An interview with the artist...
PROTON: Your new album “In the Ether” represents an amazing body of work, James, you must be extremely proud of the achievement. How long did it take you to put it together?
JAMES MONRO: Thanks! Yes, I am proud and am delighted it's finally at a "finished " stage! It's been a long time in the making, in fact one could say a life-time! What started off as a collection of unreleased tracks that I sent to Jason for an EP turned into, what I hope, is an album that tells a story and takes the listener on a varied, deep and heartfelt journey.
Most of the album was written or re-tweaked in the last couple of years, once I established that I was going to put my name to a long player. But a few of the tracks go back up to 10 years!
PROTON: How did the album become “In the Ether”? Were there any other names you considered?
JAMES MONRO: In the Ether came into being when I had finally finished the album. It's been a monumental journey, and my wife has obviously been fully immersed in it all too, and has seen and heard the journey thus far. A lot of time, emotion and music has come and gone with this project, so, once it was finished, I just said in passing -"...babe, it's finally going into the ether... let's see what happens!" She said what a great name for it, and I was inclined to agree. I had been thinking of calling it "Encantada" as that's the name of where we live in Brasil, and where 90% of the music was written, in my little tree top studio, but I just felt that In the Ether was more apt.
PROTON: It must be really difficult gathering that many tracks together, were there any mishaps or problems en route to putting the album together?
JAMES: Haha, well yes, there was a minor hiccup in that I carried my computer and back-up from my home in the UK to my home in Brasil, with a gig in between. I know how foolish that was, but I reckoned that a week on the road wasn't gonna be a problem. What could possibly go wrong in a week? Well, shit does happen and when you least expect it. Accident in Paradise...It was 2 am, we'd driven down the beach in what was a fairly euphoric state after an epic party, and jumped on a little speed boat that was going to take us to our next stop...a paradisical guest house on a peninsula where we were going to have a well earned bit of down time. 3 km's out into the bay, the boat sank. 10 of us in it, all our luggage, and yep, heaven turned to hell in the blink of an eye. Anyway, most importantly, we all survived. Luck was on our side, the tide was going out and we were near a sand bank. We were rescued several hours later by a fishing boat. Unfortunately, though, salt water and technology don't really mix, and 10 years of programming, music collection etc etc all went down the swanny. I managed to scramble back some tracks from people I had given them to previously, and a couple of those are on the album.
PROTON: I understand that even though you were born in the UK, you’re now based in Brazil? Did your adopted home influence the way you worked on the album and the sounds you created?
JAMES: Brasil has been such an adventure for me, filled with extreme journeys of all kinds, and it's become home, and I love it there. It's a place that every time I turn on the computer, something good comes out. The creative juices flow there like nowhere else for me. It instills a raw, wild, yet natural and calm sense of being that inspires and influences everything I do there.
- Progressive House