FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Posts Tagged ‘David Bowie

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E12 | December mix

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fracturedair_dec16

 

Welcome to our final mixtape for 2016.

For our last mix we are really excited to share an exclusive first listen of the forthcoming album by Finland’s The Gentleman Losers. Based in Helsinki, The Gentleman Losers comprise the brothers Samu and Ville Kuukka. The duo have released their music on such independent labels as Büro, City Centre Offices, Warp, Nothings66 and Standard Form. Their two full-length releases – 2006’s self-titled debut album and 2009’s sophomore “Dustland” – have been universally acclaimed, winning the hearts of many esteemed music-lovers worldwide, while also being championed by such independent music stalwarts as Germany’s Nils Frahm and UK’s Bibio. The forthcoming third record – the brothers’ latest venture into blissful instrumental music of unknown pleasures – is set to be released during 2017.

December’s mix also features our favourite album of the year: “Upstepping” by UK cellist and composer Oliver Coates. As well as releasing his second solo album earlier this year (via PRAH Recordings) Coates has also released the sublime collaborative work “Remain Calm” (with Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes) via the UK label Slip Discs. In addition to a busy schedule of extensive touring and live performances during the year, Coates also performed strings on the current Radiohead album “A Moon Shaped Pool” (XL Recordings).

Other 2016 favourites are featured here, including: Brigid Mae Power (self-titled LP via Tompkins Square), Carla dal Forno (“You Know What It’s Like” via Blackest Ever Black), Kevin Morby (“Singing Saw” via Dead Oceans), Jessy Lanza’s “Oh No” (Hyperdub), Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s “EARS” (Western Vinyl), Amiina’s “Fantômas” (Mengi) and Eluvium’s “False Readings On” (Temporary Residence).

In a year that has all too often thrown up troubling and distressing news and events, it places an even brighter spotlight on the vital role – in expressing emotions, articulating thoughts, distilling messages, blurring boundaries and lighting the way – that music brings to all our lives. In our tiny capacity, we’d like to thank all the musicians, labels and listeners for helping to keep that eternal light flickering.

Wishing our readers and listeners a very happy Christmas and peaceful new year.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E12 | December mix

 

 

01. Uncle Charlie“…today is the thing” (Shadow Of A Doubt)
02. The Caretaker“It’s just a burning memory” (History Always Favours the Winners)
03. Julianna Barwick“Heading Home” (excerpt) (Dead Oceans)
04. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani“Closed Circuit” (excerpt) (RVNG Intl)
05. Jessy Lanza“Going Somewhere” (DVA HI:EMOTIONS Remix) (Hyperdub)
06. Tim Hecker“Violet Monumental II” (4AD)
07. Arthur Russell“You And Me Both” (Rough Trade)
08. Oliver Coates“PERFECT LOVE” (PRAH Recordings)
09. Demdike Stare“Animal Style” (Modern Love)
10. Grouper“Headache” (Yellow Electric)
11. The Gentleman Losers“There Will Come Soft Rains” (Exclusive)
12. Carla dal Forno“You Know What It’s Like” (Blackest Ever Black)
13. Amiina “Lady Beltham” (Mengi)
14. Kevin Morby“Cut Me Down” (Dead Oceans)
15. Dungen“Trollkarlen Och Fågeldräkten” (Smalltown Supersound / Mexican Summer)
16. Exploded View“Stand Your Ground” (Sacred Bones)
17. Brigid Mae Power“I Left Myself For A While” (Tompkins Square)
18. Ben Frost“Stormfront” (Bedroom Community)
19. Sarah Neufeld“They All Came Down” (Paper Bag)
20. A Winged Victory For The Sullen“Gare du Nord Part One” (Iris OST, Erased Tapes)
21. Philip Glass“Heroes” (Aphex Twin Remix) (Warp)
22. Eluvium“Washer Logistics” (Temporary Residence)
23. Leonard Cohen“The Partisan” (Columbia)
24. Naïm Amor & John Convertino“Before We Go” (LM Dupli-cation)
25. Calexico“Gift X-Change” (Our Soil, Our Strength)

