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Oblivion And Points Beyond

by Sideways

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    Ed Ackerson's retro/futuristic mod instrumental project was written and recorded in a single, wildly inspired three-day weekend session. A guest spot from friend and super producer Paul Q. Kolderie and mixing took place immediately thereafter, the entire project going from concept to completion in three short weeks. Although conceived as a one-off solo project, a commission from the Walker Art Center brought a live multimedia version to the stage, integrating a live band with realtime-generated animation projection triggered by the band's performance. It's hard to image how it was pulled off with the tech of the day, but it was super cool! There have been a limited number of additional Sideways performances over the years, the last of which being in 2009.

    ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE THAT ACCOMPANIED THE ALBUM:

    “I’d always wanted to record this band, “ says Polara's Ed Ackerson about Sideways, “but unfortunately it never existed. I had to create it myself.”

    And create it he did. Over a three week period last winter, the renowned producer/band leader and his trusty G4 brought this remarkable project to life.

    Sideways’ debut album, Oblivion and Points Beyond is a top-down-Maserati excursion through Ackerson’s musical imagination. Oblivion supercollides Ackerson’s life-long love for ‘60’s mod r&b music with the cutting edge electronic production techniques that have earned his main project Polara its reputation. This album is the Booker T/Cream super-session that never happened, the soundtrack to films not yet made (but absolutely planned; more on that later).

    Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, and blues-wailing guitars handle the melodic duties on the album, but the remarkable drum tracks are what really gets the project “swinging.” The funny thing about the drums, though, is they aren't real. They’re all programmed. But they sure don’t sound like it.

    “I used Motu’s Digital Performer sequencer in conjunction with Native Instruments’ Battery software sampler to do the drums”, explains Ackerson. “The goal was to use modern dance production techniques to make drums that sounded exactly like 1966 but slammed as hard as any Big Beat track”. Look out Rinocerose! “It’s like having Keef Hartley and Mitch Mitchell in a box. You can’t lose!”

    Ackerson’s nine original compositions on the album cover a lot of stylistic ground, but they’re all rooted in the small combo r&b sounds he came to love as a teenage mod. The opener “Chase Halt” is a Hammond and fuzz guitar soul pounder in the purest Small Faces vein. Emphasis track “Oblivion and Points Beyond” is a primo whiff of noir espionage chic, with chiming 12 string set to a sinuous beat. “Armchair McGuinness” is like a lost Meters acetate with overdubbed Jeff Beck solos. A cover of Oranger’s “A View of the City from an Airplane” takes the great San Francisco pop/psych band’s song into overdrive. Fans of The Prisoners/James Taylor Quartet, and the Italian lounge vibe will love this record. So will fans of like-minded modern acts David Holmes and Thievery Corporation.

    Sideways is taking on a multimedia life of its own beyond the realm of recording. Oblivion and Points Beyond packaging designer and Susstones media collaborator Christian Erickson has been working with Ackerson on plot treatments and character designs for upcoming Sideways animated projects. Look for song-length videos and bigger projects following the exploits of the band's crypto-legendary namesake Sid Sideways later in 2002.

    Although Polara is still job one in Ackerson’s world, Sideways will be an ongoing concern. “I’ve seldom had so much fun making a record”, he says. “It’s all about taking the sounds that I love into new places.” After such a cool start, we can’t wait to see where Sideways goes from here.
    credits
    released April 23, 2002

    Performed and produced by Ed Ackerson at Flowers Studio, Minneapolis.
    Additional guitar (track 11): Paul Q. Kolderie
    Artwork by Christian Erickson

    Includes unlimited streaming of Oblivion And Points Beyond via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

Ed Ackerson's retro/futuristic mod instrumental project was written and recorded in a single, wildly inspired three-day weekend session. A guest spot from friend and super producer Paul Q. Kolderie and mixing took place immediately thereafter, the entire project going from concept to completion in three short weeks. Although conceived as a one-off solo project, a commission from the Walker Art Center brought a live multimedia version to the stage, integrating a live band with realtime-generated animation projection triggered by the band's performance. It's hard to image how it was pulled off with the tech of the day, but it was super cool! There have been a limited number of additional Sideways performances over the years, the last of which being in 2009.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE THAT ACCOMPANIED THE ALBUM:

“I’d always wanted to record this band, “ says Polara's Ed Ackerson about Sideways, “but unfortunately it never existed. I had to create it myself.”

And create it he did. Over a three week period last winter, the renowned producer/band leader and his trusty G4 brought this remarkable project to life.

Sideways’ debut album, Oblivion and Points Beyond is a top-down-Maserati excursion through Ackerson’s musical imagination. Oblivion supercollides Ackerson’s life-long love for ‘60’s mod r&b music with the cutting edge electronic production techniques that have earned his main project Polara its reputation. This album is the Booker T/Cream super-session that never happened, the soundtrack to films not yet made (but absolutely planned; more on that later).

Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, and blues-wailing guitars handle the melodic duties on the album, but the remarkable drum tracks are what really gets the project “swinging.” The funny thing about the drums, though, is they aren't real. They’re all programmed. But they sure don’t sound like it.

“I used Motu’s Digital Performer sequencer in conjunction with Native Instruments’ Battery software sampler to do the drums”, explains Ackerson. “The goal was to use modern dance production techniques to make drums that sounded exactly like 1966 but slammed as hard as any Big Beat track”. Look out Rinocerose! “It’s like having Keef Hartley and Mitch Mitchell in a box. You can’t lose!”

Ackerson’s nine original compositions on the album cover a lot of stylistic ground, but they’re all rooted in the small combo r&b sounds he came to love as a teenage mod. The opener “Chase Halt” is a Hammond and fuzz guitar soul pounder in the purest Small Faces vein. Emphasis track “Oblivion and Points Beyond” is a primo whiff of noir espionage chic, with chiming 12 string set to a sinuous beat. “Armchair McGuinness” is like a lost Meters acetate with overdubbed Jeff Beck solos. A cover of Oranger’s “A View of the City from an Airplane” takes the great San Francisco pop/psych band’s song into overdrive. Fans of The Prisoners/James Taylor Quartet, and the Italian lounge vibe will love this record. So will fans of like-minded modern acts David Holmes and Thievery Corporation.

Sideways is taking on a multimedia life of its own beyond the realm of recording. Oblivion and Points Beyond packaging designer and Susstones media collaborator Christian Erickson has been working with Ackerson on plot treatments and character designs for upcoming Sideways animated projects. Look for song-length videos and bigger projects following the exploits of the band's crypto-legendary namesake Sid Sideways later in 2002.

Although Polara is still job one in Ackerson’s world, Sideways will be an ongoing concern. “I’ve seldom had so much fun making a record”, he says. “It’s all about taking the sounds that I love into new places.” After such a cool start, we can’t wait to see where Sideways goes from here.

credits

released April 23, 2002

Performed and produced by Ed Ackerson at Flowers Studio, Minneapolis.
Additional guitar (track 11): Paul Q. Kolderie
Artwork by Christian Erickson

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Sideways Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ed Ackerson's retro/futuristic mod instrumental project was written and recorded in a single, wildly inspired three-day weekend session. Although conceived as a one-off solo project, a commission from the Walker Art Center brought a live multimedia version to the stage. There have been a limited number of additional Sideways performances, the last of which being in 2009. ... more

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