Hemlock Recordings| digital release September 29, 2023 | physical March 1, 2024
AIRHEAD aka Rob McAndrews is the London born electronic musician, multi-instrumentalist, and producer with his release “Lightness” on the U.K. label Hemlock Recordings being his 3rd on this label. “Lightness” is a mini LP with 7 tracks that let the melodies rise from the weightless drums like a leaf given flight in the autumn wind.
Rob is a longtime friend of James Blake who were former school mates exchanging music until forming early studio collaborations. Moreover, Rob has also been a long-time studio contributor for James with his pivotal guitar lick to “Lindisfarne” in 2011 and his recent contribution to James’ “Playing Robots in Heaven” this year in 2023.
How many people can say they played a crazy Moog guitar at the request of Brian Eno for James’ track “Digital Lion”? AIRHEAD can!
“Lightness” marks a subtle yet precise shift into new sonic territory, beating at a higher tempo and releasing from much of the dominant of sub bass that propelled his earlier work.
The refracted take on drum and bass was conceived while staring out over Laurel Canyon and realising the desire to float away.
Once grounded, Rob set about trying to capture that feeling by removing all weight from the drums and letting the melodies drift through.
Harmonically this is his most advanced record, drawing inspiration from studying and adapting some of the techniques from Joe Pass, Barry Harris, Ted Greene and Mick Goodrick to work for other instruments.
The overall sound is analog and highly dynamic, featuring tightly packed layers of guitar recordings and effects treatments. Clips of ethereal sounding experiments with synthetic voice software can be heard on “Still Waiting For U” and “Ghosts in CS” punctuating the sweetness with an air of uncertainty. The symphonic closing piece “Unbearable Lightness” is a collaboration with American contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly.
AIRHEAD – LIGHTNESS LP
Hemlock Recordings > September 29, 2023 Digital Release > March 1, 2024 Physical Release
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