Moving beyond the piano based minimalism of “Bored of Excitement”, this second volume in Kid606’s ambient series blends laid back gamelan influenced synthesizers with resonant field recordings and melancholic leads.
These 10 tracks of completely drumless compositions are both restless and meditative. Waves of distortion mix with languid basslines and playful strings. John Lilly would approve.
“Escape to Los Angeles” is a musical diary of the most peculiar and outlandish year of my life.
After leaving Berlin to move to Los Angeles, I was immediately hit with a deeply unsettling Existential Dread of Living in another big city so soon. To avoid facing making a decision on where to live or what was going on in my psyche I went on a long road trip, ending with a pilgrimage to Roden Crater. I assumed I would live on the grounds there for a while to “get right with the world”.
At a friends wedding in San Francisco along the way, I fell in love with an amazing girl who actually lived in Los Angeles. I still wasn’t ready to move back to LA, and Roden Crater was way too far from LA to start a long distance relationship. So we compromised and I moved to Joshua Tree instead. Even though I grew up in southern California I had never even visited there. It was always a dream of mine to just roll up into some desert town where I don’t know anyone. To just rent a furnished apartment and see what happens. Or travel through India. I am very glad I choose Joshua tree instead.
The first six months were pure exploratory bliss. Which some of these songs clearly represent. My days were filled with both novelty and routine. It was a way of living unlike anything I had ever done or imagined. Only in hindsight do I see how much of an extreme reaction it was to isolate myself in the desert after feeling so overwhelmed by city life and too much traveling.
Then Cabin fever set in. Many of the colorful people I observed in the desert were sending me clear signals that things had gone awry. I didn’t visit LA often like I had planned. Definitely wasn’t as artistically prolific as expected. As much as I appreciated my Girlfriend visiting and all the fun we would have, when she left it would uncover an acute darkness in me that I was not prepared for. Some of the songs on this album represent that darkness.
Escape was constantly on my mind, but I hadn’t done hardly any of the things I planned to do while living in the desert. “If I leave now I am admitting defeat and accepting failure.” Lest we forget that Moving to the desert was my Escape from Los Angeles.
My relationship ended and things got even darker. I could hardly even work on music anymore, instead I would do insane amounts of exercising, reading and researching on the internet like my life depended on it. I would print out countless pages of writings, reminders and quotes to pin up all over the house to feel more grounded and hopefully invoke some positive growth. Of course I would have to temporarily take them down when people came over so they didn’t think I had “gone off the reservation”.
By now I was truly desperate to leave both Berlin and the Desert behind so I could move to Los Angeles and start a new life there. I would love to say that strength, insight and sanity is what forced me to simply pack up and move back to LA. In hindsight it shames me to admit that common sense wasn’t the impetus for me to leave the desert.
What really happened is that my Mom visited me and decided to retire in Joshua tree. I graciously offered that she could stay at with me at my place as long as she wants. After 10 days of living with my Mom I actually did go crazy. Now I had a real reason to leave the desert and escape to Los Angeles.