Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
To be honest I have no real base. I am constantly traveling and playing music, so in this case the music is good wherever I am.
Your magical live project The Ancient Moons returns with Heart of Sky which will be released on July 20th through Crosstown Rebels/BMG. Where and when did you record?
I built a studio in the heart of the Mugello region of Tuscany, overlooking some beautiful mountains, with goats outside the door and tomatoes growing on the ground and sunflowers in summer. We began work at the beginning of 2016.
What influenced the sound and songwriting for your new album Heart Of Sky?
Two and a half years ago I went for a massage after Day Zero in Tulum and as I relaxed on the bed afterwards, I noticed a copy of the Popol Vul, the Book of Community which recounts the Mayan Creation Myth, essentially the story of the creation of the universe. I read about one of the creators, called Heart of Sky, who was having problems with his attempts to create human beings.
I knew then that I had the first seeds of an idea of how to shape my new album. I started writing song ideas with my band, seeking out interesting sounds and samples, tried to figure out how to blend cosmic love stories with my love of 80’s soul music and finally I landed on 11 songs that somehow fit together and tell a beautiful story. I believe this is my best work yet as a producer.
How will you be bringing your live performance of Heart Of Sky to the stage?
I have been working very long hours in the studio with my band designing the live show, we wanted to make the show full power and brimming with joyful moments and I think we have achieved this.
What equipment and programs did you use throughout the songwriting and recording process?
It starts with paper and pen and moves through various instruments, analogue and digital.
Heart Of Sky follows your extraordinary 2015 release Message From The Other Side, dubbed “a journey into techno’s dreamiest recesses” by The Fader and a “psychedelic masterpiece’ by Vice. How would you describe the progression of Heart Of Sky following your last release?
I wanted to maintain the ethnic, worldly vibe but find a way to couple that with a soulful ignition. Having an amazing soulful vovcalist in Jesse Appiah made me pursue this dream.
What was the most rewarding and challenging aspects of writing, producing and recording Heart Of Sky?
Working in the same room as another 3 people during the writing process was something new for me, the sharing of ideas and experiments with The Ancient Moons was everything.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
My favorite album right now is by Julianna Barwick, its a beautiful ambient record from 2016 called Will.
What do you like to do outside of music?
Most of my time outside of music is spent having fun with my kids.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?
Celebrating the Heart of Sky album, celebrating 15 years of my record label, Crosstown Rebels and generally celebrating life.
Purchase Heart Of Sky Here: https://www.beatport.com/release/heart-of-sky/2338254