Rivers, Tides, Miles & Memories: a New EP from Death on the Balcony

With the onset of fall comes not only cooler temps and fun costumes, but also an eerie new sound in the form of the newly released EP, Rivers, Tides, Miles & Memories by Death on the Balcony. A collaborative effort, Death on the Balcony is comprised of Mark Caramelli and Paul Hargreaves, a duo with musical skills and knowledge spanning numerous, varied genres. In this work, they have accentuated the darkness that comes with the shortened days of autumn, and the mysterious unknown that lingers in the mist of October nights. Asking the duo about their new release, they share with us the making of the EP as well as their time with the All Day I Dream label. Don’t be a trick, and treat yourself to this musical journey.

"The EP was a slow burner containing some tracks which were conceived nearly 2 years ago & some which were more recent. 'Tides of Fortune' was sent to Lee [Burridge] early 2015 and he played it at BPM which led to countless 'track ID's', the response has genuinely been amazing. 'Rivers Of Sound' & 'Memories of the Future' were also the product of many a studio session in our Leeds based creative hub, 'Vassalli House'. We then sent these along with other unreleased tracks to Lee [Burridge] who saw a vision for these tracks as an EP together. Later Lee showed interest in '1,700 Miles' (Mark's debut Solo track) from the package this was added to the EP to complete Rivers, Tides, Miles & Memories all under the Death on the Balcony umbrella & with more in the pipeline.

Naturally, it means a lot to us to be releasing our debut EP with All Day I Dream after our first actual release 'Celestial Stranger' off the summer sampler last August when new artists including ourselves were introduced to the All Day I Dream fold. It has been a long time in the making but we would not have it any other way. All Day I Dream is more than just a label to release our music with, it's a family of artists and like minded characters who all work together towards the same cause with a similar perspective, but all from different backgrounds from around the world, which is an amazing and sincere thing to be part of musically, professionally & socially. The parties we have played in some of the most amazing locations have been mind-blowing and some of the people we have already met through this connection have made our perceived 'wait' for the EP all the more worthy."

“Rivers of Sound” begins minimally with the usual four on the floor thump and upbeat hi-hat chick. Over the next minute and forty seconds, more and more echoing effects are layered in along with an unsettling, synthy arrangement of long tones that create the dark and somewhat foreboding feeling which resonates throughout the track. It is in no way gritty. Instead, the chosen sounds flow cleanly, meandering like a river, putting the listener into a hypnotic trance. The track uses the octatonic scale, a rarely utilized and very creepy collection of alternating whole and semi tones. The resulting emergent tritones mingled with the female singer and male speaker, paint a picture fit to hang in a haunted mansion.

Death on the Balcony takes us further into our trance-like state with the hypnotic track, “Memories of the Future.” Slightly less complicated than the previous, this track is straight-forward and ethereal, while still promoting movement of the body. A repetitive and bouncy bass line is accompanied by spacey electronic drones and sexy, breathy vocals. A wonderful interplay of wood block and Latin-style muted triangle highlight the track throughout. Imagine wondering through a desert at night, on your way to a secret place, but in the future, and you will understand the vibe.

The harmonic progression of the next track, “1700 Miles” is a more interesting one from “Memories,” and helps to reinvigorate the mind. While being in minor key, it is distinctly more uplifting than the aforementioned tunes. A vocal sample from Loleatta Holloway’s, “Hit and Run” is threaded toward the middle of the track and gives it some contrast, satisfying the ear, which at this point is in need of something to spice the track up. Overall, the track is mellow and fairly meditative.

The two gentlemen take us to the jungle with their last track of the EP, “Tides of Forturne.” Hand drums  are layered over the hard thumping bass pulses, while a mix of shakers and hi-hats dance about. Claps enter, urging more ecstatic motion. A lo-fi female vocal sample calmly speaks of exploration and the happiness and excitement that come with discovering the world around us. All the while, a three- two clave rhythm keeps the track hopping along. This is a happy track, not only because of the lyrical content, but also because of the elusive major tonality.

Rivers,Tides, Miles & Memories takes us on a journey from dark underground places to hopeful and explorative ones. It is a microcosm of the same journey we all take transitioning from short, cold days of fall and winter to the sunlit brightness and warmth of spring evenings.

Purchase this lovely release on Beatport here.


James McDaniel

A man of many talents, James not only writes about music, he also composes, arranges, teaches, and plays. As an Atlanta area high school band director, he stays busy developing his program and writing and arranging for percussion at his place of work aw well as a number of other Atlanta area schools. He is also a gigging percussionist, playing live and doing studio work for InCrowd of Atlanta. Music is more than a passion for james. It is his lifestyle.