Recording 'Fall of Chronopolis'  

   by Nicky Garratt  

Kephera pointed out today - Sunday 17 May - that this will be our fifth album recorded at Oakland's Megasonic studio.
For Hedersleben it's our third. 
The difficult third? 
That's what they say.
In fact Dr Strangley Strange even gave their third album Alternative Medicine the subtitle The Difficult Third Album. Perhaps we've avoided the worst of that by planning this album a couple of years in advance and playing some of the songs over the last year?
This album is a bit of a gamble really; we've left the safety of the well-received Krautrock style of the last album and pushed forward to a full prog concept album.
Yes, there is still a Krautrock flavour running through it, but it’s a much more composed album. The risk is failure to catch a groove; the payoff could award us a wider audience.
Megasonic is well stocked with spacious rooms and a competent engineer. It’s not analog, but with enough valve and vintage amps to get a reasonably authentic 70's sound. It’s a five-minute drive from our Oakland practice space where a lot of our equipment is stored.
We started late on the first day, mostly setting up gear, and getting sounds. I usually leave Jason on his own for that step. He’s using a small vintage Ludwig kit he bought on tour in 2013. It has a great warm sound.
Later on we did get to lay down a couple of backing tracks. One of which was Ursula's tap bass piece for the Gulf of Lost Souls part of the record. This is the most Krautrock piece of the album and features bass and drums with spacey keyboards, guitar and voice over the top.  
Day two we tackled An Empire, we're not sure if we got it and might actually need to go back and do it again. This was the mistake we made on our debut album Upgoer, where the main section of the opening track was paced too face. 
The day was a struggle until about 8:00pm when we recorded both Ghost Armada and Third Time Fleet.
Day three is a nose to the grindstone day. A few more backing tracks were laid down including the classical guitar piece Umbul - which I'm not sure we'll use. Half way through the session Kephera is not feeling well, and needs to go home. We have plenty of other stuff to do though: guitar, violin, vocals and we can finish off with shift work.
This is not uncommon anyway. On the majority of albums I’ve made the rhythm section don’t stick around for the gruelling overdubs. Studio work is exceptionally tiring if your fingers are not on the board or you are not actively playing.
Sunday sees just Ari and I working, Kephera is in the Emergency room. We don't know what is wrong with her. This period seems to be a time of change for everyone in the band. People are moving, in new relationships or changing their life in some way. At least two of the band has no fixed abode.
Jai Young Kim (Ex Secret Chiefs 3), spent the day in the studio with us. He's the front-runner for the bass position after Ursula is on maternity leave. He's a fan of the band, a really easy to get on with guy and will be a wonderful musical asset. In addition to bass he plays keyboards and violin but more importantly he’s tour-ready. Tour-ready is a term many people in the business use when considering a new addition to a touring band once you’ve established musical ability. The main elements to be tour-ready are; availability (no 9 to 5 day job), road tested, (have they done major tours without a freak-out?), no drug or alcohol problems, and no red flag personality traits.
We decided to do another take of An Empire later - this time a little slower. Now it's right and we can move on to overdubs of lead vocals and solos.
Ari did very well in the studio. She takes direction well and has a great attitude. Her pitching and intention on violin has come a long way in the six months she's been in the band. Most of the lead vocals are now done, and we are building connecting parts and intros.
Monday morning Kephera is back nursing a virus, not feeling too well but able to work. She’d contracted a chest infection of some sort on the road.
We are concentrating today on keyboards to get as much as we can behind us until Kephera needs to rest. Despite her illness she still managed to attack the Hammond organ sufficiently hard to snap a key (see photo below!). By the evening Kephera is flagging and is clearly done for the day so we continued on with more over-dubs etc.
Tuesday is mostly an overdub day with a few building tasks.
The biggest question is the groove of some of the songs; it’s become clear that we need to book more time to add some percussion like sandpaper and shakers.
Wednesday is our last backing track day. We are finishing up more keyboards and some backing vocals. A few solos and some housekeeping on the tracks. I would have liked to get more time to re-record some of the basic guitar parts that are the original from the backing tracks. By 8:00pm we are running roughs. Normally I like to give it a couple of days before I can get into listening. 
By this weekend I will review what we have for better or worse…
 ...Nicky Garratt 17 May 2015

Hedersleben 3 are:
Nicky Garratt - Guitar
Jason Willer - Drums & Percussion
Kephera Moon - Keys, Synths & Vocals
Ariana Jade - Vocals & Violin
Ursula Stuart - Bass & Vocals

   Live preview of new song from forthcoming Hedersleben album   

On their Facebook page, the band publicised "a clip from the last tour featuring a track from our up and coming album titled 'The Fall of Chronopolis'..." which you can watch below





   Recording the new Hedersleben album  

Time & Matter are absolutely thrilled that ex-U.K. Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt has resumed his popular 'NICKY'S GUITAR NOTES' exclusive articles for this website.

