Archive for December, 2011

Dunwich Dreams

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2011 by learnwithxela

These two tracks originally appeared on a 7″ on Fred Thomas’s Life Like label in 2011, but sadly due to a manufacturing problem the single ended up being limited to a mere ten copies. Since nobody ended up hearing here are the tracks for your enjoyment. They were written a couple of years ago and have plenty of references to the movie soundtrack work of Fabio Frizzi. Music blog ‘The Radiant Now‘ ended up asking to post these, so I remastered them and there’s a zip over there on the blog (with artwork) – streaming is below.

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Exorcism

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by learnwithxela

So here it is, the ‘final’ Xela album, and it’s been a while coming. OK, so it’s not technically the final album chronologically speaking (‘The Sublime’ and ‘My Memories of Gallifrey’ were finished after this one) but since it’s being released now, it may as well be the last album. It seems fitting too – I wrote the record in 08/09 while camped out in my childhood home with my laptop, FX and Pro-One synthesizer squeezed onto a dresser table while I recovered from a bout of illness some years back. The idea was to write a record that would serve as some kind of therapy, something I would enjoy making and enjoy listening to, so to act as an ‘ending’ to the Xela project in general seems perfect to me.

You see I came up with Xela in 1999, when I used to make shonky beat tapes for girls at school and pretend it was all other people’s tunes so they wouldn’t be so dismissive. As soon as the name stuck, it took on a life of its own and the shitty jungle, hip hop and garage tracks became more melodic, escapist sounds. At the time I was working at Halfords on Bescot Stadium (Walsall’s football ground) selling bass boxes and fitting car stereos, and my mates were pushing me to max out on the bass content – voila ‘For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights’ was born. This was an album where I wanted to capture the dank griminess of the Black Country (the wider area where my hometown resides – hint, it’s NOT Birmingham) but give it hope, because I hoped I’d get the fuck out.

Fast forward twelve years and I did make it out, I do miss it – but it feels disingenuous to still find myself shackled to a moniker that was born mostly out of a specific place and possibly time. The last two years, living in the US and still recording/performing under the Xela name has been weird for me. This was a project that for better or for worse lived and died in the muddy puddles outside the Arboretum, and in the 50p bin on the VHS stall at Bescot Market. It doesn’t have any relevance here in Massachusetts, and that’s why I’m bringing things to a close. I’ll still be making music of course, but it feels good to say ‘this is the end’ of this particular era.

Fittingly, ‘Exorcism’ contains field recordings I recorded in the Park Lime Pits in Walsall, a flooded limestone mine that I spent much of my childhood traipsing around (when I wasn’t in front of a screen, anyway – would hate you all to think I’m an ‘outdoors’ type).

For those of you that want to download a ZIP with artwork, here is is – http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/u64fw7