You might know Reso from tracks like Slap Chop, or Voices Of A Distant Star, but for a number of years, Alex Melia has been mixing a huge variety of sounds into his work, creating a 'densely cinematic musical universe'. ‘Tangram’ is the name of his much anticipated debut album, which combines his dedicated approach with his desire for dancefloor damage. Read on for words from the man himself.
Hi Alex. We’re really excited about the album, first off, can you explain the title?
Thanks! I’m excited too, it’s taken long enough!
A Tangram is a dissection puzzle of Chinese origin that can be solved multiple ways. Putting the album together, the order of the tracks felt like a puzzle and took me a while to get right. Also it’s the name of a final boss robot in one of my favourite video game series. All my EPs so far have been named after robots of some kind.
How far have you specifically and deliberately designed the album as an entity in itself, as a ‘thing’ if you like?
I definitely wanted to make a cohesive album as opposed to a collection of singles. I tried to structure it like a film with three acts or three noticeable sections. There’s natural breaks where it felt right to have silence rather than continue with gapless segues.
It was difficult trying to marry the darker more gnarly tunes with the lighter more melodic ones but I’m pleased with how it’s turned out plus I would have liked to put some more tracks on it but didn’t want the running time to be over an hour so I had to cut a few tracks.
What were some of the influences on Tangram in particular – both musical and non-musical?
Musically, a whole host of different things, far too much to list really. On the surface it might just appear to be dubstep or d&b or whatever but I put a lot of time into putting layers and elements in which aren’t apparent on the first listen.
Non-musically I watch a shitload of anime and sci-fi so that’s a massive influence. Obviously computer games too.
It’s hard to explain other influences really, sometime I get an image in my head and I have to make the music to fit that image. Other times it’s writing something to a scene from a film- how I think it should’ve sounded.
Influence is a strange one as one tune can have about 100 different things that have coloured the way it turns out and I can’t even remember what it is.
Talk to us about just a few of the tracks on the album
One of my favourites is the last track Tabris which I know will be real marmite for some. This is the really self-indulgent one for me. I’m getting really into melodies and harmony at the moment so I just went all out with it. I had loads of fun layering up guitar parts, lead lines and even managed to get a shoegaze ending in there haha!
I really like Axion as well. It’s on of those tunes I always wanted to hear at a breaks rave. It’s basically slow moving shadow era d&b at 140. I like that it constantly changes and ends on an uplifting note.
Half Life is another fav too just because it’s the closest I’ve come to making a half decent neurofunk dubstep tune.
Some of the album might be a surprise to some who’re familiar with your earlier work – was this in your mind when putting the album together?
I wanted it to be varied and have different moods but still retain some cohesion throughout. I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding that some producers are capable of making more than one style, and make them well. I could probably come up with aliases to do different sounds like hip hop/glitch/d&b/ambient etc but I prefer to keep it all under one name.
Besides I think the people who have followed me for a long time know that I keep switching things up and don’t only make one thing. All my releases have had more mellow or experimental tracks on them.
I understand that there is a preview EP on its way – what’s on that and when is it coming out?
It’s the single of Check 1, 2 with four cracking remixes by Emperor, Starkey, DJ Kentaro and Danny Scrilla. They all have a different approach to the original and smash it in their own right.
It’s released on the 22nd October on civil music, with the album to follow 5th November.
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