Frequent Traveller shares latest single ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’

Frequent Traveller has shared ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’, the latest single from the forthcoming ‘Real Life’ album which is due out November 6th and transports the listener around the world in 360-degree binaural sound (similar to the increasingly popular 8D audio, only more responsive to depth and height positioning). Utilising technology which enabled him to record sounds just as the human ear would have heard them at the time, electronic producer Steve Spiro (Pet Shop Boys, Talk Talk) spent the last couple of years travelling around the world capturing surround-sound field recordings of his encounters and began incorporating them into music. Indebted to laid-back West Coast hip-hop, ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’, out today, is set in Los Angeles and offers a glimpse into the bizarre and tumultuous socio-political division that’s rife in America. Designed for headphone listening only, you can listen to the track below.

After taking us on a lively late-night NYC subway train (‘In My Head’) and transporting us through the villages, towns and cities of Jamaica (‘Liquid Sunshine’), ‘The Devil’s Trying To Break Us Down’ was recorded in LA and charts a stroll on the Venice Beach boardwalk up to Santa Monica. Rather than the sun-soaked carefree environment which you might expect, Steve, instead, came across a group of hate-preaching religious fundamentalists (pictured in the track artwork). Recalling his encounters – which are reproduced on the track in 360-degree binaural sound – Steve says: “Working our way down the boardwalk, we meet a crazy collective of militant hate clerics, preaching their Sunday sermon claiming that ‘The lord created the gay to be destroyed.’ There’s a constant presence of police surveillance helicopters from above as they circle the perimeter of the beach.” 

In a time when opportunities to travel are scarce, the latest Frequent Traveller project is a welcome invitation to escape around the world with just your headphones. Talking about the ‘Real Life’ album, Steve says: “I’ve travelled the world and recorded sounds in various locations on the planet. Marrakech, Mexico, New York, LA, India, Cannes, Barcelona, Brazil, Jamaica and London. In each of the destinations, I went into the cities, towns and villages and recorded environments and the local inhabitants. Passing through crowds of people, in fleeting moments of time, I captured the drama, comedy and sometimes the irony of real life as it unfolded. A cast of thousands shape the script and scenes.”

The end-result of Steve’s time spent traversing the globe is the Frequent Traveller ‘Real Life’ LP, a 13-track collection that allows the listener to soak up the roar of crowds at a football stadium in Brazil, snake-charmers and drums on the cobbled alleys of Marrakesh, militant hate clerics preaching a Sunday sermon on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, LA and old-time buskers and rival gang banter on a subway train through New York City late on a Friday night. The songs themselves deal in eclectic sounds that, given the global nature of the time, span a far-reaching tapestry of everything from hip-hop, house, dub and experimental electro to hypnotic drones and minimalist, ambient soundscapes.

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