Across twenty highly distinct and engrossing tracks, Etherwood’s incredible new album Neon Dust explores a huge range of genres, from his signature drum & bass to folk, rock, indie-pop, techno, downtempo and ambient, many of which include his own distinct, evocative vocals.
UK artist Etherwood has been producing since the 90s, however, the first recording to bear his name was a Jakwob and Etherwood remix of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, after which he attracted the attention of legendary UK imprint Hospital Records, with whom he has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership.
His eponymous debut album was released in 2013 through Hospital’s offshoot label Med School, and entered the UK Dance Chart at number 4 and the UK Indie Chart at number 11. Following its release, Etherwood peaked at number four on Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart and has been named as both the Best Newcomer DJ and Best Newcomer Producer at the D&B Arena awards.
A devotee of meditation and mindfulness, Etherwood has embraced a nomadic lifestyle, living and producing records from the sanctity of his van and existing in harmony with his surroundings: a mindset and way of life that is echoed in the music he creates.
FRANKIE SALT INTERVIEW WITH ETHERWOOD
Any notable app purchases to help you through lockdown?
I got hooked on Adobe Illustrator for a while! Really fun.
Have you been doing any fitness classes online?
No online classes really. I did miss the gym a lot during lockdown but kept up a regime at home which felt good.
Have you bought any tech which has kept you busy over the last 12 months?
Plenty of music software, lots of plug ins. I’ve been using Omnisphere by Spectrasonics, a lot. It has a huge sound bank, you can really get lost in it for hours.
Do you now include anything in your daily routine to help you with your mental health or to keep you feeling positive? (CBD, yoga, meditation etc)?
It’s all about meditation for me. I’ve been practising for a few years now and during the pandemic it feels more important than ever to keep it up. A bit of yoga really helps too. I try and flow through the Five Tibetan Rites each morning.
Are you heading to any wellness retreats etc this summer? Or what holidays do you have planned?
I’ve recently arranged another getaway to Finland. I’ve always felt a strong connection to that place since I first visited. You can easily immerse yourself in nature, it’s really healing.
Tell us about your upcoming album Neon Dust… how does it differ from previous albums you’ve released?
My previous albums were inspired quite heavily by nature and my direct surroundings. Neon Dust is more of a self-exploration, inspired largely by meditation. It’s a twenty-track album so it’s quite large which gave me the opportunity to be a little more creative.
How and when was it produced? We’ve heard you often make music from your van, do you think that changes the tone of the music you produce, being so close to nature?
Most of the songs from Neon Dust were created in the last year and a half, during lockdown. It was a strange time to make music but certainly allowed for more of a focus on self-development. I’m in between vans now but can’t wait to get back on the road and creating in that environment again. The tone does change quite dramatically depending on my surroundings. One occasion that always stays in my mind was whilst driving through Austria for the first time. The view changed so dramatically into a stunning mountain scene and this piano line came straight to my head. I pulled into a lay-by on this gorgeous mountain road, jumped into the back of the van and turned it into a tune.
How does the music you make reflect your own outlook on life?
Music is really the only way I can truly reflect the way I’m feeling at any given time. There are emotions that come to the surface that are otherwise hidden. It’s such a special experience. Lyrically, I try and write about anything and everything, however I feel about the world at moment. Positive or negative, it’s honest and that’s the most important thing for me really.