Whilst I was putting the finishing touches on the Survival album, part of the process was to collect together a set of potential ‘reference tracks’ to aid my decisions in the mixing and mastering stages. I selected songs with a similar theme or style to the track in question.
I only used a small subset of these tracks as actual references – it would add considerably to the length of time to mix and master if you tried to reference more than a few tracks. I found that my tracks were vastly different to the songs I’d collected, so many of the tracks wouldn’t have been useful during mixing and mastering, but they fit with the mood of the track I was working on.
I kept these collections of shortlisted reference songs as playlists, as a kind of ‘mood board’ for each song, a place that it should fit into neatly once the album was released. I tested the songs from the album once they were close to completion by adding them into these playlists to see how they sounded in that context, as well as between the adjacent songs on Survival.
This is the first of these Song-title playlists, for the first track of the album: Of Space and Time. It’s a collection of songs and pieces with a spacey feel to them, songs about rocket men and stars. A pinch of Floyd and a dash of Bowie, Radiohead and The Prodigy, plus a generous sprinkling of some of the fantastic indie artists I have discovered along the way.