Compiled by Fractured Air, December 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Mixtape: Cillian Murphy – “Be Good To Them Always” (Fractured Air, Nov. ’16)

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We’re delighted to present the latest in a series of guest mixtapes compiled by Irish actor Cillian Murphy. 2016 has been another very prolific year for Cork-born actor with the airing of the third season of the Steven Knight-penned epic BBC gangster drama “Peaky Blinders”;  the release of the Sean Ellis-directed WWII drama “Anthropoid”; the eagerly-awaited latest film by Ben Wheatley, “Free Fire”, set in 1970’s Boston starring Murphy alongside Brie Larson, Sam Riley and Michael Smiley; the filming of both Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” (Summer 2017) and the Sally Potter-directed “The Party”, comprising a stellar cast including Bruno Ganz, Timothy Spall and Kristin Scott Thomas, also set for release in 2017.

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Cillian Murphy – “Be Good To Them Always” (Fractured Air, Nov. ’16)

 

Tracklisting:

01. Brian Eno & Jon Hassell“Delta Rain Dream” [Editions EG, Polydor]
02. Matt Robertson“Urdu” [Tape Club]
03. Holly Herndon“Locker Leak” [4AD]
04. The Books“Be Good To Them Always” [Tomlab]
05. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds“Rings of Saturn” [Bad Seed Ltd.]
06. The Beatles “I Am The Walrus” [Parlophone]
07. Tune-Yards“Gangsta” [4AD]
08. PJ Harvey“Dollar, Dollar” [Island]
09. Laura Mvula“Is There Anybody Out There?” [RCA Victor, Sony Music]
10. Leonard Cohen“You Want It Darker” [Columbia, Sony Music]
11. David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group“This Is Not America” [EMI]

Compiled by Cillian Murphy. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

https://fracturedair.com/

Chosen One: Jherek Bischoff

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Interview with Jherek Bischoff.

When I was inside of making this music, I was just living it and when I stepped back and listened, I realized quickly why this record made so much sense for me to create.”

—Jherek Bischoff

Words: Mark Carry

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The modern-classical opus ‘Cistern’ is the latest masterpiece from gifted Los Angeles-based composer Jherek Bischoff, which was released earlier this year on the ever-dependable Leaf Label imprint. The suite of nine stunningly beautiful modern orchestral recordings awaken a myriad of feelings: euphoria, joy and hope are inter-woven with moments of fear, anguish and despair as a voyage of epic proportions gradually unfolds with each momentous note and the intense reverb contained therein.

The album-title reflects the origins of Bischoff’s joyous string-laden voyage. An empty two-million-gallon underground water tank was the space in which ‘Cistern’ was conceived that led the prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalist to improvise music inside this vast space and (as described by Bischoff) “fascinating days of music-making” would soon ensue. Distance and time are integral components to the immersive sound world of ‘Cistern’ where the space between the notes become just as important as the notes themselves. In many ways, I feel a striking parallel exists between the slowed-down strings of these exceptional compositions – for example, the heart-wrenching closing lament ‘The Sea’s Son’ or eternal rejoice of ‘Attuna’ – and the pioneering ambient works of revered duo Stars of the Lid (particularly the more orchestral-based works of the band’s last two records). Bischoff’s ability to stretch out space is one of the great hallmarks of ‘Cistern’, a timeless quality that indeed prevails throughout the record’s sprawling canvas.

The effect of the cistern as a recording space was in fact two-fold for the LA-based composer, which saw Bischoff drawing on his childhood growing up on a sailing boat: “The experience of being in that space brought back so many memories of my time spent traveling by sailboat on the open ocean. Compared to city life, the pace of moving on the ocean and the speed at which you travel is slow”. ‘Cistern’ immerses the listener deep into an ocean of enchanting sounds that invites inner-reflection of the rarest kind. The intricate arrangements and rich sonic palette – supplied by renowned New York-based Contemporaneous Ensemble and Bischoff’s (multiple) instrumentation of contrabass, flute, electric bass, ukulele, casio and bells – creates an utterly timeless tour-de-force that navigates the depths of the human heart.

 

‘Cistern’ is out now on The Leaf Label.

http://www.jherekbischoff.com/
http://www.theleaflabel.com/

 

jherek-b

Interview with Jherek Bischoff.

