HEDERSLEBEN 4 - Orbit (Part 1) 

  New Line-up return with a new album 'Orbit'  

  A T&M website exclusive  

  by Nicky Garratt   

"While our last album ‘The Fall Of Chronopolis’ was a concept album based on Barrington J. Bayley's book of the same name, ‘Orbit’ has a somewhat looser concept.
It imagines a massive elliptical orbit of a habited asteroid around the sun passing close to Earth then swinging out deep into the Kuiper belt. Each song sits at various points on the orbit’s trajectory.

Despite a radical line-up change, the instrumentation remains the same as on ‘The Fall Of Chronopolis’, guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, violin and vocals. Jai Young Kim (pictured right), who made a guest appearance on the last album plays keyboards. You might know Jai Young from his work with Secret Chiefs 3

On drums is John Daren Thomas who has a BA in percussion from Humboldt State University. Incidentally, John's father played keyboards with Captain Beefheart.

On bass and vocals is the very talented Doc Miller who studied music at CalArts. On this album I reunite with Alicia Previn on vocals and violin, Alicia - daughter of Conductor André Previn - and I both played in the 90s art rock band Ten Bright Spikes.

More relevant to Hedersleben though is that Alicia was part of The Source Family and played with members of the psychedelic rock band YaHoWha 13 in the early 1970s. There is a compelling 2012 documentary ‘The Source Family’ available on DVD which mentions Alicia. She was the cult’s archivist until the death of the charismatic leader Father Yod in Hawaii.
Hedersleben 4 - new line up photo - click to enlarge

Clearly this is the most musically literate and accomplished line-up of Hedersleben so far. One downside however is that the members are no longer centralised in the Bay Area - making one-off gigs and indeed rehearsals difficult. Rehearsals and recording are now lock-in affairs but frankly I've always preferred that anyway. It always seemed to me that the once or twice a week rehearsal model is more a social gathering.
Hedersleben 4 headshots - 2016 Orbit line up - click to enlarge

We recorded the album at Feast Or Famine in San Francisco. Jai Young and I are producing it together with Jai Young doing the engineering.

After the backing tracks were recorded Alicia went back to San Diego and John to Humboldt county.

The candidate pieces for the album mostly took provisional titles of ‘Orbit 1’, ‘Orbit 2’ etc. Starting at a couple of dozen, through the process of rehearsing and much self-editing, the number of songs/pieces ended up at eleven.

These may be reduced further after mixing to perhaps nine or ten.

Here are the songs with a brief synopsis on each…

Hedersleben - Orbit - Track by track

  • Judas Star (Garratt)
This was written as the album opener. It's based on an organ riff with just the melody played on guitar and violin.

  • Rarefied Air (Garratt/Kim/Previn)
I woke up in the middle of the night with this riff in my head and jotted it down using my iPad and an ever present guitar beside my bed. At Jai Young's place we fleshed it out a little and a few days later he sent me an updated version with some nice parts he'd added. Alicia wrote the lyrics and melody.

  • Where Sebastian Lies (Garratt)
I managed to combine my life long obsession with Johann Sebastian Bach and my love of Science Fiction in this goodbye to Earth as our asteroid speeds to its perigee.
Alicia sang it originally but under a bit of pressure from the band I took a shot at it as I had on the demo. For that it might get cut... We'll see after it's mixed. The music is rather church organ like.

  • History Of Light (Kim/Previn)
Jai Young's nod to Bowie after his death last winter. With that subject matter, Alicia wrote the lyrics as a tribute but also keeping it within our concept.

  • Be There (Kim/Garratt)
Based on music by Jai Young, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek lyric about the trust that the sun will be there to complete the orbit, but it's also a comic metaphor for awkward relationships.

  • Perigee (Miller)
This track written by Doc, and featuring him on classical guitar is slated to close the album. With a little mellotron and my acoustic lead at the very end, Doc pretty much holds the fort on this one.

