-mastered ‘Earthlights’ for the Diamond Seeds label (there is a link to further information and sound clips of the album above)

Spon continued producing and re-mixing for others up to the end of the nineties but aside from a limited edition Exodus Festival album, ‘Bomb Babylon‘ (a DIY darker, pertinent and bombastic affair – that, in Spon’s own words was, “unfinished”), there was no further Nostramus release until the 2003 ‘Hero of Bamboostick’ EP on Jolt Records.

In September 2011, Nostramus released  ‘Doomsday Dot Com’ and unlike in the case of the the ‘Earthights’ album, Spon has introduced his guitar sound on some of the tracks. Another project has involved re-mastering some of Spon’s more esoteric and subliminal work from the nineties. He has produced an album called ‘Dark Ambience’ by ‘The Hidden Core’ (or THC for short!), containing largely ambient and beat-less material, but with brooding, sometimes menacing sound collages. You wont find much guitar in this mix, but UK Decay and IN Excelsis listeners may be familiar with some of the darker sonic dream sequences, a style used in the UK Decay’s ‘Werewolf‘ and ‘Unexpected Guest’ introductions for example. This is all available on the Diamond Seeds Label.

Spon’s production work with Ella Jo

Early in 2004, a singer songwriter Ella Jo knocked on Spon’s door. She had been looking for him since the ’33’ studio shut down in 1998. EJ promptly readied her old battered guitar and promptly sang him a handful of songs that she had wanted to record for a good number of years. She also explained that she had spent several years backpacking to far slung places across the world on her own.

This obviously impressed Spon enough embark on a musical relationship that would last until the present day. The end result was a collection of three classic albums incorporating many differing styles ranging from Pop, Neo Folk, Acupela, Avant Garde, Gothic, Drum and Bass and Electronica. Arguably the Ella Jo sound is perhaps not what one would expect from the guitarist of UK Decay at first listen but it shows off Spon’s deftly touch on music production.

Ella Jo’s music is eclectic and shows an inner wisdom that only someone with her wide travelling and life experience can reflect. It journeys through genre’s and styles with utter contempt for the narrow marketing niche, instead celebrating the oratorical rhythms and cadences of modern everyday life from a female perspective.

Although largely musically driven by Ella Jo, Spon has contributed to all three of Ella Jo’s albums with keyboards, bass, drums and other orchestrations as well as producing the overall sound. On the third album ‘Attitude is Everything’ he plays guitar on a couple of tracks with UK Decay bass-man Ed Branch also contributing.

We could sum up Ella Jo’s music as pure, captivating, elevating and an enigma to the preconception and cliché’s of a male dominated business and listener ship. She avoids overplaying that card here, transcending the open minded listener, male or female, to a greater purpose; a true artist.

More details on Ella Jo’s three albums here.

LINKS

Discog: | Steve Spon at discog | The Big Eye at discog | Nostramus at discog |
Steve Spon – Nostramus Interview: | “Where the worlds of drum ‘n’ bass and post-punk and goth collide, stands a man like Spon” |
Nostramus at WordPress: | Nostramus World |
Nostramus at Myspace: | Nostramus at Myspace |
Nostramus at Diamond Seeds: | Nostramus at Diamond Seeds |
Nostramus old site: | Nostramus old site |
Nostramus at Facebook: | Nostramus Facebook page |
Ella Jo Interview: | Diamond Seeds talks with Ella Jo about her groundbreaking trilogy of Album’s |
Ella Jo at Diamond Seeds: | Ella Jo’s home page at DS |
Diamond Seeds Productions: | Diamond Seeds home |

What’s New At Diamond Seeds!

What’s New At Diamond Seeds This Easter

This Easter we have some new products on Diamond Seeds to delight the public. Ella Jo has made available some new books for those interested in the Tarot with two very different books on this subject. Both books are highly readable and informative, whether you are a serious student or just have a passing interest.

The first book to be produced is called ‘The Magician which is an in-depth study of this Tarot Card. It is actually the first book to be released from a whole series called ‘Tarot Decoded’ which Ella Jo says will eventually reveal all the meanings and mythologies behind each Tarot Card. We look forward to making more editions available from this on-going series.

We also have the pleasure of making another of her books available, called Journey of a Tarot Reader’. Ella Jo writes the story of her adventures in this entertaining paperback. The tale unfolds as she has a taste of beach life then takes a trip through Turkey seeking the origins of Tarot. If you are looking for some light reading for the beach this book makes a great companion. And for those who are fascinated with the subject of Tarot, she has included her research notes at the end of the book.

Finally (!) the irrepressible Ella Jo has produced yet another lyric book. Entitled ‘Attitude is Everything’. This book of lyrical poetry accompanies the album of the same name, (to be released April 2010). As with her other lyric books, there is a chapter giving information about the stories behind the songs, along with all of the poetry that makes up the lyrics on her third album.

