Dear Friends,

Once again it's time for the annual year-that-was round-up and look forward to the year that might be.
Where do I start?!
Firstly my heart goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones during this awful year and to those of you who have lost jobs and especially to those in my own field who have seen an industry reduced to something that finds it hard to qualify even as a hobby. When I was young many musicians might have seen a year without gigs as at least an opportunity to save money, as money was made from sales and gigs were seen as an investment towards those sales. The bigger the band the bigger the investment and seeing even the biggest shows was affordable, but if you wanted the music at home you had to buy it, or, when cassettes were invented, tape it off a friend - someone still had to buy it! The digital age put paid to that but many artists, particular major ones, were able to gradually switch to the business model of earning by gigging instead. A year like this couldn't have come at a worse time as for many artists that last vestige of sales income they had to fall back on has been wiped out by streaming. On the plus side, if you're an Apple shareholder they're now worth 2 trillion dollars, and great musicians will still continue producing great music even if they, (or the non-musicians working in the industry), have no way of earning an income from it.

I can count myself as one of the lucky ones who has been relatively unaffected by the pandemic. I have had gigs cancelled (or at least postponed for a year) with Orchid-Star, with Psibindi and what would have been my first solo gig this millennium at Whirl-Y-Fayre and a few DJ slots but as gigs are not a common thing for me, and often involve a lot of work and planning, in a weird way it has actually made my life feel more rather than less normal - a few less days that I actually have to drag myself away from my chair, not that I'm saying I wouldn't have preferred they went ahead!
What would have been our first gig playing any and all of our Lilaya EP got cancelled for myself and Psibindi just hours beforehand despite being a day before lockdown started but we went ahead online from my living room instead and repeated the show 2 weeks later. We did finally get to do it in front of an audience, albeit made up only of people involved in an otherwise online gig, in September but that was it for gigs in 2020.
On both the release and creative fronts it has still been a really busy year.
In July Squazoid's Voyage Across the Remixes and Terra Nine's Eternity Remixes came out 4 days apart, both with remixes by me included, along with a stellar line-up of other remixers.
My third album of Kundalini Yoga Mantras with Kwali Kumara - Euphoric - was released in August, hopefully a worthy successor to its predecessors - I think Kwali and I both think it's our best yet.
In November I released a remix of Kadialy Kouyate's beautiful song Yarabi Kuma, which I think is probably the first the song that I've asked to remix rather than the other way round.
The big surprise of the year was Orchid-Star's Faster Reimagined in December - an album which hadn't even been thought about till late August, even though most of the work on it had already been done, some of it 15 years previously. It include beautiful contributions from Trancient Dreams, Moai System and Squazoid, and, particularly pleasing for me, productions from within Orchid-star that weren't just from me - as well as the remix I did under SandRa's direction of Lotus Bloom two great dance mixes from Sean Spindrift.
In between the new releases were the re-releases, including an updated version of the 7-mix Orchid-Star single Passion, which originally went out in 2008 on Archangel^ but disappeared shortly afterwards when the distributor went bust. A nice opportunity not just to sparkle up the 2 main mixes but also to upload a version of the video that was of watchable quality!
I also re-released my albums Inside the Voice Inside and Aria on Pink Hampster, although these had been out under license through US label Cyberset until only a few months before. And the unforgiveable mistake that my ambient album with Orchid-Star's Samantha (Samanta) Ray - Interuterion - had not been available digitally for about 4 years finally got rectified!
Also Squazoid's 2014 album Two Reality which includes their Honey Drop Remix of Orchid-Star's Wildflower, previously only available on Bandcamp, finally got a general release
If you want a nice selection of the year's activities all in one place you can check out 2020 Reimagined, the DJ mix I did a few weeks ago for Chillspace, with the bulk of the Orchid-Star album along with this year's crop of remix releases, plus one with Kwali due out early next year (see below)
You can find it on Youtube or Soundcloud
I've also continued to work for Kadialy and for Terra Nine on the engineering side - expect releases from them this year including a single from Kadialy - Kanou Foro, which was due out today but has had to be delayed.
Under the circumstances I'm a little reluctant to predict too much for 2021, especially regarding gigs but I can tell you about some things that are on the way or on the go. 
Though I'm not going to guess a release date I'm heading towards the finish line with a 2-hour ambient (or ambientish) album with Kwali - Elemental Temples Vol 1 - (no mantras!) A dance mix of one of the tracks - Air - which is on the DJ mix above, will be released early this year by Ensancha el Alma Records on what is going to be an absolutely awesome 6-CD compilation that includes many of my favourite artists of the last 4 decades. Orchid-Star's Wildflower will also be on the album.
I'm also halfway through a remix for Nathassia of a gorgeous new song Lair - not sure of a release date for that but February should see the release of a remix I did in May of another beautiful song - The Edge - that Nathassia recorded with Yence505.
I'm keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed that the pandemic won't get in the way of Whirl-Y-Fayre 2021, postponed, with the entire line-up, from 2020. It will be 28 years since my first 'Parachute' set for Whirl-Y-Gig, which was also their first one at a festival, and 25 years since my last solo set for them. These were also the first and last solo gigs I did. I'm busy now working on music for it and very excited at the prospect. Whether this also forms the core of my first solo album in a few years I've yet to decide but it's possible.
As soon as we're allowed too I'm also planning to start work on some new tunes with Psibindi and possibly even Orchid-Star too, who I've been really missing seeing, never mind working with.
And for people who've been on this mailing list since it was on paper I can announce that all three Glow (& the Dept. of Luminosity) albums will also finally get a proper digital release this year!
So whether this year is largely housebound again or not it should be a creative and productive one for me. I hope that things will pick up for everyone and that you can all find some happiness and optimism in and for 2021
Lots of love,
Pete and Orchid-Star
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