Conjure One “Like Ice” (Influenza)
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Influenza, Music.
Rhys Fulber might not be a household name, but to electronic music fans the Canadian musician’s resume speaks for itself. Standing as a one-time member of the veteran industrial group Front Line Assembly, and one half of the long-standing electronic duo Delerium, for the better part of the past decade and a half Fulber has focused largely on solo work; primarily recording as Conjure One. While technically a solo-effort, Fulber’s 2002 Conjure One album was ripe with unique collaborations which included the likes of Sinéad O’Connor and Poe; the latter of whom returned to assist with a selection of tracks on Conjure One’s sophomore release, 2005′s Extraordinary Ways. Following another Delerium album (2006′s Nuages du Monde) Fulber assisted the likes of Mindless Self Indulgence, Fear Factory, and Rob Zombie with production and remix duties before recently returning with a third Conjure One release, Exilarch. The album’s 10 tracks do well to extend the Conjure One sound—one which isn’t entire dissimilar to the foggy electronics of Delerium. That being said, Sputnik Music describes the album as one which demonstrates a new direction for the artist, “[Exilarch] skirts the limits between darkness and beauty, and does so in a very direct and concise way.” Leading the way as the album-opener is the single “Like Ice,” which features the ethereal vocals of Jaren Cerf. The song’s whirling introduction leads into a bubbling electronic landscape which is enhanced by a distinct drum beat and piano line that rotate around the singer’s airy voice. In this edition of Influenza, Fulber recalls the moment which first inspired the song, the collaborative process that helped develop it, and his online meeting with Cerf that resulted in her contributing to three of the album’s tracks.
“Like Ice” was actually originally written on my laptop while on a ferry from Vancouver to Gibsons. I was up on the top deck taking in the spectacular scenery, where the mountains literally plunge into the sea, when I had this brooding, electro zeppelin idea come into my head. I then went below into my vehicle and drew it out on the grid in my laptop software. After that initial vibe was there, I took it into the studio and added all the analog synthesizers and tried to hark back to my love of ’70s electronic music, which seemed a perfect fit to the mood. The music was then built up almost as it is on the final version, then I sent it to one of my writing collaborators, Peter Wright, in London. He provides the “top line” and lyrics and did up a nice demo with all the vocal parts which I then got Jaren (the lead) and Leah [Randi] (harmonies) to re-sing. I’m not a lyricist, so I rely on the music to shape where the direction of the words go. A method that so far I have been very happy with. I heard a trance song on a BBC Radio 1 dance show that had this moving vocal that just grabbed me. I had to find out who it was, so I went onto the website and tracked down a playlist, to find out it was Jaren. I just found her on the web and asked if she would be interested in working together and now she’s on three songs on the new album—so a stroke of good fortune there. It’s now a favorite in our live set…
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]