After a 12-year hiatus since hanging up his guitar, Keith Nuttall returned to making music. He ditched traditional band instruments almost altogether, in favour of a computer and a broad collection of samples of folk and classical instruments. The music he produced was an eclectic mix of genres and sounds. Although this was a big departure for Keith, you could still just about recognise his sound.
Digital EP (2001)
Digital was Yammer’s first recording, influenced by the characterful sounds of traditional instruments. Having not played an instrument for many years, Keith decided that his aim was to create ethnic-sounding music electronically, without playing a single note.
It uses samples of traditional acoustic instruments and a few made-up noises — the sort of thing classical music composers might have done, if they had computers.
Digital was released in June 2001, and was remixed and reissued in October 2001.
Track Listing: Happy / Quartet / Acid Test / Fanfare
… a Bit Chaotic, but Interesting EP (2002)
Spurred on by an encouraging response to his Yammer debut, Digital, Keith continued working in a similar musical vein, mixing sampled instruments and different musical genres.
Three tracks were completed by the following Spring and were compiled in a new EP … a bit chaotic, but interesting (a vaguely flattering phrase used to describe Digital by a British music magazine).
Best compared to Digital as ‘the same, only different’, it represents three completely different approaches to music: church-organ-based techno, futuristic space-jazz, and mock-orchestral whimsy. Drone was later voted a Track of the Day on Garageband in summer 2004.
Track Listing: Organ Grinder / Drone / Christmas Time
Worm Pizza (2003)
With only the word “mole” as guidance, music was exchanged internationally by internet and by post, over a six month period. Eventually, a mini-album of musical re-workings of mole-related songs was completed.
This project was privately released in March 2003 as Worm Pizza – a present for The Residents on their 30th anniversary, and delivered in person. Due to popular demand, it was later reissued, as Worm Pizza (Re-heated).
Track Contributions: We Are the Moles / Mole in a Hole / We Are the Moles (Renaldo, with Rock, Krister & Keith)
Ever Decreasing Circles EP (2003)
Despite vowing to try something different, a disturbing number of pieces remained unfinished, so Keith utilised all of his unused bits of music, and created something new.
Ever Decreasing Circles would clear the decks for a new music project by tidying up all loose ends. Inevitably, this was the penultimate composition by Yammer.
It seemed appropriate to name the new tunes after regional cuisine which incorporates ‘left-overs’, and to name the EP after a the musical experience which lead to its creation.
Track Listing: Salmagundi (ft. Jess Nuttall) / Gallimaufry (ft. Kevin Hickey) / Bubble and Squeak (ft. Ulrich Bomnüter & Bex Nuttall) / Slumgullion (ft. Kevin Hickey)
Long Division (2004)
Yammer’s only album, Long Division, explores a space somewhere between Jazz, Techno, Ambient, Classical, Industrial and Progressive Electronica. It’s an album of personality crises; a confused scrapbook of musical experiences.
It compiles the three Yammer EPs released between 2001 and 2003, and Keith’s contributions to The Moles‘ Worm Pizza project.
Track Listing: We Are the Moles / Acid Test / Fanfare / Drone / Bubble and Squeak / Mole in a Hole / Happy / Gallimaufry / Organ Grinder / Quartet / Slumgullion / Salmagundi / Christmas Time
Keith embarked in a new direction, acquiring new equipment with a view to playing live. Whilst gearing-up and familiarising himself with real-time sampling, he composed a new track, which reminded him of 70s American police TV dramas.
Cop was released online on the (now defunct) Garageband website, and garnered some praise, but this became the last output of the Yammer project.
Keith started collecting equipment which enabled him to perform electronic music live, as well as in the studio. But, a couple of years later, it became clear that he couldn’t find anyone mad enough to join him, and the gear was eventually sold or put away.