Midnight Watchman, otherwise known as Andy Jones, is a composer and producer who crafts unique and complex soundscapes that form the perfectly energetic yet simultaneously calming ambient backdrop to see you through modern life. Beginning with Double Up, the music has the feeling of being all at once manic and dreamlike. There’s an unmistakably fast pace to the piano part and even the beat, but it’s a subtle element in an otherwise delicate arena, and for this to have such an enjoyable effect on you is fascinating and incredibly impressive.
Moving on through the collection, the music has a distinctly organic sound that often steers you away from thoughts of electronic instrumentation or samples. Suburban Bliss creates a mood that suits the concept implied by the title brilliantly, there’s a joy and lightness to it, though not without a hint of some distant difficulty. The structural shift at the half way point suggests this further, bringing about a feeling of realness among an otherwise blissful and carefree environment. Chaos From The Cold follows on powerfully.
Andy Jones’ musical background begins quite some time ago during his days as a street performer. To consider this, the various surroundings you can find yourself in the centre of as you move around, the music and indeed many of the titles on this project encapsulate a defiant willingness to create calm among chaos, or even beauty from madness. The idea of a liquid universe fits gorgeously with how smooth and free-flowing the collection is as a complete piece of artistry. In among it though, there are so many different stories and emotions.
From the somewhat unsettling peace and spaciousness of The Lichfield Hour, through the rhythmic and slightly retro, partly oriental sounding riffs of Bering East, to the full and vibrant, relevantly electronic energy of Face Of The Future – there are endless moments of movement and change that underline countless ideas. To listen to the album once is simply not enough. On top of the varied instruments and effects, these soundscapes create such a profound experience because they are loaded with riffs and melodies and structural changes – the journey through each track is one that features fullness and emptiness intermittently, as well as intense pauses, moments that reach out for your attention again and again, in subtle but certain ways.
One Day It Will All Seem Funny is an intriguing and mesmerising experience, every sound that emerges is impossible to predict. The feelings you get while listening move from calm to concerned at barely a second’s notice. The organic sound of one instrument is soon soaked in the electronic energy of another. And then, just as you think you’re onto it, that you’ve figured out the means to this progression, you get a track like French Canadian – overwhelming you with warmth and a gradually rising intensity, and you’re back to being quietly mesmerised by this creative expression. The leading riffs here showcase a fusion of gentle, short lived synth notes, and much longer ones that come with a somewhat country inspired twang.
Super Moon surrounds you with darkness and contemplation, combining once again the calm and the sharp, creating an audio carriage that seems to carry you at high speed through a contrasting stillness. The recurring sound of the piano provides a touch of humanity and character within this collection, it reminds you of the artist behind it all, and that’s quite a comforting thought. As chaotic and ever-evolving the journey may be, you know that it’s all a part of the same world, it all came from somewhere and is all headed in a set direction; a bit like life.
Starling Stars offers a notably rhythmic and full sound that fills you with inspiring energy and a feeling of things being possible. Light In The Cracks is a completely different sounding track, though it continues to present a sense of hope, a positive awareness of the incoming tomorrow. The beat here progresses from a shuffle to a distant stomp, bringing both industrial and natural sounding elements into a superbly unique and uplifting soundscape.
Things come to a close with The Turning Point, Pt 1, a slowly emerging wash of orchestral characters, an emotional and once again uncertain atmosphere that teeters somewhere between hope and fear. About half way in, the turn occurs, there’s a brightness to it all – rather than watching things move on around you, as if sitting to witness the sunrise, you’re swept away on the pulse of it all, but only briefly. The uncertainty hits like feelings of wanting to go forwards whilst battling the overwhelming and consistent desire to look back. It’s a beautiful piece of music and a fine way to finish off such a stunning collection.
Midnight Watchman is an unmissable musician and creative, and Liquid Universe is well worth experiencing in full. Download the album today via Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify. Midnight Watchman is signed to Modulator Records – visit their Website to find out more about them, or connect on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to stay updated. Find & follow Midnight Watchman on Facebook, Twitter & Soundcloud.