Wavelengths is 14 spectacular cuts by Vacationer that "didn’t need vocals."
"My memory gets fuzzy when I try to pin down the time of year this began, or which track was the first to come together. Let’s call it 2016. I’d been getting into a habit of home schooling myself in music production. I was compelled to become more self-sustained in my music-making and gratified with the recording quality I could achieve.
My goal was to complete an album at home within my means. I have a modest music room filled with gear and records in various conditions that have accumulated over the years. It’s a stretch to call it a studio, but that’s how I treat it. I overhauled the room’s configuration to accommodate every working instrument and record them at a moments notice.
It was important that everything stayed plugged in.. I can’t stand plugging/unplugging/detangling wires. With the exception of a Vibraphone or Juno coming in and out, everything now had its place.
The routine would go as follows: 1. Play a record & smoke weed while tidying up 2. Watch tutorials/read user forums to answer my production questions 3. Play around until the sound resembles music I would like to hear. I stuck to this routine for months, eventually years, and accumulated a large body of recordings.
During this time I was determined to complete writing for the third Vacationer LP, Mindset. Even though I was focused on that task at hand, I had ulterior motives to complete an original instrumental record for many years. So I worked on both projects in tandem.
I would always start out sessions with the same routine and intention, to make music I want to hear. The process would eventually take on a natural selection, I would write vocals for music that called for them and set aside the ideas that stood up instrumentally. Honestly, I don’t always want to write lyrics or sing over top of music. They can feel forced if that’s a strictly kept rule. I find so much joy in the art of instrumentals. I’m willing to bet the majority of my record collection is wordless. There is a certain meditation that I’ve found both listening to and making this type of music. The sounds are not bound by narrative or language, rather guided by mood, rhythm and texture.
Once Mindset was finished and released I shifted focus back to the instrumentals. I took stock of all the ideas I felt had potential and threw them in a playlist. At one point that collection reached 40+ tracks. After a bit more recording and copious editing I finally landed on these 14 to compose the track-list. The remaining months were spent mixing and mastering the record, two jobs I’ve never attempted for a proper release. I’ll gloss over the technical difficulties.. let’s just say it took plenty of all-nighters. That time spent finishing this album has proved to be invaluable learning experience for me. It was a fully satisfying exercise in completion. By January 2019 Wavelengths was done.
I had become aware of Paxico Records a few years prior through my friend Malik Adbul-Rahmaan, who has released a fantastic tape through them. From there I dove into their back catalog and started keeping up with their new releases. I became a fast fan of essentially every release. Paxico was the only name that came to mind as a potential home for Wavelengths and the only label I approached with the music. I was ecstatic to receive a response from Chris, the founder, expressing interest in working together. To now know this record is also being manufactured and distributed by Fat Beats is a surreal, humbling dream.
This is a close personal record for me. It was made for years in one room with all I had at arms length. I want to bring the listener into that room. I want them to smell the cedar planks and weed and feel the click of the tape machines’ record button under their index fingers. I hope they find all the enjoyment."
- Kenny Vasoli (of Vacationer)