There are few producers in the UK who can be said to have the support of Matthew Herbert. It's no small feat. Bambooman is a Yorkshire based producer who is about to release his debut album on the Accidental record label in the coming weeks. His sound has been rallying support and praise for its singular edge and its eclectic ability to bend and warp the stereotypes of dance music.
The producer has previously released a string of EP's on Accidental and has also featured on the label launched by Sonic Router back in 2012. His sound has drastically evolved and Kirk Barley is now a real talent.
We invited him to take us on a tour of his forthcoming album. See below:
I've always loved creating short intro skits like this to help set the scene for a record. This one was actually made from sampling and processing stems from some of the other album tracks and to me gives a good first impression of the sound-world the listener is about to enter.
2. Brisk Ft Segilola
I started this track by messing around with some recordings I did with my Dad of crushing frozen puddles, that we found when we went out to walk off our Christmas dinners last year, it was pretty cold out obviously, yet it was a really refreshing day to me, hence the title 'Brisk.'
Once the instrumental was finished, it felt like it needed a vocal, so I got in touch with the talented 'Segilola' a singer I have worked with a lot in the past, and although she was super busy, I managed to convince eventually her to bless the track with a beautiful vocal line.
3. Daxamite Ft Kashmere
This one was built around an accapella Kashmere sent me, which he'd originally recorded on a different beat. The actual Instrumental is a pretty simple idea (dub chords on a hip-hop beat) which I think Kashmere's vocal's fully bring to life.
We recently put out an EP together under the name 'SUPERGOD', so it was really great to have him on the album too, as he has always been one of my favourite lyricists, he's king of content, flow and clarity, with the voice to match.
4. Bird Season
I really like this one, when I hear it it makes me think of birds, such as starlings flying around in their flocks creating beautiful formations in the sky. It was also a super budget track to make, I just used a free VST synth, a 50P Bird whistle and a few other plinky-plonky things I had lying around. It's a great track to play in sets for me too, as its a nice bridge between my more chilled out stuff, and dancier bits.
This is one of my favourites on the album, if not my favourite. I've always wanted to create jazzy ambient stuff of this vein, an idea which I've carried around in my head for years but never been able to put down on paper. I feel now I am finally beginning to have collected enough bells, whistles and percussion, and have enough compositional and studio experience to create, and be flexible with this kind of vibe. And I'm really excited and have lots of ideas about developing the techniques heard in these kind of tracks further for future projects. Maybe even a live band type of thing ... I believe this sound was initially inspired by listening to things like A.E.O.C., Milford Graves and Fourtet's beautiful 'Rounds' album a lot when I was younger.
6. Whispers ft Elsa Hewitt .
This is the oldest track that appears on the album, but to me it's still really at home on the record and in the same sound-world, I have had it sat on my hard-drive awhile basically waiting for the right project to put it on, so am glad it finally found its purpose.
The backing/backbone of the track is made from recordings of Elsa whispering in french, which I processed and arranged, into a nice but weird kind of R&B sounding loop. This french whispering does make sense apparently, but I'm not sure what they say anymore. Tbh I just love the sound of whispering and think it can be used in really interesting ways in sound design. On top of this bed of whispers you can hear instrumentation such as guitar, synth and percussion parts come in and a dulcet vocal line from Elsa aswell.
This one is more of a short jam or bridge in the album, it was made pretty on the fly as the first experiment I did with a trumpet, a little was changed since that first jam.
This one feels like the big brother to 'Frost', It definitely has a similar vibe, but I guess it's a bit wilder. To me the track is about when your lying hugging your someone special, and no matter what crazy position your lying in, it feels super comfy, like the pair of you are melting together into one.
So by this point in the album , I was worried that things might have got a bit too relaxed and ambient, but I wanted the record to include a wide range of the styles I create, so it was time for some dancier numbers.
Starting with Static, which was named because of the original loop I built the track around felt like it was stood still rather then trying to go somewhere, like a loop that you can listen to for ages and hear new things in it, the track has developed alot since it was initially named though, so perhaps this is not the most suited name now. It also features some vocal chops taken from recordings I had made of Elsa for another track we did together.
I think the main thing which makes this track is the vocal loop heard at the start and throughout the track, which is very immediate and also quite catchy I hope.
The rest of the drums and instrumentation heard in the track almost are just there to compliment the vocal loop, its a pretty stripped back affair. Again the vocals have been sampled from recordings of Elsa.
Another dancey one, I feel this track fits the same vibe of my previous 'Shudder' 12” which was also released on Accidental. I got a bit dizzy making this one due to its Kaleidoscope like synth riffs, which I guess are a head nod to the inspirational music of Terry Riley and Steve Reich.
Although this one's pretty short, it's one of my favorites of the album. It's a head-nod to a very inspirational minimalist composer 'Jon Hassell'. I think my debut on the whole suits the 'Fourth World” aesthetic Hassell coined , in particular tracks like Manatee, Bronze and Frost.
This one was pretty much a live jammed track, the backing rhythm heard is made from some insects I recorded at my hotel at Outlook festival in Croatia a few years back, which I then layered with some fast arppegiated recordings of a wooden drums. I then layered some live processed recorder and finger cymbal recordings on top of this.
Later on in the track you can hear this kinda rhythmic watery noise, which is this cool automated fountain I've recorded a few times thats behind Kings Cross Station by the art college.
Caves is a simple bass and guitar idea I made at some point ages ago, I remember I had always liked it and I think it complimented the other album tracks quite nicely, to make a calm reflective track to end the album with.
In general for the album I tried to use at least one unique technique in each track which I felt had a certain amount of originality to it, or at least a kind of style I have tried to champion and tried to develop within my music.
I also tried to represent the various styles of music which have always inspired me such as Hip Hop, Techno, Minimalism, Jazz among other things. I wanted it to give the listener the full flavor of the various sounds and styles heard in my past Eps and collaborations, and represent them in some way across the album, to perhaps sum up what the Bambooman project is and has been to date.
Buy the release HERE.