Finishing an artist album was something that evaded me for a while. I think I first promised it back in 2005, which means I’ve spent most of my music career so far trying to deliver the record that you’re currently holding. However, the thing that most amazed me about this album wasn’t that I’d finally managed to finish it – it was how easy it was. I don’t mean it wasn’t hard work, because of course it was, but the creative and production process was remarkably natural and unforced. For about six months, things just flowed, and this album is the result.
Due to spending the majority of 2010 on tour, most of the writing was done on flights and in hotel rooms, with countless songs and ideas mapped out on my laptop. Then, in the two or three days a week I had back in my studio in Manchester, I was solidly locked away, turning these bare bones sketches into completed tracks. A lot of time was also spent on the train between Manchester and London commuting to numerous sessions at Uptown Studios, where we wrote and recorded the vocals for the album. On the subject of vocals, one thing I particularly wanted to do when deciding who to work with was to find singers that hadn’t previously featured on electronic tracks, because as much as I love many of our scene’s popular singers, I’ve always tried to tread a slightly different path. So you’ve got Lucy Saunders who performed brilliantly on both ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Fight The Sunrise’, my sister Roxanne (a burgeoning folk-pop star in her own right), and Mark Frisch, who originally sung his track as a songwriting demo, but I liked his voice so much that I ended up using it.
Another key consideration was flow – I didn’t just want a disparate collection of tracks; I wanted to produce an album in the traditional sense that flowed from start to finish as a continuous piece of music, something you could listen to again and again. This meant I had to exclude a few tracks, not because they weren’t up to scratch, but because they didn’t fit. I’m sure we’ll find an outlet for them at a later date. And so the final cut can be broadly split into two halves. The first five tracks are slightly more reflective of the housier side of my sound; that indefinable middle ground where house, progressive, tech and trance meet. Following that, ‘Full Tilt’, serves as something of a palate cleanser, before the last four songs, which are pure, peak-time trance.
Thank you for your support, and for buying this album. I hope you enjoy it.
August 2010, Manchester, UK.