port-royal remix

Very happy to announce that Northcape was invited to remix a track by one of my favourite groups on the n5md label, Italian electronica/ post-rock collective port-royal, as part of ‘You ware nowhere’, a compliation of remixes from their excellent recent album ‘Where are you now’. Includes 12 tracks including mixes from Arovane and Bvdub! Available now for pre-order.

port-royal You Ware Nowhere

February 7th, 2016

Interview with Fade To Yellow

I was interviewed by Tom Laird, who is the man behind the excellent Fade to Yellow podcast a few weeks ago and have just got round to posting it here!
My incomplete thoughts below on the new ‘Glasshouse’ EP, the process of composition and how to promote electronic music.

Northcape interview with Fade to Yellow

July 31st, 2014

Reviews of “Glasshouse”

In all it seems Glasshouse is just that, a place where you’ll need to move about carefully to let the sound waves travel unfettered and undisturbed. Leaving a ray of light to shine in and disperse in all manner of color, this audio architect reveals a calmed emotive sound-escape that is serene, polished and quite nostalgic.
Igloo Magazine

an abstract yet unfussy sound form that’s warm, evocative, and melodic and whose downtempo ambient-electronic presentation conveys feelings of melancholy and optimism in equal measure.
Textura

Something about Northcapes’s new EP attracted me to it before hearing it and sometimes you just know that everything is about to just fit into place. I saw the album cover and title for the new EP some months back and was astonished by the sheer beauty of it…The cross over of ambience and IDM that he brings under Northcape is surprisingly original and individual… I have had the privilege to listen to some great music so far this year, and Glasshouse is up there with some of the best
Echoes and Dust (Mark Wardale)

From the first bell like tones of “Capillary Action”, the opening track here, this EP just knocked me over and wowed me. Here we have thoughtful, intelligent, sophisticated electronic music. You could call it ambient except its also full of exquisite (and complimentary) beats. This EP, I think, is a work of art…Its that nostalgic vibe, memories of happy, hot summers long ago when there wasn’t a thing in the world to worry about. “Glasshouse” takes you to that place…Overall this EP is a MUST LISTEN. You need it in your life. If you like synths, ambient music, good songs, Boards of Canada or related things I don’t think you can fail to be impressed by it. Northcape is revealed as a composer with the ability to communicate feeling and create moods. It will certainly lead me to put him in my “artists to watch” list and seek out more of his catalogue. 11/10.”
Geeky Disco

“Glasshouse” by Northcape is a remarkable EP, one where Alastair Brown comes into his own as an electronic musician of note. Whilst his previous output may have brought comparison to the earlier work of Boards of Canada, “Glasshouse” stands alone as a uniquely Northcape body-of-work. It is a robust offering for anyone with a love of warm, unhurried, melodic and memorable electronica… Already a highlight of 2014″
Headphonaught

“Art” is a word variously defined, and sometimes only hesitantly. One definition that has always rung true with me is that of translation and interpretation. How does one take a concept from one medium and bring it to life in another? What do the veins in a leaf sound like? What color is a hot summer day?
Northcape’s Alastair Brown could probably tell you. Listening to Alluvial, his previous EP, is like taking a hike along a cold stream well above the tree line. Indeed his last several releases paint increasingly detailed spaces using only instrumentation and a pair of headphones. The easy solution to that challenge of art – for a musician, anyway – would be to lean heavily on electronica’s standard iconography of samples and sound effects; what easier way to place someone in a natural setting than with birdsong, flowing water, or leaves rustling? There is very little if any of this to be found here, and looking at the perfectly aligned cover artwork almost feels like cheating. In this, his most ambitious, evocative, and clearly-phrased release yet, the listener is invited to feel the energy of photosynthesis; the urgency of a seedling pushing through an immense weight of soil above; the retinal burn of bright sunlight through moving branches. Exquisite.

Brian Roelofs (reviewed on Amazon.com)

June 19th, 2014

Words On Tracks

The excellent Words on Tracks blog recently asked me to put a mix together and it’s now up on mixcloud. It’s electronica, IDM and ambient and contains some of my favourite recent and less-recent music in these genres – unfortunately there was lots of other stuff that I wanted to include but couldn’t either because it didn’t fit in the mix or because I ran out of time…

Words On Tracks /51 feat. Northcape by Words On Tracks on Mixcloud

I’ve also written about why I selected these particular tracks on the Words on Tracks facebook blog, here:

March 6th, 2014

‘Arrive Ruttledge Col’ video

Beautiful abstract video for ‘Arrive Ruttledge Col’…

Thanks very much to Full Color Emotion for putting this together!

