HEADER ALBUM

 

 

 

 

LIAM BACK

TESTING/WATERS

ALBUM RELEASE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

„..His work is difficult to label (and this is great) you can taste the freedom on every note, there is no guideline ruling his work and it has an element that I can’t describe in words – maybe because the term doesn’t exist – but it’s very similar to that feeling you experience when you finally get back home from a boring and painful day, that simple and exquisite feeling so close to bliss..“ Ohyessheknows.com (Mexico)

„Any excuse to get away from the computer.“
– Liam Back

The creation process always started out with the instrument first, either looping it into a sampler or recording it directly into Ableton live. I decided to pass using typical software or VST plugins, as I would usually start that way and then sooner or later overthink things and get lost into those endless possibilities. Once I was happy with my looped construction, i then arranged most of the layers into full tracks on the OP-1/Akai MPC. Yes, for more control such as automation, mix and mastering I did eventually have to go back to the screen and use Ableton Live for the finalization process.
My freelance work let’s me explore different types of genres, so i was experimenting with different sounds for about half a year. I also integrated my voice this time on a few tracks, playing around with new analogue gear & instruments that I acquired throughout the year and created a track dedicated to each piece of equipment, hence „Testing the Waters“. I want to take the time to thank my Family and Friends for the on going support for my vision. I wouldn’t of created half of these tracks, if it weren’t for those great gifts. Also a big thanks to all the music stores and brands that have coorporated in the past and have given me the opportunity to explore these gadgets and for glueing this project together track by track.
After release, i could get more of an idea of what my audience liked the most and what didn’t go down that well seeing the type of feedback on social media and spotify’s algorithm. Also using different marketing strategies for different songs was an interesting experiment of it’s own. At the end of 2021 i was able to release this full project and present this new take on producing to my audience.

SUN/DOWN

 

This one has that mpc2000 or even mpc60 vibe. The first ever released Drum computer in coorporation with Roger Linn in 1988. I’ve had a lot of MPD’s but this is my first onboard memory & built in battery MPC. This is definitely going to be my main brain when it comes to connecting analog gear with each other. It has so many I/O’s, it’s basically a transportable powerhouse! Big up to Musikhaus Sieber in Wetzlar for hooking me up with this Beast.

 

 

 

 

 

SHIFT/5D
This Ambient god, „Microcosm“ from Hologram finally made it to the doorstep! Waited a couple of months for this Limited run of batches to be made. Came all the way from knoxville tennessee to hamburg germany. Absolutely worth the wait though. They also handle the import tax upfront, so no hassle once it arrived. I sampled myself playing my very first bontempi toy piano well over 30 years ago just to see what this effect pedal can do (maybe like just 10% of what it actually can do) I Hooked up an OP-1 for the construction of the Beat. A Few nursery rhymes later… it turned into the track „Shift/5D“.

 

THICKET/COHERENT
I really dig the combination of synths and steel. Such a great inspirational instrument. Big up to the French designers at Beat Root. I was trying out this tongue drum in a session with the op-1, sampling my vox and then it suddenly turned into a full track. Being a semi-electric percussion with a built in piezo mic, i could hook it up to a loop pedal or a compressor to boost that timbre and get versatile textures. Definitely a great „writer’s block“ tool to use as a base-element. Sorry about the video, i had to re-record this a bunch of times, because of curios cat

 

GHOST/TOWN

This is based upon the pulse of a construction site, straight out of the heart of Hamburg. This city can be very noisy, so i took advantage of this and started to build a full track around this recording. I began to sketch out my ideas, which ended up in 4 parts. These were brought together and glued into a 6 minute experience & could very much be a soundtrack to where I live right now. A Ghost Town.
Artwork
That Ableton mind-set in the past was like; this workflow can’t be efficient, right? only 4 layers of audio in a track? But after a couple of years in producing, i got fed up with that typical „blue light“ giving me headaches and crappy eyesight. I desperately needed to change my way of making tracks, as iv’e been pretty much burned out with producing in-front of a screen. Especially as soon as this hobby turned into a 24/7 career. Well, then along came the OP-1 and I fell in love. I am totally loving the Lo-fi warmth that comes out of this. There’s also something about the minimal aesthetic that makes it not only pleasing for the ears but it’s fun & graphical display acts very soothing to the eyes. For me it’s definitely a creative booster and a refreshing way of playing with sound.
 
LEY/LINES
This preview of „Ley/Lines“ is the first piece to come out of this tiny little tank. What i find remarkable is that it was done in a few mins. The limitation of not having endless layers helps me create a lot quicker and with precision. Forcing me to make straight forward decisions is key. I can definitely say that the OP-1 has given me a new approach to writing music. I actually welcome the 4 track recorder with open arms.

 

„A pattern a day keeps insanity away.“– Liam Back

It’s so easy to over-do the process in a post or pre-production phase. The music was different this time. It wasn’t supposed to be polished clean nor was it intended to be dirty. I wanted them tracks just to be pure ideas, rather than masterpieces. The hardest part is to know when to stop adding to a piece of art. I used to spend days/weeks on one art-cover just to get to that „🤙🏻“ or „yep, that’s it“ moment of satisfaction. When we are spoiled for choice and full of options, we like to experiment with „ALL“ of those options. If we are limited, we have to make do with what we have. So I gave myself limitations. I took it up on me to draw a pattern a day to express a certain feeling using two brushes, one color, within a timeframe, every morning in-between work. After a few weeks I accumulated enough textures and patterns to start creating digital art-work using the same limited guidelines in photoshop. Which I then used for my upcoming releases. This corresponded to the simple sounds and tracks I created.

To either stream or purchase this album hit your preferred platform below:

Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon | Spotify | Youtube | Pandora 

 

Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Liam Back
Single/Album Cover Artwork, Illustrated and designed by Liam Back
©2021 all rights reserved

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