Debuting his new album “Sol” we got the chance to sit down to Ashton Robertson, aka “Spaceship Earth” to talk about the album, influences, gear. and more.
Mixing in trancy and hard hitting bass, live guitar, with great backing drums, this eleven track album has a wide range of electronic vibes that will get you dancing, rocking, and feelings all sorts of peaceful.
What are the intentions behind the new album?
“This album is as much parts experimental as it is intentional. I not only wanted to expand on the musicianship from my preview album, but I also wanted to expand on the message as well. What started as a smaller EP, SOL, really started to take a life of its own after awhile, and shaped itself along the way. What I mean is that I didn’t really aim for it to be a full album project, but once I realized the pieces were forming and I felt higher guidance showing me what it really should be. So in the end the intention is to uplift, inspire, expand peoples minds/hearts.”
The first track ” Dragon Temple on Sirius B” has a huge array of sound. Whether it’s the grungy shredding guitar, choppy vocals, or fast hitting hi-hats or powerful synths, it spreads across a plethora of sound with an upbeat tempo that had me rocking back in forth in my chair as I listened.
It flows perfectly into his Glass Cannon, “Deep Breaths” remix. Opening with soft synths fit and light guitar it fits right into the vocals. Spreading into low slow wobbly bass, the wordly sounding synths give it a great fit.
The third track “We are here” opens really slow. WIth slow bass and a heavenly voice and light backing sounds. It then comes in with great drums and guitar and gives me a sense of an underwater world, like the lost city of Atlantis and had me swimming in my mind. It has an awesome audio clip for the back ground that fits his trance and psy vibes so well.
The next track is a collab with Tao Temple called “Gratitude” that sounds like an outer space circus. My favorite part of the key is the backing keys that mix from subtle to a little more of a lead in small parts. There is the familiarity of great wobble bass and the background noises that give it a great element and organic feel.
“Welcome to Space” openes with some swirling synth chords that fit the name of the track so well. It has that exact vibe and it something that really gets me in the feels with electronic music. Fitting the worldly dub sound, it has some incredible guitar play by Ashton on it that really drives the song before going into some sick hard hitting bass and choppy vocals before going into “Will you take us to your world” one of the slower and melodic styled songs on the album.
“Rising Up” is more on the psychedelic side but the part that really stands out to me is the vocals; singing of the galaxy and universe before picking up the energy with more great bass lines.
Flowing smoothly into “Oraganic Timeline” it opens with more audio clips about being connecting and aligning with slow panning synths. It put me in a meditative state before picking up in pace that had me dancing around my room.
“Nature is Alive” is another track with a very fitting audio clip in the focus of the song. I really like how Ashton mixes in clips to the songs as they all fit his vibe and style so well with this track being no different.
The last song Sacred Space features Jen Rose and is a perfect way to end the album. Her back vocals are so soft and heavenly and fit the key parts so well. It really ends the album on a soft yet high note.
Recently making his way to Denver, Ashton has already gotten several shows under his belt. With the new album he is sure to be making a lot of noise in a competitive scene. It was a pleasure being able to get his view on music and the album and I hope you enjoy our interview below.
Where did the album name come from?
“The name is fairly multi-faceted, but the origin of the name is the Spanish word for the Sun. All of the life we see around us here on Earth, is created from the sun, and I think it’s a pretty important thing. The light spectrum is mind blowing to me and I’m fascinated by light, vibration, sound, and how its all connected to the same thing. Also SOL, is so similar to our English word, Soul, that I thought it was perfect. I personally feel, we are all souls, before we are humans, and that after we die, we return to being souls, infinite and vast. This album is really me following my souls calling, and aligning with the light that surrounds us all.”
What brought you to Denver and what are you hoping to achieve out there?
To me Denver, really feels like an epi-center for the electronic music and psychedelic art scenes, which is what I am all about. Its centrally located in the USA, which is great for traveling. Nature here is beautiful, and I feel really connected to the land here. I crave nature, so it was a big factor for me!
How did the Michigan music scene influence your sound?
In a lot of ways it did and didn’t. In fact due to my lack of interest in the electronic scene in the Midwest, I ended up finding so much music on the internet and from across the world. There wasn’t many people listening to Kalya Scintilla, OTT, Desert Dwellers, or many of the artists I was into at first, and in a big way, I really tried to help bring that vibe to Michigan over the last 5 years. But that isnt to say that it hasn’t influenced me. Ive found my sound is a little heavier, and more raw than some of the of west coast artists and I think some of that industrial sound of the midwest weaved its way into my music in a big way, that I appreciate. It forever influenced my guitar playing style though and I grew up playing in many bands, and the rock scene in Michigan really changed me in the best way.
Who are some are some of your favorite artists and how have they influenced you?
I grew up listening to mainly rock, metal, and emo music, and that was a massive influence in me carrying over the electric guitar into electronic music. Bands like Incubus, Taking Back Sunday, and Radiohead were some of my absolute favorites, but I also listened to a huge wide variety of music my whole life. Producers like Kalya Scintilla, Land Switcher, Tipper, Sun In Aquarius, and Desert Dwellers really changed the game for me, and truly inspired me to start diving into psychedelic sound design, alongside my guitar and keyboards.
How long have you played guitar?
“Well lets see, I started in 8th grade, after my friend taught me how to play Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, and Hash Pipe by Weezer, so its been… 15 years pretty much!”
Do you tend to write a song intending to add guitar, or do you just usually write it and if it fits it fits?
“I start every song with guitar in mind, but there have been a few that had a life of their own, and I really enjoyed not adding guitar, and allowing my producer side to really shine through as well.”
What other instruments do you play?
“Keyboard, Drum Set, hand drums, bass guitar, brass horns like Baritone/Trumpet, singing bowls, and vocals. And of course cant wait to learn more!”
Whats your gear set up currently?
“Guitar – Schecter C1-Classic (Deep Blue)
Guitar pedal – Boss ME MultiFX
DJ controller – Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 w/ Serato
Akai MPK mini
How long have you been producing music?
I got Ableton in 2012, and started diving into producing in 2013-2014
- What got you interested in it
Festival culture started it all for me. I was all instruments until I saw of my first psychedelic electronic artists live, like Papadosio, Kaminanda, Phutureprimative, and a few others that I saw were using Ableton and the producers just blew me away, so I started listening to a lot of new artists on Soundcloud that I was finding, and never looked back!
- What is your favorite track on the new album and why
Ill go with Dragon Temple on Sirius B, the first track. Its completely unlike any song Ive written before, and chorus is so fun and playful for me. The guitar part is unique and it was really fun to add the drum n’ bass section in the middle of the track. Cant wait for everyone to hear it!