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Project: sound design

Mixing Premonition and ruin

Full production for a concept album by the British band Ember Rev around a lament for the European ideal.

Mixing Premonition and ruin
Table of contents

Release

Backstory

I met Ember Rev’s singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Dan Ecclestone in Cambridge through Ian Shepherd, a friend of his. I was looking for a singer and liked his Bowie-esque timbre and approach to vocals.

We discussed our upcoming projects over a beer and agreed on a reciprocal collaboration. He pitched his band’s next project as substantially more rock than their first album. Ian was on board as a master engineer.

Subtitled “a remainer’s lament for the European ideal”, Premonition and Ruin is an exceptional album, filled with original songs, beautifully written and arranged. Furthermore, I was excited about working with the accordion. It doesn’t happen often, and I love the instrument.

Production notes

Mix

When I started mixing the first song, England’s Finest Hour, I thought right away of spicing the accordion up, in a “Gotan Project” sort of style. I worked on the sound and the flow of the delay effect, ending up adding a strange electronic feel to the instrument. Logic’s automation allowed me to achieve a nice fluctuating movement.

For the first time, I’ve used my version of Michael Brauer’s multi-bus compression. Dan enjoyed my creative approach to mixing to the point of giving me credits as a co-producer.

Workflow

I added the project to my Trello boards and added Dan as a contributor. We both followed the plan in real time interacting through comments, links and suggestions. We met at least once a week, and the workflow went on in the smoothest possible way. Ian started his involvement with that same first song, using a mix I exported to Dropbox. I used his advice to sort a few EQ problems from the first mix iteration.

Follow-ups

A year later, I ended up producing the band’s follow-up album From The Country To The City To The Sea, as well as Dan’s debut solo album Hidden Music in January 2021.

Review

Simone mixed my band’s latest two albums. I worked closely with him during this process, using his Trello-based methodology to help sequence the work. Each song appeared as a series of tasks to be completed, checked and commented on. As a result, we were able to manage our time smoothly and efficiently. Creative ideas flowed back and forth. I’m looking forward to involving him in the next recordings! — Dan Ecclestone, Ember Rev

Credits

Dan Ecclestone / Vocals, guitar, ukulele
Chris Peckham / Accordion
Dom Hall-Smith / Bass
Ian Pickering / Drums


Written and produced by Dan Ecclestone.
Recorded by Bugs at Half Ton, Cambridge.
Co-produced and mixed by Simone Silvestroni.
Mastered by Ian Shepherd.

Album released May 30, 2018.

© Dan Ecclestone 2018.