Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2018 Exclusive
Ambient Innerland is an exclusive new version of Innerland from Mark Peters which strips away all of the percussion, leaving just the atmospheric layers of guitar and synths. Available on Transparent Ochre Vinyl. Limited to 250 Copies.
Originally available as a limited-edition bonus CD for the album’s release back in March, Mark has now reworked the tracks even more for their appearance on vinyl and, in some ways, the ambient treatments make them even more affecting. A collection of instrumentals, with nods to Brian Eno, Talk Talk, Richard Thompson, Vini Reilly and Felt’s Maurice Deebank, Innerland highlights Mark’s incredible musicianship, positioning his guitar rather than his voice as the focal point of the music. The eight tracks were all inspired by the emotions and memories that were stirred up by his return home to northwest England a few years ago and named after local places and landmarks that had some kind of personal relevance. It is now even more wonderfully windswept and beautifully bleak – if the original was earthbound and very much rooted in the landscape, this stunning new take feels like you’re sky high, looking down on it all with an equal sense of awe and fear.
A slow saunter around the locations around northwest England that inspired Mark Peters’ debut solo album, ‘Innerland’, set to the ambient version of the album, which is available on limited edition transparent ochre vinyl, exclusively at Rough Trade!
5 Minutes with Mark Peters
The album artwork is very striking – please can you tell the story the story behind its creation?
After I sent Nat from Sonic Cathedral the tracks, and he said he’d like to release them, we met up in Liverpool and went for some Mexican food. I told him I’d always wanted to put out a record on which the tracks have geographical names that have personal biographical relevance. Nat was very enthusiastic and, together with designer Marc Jones, came up with the idea of paying homage to the classic Ordnance Survey maps of the ’60s and ’70s. Innerland was initially a tape only release, but when it came out on vinyl and CD earlier this year, each format was based on a different map design. It’s the perfect way of illustrating the psychogeographical references on the record in a simple, impactful way. Even though the places are real, the map on the cover is fictional, so the actual geography has become a little bit blurred and distorted, like a half-remembered past.
Innerland has been a runaway success and certainly at Rough Trade. Has the response to the album taken you by surprise?
Because the album is quite ambient and entirely instrumental, the success has surprised me to a degree. However, I’m a great believer in the notion that art executed without constraints or cynicism will be recognised immediately by a sympathetic audience. I enjoyed making this music so much that only the release deadline stopped me – I could have quite easily continued to mould it into new shapes. I also felt that, given Nat’s like-mindedness, the presentation would be key to project it further than the typical confines of such an album.
The record finds you reconnecting with both your youth and your home. Was the creative process a very freeing experience?
It was incredibly freeing. I’ve been releasing music since 2004 and around the creation of every record (with the exception of the first album I made with Ulrich Schnauss, Underrated Silence) there have been conversations regarding radio play and singles. I’m not against that, but in some cases the focus on that aspect tends to obscure the parts of making music that I love. This time I didn’t consider it for one second. The titles refer to places where I feel the geography has had a lasting influence on my writing and producing mind-set. In the best cases I sort of ‘see’ the music I’m making. When it begins to feel tangible, almost visual or invokes landscapes – that’s when it feels right.
And finally – we're so excited to be able to offer the original ambient CD on vinyl, exclusively this winter. Can you tell us what makes it special and why you decided to get it pressed?
As we prepared the release of the cassette version of the album at the end of last year, we agreed that the music had a cinematic quality and that it would be worthwhile to make some more reduced, spacious versions should an opportunity to have them included in a film arise. As I listened, it struck me that this iterative process had a lot in common with the genesis of the album – on a whim I visited a rehearsal room on the outskirts of York (where I lived prior to moving back to the northwest) and made a series of ambient improvisations that would later form the basis for the album. Besides the fact that there is an interesting side to hearing the album in its stripped back guise, there is also something very appealing about the ideas of freedom and spontaneity that informed the music continuing to be crystallised in beautiful new ways.
LP - Transparent Ochre Vinyl. Limited to 250 Copies.