Mesmera: The past inside the present

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Ambient Project, Geekery, General, Mesmera, Music, Reason

As has become something of a tradition, I thought it would make sense to write a few blog posts regarding my upcoming album, Mesmera, which is due for release on the 8th August. Given that this is the first of several posts, I thought it would make sense to start at the very beginning… but then I had to pause to think, “well… where did it actually start?!”.

As a concept, Mesmera didn’t really start to take form until late 2017. Winter had properly taken hold, and having spent a huge amount of time over the past several years experimenting with different genres and writing production music (most of which focussed on a dynamic range that I can only really describe as “ON ALL THE TIME”), I decided it was time to take a step back and return to what I can best describe as “my creative comfort zone”.

Despite knowing that I should have been in a pretty good place mentally, 2017 was a very trying year in a many regards. I may elaborate on this in a future post, but – suffice to say, by the end of the year I just wanted to be in a comfortable, creative place. I had been listening to a mixture of electronic/acoustic chilled/atmospheric ambient music at the time, and I realised that it had been a very long time since I properly visited that particular domain. In retrospect it all seems incredibly obvious, but the time felt right to venture back into that comfortable space and find some creative perspective… and wow, was it a comfortable space to step back into!

I initially had no plans for these tunes, but it served as a perfect creative outlet for that particular time. It was also a chance to apply some of the creative & technical tricks I had learned over the past few years to something more comfortable. Over the course of several months, I had the makings of six of the tracks that now feature on Mesmera. Once I looked back, I realised “…well, I might be onto something here”.

In many regards I consider Mesmera to be a spiritual successor to And All Is As It Should Be, as they both explore similar moods – though Mesmera definitely has a bit of a dash of Pieces in there as well, which was another record that I found particularly comfortable to work on. In some regards, Pieces and Mesmera share the same accidental beginnings.

All that being said – that wasn’t the true beginning of Mesmera. Two of the tracks featured on the album were written in 2016, one year prior to this creative burst – but there’s one track in particular that has them all beat, hands down. That track is “You Have To Let Go”.

“You Have To Let Go” is based on an idea I first started in 2008. At the time, I ended up writing about 6 minutes of the track in its original form and hit a gigantic creative brick wall. As for why I hit such a brick wall… well, I think it comes down to a combination of changing tastes & intentions (which eventually led to me releasing Distant Activity), and also because I had no idea what to do with the percussion. In my work-in-progress version of the track I actually sampled a drum-loop from Sasha’s “Baja” (which is kind of funny because I’m pretty sure that’s an Autechre sample), which perfectly captured the mood & progression I was going for at the time. (note: that sample is most definitely NOT in the final version of the track!)

In 2018, having realised that this ambient project I had started might have legs, I ended up putting together the skeleton of an album. There was one big problem, though – the ending was totally underwhelming. I struggled with the idea of writing an extra track to use as an ending, but nothing was really sticking. I genuinely believed that the time of Mesmera as my “creative happy place” was well and truly over, and so I decided to leave it as it was for the time being.

Oh boy. This is going to be fun…

One day, I decided to dive into my old archive folder. A couple of years back, I decided to bounce every single unfinished track I had written from 2004 – 2010(ish) as audio, so I could refer to these ideas at a future date without having to open up a bunch of old song files. On this particular day, I came across my original 2008 version of “You Have To Let Go” and had a bit of a Eureka moment – THIS is how I wanted to finish Mesmera! It was so damn rough around the edges, and that Sasha sample absolutely had to go… but I knew I had the makings of something useable here – I just had to beat it into shape.

The problem is that the song was a goddamn mess. Evidently habits don’t change, and my old song files are just as messy as my new ones. After trying to simply extend the existing material, I realised that the only way this was going to work was to rebuild the entire song from scratch. I’d had a little experience of doing something similar with my Archive 01 release, but this was something else entirely. Instruments needed replacing, elements needed swapping, recordings needed re-recording, and I also realised that I wanted to change the key. I used the original as a reference, but I ended up ditching most of it.

Although quite a daunting process, in retrospect it was absolutely the right call – not just because there were a lot of things I wanted to change, but because it also meant that the final version would fit more comfortably alongside the rest of Mesmera as I was approaching it with the same mindset & toolbox. Hearing it all in a new context provided me with the creative push I needed to finish the track, and so it was that “You Have To Let Go” was finally finished after ten years of languishing on my hard drive. And, let me assure you – finding that kind of creative resolution after such a long time was an absolutely incredible feeling.

It seems kind of strange to think that the first and last tracks on Mesmera were borne from ideas written in completely different times, but I think that kind of journey is ultimately quite symbolic of what Mesmera turned out to be for me – a creative journey experienced through a sense of mixing the familiar with a more modern, less familiar frame of mind.

Mesmera is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with a beatless arrangement of the album. It’s also available to stream & download from a wide variety of digital distribution outlets.

And All Is As It Should Be: out now

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Ambient Project, And All Is As It Should Be, Music

And All Is As It Should Be is out now!

Adam is no new kid on the block. After two self released albums he has released quality electronica on labels such as Distinctive, Play and Solarswarm. He has also used his writing and production skills in other projects, including sound design and freelance composition for bespoke projects for TV, film and commercials.