  • Walk Above The Clouds (Garratt/Previn)
21 April - in the studio - click to enlargeThis is a strange little song. I always loved the way the second part of John Coltrane's ‘A Love Supreme’ just bursts in. While the intro to ‘Walk Above The Clouds’ is not really influenced by that record, I wanted it to burst in. I wrote the lyrics and the vocal melody is Alicia's.

  • Apogee (Garratt)
I played this odd demo to Jai Young and he persuaded me to use it on the album. It's in two halves. The first is a hypnotic repetitive organ pattern, then the band enters and plays a big riff to the end. I hum along. That's it!

  • Hedersleben (Dreamstate) (Garratt)
Tranquillity in the fields behind my farm in Hedersleben. These are memories I hang on to, only being free to visit each summer for our party/jam. It made me think how much more ephemeral and strange those memories would be out where the sun is almost as dim as the other stars. The lyrics are descriptions of the place. Jai Young plays the first solo on mini Moog but the second is Alicia's violin solo through a ring modulator - you would never know it's a violin.

  • Distant Sun (Garratt)
Studio - September 22nd 2016 - Nicky - click to enlargeOur orbit reaches its apogee and the sun is just another star. I brought this in as a demo, but it is pretty out there and very slow. The vocals are by Doc and Alicia in harmony.

  • Gravity Assist (Garratt)
A krautrock Amon Düül II influenced 12-string guitar instrumental. This is one of the first pieces we rehearsed. It has some tricky timing and time signatures."


   Nicky Garratt - September 2016   

   Hedersleben to support Nik Turner on Fall tour  

Hedersleben will be opening and backing Nik Turner on a US tour starting next month - see dates below. There are still a few dates to fill in. The band will be debuting selections from their upcoming album Hedersleben 4 Orbit....

10/27 - Oakland, CA - Oakland Opera House
10/28 - Arcata, CA - Richard's Goat Tavern
10/29 - Portland, OR - The High Water Mark
10/30 - Seattle, WA - The Highline
10/31 - Vancouver, BC - The Rickshaw Theatre
11/3 - Denver, CO - Lost Lake
11/4 - Lincoln, NE - Bourbon Theatre
11/5 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
11/6 - Chicago,IL - Reggies
11/7 - Milwaukee,WI - Shank Hall
11/8 - Indianapolis,IN - 5th Quarter Lounge
11/10 - Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups
11/12 - Detroit,MI - Echo Fest at Magic Stick
11/13 - Cleveland,OH - The Grog Shop
11/14 -Rochester,NY -Bug Jar
11/15 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus Bar
11/16 - Philadelphia,PA - Kung Fu Necktie
11/17 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
11/18 - Knoxville, TN - TBA
11/19 - Atlanta, GA - The Drunken Unicorn
11/20 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
11/21 - Houston Texas - White Oak Music Hall
11/22 - Austin, TX - Grizzly Hall
11/23 - TBA 11/24 - El Paso - TBA
11/25 - TBA 11/26 - San Diego, CA - TBA
11/27 - Los Angeles, CA - TBA
11/28 - San Francisco , CA - The Elbo Room



   Exploring the new Hedersleben album  

21 April - in the studio - click to enlargeTime & Matter are absolutely thrilled that ex-U.K. Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt has written another exclusive article for his popular T&M section

After previously writing articles on his various guitars as well as penning a recording diary for T&M along with giving exclusive insights into each new song, Nicky, as he generously did with the first three Hedersleben LPs, reveals the inspiration and story behind the soon to be released fourth Hedersleben album 'Orbit', in yet another fascinating article.

The latest article published today (25/09/2016)

Read Nicky's brand new exclusive to T&M article - click here

Buy Hedersleben 4 - Orbit HERE


The Time & Matter webstore has got the first three Hedersleben albums in stock, of which we have a limited amount signed by Nicky as well as by the band...


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


Buy Hedersleben II - click here (signed by Nicky and the band)
Buy Hedersleben III - click here (signed by Nicky and the band)










The Time & Matter webstore are stocking the CD now, as well as vinyl copies of the new Hedersleben album, 'Orbit' when it comes out, all these will be signed by Nicky...