Monday, 16 May 2016

December 2013

Sleeping under blankets above a pub and spending Christmas Day serving roast dinners by accident.  A bad reality.  I had even started smoking, unheard of. 

During this time, I worked almost exclusively on Become A Flood, by Future Loss.  Programming the multiple kick drums and trawling through the many keyboard parts that had been laid down during September of 2013. 

The sound achieved from those overdub sessions remain seminal for me:  they seemed to nudge towards the experimentalism and ambience that I wasn’t sure I could achieve using the primitive equipment at my disposal – especially the outro.  Brian also managed to get many different colours into his guitar palette.  I remember hanging microphones from porch ceilings and using aggressive low-pass filter roll off settings, in order to warm everything up.

We didn’t feel so attached to the song as some of the others.  I felt that gave me a little more licence to mess with it.  To stretch it and use it as a framework on which to express the atmosphere I had been plunged into:  nocturnal London, a lean place with little warmth to it.  Trapped inside the laptop.

This track would undergo repeated re-edits throughout the next year or so; on account of its length and monotonous nature.  In the end, it’s a miracle it ever made it under the nine minute mark.

Simultaneously during this time, I was walking the streets of the capital with a camera and an audio recorder, paying witness to whatever was around me.  The samples from these treks made their way into a number of solo pieces that included some fragments of old piano demos from the Bensham church era, buried underneath the hooting of busking saxophones put through bespoke delay patterns and trains rumbling around.  Without any access to studio equipment, it was the only way I could make music.  Which suited me, since at the time I was quietly defiant in not wanting to go down that well-worn path again.  I was instead able to occasionally distract myself – as one might with a crossword – with these chunks of found sounds, cutting them together into collages.  None of it ever felt too precious.  

They sum up the feeling of that time rather accurately:  planes overhead, night shifts, getting thin, standing on a roof listening to trees of Richmond Park sway and the air conditioning click on and off.