Congratulations Jherek on the stunningly beautiful and epic tour de force, ‘Cistern’. First of all, please take me back to the inception of this enchanting record and the special journey it took you on? Discuss the sound world and acoustics captured within the cistern itself and the emotional trigger in which brought your musical ideas to glittering life?

Jherek Bischoff: Thank you so much for the kind words! The journey began when I was awarded a residency by Centrum/Artist Trust in Seattle. The residency was to take place in Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend Washington. The plan was to finish mixing my last record Composed, but for years I had been told about the Cistern that was there. Many of my friends had made music down there and many people have made great music in there so I wanted to hear it for myself. To get into the cistern, a park ranger takes you up the hill to a giant stone. The stone is lifted to reveal a manhole cover, the only entrance to the cistern. I brought my recording gear and set up for 3 days, planning on just messing around and experimenting. However, upon playing the first few notes down there, I realized immediately that this sound would be my new record – in fact, the first thing I improvised in the cistern was the title track from the record! The cistern itself has a 45-second reverb decay, and you could hear distance and time if that makes sense. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. Emotionally speaking, it was interesting because it is such a dark space, literally and tonally, and in the first day, I tried to fight it by experimenting with beats and trying different things but it quickly distilled into soft, deliberate and beautiful music.

The record as a whole feels akin to an epic voyage across deep blue seas amidst vast seas of engulfing moods, colours, textures. One of the hallmarks of ‘Cistern’ is the immaculate detail and rich tapestry of instrumentation that is so masterfully realized (and subsequently arranged). Can you recount for me your memories of making music inside the cistern? In terms of improvisation, please shed some light on any structural framework or ‘gateways’ you search for when it comes to composing music through the art of improvisation? 

JB: I would say that maybe 5 of the tunes began in the cistern as seeds during improvisations. The rest was inspired by how it felt to play music in the cistern. Having that intense reverb was like having a collaborator, and slowing everything down that much in order for things to resonate gave me such a deeper appreciation for the space between notes. Slowing things down like that gives you time to think about the next step or even the next 3 steps. Arranging is maybe my favourite part of a musical process for that very reason. I get the chance to think about every single note that will be played. I get to sit there and ponder for a while if a note should even be there. So, arranging music that was so based on ideas that are already slowed down and in general kind of simple was wonderful because it was like a double dose of getting to think about every single note and also magnifying it. Sometimes looping something a dozen times and then just changing the note in one instrument and enjoying how much that changed the feeling made for the most successful musical moments on the record. It was a wonderful process.

What are your earliest memories of traveling by sailboat, Jherek? It’s fascinating how serendipitous Cistern’s story proved where an empty two-million-gallon underground tank led you to re-awaken ceaseless memories of your childhood at sea. What aspects of the sea – and particularly the axis of space and time – have made an impact on you?

JB: Well, I was sailing since the year I was born and my earliest memories of sailing were probably in San Francisco on my parents’ first boat. I loved the moment when the sails filled and you could feel the wind pull you along; you could turn the motor off and you would hear just the water against the hull. I travelled many great distances on the boat including crossing the Pacific. I learned to appreciate the things that I had at hand. People used to ask me if it was boring to travel around so slowly and it absolutely was not. The colour of the ocean in the middle of the Pacific is the most incredible blue and you can see the rays of the sun shoot down toward what seems like infinity. I could and did just stare at that for hours on end and it never got old. So yes, the cistern and sailing were very similar in a lot of ways that only became apparent to me later upon listening to the music as an outsider. When I was inside of making this music, I was just living it and when I stepped back and listened, I realized quickly why this record made so much sense for me to create.

‘Headless’ is one of the record’s defining moments: a golden dawn fills the vast skies above and seas below. The mesmerising guitar-based melody is particularly poignant, as is the delicate piano notes and gradual pulses of soul-stirring strings. Please talk me through the construction of this piece of music and indeed the moment in the journey ‘Headless’ signifies for you?

