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New Album: Al Fraser

Last edited: 14.11.18 | Comment? | By

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Al Fraser, whose new album ‘Toitū Te Pūoro’ is released today on Rattle Records.

 

When/where was the new album recorded?
I recorded most of Toitū Te Pūoro myself at home over the past year. I have my studio in a renovated chicken coop in my garden where I did most of my recording. Some of the recordings are taken from sessions at The Surgery (Wellington), Albany St (Dunedin) and CoCA, Wellington.

Who produced/engineered the album?
I engineered the recordings myself. I’ve been recording music for a little over 10 years now so felt comfortable that I’d get clean and polished recordings from the gear I have now. Myself and Steve Garden from Rattle Records mixed and produced the final recordings.

How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
The albums’ point of departure is Te Korekore, the place of gestation that is where all things in the universe originate. This was a concept I was introduced to by my friend Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal. His uncle the Rev. Māori Marsden was a tohunga and wrote a book called The Woven Universe which explains Te Korekore more than I can. The music then moves into Te Pō and into Te Ao Mārama. From there on the music encounters entities within the natural world, the world in which we all live. I explore places that I have a connection to. I already knew the sonic I was after with some of the pieces. I chose the voices and whakapapa of the taonga to reflect the story I was trying to tell. And from there honed the compositions until I was happy.

Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
I was going for a wide, lush and detailed sound that reflected the sound I get from my live performance looping rig, with lots of reverb and delays. But I wanted to put this sound into a computer environment to make it easier to edit later. So I played around quite a bit with reverbs, delays and other space enhancing effects.

Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
I used Ableton Live, mostly as a sequencer but did make use of some of it’s looping functionality. I did a lot of mid-side recording using an AKG C414 B-ULS for the mid and an AKG C414 B-ULS TL2 for the side channels, but also used my sE 4400 to capture darker sounds. These mics went into an Apogee Mini-Me converter. I went through a few different reverb plug ins until I settled on Valhalla Vintage Verb. It’s fantastic, versatile and only costs $50!

Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
Chrysalis.

Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
Yes, the album is released on CD. At the moment it’s only on Bandcamp but it will be on all the other streaming platforms soon.

Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
Yep, there is a video for ‘Chysalis’, and I’m having an album launch on Wednesday November 14th 6pm at {Suite} Gallery on Cuba St. It’s open to all. I’ll be performing, Ariana Tikao and Phil Boniface will sit in and we’ll have a listen to the album with some drinks and snacks. Come along!

Posted in: GeneralInterviewsNew Album


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