>>INTERACTIVE ALBUM COVER<<
Run pointer over the artwork to find out everything there is to know about ENGLISH GHOSTS.
Why not start with the ends of the branches below...
Invisible Hands Music
Aries Project - English Ghosts... An Introduction
Thanks for visiting our site. The Aries Project is the name of a band, or you could say collective, that I started in 1995 after getting into electronic and ambient music. We – although the ‘we’ has varied over the years, it has usually included bass legend Nigel Ross-Scott – have done quite a lot of recording and gigs in the years since, although a lot of it is currently unavailable. English Ghosts was the first album recorded and released, coming out in the UK and elsewhere in 1996, and is now the first to be reissued by Invisible Hands Music. Thanks for checking out the site and navigating around to discover bits of history of this era, and look out for future releases to bring you up to date with our music.
We did preproduction at our own studio in Epsom, above an estate agents. We called our set-up Cedar Tree Productions cos I'd spent some time the previous year in Beirut and we had a huge Lebanese flag on one wall to help the acoustics of the room. Jonesy used to monitor so loudly that you could hear the tracks at the railway station, about half a mile away. The speakers were only crappy £100 Jammos, I don't know how he cranked them that loudly.
RECORDED AT SKYLINE...
We took the programmed tracks over to Skyline Studios to add live instruments. Skyline was on the premises of an art college that had been a school, and the school's toilet block was converted to be Skyline Studios, a great recording place where I'd previously made some tracks with my old band Night World. To record English Ghosts, we were in for about a week in December 1995. We had the electronic grooves running on the Atari and various talented geniuses came by at different times to add their creativity. The mixing went very quickly, probably two days in total for the whole album. Some people think mixing is hard or some kind of dark art, but I only think that's true if the recording hasn't gone well. If the musical parts all fit, the mix is the easiest and funnest thing in the world to do. A track that's well put together and well arranged mixes itself. Thanks to some great performances and engineer Jez Larder's textbook recording, we were lucky - the album mixed itself.
When the album originally came out, we played three decent-sized gigs; the London show was at the Purcell Room in the South Bank Centre.
As well as actual players, this pic includes a few friends of the band – top left is Carl Miller, a true spiritual advisor, having been in the record business since the 60s, going to Woodstock with The Who and hanging out with Steve McQueen and John Lennon and all that. He worked for Cat Stevens as personal manager from 1970 to 1980. I learned more about music and the business of music from him than anyone else.
Paul Jones was introduced to me by Nigel. He was a dance music producer of incredible talent, the best ears and the best attention to detail of anyone I’d met up until that time. He really made this album happen by taking the musical sketches I’d worked up and adding production to make them sound full and finished, before I went into Skyline Studios to add guitars with Mike Christer and other live instruments. I lost touch with him in the early 2000s and really miss him, even though he was a handful at times (not that you’d be able to tell from this pic). Jonesy, ffs give us a call!
I was born in Sydney and moved to England in 1984. When I was an Aussie kid I was into records – labels, grooves, artwork – more than music but as soon as we settled in London I was completely swept up by the music scene of the 80s. We had a piano in the house which I taught myself to play, and was in bands before I’d left school. The first band, Night World, made some recordings and did quite a lot of gigs around London in the early 90s, then I started listening to stuff like Tangerine Dream and Harold Budd and changed course into ambient and instrumental sounds with The Aries Project.
The gig at the Purcell Room in London was the first show of the mini-tour we did to promote this album. I remember we had trouble with gear and monitors, and the soundcheck took hours, lasting from mid afternoon right up until almost showtime. I found it nerve-wracking – experienced musos like Charlie Grima (left) who was the drummer with 70s glam rock superstars Wizzard, and Nigel Ross-Scott (right) who was in countless big 80s acts took it all in their stride.
On the left is James Dawson, who played percussion on English Ghosts and had also played a lot with my previous band, Night World. He is the calmest person I know and has been a source of sage wisdom on countless occasions. Sitting with crossed legs on the right is Tim Gebbett, who built our studio in Epsom where the album took shape. Today I think he runs the iPlayer for the BBC or something. A true genius.
In full flow live. The guitarist on the left is Richard Bell, who didn’t play on the album but did a great job of covering Mike Christer’s recorded parts.
All the photos for this band from the mid-90s right up the present day were taken by Phoenix Anthony Robins, who, as well as being a talented photographer who’s done shoots for the likes of Blondie and many others, is a highly regarded tarot reader with an uncanny insight ability to see into people’s soul, AND a funky drummer. I miss his old band Redhed!
Jez Larder ran Skyline Studios in Epsom from the early 90s until only a couple of years ago, when the building, that had been under threat for years was finally demolished. Jez has engineered or produced countless thousands of people’s records, from dodgy demos to successful studio albums.
Nigel Ross-Scott was something of a musical hero – that posh and memorable name cropped up in the credits of many an 80s album I was into when I was a kid. I was amazed to learn that my mentor Carl Miller and Nigel had been friends for many years, and was quite nervous when I was first introduced. Little did I know then that we would become lifelong friends and musical partners.
produced by Charles Kennedy and Paul Jones
except My Spiritual Advisor and Miners In The Sky
produced by Charles Kennedy and
written by Charles Kennedy except
My Spititual Advisor by Charles Kennedy and
Medina by Charles Kennedy and Paul Jones
Charles Kennedy keyboards, programming
Mike Christer guitar
Paul Jones programming on Build, Space,
Shelter, Stateless and Medina
Nigel Ross-Scott bass on My Spiritual Advisor
and Miners In The Sky
James Dawson percussion on Space and Shelter
Shirley Lewis vocals on My Spiritual Advisor
Charlie Grima vocals on Shelter
recorded at Cedar Tree Productions and Skyline
engeneered by Jez Larder, Paul Jones and
except Spititual and Miners In The Sky recorded
at Milo Studio 2, Hoxton Square, London
engeneered by Luke Gordon
post-production by Guy Davis at Hiltongrove and
Tony Dixon at Masterpiece
mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road
photos by Phoenix
artwork by Sean Maher at Delaney Goss
Steve Thorp / Latin Percussion
Sally Don and Lucy Kennedy
Matthew Nerida and the Palmers
Paul Wilson and Jon Micalef / NatWest
Tim Nathan and Richard Bell / Artifax
Amya and Alex Miller
Samir Taraf and Fahkraddine Marwa / Rida
Maralyn, Sam, Barry, Matt / Eclipse FM
David Jensen and hazel Kerr / Capital Radio
Linda and Jess Lewis
Mike Hare / Fleet Street Travel
David Fisher and Bush Telegraph
Brian Hodges, Barbara and Lynne / AMS
Hussy and Wench
James Dawson appears courtesy of
A-Go-Go Productions & Management
My Spiritual Advisor
Miners In The Sky
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