Sonically, the concept of the album from when I first started thinking about it back in 2008 was a mix of organic, African rhythms mixed in with heavy saturated synths that would be slightly out of tune to give it a 70s/80s science documentary feel similar to the Boards of Canada albums. I wanted less sampling on this album and showcase more of my keyboard work on this project. I also wanted to play a bit more with different time signatures and changes-ups within some of the more longer tracks of the album to make them sound more mobile and dynamic instead of just a beat looping forever. I’ve always experimented with time signatures in the past, but I felt Hiatus Kaiyote’s music really jump-started me to try them out more. Another thing you may notice is a fair amount of the tracks are under 2 minutes long. I made sure that the beats that didn’t have many varied arrangements or change-ups were short enough to not be too monotonous, while I made the tracks that featured more arrangements and bridges longer than 3 minutes.
Visually, I wanted to give the listener a vision that I’ll call: “indigenous afro-futurism”. Imagine a person living in a very secluded tribal village away from the hustle and bustle of the city – neon lights, concrete, cars, buses, trains, planes and other mass produced things that needed to destroy the environment to build them – but that person using current or futuristic electronics, either a smartphone, or an advanced hologram or light saber etc. A person strongly connected with nature but in an electronic way. This person would look like the African guy on the cover of Blackalicious’ 2002 album “Blazing Arrow”, with wires hanging around him instead of a leaf garment and wearing big headphones…check out the video for “Make You Feel That Way” to see that guy as a kid walking towards the small white television in the introduction.
The next liner notes installment I’ll share my choices and processes working with 4 guests on the album!