Mesmera: The freedom of independence

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Album 3, And All Is As It Should Be, Distant Activity, Distinctive, General, Icarus, Lightfields, Mesmera, Music, Obscurer, Pieces, Reason

Mesmera is, much like every one of my solo releases since 2014, an independent release. For most of my solo musical career I’ve written and released music independently, and I figured I was overdue talking about why that’s been the case.

When I first started out I, as I imagine a lot of musicians do, had this idea in my mind that getting signed and releasing an album through a label was kind of the “big goal”, this nebulous idea that somehow being signed to a label would validate my musical output up until that point. I had already released a bunch of music for free on-line, and in retrospect I don’t think I fully appreciated the following I’d acquired by doing so. While this seems to be less of a big deal nowadays, releasing music independently to an international audience in the late 00s was a bit of a daunting prospect – especially to someone who had never put out a “proper” release before, and had no idea of what to expect or even what to do. It wasn’t my initial intention to release my first album independently, but that’s how things worked out.

Album #1: Distant Activity

In 2008 I released my first album, Distant Activity. This album was comprised of tunes written between 2006 – 2008, and I’m still incredibly happy with how it turned out. It was written and produced in a variety of bedrooms and student houses in totally inappropriate acoustic conditions using a laptop, Reason, a microphone, a guitar, and a Behringer audio interface. Once I had a mostly-finished version of the album to hand, I set about sending out demos and copies of the album to as many labels and individuals as I could think of. I must admit, I’m still pretty atrocious at the whole “blatant self-promotion” aspect of releasing music independently, and I can only surmise that I was probably worse at it in 2008. I received a lovely response from the good folks at Magnatune, but outside of that – nothing. Nada. Not a “thanks, but we’re not interested”, not a “good lord this is awful, go away”. Not a thing. This was initially a little dis-heartening.

A little time passed and I had a completed version of Distant Activity ready to go. The record was mastered, the artwork was ready, and I was just sitting on it. Rough around the edges, very much a product of its environment, but I was really pleased with how it turned out. One day I started thinking “you know what? I’m really happy with this, why haven’t I released it already?”. It was done, and I was sick of sending e-mail messages and CDs out to a seemingly ambivalent world… so I started taking steps to get it out there myself. I had a small run of CDs duplicated, I signed up for digital distribution through CDBaby, and because independent digital outlets weren’t much of a thing back then (to my knowledge) I decided to start selling it through my own website.

I had no idea what I was doing back then (some things never change!) – I hadn’t even figured out a proper release date for the album beforehand, it just came out when it came out. All that said, I was thrilled to see that people were buying CDs and checking out the album through Magnatune / CDBaby / iTunes / whatever. I was getting frequent feedback both directly and on forums, people were leaving messages on Myspace (yes, this was still a thing), it was an absolute blast. All of this was going on when I probably should have been paying more attention to my final year of studies at university, but I loved the experience. All of this was also going on while I was still getting my toes wet with the world of music licensing, which would prove to be a much smarter direction to go in.

This was a pattern I repeated somewhat with Lightfields, which I initially released independently in 2010… albeit this time I actually had a release date in mind before I released the damned thing!

And All Is As It Should Be

Fast forward to 2014, and I’d had a few label releases by this point (a topic I may delve further into in the future!). Distant Activity and Lightfields were re-distributed by Distinctive Records, And All Is As It Should Be was released through Lost Language, and my follow up Icarus was released through Distinctive Records. All of these are albums that I am incredibly happy with, and in retrospect I feel a large part of my experience in producing Icarus comes down to my own personal attitude towards it rather than anything on Distinctive’s end.

Icarus was a slog to complete. Distant Activity and Lightfields were two totally different albums stylistically, and rather than writing whatever felt natural I spent too much time thinking about audience and label expectations. Should I lean more towards the style I established with the former? Should it sound more polished? What if people are expecting something more like Lightfields? Why do all of my mixes sound awful? I ended up going through a multitude of album revisions, with the first rough cut being completed in 2011. I couldn’t bring myself to move on from it, and it was drove me nuts.

