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INTERVIEW: Acid James presents Breaking Through Part I

Acid James begins his independent work. This uniquely inspired musician, who has made a name for himself through a handful of tasty songs.

His music is unclassifiable, but it has no rival. Close your eyes and let the sensations flow.

Acid James, thank you for joining us for this interview. I'd like to start by asking you about your technical approach to creating music. What equipment / software do you normally use?

Not going to lie, I would love to say I was using a Moog, Juno or TB303. But really it is just me with a midi keyboard, electric guitar and the alb3 plugin. Deep in Ableton using it to the best of its ability, combining it with some plugins I bought over the years. Normally, I just create a drumbeat, add some chords and then expand from there. Your record "Breaking Through Part I" has a very good impact. What were you inspired by to create it? How do you turn your inspiration into the final product?

The 2 part album really is inspired by everyday life. Just walking out of my front door I hear music. From distance city sounds, or geese honking by the canal in Manchester. My brain is already thinking this would work well in a song. However, I have been traveling and lived in a few countries over the last 2 - 3 years. So each track overall is some sort of memory for me. Sun Ra is filled with loads of samples I recorded last summer in the Spanish mountains. If you listen closely you will hear the sounds of cicadas chirping. Alongside the trickling of a gentle stream. Even with songs such as ‘It’s Not A Seagull It’s A Peacock’ it is a memory captured in a track. I was in St Tropez at the time and walking by the coast up a hill to a maritime museum. Hearing a constant bird call in the background, I turned to my mates saying; ‘that sounds like a funny seagull.’ I got my phone out and started recording the audio. Turns out at the museum there was a peacock sanctuary. Little things from that day inspired me, an old tape projected on the ceiling of the museum, of sailors going to war in rough seas. When the reel stopped the tape player made a crunch of a sound. Which later became the snare of the track. To summaries, everyday organic textures from a woodpecker beating on a tree to waves crashing by the sea. Are all recorded by myself, then I write my tracks around these natural sounds. This creates the ever evolving unique soundscape of each piece of music. Do you have a favorite track from the record?

This is a hard one for me as each track has its own special place in my heart. Sun Ra always puts me in a good mood listening to it. Yet again, hearing Will’s voice in Let Go is just super dreamy. Him singing always brings back memories of a time when we used to live on a barge on the waters of Amsterdam. So anything which transports me back to that epic time will be a favorite of mine. How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy most right now?

Well as a DJ i’m constantly listening to new music each day from disco tunes all the way to the weirdest of acid tracks. From the age of 12 I was listening to the likes of Bonobo which I guess grew my appreciation for the organic side of music. However, despite my love for electronica I do enjoy a good acid house track. Been playing a lot Annette - Dream 17 recently, something about the female vocals and the constant chug of the acid line - addictive. How do you feel your music impacts your listeners?

From hearing feedback from DJ’s, fans and friends I believe each track has the ability to transport the listener to a new psychedelic world. With the soundscapes all unique, based around memories of my life. The songs can be interpreted by listeners in their own individual way. Taking them on their own journey, like how one person reads a book in their mind they may picture something different to the next. Overall, I wanted to create something positive and atmospheric to spread joy for summer 2021. So whether a person is listening on the dance floor or at the comfort of their home, I hope my music inspires positivity within the listener. What other projects are you working on right now?

At the moment I’m currently tweaking Part II. With the bulk of the second part of the album already written. I am now looking to develop it further like I did with Part I. Adding a few more elements to each track and layering a few more sounds. Then Part II will be ready for release, hoping September.

Do you think we will be able to return to "normal" events and festivals soon?

Yes! With festivals and smaller events getting the greenlight to pilot. I have high hopes that Corona will be the thing of the past and we will all be dancing with friends again! Not sure people will stand for another lockdown. It's time to say enough is enough. We need to get back to events and festivals for the sake of everybody's mental health. As a community we need a dance floor so we can escape and free our mind, body and soul. What is keeping you going during lockdown?

To be honest, I have just been working on these tracks and finally finding the time to finish them off. I was able to use my time to get to a point where as an artist I was happy with my music. Normally, there is something which is niggling me or an element I want to change further. Which as a bit of a perfectionist can annoy the hell out of me. But now having the time to focus, I can actually say Breaking Through Part I is complete. Which has been a fantastic self achievement to see this project come to life. So this has been the driving force of keeping me going during lockdown. Do you have any final words of wisdom? Don’t really depend on others, if you want something to happen in life go out and get it. The only person who is stopping you from not achieving your goals is yourself. So put in the hard work and do not stop doing the things you love. Because happiness is found within our passions. So keep creating, keep giving out positive energy and good things will come!


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