We introduced different times Oxford-based composer and producer Sebastian-Reynolds, also known for his work with SOLO Collective. Recently, he released a new EP titled The Universe Remembers which is out now via Capitol K’s Faith & Industry label.
According to the press release, The Universe Remembers is a distillation of different musical inclinations. From the distorted finale evoking the digital climaxes of Keyboard Choir, to the swirling clarinet lines nodding to the post-jazz explorations of Braindead Collective and the sampling of T.S. Elliot’s epic poem The Waste Land representing Sebastian’s ongoing interest in dystopian contemporary literature, as previously heard on Sebastian’s Catch 22 based piece Ripeness Is All (featured on Solo Collective Part 2).
He explains, track by track, the journey and the meaning of each track of the new EP. Check it below.
Amoniker is named after the first band that I was in back in my school days. The track is based around samples from an old demo tape I found of a track I recorded on 4 track with my Amoniker band mate Nick Massey, Find A Way. Over the course of putting together this EP a lot of the material is based on samples and ideas that go back a long way in my music making history, and this demo tape is likely the oldest surviving recording that I have of my first tinkerings. There is something magical about having a connection such a long way back in one’s brief spell on earth. Also, my previous releases have been from my collaboration project Solo Collective with Anne Müller and Alex Stolze for Nonostar Records and the score music from the Mahajanaka Dance Drama Thai dance show, so it seemed fitting to open my first solo release proper with a track made from the first recording that I ever made. The snake eats its tail.
For The Universe Remembers I’ve already written an article for the Anthony Burgess Foundation that you can read on their blog, it explains how the glitchy piano samples came from a recording of Anthony Burgess buying his piano in Harrods. The vocal samples are from an old reading of T.S. Eliot’s epic poem The Waste Land, which again connects back to my very early days of music making, I used to use the “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” sample in my early bands, I liked the drugs and death connotations. I’ve always loved the clarinet and long since wanted to find a player to work with, I knew Rachel Coombes quite a while ago, and when she moved back to Oxford recently we were able to start working together properly which has been a hoot.
Everest was originally recorded in my bedroom at my family home around a decade ago, more recently than the Find A Way demo, but it’s still very much a connection to a past life. It features drummer Greig Stewart, and guitar lines from Andrew Warne and James Maund. The concept for the track is to explore the altered states of consciousness that one can experience through meditation, with Everest representing spiritual ascension, and the dangers of oxygen deprivation.
You Are Forgotten again connects back to my early days of music making. Tom McDonnell is a legend of Oxford music and a dear friend, he’s best known in Oxford as vocalist with Brickwork Lizards. He used to have a project called Desmond Chancer and The Long Memories with our mutual friend Oliver Shaw, and I created You Are Forgotten using samples of Tom’s voice from their track of the same name, and the piano melody from the Desmond Chancer track as performed by Oliver. I always loved the opening 2 tracks from Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief album, 2+2=5 and Sit Down Stand Up, the way they build the tension with droney atmospherics and explode into a chaotic, electronica crescendo, and this is my own homage to those tunes, with a kind of post Blade Runner soundtrack/UNKLE trip hop vibe thrown into the mix.