Out 26th January, ‘‘Dawn Chorus Remixes’ is the latest release from Hidden Orchestra, featuring track-by-track remixes of bandleader, producer and composer Joe Acheson’s latest album of immersive field recordings and expansive soundscapes. Fronted by lead single “Wingbeats (Max Cooper Remix)”, ‘Dawn Chorus Remixes’ features reworkings from Max Cooper, Matthew Herbert, Throwing Snow, The Physics House Band, Nuage, Floex, Nostalgia 77, Wrongtom andSkalpel taking tracks from the original album on a journey through electronica, deep house and ambient psychedelia.
This release follows the illuminating ‘Dawn Chorus’ album which came out in June, delighting fans and gaining heavy media support including airplay and features from BBC 6Music and BBC Radio 4 to Virgin Radio, and press plaudits across Songlines magazine and The Arts Desk to Electronic Sound, Bandcamp and Clash. Kicking off the ‘Dawn Chorus’ campaign last year, the “Wingbeats EP”, was championed by Mary Anne Hobbs for the BBC 6Music Recommends Playlist. In May, single “Still” continued this trajectory, heightening the buzz for the album with notably heavy support from Lauren Laverne (BBC 6Music) amongst other tastemakers, with latest single “Alyth” receiving upfront support from Chris Hawkins (BBC 6Music).
Built around a collection of birdsong and other field recordings captured over many years across diverse locations around the UK and abroad, these snapshots intertwine for a transporting listen. The ‘Dawn Chorus Remixes’ album revisits this vast source material, reinterpreting the structure of the tracks and uncovering new layers of hidden sounds and instruments for the listeners, sometimes unearthing entire musical progressions that bring the tracks into clearer focus. As the remix album began to take shape, Acheson was inspired to rework his own track “East London Street” in a style that would complement the other remixes, taking the opportunity to experiment with 4/4 kick drum patterns and a modular synthesiser he built in recent years – techniques never normally used in Hidden Orchestra projects.
On album opener “Alyth”, Nuage (Project Mooncircle) reworks the layers on the original, weaving in unexpected electronic synths and drops to form a feather-light leftfield house remix. Max Cooper (Mesh) takes a similar approach with his remix of “Wingbeats”, focussing on the synchronised recordings of birds beating their wings, to reveal a beautiful chord structure hidden amongst the rhythms which he carefully carves into. In his remix of “First Light”, Nostalgia 77 experiments by adding live drums and synthesisers to Acheson’s delicate piano melody, whilst Throwing Snow (Houndstooth) brings out the heavy swing in the recording of a dripping drainpipe in “Western Isles” and propels it with a pulsating beat.
Woven into the fabric of ‘Dawn Chorus Remixes’ are autobiographical elements, ideas and musical extracts from Acheson’s past twenty years. The dynamic, beat-laden soundscape of “Still” includes a dawn chorus recorded by Acheson on International Dawn Chorus Day (1st May) 2016, which is enhanced by regular collaborator Floex, who builds upon the atmospheric sketch contributed by Czech quartet Clarinet Factory with oscillating synths. In “Serpentine”, roots and reggae producer Wrongtom mixes recordings of ducks on the London lake to create a charming dub remix of the heavily percussive and playful track that was originally written for BBC Radio 3 and the Serpentine Gallery.
Matthew Herbert (Peacefrog, Tresor) applies intricate electronic components with a purist house beat on “Stone” which follows into “The Lizard” remixed by Polish duo Skalpel – an early influence of Acheson’s – who transform the historical radio static (created in an artist residency at radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s hut on Cornwall’s Lizard Point) with their trademark melodic bass and ambient EDM textures. Closing the album, The Physics House Band (fans include Stewart Lee and The Guardian) rework “Long Orchard” into a track of two parts, that combines both ambient and progressive sounds.
From November 2017, Hidden Orchestra celebrate the success of their ‘Dawn Chorus’ album with their ‘Dawn Chorus’ European AV Tour (dates overleaf), which is set to bring spellbinding sounds and bespoke visuals to ten countries. Revered for their compelling shows, Hidden Orchestra’s core live band combines the duelling beats of two full drum kits, piano and violin from Poppy Ackroyd (signed to One Little Indian as a solo artist), and Acheson’s bass and electronics. Recent gigs include sell out AV shows at London’s Union Chapel and St John at Hackney, and hundreds of headlines and festivals.
Available to pre-order here > https://hiddenorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/dawn-chorus-remixes