A scene of desolation left by some huge upheaval of the earth is the idea behind Wastelands. It’s an eerie journey through the experiences of such a place. Although only 4 tracks are listed it is really a number of separate sections which flow into one another, some are rhythmic travelling sections some slow down to take in the view. Each section is different but there is a strong single overall feel and style. I’ve always been impressed by dramatic landscapes caused by volcanic activity, meteorite impact, or simply time-worn eroded expanses of desert or ice. These are inhospitable places where humans may have left for some catastrophic reason. Only an occasional ruin remains.
Originally released in 1987, this was the first album I produced using the unique modular analogue physical-modelling synthesiser I had devised. (see the acoustic modelling section for the technical stuff on it). It expanded my palette of sounds dramatically and produced most of the eerie, windswept textural sounds and all the weird ‘percussive ‘windblows’, bells, temple gongs that characterise a large part of the music. It was also used for the rhythmic sections. Thin metallic plucked strings, drums etc. were also produced with this and used alongside the more conventional analogue synthesiser sounds. After years of hard work, being the first to release these new electronic sounds on an album was very exciting for me. These modelling techniques were unique. Added to my musical style nothing out there really sounded or sounds like this so this album is a very good example of what is different about my work.
The recording techniques employed are tape based, similar to those used on the Osiris CD.