Simon Klee – some mighty exciting ‘noises and sounds’ for the ME Association

November 17, 2021

One of the country’s biggest staging posts for experimental new music has brought out a double-CD to raise money for the ME Association – after label owner Simon Klee received a diagnosis of M.E. this summer.

The diagnosis – following years of ill-health and misdiagnosis – was a revelation for Simon, who runs Anticipating Nowhere Records from his desk at home.

“Things instantly made so much more sense and I now understand myself better than ever before. I can now take the appropriate action to manage my conditions and not just pop pills in the hope they work”, he said.

Simon, who has also recently been diagnosed with ADHD and Fibromyalgia, set up his label in November 2020 to provide a platform for experimental musicians.

“I would never have dreamt that I would still be going one year later, 34 releases under my belt with many more lined up.”

With all profits kindly coming over to the MEA, he invited his stable of artistes to each contribute a track to the fundraiser, called ‘Listen with ME’.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive and incredibly humbling. Twenty four hours and 21 responses later, what I had planned as a single CD had reached double-CD proportions. Wow!”

Those who don’t follow the world of what Simon describes bluntly as a mix of “experimental noises and sounds” should forget any resemblance to Abbey Road Studios, EMI Records, sessions musicians and A&R men chewing big, fat cigars.

Entry levels in Simon’s world are much less fancy. Think modern-day synthesisers, whatever tracks of whatever sounds that take one's fancy laid on top of each other and that electronic je ne sais quoi that makes your recording a cut above the rest.

In ‘Listen with ME’, they tumble out as 23 tracks of varying lengths and styles. Put them on shuffle: one minute you’re listening to an exquisite tear-jerking lullaby, the next an odyssey to a crowd buying burgers at a rugby match and then such deep demented groaning in the pipes that you think your radiators are about to blow.

This – together with his family – is what excites 49-year-old Simon at nights and weekends, when he’s not having to take time out to manage the latest boom and bust cycle of his ME. I caught up with him this week after he had taken to his bed for a couple of days to recover from a bout of Post-Exertional Malaise.

He gets equally excited by his day job – he runs a big team of over 30 people as digital transformation lead at the London Borough of Hounslow which is close to Heathrow Airport.

Earlier in the week, while reflecting on the charity compilation, he said he made 20 sales in the first three days and was fizzing about how his ANR label had “taken off”.

In an exceptionally well-written press release to go with the charity album, he wrote:

“Every day is one filled with extreme tiredness and more often than not all-over pain and confusion/forgetfulness.

“But I no longer think there is something ‘wrong’ with me. I have some medical conditions which affect me physically and mentally but I am still me – a good, kind, fair, honest and loving me.”

‘Listen with ME’ is available to order from Bandcamp as a double CD or a digital download here.

Tony Britton
Senior Fundraising Consultant, The ME Association Mob: 07393 805566

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