Field Reports from The Western Lands: Personal Thoughts

This album has been a long journey for me up to this point. It was begun, what seems a lifetime ago, in collaboration with the almighty Nimrod, and envisaged as a spiritual successor to ‘It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Whom You Know’, paying homage to the themes and tones of that now-legendary release, whilst attempting to delve further into those concepts, ideas and thoughts and to expand upon them.

I wanted to approach this album as if it were my first and last, very much in the same way that fbcfabric and I approached our debut together. It needed to be a complete and fully realised ‘snapshot’ of the western world as we were attempting to capture it. Nimrod worked as the consummate professional composer, providing the melodies, textures and tones to complement the moods and ideas of the lyrics themselves.

Together we created a certain palette from which to work from, so to speak. Taking cues from the pop and rock, hip hop and classical worlds, we sought to combine traditional songwriting techniques with more unorthodox methods of sound design, field recording, compositing and manipulation. The aim consistently being to generate a complete, fully-formed image with which we would mirror the complexities of the human experience in the west.

To ultimately realise the project the book was necessary to allow the listener access to the complete lyric transcriptions, giving them every chance to take in and analyse the layers of details for themselves. But also to introduce auxiliary ideas into the whole, which are not committed into the songs themselves, and also to imbue the experience with some of the incredible artwork of Mildew, who went above and beyond with his incredible portrayal of interpreted imagery from the lyric pages.

Finally, ‘There is a Tape Recorder Inside the Sun’, a thirty minute auxiliary drone piece on cassette tape to accompany the whole, and one which extrapolates ideas from the track with the same name on the album into an extended eclipse, a protracted nuclear flashbulb shimmering in a halo of atomic fire. A dream that coexists with the waking ‘reality’ of the album itself.

To have completed this creative journey with the invaluable assistance of Anette Records has enabled us to present our work in the most elaborate and considered way, to be able to release these works on the hallowed double-vinyl format, accompanied by book and cassette tape really is the perfect path to immortalising this illustrious creation which we have birthed within such turbulent times.

jamesreindeer

Croydon, South London, UK

April 2nd 2018

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