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Todays Chromatic QA is with "Paul K" - his new record has been on full repeat in our office...lets find out what makes him tick...

Can you tell us a little about your experience and your background in the music business?

I've been playing in bands since my teens but became more serious about making my own music in the early 2000's. I released a couple of albums as a duo called Basilica and then in 2016 released an album called "Gifted_Damaged" with my band Glitch Code. As Paul K I released my first album "Soul Connection" in 2007 and music from that album has been used a lot in film and TV. Since 2017 I've released a series of albums as Paul K which were instrumental albums. They were "Omertà", "The Fermi Paradox", "Reconstructed Memories" and "Anandamide". The new album "The Space Between" is the first Paul K album featuring my vocals.

Where are you from? do you feel that has a big impact on your sound?

I'm from a small town in the UK called Corby and I now live in a small village called Weldon which isn't too far from where I grew up. I think living in the countryside and being able to walk in a quieter environment probably influenced the more ambient pieces of music but I've travelled extensively throughout the world so I think that probably has had more influence having experienced different sounds from different cultures.

What artists and genres do you enjoy most right now?

I like many different artists and genres. At the moment I'm listening to Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Max Richter, Hinako Omori, Kathryn Joseph, James Blake, Placebo, Porcupine Tree, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Kate Bush too name a few!

What is the story behind your new release? how did it come together?

"The Space Between" is about the human condition and the need for answers. It is the natural follow up album to “The Fermi Paradox”album I released a couple of years ago. It’s about an astronaut who has volunteered for a one way journey through space to pass through the Heliopause and is set maybe 30/50 years in the future. He is accompanied only by an AI robot that becomes sentient during the journey. When the astronaut eventually dies the AI takes over and continues into space alone. Each track plots the journey from liftoff looking back at the Earth to the debilitating effect of years alone in space and is also related to the love and loss the astronaut has felt in his life so, as with most of my work, the lyrics exist on multiple layers and meanings. He records his life story to the ship's memory and the AI takes on the persona of the astronaut and continues into the abyss of space alone.

I've always had a fascination with space travel and technology and I think it's a good time to explore this theme with the recent advances in both space travel and what effect AI will have on the human race in the future.

Has your sound changed a lot in recent years?

Sonically it has become a fuller sound and I've been mixing a lot of synthetic and organic instruments and sounds so I think the palette of sound I use has grown.

Do you feel you can have a more experimental sound in the modern scene?

Definitely! I think being able to self release and distribute digitally has enable artists to release more interesting experimental music that in the past might not have made it past the A&R person! I think the resurgence of analogue instruments and the availability of high quality plug-ins for relatively low cost has also helped. I have certainly experimented a lot on the new album with both analogue and modular synthesis and also using the voice as an instrument that can be processed in some surprising ways!

We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?

I think it has to some extent but I also think the amount of technology available to actually produce music has enabled more artists to get their ideas to an audience who in the past may not have heard them. I like to listen to an album as a whole story so I think digital can sometimes affect that part of the creative process as people rely more on playlists etc and you need to have a few hooks to pull them into listening to the album as a created entity. Overall though I think digital is positive as it inspires people to create and be easily critiqued and that can lead to an uplift in quality

Can you tell us what's next for you?

I'm planning some live shows for the new album and will also feature some tracks from the last four albums which we had to postpone during the pandemic. I'm also working on my next album and experimenting with some new pieces of tech that I want to feature on the new tracks.


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