From his latest newsletter Peter Hammill writes the following:
"Meanwhile, as I say, I've been working on the next solo album proper since January of this year. As of a few days ago, it's finally finished, bar the odd remix/final overdub/last minute panic or re-ordering of tracks. I expect that it'll be out in early November or even late October. As yet it's still untitled (though I've *almost* decided...); in turn, of course, the cover is not yet designed. That's a normal sate of affairs for an album at this stage. I'm not going to say any more about it at present, except that it's a genuine solo effort."
So new work is on the way but besides that Peter continues:
"Apart from the new recordings I've been doing a lot of remastering of late. First of all, the latest pieces of reworked Fie! catalogue are now back in stock, to whit, "Patience" and "Fireships". Both of these are fully remastered and re-covered (by Paul Ridout, of course). They 'd been out of stock for some time, partly because their original production had been by a different company to the one we now use and the original masters of both audio and artwork were no longer available. In order to repress any copies at all it's therefore been necessary to start from first principles. Rather than just copying and cloning it seemed an appropriate time to do a serious job of updating the things. This is work done out of necessity, in other words, rather than prompted by marketing and resale drives!
"Patience", in particular, needed to be brought up to speed in the same way as its sibling, "Enter k", had been a few years ago. The sonic enhancements are most evident on this cd, therefore, as its recording predates the whole era of direct to consumer digital delivery...that's to say, it was originally put out on (and mastered for) vinyl. It now has much more punch, as befits the content. "Fireships", being a more recent record, required rather less effort to be presented in a buffed up and gleaming state; in fact, if anything I had to be wary of applying treatment for treatment's sake. I have to say I'm modestly pleased with the results in both cases and very glad indeed that they're available once again. Obviously any copies coming from us will be the remastered versions but if you have any doubt as to what you're getting from any other source... the Cd for "Fireships" now has a pictorial imprint on the CD, and the cover photograph of "Patience" has a sepia tinge. Oh, more simply, if the barcodes start 50245 then they're The New Thing.
These two albums are pivotal in my development at the different points in my career when they emerged. "Fireships", after all, was the first new recording to come out on Fie! Records. It was also highly significant in terms of my ongoing songwriting and arrangement attitudes. "Patience", as a collection of songs, is probably rivalled only by "Sitting Targets" in terms of containing enduring songs to which I would return again and again in live performance."
Both CDs are due out within the next couple of weeks but more is on the way, Peter continues:
"Moving right along on the remastering production line...following on from their release of all the VdGG stuff (and, indeed, "Fool's Mate") Virgin have now decided to put out the next eight solo albums which fall within their compass. I've been hard at work at the desk sprucing, buffing, polishing and shining them to present them in the best possible light. The earliest ones of these sounded decidedly odd from whichever standpoint you want to take, and were quite a handful to deal with in a sonic sense. But they all have their fascinations and there's some cracking content, of course.
The first four to emerge will be "Chameleon", "Silent Corner", "In Camera" and "Nadir"; they're due in September. They'll be followed by "Over", "The Future Now", "pH7" and "A Black Box". There are odd extra tracks, sourced either from BBC tapes or (as in the VdGG issues) from bootlegs, on all the CDs except "Nadir" and "A Black Box", which remain in their original form; it didn't seem right to add anything else to these two. I've written liner notes, of a sort, for all the releases and will write more about them here in a second newsletter later (but not much later) this year."