A celestial release that glides between the stars, under the shadow of the Moon. A chance to reflect on the big sky and beyond, to recede from the noise of daily life. Effortlessly transitory and organic, we feel time pass, the phases of the Moon shift, while we look on with awe and apprehension upon our descent back to Earth.
Favorite track: Mesosphere.
See Blue Audio: ambient / electronic / beatless / cinematic / downtempo / eclectic / introspective… Shade rather than light...
‘See the World Anew Vol. 1' – Steve Hadfield (SBA #023)
2021 is turning into a transformative year for Steve Hadfield. The changes in his personal life have been mirrored by the changes on a global scale that are affecting us all. This process has caused him to look at the world around him with fresh eyes, and it has become the inspiration for a new series of music, 'See the World Anew', the first volume of which will be his fifth collection for See Blue Audio and the twenty-third release on the label.
This year is also proving to be one of his most prolific as an artist. Releases like 'Bangers and Mash' for the Bricolage imprint, 'The Silly Baby LP' on Disintegration State, and, most recently, the 'Industrial Chillout Complex' album on Werra Foxma Records have seen Steve explore different musical territories and rediscover earlier influences, including techno, IDM, industrial, drum & bass and breakbeat. 'See the World Anew' is a return to the other side of his musical character, which has found a home at See Blue Audio, and his distinctive fusion of ambient/modern classical and glitchy electronics.
Accompanying these audio explorations has been the growth of his daughter from a baby to a young child with an increasing awareness and fascination for the world that surrounds her. In fact, his parental experiences are a thread that runs throughout Steve's music, and 'See the World Anew Vol. 1' captures this new phase of discovery and enchantment. As we falteringly emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are, quite literally, reacquainting themselves with the outside world, an experience full of wonder for the nature that is all around us and, in particular, the night sky. This experience is surely shared by millions of other inhabitants of this planet, who can once again glimpse the sky above us with the thrilling delight of a child. As adults, we have an added dimension of uncertainty – the so-called new normality – but for now we can immerse ourselves in the moment.
All these different but converging forces have found expression over the six succinct but diverse tracks that make up 'See the World Anew Vol. 1'. Light and shadow, day and night, calm and chaos, joy and apprehension, and the random fragments that make up the substance of our world. Tiny specks in the distance noticed by a child long before the adults buried in their own thoughts; garden gates, familiar paths, shadows dancing on walls, wispy clouds, and above them all, the moon. The companionship of warm summer nights become a spiritual refuge even as they inevitably fade, but somehow the magic of moon remains with its constant rhythm of waxing and waning. It's this allure of the moon and an imagined journey into the silence of space that forms the creative basis of the music. What great powers must it surely take to escape the pull of the Earth's atmosphere.
The opening track, 'Moonlight', references the earlier 'Gaze of the Moon' from 'Displacement Activity Vol. 1' released in January 2020, and from there we follow a path through different moods and atmospheres that soundtrack his fascination with the moon. Beatless soundscapes are juxtaposed with bleeps and irregular pulses; the electronic effervescence of 'Mesosphere' is followed by the mercurial beats and snatches of voice on 'Detached'. Finally, 'Gravity', as the title implies, drag us back to earth with its lo-fi, almost metallic, ghostly sonic landscape.
As he has experienced in real life, Steve Hadfield invites us to look at the world in a new light with this music. Relive that wonder of childlike discovery, even if it is fleeting and the gravitational forces of life pull us down again.
Photography: R.Cleveland Aaron.
released August 27, 2021
All tracks written, produced and mixed by Steve Hadfield.