Alien Skin

'Don't Open Till Doomsday'

Don't Open Till Doomsday ....a few afterthoughts
March 2008

Don't Open Till Doomsday album coverI define the songs on Don't Open Till Doomsday, my debut Alien Skin album (released 2008), as a muted kaleidoscope of electronic melancholia. The colours may be dulled but I find that ironically inspiring.

From the outset the themes were consciously to be ones of isolation and alienation, of sadness, loss and despair. Having said that, I know it will attract a certain type of mind frame and eliminate others but in doing so I am relating to these people who really want to listen.

The songs I believe take on a different atmosphere depending on the environment they're listened in. On a hot, bright summer's day they may appear almost invisible, but in the confines of a secluded and dark space they reconstitute themselves in the form I had intended for them. I think they work best heard in one sitting.

The sound is layered with analog synths, which I adore, and often with only sparse rhythms mixed in with digital textures and effects. More strident beats when they do appear are vital and dominant. As a lover of vocoders that electronically mutate the voice, I have them featured on a number of tracks, most notably, Burning In My Hands.

The album was produced in the modest home studio I affectionately call 'Room With A View'. It is just that. I face a window looking out onto the street watching people go back and forth all day long. This meshing of work and voyeurism has resulted at least in one song on the album, Gloomy Sunday.

Influences on the album

As a songwriter, I have eclectic musical interests that span decades but many do not necessarily resonate in any obvious way in the works I produce. In defining the musical influences that inform, to varying degrees, the creative output of Alien Skin, I list here some of the more or less recent releases that continue to impact upon my work and especially on Don't Open Till Doomsday.

In no particular order: the cinematic charm of 'Felt Mountain' by Goldfrapp; the return to form of Depeche Mode on 'Playing the Angel'; the infectious electronics of Ladytron - notably their first two albums '604' and 'Light & Magic'; a little older but still vital, Underworld's 'Second Toughest in the Infants'; the seminal and essential Kraftwerk who's minimalist soundtracks transcend decades, and old skool Tangerine Dream.

YouTube Video Playlist: Songs from 'Don't Open Till Doomsday'

Buy the album at Bandcamp!