Transmaniacon release two new singles in tribute to vocalist Simon Holliday

Transmaniacon release two new singles in tribute to vocalist Simon Holliday

11th July 2024 0 By Jon Deaux
Transmaniacon in 2014 were the band formed from the split of XM3a (One (huge) single and a Black Moth Split release on NHS Records). The heavy riffing and over-driven organ and synth Prog/Sci-Fi/Space Rocking was given an altogether new vibe with the arrival of vocalist and song-smith Simon Holliday. Simon’s vocal performances on the following album ‘The Darkening Plain’ were astounding – dark and utterly convincing – and punk/post-punk tinged (sitting as they did on the epic 25 minute ‘Quintessence of Dust’ alongside a Lydia Lunch spoken Word appearance) – think Jello Biafra/John Lydon.
It was perhaps this unusual alliance of styles and the dark theatricality of the album and band (only one ever immersive performance of a 35 minute ‘Quintessence’) that meant while the album was well received, it was also not completely understood either.
Simon was to leave the band to join London noise-punks Art Trip several months later during the song-writing for the follow up album, Suzie Pellet.
Simon’s sad, premature death in March this year shocked the band along with the large musical fraternity with whom Simon had worked with during his musical career (From 80’s/90’s Camden days with The Unbelievers alongside The Faith Healers and Snuff to producing Skinny Girl Diet and playing back in home-town, Portsmouth with Milton Underground Resistance. From synth and sound for Stereolab to on the road with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Turin Brakes). As a tribute to Simon, Transmaniacon have revisited, remixed and mastered two of Simon’s songs written at the time of ‘The Darkening Plain’ album but not released at the time.
Both dark an dense (neither fitting thematically with the post-apocalyptic sci-fi setting for the album)
‘Kill Your Love’ A driving and ferocious ‘Deep Purple’ rocker about a doomed relationship
‘Please Kill Me’ A pounding and Doomy progger of angst about illness and assisted death
The tracks are available as a free/name your price digital single by NHS Records with a new sleeve design by Simon’s brother, artist Dan Holliday.
Simon would go on to release albums with Art Trip and the Static Sound, Milton Underground Resistance and (extraordinarily) Micro-wave Wankers! He also had tracks recorded for his very first solo album.
Some Tributes
One of life’s greatest sick jokes is that you often only realize how loved or how deeply talented a person really was after they’re gone. We (Turin Brakes) knew Simon as the best soundman we’d ever worked with and over 14 years fell in love with the man behind the mixer. It turns out there was an absolute killer songwriter and performer behind that mixer too. These tunes with his excellent collaborator Transmaniacon shed even more light across the landscape of his musical legacy. They’re heavy as hell and take no prisoners and I can see Simon’s cheeky grin from heaven as he watches us all get our ears smashed off by his wonderfully progged-up sonic confessions. It is an absolute mind-blowing joy to hear them finally find their way to the world.
Olly Knights – Turin Brakes – May 2024
I can’t quite believe Si’s passing. In my heart and mind, he is still vibrant with life force.
Alas, I have to come to terms with the fact that I won’t cross paths with him anymore, at Cafe Oto or other venues or have him work on our sound as he used to.
He was so appreciated for his kindness and his frank way of speaking -quite untypical for a brit!-. 
Nonjudgemental he treated everyone equally, with no prejudice or projection. He was fair to people.
It has been so fun and a privilege to work and be on tour with him. He has been a big part of our Stereolab story, forging our sound and all our travels around the UK and Europe and a little later traveling around the US and beyond. He was a fantastic touring buddy.
I miss him greatly and hope that wherever he may be he is traveling on and on, restfully, joyfully.
Laetitia Sadier – Stereolab June 2024
Simon Holliday was more than an uncle to us he was a mentor and also dedicated a number of years to supporting us on the road tirelessly as Skinny Girl Diet including changing my guitar strings in high-pressure situations he always went above and beyond for everyone he loved and admired. He was one of the first people I met with one of the most unique and eclectic music tastes and also possessed buckets of musical talent and ability that I now try to emulate in my own art. He will always be an inspiration to me, so to see this record out in the world is personal blessing for us. From the bottom of my heart thank you to Paul and Ged from NHS Records for putting this record out. I know he would have loved the gesture and the fact that he would still be releasing music from the grave. That was very much his humor and style. Keep on rocking Uncle Si
Delilah – Skinny Girl Diet
During his time with Art Trip & the Static Sound Simon had a massive input both musically and in the studio, particularly at the mixing desk. He was a major driver for our collective efforts. He’ll be much missed. 
Tony/Art Trip
“I first met Simon at the sausage machine in the very early 90’s. The steady Eddie soundman responsible for making the greatest club sound magical. With that, the requisite late nights in north London not wasting youth on the young. Fast forward my early years in New York and I’d see him perched in the crows’ nest sound board at Irving Plaza mixing one of those London bands. Somehow we stayed in some form of touch and I was able to draft him in for some yeah yeah yeahs uk and Europe action. I was the kind of person I wish I knew better and was able to see more of. Humor, humility, and humanity- a presence sorely missed.”
Dave Burton Tour Manager  –  Yeah Yeah Yeahs 
“I loved Simon’s energy. Enthused with a wicked, cynical sense of humor that was never cruel. We laughed a lot!  Also. Fun fact about Kill Your Love. The song was inspired by We Live In Brooklyn by Roy Ayers! Simon told me.”
Karl Hussey  – Ten Benson / Transmaniacon
Simon brought so much to every musical project with which he was involved. Inspiration, commitment, passion, performance, and an encyclopedic knowledge of all that’s best in rock music.
Steve Cox  –  Transmaniacon
I wrote this poem about my Dearest friend and Brother in Law Simon
The Man He Was 
He was an anarchist through and through 
A feminist ally which I suspect you never knew 
A man who supported women in all their endeavors Regardless of race, age, and gender Because that’s the kind of man Simon was 
A girl learns to play guitar he never told her that she couldn’t 
A middle-aged woman sings he never made her feel like she shouldn’t 
What’s more, he lets her take the lead 
He understands the drive the need 
Because that’s the type of man Simon was 
I play the same three chords in all my songs he lied 
Putting his own prolific talent aside 
To build her confidence to pick up the guitar again 
And step back into the arena surrounded by men 
Because that’s the kind of man Simon was 
He was a safe space in a room 
He was laughter amidst the gloom 
He was a walking wall of sound 
Someone you loved to be around 
Because that’s the type of man Simon was 
From obscure reggae tracks to funk and soul 
Post-punk to goth and rock and roll 
So many genres that he knew 
And that he was more than happy to share with you 
He sang and wrote songs galore 
Told me about albums I never heard of before 
He compiled huge amounts of playlists Tape cassettes he’d give out as gifts 
Because that’s the type of man Simon was
Mel Holliday  –  Art Trip & The Static Sound

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