Well, after a lot of hard work and perseverance, James’ posthumous second album Aperture has been completed. The album began life as a multitude of different projects on James’ laptop. Some were nearly completed, some just a basic idea and some were 20 minute epics with multitudinous jumbled sections and hundreds of instrument tracks. The difficulty was compounded by the fact that James had made many different versions of the songs over the years. One of the projects that seemed to spawn several of the songs was called Aperture and it was after this that the album was named.
I would like to say a special thanks to James’ best friend and flatmate Simon Haycock without whom none of this would have been possible – Simon spent a lot of time getting the tracks together, editing them, setting up equipment at the studio and recording overdubs and backing vocals sung by myself and James’ girlfriend Sarah, various synths, guitar and trumpet plus a cameo appearance on sax by James’ university friend Simon Brown. As we all lived in different parts of the UK, Soundcloud was used as a collaborative tool for getting the tracks ready. The drums on the tracks had been programmed by hand from a sampled drum kit and therefore required a significant amount of editing. In order to get a bit more of a natural feel, it was decided to record live drums for six of the tracks which were scored out and played by Tom Voce and recorded by Leo Steeds and Luke Dibbens. The laptop was then placed in the care of Julian Corrie up in Scotland who mixed the tracks (in between working, producing his own music and being Franz Ferdinand’s synth player!). The tracks then went to Donal Whelan for mastering. Luke Dibbens also designed some fantastic artwork.
You can listen to previews of the album tracks on iTunes here. CDs are available via bandcamp here. The proceeds of the album will be going to projects to help and inspire young musicians so if you like the music or know anyone who you think would appreciate it, please consider buying a copy for yourself or for a gift.