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Main » 2010 » October » 5 » James McKeown - 2010 - James McKeown
James McKeown - 2010 - James McKeown

James McKeown - 2010 - James McKeown

Debut album from Bristol based guitarist/songwriter James McKeown.

Tracks :
1 From NASA to None (05:24)
2 Dark Sky Park (03:00)
3 Stars (02:50)
4 Poachers Feet (04:29)
5 Bones (05:05)
6 Days Were a Joy (05:26)
7 Storm (06:13)
8 Mayfly (06:00)
9 40,000 Full Moons (03:45)

James McKeown is the guitarist in Bristol based luminaries Hi-Fiction Science.
Whilst their music is based around a unique blend of Krautrock, Folk, Post-Punk and Electronic influences.
James' debut album is an introspective journey into quintessentially English lo-fi melancholic dreampop.

Let's read what James says about his album !!!

"The songs are an outpouring of all of my thoughts and actions during something of an emotionally traumatic time in my life.

Most of the songs were already written, so I spent some reclusive late nights and weekends laying down the recordings and mixing, here some explanation of what is behind the music"

From NASA to None

A song about being stuck in a rut. Emotionally, chemically and not helping yourself to break out of it. Musically I used live drums played by Aidan Searle, the drummer in Hi-Fiction Science. A real Lo-Fi technique as I got him to play along to a backing track, recorded them live and then chopped them up to make a loop and overlayed an 808 beat on the kick drum and snare.

I had been listening to some 'chillwave' hypnagogic bands like Washed Out and Ariel Pink and wanted that vibe of blending the guitars, keys and vocals. Also went for a synth solo rather than a guitar break which I wanted to sound like it was a cross between Cocteau Twins, mid '80's Marillion (!) and The Associates.

Dark Sky Park
An ethereal instrumental that hopefully is somewhere between Durutti Column and Mike Oldfield - Fellow Bristol musician, guitar virtuoso Robin Allender (Gravenhurst/Yann Tiersen/Three Cornered Moon) compared it to Pat Metheny, which is very complimentary although I'm not sure I've quite got the same level of musical chops!

This is a song about light, the universe and astronomy. The way that the first astronomers were considered to be heathens for suggesting other planets were out there and that the universe was infinite. Stars die and time evolves. Musically quite a simple song which uses a Mellotron. Except there is no way I could afford a real Mellotron (who can ?) so this is a Mellotron app mic'd up and ran through a Moog Analog delay. Nice. Almost has a MGMT/Flaming Lips vibe about it.

Poachers Feet
This one is probably the oldest song on here being that it was a track that I first recorded when I was stockpiling songs recorded on my 4-track around 1999/2000. Again I used the aforementioned drum loop technique with the live drum samples. Came up with a quick funky locked in bassline groove and acoustic guitar, which with the flanged vocal effect sounds a bit like it could be from Pink Floyd's Animals album. The theme is the poacher hunting and killing their prey - loss of innocence. I get into a keyboard freakout at the end by running it through the Moog pedals again and finally leading to the subsonic LFO outro that flows straight into......

A simple song about a murder sang from the perspective of the killer. Based on a news story I heard about a girl who went missing after a night out in Bath. Her remains were discovered recently near the M5 motorway and I expanded on this this theme. Acoustic guitar/bass/vocals. That's it.

Days Were a Joy
A very personal song about past love and regret and a report of mentally where I am. Really pleased with the harmony vocal end section as I am a big fan of Curt Boettcher/The Millennium (particularly the 'Begin' album) and his production so I tried to make it a bit of an homage to that in the climax of the track also pleased with the hypnotic guitar motif and the (slightly out of time in places!) fake xylophone keyboard which all blend to give it a subtle psychedelic edge.

Using the famous Lo-Fi Mellotron technique and acoustic guitar, a song directly dealing with breakup/breakdown of relationships. The vibe I wanted here was a early King Crimson ballad. This was confirmed when Keith - from Fruits de Mer Records - said that my voice had a Greg Lake quality to it. It's purposely melancholic - as much of my music is - slowcore and downtempo.

This one is about a brief ill fated relationship that I thought could work out but we both knew it couldn't due to certain circumstances. April > May > June and then it was over. I was gutted and this song poured out of me almost like automatic writing. Really quite simple but I'm pleased with the strong double-tracked vocal melody and the fluid guitar lines which were initially recorded far too loud but I wanted to go with them as they sounded good and subsequent takes seemed forced. Luckily the balance was addressed in the EQ of the final mastering and is now all level and quite polished.

40,000 Full Moons
An ambient outro to wind down the album. Lot's of delay and backwards guitar through out. Originally I had a spoken word sample of Timothy Leary over the top taking about dying and how he had opened the 'pandora's box' of chemical experimentation that was first discovered over 40,000 Full Moons ago. In the end I decided against it as it sounded too unsubtle and overtly stoner/druggy. Having said that, it's a nice way to end the trip. Man.

The album is available digitally from all major retailers -, iTunes, Amazon etc.
A physical copy will be available in the near future - check for updates.
A physical copy can be ordered here or here
You can listen entire album in both addresses (MySpace & BandCamp)


Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 5052 | Added by: Lost-In-Tyme | Rating: 5.0/1 |

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