The Hobbyist – The Tracks

With just a week to go until ‘The Hobbyist’ escapes into the wild, I thought it’d be an opportune moment to give you a tracklisting and some background info. It’ll all be a bit abstract at the moment (the musician, ‘Solarno’, very graciously described it as “Where beauty and science collide”), as only a handful of people have heard the album for promo/feedback purposes. But that’s never stopped me rambling on this blog before, so here I go again!

1. A Sound

You know that feeling when you see a film and enjoy the music more than the actual film itself? Well, despite it being a good film in general, I feel that way about ‘Escape From New York’. The music really hooked me when I first saw this movie, aged 17. John Carpenter’s soundtrack is a masterpiece of dark electronic beatiness. I’ve no idea where his influences came from, but it seems to suit the dystopian futuristic theme of the film perfectly; as well as echoing the rising popularity and awareness of electro, post-punk and early hiphop in New York around 1980.

Anyway, that’s where my track comes from…… LinnDrum beats, insistent rhythmic synths and dark atmospheres.

2. White Walls

I like to try to mix things up a bit with some tracks….. and the change of mood and tone of this track is an example. Starts out like a simple distorted slow-paced electro track….then gets a bit cinematic with string sweeps. Electroncholy is what I’d call it….you can call it whatever you want…..

3. Surfcream

An attempt to lift the mood with what was a surf-rock-inspired groove initially. But as the recording went on it became something different…… a bit of dronery, a bit of ambient, a bit of a krautrock groove, a bit of synth improvisation. A long build-up.

4. Head Pop#1

Short and very stripped-back synth track…..feel the mellow.

5. So

This is another of those tracks which change midway through….starts off with glitchy atmospheres, then builds and builds to create a cinematic wall of sound with polysynth and strings. If you like moody electronica with a filmic theme, you might like this. That’s what I was going for anyway.

6. Escort Fiesta

The sound of pimped-up mini-cars with what sounds like blown exhaust-pipes racing round the estate disturbs an elderly lady from her sleep at 3am.

7. The Hobbyist

A celebration, if you will, of the activity of recording music just for the hell of it. And the process of making and sharing. And then the connections which sharing that music creates. Melodic electronica, I guess.

8. 828

Just happens to be track 8. I like the way Can, Neu! & Stereolab can create a track out of a simple drone-like repeated note or chord. It becomes like a chant, like sacred music almost. I had nothing as high-minded in my head when I recorded this.

9. Battery Life

I play the bass occasionally, but I’m not a ‘bassist’ at all. Too little dexterity and not enough practise. But I hear riffs and tunes in my head which I aspire to be able to play proficiently. I’m also a bit of a frustrated guitarist, so I occasionally stick the bass through filters, pitch-shifters, etc to give it the qualities of a ‘lead’ instrument. I had this tune and wanted to try to do it with the bass. Sounds kinda jazzy at times.

10. Head Pop#2

Another of those tracks which creates a mood from very little, other than timbre and tone in this case. I purposely put no beats on this….why would it need them?

This is a preview:

Anyway….it’s out on 15th Aug at I guess you could pop across there and give it a listen. If you don’t like it, that’s cool. If you do,  download it.


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