Intro (The Mirrored Room):
I love the main loop (the part which starts at around the 1.15 mark). I could probably listen to that part all afternoon, I just wasn't sure how to use it for a while. I tried many different ways.
It then came to me that it could be a good piece to finish the album on, something to drift away with
After I sent the full album to Dday he suggested it could be a good opener. I wasn't sure at first because I had become used to it being the outro track.
I then warmed to the idea after I tried it out a few times as the intro and at the same time discovered the spoken word samples which fit really well. That was that then I had my opening track.
As Good as you get:
As I was working on this I was thinking about someone to rap on it. Myka 9 just sprung into my head. I havent worked with him before but Ceschi kindly put me in touch with him. I sent him the track. He loved it and agreed to write something for it.
When I received the track back from him, all I had to listen to it on was my phone. It blew me away, even on a tinny little speaker. I was expecting him to rap over the beats only but he flowed throughout the whole thing and made it his own.
When I went to Innsbruck to record some extra instrumentation I was unsure if we would do anything with this as it already sounded good.
I decided to give it a go and I believe it really enhances the track, taking it to a whole different level. Ralf Metzler was using all kinds of interesting techniques with the grand piano such as using a plucking instrument on the strings and placing masking tape on them to slightly deaden the sound. On top of this I asked Claudia to let loose on the violin a bit. She proceeded to demonstrate just how good and proficient she is with her instrument weaving her way through the vocals and drums with ease.
Just a lovely loop and vocal. It didn't need much doing to it but i'm never happy unless I spend enough time on a track to feel I can call it my own. I added the dragonfly spoken word parts from a meditation record, the words enchanted me.
I then messed about with the drums and tweaked various bits because, well, I just can' help myself!
If I had to pick I would say this is my favourite track from the album. To quote Dimitris who mastered it "it's deep like an Abyss!".
Usually when im close to finishing an album I go for a walk to listen through all the tracks and take it out of the studio to see how it sounds in the 'real' world. I had recently added the horns and as they came in I had just reached the coastline it coincided with the waves gently rolling in and was a perfect moment.
A Hall of Mirrors Ft Bobbie Watson:
The title track. This one took a really long time to finish! I won't go into details but if you mention this one to Kenneth who mixed it he may have a minor panic attack!
I'm joking but I think there were close to 100 stems on this one towards the end. A real monster of a track unlike anything i've worked on before. Stems were passed back and forth many times and to make things even more difficult we were using different software to each other.
Saying this, i'm very proud of what we achieved together...
Ralf's piano's create an ominous atmosphere and creates the tension whilst The Cello comes in and kicks it all off perfectly.
Even with all these elements we agreed that it needed a singer. I approached Bobbie Watson who I had recently befriended as she is in the band Comus who I had remixed in the past. I was very honoured when she agreed to write and sing the vocal part and extremely pleased with the result, it was just what the track needed to make it complete.
This one took on a new form from an old track which was released on Equinox records called "I that I am".
I felt I wanted to try and take it in an alternate direction with guitars by Paul Drury and Myself along with the majestic violin of Claudia Fenzl i'm very happy with the way it came out. Keep your eye out for yet another version ;).
Cast Your Spell:
I made towards the end of the album, though i heard the original sample long before. I like a good vocal and this appealed to me but I wasn't sure how to use it until I found the drum break. The process was fairly quick actually, possibly the least amount of time its taken me to make a track.
Follow U Ft Graciellita:
This is in 3/4, a time signature I don't usually work with. It originally had sampled vocals which were nice but I wanted to try something else.
After speaking with Dj Scientist he said I should maybe approach Graciella (Graciellita) who had worked on an Anthony Drawn track which was released on Equinox rcs.
She has a very unique style and is very talented (look her up on Soundcloud if you get a minute). I spoke to her and she was very much into the idea. I sent her the track and it wasn't long before she had recorded something. It was great and complimented the track perfectly. I then edited it added some effects ect then recorded some excellent Paul Drury guitar work (actually I dont remember if we recorded before or after the vocals). They go really well with the sampled guitars. All that it needed now was the strings, Claudia using her violin added some sublime textures which elevated it just that bit more and created new feelings and moods within the song.
The Last Goodbye:
Piano, Bass, drums, Vocals all coming together to make a fitting end to the album.
As Good as you get / The Herbaliser remix
These guys have influenced my production over the years and Very Mercinary is one of my favourite albums so again it was a huge honour to have them remix this track.
So at this point i'd like to thank everyone who gave me their time and effort to finish this album. It was a long journey but ultimately worth it!