SUBSPACE

by KINGBASTARD

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about

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Review @ Bleep: ..."An epic voyage into the dark cosmic corners of experimental music..." bleep.com/release/47093-kingbastard-subspace

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SUBSPACE breaks KINGBASTARD’S year & a half of self-imposed silence; during which time he has been crafting & composing material under his own name (Chris Weeks); releasing four LPs (A Haunting Sun | A Deconstructed Sun | Contemplation Moon | The Lost Cosmonaut) & three EPs (Formeg: | The Ebb & Flow | Gwynt, Glaw, Myfyrio); establishing himself as a highly regarded composer of alternative Ambient, Drone & Minimal music.

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SUBSPACE is an ‘alternative-take’ on the ideas & themes explored within Chris’ & our debut release for Odd John Records – ‘The Lost Cosmonaut’ (Released on Odd John Records 28th Oct 2013). While creating the concept for The Lost Cosmonaut, Chris immersed himself in research into deep-space phenomena, interstellar travel, infrared telescopic images of nebulae, space-based conspiracy theories, & a healthy-dose of Science Fiction literature.

Chris says: “Even though I’d finished working on The Lost Cosmonaut, my thoughts were still consumed by space-related ideas & concepts for tracks, with no place for them to go, no outlet. Then I considered… What if I made a KINGBASTARD record which is conceptually related to my album The Lost Cosmonaut?”

Thus, SUBSPACE was born.

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While the concept is thematically linked to his previous work, this is pretty much where the similarities end. SUBSPACE takes into account the initial premise of The Lost Cosmonaut; an early, undisclosed attempt to get a manned-spacecraft into Earth’s orbit. However, at the point in the narrative where cosmonaut & craft are “buffeted by a geomagnetic storm”, SUBSPACE begins & the album’s paths separate, taking tangential trajectories, both physically & sonically.

SUBSPACE embraces the fantastical; the idea of being able to travel freely among the stars via means of riding Wormholes. This imagining unfurls across a plethora of parallel universes. KINGBASTARD immerses the listener in his audio-macrocosm, interpreting the sights & sounds of ‘deep-space phenomena’ & interstellar travel. From the bombardment of BOK GLOBULES to the somewhat sinister serenity of SUBSPACE DRIFT, he takes us for a ride across the hypnotic highways of hyperspace, in his inimitable, hyperbolic style.

SUBSPACE is an evolution of the KINGBASTARD sound, delving into deeper & darker realms of intense rhythms & atmospherics. The immersive textures found throughout reflect the dense, star-forming regions of deep-space. Nebulous, kaleidoscopic soundscapes are juxtaposed against ‘dark-matter induced’ beats & bass. He’s not lost his signature sound & love of diversity, but he has redefined, enhanced & refined it. SUBSPACE is without doubt, ‘a stellar leap-forward’; but don’t just take our word for it. Here’s the man himself, letting us in on the ideas & processes behind making his new record…

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“SUBSPACE is essentially a return to the ‘original KINGBASTARD sound’, although it’s certainly not a work of nostalgia or a ‘clone record’, it’s very much its own animal; a definite progression. More-over it’s a return to my ethos of old; to create ‘odd but accessible’, beat-driven alternative electronica.

I decided to take some time away from making music with beats as I’d been producing/releasing it for a long time, during which the process had started to become a little stagnated; hence the self-imposed sabbatical. I wanted to come back to my KINGBASTARD project feeling rejuvenated, employing a fresh approach to aide my compositional development & creativity.

SUBSPACE is strong on concept & theme, akin to my most recent KB albums Beautiful Isolation & Lost Property; but utilising the more aggressive electronic sounds & styles of ‘KINGBASTARD past’. Previously, as the more ‘glitch-infused’ incarnation of KINGBASTARD, I did a lot of post-production editing on the arrangements of my tracks, chopping-them-up to the nth degree. This was often very time-consuming & could get in the way of the initial idea & direction of a piece. I had a tendency to over-complicate my arrangements, perhaps trying a little too hard to be ‘different’. This time around, I decided a new methodology was necessary. I wanted to create an immersive style/sound that was more ‘live’, more immediate; focusing on creating highly textured, evolving soundscapes & atmospheres, integrated & layered with more minimal melodies, sub-bass & percussive elements. That’s not to say that my arrangements are no longer challenging, more that they have been stripped-back, refined. Essentially, the track layers, arrangements/sequencing & FX found on the album were triggered & manipulated ‘on the fly’, much like they would be in a live scenario. I found the tracks developed more subtly within this ‘live environment’. Some new acquisitions in the hard/software department helped facilitate that perfectly. My workflow felt more organic, allowing for a more dynamic & kinetic evolution of my style; which in turn, best suited the subject matter & ideas behind the tracks & concept of SUBSPACE.

Performing tracks in this way afforded me a far more open approach; the fresh take on my technique, track development & sound I coveted. I found the process of recording & arranging more natural; letting the sounds grow within their own space. The beats & bass elements served as a structural backbone on which the atmospheric textures could evolve & shape-shift, without losing cohesion. However; this method was not always conducive to creating the style of track I wanted, therefore I had to apply a mixture of techniques from both past & present to get the required result. ‘MANIC DECOMPRESSION’ is a case in point. To establish the mood I wanted to convey, I employed a liberal helping of the older ‘glitched-up-bastard style’. Creating the identity of SUBSPACE was all about trying to find a progressive happy medium between my styles & techniques of old & new, without losing the essence of my KB sound.

Naturally some post-production tweaking, editing, arranging & mastering was necessary to get the album into shape, but I feel the new techniques used have helped reinvigorate my passion for creating this type of electronic music. The most-rewarding, enjoyable, & to some extent most important thing is, utilising these methods made producing beat-driven electronic music fun again! With this in mind, I won’t be enforcing another eighteen month hiatus! I’m hoping to create & release more KINGBASTARD material soon.”

We at Odd John Records certainly hope so too!

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credits

released November 25, 2013

Music & Art by KINGBASTARD
Released by: www.oddjohnrecords.com
Distributed by: www.state51.co.uk
CAT No: ODD002
All Music & Artwork © 2013 Odd John Records

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Odd John Records UK

Odd John Records is a label created & managed by Chris Weeks, as a means to release his own music as independently as possible.

OJR are always looking for new material that fits into our ethos: "Experimental, yet accessible. Odd, but engaging"

If you have a finished LP or EP, & would like to be considered for a digital release on Odd John records, then please contact oddjohnrecords[at]gmail.com
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