Canadian DJ and producer Clarian, is gearing up to release his new album Television Days, an album he calls, “a surreal self-examination of fears and mentalities after several nocturnal years of touring and producing music free to experiment and explore strange and fantastic worlds.” It is a bit of synth-pop with some 80’s synthwave imbued into the record. After making records on Turbo, Kompakt and elsewhere around the electronic music spectrum, he is set to release this new album on Balance Music this Friday. In honor of this LP, we asked him to share some of the influences that went into Television Days.
His diverse list of influences dive into the era from which this album is indebted and even before. There are records from Vangelis, Daphne Oram, Bernard Fevre and more. Read on to get more context for the LP, which comes out on Friday. Pre-order the LP here or on iTunes.
1. Bernard Fevre - Molecule Dance
This is the first cosmic electronic album that really got under my skin and left me lost in a space bubble. Themes of Kevin Jones being contacted by future ancient astronauts are interlinked to the music and overall themes of Television Days. Especially the months when he thinks he's being abducted by a talking iguana in Tulum in the early 90s.
2. Elliott Smith - No Name #1
Deeply introspective, haunting and beautiful nature of roman candle has stuck with me since the first time I heard it as a teenager and has a had very powerful and influential hand with my personal reflections and perspectives on songwriting.
3. Jacno - Rectangle
One of the early visionaries who perhaps inadvertently shaped the future of tasteful electronic music in pop culture in such ways that I can't turn and look away without a nodding respectful mind at the beginnings and blueprints. There is something in the deceiving simplicity, which carries a timeless weight aura about it.
4. Simple Minds - Someone, Somewhere, In Summertime
The production of the drums on this album has served as a beacon of light of absurd quality and sheen around an ocean of verb to my work on synth pop and new wave explorations over the years. It's incredible and something I more than occasionally look to for guidance.
5. Daphne Oram - Rotolok
The innovation, quality of recordings and elegant approach she had with her projects are still mostly unmatched by most producers today and belong in the future.
6. Romolus and Venus - The Tear Garden
When I was living in Los Angeles, days on end would sometimes collapse into each other with dancing and hanging out with friends. Those moments left a golden dent in my discombobulated brain, which I'll always hold dear and that feeling (rebelling against nothingness with nothingness into nothingness) lives very strongly in Television Days for me.
7. Psychedelic Furs - Susan's Strange
Particularly the live recording technique of capturing reverb and delays on the vocals and rhythm sections are just cool as fuck. The echo of the music, the content, and that everything is being swallowed whole into its own undoing and leaving behind a melancholic glow to drink and celebrate through and through. Martin Hannett was an extraordinary producer with a vision that could clearly see beyond the time and the sound.
8. The Soft Machine - Hope For Happiness
Vote for happiness.
9. Intelligence Dept. - Too Late To Love
Television Days tells the story about Kevin Jones, a down and out Sci Fi television writer in LA who strangely disappeared in Mexico. There are interesting recordings of him discussing ancient astronauts and other conspiracy theories which were making him manic sounding and desperate in the months and days leading up to his disappearance. Television Days also serves as a memoir for those months I spent in Berlin while touring and producing the early Clarian records. Everything was a bit chaotic and there was no real plan, but there were so many striking moments, and this song sort of sings that story back to me in so many words.
10. Vangelis - Cosmos
Kevin Jones is also obsessed with Cosmos. At one point in Mexico, Peter Juan the 3rd, the talking iguana that befriends Kevin and ultimately warns him of his and the entire universe's demise, tells Kevin he used to play bass guitar in a side project with an alternate clone of Vangelis during the great human abduction in 3000 B.C. when my girlfriend broke up with me during the time I was writing the record, I would play Cosmos at night to help fall asleep.
It's a matter of perspective, and it helped quantify my "daily psychological issues" when comparing them to the paramount size and seemingly cold indifference of the galaxy to the pale blue dot. Carl Sagan's voice became something of a sweet soft lullaby of nihilism to help relax at night and quell the insomnia. Also, Vangelis, a man who needs no introduction.