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Beautiful Broken

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Beautiful Broken
Beautiful Broken


Following on from the success of earlier albums 'Save Your Light For Darker Days' and 'Be Still My Bleeping Heart,' Digitonal's third studio album, Beautiful Broken, will be released by Just Music on 4th May 2015. The first single, Autumn Round will be premiered late February, album announced 9th March, video premiere and single release 6th April. Musician and producer Andrew Dobson has been recording and performing his particular take on classically-influenced electronica as Digitonal since the late nineties. Part of the late phase of UK melodic electronica, Digitonal came to prominence on the seminal Toytronic Records label with a track on their Neurokinetic compilation (recently featured in the recent FACT magazine top 100 IDM records) and a debut album, 23: Things Fall Apart, on that label shortly afterwards. EPs, singles and remixes followed on various underground electronica labels, most notably Cactus Island and B12, before the band signed to Just Music who released the beautifully crafted Save Your Light for Darker Days in 2008, followed by a fascinating retrospective compilation Be Still My Bleeping Heart in 2012. Alongside frequent collaborators, most notably Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai, harpist Kat Arney and singer Kirsty Hawkshaw, Digitonal have toured extensively and have been in demand as a live act, known for their improvised sets of great range and beauty, with the band's musicianship taking centre stage alongside the laptop button pushing. Digitonal's sound was forged in the chill out rooms of London's 90s clubbing scene, where Steve Reich would sit alongside Boards of Canada inspiring Dobson to draw parallels between his background immersion in early music and choral harmony and the Warp Records led artifical intelligence era of British electronic music. Some notes from Andy Dobson about Beautiful Broken: 'It's always very hard to write about instrumental music. That's not to say there aren't themes implicit in the music, but with an album like this, written and produced over a long period of time, and with many iterations and revisions, I'd want to be careful not to post-rationalise what it's 'about'. That said, all music for me carries an emotional resonance, and this is particularly true of what I write. The period since Save Your Light for Darker Days, itself an intensely personal piece of work, has included some of the biggest changes and challenges I've encountered thus far in my life and in some ways this album has reflected a state of flux. There was a conscious decision in the production and writing on the album to return to my roots in minimalism - to recapture the impact of sitting in a chillout room at Heaven and first hearing Reich's Different Trains - and the album contains the most explicit references yet to Reich (most notably in Eighteen and Proverb which those that know Reich's work will recognise referentially). Following this I also wanted the musical elements of the album to be simplified and to avoid the over-orchestration which is a constant temptation in the studio. As such, it was written within the confines of not so much rules, but a conscious effort to be subtractive. Even when the album moves into my more traditional area of 'IDM' (It Doesn't Matter!) the goal was to keep the production tricks and plugins to a minimum and just write simplistically. The resulting album has thus leant itself a certain fragility I think, the idea of something that should be very pure being ever so slightly compromised, in the same way that an emotional response is rarely just one thing, but a complex amalgam of contradictorary thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, as in the case of Luna and We Three, the initial piece was written many years ago and has changed over time, particularly in live performance. Much of what we do is developed from simple stems through the process of improvisation and studio tinkering and when we come to record we're largely capturing an expression of musical ideas and feelings at the point of production. Luna in particular has a certain reflectiveness to it, born of looking back at the period that is was written in. So whilst Beautiful Broken has within it the ghosts of the past, both my own and the music I love, the recordings produced for the album in the past year are more reflective of me as an artist right now. Or as the oft-used quote goes: "It's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to" - and the album, I hope, is ultimately about not so much fixing the past as learning to live with it's beauty and the path that it's taken me down to the here and now.'


  1. Name
  2. Proverb
  3. We Three
  4. Autumn Round
  5. Beltane
  6. Anaethmatics
  7. "It Doesn't Matter"
  8. Luna
  9. Polestar
  10. Eighteen
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