JB: This tune I added at the last moment. Another song that I had recorded with Contemporaneous I decided to not use and it left me short a song. I had just written this tune and was headed up to Seattle to do some other work and very quickly pulled together a recording session with some friends. I had to piece this one together more like my typical process. I recorded the strings and then put my bass melody on there and then I ended up playing the rest of the instruments myself just because of lack of time and budget. I did my best to mix it to feel like it was in the same space as the rest of the record and I think it does pretty well. With pretty much all of the tunes on Cistern the biggest challenge was trying to decide how many times I could loop something before it would lose its focus too much. I wanted the listener to be able enjoy it as ambient music and be able to get lost in it, but I also wanted it to be something that an active listener could enjoy. I kept shortening and lengthening this one over and over until the end to get it right. As far as what the tune means for me emotionally, I can only really say that it was music that I made to satisfy something deep within myself.

Looking back on the making of ‘Cistern’, were there certain moments or parts in the process that proved pivotal in achieving the record’s desired sound and feel? For instance, collaborating closely with the wonderful ensemble Contemporaneous and recording in Hudson’s Future-Past Studio must have many of these sonic creations afoot to new pathways or directions as a result?

JB: As I was working on writing the pieces to go on Cistern, I was playing a lot of shows in New York and started working with Contemporaneous pretty regularly. We were playing some of these tunes and I was refining them as we went along. It was apparent to me right away that they were the perfect ensemble to play this music. They are the right size, have more than enough skill and have so much great energy. We could all be very serious and get deep into the work, but we could also have a laugh and shake it off. We were working on this recording for three days and getting very, very specific to get the most out of every note. We were developing and honing in on specific vibrato for instance that created a feeling of the sea, and if everyone was not totally focused, we would lose the feeling. That kind of focus causes a lot of tension in your mind and body, so being able to have a good laugh is critical!

I wanted to record outside of the city so we could remain more focused. We decided to go upstate and Future-Past was recommended by a few very smart musical minds in the area. We were all able to stay out at Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman’s place in Woodstock. It was so wonderful to be able to work all day together and then party together in the evenings.

In mixing, it took a long time for me to find the right combination of reverbs to feel like the cistern. It was at times a combination of 4 or 5 reverbs to create the desired effect.

I must ask you about the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, which took place very recently. This must have been a very special moment for you and also I must congratulate you on the gorgeous and deeply heartfelt ‘Strung Out In Heaven: A Bowie String Quartet Tribute’ EP. Can you describe the importance of David Bowie’s music in your life and indeed this beautiful chapter that saw you work closely with Amanda Palmer, among other wonderful voices?

JB: Oh man, Proms was THE BEST! It was such an honour to be part of that. It was certainly one of the highlights of my musical life so far!

Making the Bowie EP was wild. We did it so quickly! I had a day to arrange each tune, including “Blackstar”, which is basically three songs in itself.

I was actually not much of a Bowie fan growing up for whatever reason. I certainly had tunes that I liked a lot and appreciated him as an artist, but in the last few years my enjoyment of his work has grown so much. About 6 months before his passing, I did an arrangement of “Life On Mars” for tuba octet! His passing was so intense for me and everyone around me. Like I said, I didn’t grow up with him, but losing him was such a huge blow. I felt losing him so much heavier than I think I had ever felt losing someone I didn’t actually know personally. This is one reason why I felt that working on the EP was okay to do. I felt that I was in mourning and I should deal with it anyway I could.

What are your earliest musical memories? I wonder how did your musical upbringing develop and with whom do you feel you have learned a lot from when it comes to making music and forming your own unique musical path? 

JB: My dad is a musician as are/were his friends. When my folks would invite friends over, the night would usually end with them all on the couch, a little whiskey in hand and eyes closed, just sitting there listening to music together. I remember distinctly Kate Bush being played a lot. I used to think it was really strange and now I do the same! Still with Kate Bush!

As far as musical upbringing, my great friend Sam Mickens from our band The Dead Science would certainly be that dude. We had that band for about a decade and see eye to eye on almost every single piece of music. It’s crazy. We always pushed each other too. If we didn’t see eye to eye, eventually we would. I remember him playing me OK Computer and thinking it wasn’t for me…even Bowie, too! He was always pushing me and I like to think I did the same for him.