Following the release of Icarus I realised I needed to try a different approach, and I remembered how much fun I’d had releasing music independently – at this point, it had been over three years since I had done so. I also figured that if I was going to do that, I wanted to take the opportunity to try out new ideas. I had come to love the idea of rewarding fans for purchasing my music rather than punishing people for having the audacity to seek it out. I also loved the idea of working on a release that didn’t have an over-arching concept, that didn’t impose any kind of expectations on myself, and that felt completely natural to write. That release was Pieces, and I absolutely thoroughly loved working on and releasing it. People responded really well to the pay-what-you-want approach. As such, I decided to adopt a pay-what-you-want model for all of my independent releases, and rewarding fans while encouraging listeners became my go-to model for releases. This is a model I adopted for subsequent releases Obscurer and The Broken Divide and now Mesmera (whew, at last – bringing this back around to the album at hand!).

Mesmera continues in this tradition. In many ways I consider it a bit of a spiritual successor to And All Is As It Should Be (which I considered a spiritual successor to The Dawn EP at the time…), but it’s what I wanted to write. It came together naturally because it scratched an itch I’d had for quite a while, and that’s why I was able to bring in ideas from 2016 despite having only “properly” started working on it in 2017. It was wonderful to be so hands-on with every single aspect of the creation process, as in many ways creating the music is only one step (albeit a large one) towards completing an album. I went through several artwork revisions (with my incredibly patient buddy Tom Pritchard), track-list orders, mix approaches… but it never became obsessive or manic, and it never felt like a slog. It always felt like I was working toward something I wanted to create at the time, and that’s something I feel I lost sight of while working on Icarus. Again – can’t stress this enough – I am 100% totally and absolutely thrilled and happy with how Icarus turned out, but I’d rather not repeat that creative process again if I can help it!

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.

The Broken Divide: Release notes

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Distant Activity, Icarus, Lightfields, Music, Subscribers, The Broken Divide

With just one day to go until the release of The Broken Divide, I figured I should probably take a second to write about the actual release of the album itself and how it came together after I finished writing it (which you can read about in more detail in my previous TBD-related blog posts).

Before I talk about the release of The Broken Divide, I’d like to talk a little bit about the release of Pieces. Pieces was the first album/compilation thing that I had released independently in about four years or so, and so I decided to try something a little different with the release.

There are two great advantages to releasing music independently, as far as I’m concerned – the first is that it afford you complete creative control over what you put out. Pieces was something I’d been toying with for a while, and I knew I wasn’t in a rush to release it. This gave me plenty of time to sort out mastering, album artwork, and release formats. I’ve already talked at length about my approach to pricing (or lack of) and the “audiophile master” release of Pieces – both of which you can read about here and here. I mention this because it’s an approach I’m taking once again with the release of The Broken Divide.

Which brings me onto the second big thing I love about releasing music independently – the freedom to experiment with release methods. One thing I have been experimenting with recently is the Bandcamp subscription format. I still believe in making my major independent releases easily accessible to everyone, but the subscription system affords me the means to get bonus goodies across to people who might be more interested in checking this stuff out without necessarily “cluttering” my discography for those who just want to listen to my albums. It’s an interesting balancing act, but after releasing Pieces I had more or less decided quite early on that my next album release was going to be another pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp.

Sorry guys, you're on your own.
Sorry guys, you’re on your own.

Alas, another similarity between these two releases is that there is no physical CD version. Back when I was releasing my first or second albums, this idea would have been kind of abhorrent to me – I love picking up CDs where I can, but the sad truth is that demand for physical copies of my music is nowhere near substantial enough at this point to warrant getting a decent run made and, as with many other people out there, I have no problem with my own musical purchases being digital… provided I can download it in the format of my choice. Maybe one day I’ll consider a limited run of CD copies for some of my more recent releases, but for the time being it’s not going to happen. That said, digital downloads of my music have skyrocketed in the past few years so, hey, there you go!

On a similar note, I have still in no way whatsoever been bitten by the vinyl bug. It’s a growing format but it’s one that I just don’t get – for me, it’s kind of a weird situation. There are many releases for which the “best” version is the vinyl release, simply because the most tastefully mastered version of an album is usually the vinyl version. Nothing to do with the format (outside of some physical constraints due entirely to the medium itself which go some way to preventing bad mastering practices), but because people who listen on vinyl tend to be more picky about this kind of thing. Which is great! But there is nothing stopping people from releasing tasteful masters of their albums digitally, and I find the lack of options kind of strange in that regard. Maybe in a few years I’ll be all over vinyl, but for the time being… not happening. It’s not something I’m interested in and it would be both disingenuous and financially bonkers for me to go down that route.

