Tristan Welch: Undertaking Ambient

Ambient instrumental music is notoriously abstract and nebulous, making reference points and context hard to determine or convey. If a musician is trying to make a social statement or commentary, it’s usually done through lyrics or spoken work. Guitarist Tristan Welch creates expressive ambient music for thinking people that comes coupled with a message: all is not right with our economy and society here in America. He’s an outspoken musician with a sardonic take on modern human existence, and has just released his latest album Temporary Preservation—a concept based on his experience as a funeral director. Tristan is the most fascinating musician I’ve met in a long time, and I had to get in touch with him to find out more about the ideas and personal history behind his sound.

Backdrop

tristan welch undertaking ambientI started off by asking Tristan how he got started creating music and got a brutally honest response. “I’ve been playing music for a long time”, he says, “I grew up on punk stuff and hardcore, that was what appealed to me when I was younger, but I was never very good at it. And any band I had would fall apart for various reasons. And through a lot of that, truthfully I was on drugs. Like it was bad, so that would kind of take over.”

Recovering from drugs and addiction would form the basis of a personal rebound, but not without first abandoning his musical aspirations. “So around like 17, 18, that was my frame of mind, and as I mentioned before, I had a real bad drug addiction, so just really fell apart. Various jails and institutions and things for years. I sold everything I had or pawned it.”

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Sonixcursions:015 Podcast

saonixcursions podcast 15 Welcome to 2021–one month in and it feels like it’s been a whole year. There’s a slate of new releases in this episode, from dreamy neo-psychedelia to stratospheric ambient; from Portugal to Australia to Norway to America. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and breathe deeply.

Track Listing

Beautify Junkyards “Reverie” (0:00) – From their 2021 release Cosmorama, on the Ghost Box label.

Rancho Relaxo “To Colour The Stars” (4:09) -The latest single from this Norwegian band. Look for a full-length from them this year.

Tristan Welch “Social Helplessness” (8:30) – Washes of guitar

Hotel Neon “oct 12” (14:40) -A trio of musicians scattered across the East Coast of America, this off of the 2020 album Moments, from the Sound In Silence label.

Willebrant “Gathering” (19:25) –

Tawdry Otter “SnoodleTrout” (22:10) –

Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk “Afterglow” (27:20) – An

As always thanks for listening, and sign up for the email newsletter to get updates on these and other bands featured in the podcasts.

Stay safe & sane out there…

Sonixcursions:009 Podcast

I’m covering a lot of musical territory on this one – from psych to ambient to a Stereolab cover in Spanish. This episode will trend towards the dreamy around the middle, so get cozy… but don’t worry, the Epic45 track will bring you back to reality.

Starting off is Astrel K, the solo project of Rhys Edwards of Ulrika Spacek recently released on the Duophonic label. “Gnistrande Snö” harkens back to some of the more slack moments of Steven Malkmus, or even middle-era Velvet Underground, forming the perfect backdrop for late summer here in Michigan.

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