A Matter of Time – studio talk with Alex Banks

A Matter of Time – studio talk with Alex Banks
'A Matter Of Time (feat. Elizabeth Bernholz)' is taken from Alex Banks' debut album 'Illuminate' released on Monkeytown Records. The release also features a Frank Wiedemann Remix.  Here's what Alex Banks talks about the production process of the original: The most reflective, introspective track on the album, the initial idea for ‘A Matter of Time’ was written on a cold, damp Monday after a particularly ‘eventful’ weekend. Starting with the really simple 4/4 808 Kick and building a few bits of glitchy percussion and a crusty hi-hat loop, I had a nice frame work to start layering sounds upon. I started playing some chords on the Juno 106 which has a really thick analogue sound, applying some side-chaining to make it bounce against the kick and give it some movement. Next I programmed a bass sound on my Moog Voyager (which features heavily on many tracks throughout the album) providing the deep sub with occasional mid-range growl from the live recorded filter sweeps. This blended really well with the Juno, together filling the frequency spectrum with analogue warmth. The strings and brass came from a session I had recorded for another project where I had lots of left over material, so I effectively sampled myself chopping up the sounds and re-pitching them to create the main hook in the chorus and other background parts. Layering them with bits of vinyl recordings and processing them heavily through my Neve Pre-Amp/EQ and TL Audio Valve compressor I got this crusty, old sounding tone that fitted the wistful, melancholic vibe of the track. Having written most of the basic elements of the track, I sent it over to collaborator Elizabeth Bernholz to write a vocal part. I can recall waiting for one of the first planes out of JFK airport after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 and receiving her first draft in my inbox. I found myself listening to her soft, haunting vocals on my headphones in contrast to the frenzied chaos that was surrounding me as people were trying to get on one of the few flights that hadn’t been cancelled. We developed the vocals further together in my studio and recorded the session through my Neumann TLM-49, adding automated reverb swells and delays on certain words and reversing various vocal sounds to create some of the atmospheric textures. To finish the track I added a few more bits of subtle Moog, including the repetitive arpeggiated pattern towards the end and the twisted melodic synth parts on the intro, and the lead sound in the mid-section which I played on my Korg MS-10. Finally I then spent a lot of time careful crafting the mix to get the dense layers to all fit together whilst still trying to retain some sense of space. As the album was in it’s final stages of production, Gernot from Modeselektor/Moderat (and co-owner of Monkeytown Records) got in touch to say he needed the parts to the track for a secret purpose. Excited at what it could be I sent them off and didn’t hear anything else about it for some time. A couple of months later, I was told the remix by Frank Wiedemann of ‘Ame’ was nearly finished. By coincidence Ame were actually DJing in my home town of Brighton that weekend so the first time I got to hear it was on the dance floor surrounded by people going nuts when it dropped. It was quite a special moment! (Written by Alex Banks) Alex Banks - A Matter of Time (feat. Elizabeth Bernholz) including a Frank Wiedemann Remix is released on Monkeytown Records. You can BUY IT HERE on whatpeopleplay.    

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Category: Electronica, Techno