Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seven Questions with ... Chris Corrado aka The Atlas Amp

It's been a hard week ... but I'm getting back into things again. I'm seeing the light again in all these unexpected places.

One such place is in the music of Chris Corrado aka The Atlas Amp ... he gave me his latest EP - "Oscillator" - recently and I've found tremendous solace in it. I am very impressed with it and found it both vibrant and engaging. It reminds me of all the reasons I fell in love with the post-rock genre ... and why I love artists like Lowercase Noises, Orbit Over Luna, and The Echelon Effect. Corrado is up there with these tremendous musicians ... and I would highly recommend you check it out.

Anyway ... I asked Corrado to complete my wee blog interview. I'm glad he agreed ... this is what he had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Chris Corrado and I´m a guitarist, composer and producer. My main instrument is the guitar but i also try to explore the spirit of every other instruments that crosses my way. My main project is the Ambient / Post-Rock project The Atlas Amp. From time to time i write songs and am on the road with 2 other indie-rock bands. Further I love taking pictures with old analog cameras and I also love to do field-recordings, which i often use in my songs.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
i am writing new songs for a (full length) record which i will release next year in spring. another bigger project is to build up my new homestudio. i have moved to another city 2 months ago and it takes some time to get all the stuff sorted… further i have plans to record new ambient-guitar live videos for my youtube channel.

3) Who inspires you? 
Name an artist who has inspired you: 
...the norwegian band Motorpsycho is still one of my biggest influences. it´s not only the music but also the „band of friends“ thing and their strong and passionated believe in music. really friendly and humble guys. to me they are the epitome of the today overused term „independent“.
another musician who inspires me ever since is Vangelis. I love his ability to create huge compositions around simple melodies.  

...and some bands and musicians who inspired me lately: Bibio, Do Make Say Think, Jon Hopkins, This Will Destroy You, Instrument, Neu!, Boards of Canada, the early The Appleseed Cast … i could name more here but that would go beyond the scope of this format. but i can say for sure it´s always the same thing for me: if an artist has depth and a vision, he immediately got my attention.

Name a place that has inspired you: 
Always the coast… but in particular: The south of England and the Algarve. i love the mind-clearing atmosphere of wind, rocks & waves and the clear horizon line.

but also studios and rehearsal rooms inspire me to get creative. i love the feeling to be surrounded by instruments.

Name some "thing" that has inspired you: 
going to live concerts!!!

4) What drives you to do what you do? 
There are many moments in life that automatically create melodies or sonic atmospheres in my head. especially when i´m in nature and my mind calms down from the distortion of the everyday life. it was like that ever since i can think. to me music is somehow aligned to pictures and emotions. my aim is to transform these emotions into music, to tell a story. in the past i often did this with lyrics in the songs, today i do it more the instrumental / ambient / post-rock kind of way… i want the listeners to get lost in my music.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
it´s hard to bring my music in association with values when i think about it. sometimes it´s just fun to i.e. test a new instrument or a new technique that leads to a new song idea. most of the time i don´t put a specific value into the songs. each song lives it´s own live… but if i should name a value that let´s me do what i do i´d say: passion.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
no community, no interchange… i love how todays communication platforms have radically changed the way i can stay in touch with all the people. as i started The Atlas Amp i immediately had an audience. with my other band projects in the past the radius of communication was fairly small… email here, telephone there from time to time... i love how the community feeling „exploded“ with twitter and other communication platforms. "we can learn to grow together“, thats it for me!

7) What is next for what you do?
in some days I´m going to Corsica for one month. just nature and the coast. After that i´ll start recording the first songs for the new record.


As I said above, I found Corrado's EP to be both vibrant and engaging ... it helped me forget myself for a while and gave me an escape from my day-to-day. From the opening ambience of "Sonora" to the closing bars of "Time & Time" it is deeply immersive with a wide variety of sounds and samples creating the most delightful of soundscapes.

For me the highlight of the EP was the track - "Readyready Irdial" - with the number stations sample and delightfully melodic guitar work. It really grows in intensity ... I found it uplifting, especially when the bass and drums come in to complement the guitar. It is a thing of utter, unashamed beauty.

But then the rest of the EP is too:

"Sonora" with its delightful melody and moments of sparse acoustic guitar ... or "Vega" with the field recordings of flowing water underpinned by acoustic guitar, irregular piano and distant percussion; that grows into a powerful wall-of-sound that delights the heart.

"Dandelion" with more field recordings, a delightful wall of ambience and a slow, melodic guitar that simply melts the heart ... before the tracks broadens out with bass, drums & some shoegaze guitars ... or the final track - "Time & Time" - that opens with the sound of a lonesome ambient guitar and then is quickly accompanied with an acoustic guitar. The layers of sound on this track is amazing ... there is a real sense of warmth and craft about it.

All in, I would highly recommend this EP. Take a listen below to hear why:

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