I was, and remain, absolutely thrilled to be asked to contribute to the Generation Blitz compilation project. Thirty-four cuts of prime electronic post-punk and synthpop goodness being released on a double CD, double cassette and, of course, digital download and streaming.
“Strength in numbers” is my contribution. When thinking about the Blitz Club era, I thought about it in a political setting. 1979 to 1981 – the era in which I was born – wasn’t the easiest and the song I chose for the compilation is as relevant today as it was then. If you want to know precisely what I mean by that, then you’re going to have to buy the compilation!
Coming on 2 July 2021, “Green light” is a new song featuring Neil Francis. This song will be premiered on Synth City with Rob Harvey on 8 June 2021 between 8 and 10pm BST over at www.phoenixfm.com.
Shortly after broadcast, the LorD and Master BandCamp page will be accepting pre-orders for the maxi-single, which contains remixes by LorD and Master, dEk101, Nature of Wires, Eden, SoftWave, Scyia and Rob Bradley of Shelter along with a bonus track, “Taken for granted”.
Imagine a video game, epic and sweeping in its story, an open-world role-playing game with blistering battles between good and evil, hordes of flying terrors and a strange, alien landscape to explore. Now imagine that game’s soundtrack, but it’s by LorD and Master.
That was the challenge set me by my partner, one Dr Peter Nugent. He told me to write a score for a game that, well, doesn’t exist. I was to imagine the game and its soundtrack, based on twenty titles he provided me. Titles like “Flight of the sirens” and “An ode to bread” might conjure some strange imagery and certainly lent themselves to interesting compositions. So, on 2 April 2021, you get to hear Ten80, the soundtrack to a non-existent game.
Ten80 is an album unlike all other LorD and Master offerings in that it is totally instrumental. The eighteen tracks (two of which comprise two of the provided titles each) are separate compositions with some linking themes. With pixel-artwork by the aforementioned Dr Nugent, Ten80 promises to be an interesting listen for you, but if you’re expecting a bunch of four-minute pop songs, please note the above description!
Wrapping up a year like 2020 is going to be tough. There have been no years like it in living memory; a pandemic that swept across the world in the early part of the year has wrought havoc with everyone’s plans and brought civilisation to a standstill. But there have been glimmers of hope throughout; talk of a vaccine being fast-tracked, using 21st century technology for its development and to ensure its safety has been a great comfort to many. Lockdown after lockdown here in the UK, replaced by a (now) four-tiered system for local areas, has meant that we’ve been staying indoors and isolated, bearing the brunt of what that means psychologically. I, myself, have been concentrating, as much as I can, on music. Pouring my energies into writing more and more, remixing more and more and generally burning myself out creatively, so that I don’t burn myself out mentally. And that’s OK. As ever, my creative juices start flowing again after a while and I’ll be back to writing, producing and recording as much as normal.
I can, however, let you into a little secret: 2021 is going to be a busy year for me. Not just because I hope to be doing more live gigs when the opportunities to do so arises, but also because I’ve got three albums waiting in the wings, ready to be released in the first half of 2021.
But before all that, let’s take a look at 2020 in LorD and Master music.
In late 2019, I had completed an album of collaborations that was set for release in 2020. The first single from the album, Featuring, featured The Rude Awakening and what a beautiful job of co-production they made of that track, originally by The Knife. Following “Marble house”, we had the double-A-side of “February song” and “One night in Bangkok”. Both splendid renditions featuring Neil Francisand Eric C. Powell, Andrea Powell and Andrik Arkanerespectively.
Following this, we had the Lockdown album. Made specifically during lockdown, about lockdown and the pandemic. A piece of observation frozen in time. The double-A-side from this album, “Above and beyond” and “Long nights, long days” both featured the gorgeous vocals of one Neil Francis.
Then we had the continuous mix follow-up to Continuum, which was snazzily called Continuum2. One of the tracks on that album was “Silent disco”, a track from the forthcoming album, Dialogue, which used all virtual analogue synths for a different, warmer and more classically electronic sound.
The final single from Dialogue was “When we were young”, which reminisces about easier, more fun times of life. And that was December 2020. So it’s been a fairly busy and productive year, despite not really being able to go out. This is the joy of having all your musical equipment easily accessible at home, I guess.
But it’s now the shortest day of the year. 21 December 2020. From now on, the days get longer and the darkness starts to slowly subside. 2021 may be a new sprig of life jutting out of the cold ground, but I know we still have to wait for it to bear fruit. So here’s to a very lockdown Christmas. And a jolly tier 3 new year.
Little clues for things to watch out for in 2021:
TGF are coming.
Until then. Take good care of yourself, and I’ll try to do the same.