on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 11 Mai

The Return of Mr. „Blue Nile“, Paul Buchanan

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Engineered by the son of Blue Nile producer Calum Malcolm, Mid Air was mostly recorded in Buchanan’s flat, working „civilised hours“ over a couple of years. Half-joking, he likens the process to Ted Hughes’s „sacred trance“: the songs appeared almost by accident while he was „banging away“ in an attempt to come up with something for Garbage singer Shirley Manson, who had approached him to collaborate on her – as yet unmade – solo record. „Shirley is lovely and I really wanted to get what she wanted, but nothing came out of it in the end. It was only when I looked back I thought, I’ve got all these little things that I’ve just noted and put to one side.“

He was writing from emotional necessity rather than any commercial impetus. „At no point did I think I was making a record. It never occurred to me that anybody else would listen to it. Looking back, that was a great thing. That unselfconscious quality becomes more elusive as you go on making music, so it’s nice to be brought back to that very simple expectation. It was almost like starting out again. I wasn’t deliberately making a record of fulfilling a contract. There’s a joy and innocence in that.“

The Blue Nile famously laboured over their records: four albums in 22 years is hardly a prolific batting average. Mid Air, too, comes a full eight years after High. Buchanan says he has no problem coming up with material, so why does the process take so long? „You work and work and work and have the life that you have, and once in a while, sometimes once in a decade, you see a few things you’ve got and think, yes, that’s authentic. You try to stay true to that little moment whatever the costs.“ Such is the distance, it seems, between simply writing songs and chasing starlight. (source: Graeme Thomson, The Guardian)

P.S. I will play 8(!!) songs of Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air on my night show on june 4th, and, well, it is really late night music, very, very quiet. And intense.

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