TUNE Inwards - Welcome To The Gang (Radio Edit)
“Welcome To The Gang” is the next idiosyncratic yet irresistible single to be lifted from ‘Bright Serpent’, the acclaimed second album by electronic producer Inwards AKA Kristian Shelley. The original version is joined here by a brand new remix from rising producer Samuel Organ.
This is the latest in a flurry of singles which have dropped in recent months showcasing a playful, ambient and sonically rich direction and gaining widespread radio support including Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft and Radcliffe & Maconie on BBC 6Music, to add to spins on BBC Radio 1 from Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart; John Kennedy on Radio X; and across Worldwide FM, Amazing Radio and more.
An introspective collection of psychedelic modular synth led experimentations, on ‘Bright Serpent’ electronic textures and rhythms rub up against manipulated recordings of real instruments, voices and field recordings to fashion transportive snapshots of an inner sound-world.
With a unique and distinctive percussion sound that incorporates samples from a building site, “Welcome To The Gang” showcases Kristian’s knack for capturing unique sounds and working them into his compositions, making for a sonic collage rich with meaning and memories. He says, of this track: “I made it when I joined a gang of bricklayers. It’s about being accepted into a new group and all the psychological stuff that goes along with that. It’s about building houses and mental strength. Some percussion in the track is a sample of a Bolster Chisel being hammered.”
The remix comes from Samuel Organ, a young musical polymath who is perhaps best known as a member of the hugely acclaimed experimental outfit The Physics House Band while fast emerging as a producer and solo artist of note in his own right, as well as being a key player in the live bands of Slugabed and Kai Whiston. Of his typically thoughtful, emotive and boundary-pushing rework, he says: “Over the past few years I've spent a lot of time delving into the folk, ambient and new age catalogue of labels like William Ackerman's 'Windam Hill', which often feels full of scratches and experiments. I wanted to take some of Inwards’ modular synth work and weave it into this sort of hopeful Celtic sound, evocative of some of those Windam Hill releases, especially the work of Mark Isham.”
The ‘Bright Serpent’ album follows Inwards’ 2019 EP ‘'Feelings of Unreality’, and 2018 debut album ‘Diesel’. Both releases gained widespread airplay on daytime and specialist radio with distinct support from Tom Ravenscroft, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, John Kennedy and BBC Introducing – and features including a Guest Mix for Tom Ravenscroft, a live session for BBC Introducing and a BBC 6Music Recommends Track of the Week.
The new album was mostly written and recorded at Kristian’s secluded log cabin in Worcestershire, which he built himself. The cabin is fitted with an array of creative musical and studio equipment, primarily composed of a personalized modular synth system, where he’s free to make music any time of day, without interruption. Explaining the method behind creating ‘Bright Serpent’, Kristian says:
“I like the textures of real instruments and voices. I used my voice as an instrument on this record more this time, which is something new for me. There are also sounds I recorded years back of different atmospheres, conversations of friends, sounds from a building site. Anything that I could manipulate to add atmosphere.”
These distant recordings may go some way to fit a feeling of nostalgia contained within Kristian’s music. Having studied music production in Brighton he more recently returned home to his roots in Worcestershire. This journey back home and the feeling evoked in the album is tangible. He goes on to recount a message after the release of ‘Diesel’: “I had a message from someone telling me that the music gave them a real strong sense of déjà vu, that it transported them back to a time when they were a child and they remembered some interesting memories that they never knew they had.”
A lot of the songs on ‘Bright Serpent’ were born out of pure experimentation; sometimes a song came together in a matter of hours, sometimes much later with the initial intention or inspiration shifting to a new subject. Kristian explains how the process of making music, and also stepping away from it, is like therapy to him.
“I like to communicate without using language as I feel there are some things that can’t be put into words. Doing things outside music is really important too. My mind is all over the place most of the time and meditation has been a big help to tame it. I recently started skateboarding again, swimming and I've started experimenting in the last year with making visual art for my live performances.”