Saturday, June 29, 2013

"When Stars Collide" "As the City Rumbles Underneath" Dream pop shoegaze...

As some of you may know I've been working on a project with a good friend of mine Cat Forsley, called "As the City Rumbles Underneath".  She approached me about making "shoegazer" music last summer and I got really excited about the prospects of doing something like that.  In the 90's while in college I fell in love with bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Curve but I've never really had a lot of opportunity to pursue those kinds of sounds in my professional career at the studio.  Generally my space echo from the 70's sits idle, my many delays cry for... well you get the idea.  If you don't, here's a picture of my space echo which I use quite a bit for the music we make.

Ashton's Space Echo

Anyway, I was really interested in doing something like this and using some of the gear I've accumulated in a new way but I wasn't interested in recreating something that bands from the past had done.  Cat and I both felt there was no reason to repeat something that was done in the 90's.

The things that always bugged me about a lot of the shoegazer music I used to listen to was how buried the vocals were.  In some cases (Slowdive) there were some incredible songs buried in the ambience and in other cases (MBV) there wasn't a lot of vocal melody in what were some pretty spectacular guitar sounds.  I'm not saying either approach is right or wrong but I really wanted to bring my pop sensibility both in melody and vocal production to this type of guitar sound.

Something else I wanted to do a bit differently was creating a really heavy rhythm section underneath the guitar wash.  We've been using really heavy programmed drums along with real drums and I also have a great analog synth to create the bass lines.  This I feel gives everything a more modern sound and also appeals to my love of pop music.

Along with making some music that I'm really feeling great about we also made our first music video with the help of Sarah Thomson who shot it and my girlfriend Roz Gracie who edited it together.  For both of them this was a first and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the results.

I have no idea where this experiment will take me but I'm making some of the best music I've ever made and I'm having a lot of fun.  I also think having some experiences as "an artist" will really help me gain some insight about how one can promote oneself in the age of social media.  This will in turn help me, help my clients (yes I'm still producing and mixing for other people and have no plans on stopping)  to move further with their own careers.

Below is our first video for the song entitled "When Stars Collide"

Enjoy :)


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