Lastly, what artists, musicians, records or live shows do you feel made a profound impact on you?

JB: Live that I have seen: Jimmy Scott, Tom Waits, James Brown, Prince, Boredoms, Deerhoof.

Records:

Arvo Part – Tabula Rasa (particularly Gil Shaham playing Fratres)

Tom Waits – Bone Machine (for the sounds)

Busta Rhymes – E.L.E

John Jacob Niles – Tradition Years: I Wonder As I Wander

Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come

Prince – Purple Rain

Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

 

‘Cistern’ is out now on The Leaf Label.

http://www.jherekbischoff.com/
http://www.theleaflabel.com/

 

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September 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E1| January mix

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We’re delighted to present the first in a new series of monthly mixes made for Paris-based music website La Blogothèque. Over the last six years, La Blogothèque has been a source of much inspiration, not least in how they showcase (and share) their true passion for music. While each mix will be published on La Blogothèque’s website, we will also post the mixes on our own Mixcloud Page. While we had made the decision to stop Fractured Air last November, the opportunity that presented itself with contributing for La Blogothèque gave us reason to resume – in the capacity of contributing mixes – for the coming months. We hope you enjoy them.

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Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E1| January mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

 

Tracklisting:

01. fLako ‘The Opening / Purple Trees’ [Five Easy Pieces]
02. Ennio Morricone ‘La Musica Prima del Massacro’ [The Hateful Eight OST, Decca/Third Man]
03. Mogwai ‘Hungry Face’ [Les Revenants OST, Rock Action]
04. David Bowie ‘Warszawa’ [RCA Victor]
05. Eduard Artemiev ‘Listen to Bach (The Earth)’ [Solaris OST, Superior Viaduct]
06. Brian Eno ‘Some of Them Are Old’ [Island]
07. Lucrecia Dalt ‘FLOTO’ [Care Of Editions]
08. WRY MYRRH ‘TWO’ [Soundcloud]
09. Nicolas Jaar ‘Fight’ [R&S]
10. Mick Jenkins ‘Alchemy’ [Cinematic Music Group]
11. Four Tet ‘Evening Side’ (excerpt) [Text]
12. Rocketnumbernine ‘Two Ways’ [Border Community]
13. Animal Collective ‘FloriDada’ [Domino]
14. Tortoise ‘Gesceap’ [Thrill Jockey]
15. The Space Lady ‘Major Tom’ [NightSchool]
16. Molly Nilsson ‘Tomorrow’ [Dark Skies Association, NightSchool]
17. Charlie Cocksedge ‘Corrour’ (excerpt) [Soundcloud]
18. Linda Scott ‘I’ve Told Every Little Star’ [Mulholland Drive OST, Milan]
19. Jonny Greenwood ‘The Golden Fang’ [Inherent Vice OST, Nonesuch]
20. Scott Walker ‘Duchess’ [Philips]
21. Tindersticks ‘Hey Lucinda’ [City Slang, Lucky Dog Recordings]

Compiled by Fractured Air, January 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Chosen One: Gang Colours

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Interview with Will Ozanne, Gang Colours.

“It’s all about trying to get a good balance, in every aspect of your life, and that certainly goes for music making too. Hope is something we all need…”

—Will Ozanne

Words: Mark Carry, Design: Craig Carry

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On Will Ozanne’s sophomore release (and follow-up to 2012’s ‘The Keychain Collection’) as Gang Colours for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label he emphasises a psychedelic-pop side in favour of his previous Bass inclinations. The masterful production, intricate arrangements and stirring lyrics remain beautifully intact. ‘Invisible In Your City’ reveals a more melancholy undercurrent, from the magical pop of the title track to the piano-based heartfelt lament of ‘Home’ and pristine, multi-layered opus of ‘Led By Example’. The Botley resident continues to blossom as both a song-writer and producer.

Following last year’s album release, several wonderful remixes have surfaced to the light, from San Francisco’s Dave Aju and London’s Kelpe respective reworks of ‘Why Didn’t You Call?’ — a duet with Lulu James — representing one of the album’s finest moments.

