The Danish artist Paxton Fettel has been spreading his wings of late. After a string of exceptional EPs with Greta Cottage Workshop, he’s recently been branching out with releases and remixes on labels such as Apersonal and Secret Reels. In what feels like a true coming of age for him, Paxton has dropped his debut long player on his long term home Greta Cottage and he very kindly takes us through it here.
In his own words:
"When I began working on this album, I knew I wanted to do it in a different manner than I was used to.
"The EPs were done in a "track by track" sense without any real thought on how they all fit together. I usually slam a load of demos into Matt Denshams Dropbox and he'd pick the ones he dug the most. This time around, I was way more in charge of the running order.
"The album was done quite differently gear-wise too; with loads of new synths and machines arriving in the time leading up to the album and while I was working on it. Proper hardware EQs, pre-amps and compressors which gave me a new take on writing music that was much less software and plastic.
"I just want to say - I love my own music but I also feel it as a journey where the next step is and always will be IMPROVEMENT."
Amber Light Burns
Initially this was an ambient piece, but it felt like something was missing, so I decided to add some more intensity to the end of the track. I feel the bassline added some much-needed depth to the track.
And the intensity leads very nicely into the second track on the album. The idea behind the synth work came to me one day on the train. As the sun flickered through a lot of trees, I thought to myself 'that is an interesting visual feeling, let me see if I can recreate that'.
Beyond The Sapphire Surf
I often think of this track as one of the best I've done. It is a personal favourite I'd say.
It's such an eerie and mysterious vibe, when the sample, the bassline and the groove finally kick in.
The bass drop (trapfans be like: WHAT DROP DUDE?!?!) feels like such a relief to me, with all this building tension in "ALB". I love to play around with funky elements without them becoming too obvious.
This track is a reference to my rave-mind on a Sunday in Berlin after playing a 14-hour set at Griessmühle.
'Cloud Feeling' is hard to understand if you don't know what it means to be completely off your tits on sleep deprivation and have no food for several hours.
If you can relate to this you know - It's a wish to escape your earthly torture and drift into the clouds. This track is very much about the motion of leaving things/people behind to achieve your own goals in life.
Dots on the Skyline
I love breakbeats and acid, so I decided to a mixer-upper.
The piano is done on my dad's old Hindsberg piano, from the '30s if I remember correctly.
It's the same one that did the main piano chords on 'Mana' a few years back.
I bought a Rhodes MkII from 1979. It's in good condition and sounds the way I like it best.
The rhythm section on this track is a bit unusual but, with me being a Greta Cottage Workshop representative, I'm not going to go smacking out one house EP after another that sounds very similar to the last one I did. It needs to be odd and wonky. It needs to keep me interested, otherwise I'll lose myself as a listener and then it's over. If you are familiar with our radio shows, quality is the main concern, then variety. I mean, there's shit everywhere. You just have to be picky or you'll end up "listening to Coldplay and voting for the Nazis" to quote a certain mister Super Hans.
One long jam on the Rhodes on top of a massive kick, a train wreck of a rhythm section and just a bit of vocals. Having a much more rave-minded tune on the album was unintended but it worked out for the best I'd say. Especially at around 3am on the dance floor.
Afloat on a Sea of Nothing /w Takuya Matsumoto
Takuya sent me a really interesting sketch and I added the missing pieces.
It was an absolute pleasure to make this choon, and not too hard either. He had done the hook line and a super nice drum groove. Not too much assing about, just doing good music and agreeing that we were doing that. Despite the language barrier, it all worked out very well with no bumps on the road. Check out his stuff too, he is an absolute master.
I played at a club here in Copenhagen and when I went home around 5am I was completely hammered. For some reason I just felt like doing a choon. I can't remember much but my roommate can, because he had to work the next morning, and when he got up I was still dancing and having a serious time in boogie-dream-land-studio. When I came back to normal this track was in the album folder, almost finished.
Paxton Fettel's Everything Stays The Same is out now via Greta Cottage Workshop.
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