This is all kind of interesting to me because this will be my first “big” solo release since 2013 – I’m super happy with all of my interim releases (Pieces, AdFi, Obscurer), but this is the album that I would consider the “true” follow-up to Icarus. That album had a bit of a troubled release, to be honest. From issues with the artwork, digital outlets still not stocking it correctly (go ahead, try and find it on Amazon UK), payments and recoupable costs having to be chased up for about a year, and a general lack of post-release support… yeah, it was not pretty. Hell, for a few months I had no idea which label it was going to be released through thanks to a total communication snafu. Alas – due to the nature of it not being an independent release, this is all stuff that was generally outside of my control. Icarus really made me appreciate how much I’d taken full creative control for granted over the years, and how it’s something I’m not willing to relinquish for my own solo releases. The release of Pieces made me really, really appreciate how much I’d missed releasing music independently… the general feeling I got during both releases was completely different. I’d like to emphasise that this in no way somehow reflects my own personal feelings of both albums from a musical point of view – this is strictly from a release/logistical perspective.

ANYWAY. Bitching and moaning aside(!) – the point I’m trying to make is that returning to that mindset of retaining full control during the writing, production, and release process for a “big” solo release was a really wonderful feeling, and I think that feeling of releasing something completely on my own terms because I wanted to is something that runs throughout the entire album. In many ways the huge contrast between the release of Icarus and Pieces fuelled the direction I took with this album… knowing that it was probably going to be an independent release made me think “hey, that means I can pretty much do whatever I want!” which is, y’know, exactly what I did.

So. One more day to go. I hope you get some time to check out the album in its entirety once I release it into the wild, and I hope you like what you hear. Cheers!

The Broken Divide 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 bonus tracks and instrumentals.

Pieces: Everyone likes free stuff

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Distant Activity, General, Icarus, Lightfields, Pieces

So, Pieces is out in just over a couple of weeks, and you’ll be able to download it for free. I’d just like to take this quick opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered the extended/audiophile versions so far – your support genuinely means a great deal to me, and I’m looking forward to sharing the extra goodies with you all.

Name Your Price, eh?
Name Your Price, eh?

So – on to the topic at hand: all of my larger independent releases so far have been paid-for releases, so why the sudden change with Pieces? And, for that matter, why on earth am I now offering my previously paid-for albums as pay-what-you-want offerings? Yes, I’ve released free EPs and singles before now, but not albums. Why the sudden change of heart?

Well, there are actually a few different reasons as to why I’m doing this – but I’d like to preface this by saying that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with releasing albums with a price attached, or for free, or however an artist wants to release an album.

Pieces is my first independent release in about four years and, frankly, I thought it’d be fun to try something new! I’ve released free EPs and singles in the past, but I’ve always been a bit wary of releasing what is, essentially, a free album. In some regards, the very nature of Pieces is a bit of an experiment because it’s not what I would typically classify as a normal album (as I’ve detailed previously), so I felt a little safer in the knowledge that it could all blow up in my face. I have attached a monetary value of zero to this project, and I am going into it with every expectation that I won’t make anything from it. Before now, I’ve seen artists and content creators release material using a pay-what-you-want model, only to turn around and get pissy at customers because they aren’t paying enough for their material. As far as I’m concerned, that is an absurd stance to take, and if you expect everyone to pay for a release then you should damn well attach a monetary value to it! In essence, by putting out Pieces as a PWYW release I am removing any financial expectations from it. I fully expect to make nothing off of this release, and the fact that people have pre-ordered the extended version so far has already surpassed my expectations, and I am hugely grateful to anyone who has chosen to support me despite there being absolutely no obligation to do so. That’s amazing, and – in a way – has already validated this experiment, in my eyes.

Secondly – and this relates directly to my re-pricing of Distant Activity and Lightfields as PWYW releases – I want people to listen to my music! I don’t want to get in the way of that. If people want to listen to an album, then you’d better believe that they’re going to find a way to do so, regardless of whether they want to pay for it or not. I could talk about the ethics behind content piracy until the cows come home, but my number one aim is for people to listen to and enjoy my music. I’ve never made a lot of money off of album sales, and I’ve never released an album in the hopes of making a quick buck. In a sense, re-pricing my earlier output is my way of putting my money where my mouth is – obviously I’d love it if people would continue to choose to support my work financially, but I don’t live in a fantasy land where I expect to live off of album sales alone. There are plenty of people out there who manage to do just that, and I applaud those individuals. It’s bloody hard. I just want to make my music available to as many people as possible, so it’s my job to let people download it easily and in their format of choice. Conversely, my releasing my music essentially for free is not a declarative statement that I believe people should feel entitled to have whatever they want (content wise) for free. I don’t agree with that. But, with regards to my own music – it’s my personal decision, not some kind of bold statement.

