It’s been a little overdue, but we can finally announce the winner of the Digitonal Autumn Round remix competition. We had so many fantastic entries that it was almost impossible to choose one winner, but after hours of careful consideration Digitonal has selected Planet Boelex as his favourite.
Here is the winning track and 4 very close runner’s up:
Winner - Planet Boelex
Thanks to everyone who got involved and congratulations on such amazing remixes, we have thoroughly enjoyed each one.
"Cinematic in scope and undeniably beautiful in execution, this is just perfect.” - The Crack
"Beautiful" - The405
"Persuasively melodic, 'Eighteen' has all the detail you would expect from a true perfectionist.” - Clash Music
"Impresses for the quality of its craft” - Textura.org
"Tender and delicate and just plumb lovely" - Louder Than War
Watch the video for Autumn Round:
Read what Digitonal had to say about the new release, what it means to release an album, his influences, the artwork and more in an interview with Just Music.
It’s been almost 5 years since the release of your last album “Be Still My Bleeping Heart;” how have they been?
"Hard to fully explain. Some great joy and great sadness and some of the biggest challenges I've ever faced. I think that it will take a very long time to fully process this period and, perhaps, this album will end up being quite a major marker. The end of one period and the beginning of something new. It was a very, very hard thing to accomplish during one of the toughest personal periods of my life. In some ways it's been a pretty concrete test for the importance of music in my sanity and why, frustrating though it can sometimes be, it will always be central to my life."
What might we expect to hear from Beautiful Broken that we haven’t heard in your previous work?
"I think it's a much more restrained record than anything I've put out before. It was a very deliberate choice to make quite minimal production choices and not over-clutter the pieces as I've been maybe guilty of before. I wanted it to have a more chamber feel, with the strings used sparingly and the beats and electronics very carefully. It's definitely much more organic sounding as a result."
Just Music is a big supporter of the Save The Album campaign; how important is it to you that listeners hear the album in its entirety from start to finish, and what does it mean to you to release an album?
"This album was written over a very long period of time. A VERY long period of time. And as such, I can't lay any claims to a deliberate coherency. But it was carefully compiled to be an album. Albums are important to me. They constitute a body of work. A collection of pieces which marks where I have been at in that period. And even though some of the writing of the album predates earlier releases, the pieces formed slowly, evolving through the years. The definitive mixes of each of these pieces, when placed together, form a very honest snapshot of me as an artist right now. I think that as you move from album to album it's important to see that progression and you can only do that if an album encapsulates an aspect of it's author."
You’ve got some live shows lined up for this summer already; are you looking forward to performing the new material and do you have any special live show theatrics planned?
"I wouldn't say theatrics. Although I did just meet a hurdy gurdy player so you never know. What I will do is refactor everything to make sense live rather than just play out the album versions. At the Union Chapel show we did last year I deconstructed everything more than I ever have done - we even played some pieces completely acoustically - and it was the happiest I've been on stage for a very long time. However we do it, I'm determined to be more musician than button pusher."
What is "Beautiful Broken”?
"It relates to fragility and to the sadness and beauty that can come with fragile things and how easily our own clumsiness can break them. There is, perhaps, even a sense of grief, although I do think that it's less melancholy than some of my other work. There's hope in there too. The title itself wasn't suggested by anything specific - although oddly I've come to post-rationalise it a bit by applying it to various elements in my past."
You’ve already shared the musical influences that have inspired the album; what other things in your life play a role in the way you write?
"Time mostly. I can only really work creatively very late at night. I'll get more done between 11pm and 3am than I will during the day. It's hopeless, so that tends to be the biggest restriction on what I can achieve. I've talked a lot in the last year about inspiration being a gene pool for me and I really think that's true. Other forms of art and culture are massively influential, always. There are two Cy Twombly paintings in the Tate Modern which became, very suddenly and oddly, hugely important to my life in the last year and I would go there and look at them whenever I could. Similarly the Matisse cutouts, which I went to see with Kathy, the cover designer, were really emotional and how I felt at that point definitely shaped the latter stages of mixing. Influence rarely impacts the music explicitly (with the exception in this case of Steve Reich), but it does shape my decisions which give the pieces their ultimate form."
Using only other artists and albums, how would you describe the sound of the album?
"Elements of Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Phaeleh's A World Without, Satie's Pieces Froides, selected moments of Plaid and, at least in production terms, Orbital's In Sides."
Tell us a little bit about the artwork?
"It was designed by my friend and ex-colleague Kathy Kavan. She's a wonderful artist and designer. I met her in my other-life professional capacity and she became my creative oxygen in that job. It's really rare that you meet someone who you can bounce off in that way. I didn't even give her much of a brief - she knows my taste well and I knew that I could trust her to draw inspiration from the music and think in the same way I felt when I wrote it, but translating it into visual terms. She did this beautifully. It's my favourite of all my covers, immediately. I'm hoping to do much more work with her over the coming years."
