Aphelion

by Andy Pickford

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about

Greetings, fellow dwellers of our awesome sub-reality, you know, the one we used to call Planet Earth, but now we ain’t really sure whose arse it climbed up and what went titsup to begin with!
 But never mind eh? We’re still here and we’ve nearly made it to the end of another decade on this disintegrating butt-nugget of godlike proportions. So at least be thankful for that!

In my last thrilling instalment, the album ended on the subject of Death. So, me being me and wanting to start this one how that last one ended, I was faced with starting it on the grand matter of Doom & Gloom esq. Well, not so for me. As a registered crackpot I found another way around the challenge ;-)

Part 1 then, is a fairly animated in-yer-face bit of 5/4 classical music in which everything louder than everything else is pretty much the whole of the law! It’s got a tune though, I mean I do stuff like that. It’s also got crashes, bangs, bells and more or less whatever I could chuck at it to make it menacing enough. I think it’s menacing enough now.

Part 2. Yeah okay, I suppose I’m not hovering around any deathly subject matter for long. Not that it doesn’t inspire me, but I have the attention span of a domestic house cat, so it isn’t necessarily the next shiny thing which is gonna grab me. This did. I compose (at the moment) along one session, meaning the album is really one whole single session composed exactly as you hear it. It’s a lovely melancholic tune in 6/8 which reminds me of Morricone in some way. Pretty :-)

Part 3. Part 3, 4 and 5 are effectively one piece which wanders off in three ways. Commencing in an anthemic way, this first one builds up a good back rhythm behind a relatively simple theme. I found I rather liked this backbeat, so I decided to see what would happen if I were to extend it…



Part 4. Yup, enjoying how this opens out into a wide spacious thing with me doing wide spacious things on it. There’s nothing better than a bit of wide spaciousness on a crappy dark winter’s day. Still pretty. Clearly into pretty sounds at the moment, not that my ears ever complain about that.

Part 5. Aye well, there’s always that one day when you get up and have too much weed. One is rather fond of one’s occasional psychedelic musical delvings. Added to which, it’s a lot of fun morphing sounds and generally monkeying about.

Part 6. Odin. Well I knew this was coming next so all that morphing kinda winds up into a darker, primordial soundscape ready for the start of this piece. Those who know me also know there’s no way I'm ever going to compose a half-baked piece to attribute to the name of Odin. Solid composition here, deservedly so. If you do know your stuff, have a game of hunt the hidden symbology.

Part 7. Also the start of Section 2 of the 24bit edit. Odin comes to a dead stop, it needed to. But I always segue the shit out of my works so though it does continue, it allows for a neat-ish chop. Part 7 is minimal analogue et al. improv. kept very simple and open so you can focus on the lovely filter changes and harmonics going on. It’s all self generated. I think I hit keyboard on this just for a few background chords, that’s it. Fun, explorative and just right after a complex piece I felt.

Part 8. Everyone’s gonna say this is Prog. So okay it’s Prog! It’s Electronic Prog but it’s Prog. And there’s me inimitable axe grinding impression just to give it the right edge. Lovely tune, huge slabby mellotron choir stuff I know you like. The drums sound like live drums because that’s me tapping them live on keys like I used to in the really early days. I’m still shite but quantize is better these days!

Part 9. The bass sequence on this is definitely the Boog Moog. Yeah you can tell. I’ve compressed the living doodah out of it but it still assaults the bass very rudely :-D
 Since there’s been a hint of the spirit of Vangelis lurking on this album already, I thought why not slam on some vast huge cityscape chords and be all dark and foreboding for a bit. It's definitely looking a bit black over Bill's mother's!

Part 10. I like anthems to end albums with. This is a nice one with a couple of melodies which interplay and build up. There’s me belting those keyboard drums again (I like it!) and really getting into what is certainly a fine ending for what’s been another really enjoyable session.

See Y’all again in 2020!

credits

released December 22, 2019

AP : everything, basically.
Executive software and hardware stress testing : Pixie, my 10 month old calitabby kitteh. Every conceivable keyboard and synth assault failed. Oh there were many surprise attacks and much damage got done. But I always had backups and they (mostly) all worked. Her numerous attempts at adding vocals also failed, I'm greatly relieved to say!
Cover design by AP and Kim Hadley.

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Andy Pickford Derby, UK

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