Track Premiere: Charlie Cocksedge (Money)
“It wasn’t long after I started playing guitar as a teenager that I got my first delay pedal. My brother then gave me a copy of ‘Loveless’ by My Bloody Valentine, and a whole world of guitar noise was opened up to me!”
MONEY comprise Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman. They formed in Manchester and embody the passion, creativity and optimism of a new generation of artists and musicians from there. “It’s an extraordinary, poetic city,” frontman Jamie says, “You feel like you can do anything here”.
The exclusive track premiere of ‘Corrour’ displays the guitar-based, solo instrumental work of Money guitarist Charlie Cocksedge. Having performed a live score for a short film last summer, the next step was to record these multi-layered, ethereal musical compositions to tape, which thankfully took place in a Liverpool recording studio a short time later.
‘Corrour’ opens with warm fuzz of guitar noise, sharing the shimmering beauty of an ocean’s irresistible glaze during first light. Some moments later, soft clean guitar notes serve the vital pulse to the composition’s aching core. Beauty – unimaginable and divine – unfolds as endless layers of sublime sonic bliss ascends into the surrounding atmosphere.
A rich tapestry of enthralling soundscapes is masterfully crafted by Coscksedge; the dreamy shoegaze sound of My Bloody Valentine is inter-woven with the ambient touchstones of the Kranky and Thrill Jockey back-catalogue amidst indie luminaries such as Yo La Tengo and Tortoise’s Doug McCombs. Towards the song’s euphoric crescendo – some six minutes in – a wall of soaring guitar melodies ebb and flow into one glorious cohesive whole, reminiscent of Slowdive’s ’91 debut ‘Just for a Day’. Money frontman Jamie Lee has previously explained how Money’s desire “is to create the world afresh on our own terms”. This is precisely what ‘Corrour’ achieves with its stunning beauty and captivating spell.
Interview with Charlie Cocksedge (Money).
As part of the incredible quartet of Money, the deeply affecting debut album ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’ is a very special and enlightening record. Please discuss the creative process involved and indeed the collaborative process between you, frontman Jamie Lee and Billy and Scott? It must have been an enriching space in time to have witnessed these songs bloom into their finished entities during the course of the band’s recording sessions?
Charlie Cocksedge: ‘The Shadow of Heaven’ evolved over quite a long time. One of the first songs we wrote was ‘Letter to Yesterday’, but that is pretty much the only song that we’ve kept from those early periods, the rest were heavily worked and reworked over time through gigging and demoing. However there was also a lot of experimentation in the studio. In the end, the collaborative and creative process was different for almost every song on the album, but at the same time we worked hard to ensure the songs didn’t sound disparate, and that it flowed and progressed as a whole record.
Congratulations on the stunning guitar-based instrumentals. The compositions possess an ethereal dimension as a rare beauty unfolds with each and every note and sculpted sound. Please discuss this solo venture of yours and the period of time in which these new tracks emerged from?
CS: Thanks very much. These tracks mainly came about in between touring with the band during 2014. I’ve always been doing little compositions for fun aside from Money, and in the summer I got to perform one of them as a score for a short film for an event at Manchester Art Gallery, and shortly after that I had my first solo show. So those things pretty much forced me to actually finish these tracks and work out how to play them live, which I really enjoyed. The natural step then, after putting a live set together, was to record.
How do you see the correlation between Money (and particularly the live tour of ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’) and these solo works? I can imagine you have been crafting gorgeous guitar melodies such as these for a significant part of your life (as it’s something that feels so organic, rich and highly emotive)?
CS: It might not be immediately obvious, but yes there’s definitely a correlation between the two. I’ve always been a bit of a collector of effects pedals, and have used them subtly within Money to enhance our sound, both on record and live – making loops, drones etc – but with this solo work I really get to expand on that, and a lot of the music comes from just playing around with different sounds. It wasn’t long after I started playing guitar as a teenager that I got my first delay pedal. My brother then gave me a copy of ‘Loveless’ by My Bloody Valentine, and a whole world of guitar noise was opened up to me!
Please talk me through the spellbinding ‘Corrour’. What is the recording and layering process utilized when recording these beautifully soothing soundscapes?
CS: The track came from just playing around with a loop pedal in my bedroom at my old house (the house was called Corrour). I came up with the main melodies there, working out how they would intertwine, and then developed the track as a whole in our practice room in Manchester. I recorded it in a studio in Liverpool with a guy called Tom Roach, which was really good fun. I’d only ever been in a studio with the band, so it was a bit scary but also exciting. The recording process itself was fairly easy; I’d already worked out how to play everything live, so Tom and I just worked on how to separate the layers and different ideas in the most effective way for recording, and then tried out different instruments for certain parts so it wasn’t entirely guitar. I love playing live, but at the same time this music is really suited to headphones and home listening, so that is always in the back of my mind while recording.
What composers and artists do you feel have inspired your guitar-based solo works?
CS: I’ve always been a fan of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, I love their different styles, and the different nature of their music has certainly had an effect on me. I recently got to see Jonny Greenwood perform Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, which was truly inspiring. Jonny’s film scores have influenced me a lot as well, particularly the way he uses instruments in an unconventional way – scratching the violin strings or using cellos as percussion for instance. More recently I’ve been listening to Dan Deacon and Nils Frahm – two amazing performers who both create huge soundscapes onstage, while also having moments of quiet beauty.
‘The Shadow of Heaven’ by Money is out now on Bella Union. Charlie Cocksedge’s solo guitar works is a forthcoming release.