Saturday, February 25, 2017

Productions 016, part four Light and Dark

Sometimes writing about Warning Light feels a little odd to me. I do so many things on the projects that sometimes it is hard to add that into the mix too. But it never hurts to assess, and Warning Light serves as a nexus of sorts for a lot of the Persistentmidnight work.

The Life/Death Suite came to me because I had wanted very badly to have a long epic piece at the end of Oftenchance originally. I wrote a lot, and the elements that became "Often Chance" and "Dream Lovers Never Dream Alone" bounced around several tracks before I figured out how to weave it together as a suite. I'll fully admit here "Dream Lovers Never Dream Alone" came to me in the form it exists here partially as a dream; I dreamt Roy Orbison was having a couple songs produced by Coil. So upon waking and wondering just what that would be, I sat down to mix the song again and this came out. I approached this EP to experiment with ways to kaleidoscope things together. It is meant to mimic the arc of a person's life as a listening experience, and then as a cassette tape, loop back on itself to play again (like LIFE itself :)-).

Of course, Inland Empires Disregard the Sea was a totally different beast. I spent a lot of time stream lining the material, being pretty ruthless about cutting parts actually, but I felt like the spirit of the project was pretty immediate. I started this album right after finishing Oftenchance and in some senses it is the full refinement of that experience. It was a very difficult production at times because I always wanted to add more, but I knew I had to keep it as "lean and hungry" as I could. At least, while still being true to the sprawling nature of the project in general. Inland Empires is a record about Perspective, and the relativity of one's own perspective in a myriad of others. But why it ended up being about that didn't become apparent to me until well after it was complete. I had several goals going into the production too, the primary goal was to shoot for a palette that utilized dub and krautrock textures while keeping firm dance and electronic roots. There was more "life" in this album than previous outings, the live percussion and field recordings of places put a lot of grit into a record that could have just been Ableton-Robot music. My ambient pieces on here ("Errants of Lost Youth" and "This Room Will Never Be the Same") are without a doubt some of my favorites, the beat work brings something entirely different to them. "Lumen Tracker" was the track that definitely came the easiest, "Darling Heart Gives Me Vertigo" certainly went through a lot of versions. This was the first time I made "single edits" for an album and it was a very challenging experience. I'm very pleased with how this album turned out, I somehow managed to cover all the aspects (and in just under an hour no less). Side note- I am especially proud of the album art on this one, the CD layout is among my favorites of anything I have designed.

Producing a single right at the end of the year was not my original intention! But honestly, I was stuck in a hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina alone, and I got to thinking about friends I have who I had had conversations with about how they weren't seeing some important person for Christmas this year. It was a somber thought, being alone myself, so I tried to write through my feelings so to speak. I managed to come up with a couple nice pieces, though they are perhaps a little more spacious and lo-fi than my work on Inland Empires had been. Sometimes you need to do something spur of the moment as an artist, and this is good proof of that. Rachel provided a really great photo for the album cover, I was honored to use it.

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