TRACKS THAT INFORMED CULTURE OF VOLUME

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Delve into a fascinating playlist where Will reveals the artists that helped shape the sound and structure of CULTURE OF VOLUME. You can choose to listen via Spotify, Deezer or Rdio below, or click this link to open up your preferred streaming platform

And while you’re listening, read Will describing the process of the making of the tracks, below

Spotify

Rdio


Deezer

 

THE JUDDERING
This was the first song that was completed for CULTURE OF VOLUME, and as such really helped set the scene. I like the idea of having a strong opening that introduces you into the world of the record, perhaps via a track that is slightly challenging and repetitive. ‘Station to Station’ is one of the finest opening tracks ever made (maybe to the detriment of the rest of the album?) and the train noise at the start is a great way of giving that kind of ‘okay, here we go.’ feeling that I think all great albums should try to evoke. As for Vangelis’ Blade Runner Original Sound Track, I think a lot of what I do – especially in my instrumentals – owes a lot to the atmosphere created by that. What I couldn’t find on any streaming platform to be able to include in this playlist was the old Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound test you get at the start of films in cinemas or on DVDs – the one with the helicopter flying through a city and a cheesy ’80s guitar pinch harmonic – and the THX logo. The confluence of which are the real influences for THE JUDDERING. So here, I have helpfully mixed them together for your enjoyment


BEAMING WHITE

Here I shamelessly wanted to create a pop banger that would entertain the idea of being something worthy of the fine back catalogue of the Pet Shop Boys – a band whose influence I find it criminally hard to spot in a lot of today’s new acts. They’re the masters of the pop song format, for christ’s sake. I’m not sure I’ll ever succeed in being as great as PSB, but perhaps it’s worthy of being one of their unreleased songs? Real Lies are thrown in here as a contemporary band where the influence of PSB is clearly very strong, and World Peace being one of my favourite singles to have come out in recent years. Also Soft Cell for being a similar influence on this track, and also because Marc Almond said he loved ‘DRIPPING DOWN’ when he was interviewed on BBC 6 Music at some point last year


DON’T LOOK BACKWARDS
It might be hard to pick apart the influences here in places. It’s changed a hell of a lot since then, but to me the spirit of Bjorks powerful influence on me via that album remains. There was another Laurel Halo track that I felt my song probably owed more to (‘Sunlight on the Faded’ – a one off 12” on Hyperdub in 2012) but ‘Throw’ is included here as an interesting bit of pop trivia. The piano in ‘Throw’ is the very same one that I used on ‘DON’T LOOK BACKWARDS’, and it can be found in the basement studio of 4AD in West London, where it is probably still a bit out of tune from when it was originally carried down the stairs there. For those who don’t know – and you really should – Boymerang is the D’n’B moniker of one Graham Sutton, expert record producer and the person who I asked to mix CULTURE OF VOLUME for me. I think he definitely called upon his old drum and bass days when bringing out some of the details in ‘DON’T LOOK BACKWARDS’ – and as a further homage to that style I have now included a very drum and bass style snare drum into the live rendition of this song


MANNER OF WORDS
It often feels to me that the ‘song’ section of this track was something of an afterthought – a vehicle to take us to the drone coda. When making CULTURE OF VOLUME, I would often listen to that section on loop for hours while trying to write some of the lyrics to the album, as I felt the sound of that section perfectly summed up some of my darker moments while living in Whitechapel in East London (where phase two of this album was started).. The influence of Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath, 1972 album is one that has remained strong with me over both of my albums, and the drone coda of MANNER OF WORDS is clearly indebted to the loudness and compression of My Bloody Valentine. The song section of this track may have come from some early sketches of a song dating back to 2011 when I lived in Ruislip and listened to pretty much nothing but Nick Cave solidly for a few months, taking the Metropolitan line into the city from the cold and the grey and the bungalows


CAROUSEL
Eno’s synth from ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ is referenced at the start of this track and Julia Holter’s absolutely heartbreaking cover of ‘Hello Stranger’ is referred to at least in its pace and it’s slow rising intensity. But really, I wanted to create a Scott Walkerstyle ballad where the only accompaniment were big blocks of sustained chords upon which I could croon freely. I swapped using an actual orchestra for layers and layers of synthesised strings, and then asked the wonderful Hannah Peel to record a real string part over the top of it to give the song a little bit of extra depth. The coda to this track where there are some increasingly distorted, vaguely out of tune notes cascading over the mix is one of my favourite sounds on the whole album

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