Album Walkthrough: Shiken Hanzo ‘Fate Worlds’
Ryan Fearon aka Shiken Hanzo has been producing music under this alias for around 5/6 years. He’s had music released on a number of labels including Samurai Music, Cylon Recordings, CX:Digital, Hojo Clan and Repertoire. His debut album ‘Fate Worlds’ drops via Inperspective Records today!
We recently caught up with Shiken Hanzo who agreed to walk us through his ‘Fate Worlds’ LP and give us the lowdown on the processes and ideas that ended up creating this body of work.
“This album was influenced by many electronic artists from different genres like The Prodigy, Kryptic Minds, Loxy & Resound, Ruffhouse, Oake, Charlotte and These Hidden Hands as well as some of the best movie composer such as Hans Zimmer, Henry Jackman, Ramin Djawadi and Ludwig Goransson and music I grow up with as a kid which was African and Caribbean music, my mother being Nigerian and my dad Jamaican.
When building this album my goal was to make every track like a movie, not all fast-paced beats but beats of varying degrees of intensity, some deeper bits, some darker bits and I wanted every track to transport the listener to different locations, kind of like how the whole recent marvel movies in the MCU have created this whole multi-layered universe where every movie has its own set of characters and locations and storyline but at the same time, they are all connected.” – Shiken Hanzo
This track had to be the first track as it starts with that long atmospheric intro, it has that out of this world kind of sci-fi vibe but it’s not all guns blazing, not yet. I wanted a track that makes you imagine that you’re flying around the solar system and you find what you think is a desolate planet but ,just like in a movie, it’s not and this is the start of an adventure.
This is the first battle scene, the pace increases as you are about to enter the atmosphere of new discovered planet. You are attacked. ‘Star Wars’ space battle type vibe, the rebel alliance’s X-Wing vs the First Orders TIE fighters.
The intensity decreases but we go deeper. We are standing on the planet’s surface.
I wanted to make an interlude track that was very short but gives you that feeling of building up to the discovery of seeing a powerful alien life form, of some kind. I wanted this track to have that ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ type vibe.
We are back in space searching again for another planet. The next space battle scene, but this time more ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ sovereign fleet chasing scene.
This track is one I made for the clubs, I have played this one out twice and both times had a great reaction. More Sci-fi sounds.
I wanted to make a short interlude track that combines sci-fi, techno and African sounds (as my mum is Nigerian) and so I wanted to put some of my first musical influences, which were going with my family to those African parties. One of my favourite films from the Marvel phase 3 series is ‘Black Panther’ as it combines those same things. I wanted to do a track with that Wakanda ceremonial tribal gathering vibe, and I hope this captures that. Everything on this adventure is not all doom and gloom, there is some light in this darkness.
‘Spirits Are Gods’
This is a track I made on my journey of pushing myself and challenging myself to producing at a lower tempo but still trying to give the track that fast-paced feel. The percussions and the synth sounds have a frenetic feel, but the main synth line slows it down and is the main driving force in the track. In my tracks I do a lot of playing the same sounds especially atmospheric sounds and I just reverse it normally second half of tune. It is a simple trick, but it changes the vibe in a weird subtle way, and I feel just keeps thing a bit more interesting.
This track was inspired by the upcoming Marvel phase 4 movies in particular ‘The Eternals’ and it was my attempt to try to write something with the synopsis of “the end of the film battle between the Eternals and the Deviants”.
The Ninpiden (a.k.a Shinobi Hidden) is an authentic Ninjutsu manual written by Hattori Hanzo, Straight from Wiki lol, but that says it all.
This one was written for the clubs, I just wanted to incorporate some samurai ninja jungle influences in this one. Making jungle is not my specialist subject, I will leave that to the pros like Equinox, but I like a challenge and used the jungle influence in a simple but subtle way layered over the top, it adds a bit of pace and urgency to the track.
‘Book of Soyga‘
This track is probably my favourite on the album as it represents what I am all about. Atmosphere, hi-hats, low deep kick, effects, sub and sci-fi sounds, its all about that dark deep powerful vibe but keeping it simple. My style is very minimal, when I bring in one or two new sounds, I want it to have a big effect on the track, I want it to increase the pace and intensity and feel of the track but in a subtle but powerful way. If I had to Use a film to describe this track it would be ‘Venom’.
‘Saturn Seal Of Protection’
The Saturn seal of protection amulet is a talisman that will protect it bearer against all forms of evil, hexes, curses and black magic. This track again was inspired by the upcoming of another film from the MCU ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’. Whenever I start a track, I always have the name before the music and imagery that inspires me and leads me down a certain path. I wanted to make a hypnotic sci-fi track that builds and builds but with a lot of tension and then just transports you to another dimension, another universe on the second drop.
‘Reduced To Dust’
This track is another interlude piece written for this album. I just wanted to do a short track that turns down the intensity levels but keeps things moving, again my trademark sound atmosphere, percussions and Sci-fi sounds, this one just designed to be razor sharp.
This one was made back-to-back with ‘Shinobi Hiden’, again making beats for the clubs with that Jungle influence. Something I am known for doing is not using a snare in my beats, I find it forces you to try to give a track some impact but in a different way, when you don’t use a snare it takes a track into a completely different direction.
This one was written with a 3/4-time signature at 122bpm, it’s something I have been doing on my latest tracks, again trying to push and challenge myself never just repeating always trying to force myself into a position where I must create something new, while at the same time trying to fuse my musical influences of African, techno, soundtrack music and drum and bass all together.
‘The 27 Dead Apostles Ancestors’
Final Scene: We have found what we have been looking for, a planet full of life, a planet full of colour, somewhere we can build our future, somewhere we can call home.
This intergalactic journey has been cold, dark and punishing but we persisted and now we can enjoy the fruits of our labour.
I wanted the last track on the album to end on a positive vibe, I wanted to make something that was not techno or drum and bass just a musical piece with a positive vibe.
As you can tell my music is very much influenced by films and visuals, I want my album to be something you can listen to all the way through, something that transports you to another world.