All of the above books are new and available now on Diamond Seeds.

And Coming Soon…..

Music….
In the near future Diamond Seeds will be releasing the next Nostramus album called ‘Earthlights II’, and Ella Jo’s third album, ‘Attitude is Everything’.

Books…..
We are looking forward to hosting the next edition from Ella Jo’s series, ‘Tarot Decoded’, which will be a whole book about the High Priestess Tarot Card! And we hope to make a fantastic book available by Hugh Byrne called ‘Visions’ – a quality book by this enigmatic photographic artist.

Check back in a few weeks for reviews and availability!
AND If you want to sell your books or music through us, just send an e mail to Diamondseeds33@googlemail.com

Visit us on diamondseeds.co.uk

An Exclusive Interview with the Reclusive Ella Jo

Diamond Seeds talks with Ella Jo about her groundbreaking trilogy of Album’s

January 31st 2010

It’s not easy putting an album together when you are on your own and  female in a male dominated business. Ella Jo has put together not just one classic album, but three!
We caught up with the reclusive genius Ella Jo and talked about her three albums…

Ella Jo in serious mode

Ella Jo in serious mode as she discusses her music


DS# You’ve just finished your third album, are they related and if so did you intend that to be so?

All of the albums contain my original material. Earlier songs were co written, but every piece is my own interpretation. The first two albums were recorded at the same time in 2008. ‘Limits of Milkweed.’ and ‘Alter Ego’ are from a catalogue of songs written over the previous two decades.

We recorded three tracks at a time. I selected songs from around forty tracks, having the luxury of recording whatever matched my mood at the time. The third album, ‘Attitude Is Everything’ was written in 2009 and comes from the same core material, spanning from 1985 to present day. It was recorded with more confidence, probably gained from the five years of previous recording experience.

So essentially the albums are all related, four tracks on each album were co- written with Terry Bartlett before 1994, and there is one track on each album by Spon using samples of my vocals. Also each album has an a cappella track.

DS# Music scene (mis)conceptions of female singers is myopic in that they are usually younger, hence more exploitable – where do you see your market?

We have a massive youth culture which demands commercial music. I have no problem with this. However, I think the standard of the songwriting tends to be poor. Being a tad cynical, I would say there will always be a thread of insincerity in a music scene which is obsessed with sales figures. I enjoyed the experience of busking. Street entertainment has a place in social history but seems undervalued in modern society.

I think the commercial market is flexible enough to take on board my material. The songs were crafted to satisfy my own taste; I chose the textures, rhythms and moods and I enjoy the poetry of it. I like to celebrate the world, but there are so many other layers, I have no choice but to present the songs as organic outpourings.

But I think because the songs smack of the human experience they appeal to a huge market, and I don’t see age as a barrier. Songs written in my twenties easily appeal to others of that age. The material exists on its own now, it lifts the atmosphere all over the place… especially good for radio. I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer! You cannot classify the listening public into neat little boxes. People’s tastes do span the genres. In today’s world, music lovers access music from the distant and recent past, and from other cultures.

DS# All three albums covers have a definite feel. What importance do you place on the artwork, did you design it yourself?

Yes I designed the covers myself. With new technology I had the tools to manifest my visions. The ideas behind the music have always been strong and passionate, and the art work is integral to each album’s identity. Each front cover carries an icon. So the cover of ‘Limits of Milk Weed’ depicts a stone griffin which stood in ancient Delphi. ‘Alter Ego’ shows a little clay Venus figure, sitting in a shell. ‘Attitude Is Everything’ shows a metallic Babylonian cow goddess. Objects from antiquity give an insight into ancient people’s view of the aesthetic. People were inspired to make these objects and they survive today. Music has the same capacity, to survive and inspire through time.

Ella Jo "I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer!"

Ella Jo "I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer!"

DS# Where would you like to see your music go, once its out in the market place?

Many songs have a sound track quality; they would work well in films. The albums are played at parties and whilst on the move. I remember the thrill of listening to one of my demo’s whilst cruising on the Aegean, it gave me the confidence to continue. The production is appropriate for the ‘I’ player, and mobile phones. My music appeals to an international audience, it is capable of pleasing listeners everywhere.

DS# The differing styles across all three albums – did you plan it that way – what was the process?

For me there are absolutely no rules for songwriting. In 1985 I teamed up with Terry Bartlett, a songwriter who was in a very creative phase at the time, and we tried out a wide variety of musical styles.

By the time I came to record the songs, the material had been thoroughly developed. I learned guitar and busked the songs; they had been stripped down to bare voice and guitar chords. From this foundation Spon was able to envisage a ‘flavour’ to suit a song, and, after experimentation, the style developed. The songs actually went through three stages – the original form – from their first inception (some performed with a band), then secondly into my busking format, and lastly into the recording production phase.

