Daniel Ruane’s Lakes EP (out now on Proximal Records) is a melting pot of influences, from epic soundtracks to UK techno. Underlying this is the release’s unifying feature: the use of field recordings taken from a trip to the Lake District. In Ruane’s signature style, these organic samples have been tweaked and moulded into what seems more like a soundscape for a body of water in a distant galaxy, rather than one in Northern England.
Lakes features six original tracks from Ruane as well as a remix from Proximal Records veteran, Wake. The whole EP is a testament to Ruane’s musical versatility and production prowess: the seven tracks flit between luscious, interweaving melodies; wide, atmospheric soundscapes; bleepy electronic glitches and dancefloor-ready, club bangers. ‘Cut Trails’ stands out as an excellent example of everything the release has to offer. The track begins with a relentless rhythmic pattern created using “found sound” percussion, then morphs into an ethereal soundscape filled with melodies that seem to drip with nostalgia. The final flourish is its transformation into a deconstructed dance track, driven by heavily distorted noise which completes the track’s journey through its stylistic exploration.
We caught up with Ruane for a short interview to find out more about his musical tastes, influences and techniques:
How would you best describe your sound?
I think ambiguous would be the best word. It’s naturally always very dark and ‘alien’ sounding as they’re the concepts of electronic music that resonate with me the most in music. Potentially hard to pin down stylistically as well maybe, in that I get bored quickly and lose interest if I’m doing the same things too much. This tends to lend to a bit of a variety in the styles I include on a set body of work.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
If you mean literally right now then Chris Clarks’ ‘Growls Garden’. I have had my head stuck in very dense, dark sounding beat music coming from the labels ‘Oqko’ and ‘Killekill’ though recently. I went to see Moderat the other day as well and they were absolutely amazing.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
One aspect of the “Lakes” EP that stands out is your use of field recordings / found sound. What do you think this adds to your music?
I believe it adds an element of physical and natural aesthetic to the sound. The music seems more potent to me in terms of concept and production when the sound source is real. Doesn’t even need to be an expensive analogue synthesizer rather a simple recording of birds/ water/ people etc
Do you take influence from sources other than music? If so, could you specify what these are?
I think I take influence from all the forms of art/ media/ events I experience. For example I read a lot of Isaac Asimov and that really shapes the mood I’m in when I come to composition due to its heavy Sci- Fi component. Or when I’m suffering from anxiety that will almost definitely influence the sound and mood of the compositions. Video games are also a massive influence in general of my music. Not necessarily always the sound but more the narrative/ concepts explored.
Can you describe an aspect of your creative process that you think is unconventional or significant?
Maybe the way I avoid samplers all together I don’t know…until very recently I didn’t use any hardware with the exception of recording devices for the field recording (I have just got a dreadbox Hades modular bass unit and Korg sq-1 sequencer). All the rhythms are hand inputted with audio itself and all the ‘groove’ and ‘swing’ of the rhythms are done with no grid. Then again my old lecturer produces using that method so I’m not really sure…
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
I have some remixes to come out over the next few months I think and another EP this year – maybe. I have a few shows dotted about too with some live recordings surfacing soon.
Other than that I’m going to finish up my next album which should arrive sometime next year.
Lakes is available on SoundCloud.