With his stunningly emotional and evocative ambient album-work “And All Is As It Should Be” Adam takes us on an journey to his ethereal and cinematic core. Filimic pads, soaring washes of sound, spine-tingling chord movements all tied up with a underlying sense of quiet purpose and musicality.

Shut the doors, lights out, stereo up and prepare to be enveloped.

And All Is As It Should Be is a full-length album of selected ambient works written during the end of 2011 and released through Lost Language Recordings. The album features a mixture of new, re-worked tracks from my Lightfields album and original ambient works. You can find it via the Lost Language page (including LCD version), iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, Audiojelly, OneRPM and DJTunes (among others).

You can listen to the track “Where Is This Leading Me” here:

I’m incredibly happy with how this turned out as a complete body of work – the main reasoning behind making this was to get back to my downtempo/ambient roots, and it was incredibly satisfying to work on an entirely beatless project focussing on the overall mood, atmosphere and melody. I’d like to say a huge “thank you!” to Tom Pritchard for allowing me to use his photo as the album’s cover art (which sums up the overall tone incredibly nicely) and for his outstanding programming featured throughout the album.

You can read a bit more about the background and creation of And All Is As It Should Be via the music page on this very website.

I’d love to know what you think of it if you choose to give it a listen.

Cheers!

“And All Is As It Should Be” album due out on 9th July through Lost Language

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Ambient Project, And All Is As It Should Be, Lightfields, Music

Big news! My ambient album And All Is As It Should Be is due to be released on the 9th July through Lost Language Recordings. I’m really proud of this as a complete body of work, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

And All Is As It Should Be is a totally beatless journey into introspective ambient electronica with an organic edge, making heavy use of lush atmospheric synths, acoustic guitar, piano and some occasional ethereal vocal washes. Featuring a mixture of re-workings of existing tracks from Lightfields and original ambient tracks, And All Is As It Should Be makes for some excellent late-night headphone listening with a heavy cinematic twist.

More information and previews to come in the weeks ahead, so keep checking back for updates.

Distant Activity used in BMW i8 Concept Spyder video

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Ambient Project, And All Is As It Should Be, Distant Activity, Licensing, Music

Well now, this is pretty neat. BMW have used the title track from my album Distant Activity in a video for the i8 Concept Spyder. Looks like it’s been getting quite a few hits as well… whether the viewers are aware or not, it’s great to be reaching more ears!

On an unrelated note, my ambient album (which I haven’t been talking about for a while) may have found a home. Watch this space.

Redemption EP out now and other musical news

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Ambient Project, And All Is As It Should Be, Collaboration, Licensing, Music


Quite a while back I contributed vocals to a track by Refracture (whose music I’m a big fan of – his blend of melodic breaks and sheer energy is right up my street) called Redemption which, as it happens, was released on Beatport a couple of days ago. Since then it’s been featured at #1 on Beatport’s “10 Must Hear Breaks Tracks” for the week of its release which was both a bit of a surprise and, needless to say, quite nice! You can check out the song on Beatport by following this handy link. It was great to work with Refracture and I’m really pleased that it’s going down so well.

On a somewhat different topic, you may (or may not) recall that I mentioned that I was working on an album of selected ambient works a month or so ago. Well, the album itself has been completed and I’m currently in the process of trying to find a home for it. Given my total lack of skill regarding the fine art of blatant self promotion, this might be tricky. The album itself is currently going by the title of “And All Is As It Should Be” and features a mixture of reworked and original songs. Rest assured that, one way or another, it will be seeing a release in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future. Just to clarify though: this release has absolutely nothing to do with album #3 (to be released through Distinctive) and came about simply because it was something I really wanted to do. I’m still very much plugging away at album 3 and I’m really liking how it’s turning out.

While on the subject of other musical projects, I’m currently working on a selection of tracks which are considerably heavier than my usual output for the purposes of licensing. So far I’ve got a decent selection of tracks going and it’s a pretty hefty contrast considering the decidedly mellow nature of the ambient album I was working on.

So, yes, I’ve got a fair few bits and pieces going on at the moment. No rest for the wicked!

Ambient selection in the works

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Album 3, Ambient Project, Lightfields

Earlier in the year I started working on a selection of atmospheric ambient songs – more specifically, ambient re-workings of songs from Lightfields. I was between projects (album 3 notwithstanding – I’m still working on that!) and I’d been wanting to get back into writing something really “visual” and atmospheric for a while. I didn’t really have any particular goal in mind when I started out – I toyed with the idea of getting an EP’s worth of material put together and released, but I had no idea how or when.

Since then, this ambient EP has grown considerably and is now coming in at about 50 minutes in length with a mix of ambient re-workings and original songs. What started as a project purely for the sake of writing music that I wanted to write has kind of taken on a life of its own, and I’m really happy with how it’s all turning out. I’ve got some artwork ready to roll (courtesy of a photo taken by Tom Pritchard in 2010) and right now I’m still writing music for this project. As for how or when I’m actually going to release it, I honestly have no idea. Right now I’m focussing on getting it completed – once it’s in a finished state I’ll have a good long think about how best to go about releasing it.

Below is one of the original songs from the EP/album/project – I’d love to know what you think!

I’ll post more news regarding this project once I have something more concrete in place.