Thirdly – it’s a digital-only release. As I said before, I don’t expect to make anything off of this, and it costs nothing to release an album on Bandcamp. That’s awesome. I have zero overheads in that regard, and while Pieces took a hell of a lot of effort and time to put together (as every one of my releases has), I’m in a pretty financially neutral position from the get-go. I decided to release Pieces through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify et al because, once again, I don’t want to impose any kind of barrier to people who want to listen. Because my option in terms of releasing a free album via those services is restricted, I’ve decided to release the extended version through those services. Obviously, I’d much rather people choose to support me via Bandcamp but, again, I don’t want to get in the way of people listening to my music. Unfortunately, releasing music through iTunes costs money, but it’s really not a huge amount, and that’s a cost I’m happy to swallow.

I know it sounds like a giant cliché, but I am not putting out albums to make money. I release music and work in other fields related to audio to that end, and it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to release solo material without having to make any compromises. I do, however, feel that this was compromised slightly with my most recent label releases, but that had more to do with personal psychological issues than anything else – I wasn’t working to a deadline, and I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted.

With all this talk of separating music from financial value, though, I feel as though it would be remiss of me to suggest that I think my music has no value. If that were the case I would have stopped writing music a long time ago! As you’ve read, there are lots of little reasons as to why I thought this would be an interesting move, and none of those bear any relation to my own personal views on my musical output.

Ultimately, I stand by every single one of my releases and, though there are always things I would change about them in retrospect, they represent very specific periods in my life… and that’s something I would never want to interfere with, and it’s something I feel incredibly grateful to be able to share with people… well, not only that, I feel incredibly grateful that there are people out there who would want to share in that.

Regardless of whether you choose to support Pieces financially or not, I sincerely hope that some of you out there enjoy it and connect with it in one way or another. That’d be neat.

Pieces: Where’s the CD version?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in And All Is As It Should Be, Distant Activity, General, Icarus, Lightfields, Music, Pieces, Site

After my last posting about the audiophile master, it might seem a little strange to some that I’m not releasing any kind of physical version of Pieces. Surely, if there’s a version of the complete work that’s catered towards people who want to listen in a dedicated listening environment, it would make sense to put out some kind of physical release?

A fond memory
A fond memory

First up, I know there are plenty of people out there who prefer physical media over digital releases. I totally get that, especially in the case of vinyl – doubly so given that vinyl masters often offer the best way to listen to an album in an environment designed for listening. However, as I pointed out in my last post, this point in particular has nothing to do with the release medium whatsoever. I’m not a vinyl aficionado, but I still buy a lot of CDs. There’s something about the first listen ritual and checking out the artwork and any liner notes (if there are any).

Having said that, if I can’t get my hands on a CD copy of an album I particularly want, I have no qualms with downloading a digital copy… and that’s something I’ve found myself doing more and more recently. Strangely though, more than a few CD releases are comparable in price to their digital download counterparts (especially when you factor in additional costs for lossless versions – a practice I’m not particularly keen on), so for the marginal extra expense in cases like that I’m much more likely to go for a CD if possible. From a completely vain point of view, I also like to keep my music on a shelf so people can see what I’m into. To me, having that kind of thing on display is much more aesthetically pleasing than a bunch of files on my computer.

In short, I’m neither for nor against physical media at this point. Like I said, I’m not a vinyl aficionado, but if everyone were to suddenly stop selling CDs tomorrow and instead offered lossless digital versions of all of their music at a reasonable price instead, I don’t think I’d lose a whole lot of sleep.

None of this really explains why I’m not releasing a physical version of Pieces though and, predictably enough, it all comes down to numbers. Well, two sets of numbers, at least.