Beginning with 2011’s debut EP ‘In Your Gut Like A Knife’, Ozanne has ceaselessly mixed a beguiling blend of organic and electronic elements, resulting in a highly emotive and rich canvas of sound.

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‘Invisible In Your City’ is available now on Brownswood Recordings.

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https://www.facebook.com/gangcolours
http://www.gillespetersonworldwide.com/brownswood-recordings/

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Interview with Will Ozanne, Gang Colours.

Congratulations Will on the latest record, ‘Invisible In Your City’, which is a truly sublime album that even surpasses the masterful debut full-length, ‘The Keychain Collection’. First of all, how did the recording sessions and overall creative process differ (if so) between ‘Invisible In Your City’ and its predecessor?

Will Ozanne: Thank you! The process for the 2nd album was pretty similar to the first in terms of what equipment was available for me to produce with (Piano, Laptop, etc). Except this time I wanted to be more ambitious in an effort to expand on the sound that I had created with the first album. I don’t like to churn out the same kind of sound all the time, it would drive me nuts — so it’s all about slow and steady progression for me. I wanted to write more songs that people could connect with on a greater emotional level than when listening to just beats and catchphrases — which seemed to be the impetus for the first album. Having recording sessions with gospel choirs and saxophone players and other singers helped to widen the palette for the 2nd LP aswell.

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What is most striking about the new record is the song-writing prowess on display throughout. As ever, there is a gorgeous blend of the organic and synthetic but what resonates most powerfully for me is your achingly beautiful harmonies and piano melodies. I would love to gain an insight into the construction of the songs please? For example, do tracks such as ‘Home’ begin with a piano line or vocal idea and work from there? I imagine the production stage is a challenging process in which you want to capture the emotional intensity of the song?

WO: I always look to challenge myself and one of the ways I did that this time around was to put more emphasis on songwriting and the many different ways that can be approached whilst still remaining true to my self and my sound. Although its been incredibly difficult it’s a journey I’m glad I took on, because developing my songwriting over the last few years has allowed me to explore myself a lot more and continues to be a worthwhile and therapeutic process regardless if any of the songs written get released or not.

I’ve always loved harmony since listening to The Beach Boys from a young age, it’s always a moment in a song that my mind, body and soul seems to resonate with powerfully, that careful blending of a group of human vocals is magical. Though I haven’t got a barbershop crew to turn to so I have to layer it all myself.

The track ‘Home’ started with the piano part and kind of went from there I think. I change my working process from song to song really just to see what works for me, but I think that’s how it went for that one. I’ve found that if you have a good and powerful riff of any kind it’s good to hold onto that and just build around it otherwise somewhere down the line I’ll just find myself desperately trying to claw back that initial emotional intensity from the captured riff if I decided to ditch it half way through the making of the track.

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The album-title is wonderful that serves the perfect embodiment of ‘Invisible In Your City’ which portrays a vivid sense of longing and melancholy yet remains a source of solace and hope in equal amounts. Can you talk me through the themes of the record please, Will?

WO: Well I guess you’ve kind of summed it up in that question! It’s all about trying to get a good balance, in every aspect of your life, and that certainly goes for music making too. Hope is something we all need so I’m glad it evokes that for you. Generally the themes in the record are eclectic, I like the challenge of putting lots of different kinds of mood yet finding consistency in all of them. My mind can often be over run with ideas and it’s hard to pursue all of them probably out of fear that they are in fact bad ideas, so my musical output is often a subtle reflection of that conflict I always have with my mind. This album, like the previous one, is really just a snapshot of my creative process so far with tales of fiction and non-fiction of my life woven into its tapestry.

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My current favourite is the heartfelt lament ‘Home’ which is built upon a mesmerising piano pattern. The pristine instrumentation on display here reflects the rich sonic canvas of ‘Invisible In Your City’. Can you recount your memory of writing this song and witnessing it blossom into its final entity?

WO: If I’m honest, it was a long time ago that I wrote that, way before the album came out and that’s a long time now! But I do remember it being one of the early moments in the album writing process where I was happy with the songwriting and how the beat and the lyrics came together impact-fully probably for the first time in my creative journey so far. It became the benchmark for what the rest of the album should feel like. Like I mentioned earlier I think it started with a piano riff, and then the vocal line “when you’re stuck in the middle its hard” and I just built around that. I knew I wanted to make something that felt minimal but powerful so I just did my best to go for that really.

