Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mick Chillage discusses Autumn of Communion 2

Q: First of all when was the new album recorded? How long did it take to put together?

A: Autumn of Communion 2 was pretty much started shortly after the release of the first one as far as I can remember, but with the sad passing of Pete everything seems a little sketchy to say the least. I think we had already started on the first track, which was So Powerful in the Mass when we got news of Pete’s death. That slowed us down for some time, as we were hoping to see AOC2 getting released on Fax again and we were in total shock...I guess we really got stuck into the album again in December 2012 and worked solidly into late January.

Q: How would you compare the creative process for this one with the first AOC album? Which elements were the same and which (if any) differed?
A: The creative process was pretty much the same as on the first. Lee would start the ground work sending me beats, drones, field recordings film samples etc. and then I’d get to work on these with more synths, beats or further manipulations of Lee’s sounds until a structure we both liked happened. In some cases tracks were born in a night or so but others took longer to get right. I added some movie samples and we also tried to add sound bites from movies that haven’t been over used in the electronic music scene like the ubiquitous THX1138 and Blade Runner moments. We are always careful not to overuse or try and make the samples to be the focus point of the track..

The sessions worked in the same way to a degree but the results are somewhat different with this. I guess we were both conscious not to repeat ourselves too much, although there was no real brief on what the album was to be.

Q: How would you compare the two AOC albums? Can we expect similar music this time around or are there some unexpected twists?

A: I guess the first one was maybe a little more earthy and emotive and the new one is a little more out there;  a sort of 21st century twist on space ambient music with a more beat driven approach. That’s how I see it. Maybe Lee has a totally different view on it ? It's still melodic and very emotive in places too.

Q: What could you tell us about each track? Would it be possible to have a sneak preview in your own words? 

A: I guess track one, The Interpreter of the Signs, is a rather sprawling psychedelic mix of experimental drones; big bass spacey atmospherics and slow-mo grooves.

Track two, Interval One, is like a slow boat trip at night through a massive canyon.

Track three, So Powerful in the Mass, is a journey through the world of alien life forms.

Track four, Interval Two, is the emotional memoirs of someone in the distant future living on a lonely space capsule looking back at how planet earth was once such a beautiful place.

Track five, Communion Signal, is probably the deepest space ambient track on the album.

Track six returns to earth with Goodbye Pk, a rather melancholic tribute to the great man.

Cosmic Board Fusion really brings a lot of the albums themes together but with some infectious lead lines, shimmering pads and driving grooves.

The final track, Perpetua, leaves us with a haunting yet delicate mix of ethereal synths and field recordings.

Q: Do you think there were any conscious themes behind the music this time or was it more a case of just allowing the music to flow and seeing what arrived at the end of the creative process? 

A: I think it was a good mixture of both, with tracks like Goodbye Pk we both knew that it had to have a certain level of emotion, so we spent a lot of time getting the arrangement right. Some elements were taken out from the early ideas and then one night the flow just happened and that magical element the track needed just emerged in one live take.

Q: …and AOC II is going to be released on the relatively new Anodize label with special packaging?

A: Yes in a lovely metal case with gorgeous inlays and a transparent CD tray.

Q: Are there any plans at all for an AOC III in the future?

A: Yes there is, with a new production approach hopefully. 

Many thanks, Mick, for taking time out to chat to NMLK. Very much appreciated. 

Autumn of Communion 2 will be shipping around 5th June 2013 and is available in a limited edition of 300 CD copies. For more information and to pre-order see here:

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