LivestreamMusicNocturnal TransmissionOctober Sessions

Nocturnal Transmission

Nocturnal Transmission is an album written during October 2020. It’s a bit of a love-letter to late 90s/early 00s ambient techno/breaks with a distinctly late-night/early-morning feel, and includes a 1 hour DJ-style mix for continuous listening (which is how it was intended to be heard). You can download it from Bandcamp in the format of your choice, or alternatively it’s on most major streaming platforms right now.

I thought I’d take this as a little opportunity to talk about how the album came about and how it ended up getting the release it did. Every year-or-so I have a bit of a tradition of writing as much music as I possibly can during October – it’s always been a fun creative exercise, and sometimes acts as a much needed creative binge between other projects. This year I figured I’d give it a miss as I figured I had that particular creative outlet covered with my live-stream music-making sessions.

Nocturnal Transmission cover art

Around November last year I had gone on a bit of an ambient techno/d&b binge, listening to tons of music by the likes of The 7th Plain, Nail, and Baraka (I also listened to a lot of music by Sasha but that’s pretty much a steady constant these days!). As we approached a similar seasonal feel this year I thought it’d be fun to try writing something in that style – it’s actually something I’ve long wanted to try out, but it’s a vibe I’ve never really been able to fully nail down. I ended up writing the first of what would turn out to be many tracks, Silhouette, using a lot of techniques familiar to anyone who has watched my live-streams but with a sonic palette more appropriate to the era in which I was referencing. It felt so good to work towards a somewhat familiar sound while putting my own spin on it, and I quickly fell into a bit of what I’ll refer to as a creative flow-state.

Over the course of the month I decided to keep revisiting that feeling with no expectations or end goal in mind. Urged on by friends who seemed to “get” what I was going for, I started playing around with mixing the tracks into one continuous mix as I went along. The entire process of creation was a purely self-indulgent exercise – I was enjoying the process, and I was really looking forward to giving it a proper spin when it was “finished” in November! It’s a rare thing to hit such a readily-flowing creative vein so intensely like that, so I really wanted to make the most of it. Lots of lengthy production sessions ensued in which I just kept working on tracks with no real concern about how I was putting it together – I just wanted it to match that November mood I had already established in my head.

Once I’d completed the 12th track (Lucidity) I decided to call it a day and move on. I felt like I needed a break from this particular excursion, and I wanted to quit while I was still enjoying the process. At this point I decided to put together a master and look at sorting out some cover art – even at this point I didn’t really have any real intention to give it a “proper” release, I just thought it’d be cool to have a cover to go with it! I figured I’d leave it for a bit, then decide what exactly to do with in terms of releasing it should I decide to do so – there was no rush, it was just a fun thing that I’d worked on during October.

After a short amount of time listening back to the album I realised that I did in fact want to release it. There was something about the overall feel of it that I just really wanted to share, regardless of my initial intentions or how it would be received. I already mentioned that the entire project was purely self-indulgent, but I think there’s a kind of playfulness to that which I wanted to strike while it still felt fresh in my mind. As such, I released it immediately to my Patreon supporters and Bandcamp subscribers while working out a release through Spotify et al.

And that’s the story of how I ended up accidentally writing an album in October. In recent years I’ve very much become a fan of seizing spontaneity and making the most of prior experience, and given the swift production and release cycle the whole thing still feels incredibly new to me. It has a sort of directness that I’m not accustomed to experiencing with my releases, and the short turnaround made any sort of concerted promotional effort kind of redundant on my part. It is what it is, and it feels great to be sharing such a recent expression of myself with you in this way. I’d love to talk more about how the album was put together from a more technical perspective, but for now I just hope some of you enjoy it.

Nocturnal Transmission is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers and Patreon supporters also get access to an exclusive audiophile master. It’s also available to stream & download from a wide variety of digital distribution outlets.

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