No blog entry for over 6 months. Some might call that laziness or forgetfulness, but the conspiracy theorists among you can put your knives down. One of the team at the office has had a back operation and has been absent for 6 months, meaning that I have been extra busy with work, on top of other real life issues, and the odd foray into the world of music. Damn, where does the time go? I have had nowhere near as much time available for music as I would have liked, but I've still managed to complete a few new pieces.
I currently have a 16-month backlog of listening to attend to. These are albums which I have bought on CD or downloaded from Bandcamp, which I have only managed to listen to once immediately after purchase, or not at all. I'm currently listening to a 123 track compilation (approx. 11 hours of music) which I bought from Bandcamp in December 2013. I'm almost 1/3 of the way through this.
I spent quite a lot of time remixing and remastering Beacons in September. This was quite a revealing process which has informed me about "congestion" within mixes. My beat-driven tracks don't seem to exhibit this property to the same degree. I still have to work out exactly why this is the case but it's probably related to the percussion occupying a sizeable percentage of the available amplitude range within the spectrum. I have a good idea of what I need to do with the next mix of Beacons, thanks to layzer at KVR. This experimentation has also had beneficial effects on more recent tracks.
I began work on an Acid-House track (LV-426) back in June last year. It took me four months to complete. I had quite a few distractions during that period, attending the Ambient Music Conference, and completing 3 other pieces. It wasn't a case of the dreaded "writer's block", more a combination of circumstances and mood. It turned out ok, and even got played at a party, causing a couple of interested revellers to make enthusiastic inquiries. Those are priceless moments.
Whilst typing this, a couple of "new" tracks by FSOL ("Lakeside" and "Lizzard Crawl") started playing on my Zune, just to give me a timely reminder of how things should be done.
In November, I completed "Fools Rush In", a doomy piece of sequencing in the same vein as THX-15, but with a little more of a "Berlin" vibe and some messed-up pads. Whilst making this track, two things struck me. When I was in Finland, I remember Ambient Indigo saying that my music was quite "dark" in character. At the time, I wasn't sure that this was the case, although I do tend to favour minor keys. I do feel that the tracks I have completed in the second half of 2014 were moving in a slightly "edgier" direction, partly influenced by my attending the Ambient Music Conference and partly affected by my recent acquisition of some new FX plugins. In 2014 I bought some great stuff from Audio Damage, Izotope and 2C Audio along with some freebies from GlitchMachines. I also bought Ace and Bazille, but haven't really had the opportunity do much with these synths yet. I'm currently trying to decide whether I should splash the cash on Kaleidoscope.
In January, I got back on the remix horse and started work assembling my second album, which should be available on Bandcamp in August or September 2015. It will feature 9 tracks originally from 2009 and 2010 and should come in at just over 1 hour in length. Three of them have been remixed and mastered, and I hope to complete a fourth this week.
In January I completed "Breathe, and They May Hear You". This piece features a stripped down soundset from "Fools Rush In" and has already been remixed 2 or 3 times, in an effort to find the best levelling/mastering combination. Again, I had some help with one of the KVR members "Frantz" with this one, so experience gained here and with Beacons has been carried forward to the next "ambient" project.
Last month I completed "Refrigerant", a dark/deep/tech house piece that I had been tweaking for a while. Valhalla Shimmer is heavily featured on here, and the sound and atmosphere drove the composition of the piece in a direction I was very happy to follow.
I have just completed my piece for the new AO compilation album. This is a minimal "ambient" melodic piece using 3 instances of FMERA and some reverb, Breeze. This was a balancing act between the amplitude envelopes, note lengths and positioning. It is a concept piece inspired by overthinking the immense distances light has to travel to reach us from the stars, and the information carried within that light. I just submitted the piece yesterday and will have a go at mastering it soon.
I have managed to get "clearance" to post a couple of old Prog-rock tracks by Hobgoblin on SoundCloud. Expect to hear these soon.
I also intend to listen to a lot of KC albums in the very near future.