Zombierella: Messer Chups, Tentative Reels and Bleak Engineers

Three recent Bandcamp favourites featuring Russian bassist and vocalist Svetlana Negaeva aka “Zombierella” of Messer Chups, Tentative Reels and Bleak Engineers.

This is a great mix of different musical and visual genres from 1950’s and ’60s Surf Rock, B-Movie and monster flicks, the American Dream, Soviet Wave, electro goth, doomer, cold wave, Tarantino and more bringing together a lot of music, art and ideas I like.

Things to do in Isolation

Personally I’m okay with the ‘new normal’, social distancing, fresher, cleaner air and less people, when I’ve ventured outside for exercise and provisions.

Pollution in London has definitely reduced, the air smells fresher, skies are bluer, clouds are whiter and fluffier, tree’s even look fuller and greener than around this same time last year.  

Urban wildlife are loving it as well, foxes are making more noise than usual. For me, “lockdown” has felt like a long holiday.

One of the best new things for me was enrolling on a free online guitar scales and chord progressions course with Berklee College of Music.

I’m about half way through and I’ve already learnt enough to use in my own song writing and solo improv’s.

It was well worth the time just to learn DOO WOP chord progressions.

I can’t recommend this course highly enough for a beginner or someone like me who has a guitar and wants to play it properly.

I found the course on Class Central and is running via Coursera.

free software offers from Korg and Moog:


I took advantage of the Moog Minimoog Model D and Korg iKaossilator software downloads — when they were free.  Both are very good software versions of the real thing.

The Minimoog Model D has pretty much the same functions as the hardware version but you will need very small fingers to play the keys, operate the switches, oscillator dials on an iPhone or iPad screen.

The iKaossilator is a fun app as well with tons of sounds and variations to “occupy your mind”.  I guess the hardware version is pretty similar and fun as well.

I’m still waiting for my free download of Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts V – VI double album offered a few weeks ago. The site was apparently inundated.

It is a nice, ambient album.  I’ve listened to it on YouTube all the way through and watched the interview with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross explaining how they made it — completing one song per day with Trent improvising and Atticus recording then arranging it into tracks.

There is a lot of very good free music available as well on Bandcamp.

I’ve been working on a few musical ideas of my own. I got a sale the other day just when I was ready to do something else.