Chris Dawkins invites you on a musical excursion with the title track from his forthcoming LP, ‘Hero’s Journey’, out 9th November 2018 on Released Records.
Dawkins is renowned for his work as a session musician and co-writer, penning and playing for Nightmares on Wax (Smokers Delight and Car Boot Soul amongst other LPs), touring and writing with Jimi Tenor and Maurice Fulton, collaborating with dub pioneer Adrian Sherwood, and co-writing the blockbuster Oceans 11 soundtrack with David Holmes – to name just a few of his career highlights.
It’s now finally time for Dawkins to take centre stage and debut his own LP, featuring signature jazz landscapes and atmospheric trip hop tips. Expect balearic guitar riffs, scorched drums and digi dub vibes that suck you in with their sensuous grooves – rounding off the first long player from the Released Records stable.
We sat down with Dawkins to find out a bit more about the story behind Hero’s Journey.
“All my strongest tunes are when I’ve been going through some kind of despair”
Hero’s Journey came to me after I’d gone through a relationship breakup. I moved into a new place in the country – it was really remote, only 6 or 7 houses nearby, but I needed it. I just wanted to be away from everything. My daughter was only two, so being away from her was an emotional time.
My friend Dave Dunn was at the house playing with eerie, atmospheric soundscapes and just asked me to put guitars on it. It came from there and I finished it at 4.20am the next morning. If it’s geared towards an emotional pull, it’s a rush for me – like a waterfall.
All my strongest tunes are when I’ve been going through despair, it just comes out the way it’s going to come out. If I play something and it gives me a certain feeling, I make it. If it’s all linked in with emotions, I never really have to think about the keys I’m playing in.
This tune was therapy for me and is very angelic, I think – I call it ‘Contemplating Music’.
“Listen to this track when all you want to do is go away somewhere in your head”
It’s one of those where you might’ve been out with your mates, had too much to drink. It’s 11am the next morning, and you can’t be bothered having anything to eat and all you want to do is go away somewhere in your head. That’s this tune. If you just want to chill, listen to Hero’s Journey. It’s a really personal tune; contemplative music that makes you feel like everything’s going to be ok.
“It’s ok to be in a bubble”
This track makes you feel love and carefree; it’s got that ‘forget about everything’ vibe and you can just go off in your own bubble. And that’s ok to be in a bubble – you’re brought up thinking you shouldn’t be in a bubble but that’s wrong. You need to forget all responsibility once in a while.
“We’re all heroes!”
The LP title is inspired by Bowie. I believe we’re all heroes and there’s a reason we’ve got emotion and instinct and it’s to drive us forward. I believe every human being on this planet is a hero, not just superstars or people in media. We’ve just got to strive for better.
“I’ve made music with the same guitar for over 20 years”
I love that guitar – if that guitar was a woman, we’d have fun! It’s a Hondo. I got it from a second-hand surplus store in Bradford and I’ve used it on every tour and with every band I’ve ever worked with. If I’ve got that guitar I can go in any environment and create a tune – I just zone in on a feeling and go into my castle.
“I’ve got the right energy to bring out my own LP now”
My involvement with a beautiful friend, George Evelyn of Nightmares on Wax, has encouraged this side of me. You’ll definitely hear echoes of me working with him over the past two decades on the album. I’ve got the right energy now and the right people around me. I feel like I needed to go through what I’ve been through, to rekindle my relationship with my family, for this new unit to come into play and leave me in a better place musically. It’s been left dormant for a while.
The LP is 12 tracks long and is like a sonic diary for me. Each track has something attached for me emotionally. It’s got a sound of something like Saint Germain or Air some people have said. When I make music I want it to be colourless, genderless, ageless. I want people to not think about who’s made it; not to judge it, but more to think about what you’re getting from the music itself.
Hero’s Journey the LP out November 9th on CD and digital. Ltd Edition 7″ with remixes from Jim Breese and Marko Afro. Check out the title track below.