Al Carlson is mostly a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. Having collaborated as a sound engineer, producer and multi-intrumentalist with Autre Ne Veut, Tim Hecker and Ariel Pink, he's got plenty of studio time under his belt: but it was while he was miles outside of the studio, on a surf trip in Nicaragua, that he conceived of his own debut project Never Easy Never Been Easier. The psychedelic, free-roaming electronic release is formed of one 40 minute continuous mix, which you can get swept up by below.
"With this set I microscopically focused on every sonic element from the ground up," Carlson (his recording name) told The FADER. "I made beats with the smallest shards of rhythmic high-end and low-end. I created pads and bass sounds using very basic and pure additive/subtractive synthesis. I used samples but filtered them into the smallest frequency zones and cut them into small micro-pieces. Conversely, big picture wise, I wanted to focus on the clarity of the ideas using a slow development of melodies and themes. I made this LP as a continuous look at contrast; both instant, in the moment, but also over the course of 40 minutes."
Never Easy Never Been Easier is out now on Driftless Recordings.