So we come to our final stop for the year of 2015. It is of course the most reflective of all seasons, Autumn. The air feels electric, as the sun still shines but the cold starts to bite....A window seat on a train in Autumn is a first row view of natures decay...trees malting their golden brown leaves to expose their skeletal figures.....these branches, when viewed with the right amount of sun behind them....create the same wonderful contrast that our inspiration for this series create...the sharp lines of the rail cables.
It is fitting that this selection should have some of the most melodic ideas in the series to date.
It’s not uncommon for drummers to cite electronic music as their main influence these days. Rhythms can be created electronically that drummers just can’t do live….but there is a growing number of complete madmen who are using their abnormal abilities to match the ticks and pops of drum loops created by people such as Aphex Twin and Autechre. Adam Betts is one of these drummers.
Adam has created 3 tracks for the Rail Cables series. At various points throughout the 3 tracks you can hear how imaginatively our source inspiration has been fed into the tracks. The sound of carriages crashing by in rhythm, the experimental dynamics of far off trains quietly speeding across the country…Adam has made great use of all the production techniques he has obviously been honing all his life and its an honour to have his music as part of the Rail Cables series.
Manchester-based worriedaboutsatan have been exploring the darker side of electronic music for nearly 10 years now. The piece they have recorded for Rail Cables was created live in one take. The sounds of the station and the onboard ambience bookend this wonderful exercise in audible tension and release. This is the the part of the journey when the darkness starts to surround the carriage as you begin to see the reflection of your face in the window....occasional distant city lights making you feel all the more comfortable on the warm train.
Next we have our second contribution in the series from a member of Salford kraut-psyche-rockers Gnod. Marlene Ribeiro has been recently crafting more ambient sonic excursions under the name Negra Branca...bass heavy and often featuring Marlene's soft dreamy vocals...These songs have a real hypnotic beauty about them. The song Marlene has contributed to the Autumn Selection is a 12 minute jam that steams along with a bass throb so deep and warm as all other elements of the song scatter rhythmically around the speakers. You can just make out Marlene's voice inside of the music, this is the soundtrack to the part of the journey where your eyes are close to rolling to the back of your head, between day dreaming and sleep...when your thoughts start to lose sense....
As we approach our destination, we have the final chapter in a years worth of music inspired by train travel in the form of a new musical venture from the North East of England: Orcer. A year ago, when I first started thinking of bands to ask to be a part of this whole project, I knew Autumn was going to be the perfect season for reflective, thoughtful, ethereal compositions. Matty Childs and Darren Millet had both been very quietly and calmly blowing minds in the early hours of mornings at various house parties in Newcastle. By candle light it was possible to get completely lost amongst their collective melodies, the two of them seeming to have some magical musical connection, complimenting each others styles fantastically. Add to this the lovely jazzy brush strokes from Simon Coleman and you have a small but perfectly formed selection of atmospheric, thoughtful, melodic ragas. This is the music to end the long journey....and to watch the train disappear into the dark.
The art work for this release uses original art work from computer game artist Andy McDonnell. Andy presented the view of a back street... colourful lines suggesting motion striking horizontally through the picture....like the colourful blur created when trying to take in the view out of a moving trains window. He also created a piece that showed many train lines all heading into a station in the distance. I personally thought all this imagery looked best on top of one another.....there seemed a calm in the hysterical movement of the two different scenes...the perfect accompaniment to our 4 contributors music.
You can see some of Andy's concept art work (untouched by crazy, fussy designers...) here: andymcd88.tumblr.com