And one more bit of Type-related news…
Xela was a solo project of Type co-founder John Twells which he started in 1999. This year marked the end of the project.
Learn With Xela is a blog run Twells and it currently offers Exorcism – final Xela album – for download (grab it here).
As Twells himself explains:
You see I came up with Xela in 1999, when I used to make shonky beat tapes for girls at school and pretend it was all other people’s tunes so they wouldn’t be so dismissive. As soon as the name stuck, it took on a life of its own and the shitty jungle, hip hop and garage tracks became more melodic, escapist sounds. At the time I was working at Halfords on Bescot Stadium (Walsall’s football ground) selling bass boxes and fitting car stereos, and my mates were pushing me to max out on the bass content – voila ‘For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights’ was born. This was an album where I wanted to capture the dank griminess of the Black Country (the wider area where my hometown resides – hint, it’s NOT Birmingham) but give it hope, because I hoped I’d get the fuck out.
Fast forward twelve years and I did make it out, I do miss it – but it feels disingenuous to still find myself shackled to a moniker that was born mostly out of a specific place and possibly time. The last two years, living in the US and still recording/performing under the Xela name has been weird for me. This was a project that for better or for worse lived and died in the muddy puddles outside the Arboretum, and in the 50p bin on the VHS stall at Bescot Market. It doesn’t have any relevance here in Massachusetts, and that’s why I’m bringing things to a close. I’ll still be making music of course, but it feels good to say ‘this is the end’ of this particular era.
Fittingly, ‘Exorcism’ contains field recordings I recorded in the Park Lime Pits in Walsall, a flooded limestone mine that I spent much of my childhood traipsing around (when I wasn’t in front of a screen, anyway – would hate you all to think I’m an ‘outdoors’ type).