The latest piece has been published today (18/05/2015)


Nicky details for us the recording of Hedersleben's third album 'Fall of Chronopolis', which is now complete.


Henry Rollins is a massive fan of both the U.K. Subs, Nicky and Hedersleben and in his 14 May column for LA WEEKLY, he writes about them all...

Henry Rollins article on Nicky - click here

Regarding his ongoing Hedersleben project, Nicky enthused to T&M that "Hedersleben are doing very well, the reviews on the new (second) album have been great. Read them here: http://hedersleben.com/merchandise-reviews2.html.
The recording on the third album 'Fall Of Chronopolis' started on May 7th
"This will be our most ambitious project to date - The Fall Of Chronopolis. Movements from this concept album were played live on the 2013 and 2014 tours and now the band is in rehearsals for a spring recording... my articles for T&M will give you exclusive insights to this exciting time for Hedersleben.."



The Time & Matter webstore has got the first two Hedersleben CDs in stock, of which we have a limited amount signed by Nicky, and we have also just taken stock of a limited number of Brainticket CDs, which Nicky has kindly also exclusively autographed for us...

Buy Hedersleben I CD - click here (autographed by Nicky Garratt)
Buy Hedersleben II CD - click here (not autographed)
Buy Brainticket CD - click here (autographed by Nicky Garratt)



The following articles/news have previously appeared on T&M and are added here to give the reader further information on Nicky's ongoing Hedersleben project...

  Nicky Garratt T&M Exclusive 

  Nicky explains the new songs exclusively for T&M  

Nicky Garratt's new band Hedersleben have a brand album out now. Entitled 'Die Neuen Welten', it is the second of a trio of albums, and follows on from their 2013 debut 'Upgoer'.
Time & Matter are pleased to announce that we are now stocking the second Hedersleben CD, 'Die Neuen Welten', featuring Nicky Garratt as well as ex-U.K. Subs drummer Jason Willer...
New album line-up: 
Nicky Garratt - Guitars / Kephera Moon - Keys / Kati Knox - Vocals / Bryce Shelton - Bass / Jason Willer - Drums/Percussion.

"This is the only time I've ever explained the meaning of these songs!

I envisioned the first 3 Hedersleben LPs from the band’s inception.
It's Time and Matter - or strictly Time and Space - in a sense.
The first album 'Upgoer' is about humanities ultimate goal of going up.

Upgoer (part one)
We look up! You will hear the sounds of Earth and at the end the voice is a recording of the last speaker of a dead language.
Der Donnervogel (Dreamstate)
Up we go and we pass, allegorically, through the mythical Thunderbird constellation.
Dark Nebula
Thoughts during the journey. (Words by K. Bean).
Upgoer (Part 2)
The expansive galaxy engulfs the ship as do the possibilities.
The End of Love. (Dreamstate)
The crew emerge from the cryogenic machines. To them they have just said their goodbyes to lovers, friends and families who have, by now been dead for thousands of years.

The second, new album, 'Die Neuen Welten' continues our saga as we celebrate the new worlds discovered by the Kepler space telescope. Now these planets await.

Zu Den Neuen Welten
To the new worlds.
(On The Ground) Safe and Sound
The unmanned probe lands.
Nomad World (Dreamstate)
We know planets can be ejected from star systems to drift darkly through interstellar space. It has been postulated that they might be more numerous than stellar bound worlds. These orphans mimic humanity itself until we can show we are not alone.
One of Space telescope Kepler's triumphs.
Tiny Flowers/Little Moon
…and life goes on. Little Moon is our keyboard player Kephera's world - you'll need a passport.

The third album 'Fall Of Chronopolis' is about that unsettling dimension that robs us of everything: Time. It is based on the glorious book of the same name by Barrington J.Bayley.


It is due to be recorded next year..."

Nicky Garratt 16 July 2014

August 2015 update:
Superb Hedersleben album review on the Prog Archives:


Hedersleben released a 17 minute film/video version of Zu Den Neuen Welten back in August 2014. It was shot and directed by Erren Franklin, and at the end of the piece, there is a little footage of what Nicky described to T&M as "Hedersleben goofing around..."