I’m sure the rather fetching image above is self-explanatory, but this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of A Midsummer Nice Dream, originally released on London’s Toytronic Records in late 2004, now due for a spruced-up rerelease on Barcelona’s Lapsus Records. Lapsus have been extremely supportive of my work over the years, so it’s a pleasure to work with them to deliver a special rerelease of ‘Midsummer’ on double vinyl and digital.
The release is currently available for preorder on Bandcamp ahead of its June 7th release, with the physical release comprising double coloured vinyl and a beautiful full-colour print. The redesign has been handled by Nathaniel Reeves (marking another anniversary, incidentally – ten years working together!), who has created a gorgeous and wonderfully intricate design for the sleeve and print insert. You can check out some more detailed shots of Nate’s brilliant work on his Behance page.
I’ve also used the opportunity to bundle together some extra Midsummer-contemporary music, including a vinyl side of tracks that were previously only available online: ‘In Waves’, ‘Indivisible’ and ‘The End of the Rise’. The digital edition features a further three bonus tracks: ‘Airweight’, ‘Flexenbend’ and ‘Passing Landscapes’. All tracks have been remastered for the occasion by John McCaig, of panicStudios (who previously mastered Like Dust of the Balance and Petl).
I’ve created a microsite for Project Caelus, which I hope will help shed some light on the album’s inspiration. Try leaving the site open while you play back the album from a high quality source. The web app will monitor audio playback using your computer’s microphone, decoding pockets of data that I’ve woven into the audio, to reveal sites of interest for each track.
There are a few caveats though. Given the varied cocktail of hardware and browser combinations out there, your success decoding the audio will undoubtedly vary greatly. I’ve successfully tested this on a Macbook Pro and PC running Chrome and Firefox, but have had no such luck with either Edge or Safari (nor with my iPhone). But even if your browser appears to successfully run the app, you might find that either your speakers can’t play it back cleanly, or your microphone can’t pick it up accurately (your equipment needs to be able to accurately convey and receive very high frequencies, as I’ve used a modulation frequency centring around 19kHz). Most mp3 sources filter everything out above 16kHz unless you specifically ask the encoder not to, so chances are these won’t be of sufficiently high quality to retain the encodings. Bandcamp streams won’t cut it, but Spotify streams and FLAC playback should be good enough.
I do hope you’re able to have some fun with it, but if it doesn’t seem to work for you, I’ve tried to make the site itself enough of a clue as to the general theme of the album.
Be sure to check out Nate’s design breakdown too, with sketches, alt. renders and timelapses of his incredible artwork. It’s fascinating to watch his design process evolve from 2D sketches through to photo-realistic models and renders, creating a remarkable body of work in addition to the finished cover art.
Touched Music released this Roel Funcken remix album a few days back, called Dear of the Yog, which includes a couple of contributions from me. The first is a collaborative effort between me and Roel, which was initially a remix of a band whose name has unfortunately completely escaped me, which ended up being retitled with the original elements removed, so that we could release it separately.
The second piece is my remix of Roel Funcken’s Android Robson, in which I’ve cherry-picked a melody and rebuild the track around it with some Evolver and guitar pedals.
As ever with Touched, all proceeds from the album sales go to charity, which in this case is the Soi Dog Foundation, a charity that rescues dogs from the dogmeat trade in Asia. Anyone who knows Roel knows how much of an animal lover he is, so it’s been a pleasure to do something to help him help abused and maltreated Dogs.
In addition to the usual download formats, DotY is also available on a limited digipak CD.
Here are a couple of videos (should embed as a playlist) of me jamming away on my beloved Dave Smith Evolver. It’s a thoroughly unique and characterful hybrid analogue/digital monosynth, which marked Dave Smith’s return to synth manufacturing back in 2002. A modern classic.
The first video’s more of a Mouse On Mars-style noodling, full of grit and filter FM. The second’s a more minimal, melodic affair, building up a nice chord sequence (while the synth’s monophonic, you can address each OSC individually with the built-in four-channel sequencer). I’ve chucked the editor up on screen so you can see what’s going on, as the matrix interface is rather opaque at a glance.
I forgot to mention this here at the time, but I’ve also (fairly) recently remixed Karsten Pflum, reworking his track, ‘I Am Ice’. It’s taken from Pflum’s excellent Love Canticles album, released on Touched Music. As with all things Touched, all proceeds go to charity.
Sydney-based Dutch artist, Julien Mier, has recently released a new EP on
Barcelona’s Sin Hilo label.
Untangle the Roots
includes my remix of Mier’s track ‘Well’, and is one of four remixes capping-off
the 10-track EP.
As well as various digital options, it’s also available as a beautifully designed
12” pressed on white vinyl, and sleeved in a delightful translucent printed
discobag. Excellent job on the design and packaging.
If you’ve never heard Julien’s music before, you can expect playful, upbeat
tracks full of jazzy chords, found sound percussion and sunny melodies. Over to
the Bandcamp embed:
It’s been quite a while since the first Snow Palms release, Intervals, way
back in 2012, so it’s high time another idiophone-laden journey saw light of
day. Origin and Echo
is released today on the Village Green label.
Here’s a video for Rite:
The album’s available on Bandcamp, with CD
and vinyl editions also available.