Photo: Steve Gullick
Five years after his critically acclaimed debut Drone Logic, London-based producer Daniel Avery announces his highly anticipated second album, Song For Alpha, will be released April 6 on Phantasy/Mute in the United States and Canada and via Phantasy for the rest of the world. The album is preceded by the Slow Fade EP, out today on digital formats and a 4-track limited edition 12-inch vinyl. Stream and order the Slow Fade EP here.
Pre-order Song For Alpha here.
The new long player, on which the track “Slow Fade” will appear, follows 2013’s incendiary debut Drone Logic. Upon its release the latter was called “A mesmerising debut” by Mixmag and “A benchmark for so many other dance albums to aspire to” by Dummy, while Pitchfork proclaimed “Avery owns this space.” “Underground dance music with this sort of ambition hasn’t been heard in quite a while”, noted Resident Advisor, and Q hailed “The arrival of a new leftfield dance superstar.”
In the years since, Avery has helmed a DJ-Kicks mix CD, resided over a monthly radio show for NTS Live, curated an extensive remix compilation and collaborated on a series of side-projects including a recent release with Nine Inch Nails synth specialist Alessandro Cortini. He has also toured relentlessly, cementing a reputation as one of the defining techno DJs of the decade.
Song For Alpha is Avery’s exploration of the space in which home listening and club music intersect, in no small part inspired by his transient life spent between nightclubs, flights, the passenger seats of cars and hotel rooms. He confirms, “Drone Logic’s spiritual home was the dancefloor. This record’s is definitely the road. Those late nights and hazy mornings, finding inspiration beyond the fog.”
With newfound energy and time to develop, Avery’s sonic vocabulary has expanded. Here, the booming sound of the big room is brilliantly countered by the music of the small hours. Where celestial ambient lullabies “First Light” and “Days From Now” sit perfectly next to the mesmeric techno assault of “Diminuendo” and “Sensation”; where both “Projector” and “Clear” evoke early rave records, only ones engulfed by waves of beautiful cyclonic distortion. William Basinski, Warp’s Artificial Intelligence, Brian Eno plus his own excursions with Alessandro Cortini all serve as touchstones for a record that sees Avery take his signature psychedelic-electronic sound to new dimensions, a sound that plays to the head as much as the body.
“I’ve become increasingly interested in those moments in a club when the outside world becomes little more than an inconsequential thought at the back of your head. Eyes closed as opposed to hands in the air. A light emerging from the darkness – this is the idea I repeatedly returned to in the studio. The more time you spend with it the deeper you fall.”
Song For Alpha tracklisting:
“Slow Fade” EP tracklisting: