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New Album Pre-Release Discussion - Part 1: A New Calm & Cit-Pop

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Taking Stock & Creative Fatigue

Flashback to the last quarter of 2019. I finished Ideality, and I had an overwhelming desire to make extremely calm music; music that was the polar opposite in style to what was present on Ideality.

I've come to realise that these calmer projects were my personal counter-movement to the (somewhat intense) production process and end product of Ideality; satisfying a desire to create music in a way that didn't require a highly intensive approach (which Ideality did). These projects placed emphasis on a calming ambience and aesthetic; something that Ideality lacks (although it was never meant to be a calming experience...).

I had developed a newfound appreciation for a calmer approach to music-making (and for slightly calmer music in general), which is one of two things that would play a significant part in shaping my approach to music creation in 2020. The second major contributor to the music I would make in 2020 was a trip I took to Japan at the end of 2019.

Christmas 2019 - Japan

About a month after the release of Ideality, we (the Mrs, our son and I) visited my in-laws in Japan for Christmas. If you follow me on social media, you'll know that I love Japan! The culture, the scenery, the food, the movies, the video games, the cars, and of course, the music.

It's important to also note that I spent most of my daily commuting time in 2019 listening to late 1970s to early 1990s Japanese City-Pop and Fusion. With these classic Japanese records whirling around in my head, I took flight at the end of December and spent a heavenly eight days soaking up all that my partner's hometown in Japan had to offer. It was without doubt, one of the happiest, most carefree weeks of my life. We didn't do anything special in particular, yet every moment felt special.

We visited the local shops and ate in local cafes and restaurants. We went for drives to eyeball significant places from my partner's childhood and take in the local countryside. I geeked-out in HMV, browsing City-Pop CDs unattainable in the UK. My son and I poured ¥100 coins into Gachapon machines for retro SEGA related trinkets before hitting the local SEGA Centre for hours of gaming.

My partner didn't understand what all the fuss was about; for her it was just her "boring" hometown, and everything we did was just trivial, everyday stuff that one does in Japan. To me however, this is the place that she grew up in. Whether she likes it or not, it contributed to making her the person she is. She went to these same shops, sat in these same cafes, and hung out in these same arcades when she was a kid, in the years before she came to the UK (and eventually met me). I can feel reflections of her in every place I set foot there; walking the same streets she walked before she came to the UK. To be with her in that town is truly the most complete I could ever hope to feel.

Although I was away from my studio, being in Japan with City-Pop and Japanese Fusion playing in my head, I could feel something musical stirring. I knew that upon my return to the UK, I would begin a new music project that tied a calmer in style creative output to the experience of visiting my partner's hometown in Japan with City-Pop and Fusion in mind.

You Are What You Eat (Musically Speaking!)