Palm Skin Productions AKA Simon Richmond returns with new beat-tape LP ‘Other Times’.
Palm Skin Productions’ new album ‘Other Times’ is an instrumental beat-tape built around a collection of scatter-burst ideas that flow as a unified body of work. Fronted by an album sampler (released as a Bandcamp exclusive) of eight highlighted songs taken from the full twenty-six-track LP and the single “Rule of 12ths”, ‘Other Times’ is first and foremost presented as a continuous mix, best listened and absorbed in one sitting, however is also broken into isolated tracks.
Every song title on ‘Other Times’ is a reference to Simon’s daily obsession with sea-swimming; from album opener “Rule of 12ths”, the rate by which a body of water rises and falls in a tidal cycle, to closer “Mermaid’s Purse”, the egg sacks of sharks that look like mysterious black leather pouches washed up on the beaches along the South coast of England.
Following up his debut single on Tru Thoughts – the powerfully emotive “The Sword Will Die” – an eleven-minute immersion that melds pastoral piano, mid-tempo drums, pulsing organic techno influences and bucolic ambient textures ‘Other Times’ acts as an antithesis to this release. Digging into his own reservoir of archived sessions, recordings, and unused fragments of sounds, the new album is built around these select snippets to create instant beats spontaneously, as Simon explains:
“When I make an album I’m usually all about the concept. I’m kind of known for creating dense, involved layers of stuff all of which usually has a load of hidden meaning for me, which I work to weave all together around a central concept. But then, once in a while, there are other times where I just want to make some ideas happen and to celebrate that instant of it coming together. This is what this album is all about – those “Other Times”. If anything, I’d say then that this is the opposite of a concept album! Which is a new concept for me…”
Moving away from the past decade of writing and producing for other bands and singers, a long-deep-tunnel that often involved orchestras, large ensembles, and long evolving pieces; ‘Other Times’ acts as a palette cleanser, an impetus inspired by Simon’s time in the exclusively live, entirely unrehearsed and 100% improvised electronic music group The Bays: “It was such a breath of fresh air to be in a band where there was no endless reflection or analysis, or discussion – you just had an idea, played it there and then and left it out there in the air for the audience to experience. That’s kind of where I’m aiming with these tracks, but coming from a production source rather than a live one.”
It doesn’t take long to hear how ‘Other Times’ is influenced and evolved by the energy and force of hip-hop, especially its contrary ability to gel old, existing, familiar things with the utterly new and unfamiliar. Snatched fragments, found sounds, orginal compositions and random alignments of street noise and radio interference – inspired by Simon’s memory of being in his father’s car in the mid-80s, seeking out pirate radio stations like Time FM on the stereo – all impact the record, as a sonic homage to legends like The Bomb Squad, DJ Premier and The Jungle Brothers seep through in the production.