During the recording project I had absolute control of the whole process. I made all musical decisions and some of the engineering and production choices. Hence I have three albums which reflect my musical vision almost to the letter. Spon’s creative influence was welcomed and became integral in developing the songs. So the styles of the songs come from strong original ideas, but with the flexibility to incorporate appropriate influences.

Steve Spontaneous: Partner in production!

Steve Spontaneous: Partner in production!

DS# What are your main influences?

When I was a kid the music in our house ranged from Joan Biaz to early Beatles, along with classical stuff like Tchaikovsky. We had the sound track from South Pacific. My fave song when I was three was ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair’.

In the mid seventies I used to record TOTP on a little tape recorder – I would get the middle third of each song – but this is where I discovered Stevie Wonder and Glam Rock. Later, I saw The Beat perform ‘Tears of A Clown’. I had never heard ska before and I realized what fun you could have with music. The Beat have remained an influence, as did stuff from my hippy phase, including Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd. I liked some Punk and discovered the Pixies, The The, and strong female singers such as Natasha Atlas, Rosa Zarogoza and Bic Runga.

DS# It must have been hard producing your three albums yourself? Who else was involved in the making of your three albums, what was their involvement and why?

I met Spon in 2004, and he helped me instigate my recording project. He had no idea that I had so many songs; I just kept coming back and recording more. It became clear pretty early on that we worked well together. He is a very experienced sound engineer and has been making music all of his life. I had permission from Terry to use the material from our association in the eighties and Spon’s input to these and my own songs really brought them alive.

Spon is able to communicate very intuitively and listens very intensely to the work. It was hard work, but six years on I am pleased with the results and I have learned much from our partnership.

Spon asked a couple of friends to contribute some guitar parts and he also played on some tracks. Felicity Nihil contributed to two tracks on the violin, and Eddie Branch, the bass player for UK Decay played on the third album. Veteran Californian groovster, Dexter Theobald Carakas, also laid down some keyboards on the third album.

Ella Jo: "my taste isn’t that different from most people"

DS# Why should anyone want to buy your album?

I learned my craft from a master songwriter and made my albums with a master sound engineer. The serious commitment I made back in 2000, when I decided to go for it, has exceeded all of my expectations. To begin with I just wanted a CD of myself to listen to, but other people have been very ambitious about the material. If they believe in the value of my work I won’t argue, I put everything into it, and I love it – and my taste isn’t that different from most people.

These songs are my contribution to 21st Century music, and, like all good popular songs, they can find a place in the modern, urban experience. For listening quality and variety these albums are a good investment.

DS# What are your future plans?

I have performed solo with guitar a few times, but I would really love to get together with a band to write new stuff and do some live performances.
I also want to get some more of my Tarot material published. This is a massive project that I need to keep chipping away at.
The future will also hold some traveling. Scandinavia appeals to me and I think I would find Norway and Sweden very exciting.

DS# Why have you published lyric books?

All of my life experiences over the last twenty five years have found an expression somewhere in my songs. They contain comments on life and explore things that caught my attention. They hold observations on my inner landscape as well as the world outside.

Years ago it was important to me to read the lyrics on the back of my LPs. Nowadays CDs are just not big enough. I wanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read. Each book contains pix and the stories behind the songs. I produced these books for poetry lovers as well as to accompany the albums.

Ella Jo: "Iwanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read"

Ella Jo: "I wanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read"

DS# You are working on another – different project – could you please give a background to it, what stage are you at and what is the final result?

Yes I have begun writing books on Tarot. I gathered so much material in my private notes that I decided to compile a manual on how to read Tarot Cards. The series is called ‘Tarot Decoded’. I have just finished the first edition of the first card, the Magician, which helps explain the structure of the Tarot.

DS# Does this reflect in your music?

I was studying Tarot back in the early Eighties before I met Terry, so I guess the Tarot always had an influence on my songwriting, although I was not aware of it. I think it can come through sometimes, as it has affected my view of the world, but it is a subtle influence and I can choose whether I want to magnify that or not.

More information on Ella Jo and her music including streams, can be found at her Myspace site: www.myspace.com/ellajotaro

the

Ella Jo At Diamond Seeds

Diamond Seeds are pleased to announce the hosting of Ella Jo’s albums on our site through our on line services.
Ella Jo's three albums signed to Diamond SeedsEJ has written and produced four albums to date, each with ten original songs. Limits Of Milkweed, Alter Ego, Attitude is Everything and Almost Anglo Saxon. These albums span the genres as she embraces neo folk to unapologetic popular music but also incorporates drum and bass grooves, acapella, and classic vibes of bond movie stature. All the songs are woven together with al fresco style singing and strong lyrics. The albums are enhanced by amusing sound-scapes, using interesting concepts and montaging techniques.

 https://www.facebook.com/ellajo.musicpage