5. October 2021

Isildurs Bane Peter Hammill

ISILDURS BANE & PETER HAMMILL - Ins Gleichgewicht gefunden

Following their highly acclaimed 2019 collaboration "In Amazonia", Swedish prog collective Isildurs Bane and British music legend Peter Hammill have come together once again to record a second album together. "In Disequilibrium" is markedly different from its predecessor - not only because Hammill's lyrics focus on the Corona pandemic and experiences in Lockdown, but also in terms of how it was created: Instead of gradually sending completed sound files back and forth, Isildurs Bane mastermind Mats Johansson confronted Hammill this time with largely finished tracks, to which he added lyrics and vocal parts - a challenge for both sides, as Hammill and Johansson told in the interview.

The renewed cooperation was based on the positive experiences that Isildurs Bane and Peter Hammill had made during the production of their first album together. Johansson explains: "In fact, we had already recorded a lot of material for 'In Amazonia'; it could have been a double album. This shows how well the collaboration went. Then as I wrote new pieces, I realised more and more that I had Peter's voice in my head when I was composing; so it made sense to approach him." Hammill hadn't wanted the band to change too much this time once his voice was on the tracks, he says, so unlike with "In Amazonia", where he'd sent him demos rather than anything else, this time Johansson provided him with almost finished tracks: "In total I spent 13 to 14 months working on the music and recording the tracks with the keyboard. My band mate Axel Croné was sometimes in the studio with me and supported me, but most of the time I was alone. In the beginning I sent the files to our good friend Pat Mastelotto, because our actual drummer Kjell Severinsson had taken a break from music, but in the final phase of the production Kjell joined us again, so we could finish it with him. The parts of other IB members gradually came in and replaced my synth tracks. Only after that we sent the files to Peter, at first it was just a shorter track, which then became a whole album again. At some point Peter surprised us by suddenly adding a guitar part. That was great because it was such a great fit!"

The challenge for Hammill, especially on the first of the two tracks, was finding places to add lyrics and vocals, as the band's intricate compositions have nothing in common with typical pop songs. "In fact, at first I thought I would only find a few spots for sung words, but more and more came, with encouragement from the band," Hammill recalls. "It's not like I wanted to impose myself and take up so much space for my vocals, but Isildurs Bane kept pushing me there. Ultimately, though, I was on my own when navigating the tracks." The task of writing congruent lyrics for each of the two 20-minute pieces was also challenging ...

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