If Songs We Found In The Sand was a set of training wheels for the Milieu project, Slow Lid Close was where the kid wheels came off and I went bounding headfirst into the future. SLC took everything I’d learned up to that point, and sort of distilled it down into neat little electronic pop songs. The music was intended to be playful and psychedelic but also very tuneful and easy on the ears, so SLC is very much a melodic overload of flavor and color. This album was also the first time I’d noticed a faster stride in my recording and writing – I was making more music, and I was making it more frequently, and little did I know at that time that this would be a trend on an upward arc that my creative tendencies would follow for years to come. So in that regard, SLC is the first real Milieu-in-the-wild moment. I’m working efficiently enough that I can be more impulsive with my ideas, less deliberate, and hopefully end up somewhere more sincere. The sound of this album is a graduated (some might say matured, I don’t know if I’d agree) take on the sound palate from Songs We Found – a lot of detuned synths, funky drum breaks, overprocessed drum machines, “in the pocket” basslines (as David Tagg would later call them) and just enough texture and strange ephemera to make things feel more organic and less computerized. There’s even prominent guitar on a few tracks – the faux-Hawaiian bent leads on Northern Lights, a pitch-bent loop groove on Trip, To and the super-depressed radio fuzz pickwork that leads Trainsong into the dark at the end of the album.
Also included as an addendum are the seven tracks from the Mint Slape Session EP, which were recorded at the same time as SLC. The Mint cuts are self-aware outtakes, a bit more experimental and meandering than their album counterparts, so please give them a bit more understanding if they sound drunk, or naive, or rude, or all three. Everything has been painstakingly remastered from the original source, and I don’t mind saying that this is the best these tracks have ever sounded. The new cover photograph was graciously given to me by Rudolf Kremers, the genius behind the Eufloria games I’ve scored, and I think the pretty colors and understated subject matter echo the simplistic approach to electronic music that Slow Lid Close has. Hopefully it has aged as well as I feel it has!