Neil Hale (Correlations/The Relations) returns to Castles in Space with a stunning new album of Spectral Radiophonic Psyche-Folk.
“Evocation” by The Relations was recorded at The Acid Terrace and Toyroom Studios in Brighton and The Welshmill in Frome between 2015-2018. The tracks started life as Neil’s electronic arrangements composed on the OSCar Synth and a Farfisa Synorchestra before longtime collaborator, Stuart Cullen added his distinctive open D tuned guitar parts. The exception was the track "See Through Squares" which Stuart started on guitar.
Penny Ashby recorded her haunting vocal harmonies through a EMS Synthi Hi-Fi FX unit which was also used to effect guitar and strings along with a Gibson Maestro Woodwind Sound System. Finally, Tim Young wrote and recorded all of his music box style electric piano parts on the fly in a single 6 hour recording session before adding accordion in a final session.
The original inspiration for the album was folk horror/folklore and obscure woodsy acoustic singer/songwriter types. In contrast to that, it was spending time with the mythical OSCar synthesiser as manufactured by the Oxford Synthesiser Company between 1983 - 1985 that really formed the basis for the radiophonic aspects of the album. While the basic structure of the OSCar is a common subtractive synthesis model, it has many unusual features and design quirks. It has an elementary sequencer which allows the user to play a monophonic lead while a sequence plays simultaneously. Although only 2000 OSCars were made, they found their way into many infamous tracks from the eighties including "Do They Know It's Christmas?"!
Neil spent the time to really get inside this unique instrument, frequently pushing it to the limits of its capabilities. It’s this deep knowledge of the synthesizer, in combination with his vocal and acoustic arrangements which make this album such a spine-tingling experience.
Spectral Studio’s Nick Taylor provides the lavish folkloric/mystic artwork which captures the mood of the album so beautifully.
Tom Ravenscroft and Gideon Coe have been playing tracks from “Evocation” over the past few weeks on their BBC6Music shows - resulting in a spike of requests to the label asking about a release date. Don't sleep.
released February 21, 2020
All music produced and written by Neil hale and:
Penny Ashby (Vocals)
Pablo Clemens (Additional Synths)
Stuart Cullen (Acoustic Guitar)
Tim Young (Electric Piano, Accordion
Mastered by Simon James
Artwork by Nick Taylor spectral-studio.co.uk