Frequent Traveller – a 360 degree binaural project from producer Steve Spiro (Talk Talk, Pet Shop Boys) – today releases a disquieting new video to accompany latest single, ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’. The track is lifted from forthcoming album ‘Real Life’, due out November 6, which transports the listener around the world in 360-degree binaural sound (similar to 8D audio, only more responsive to depth and height positioning). Utilising technology which enabled him to record sounds just as the human ear would have heard them at the time, Spiro has spent the last couple of years travelling around the world capturing surround-sound field recordings of his encounters & incorporating them into music.
Spiro created ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’ by overlaying a West Coast hip hop-inflected groove with audio snippets capturing the volatile polarity he encountered along L.A.’s Venice Beach boardwalk. The new video – created by Blue Marling – amplifies the stark division between America’s have & have nots by splicing footage of Marling’s neighbourhood of Venice Beach’s large homeless population (camped outside multi million dollar luxury apartment buildings) into newsreel film of both Trump’s rise to power and the widespread Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Watch the new video from here.
Speaking about the everyday encounters which played into the intent of ‘The Devil’s…’, Spiro notes; “I found it baffling that there are people living in eight figure sum houses overlooking the deluge of homeless inhabitants on the beach. Crazy, hate clerics preach their Sunday sermon to passers by and you are painfully aware of the constant militant police presence from the ground and air. In the last eighteen months since I was out there, things have escalated on an abdominal scale during the run-up to the election. The Floyd killing leading to Black Lives Matter, Forest Fires and the incredulous strategy behind Trumps campaign. I wanted to create a video that kicked up the sand and highlights the dystopian unrest that exists in the US. Mr Lydon’s words resonate with me. ‘Burn Hollywood Burn’”.
In a time when opportunities to travel are scarce, the latest Frequent Traveller project is an invitation to escape around the world with just your headphones. Talking about the ‘Real Life’ album, Steve says: “I’ve travelled the world and recorded sounds in various locations on the planet. Marrakech, Mexico, New York, LA, India, Cannes, Barcelona, Brazil, Jamaica and London. In each of the destinations, I went into the cities, towns and villages and recorded environments and the local inhabitants. Passing through crowds of people, in fleeting moments of time, I captured the drama, comedy and sometimes the irony of real life as it unfolded. A cast of thousands shape the script and scenes.”
‘Real Life’ is a 13-track collection that allows the listener to soak up the roar of crowds at a football stadium in Brazil, snake-charmers and drums on the cobbled alleys of Marrakesh, the bustle of Jamaica’s towns & countryside, and old-time buskers and rival gang banter on a late night subway train through New York City. The songs themselves deal in eclectic sounds that, given the global nature of the time, span a far-reaching tapestry of everything from hip-hop, house, dub and experimental electro to hypnotic drones and minimalist, ambient soundscapes.
About Frequent Traveller/Steve Spiro
Steve Spiro has had an eclectic career and spent decades earning his stripes in the music industry. In the mid-80s he was an acclaimed record producer and remixer who worked with artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Talk Talk, Imagination and The Farm. He also had several club hits between 1988-93 under the name Four To The Floor and in 1996 scored the chart-hitting BBC theme tune for the Atlanta Olympics. Now, he’s also the founder and creative director of award-winning music supervision house, Felt Music. The Frequent Traveller project sees Steve fuse his knowledge and skills in the world of music with his deep love of travelling. Where Steve’s self-titled 2011 release under the Frequent Traveller moniker was a real-time soundtrack of his commute from London to Sussex, the new project debuted with ‘Real Life – using Sennheiser’s ground-breaking AMBEO binaural sound technology – sees him take us on a journey around the globe in game-changing, 360-degree sound.