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Patchwork Cacophony

by Patchwork Cacophony

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a jewel case with 8 page booklet featuring wonderful artwork from Candy Medusa of Black Dwarf Designs.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Patchwork Cacophony via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      £10 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £5 GBP  or more


No U-Turn 02:58
Brinkmanship 10:57
Dawn light grows as darkness yields, Sunshine falls on golden fields, All the signs of a normal day, Put something pulls my mind away, Can you feel a change is in the air? Nature seems ill at ease, Hear the whispers on the breeze, Something's coming, with it change, Our world will never be the same, Can you feel a change is in the air? No-one else seems aware, They carry on without a care, Turn your backs or look away, Change is coming either way, Can you feel a change is in the air?
Tales of devastation coming down the wire, The sea is boiling and lands on fire, No time to think things over, No time to watch and wait, Grab a bag and travel late, It'll all be over if we hesitate. Word from the few survivors coming down the track, The sky is falling and the air's turned black, No time to look for answers, No time to hope and pray, Time is up we need to leave, It'll all be over if we stay. Whatever's coming won't find us here, We need to grab our things and disappear, No time to look for answers, No time to hope and pray, Time is up we need to leave, It'll all be over if we stay. No time to think things over, No time to watch and wait, Grab a bag and travel late, It'll all be over if we hesitate.
I was thinking, I was wondering, Maybe it's safe to go home? After all we don't know where we're going. And we're out on our own. Where are we going? The pace is slowing. Can we all slow down now? Can we stop and wait? Are we nearly there yet? Because it's getting late. We need to stop right now. We can all go forward, or we can all turn back. But take a look around you, we can't stay.
I just need a moment to rest my feet, Walked so many miles now, I need to sleep, I just need to lie down, to rest for the night, I'm sure come the morning I'll see the dawn light.
Darkness grows as daylight yields, Shadows crawl across the fields, Ever since the world began, Night and day, hand in hand. Sun it rises, sun it sets, Dawn’s not ever failed us yet, Still the ticking second hand’s, Counting down the time of man, Can you feel the changing air? Some day tomorrow won’t be there, Precious every breaking day, Soon we count them all away, Are we looking at the final sunset? Are we coming to the end of the line? Are we living through the final days of the world? Is this the end of our time?


Dear Listener,
This album has been a long time coming. A while back I wrote enough of Dawn Light to give myself what felt like the core of an album, and so I began gathering up the various ideas I'd had kicking around and started assembling them. A few months ought to be all I'd need, I thought. What with the Fusion Orchestra 2 and Broken Parachute albums, and a fair amount of influence from the procrastination monkey, it's taken several years longer than I initially expected.

Sketch of a Day
Sketch was born as an inspired late night piano improvisation that I happened to record on a dictaphone. It sat around for about ten years before I finally took it into a studio, tied up the composition and arranged it for a larger — much larger — set of instruments. Of all the tracks on the album this one is the densest and most complex. Some might say Over The Top. The featured instruments are primarily piano and Prophet '08 analogue synthesizer, though there's a fair helping of mellotron emulation, the twelve part "choir of doom" and most of the instruments are given their moment in the spotlight.

No U­-Turn
Originally conceived as the intro for a longer track, the first demo recording of this had such bounce to it that I decided instead to make it into a short and to the point piece. At one stage I had intended to put a brass section in but as the album panned out more and more to be an entirely solo work, and given that I can't play the trumpet, I bought a melodica. While I wasn't looking it elbowed its way into the spotlight.

Dance of the Fleet-­footed Heffalumps
Instrumentally this seems to use all of the instruments from Sketch that weren't there on U­Turn (with the exception of the Choir of Doom which gets a relatively easy time of it until Dawn Light — some might call that a spoiler). This one came from my early experiments with mellotron samples, but really took shape musically when I was messing about with a classical guitar and found the combination of the two sounds really worked. There was at one point a slightly unusual drum part but in the end I decided it didn't suit the light­hearted character of the pieces so replaced it with hand percussion.

At the same time this is the oldest and the newest piece on the album. It was written in 1999, I think, but it was the last track on the album to be recorded. It was partially an attempt to write with rhythm taking more of a central role where I normally feature harmony or melody. Having gone to town with the arrangements on most other tracks, I was determined to keep this stripped back. Well, I suppose it's all relative, but I could at least imagine playing this one live with a band.

Nylons for Parot
For the sake of the album flow I wanted a simple piece to give some space to breathe between Brinkmanship and Dawn Light. Originally I had expected it to be a piano piece of some sort, but when I wrote this simple guitar piece for a friend, it occurred to me that it had the feel I wanted. Rather than rewrite it for piano, it just served as motivation to practise my fingerstyle playing a bit more.

Dawn Light
The writing of Dawn Light was probably the moment that tipped me over the threshold into deciding that I would be recording this album. Originally the result of a frantic weekend writing session trying to come up with ideas for a comedy zombie musical, it took shape as something a bit different. From the start, and for reasons I can't really remember, I decided that there would be absolutely no guitar on this piece. In the end I cheated and allowed myself to bend the rules for one sneaky guitar cameo. There's a notional prize for the first person to locate it.

- Thanks
And now the Oscar Acceptance Speech Moment: For something that was so deliberately produced as a solo work, this album owes an enormous amount to the inspiration, support, encouragement and indeed patience of many people. To the muses, musos and mascots... my heart­felt thanks. Now have a week's break before I start the next album.
-And Finally
As a gesture to the teenage version of myself who loved reading these lists while listening to albums, trying to spot each part like a treasure hunt checklist:

Ben Bell plays... Piano, Hammond Organ, Prophet '08 Synthesizer, Clavia Nord Stage, Yamaha TG55, Taijiguy and Emu Classic Keys mellotron samples, Yamaha drums, Sabian, Wuhan and Stagg cymbals, fretted and fretless bass guitars, electric, acoustic, classical and high­strung guitars, jam blocks, timbales, congas, cowbells, bodhrán, cottonwood hand drum, guiro, telephone bells, kazoo, nylon brushes, tin cans, jingle scarves, szechuan pepper shaker, tambourine, mini djmebe, melodica and, both as as himself and in character as the Fabled Choir of Doom, his voice. All recording and mixing carried out using Ardour and other Open Source software running on Linux.


released December 8, 2014


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Patchwork Cacophony England, UK

Patchwork Cacophony is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ben Bell. The keyboard-driven compositions have an emphasis on the classic instruments of the glory days of progressive rock, such as the hammond organ and mellotron.

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