Deprivation Bulletin #1: The Sound

Sidetrack Walker has always been about authenticity. For a long time, I implicitly assumed there was only one way to accomplish this on the technical/production side of the equation: by pursuing a natural, transparent type of sound with strong acoustic leanings. At the same time, this felt like a con job because I often have to rely on virtual instruments and then try and make them sound as ‘real’ as possible, the strings on “The Art of Starvation” being the best example. Financially, there’s no way I could book a professional recording studio for everything I do, nor buy all the hardware instruments (I wouldn’t even know where to put them). And just like everybody else, I have to make do with a 24-hour day, which makes daunting multi-instrument projects like “Come What May” unfeasible in the long run. So how to overcome this conundrum?

“Deprivation” offers a possible solution, marking a departure from the above-mentioned approach. There have been earlier hints of this direction in “Savour” and especially “Broken Heartbeats”: you’ll recognise Sidetrack Walker trademarks right off the bat, but in a new guise, liberated from the shackles of trying to ‘simulate’ an acoustic type of sound. Vinyl hiss, lo-fi samples, processed beats and heavy character compression all highlight, even embrace, the fact that this is a studio production. Instead of trying to work around the shortcomings of my budget and setup, I am now learning to capitalise on them.

In many ways, this approach actually furthers my own sense of authenticity. After all, I’ve been an avid listener of sampling-heavy styles such as Trip-Hop and Drum’n’Bass for many years, and it’s been my dream all along to integrate them into my sound. “Deprivation” is a clear statement to this effect, offering a first glimpse of what the future might hold for Sidetrack Walker. While it is an isolated track bridging the long wait between albums, the next full-length is already well underway, and I’ve since refined my techniques further. The new material explores this dirtier, grittier and production-heavy side from various angles while maintaining enough depth and clarity for the audiophile to revel in. That said, this upcoming single should prove that the tried-and-true atmosphere and feel of Sidetrack Walker still remains intact. Here’s hoping that you’ll be just as excited about a fresh sound as I am!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *