The Die Is Cast (EP preview)

by Minutes to Midnight + Antiquity

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Silvia Maggi
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Silvia Maggi Land of Kings and Papillon have now become the soundtrack of two painful moments in history and my life: the murder of Jo Cox, and the UK voting to leave the EU.

I still feel the disillusion, nostalgia, and disconnection felt during what I remember as a chilly June. Fortunately, they're beautiful songs: I've already listened to them multiple times.

When Simone, Dan and Gerald work together, you know the result is going to be amazing. I'm looking forward to the rest of the album! Favorite track: Land Of Kings (remix).
giulygran
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giulygran Minutes to Midnight is back! Again inspiration is from somewhere deep and personal, as for After 1989; Brexit, the tragic assassination of Jo Cox, the personal experience of living in the UK in such difficult times.
The melody is beautiful and poignant, the sounds suggesting quiet desperation, to quote Pink Floyd who have been a relevant part of the artist musical inspiration. A very pleasant and inspirational listen while waiting for the full album release, highly recommended Favorite track: Papillon (remix).
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1.
This was a land fit for Kings Well, I say ‘was’, we still stand To sing our songs of victory But I’d collapsed into your arms And like a child safe from harm I turned away Protected from the cruel and bitter winter We only sensed a momentary premonition
2.
We break butterflies on the wheel For fear they may return Vengeful in colour We break dreamers and schemers and seers For fear they may return As armies in number We break butterflies on the wheel For fear they may inspire And lost in the beating of wings – a life. Everybody says it’s the will, it’s the way But how could we be so wrong? Everybody says the die is cast.

about

During the initial phase of writing my next concept album, titled 'The Die Is Cast', I had the idea of working on a remix of two songs by Cambridge-based band Ember Rev. In 2018, together with their songwriter Dan Ecclestone, I worked as a co-producer and mixer for their second album, 'Premonition And Ruin'.

At the time, a song didn't make the final cut. It was a piece divided in two short parts, bookending the album, that I always liked. I remember telling Dan — somewhat jokingly — that I would sooner or later want to use it. 'Land Of Kings' is my interpretation of part 2. 'Papillon' is the fourth song in the album, and my absolute favorite of the entire Ember Rev catalog.

Both songs feature lyrics referencing the painful process of living in England through Brexit, both pre and post referendum, and that's what triggered my idea to do the remixes. My next album is in fact a concept revolving around migration, about how idealizing the place where you move to can be deceitful.

I had been living in the UK for five years when Brexit happened. What was going on was the exact opposite of what I loved about my adopted country. I remember the night of the referendum: I was up in front of the TV, watching my idea of the UK — England in particular — crumble before my eyes.

At five in the morning, right after the BBC declared the result, I stood alone in the garden. It was sunny, a good fresh smell in the air. Gobsmacked and incapable of thinking clearly, I felt like when a partner leaves without an explanation, betraying all their principles in the meanwhile.

Then, the most pantomimic four years came and went, and all I could see was 'Rule Britannia', which looked so out of touch with the world at large. My wife and I left the UK, and our good friends there, last September. I haven't yet come to terms with the seismic change.

These two songs, even if written by someone else, prefectly encapsulate those days in June 2016. I spoke with Gerald Duchene, a long-time collaborator and friend of mine, about the idea of working together at these remixes. We both love a challenge, so off we went.

Gerald says: "when I first heard the original recordings of these songs, I knew there was something there. Simone and I were pretty much simpatico and on the same page right from the start of our work on these tunes. We’ve been working together for awhile now and it seems like we have comfortably fallen into this new sound. I’m very proud of the work we did on these two great songs by Dan. I think they are the products of careful thoughtful musicianship."

A couple of sound effects, a classic in all my productions, completed our versions. 'Land Of Kings' features the exact TV announcement that I witnessed at sunup on the day of the referendum. 'Papillon' references a well-known section of the maiden speech by Jo Cox — murdered by a far-right extremist a few days before the referendum — at the House of Commons.

The love and craft we put into remixing these beautiful songs, are dedicated to her and to all the people who feel displaced and disoriented in this world.

—Simone Silvestroni (Minutes to Midnight)

credits

released June 3, 2021

LAND OF KINGS

Dan Ecclestone: vocals
Gerald Duchene: flugel horn / synth vocals
Romy Gensale: background vocals
Simone Silvestroni: bass / synth / drums / sound effects

Remix production by Simone Silvestroni. Co-produced by Gerald Duchene.


PAPILLON

Dan Ecclestone: vocals / mellotron / distorted guitar
Gerald Duchene: flugel horn / trumpet / guitars / synth / percussion
Simone Silvestroni: fretless bass / piano / synth / drums / sound effects

Remix production by Simone Silvestroni and Gerald Duchene.

Recorded in England, Italy and the U.S.
Mixed and mastered by Simone Silvestroni.

© 2018 Music and lyrics Dan Ecclestone.
℗ 2021 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Minutes to Midnight and Antiquity. Minutes to Midnight is the exclusive trademark of Simone Silvestroni. All trademarks and logos are protected.

Antiquity music: sessions.antiquity-music.com
Ember Rev: emberrev.bandcamp.com

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about

Minutes to Midnight Ravenna, Italy

Minutes to Midnight is the moniker used by Simone Silvestroni, a music producer, bassist and sound designer. After 10 years in the UK he's temporarily back in Italy.

The latest concept album, ‘After 1989’, is a real-life trip in history between two wars, as a grandson uncovered answers to how his grandfather managed to escape Germany in 1945.
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