Beautiful Broken is out 4th May and available for pre-order from the Just Music Store now.
Ahead of the release of his forthcoming album 'Beautiful Broken' (4th May), Digitonal has compiled a playlist full of tracks which have influenced in some way the making of the record.
Read on to find out what part each track played as explained by the man himself, and listen to the playlist below.
"As I've said before, it's quite rare that I am directly influenced by music, although this album has more explicit connections to other people's music than my previous work. Influence for me is more like a creative gene pool. Some things lend their vibe, others their complexity or simplicity, others methods of harmony or production style. This playlist is a collection of tracks that I listened to, particularly in the last days of production on the album, and where something of the tune has seeped into my consciousness."
Phaeleh - A World Without
"Unquestionably my favourite producer at the moment. This album and this tune was a lesson in understatement. I love it."
Satie - Danse de Travers I
"I first heard this on a very old mix which Plaid did. Again, it's simplicity and sparse use of it's harmonies were a big influence, especially for Luna."
Plaid - At Last
"Plaid have obviously been a huge influence on me over the years and this closer from Scintilli really sums up everything that makes them great. This is a great example of music which doesn't necessarily directly inform what I'm writing, but it's beauty and inventiveness give me a high-watermark to aim for."
Reich - Music for 18 musicians IIIA
"Eighteen is a homage to this piece and anyone who knows it well will pick up on the odd musical in-joke to it. It's probably the most explicitly influenced track I've ever written. I just wanted to try to capture it's kinetic energy in my own style and pay tribute to an artist who pretty much turned my musical world on it's head back in '94."
Iketa - Burn (Max Cooper Remix)
"Max Cooper, along with Jon Hopkins, Nathan Fake and Phaeleh represent the pinnacle of where melodic electronica is right now. The sheer control over the sound is astonishing, let alone it's musicality. And those beats man...."
Gravenhurst - The Prize
"Another example of a track which influences by it's vibe alone. I've been a lover of Nick Talbot's music from the beginning and very few artists have managed to get under my skin like he does. This track from what would turn out to be his last album, not only influenced me for it's intimacy (something I really wanted this album to have), but also the lyrics which are a perfect reflection of what any of us that have kept going for all this time trying to make music feel."
Kettel & Secede - Pentimento
"Electronica is quite often pretty po-faced, myself included, and I loved the fun of this, as well as just how awesomely the orchestration of the parts work. There isn't much actual composition in so much electronica and this tune just nails it."
Cliff Martinez - First Sleep
UNKLE - Out of the Light
Digitonal - 93 Years On (Maps and Diagrams Mix)
Loscil - The Making of Grief Point
"In the latter stage of producing the album I got really interested in Ambience again (real ambience as Loscil would have it). All four of these tracks, from the space within them to the gentle undulation of the sonic movement within the piece, get right under my skin, blissing me out. Particularly of importance was The Making of Grief Point which I'm confident I couldn't have completed this album without. It was like a mantra for me, given the difficulties I faced personally with finishing the record, and the self-doubt which pervaded it's production. I think this track sums up the whole process of writing and producing, especially in collaboration, so beautifully and poetically. The final 'It is done' was what I aimed for throughout."
Michael Nyman - Come Unto These Yellow Sands
"Nyman has always been a silent influence for me in his deconstruction of themes and minimalist recreation of them. This piece is tonally very different from everything on the album but I listened to it loads whilst I was writing. The shifting time signatures, the variations in harmony. A lot of places in the album are like ghost echoes of this, even though the finished result is very different. Nothing quite like it."
Steve Reich - Proverb
"Had to include this. I set the same phrase from Wittgenstein on the first track of the album: "How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life". Pieces like this sit within my bloodstream once I fall for them, and, sooner or later, they make themselves known in what I write. That's how influence ultimately seems to work for me."
'Beautiful Broken' is the new album from Digitonal and is availble to pre-order now from the Just Music store (out 4th May).
The 405 have premiered the 'beautiful' new Digitonal track 'Luna' from the upcoming Beautiful Broken album.
Go here to listen and read how it was written.
Beautiful Broken is out 4th May and you can hear a teaser for each track right here:
To celebrate the release of new album Beautiful Broken, we are offering any Digitonal fans and producers the chance to remix album track 'Autumn Round'. The best one will pocket £100 for their efforts.
Here is how you can take part:
1 - Listen to the song below and download the stems you need from Soundcloud.
2 - Create your own remix
3 - Once remix is complete, upload it to SoundCloud and add it to our SoundCloud group.
4 - Digitonal will then listen to the remixes and choose a winner.
(CLOSING DATE: 27th April)
Hear the original version of Autumn Round: