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Talking Trance With The ‘Last King Of Scotland’ — Will Atkinson | Interview

by Nadine Pasterczyk

If you’re looking for a trance album that will get you through the remainder of this year and then some — look no further because Will Atkinson has done none other than release the perfect soundtrack to take you to another realm. ‘Last King Of Scotland’ is a masterpiece that deserves a seat on a throne and a golden crown. 

After many years as a masterful producer and DJ, Will Atkinson has finally taken his turn at a full on artist album. With tracks spanning from progressive to uplifting and with hints of even drum n’ bass and techno — this album has no limits. No matter your taste, there’s something here for you. So dive deep into the rabbit hole with this one and just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

We were able to dive a bit deeper as well in an interview with the Scottish legend. Hear what he has to say about the album creation process and learn about some of these mind blowing tracks — you’ll be glad you did. 

FMF: You’ve been in the game for some time and you’ve finally released your own artist album, ‘Last King Of Scotland’. The process of putting together an album is quite a daunting task and is far from easy. What has been the most challenging part of the process? 

Will Atkinson: The most challenging part for me wasn’t the writing surprisingly — it was more a structural thing. The majority of the material I haven’t even been able to test out in a club. So that begged the question, is dance floor driven album going to make sense when most people are going to consume this either in their house or out driving/exercising. So I had to restructure a lot of this album for it to be relevant to where we are right now. I think we need hope, memories and nostalgia at the moment. So I overhauled half the album and rebuilt it with more expressive, emotive music. Rather than 3am jaw rattlers which is going to put Granny off making the trifle. With that being said… I have half an album of absolute fringe melters sitting untouched. So that’s a plus. Also the timing, knowing when to bring this album out and essentially trying to make peace with myself that this album will never be consumed on a dance floor — in the near future. These have been the most challenging aspects for sure.

What has been the most rewarding part of putting together the album?

Sharing 30 years of my life, passion, memories and experience with my fans, friends, and family. It’s an incredibly personal piece of music. And to see it so well received and enjoyed, knowing I wouldn’t change a single note about it — that has to be the most satisfying thing about this whole process.

Every track on the album tells a different story and has a different vibe. How do you manage to keep coming up with such unique sounds?

30 years of obsession, addiction and infatuation. I am a slave to Dance Music.

One thing that we all love about you is the quirkiness and the all out insanity in some of your tracks. One track I’m particularly curious about is ‘Beans’ — what is the story behind that madness?

Read More |   It’s No ‘Mystery’ That You’ll Want To Listen To This Week’s New Tracks ‘All Over’ Again | ICYMI Monday

In January, John Askew — my manager — dragged me out of Scotland kicking and screaming and took me to Wales for 10 days to finish my album. We were based in the middle of a fucking valley — no signal, no wifi, no people — complete isolation. By the time we hit day 6 of our 10 day Welsh Valley exile, energy levels were dropping and a little cabin fever had definitely set in. After a few honest, but tense debates with John over certain musical elements of the album, we decided we needed to literally clear the air. Before a 4 hour hike, we had breakfast, coffee then John sat me down and challenged me to write a track in 6 hours. He would select 15 samples – all of which must be used throughout and whatever was produced within 6 hours was final. No changes. And had to be used on the album. I was a little apprehensive at first. Something as personal like an album – there isn’t much room for gimmicks or novelty tracks. But it felt like we needed to switch up the pace. Days of tweaks, mix downs and restructuring had taken its toll – it was time to cleanse the pallet. When we got back from our walk, John brought in his USB. Loaded with 15 fucked up samples – everything from Middle Eastern Sitars, train crossings, iPhone clicks — even a David Hockney interview from what sounded like the 1970s — all this plus the Brucey Bonus. Me shouting at the top of my lungs “I’ve Got Hummus Running Through My Veins”, which we recorded in the middle of a forest on our walk. The sound reverberating in and around the forest gave an awesome slapback like effect. All these sounds were to be used. So we set the timer and the cameras started rolling. 6 hours later, the clock hit 7pm. Almost paradoxical. A 142bpm Techno thumper riddled with 15 of the most fucked up samples that should be nowhere near an electronic record. And a man shouting about hummus. John fell off his seat with laughter, the album gained a track, and we now catered for Vegans. It was called ‘Beans’.

There’s one question I always ask trance producers and being that you’re quite the legend in the scene, I’ve got to know your answer. How would you define trance?

A feeling. Something that makes me lose touch of my current surroundings. Like an outer body experience. Complete and utter loss of consciousness. Induced by heartbreaking melody, hypnotic sequences and generally cascading energy.

As a fan, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that we can’t wait to hear these tracks played out live. When you get back on stage, what’s going to be the first track you blast on the speakers?

Cigarettes & Kerosene’ without a doubt.

Last, but not least… A very controversial question that’s come up many times in the trance community. What’s your opinion on pineapple on pizza?

I can take it or leave it. I love pizza anyway so it doesn’t really bother me.

Click the image to listen to Will Atkinson’s new album, ‘Last King of Scotland’.

*Featured image via Will Atkinson*

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