The Scotsman Sessions #333: Lomond Campbell

Welcome to the Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts sector still impacted by the pandemic, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, in his studio in Achaphubuil near Fort William, electronic artist Lomond Campbell performs The Mountain and the Pendulum from his forthcoming album Under This Hunger Moon We Fell.

“I had to really go for it,” says Highlands-based electronic artist Lomond Campbell, of his current Scotsman Session. Recorded at his studio The Lengths, a converted former primary school in Achaphubuil, near Fort William, it came immediately after helping another band record their own upcoming Scotsman Session in the same location.

“They were projecting visuals onto themselves and it looked really good,” he recalls (we won’t name the group). “I thought: I have to try and up the stakes a bit. I don't have a projector, so I had to get inventive on how to create some interesting lighting effects.”

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The results are atmospheric, not least because of the low-key tension within the song itself. Named The Mountain and the Pendulum, it comes from Campbell’s forthcoming album Under This Hunger Moon We Fell, which is part of an “accidental trilogy” (more on this later) for the national label One Little Independent.

Lomond Campbell
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“The song comes from a project I was looking at around the Schiehallion Experiment,” he says. “This was a scientific experiment done on Schiehallion mountain in the 18th century – it was how they first discovered mass and gravity are related, and they could therefore measure the mass of the Earth. If you've ever seen Schiehallion, to me it looks perfectly symmetrical, it's an unusual mountain. Anyway, this was an orphan track from that project which found its way onto the new album.”

Which brings us to the album, the third part of an ongoing creative exploration which began with 2020’s LÜP. That came from the building of a tape-looping machine for King Creosote, the sonic experiments for which his label heard, liked and released. Lost Loops (2021) was just as accidental: he made a continuous 90-minute music track for the purpose of creating loops, but again, his label liked the raw material enough to release it.

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“Then I chopped up that album and made about 140 different tape loops, which I used as starting point source material for this third album,” he says. “It was a technical exercise at first, and a laborious process, because I was working subtractively from these loops to try and find music. I was getting pretty pissed off with the process, and at the same time, it was coming into the turn of the year and all this stuff happened in Ukraine. It was a bleak feeling, and that really made its way into the music. It's a dark, menacing album, with moments of hope, and that came from the mood, the temperature of the world at the time.”

Otherwise, though, things are going well. He’s won deserved praise for his work on Kathryn Joseph’s recent album For You Who Are Wronged, and One Little Independent seem happy to back his ongoing experiments. “They’re a great label, and they’re kind of unflinching,” says Campbell. “They're not saying slow down, they seem to be quite game, which is nice. I'm already working on the next album – I'm sure that will be out pretty soon as well.”

Lomond Campbell’s Under This Hunger Moon We Fell is released on 4 November on One Little Independent. He plays St Luke’s, Glasgow, on 15 October (supporting Kathryn Joseph); Whitespace, Edinburgh, 17 November; and Stereo, Glasgow, 2 December (supporting Gold Panda), see www.lomondcampbell.com