Feeling more than honoured for tonight’s exclusive album premiere on Last Day Deaf of Macro/micro‘s ‘Things Will Never Be The Same Again’ (officially out on July 1st), the electronic music project of Los Angeles based producer/composer Tommy Simpson.. Having worked with living legends Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross as an audio engineer and studio assistant (January 2019-July 2021), we couldn’t have expected anything less professional and splendid in terms of production, mixing and sound design. But, Simpson goes much further from the technical expertise, with his splendid, experimental electronic/idm/downtempo soundscapes, with distinctive cinematic value and imposing atmosphere, being bold enough to gradually build-up his compositions to massive anthems. Patient listeners will be rewarded!
Below, you may find a detailed track-by-track presentation by the artist himself, so make sure you sit back and relax for the next half an hour.
1 – Awe:
Probably like a lot of intro tracks, this was actually the last song I made for the album. It first started with the idea that I wanted to introduce the ending of the album (the ambient string/synth section of Gratitude) back into the beginning to create a never-ending loop. That ambience is very distorted so it may be hard to tell at first, but you’ll notice it if you’re looking for it. One of my favorite bits of studio gear is the Gamechanger Audio Plasma Rack which creates a really unique fuzz distortion – I used it heavily on this track which really created its color, especially as it disintegrates into clicks and pops (which felt like we’re seeing all of creation with the “the fear of god” sense of awe and then descend down into the realm of particle physics).
2 – All Possible Worlds:
This track all started from samples made with the Soma Ether “anti-radio” device. The track ended up becoming a sonic encapsulation of what the Macro/micro naming idea is all about – that there is a seemingly never-ending chain of worlds-nested-within-worlds like a giant matryoshka doll (think of the Eames Foundation “Powers Of Ten” video). It feels like we start the track in the subatomic realm and we shift through larger perspectives of reality as the track progresses.
3 – Wrong Turn:
I’ve struggled with different forms of extreme doubt throughout my life, and this track feels like an outpouring of that. There’s an interplay between energy and fragility, hope and despair, beauty and horror… Doubt can be even more destabilizing than hitting rock bottom because in the later scenario you at least have certainty of your predicament. Doubt leaves you with no foundation to stand on, because you’re not sure which foot is resting on solid ground and which one is on a mirage (or if they both are).
4 – He’ll Be With You Shortly:
I have a lot of half-finished ideas in my archive that I daydream about finishing when I have new inspiration to shift course from where I had initially stalled out. Coming back to these projects seldomly bears fruit, but this was one of the rare cases where it worked out, and it even became my favorite track of the album. The first 1:18 remains as it had been previously, but everything after that was made fresh. Thematically, I think this track is where the crisis of the album comes to a head. Charging through the darkness and doubt and simultaneously being destroyed by and liberated from it, coming out the other side as something different yet renewed.
5 – Gratitude:
And what’s left after this transformation? The simple, untarnished optimism of seeing the world with fresh eyes; still a bit melancholy and nostalgic, but through the lens of loving wisdom and, well, gratitude. I wrote the early demo for this song for an upcoming short film by my friend Alina Nasibullina, but it evolved into what it is when I realized it was the perfect ending for the story that the album was asking for.
Looking at the album as a whole, I think you can compare it to stages of a very transformative psychedelic experience. Track 1 is the sudden onset which leaves you giggling and stupefied by the incredible, baffling absurdity of reality. Track 2 continues to intensify and hold you in the grip of its ever accelerating and overwhelming power, taking you to inner landscapes you could never imagine. Track 3 is when things start to go sideways, the ego is in fear of being dissolved and the internal thought loops of the monkey mind spin in every direction to try and regain control of its predicament. Track 4 is the peak and eventual surrender to the powers that lie beyond our understanding, and track 5 is the comedown when everything scattered in your life comes into focus and you’re finally aware of and beyond grateful for the opportunity to be a witness (and possibly agent) of the greatest gift – conscious experience of the present moment, and that there is even anything at all. This isn’t the only way to view the album and I hope not to color your potential interpretation, but I thought it may be fun to share one version that I feel while listening.