Welcome to my home… kick back and chill, grab a beer, new environment, this will set the tone for a mellow one.
Descending moonshine dervishes – Terry Riley, Don Cherry
Let this jam bury itself deep in your mind while you sip on your drink and have meaningful conversations with the furniture.
Bloscid – Boxcutter
Squishy sounds. Did a robot make this track? someone run down the 24hr garage and grab us some essential items, i’ll have a fanta lemon please.
Arrivals – Datachi
Pretty sure I have figured out the meaning of life and understand our place in the universe… can’t seem to put it into words right now… always preferred lemon over the other flavours, think they are onto something huge with this one.
Each strike of the harp string is so powerful. Drifting off into a peaceful sleep state I slide off the sofa into the blissful realm of rugs.
Forest Nativity – Francis Bebey
“Come into the world my child, awaken to life my child, life is good, you will see!”
Era – The Fear Ratio
Getting me in the mood for movement. Maybe we should set the decks up and ring a bunch of people, good vibrations only!
Ambroxide – dgoHn
Big drums, spooky vibes, powerful. Decks are set up, people are arriving, a chilled night is quickly turning into a free for all.
This 5321 – Bjarki
Techno anybody? This one is CRUEL. Good job we don’t have any neighbors, their ornaments would be rattling off the mantelpiece.
Ageispolis – Aphex Twin
What do you mean you’re all going home? It’s only 8am and we haven’t even played any aphex yet.
Inwards ‘Bright Serpent’
An introspective collection of psychedelic modular synth led experimentations, ‘Bright Serpent’ is the new album by Kristian Shelley aka electronic musician Inwards. Electronic textures and rhythms rub up against manipulated recordings of real instruments, voices and field recordings to fashion transportive snapshots of an inner sound-world.
‘Bright Serpent’ follows Inwards’ 2019 EP ‘’Feelings of Unreality’, which Dummy called “blissful and mesmerizing electronic music”, and 2018 debut album ‘Diesel’ described in Electronic Sound as “a sublime listen” and Clash as “an absorbing document”. Both releases gained widespread airplay on daytime and specialist radio with distinct support from Tom Ravenscroft, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, John Kennedy and BBC Introducing.
The new album was mostly written and recorded at Kristian’s secluded log cabin in Worcestershire, which he built himself. The cabin is fitted with an array of creative musical and studio equipment, primarily composed of a personalized modular synth system, where he’s free to make music any time of day, without interruption. Explaining the method behind creating ‘Bright Serpent’, Kristian says:
“I like the textures of real instruments and voices. I used my voice as an instrument on this record more this time, which is something new for me. There are also sounds I recorded years back of different atmospheres, conversations of friends, sounds from a building site. Anything that I could manipulate to add atmosphere.”
These distant recordings may go some way to fit a feeling of nostalgia contained within Kristian’s music. Having studied music production in Brighton he recently returned home to his roots in Worcestershire. This journey back home and the feeling evoked in the album is tangible. He goes on to recount a message after the release of ‘Diesel’:
“I had a message from someone telling me that the music gave them a real strong sense of déjà vu, that it transported them back to a time when they were a child and they remembered some interesting memories that they never knew they had.”
A lot of the songs on ‘Bright Serpent’ were born out of pure experimentation; sometimes a song came together in a matter of hours, sometimes much later with the initial intention or inspiration shifting to a new subject. Kristian explains how the process of making music, and also stepping away from it, is like therapy to him.
“I like to communicate without using language as I feel there are some things that can not be put into words. Doing things outside music is really important too. My mind is all over the place most of the time and meditation has been a big help to tame it. I recently started skateboarding again, swimming and I’ve started experimenting in the last year with making visual art for my live performances.”
The innocent, gliding melodies of ‘Skateboarding’ open the album, clearly full of joy: “Skateboarding was a huge part of my life when I was growing up. I really missed it, so I went a bought a skateboard and joined the skaters at the local park. I made this track over those weeks when I was learning all the tricks I used to know and used to listen to it when practising.” ‘Flowers’ was inspired by a dream about being on a beach on a different planet: “There were flowers and they didn’t look real.” The title track ‘Bright Serpent’ is about “deception, shedding skin, growth and also relates to the symbolism for medicine and healing”; while ‘At Height’ was made on a plane journey back from Malta: “I was bored, and thought I would mess about making some music. One of my favourite melodies I have ever made just came out of nowhere, so I’m grateful for the mid flight boredom!”
Inwards ‘Bright Serpent’ is out now by Small Pond Recordings on vinyl, CD and digital formats.