Firstly, I only had a pretty small run of CDs of both Distant Activity and Lightfields made in the first place. Icarus and And All Is As It Should Be were completely out of my control as both were distributed exclusively by Distinctive Records & Lost Language Recordings. I still have a few Distant Activity discs kicking about, and I have more than a few Lightfields discs still. The sales of downloads vs. CDs in the case of these two albums is incredibly one-sided in the favour of downloads, outside of pre-orders. I don’t have a huge amount of marketing clout (read: I have no marketing clout), and I have never been under any illusion that my music is going to suddenly become a cross-over best-seller. That’s not why I write music and put out albums, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a position where I’m able to write music and make noise for a living without being entirely dependent on album sales. CD sales have declined massively for me over the past three years or so, and now it’s at the point where I feel like getting a CD run put together would be a complete financial waste of my time. Unless there’s a sudden run on physical versions of my existing releases, I don’t see myself putting out another CD release again. Anybody who is able to read this article is probably more than likely to have a sufficient internet connection to be able to download my music. The important thing for me is to put out my music at a comparable standard of quality to a CD release wherever possible, which is why – when possible – I’ll always try to make my music available in lossless formats as well as lossy formats. The financial incentive is gone, and I’m no longer as bothered by the need to have a physical release as I once was. Been there, done that.

Secondly, there are three versions of Pieces. Which version would I even put out? I could put out a physical version of the main album itself, which would be kind of pointless as you can download it for free. I could put out a physical version of the extended edition, but then what about the audiophile version? I could include that as an extra disc, but then it’d be at a lower quality than the actual downloadable release version (the downloadable version is released as 48khz/24-bit files). And even then, why would you want an extra disc with the exact same music on it? I don’t think I’ve ever bought a double-album that featured the exact same music on both discs – I’ve bought a couple of albums with instrumental versions available on a separate disc (which is something I took on board with the digital releases of instrumental versions of Distant Activity & Lightfields, and is a trend I plan on continuing with future vocal works), but never with the exact same material on both discs. I’m sure that such a thing exists, and if anyone has come across a good example of such a release then let me know!

From the point of view of my own vanity, I’d love to keep putting out physical releases. I still remember holding my first Distant Activity CD, and holding something that I’d put so much work into in my own hands. But I’ve got to be realistic, and – especially with Pieces – I don’t think it’s the right call.

That’s my take on things. Maybe in the future I’ll think about putting out a vinyl release of my next album or whatever I do, but honestly I just don’t see it being either financially viable or practically relevant any more. If I started taking my solo music live, I’d think about it (but that’s a topic for another time). As it is, though, I’d much rather put that effort into writing music, and releasing it in a variety of formats and versions to suit the actual listening experience. There are things I can experiment with in the world of digital distribution that would be much more costly to try out with physical media, and that seems like it should take a much higher priority over my own brief personal satisfaction.

Icarus: out now

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Album 3, Distinctive, Icarus, Music

Icarus is out now!

Following on from Lightfields (2010), and his collection of ambient works ‘And All Is As It Should Be'(2012), British electronic producer Adam Fielding’s is set to return to Distinctive with a new album titled ‘Icarus’. As ever, Fielding’s productions are rich with drama, space and intention. His work always carries a distinctly cinematic narrative; a trait that’s picked up by the film production houses that regularly champion his work.

Opening the album is the title track and first single off the album. It’s a vocal opus charged with breathy pads, smart string arrangements and snappy beats. ‘Fireworks’ is a powerful follow-on, with an undulating synth bass line and expansive tonal work.

For ‘Are Lights Approaching’, he takes a thumping 4×4 beat and envelops it in his signature textures, topping it off with an edgy vocal delivery that gives a raw, low-slung feel. Next up, ‘All We Ever Wanted’ introduces some acoustic guitar tones and yearning lyrics to the mix to create a haunting ballad.

‘Somewhere Out There’ is an ambient piece, just vocals and ethereal pads on this one that builds to a cathartic end. ‘Hiding From January’ is purely instrumental, showcasing Fielding’s intricate beat programming skills. Next, we have ‘Out of Reach’. It’s a propulsive stomper with a darker, industrial space-age feel. Fielding’s effected vocals adding to the crystalline finish.

‘High Rise Downfall’ uses a forceful broken beat pattern to punctuate beautiful synthetic atmospheres before some warm piano and guitar chords kick in to switch the vibe. ‘Break Me Down’ carries on the piano themes,this time paired with dynamic ‘rock-esque’ beats and chord progressions to make one of the album’s proper epics.

‘A Fire In The Sky’ is a moody and contemplative, acting as the level-setting precursor to one of the more accomplished vocal tracks on the album, ‘Ashes By Dawn’. Fielding’s vocal takes centre stage here, and it’s nothing short of breathtaking. As a final reprise, he delivers a short yet stunning string arrangement using the movements of the opening ‘Icarus.’ A fitting end to a record.

