[The Drone Trilogy albums are available for subscribers.]
In 2011 I began to work on one album which would later become Vanguard. Its working title was Excursions Into Alien Territory, a hint at Neil Young’s Lucky Thirteen album. During these sessions I recorded a lot of song material, some of it being just simple solo songs like Autumn In The Fields, others being songs with a bit more going on like On Land or The Sea I & II. I call the latter band songs.
I knew that the Vanguard album would consist of such band songs and that the solo songs could be used for other projects in the future. That was when Thomas Mathie established his label We Are All Ghosts (WAAG). As he was creating the cover art I used for the THD albums back then, I wanted to give something back. With WAAG being a drone music label during its early days I immediately knew that the songs of what would later become Ghost Drones finally found a home and the album was released on July 12 2012. On a side note: Ghost Drones itself was quite a success. I’m very thankful for this, remembering that this music certainly isn’t what you hear on mainstream radio, to put it that way.
The trilogy idea evolved much later. Time passed and I was thinking of releasing Vanguard in 2013, still having lots of solo songs for yet another possible drone album. The idea of Chrome Dreams – another hint at Neil Young, who inspires me a lot, by the way – came to my mind. While still working on some of the Vanguard songs I prepared Chrome Dreams as my second contribution to WAAG, with a release planned for November 2012. But the problem was that many Vanguard songs were ready and waiting for a while now with only two other songs waiting for completion. That was in early November 2012, two weeks before Chrome Dreams should have been released originally.
And then it happened – I suddenly realised the connections between all three albums: Ghost Drones as the first part, showing the solo side of some of the Vanguard songs and sharing their DNA, so to speak. Vanguard as the centerpiece, the transition, with a much more elaborated, broad sound and many guest musicians helping me out there. Then, as the final part, Chrome Dreams: even darker and much more focused on synthesized drones than the other two albums, it completes the circle.
I (self-)released Vanguard without the two songs I was still working on (one of them was Heavy Dekonstruktion) on November 5 2012 because to me the album seemed complete the way it was. The release of Chrome Dreams was postponed to December 3 2012 together with a special added WAAG re-release of Vanguard.
While Ghost Drones and Chrome Dreams are a mix of drone music, electronica, dark ambient and Krautrock, Vanguard is my take on progressive rock and Berlin school electronica. But only all three albums together create the big picture. Thomas, being the only other person who listened to all albums before anyone else, told me that the trilogy made sense to him and that, although my music needs a lot of time to unfold, it gives the listener much to think about in a musical sense. I’m very glad about that!