Very, very early in my music-making journey, I bought my first battery-powered drum machine, a Boss DR-5. Thus began a lifelong love affair with small, portable music-making devices.
While I use my computer workstations for recording my main albums, computers have so many distractions inherent to their nature. Meanwhile, a drum machine, synthesizer, or sampler exists for one purpose: to make music. There’s just something inspiring about their unique sounds, their limitations, the tactile nature of their pads, keys, buttons, and switches.
My albums and EPs tend toward heavier subjects, especially my fourth full album, First Light, which has been an ongoing emotional, years-long journey on its own. When I needed to take a break, I would pick up one of my machines and bang out a beat. Sometimes, that tiny spark flared into a full song.
Over the past couple of years—especially during the pandemic—I’ve turned towards those machines a lot. Soon, I had a collection of these songs, each a moment where I set aside the madness of the world and was just able to have a bit of fun.
Making music has always brought me peace. The name of my music project—Escape the Clouds—speaks to that sentiment. I hope these songs do the same for you. This is the perfect collection to put on while you’re reading, crafting, creating, or whatever else you enjoy doing.
For the music geeks: every track on this release was created entirely “in the box”. No external effects. No multitracking. No studio. The only external processing was a final mastering pass on the tracks for levels.
The primary machine used for each track:
• Akai MPC Live (2, 4, 5, 6)
• Teenage Engineering OP-Z (7, 9, 11, 12)
• Roland SP-404A (3, 10)
• Nintendo Switch (Korg Gadget app) (Tracks 1, 8)