Vieon new electronic style single ‘Inter-City’ released on Analogue Trash August 18th

Vieon celebrate an icon of Britain’s railway heritage in electronic style on new single Inter-City and accompanying 6-date UK tour

Their first new original music in over five years, Midlands-based audiovisual electronica outfit Vieon are set to release their new Inter-City single on the 18th of August.

With a sound inspired by 70s and 80s electronic film soundtracks and lush synthpop filtered through a long-time appreciation for post-rock and IDM, Vieon is the project of lifelong synth aficionado and producer Matt Wild. Matt launched Vieon as a solo project in 2013, evolving into its current incarnation as live four-piece featuring Stephen Dorphin on samples and engineering, Ricardo Autobahn on live keyboards and Adrian Brian Thompson on live visuals.

A driving, upbeat homage to the iconic Inter-City 125 train, Inter-City features a modified ‘motorik’ 808 beat joined by a driving modular Moog bassline, pulsing sequences, Roland vocoder and the soaring keytar solos that have become a staple and firm fan favourite of Vieon’s live shows. Meanwhile, the track’s lyrics are a hazy daydream of a summer seaside holiday by train never taken in the glory days of British Rail.

Matt explains the inspiration for the track:

“We’ve spent the last seven years on-off touring the UK and beyond so it’s long past time we were back in the studio for a new release.  I’ve always been fascinated by the machines that move us, and I’ve had ephemeral plans for years to write a song or album on that basis. My partner bought me a copy of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual (highly recommended for fellow graphic design nerds everywhere) around the time I was looking for inspiration and so it finally stuck.

“The Inter-City 125 was an easy first choice of subject material. One person in charge of 4500 horsepower slinging 500 tons of man and machine down two steel rails at 125mph – the essence of energy, dynamism, movement, all the things that make exciting music too. As a mechanical engineer by trade and a sucker for history, transport and graphic design in my spare time, there’s a lot to explore through the lens of British Rail too.”

As well as finding inspiration in new themes and elements of history, Inter-City also represents a significant milestone in the Vieon sound from a production standpoint. Matt continues:

“I’ve never been 100% satisfied with my production skills on some of our older work, so it’s good to be able to start afresh and this time I really think we’ve hit the mark.

“Equipment-wise, I’m delighted with the distinctive Moog Grandmother modular bassline – the LFO has been patched in as a third oscillator here to give it a really fat, detuned sound. The square wave-based sequence you can hear (Roland System-8) uses the old Jean-Michel Jarre trick of hard panning the original to the left and then using a delay for the right channel, giving it a super wide sound. Talking of JMJ, I feel like we’ve maybe overused the Eminent 310 / Solina string sound in past albums, so on this one the pads are from a Logan String Melody (another 70’s divide-down oscillator machine) which has a crunchier, lo-fi sound as it doesn’t use the Eminent’s ensemble effect. Phaser aficionados will note the not-so-subtle Small Stone effect over the bridge which has remained though!

“The sound which you might think is a guitar is not – I can’t play guitar! It’s a sample from my (new) Nord Wave 2, run through another Electro-Harmonix distortion pedal, then through a Juno-based chorus and finally some delay sprinkled on top. I’ve also switched vocoder for this project – I’m still getting to grips with the excellent Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer, it’s a lot of fun.

“Finally, I’ve been considering how to implement build-ups and releases without defaulting to the usual white noise filter sweep that you might have heard on lots of our previous recordings – happily the subject matter itself provided the goods this time, and white noise has been replaced by samples of the famous ‘Valenta scream’ of the turbocharged engines that were a mainstay in the Inter-City 125 fleet for decades.”

To coincide with the single’s release and to promote their upcoming material, the band have also announced an ambitious 6-date headline tour across England this September and October. The Inter-City tour will be calling at Salford (15/09), Leeds (16/09), Todmorden (17/09), Bristol (28/09), Coventry (30/09) and London (01/10), where they will perform alongside an array of AnalogueTrash label-mates and friends.

In many ways, the prospect of an upcoming tour and the chance to performance new material helped to remove a creative block for Matt. He explains:

“Honestly, it’s a bit of a monkey off my back releasing new original new music after so long – we’ve been touring mostly music from our last full release Fly By Light for the last seven years on and off, which has been an amazing experience but which eventually became obstructive to the creative writing process by having to constantly tear down the studio for the road and then rebuild it at home.

“There’s also a certain anxiety about the birth of something creatively new – especially when your style evolves along with the things you choose to write about, and it’s taken time to rediscover the confidence needed to commit songs to release. Having said that, I can say that Inter-City is the first time that I feel I’ve hit my own target for production quality – I think it’s a significant step forward and I’m really excited for audiences to hear it.

“I’m always a little nervous ahead of a new tour as we put a lot of time into preparing the live shows and we want them to be as spectacular and memorable as budgets allow, but this is doubly so as we’ll be playing quite a bit of new music which is unusual.

“The approach to the Inter-City tour has been to build something new from the ground up so it’s completely fresh for the audience – I think this is vital after having toured our previous material for so long. We’ll be playing the new single of course, but the project goes beyond just one song and gig-goers will have the first opportunity to discover some new pieces that won’t see the light of day on a release for a little while yet.”

Inter-City is released in digital formats on the 18th of August via AnalogueTrash. The single includes the full-length version of the track and a shorter radio edit, as well as a studio version of the upcoming album track Railfreight Movement II: Metals, previously released as a live medley with classic track Proteus on Volume 6 of the AnalogueTrash Label Sampler series.

Vieon – Railfreight Movement II (Metals)

Vieon – Only Human

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Band/Artist location – UK
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