Icarus is my third full-length album of original works, written between 2010-2013 and released through Distinctive Records. The album features the incredible talents of The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. You can find it via DistinctiveiTunes, Amazon and pretty much any other major online music retailer you can think of.

You can find out more information and listen to previews via the music page on this site, or you can check out the clips from the album below.

Having spent three years working on this album, it’s quite surreal to see it finally making it’s way out into the big wide world. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone I’ve been pestering over the past few years with constant revisions, ideas and general nonsense, and of course thank you to everyone who has ever supported me and my music throughout the years. Without you this album would simply not have been possible.

You can read a bit more about the background and creation of Icarus via the music page. You can also find full album lyrics via the lyrics section of this site.

I’d absolutely love to know what you think of this album, as I mentioned – I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out, and as a piece of work I think it perfectly highlights more or less entirely what I’m about as a musician.

Thanks!

Icarus (single feat. remixes) is out now! Album to follow on the 29th

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Distinctive, Icarus, Music, Remix

Adam Fielding is back with us once again at Distinctive, this time with his latest single ‘Icarus’. Delivering nothing short of beauty, Mr Fielding brings what he does best to the table and we know you’re going to love it. Icarus opens with an instant wave of atmophere that straps you into position for the ride the is about to unfold infront of you. Lighthearted break beat carries through and is joined by elegant keys and strings that build and retreat into majestic peaks and breakdowns, the descriptive vocal floats through the track with a masterfully balanced contrast of ambience, dark bass lines and synth work – a light vs dark element and a great example to the mind of Fielding.

The 06R remix comes at the track with a larger lease on atmosphere, keeping the break beat vibe but going towards a more progressive almost Hybrid esque twist, the remix has more of a dancefloor edge and less outerspace flavour around it. Utilising those powerful strings and entrancing vocal it proves to be a meaty remix!

Blanka is up next and the duo of Adam White & Adam Dowling (Lost Language veterans)do what they do best and have created a big trance remix, fast flowing melodies derived from those awesome strings roll against the darker bass lines you hear in the original mix but with more of a focus point on that underlying thump from the bass line.

OhmFat relaxes the fringe with his remix, creating a very laid back; downtempo mix that has got sunshine groover written all over it. A new melodic bass line becomes the prominent factor whilst OhmFat takes little snippets and elements of the big room atmosphere and weaves them through the background of the mix. Definitely one for an Ibiza beach.

Chevy One tears up the rule book with his remix, the hour of ambience is gone and now comes the day of punchy progressive electro. The no fuss mix pumps out a dirty electro bass line that becomes very entrancing through its repetition. A great and unique take on the single.

The eponymous single from my upcoming album, Icarus, is out now! With a heavy breaks-inspired flavour, the original mix sets the stage for the rest of the album with a delicate mix of organic and electronic instrumentation, featuring strings performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

You can find it via the Distinctive page, iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, Audiojelly, OneRPM and Trackitdown (among others). You can also listen to the single in it’s entirety via Spotify.

The full-length album Icarus will be released on the 29th.

Icarus album: Four weeks to go!

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Distinctive, Icarus, Music

After a long wait, I’m proud to announce that my third full-length original album Icarus is out in just under four weeks! This is preceded by the release of the first single from the album, Icarus. The single features the title track along with five remixes, spanning a wide range of genres from breaks through to house along with a film-score inspired take on the track. Both the single and album feature the incredible talents of The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

The album follows the same genre-spanning trend as the single and my previous albums, drawing inspiration from rock, classical, breaks, synth-pop, ambient and various other forms of electronic music. Spanning twelve tracks and clocking in at just under seventy minutes, it’s a rather epic musical journey that I am particularly proud of. With it being the culmination of just under three years worth of preparation, writing, performance and production, I am incredibly excited to finally have this chance to share it with you all.

The album will be released in both digital and physical formats. Full album lyrics and detailed information will be available from this site following the release of the album.

Icarus: release dates

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Album 3, Collaboration, Distinctive, Icarus, Music

My third full-length, original solo album Icarus is due to be released on April 29th, with the eponymous single to be released a week before on the 15th. The single features a slew of remixes covering a wide variety of styles and genres both by myself and a hearty band of talented remixers.

