The next few weeks will see the release of both Myosphere and Seltrac. These will complete the first chapter of International Debris.
Both albums feature material that was started at the time I started Bathe in the Lights of Distant Cities, and pretty much everything released since then – Anxiety, Ambifauna, Thursday Morning Taylor Swift, Estuary, and my vaporwave material – has been part of the same recording sessions. There are many tracks which were initially intended for one album that appeared on a totally different one. Although all the records have individual themes and atmospheres, in my head they all occupy the same space. This level of overlap is totally unlike anything I’ve done before.
A couple of months after tidying up all these, I returned to work and pieced together Timewyrm, Mistral and Opaline, partially from unfinished ideas and partially from new material. In some ways these form a coda to those original sessions.
I’m incredibly satisfied with how all of this has come together. Those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while will know that for some time I went through a period of unhappiness with my output, roughly between (but not including) Canal Seven and cer. Although there are some wonderful finished albums from this period, it’s also an era in which I spent as much time restructuring as I did actually recording. Different versions of albums appeared and disappeared from various Bandcamps more times than I can remember, and there’s still a fair amount of material I’ve effectively disowned from this time.
Although I can’t stay that the creative process has been easy since starting ID – for someone with mental health problems like myself, I spend as much time loathing what I do as I do loving it – I’m incredibly happy with the state of my music since then. I’ve been able to return to a time with no expectations, simply making music I want to make, and all of the releases – particularly the main five albums and the Anxiety EP – are among my favourite things I’ve done. In many ways, my material as Ross Baker was a healing process, and ID finds me fully recovered again (which also explains why cer sounds like a cross between the two, transitional album as it was).
Once I make a full start on new material then I think chapter 2 of ID will be on the way. It will probably be different to the current (and shortly-to-be-released) batch of records, although I’m sure it’ll still sound like me regardless.
Up and at them!
Two EPs have come out in the last few weeks, bringing Second Thought back into the eyes of the masses. Well, when I say masses…
Treatments came out a few weeks back, on the Silent Flow netlabel, a five track EP of dark ambient/drone/noise electro-acoustic experiment, with sound sources given various ‘treatments’. The work is very different from any of my previous tracks, and acts more as an experiment rather than a standalone piece, but is something I’m very happy with. More tracks in this vein were produced and may appear on future releases. Secondly, and more importantly, Cyclene Records released Canal Seven this morning on their netlabel. Canal Seven is much more traditional Second Thought and has been written about many times before in this blog. I am very happy with it, however, and hope it isn’t the only 30 minute piece I release – more are lined up!
So this is all happy. It’s nice to have stuff going again after all this time away. Three net releases in the last four months is good. I hope to work with both labels again in the future. Meantime, I’ve been working steadily on some synth tracks lately, which are very old school ambient in style, with slight contemporary touches. Not sure what’s happening with these yet but I have some ideas. Safernoc is still on the way, I promise. I have various other bits and bobs to look out for later in the year too…
Until then, you should all listen to Grey Mirrors by The Glimmer Room as it is lovely!
There’s always a journal entry in February.
So, 2010. Six years since Purlieu now. What do I have to show for it? Not too much at the moment, but that’s all about to change. The promised releases are just around the corner – Treatments is coming out on Silent Flow and Canal Seven on Cyclene in the next few weeks. Treatments is an entirely new direction for me, largely being drone-based ambient, with some noisier elements on a couple of tracks. Silent Flow are putting out the 5 track EP as a free download with their own artwork, my cover can be found here. Canal Seven is the 30 minute track, inspired by The KLF’s ‘Chill Out’ and FSOL’s ‘Environments’ I mentioned in my previous entry.
Both EPs I’m extremely proud of, and both are new things for me, so I can’t wait to unleash them on the world.
Elsewhere, I’ve submitted a remix for an album co-released on my friend Tim’s netlabel No-Source, I’ll let you know what happens there.
And that’s all the weather.
2009 draws to a close and it’s been a very positive year for me in terms of music. After a lull of what seems like forever, I’ve been writing and producing solidly since the spring and have come up with what is my best material by some distance. Safernoc is the work I’m most proud of, and the release details are still a secret, but could be really exciting. We’ll see.
Up next, however, is an EP called ‘Canal Seven’ on the lovely netlabel Cyclene, who can be found at http://www.cyclene.com. This will be out in January or February 2010. Canal Seven is 30 minute soundscape EP seamlessly mixing electronic ambience, acoustic guitar, spoken samples, field recordings and various other sounds into a unique journey. The EP takes the form of one track, which comes from new material and a couple of older moments, and a lot of samples. After the very performance-led Safernoc (which was composed entirely on keyboard), I fancied going back to this style.
I shall be working with Cyclene later in 2010 for at least one more release, which could be on a larger scale, although maybe not. We’ll see. The guys there are great and it’s nice to have such positive thoughts on my music.
Elsewhere, there’s more music coming out from other sources next year, but that’s hush hush too. And hopefully I’ll be hitting the live circuit.
Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone and I’ll see you all in 2010!
So, big change all round. The eagle eyed among you will have noticed not only has the secondthought.co.uk website has changed, but the artist description has changed too. I’m looking forward to taking Second Thought in variety of more interesting directions now. I’m working on some different music and different ideas that don’t fit the traditional Second Thought mould from the past. I’m going to keep the main albums (Safernoc news very soon!) released as normal, but look out for some exciting EPs andother such things coming to a netlabel (or two) near you. It’s all a bit secretive, but expect real instruments and vocals on some occasions.
Talking of netlabels, Jerky Oats has seen its second release, an mp3-only download of the live set I performed at AmbientLive Awakenings in Leeds a while ago. The EP can be picked up here.