Released: July 2022

Equipment: ASM Hydrasynth synthesizer, Waldorf Iridium synthesizer, Arturia KeyStep Pro sequencer

This album was kicked off by another addition to my setup, a secondhand Hydrasynth. This was yet another wavetable synthesizer but in addition to nice sounds and new features it had a very intuitive set of controls, making it even easier to set up new patches than my benchmark Iridium. After a very short learning curve I was back to recording new songs.

I already had one track (Fragment) composed on the Iridium when I started using the new synth and this provides a rare side-by-side comparison of the two different instruments. The song structures are similar but while the Hydrasynth didn't have the polished sound of the Iridium it did encourage me to use more modulation options and more adventurous use of stereo placement. These weren't exclusive to the new machine but the interface made them easy to set up & use. And maybe I was just getting better at this.

Miasma is another of my 'walking through fog' pieces with a repeating phrase carrying through while the accompaniment swirls in & out around it. An abrupt change comes in the middle eight before melting back into the main theme.

Hall of mirrors builds interweaving 'reflections' with lots of echo. A nice mixture of motion & stillness.

Synchromesh mixes an eccentric rhythm with a steady bass pulse, resulting in a relentless driving groove. The rising bridge sections give a nice 'gear change' effect that the middle eight build on.

Fragment has a downbeat, drifting feel that shows off the Iridium's subtle & refined tones.

Burndown was a reflection of the time tracking & work management systems being introduced at my day job - a focus on breaking things down into countable chunks and the pressure of ever-present deadlines. An interesting challenge in synchronising modulation timings! The name comes from burndown charts, a system for measuring work progress.

Snowbound came from my memories of watching snow come down & build up while living in Scotland.

Passing lane was inspired by another Scottish memory, that of desperately trying to get past slow traffic on a winding road when a passing place would finally appear. A very condensed action drama!