I really can’t wait to share this with you… it’s been a long time coming and a hell of a lot of work from myself and a sizeable selection of other people (including The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, no less). I recently had the single masters back and, I’ve got to say, I’m really, really happy with how it’s all turned out. Of particular note for any audiophiles reading this – the final masters are sounding fantastic, and should come as a welcome relief to anybody out there (like myself) who’s sick of listening to excellent music that’s been mauled thanks to a constant push to over-compress and squash the living hell out of the source material in an effort to make it sound as loud as possible. As a record, Icarus is not that kind of listen and, as such, I’m very keen for it to withstand repeated listens.

I’m currently working with the label on the artwork and I’m looking forward to being able to hold the finished album in the not-too-distant future. I plan on talking in great length about the album both thematically and production-wise, but it’s still a little way off release so all I’ll say for now is that for fans of well produced electronic music with a heavy emphasis on emotion, melody and narrative I genuinely believe that it’s been worth the wait.

On a non-Icarus related note – I’ve just realised that I haven’t updated this site since the end of last year, so I guess now is as (in)appropriate time as any to say a hearty – albeit massively belated – Happy New Year!

2012 was a bit of a turning point for myself as a musician, particularly in terms of focus and direction. I’ve been working on a couple of production music (music for TV, advertising, film etc.) projects so far this year along with another project that I’m excited to have been a part of, which I’ll explain in more detail as things progress.

Something I do plan on doing this year is collaborating with more musicians. I have plenty of ideas in mind, and this idea was more or less spurred on by a collaboration between myself and the inimitable Tom Pritchard toward the end of last year which you can listen to and download for free below.

It’s been a long time since I worked on a proper collaboration, and I think I’ve progressed a fair bit as a musician and as a person since my last attempts. I’d love to know what you make of this particular collaboration! Please, no collaboration requests… as I said, I’ve already got a few ideas myself.

December update: Icarus, production albums and all that fun stuff

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Album 3, And All Is As It Should Be, Icarus, Music, Production music

I can’t believe I’ve left it so long since I last updated this site – as I’ve said before, that’s normally a good sign and this is no exception. I’ve got some great news.

Album 3 has a name, one confirmed single and is – more or less – complete!

My next full-length album is called Icarus, and it pretty much encapsulates everything I find enjoyable about modern electronic music – full of absorbing, interesting textures, detailed sound manipulation and – most important to me – solid tunes and genuine emotion. If you’re into hyper-compressed, aggressive-for-the-sake-of-being-aggressive, substance-over-style throw-away tunes then I’d strongly suggest looking elsewhere. But if you’re into genre-crossing music with a heavy organic edge that rewards repeated listening you’re going to be in for an absolute treat. The composition and production of the album itself is more or less complete and, having been working on it for so long, I must say that it’s a strange feeling to know that it’s finished. Well, I say “finished” – there’s still plenty of work to be done on the actual release-side!

The first single from Icarus will be the title track. The Icarus single will feature a wide variety of remixes from some incredibly talented musicians and myself. It’s due out in Q1 of next year, and I’ll be providing further updates regarding the single and the album itself as the release dates draws closer.

Also… just to settle some confusion: For those wondering why I keep referring to my upcoming album as my “third album” despite And All Is As It Should Be being, technically, my third artist album… that’s simply because this is my third full-length album of completely original material. AAIAISB was completely new material, though a good chunk of it consisted of re-interpretations of older works. I’m no less happy with it as an album than my other full-length releases – far from it! In fact, I put most of it together around this time last year and, as such, the album itself goes remarkably well with the current UK climate… the nights are drawing in, the frost and bitter cold is taking hold and it’s a great time for some chilled introspection. If you haven’t checked it out already then I’d strongly recommend doing so as it is a rather good accompaniment to this particular season (if I may say so myself!). Another reason I keep referring to Icarus as “album 3” is simply because, when I started writing it, it was the third album I’d been working on! Needless to say, I’ve been at it for a while.

In addition to all this Icarus-related excitement, I’ve been working on a huge selection of production tunes (for TV, film, advertising, radio – that kind of thing) in the past few months which has, I’m pleased to say, found a home! Just to clarify: this is in no way related to Icarus whatsoever, though there are obviously elements of my production music that carry over into my own solo work.

I’ve also been working on some more synth-pop inspired music lately which is, again, completely unrelated to Icarus or my production music. There’s a track up on my Soundcloud page called “There Is No Turning Back” which should give you a good idea as to what I’m going for but, again, I’ll be providing more information as this project develops. Stay tuned!