January 8th, 2014

Another Month On The Trail

Hi, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I’ve just uploaded a new unreleased track “Another Month On The Trail” to soundcloud…

It’s inspired by some vicarious travelling I’ve done recently and aims to capture at least part of the feeling of absolute freedom you can occasionally get, if you’re lucky, while travelling. It was written as part of the same process as the ‘Exploration and Ascent’ album but unfortunately finished too late to be included. It may also be the closest that I’ve yet come to the shoegaze genre!

If you have time, any streams/ comments are of course very much appreciated.

Cheers,

NC

November 2nd, 2013

Melorman ‘Deep’ : Northcape Remix

SSS049 Melorman ‘Waves Remixes’ will be released this September, featuring artwork by Shift and a great line-up. I’m happy to say that a Northcape remix of Melorman’s “Deep” is the first track on the album.

Melorman Waves Remixes

The Northcape mix is up now on soundcloud, feel free to check it out!

August 14th, 2013

Giles P Croft reviews ‘Exploration and Ascent’

Giles (better known as @drfrot on twitter) has very kindly reviewed the new album, and emailed me a copy. I’m reposting it below. Many thanks Giles for taking the time to do this!

“Magnum Opus?

Close followers of Northcape’s own brand of warm, melodic electronica will know there’s another release that sits between 2010’s masterpiece Captured From Static and this latest offering. It’s significant, because Alluvial EP – available for free download at the official Northcape website (http://www.northcapemusic.co.uk/alluvial-ep/) – served as a portent for what was to come in this, his finest hour.

Where Captured From Static practically fizzed at times with electronic energy, ranging basslines and playful beats (if you don’t already have it, get it now – it’s spectacular), Alluvial EP was a much more ambient offering, said to have been inspired by “geology, human prehistory and the idea of ‘deep time’- how incredibly long it has taken the planet to evolve”.

Both releases were outstanding in their own right, and in Exploration & Ascent, their styles have been in some way intertwined to give us the very best of both …indeed you could almost listen to all three in order, with Exploration & Ascent coming as the conclusion to a slowly evolving trilogy – a musical equivalent of his ‘deep time’, if you like.

There is much of Alluvial EP in here – that connection to landscape, the cinematic imagery the sounds evoke – but this time it’s done with real intent, as we are taken on a journey from one end of the album to the other. It’s a true “long player” in the pre-digital music sense; something we know from interviews that Northcape takes seriously as an artist. So while favourites will inevitably be subjected to repeat plays, it’s almost inconceivable to listen to tracks in isolation – not because they wouldn’t work; simply because once you’ve heard the whole album, you wouldn’t dream of skipping any.

Together, the tracks coax us gently into this mountain ascent, with descriptive track titles leading us in our contemplations from one stage of the journey to the next. It’s music for the outdoors. I have enjoyed it over and over on headphones at home, but it came into its own when listened to on a long walk across hilltops and through forests – big views complementing the expansive sounds.

After the determination of setting out on the Trailhead, then wandering carefree through fields of Potentilla, The First Crossing of the Watershed is suitably cautious and at the same time the beginning of evermore awe inspiring soundscapes as you toil higher towards your musical summit. When Meltwater commences, your imagery is accompanied by a babbling stream of notes whose icy temperature you can almost feel – it’s quite uncanny at times, and will bring a smile to your face.

I can’t fault a single track on this album, but there is one – Mackerel Sky – that has me so utterly in its thrall, I can spend whole evenings with it on repeat without realising. Again the imagery from the track’s name is strong – end of the day skies, a body full of walking, a mind full of views – and it starts in suitably contemplative fashion. But then your spirits are quietly lifted by the most gentle and inspiring arpeggio melody you’ve ever heard. It’s so achingly beautiful, so insistent, so soothing as it rises and falls in and around all the other sounds… it’s a dream.

The crackling of fuel burning in the dark heralds the last refrains of Carbon (the track’s solemnity reminding us once again of ‘deep time’ occurring beneath our feet) and in the short silence that follows, it’s easy to conclude that the whole experience should be revisited again, from the beginning.

This album is Northcape’s best yet and like all great albums, over repeated listens its melodies will become firmly lodged in your head. You will be drawn to it time and time again, often hearing some new subtlety as your ear explores regions beyond the familiar. A truly accomplished album which deserves the very highest praise.” Giles P Croft (August 2013)

August 4th, 2013

New album released!

Hi, a quick note to let everyone know that, finally, ‘Exploration and Ascent’ is fully available through Sun Sea Sky in both digital and CD format. You can pick it up through Bandcamp, iTunes, n5mailorder and others, including Linus Records shortly if you are based in Japan!

All the reviews of the album to date can be read here as well.

As always, this is an independent release, neither myself nor the label have a large budget for publicity, so anything you can do to help spread the word would be greatly appreciated!

To celebrate the release I have shared another track from the album on soundcloud – (constructive) comments very welcome!

May 14th, 2013