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Lulu James is a guest on ‘Why Didn’t You Call’ — a divine duet beneath luminous beats and shape-shifting worlds of sound. It must have been special to have a guest collaborator present on the record? Also, I love Kelpe’s remix of this track. It must be a lovely feeling to hear your own peers interpret your own work (which has been happening ever since the debut EP ‘In Your Gut Like A Knife’)?

WO: Yes I had wanted to do a duet for a while and had previously met Lulu after a show I did in Brighton a few years back. Then when I was writing the song, she was actually the first person that came to mind and she did a brilliant job too, she is such a professional and it really brought the track to a whole other level. It was something I’d always wanted to do so it was great take the chance to do it and enjoy the outcome. Hearing remix’s done of my tracks is a really nice experience especially from people I admire. I look back at the people who have remixed me and almost can’t believe it sometimes — I feel very lucky.

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In terms of song-writing, what records do you feel have served a significant influence on Gang Colours’ sonic palette?

WO: Well, there are many artists that I draw influence from. I’m constantly trying to learn, study and analyze songs and lyrics these days. I’ll have sessions where I sit down and listen to an album with the lyrics in front of me and study the structure, the delivery and all the other things that can possibly be drawn from the music.

Artists that I have done that with I guess would be Joni Mitchell, Hot Chip, Jamie T, Paul Simon, Mike Skinner, Dizzee Rascal… the list really is endless, but most of the time I will listen to albums that moved me as a youngster and then analyzing why it moved me through listening again with hopefully a more finely tuned ear and much less ignorant mind. When I was younger I wasn’t really listening to the lyrics, so I’m kind of catching up now, and its like listening to it with new ears — its a great and worthwhile experience.

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I love the presence of David Bowie’s ‘Always Crashing In The Same Car’ as the album-closer. The song itself fits so nicely on the record, and you really make it your own. Can you please discuss the choice of this song and indeed your fascination with David Bowie? Is there a certain period in Bowie’s career that you are most intrigued by?

WO: Thank you. I do love a bit of Bowie, my mum was (and is) a big fan so it’s always been present in the family playlist I guess. But the funny thing is ‘Always Crashing…’ came about after being asked by a magazine to cover it as they were going to put it on a CD giveaway thing and I got so excited by the idea when I heard it I went and recorded a version immediately and the main piano bit and vocal line were both done in one take over about 30 mins. Then I did the backing vocals and other details later on. I love the track because for me it signifies the uncompromisingly avant guard artist that Bowie is despite all the pressure that he must have had on him to do things that became extremely popular for him previously. It was a great realization for me to just keep doing my own thing so it had to be put on the album not just as it closes the album nicely but for its significance in my progression as an artist.

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What is your live set-up on the current tour?

WO: Right now, its me a piano and a mic. Also I have a trigger machine that has a ll the backing tracks on it. Then I have the drummer extraordinaire also know as Gillan. He gives the show all the power that I always felt was lacking, also his experience in the music industry has been invaluable whilst touring the show. It’s just us two for the moment, but I’m always looking grow in the future.

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Lastly, I would love for you to take me back to your earliest musical memories? Was the piano the first instrument you learned to play? I wonder what record(s) did you first hear that made a big impact on your life?

WO: Yes, piano was the first instrument I started having lessons in — which I started whilst at primary school then I fancied a bit of the guitar so started lessons with that at secondary school as well. It’s hard to look back accurately to those early moment that fueled my quest for music making. But my knee jerk answer to that starts with The Streets – ‘Has It Come to This’. But if I was to go a bit earlier I’d say that Michael Jackson had a big impact on me then 2Pac came along and did a number on me. I guess as you grow up your unknowingly seeking role-models which I found through artists like those and the impact of those early experience have an influence on the taste I put into my music today.

 


 

 

invisibleinyourcity_web

‘Invisible In Your City’ is available now on Brownswood Recordings.

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http://www.gillespetersonworldwide.com/brownswood-recordings/

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