Today’s premiere is a deep dive into an array of warm, soft-sounding electronica that is kind on the ears while also emotionally lead, courtesy of Los Angeles-born artist and sound designer Nick Norton, as we take a closer look at his next release ‘Slow Night at the Arcade’ on People Places Records.

Today’s premiere takes a closer look at American artist Nick Norton’s first solo album ‘Music for Sunsets’ which is scheduled for release on the 15th of September on People Places Records. This body of work acted as a project that Nick undertook during a difficult period of his life during the Covid pandemic that saw him utilise his passion for music and composing in general as a vice for his musical productions. Slow Night at the Arcade provides a sneak peek as whats to come as it derives inspiration from ambient, electronica and elements of funk genres that when moulded together results in a calm and soothing listening experience throughout.

When asked to share his thoughts about his new release, Nick shared that: ‘Slow Night at the Arcade is me trying to cultivate a vibe that I’d like to exist in most of the time. It’s mellow, but there’s cool stuff happening that you can look around at and pay attention to if that’s your thing. Also it’s got this kind of hazy neon glow. It’s interesting to me that the retro arcade sounds in it are from a recent device, a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-20 Arcade. They’re these little calculator-looking things that are like $50.

The entire song is one unedited take, and it took me maybe 20 tries to nail it all the way through. That might never happen again, and I like musical things that can only happen once. When we went in to mix it we ended up using a bunch of tape delays that Lewis (Pesacov) had. A Binson Echorec and an Echoplex, I think the EP-2? I’d never played with real tape, and was instantly in love. You can pull a lever to adjust the delay speed right as key moments hit, to get this speeding up and slowing down echo effect that you have to perform in real time. It messes with your sense of space. What made it into the song is actually the first take, when I was just figuring out how to do it. So that’s very raw and human, which I think is unusual and kind of neat for electronic music made on a toy synth.

You can keep up to date with Nick Norton here.

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