Track By Track: Daniel Ruane – Arcs
The linear boundaries within electronic music were never set in stone. There is every potential to bend, mould and manipulate sound in ways not characteristically associated with genre. One artist who perhaps knows this more cruically than most is Daniel Ruane, a Manchester based producer who is set to release his new album on The Silent Howl tomorrow. A cohesive whirlwind of mechanics, soundscapes and obscure electronics. We invited him to guide us through his singular release "Arcs" below:
Colour: Translucent, faint onyx/ black
Season: Most definitely winter really…
This track was massively inspired by all the textures I was hearing listening to crazy metal music like Between the Buried and Me and Protest the Hero…BTBAM in particular for the chunkiness and gallop. Also at the time I was listening to a lot of stuff like Umwelt, Manni Dee and musicians like that, which I think naturally led to the stylized aesthetic that it depicts. Probably one of the bigger live tracks on the album and definitely one of my favourites to play in my live sets.
Colour: Any and all Tortoise Shell coloured Cats in the universe…
Season: Rainforest style summer
Tortoise Shell is one of my favourites for its source of inspiration; a weird tortoise shell cat that we met when we moved to Manchester named Tara. The sound design is also a favourite aspect of this tune – it was all created from sourced field recordings to convey a natural, earthy sonic universe. I seem to remember it being composed in 5/4 but the rhythms appear to overlap which gives it this pushy rhythmic artefact; it would be heard as you sprinted through a jungle or something.
Inner – Room – Flux
Colour: Fleshy, metallic red and grey.
Season: Maybe none of them to go with the ‘being in limbo’ aesthetic.
Inspired by the process that takes places during the shifting between worlds in Silent Hill. The walls dissolve into flesh then begin to drip and fall away. Some kind of perpetual darkness falls closely overhead and the remaining surfaces resemble biomechanical blends of human matter and metal structuring. The idea was that the form of the piece follows this process with each of its sections dissolving further into the distortion present. At the peak, the parts almost mesh perfectly together in their pool of fuzz before the shift to the regular world happens, almost instantly.
Colour: Translucent, incredibly pale sky blue.
Isometric initially started as a track to jam me outside my comfort zone at that particular time. I tried connecting everything to a bouncing ball rhythm type thing I made with a pulsecomb object in AudioMulch. I had to turn all the grids off in ableton to actually be able to follow it with any other tracks I made which was quite fun. Massively inspired by the bouncing ball idea presented by artist like Aphex Twin, Martin Stig Andersen yet conversely to its ancestors, I feel it represents something less frightening and perhaps something closer to a blossoming.
Colour: The colours of the album artwork sums it up nicely I think.
Season: I think autumn perhaps with regards to how things begin to strip back – then maybe swinging round to spring again by the end of the track as it mellows out slightly..
Purely inspired by one of my many moments listening to ‘Vordhosbn’ – Aphex Twin. I just wanted to make something fast to begin with but the melody that formed took it down a different path completely. By the end it resembled something leaning towards a more rickety version of itself with a warmer melodic tip. I think the best way to enjoy this piece would have to be with headphones in a serious active listening session.
Colour: Leaves and greens/ browns.
This was birthed purely from a test with a new keyboard I got and a lengthy, constantly re- abused recording of a Roland 100M system at uni. I think the inspiration for the drone like artefact comes from the likes of Brian Eno and again Martin Stig Andersen. I also adore the rich textures of the Roland system so it was a slight guilty pleasure to just allow them to perpetuate relatively un-tempered, aside from an EQ or two and subtle granulation towards the climax. I think it serves as a nice development from the more mechanical textures of the earlier tracks as when listening in the dark, by this point, I’m always carried away.
Colour: I imagine it like a refracted prism beam.
Season: Again I feel this is a good depiction of spring maybe thanks to the ever forward progression of the synth.
I saw Floating Points in Manchester about a year ago, touring his Elaenia album and was subsequently blown away. It made me think of Pink Floyd smashed together with Tangerine Dream. Genius control of form and composition. The textures that killed me the most were the 70’s/ 80’s inspired synth tones and arpeggios that sounded straight out of a science fiction film from the same era. To me that still sounds futuristic and implies the setting of space and time travel etc etc. More guilty pleasure at the end of this piece with the Roland System…
Colour: Contrary to the title I imagine the colours of planet Earth instead.
Season: I hesitate to say spring again but summer tracks evade me.
Mercury was alluding to the Los Angeles style of beat music and MPC crafted hip hop in general. I set up a load of glockenspiel samples and beat samples on my MPD32 in the dodgy attempt to recreate the way an actual MPC works. It took a while to get used to seeing as I thought it was smart to turn all quantization off again. This turned out for the better in that its groove felt a lot more liquid than I would’ve achieved if the trigger launch was quantized. All the tracks were recorded live in that fashion which led to it having a slightly different vibe from the other tracks on here.
The inspiration for this was a drawing that my girlfriend was doing during a little project of ours a while ago. The narrative surrounding the picture contained a stream and birds, trees etc. With that in mind I tried to re-create the sound of walking through a woodland and through a stream until you reach the centre of the narrative universe, represented by the massive swell in choral harmonies. The inspiration for the form of the piece and instrumentation resembles the concept I have of Anamnesis for the album as its structure is circular.
Buy the release HERE.