I first came across AndyDan when engineering for him at Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, where he premiered his much-anticipated album. Using a hexaphonic pickup to enable synth-triggering possibilities, Andy delivers a concept album about Mt Everest:
Starting the album with ambient wind noises, synth pads and narration, Andy paints a sonic picture of fear, stillness and danger. It musically meanders before using looping sawtooth leads to build a diverse soundscape that escalates to represent the sense of determination and triumph for those climbing the worlds tallest mountains.
‘The Fallen Guide Our Way’ presents the inclusion of Andy singing with the desolate hook of ‘Go on, go on’, and a powerful build up of heavy drums with a distorted lead uke. In other songs he builds up tension brilliantly, illustrating the stress of a mountain climb with music as his ink.
The Eight Thousands is a ukulele album unlike anything you have ever heard. Its experimentation and sonic imagery recreate the mountaintop atmosphere teleporting the listener into absorption. There will be a large chunk of the population that won’t get it, but for those who do, it is an encapsulating musical journey. 8/10
You can listen to The Eight Thousands here: