Track By Track: Headaches – Aluphor
Headaches is the musical project of Canadian-born artist Landon Speers. To date he's released a string of dance singles, and toured as a DJ with acts such as Purity Ring. 'Aluphor', his new album, marks a delightful left turn into ambient electronica.
Speers uses his primary tools – synth and cello – to craft a pulsing, breathing, living ecosystem. Moods shift imperceptibly throughout, at times mournful, sometimes triumphant. The whole suite works functionally as ambient music, but there's enough detail here to lose yourself entirely.
We've already premiered 'V' on R$N – now, stream the album below on Bandcamp, and let Speers guide you through the whole project, track by track.
Aluphor more or less formed as a score for a movie that doesn't exist. Save for the cello performed by Fjóla Evans, it was created in a tiny bedroom on a laptop beneath a junky loft bed during a loathsome winter where I discovered marijuanna. It was good chance to explore spaces beyond during a time of relative confinement. As someone that works predominantly as a visual artist I've often seen music as a very visual experience. Texture, atmosphere, mood, etc. are all things I've endeavoured to explore aurally. That said, creating the record ended up being a soundtrack of sorts for future travels, distant memories & cerebral wanderings. In an attempt to visual represent the album I've selected some images from my archives that I feel exemplify some of the scenes & places my mind wandered too.
The opening track has always seemed to touch on most of the themes felt throughout the record. A sampler of sorts for things to follow. It's always left me somewhere rather expansive. A place with a sense of hope and potential, tempered by an air of stark bleakness. There’s a tension with an ebb & flow between the two trying to find balance.
Paints a scene that's pulsing with life. My mind starts zooming into a place where smaller & smaller parts, having seemingly chaotic interactions, are actually part of a cohesive whole. The perspective then withdraws revealing all these pieces fitting into a larger entity; all dependant on one another.
III places me somewhere heavy with fog. Repetition & warmth are present being reflected in growth that recedes into the haze. There's a curiosity for the unknown, but it feels inviting instead of foreboding. Despite the lack of clarity, there's still a feeling of something mountainous & grand beyond your vision.
I have a very deep admiration for bodies of water. Looking at, being near it & swimming in them is a source of calm I don't really get from much else. It's a welcome reminder of my place & scale in relation to the world. IV takes me to those places & in this specific case, a very still one. It's actually a similar space as III, but the focus is shifted. Instead of what lays beyond, attention is only on the immediate surroundings.
V is a bit somber & mournful. It's a place where two parts are trying to find one another but can't seem to. The cello pieces are off sync calling out to one another in am attempt to connect. They each get hints that they were just where the other was, but isn't anymore. It's a track lurching forward trying to find peace with a lack of resolution.
VI is where curiosity is rewarded. It's a place showered with sun where the breeze makes leaves & shadows dance. Peace is made here, even if only temporarily.
VII is a place of desolation. It's a story of transit where the end destination isn't entirely clear. Bearings are impossible to discern with the lack of any discernible landmarks. One is left wandering with a weighted fatigue.
VIII is night time at the edge of somewhere populated. It's the long walk home through unfamiliar terrain where dew starts to soak your shoes & chill your bones. The evidence of you being slightly under dressed for the weather is seeing your breath column out in front of you.
IX is a still night but far removed from any evidence of population. Very far away the flickers of stars are confused with satellites & planes but they're the only reminders of what you've left behind. There's just enough moonlight to find your way, albeit it with an slightly uncertain step. Thankfully the calm from the heavens leaves you in no rush.