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Gonzo Latest News: Iona ANOTHER REALM:

Date Published: 2nd November 2010

Iona is currently hard at work putting the finishing touches to their latest studio album. The band hope to release the album entitled “Another Realm” sometime early in 2011 and here in an update Dave Bainbridge fills us in on the latest news on the album’s progress.

Since the Swiss tour much progress has been made on the album.  In October (11th-14th), Jo came over to Dave’s Open Sky studio and time was spent on finishing writing a few tracks plus lots of vocal recording. Jo and Dave re-wrote the chorus and breakdown sections for the song “And the Angels Dance”, which is definitely one of the most joyous tracks on the album. Jo was inspired to write some amazing lyrics for the end section of  “An Atmosphere of Miracles” and managed, through tears to put down an incredible vocal. One of the characteristic sounds we’ve used on several tracks on this album is the use of layered vocal loops. Dave sets a recording loop going of perhaps 8 or 12 seconds and in real time Jo adds a new part as the loop repeats, gradually building up a layer of several parts, either in unison or in counterpoint. We’ve used this technique on previous albums but it really seemed appropriate to reintroduce it for the material on “Another Realm” to create the ethereal, otherworldly feel that re-occurs throughout the album. One final vocal session is being planned to complete all the vocal recording on the album.

A week later Dave was at Franks studio in The Netherlands as Frank recorded further drums,  percussion, violins and violas for the album. A brilliantly groovy new drum track was laid down for “And the Angels Dance” plus drums / percussion on several other tracks some amazing, layered strings. This is a speciality of Frank’s which we’ve not really exploited before on previous Iona recordings. Frank creates string arrangements by layering parts which he plays on several different violins and violas, recorded with different microphones. The end result sounds something like the string section from a really great orchestra! You’ll be able to hear this on tracks such as “Clouds” and “An Atmosphere of Miracles” and “Saviour”.

Talking of firsts, there are several on the new album. Frank plays some mean lead, fuzz electric violin on the title track (anyone who remembers The Mahavishnu Orchestra will get an idea of how this sounds!) and on “Let Your Glory Fall”. Jo also makes her recorded percussion debut (on a shaker made out of beer bottle tops!). This is Martin’s debut recording with Iona. Oh - and this will be the first time that Jo has sung the lyrics “Oh La La La” on an Iona album!

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