Why am I listening to this and what have I got myself into?
Welcome listener. Now Aelita Red isn’t your average band. In fact it’s not even a band, although it might sound like it, because you’re obviously, definitely listening to the album right now at this very second.
You’re probably at the bit where the drums come in on the first bit and you’re getting weirded out and wondering if you’re going to suddenly develop narcolepsy. It’s fine don’t worry, it’s just the introduction. It’ll get a bit more normal in a bit.
Aelita Red isn’t a band, because it’s a project that’s meant to sound like a band and hopefully convinces you of that. It also sounds better than ‘the Dave White messing around on a laptop band’. That’s the guy who did it all. A guy called Dave. Or David if you’re his mum. Or if it’s Sunday. This is not his brainchild either because that makes him sound like a guy who wears a cape.
Now David is what we call a roadie, or if you’re Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a guitar technician, and he travels around the world, sitting at the side of stages, putting strings on guitars for rock stars, plugging in amplifiers, getting electrocuted et cetera. He’s the guy who also comes on stage and plays guitar a bit before the band that you’ve paid to see (or pestered the hell out of him for a ticket) comes on. A lot of that time is also spent waiting for things to happen. As we all know, the devil makes work for idle hands and he had his hands full with this one.
What you’ve got is definitely the devil’s work but in a more subtle format. Not in such an obvious Judas Priest/Black Sabbath inverted crosses and gigantic monsters flying across the stage on Harley Davidsons kind of way. Neither is it something build from boredom. There were set goals and rules and everything had to be so or it wouldn’t work.
Work began in June 2016 at the side of a stage with the following rules;
No more than three guitar tracks at any one time. (Done)
You can only use a Mellotron. No other keyboard sounds. (Pretty much stuck to that)
Samples are ok (Only a couple, don’t get daft)
Why not stick a lap steel in there? (All over it)
Definitely no semi-quavers (Might have ignored that a couple of times)
Not allowed to tune down guitars. (One song is in drop D, everything else is in standard tuning)
Do the drums and other bits at home. (Check)
You can only use a Gibson SG and a Rickenbacker 330 (Nuff said)
Only seven tracks (Yep)
There must be an introduction, an outroduction and a bit in the middle for a breather or toilet break. (Definitely stuck to that)
Don’t go over the top in case it needs to be played live. (Meeerh, ok)
Make the next bit more interesting than the last. (Subjective to the listener)
Make the next bit more unexpected than the last. (Also subjective)
Most importantly, definitely no singing or human voice whatsoever. Knowing one cannot sing is far greater a blessing than thinking one can sing.
Skip forwards thirteen months and everything is finished, after uncountable re-writes, different versions of songs, some bits of songs being transplanted into other songs, mixing tracks on aeroplanes above the Andes, mastering on trains down the spine of the British Isles, a photo of a beautiful theatre ceiling in the furthest western reaches of the European continent and trying to record the dog at home, the project was deemed worthy of an audience. A truly international effort is what you behold.
A self release was always on the cards, because if you want a job doing right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Keep abreast of the situation. Hold as many of the cards as you can. Trust no-one.
Once the album was released at the beginning of August 2017, it instantly won a Golden Globe for best daytime TV show, an Oscar nomination for best soundtrack to Avatar 2 and went over Niagara Falls in a bathtub. None of that was true, I was just checking you were still reading.
The future for Aelita Red, however as a project will hopefully not be bound by being just ‘a project’ floating in the ether but will hopefully expand into a live setting that will enter your ears, directly from instruments being played by people and physical releases you can actually put into your home hi-fi and allow your grey matter to spend forty two minutes somewhere else.
Now you know everything there is to know about this band/project/not-brainchild and if there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask or look on the internet somewhere.
Germany, August 2017.
Aelita Red – Threnody
Aelita Red – Cabin
Aelita Red links:
Band location – England, UK
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