Released: September 2017
Equipment: Waldorf Blofeld synthesizer, Korg Volca synthesizers
After completing Stavro I continued in the same vein, producing new tracks on a fairly regular basis. Rather than concentrate on a specific theme or spend hours polishing & refining each track I decided that 30 minutes was a good length for an album and once that threshold had been reached I'd package them up and release a new collection. I'd become fairly prolific with my rediscovered hobby by this point and I was keen to keep it flowing. A couple of months after Stavro was released I had enough material for a follow-up.
I'd intended to incorporate the Blofeld into my existing setup once I'd gotten to grips with it but this turned out to be the exception rather than the rule. I was really enjoying the dynamic flexibility that the arpeggiator gave me and the shortcomings of the Korg Volcas were becoming more apparent when contrasted with the depth of the new synthesizer. I used selected Volcas on a couple of tracks but most remained Blofeld-only.
Digibo continued in the arpeggiator-led style with a bouncy central theme & bassline framed with lush accompaniment. The name comes from the Bo Diddley rhythm in the arpeggiator.
Lonely Street was my first attempt to incorporate the Volcas, using the Sample (for the drums) and Bass units. The end result was nicely sparse & simple. The bass line was inspired by a cover version of Heartbreak Hotel, hence the name.
Backwash is another of my favourites. The drifting, almost directionless feel of the chords & repeated melody are underpinned by the 'heartbeat' of the pulse pattern. The middle eight brings in a sense of movement but this is dissipated away as we return to the main theme. There's an overall feeling of acceptance with a tinge of melancholy, themes that recur regularly in my work.
Cacheflow leans heavily into a robotic, almost randomised central pattern with a stately chord progression over the top.
Kicking in was inspired by the onset of an altered state, the feeling of having committed to a process that you cannot back out of. Another example of a steady, central pattern with other elements drifting & swirling around it. Once again I used the Volcas, for percussion and the simple sequencer.
Nerve runner used a percussive 'bleepy' arpeggiator at its core with gradual rising tension through each verse. The name comes from The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert but doesn't really relate to the novel, I just liked the sound of it.