Liminal Drifter

Liminal DrifterLiminal Drifter is an ongoing travelogue between identities, physical places and states of consciousness. Many of these dreamy, evocative slices of ambient electronica evolved on hand-held mobile devices, away from the studio, while traveling or visiting new places. This sense of contemplative, exploratory rootlessness imbues his work with the wistfulness and open narrative we often associate with travel.

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Discography

 

Connected


May 2020

Following on from 2018’s wonderfully received The Dreams, Liminal Drifter delivers another suite of mesmeric electronica in his latest outing, Connected. Dripping with dub-inflected rhythms and intricate melodic tapestries, Connected is a collection of eight intangible travelscapes that touch on both the astral and the earthbound.

The album’s buoyant and often uplifting electronica belies the conditions under which it was created. Born out of a period of personal trauma, Connected acts as a musical salve and a celebration of important moments. Opener ‘Choir on Mars’ is a playful invitation to enter Liminal Drifter’s bright musical space, its subtly phased electric piano playing against reverberant chords, crisp beats and breathy sampled voices. ‘Braxton’ brings to mind In Sides-era Orbital as it draws you inexorably into its centre. ‘Sheep Radio’ is a happy-to-be-sad slice of daydream-dub electronica, layered with intricate samples and an insistent yet delicate melodic progression. And closing track ‘Atlantean Shaman’ taps into a moody, reflective space, casting a majestic shadow across the preceding 40 minutes of music.

 

The Dreams


June 2018

Following his acclaimed debut album, Troubled Mystic, and its remix companion, Night Train Vacancies, this new collection displays Simon Order’s ongoing mastery of melodic, transportive electronica. Befitting its title, The Dreams has a hypnotic feel, its pristine sonics rendered uncanny by subliminal details. Track titles such as ‘Beach Fair’, ‘Angels of the Sea’ and ‘Fish Don’t Have Arms or Legs’ offer suggestions of the aquatic vibe of the release, with sonar pings and synth pads washing in and out as samples of submerged voices nag at the subconscious. Whether it’s the driving bassline of ‘Stranger Things’, the dream-pop guitars and skanking piano on ‘Man is Part of Nature’, or the thick synth arpeggiation on the closing track ‘Time Lapse’, The Dreams takes great care to offer up waves of lush dreamtronica.

 

The Night Train Vacancies


August 2017

On Night Train Vacancies, Liminal Drifter takes his ideas of shifting identities, travel and states of consciousness to the logical extreme. While most of debut album Troubled Mystic (Hidden Shoal, 2015) was written while travelling and visiting new places, The Night Train Vacancies sees Liminal Drifter’s music taking new journeys of its own. By throwing the original tracks out into the world, to be reinterpreted by artists such as Erik Nilsson, Matt McLean (of Lilt), Lvmark, p_Frisk and Robwun, Simon Order has invested his musical flights of fancy with fresh wings.
Labelmate Erik Nilsson’s reworking of ‘Troubled Mystic’ is an exercise in both restraint and expansion, reining in the original’s downtempo beats and horns, pairing Chloe March’s voice with nylon-string guitar and shimmering synth. Matt McLean, working under the moniker of Feeding | Ear, morphs the ambient electronica of ‘Adventure Beyond the Body’ into a spectral, tension-and-release banger. p-Frisk’s sublime mashup seamlessly interweaves three originals from Troubled Mystic into an eerie shuffle, populated by ghostly hooks, while Order’s own remix of labelmate Kryshe’s ‘Lullaby’ renders the original in a palette that sits beautifully with the other tracks. In fact, if there’s a distinguishing feature of this collection, it’s how well the tracks flow together, despite the variety of remixers involved and their diverse approaches to the source material.

 

Troubled Mystic


August 2015

Troubled Mystic is the debut album by Australian electronic artist Liminal Drifter, featuring collaborations with English dream-pop artist Chloe March. Drawing on the seminal Warp releases of the ’90s, including Black Dog, Plaid and early Autechre, as well as more contemporary peers, Liminal Drifter evokes a spectrum of emotions across beautifully detailed electronic tapestries. Moving from downtempo dream-pop to shimmering, spacey electronica, this suite of songs works as if by osmosis, gently irradiating your subconscious. Liminal Drifter roves widely and deeply across Troubled Mystic’s hour-long run-time, allowing the songs to breathe and cross-pollinate. The title track punctuates a bright, shuffling groove with golden swells of brass and an aching vocal from Chloe March. ‘Dark Sunlight’ recalls the brooding majesty of Massive Attack’s ‘Inertia Creeps’. And gorgeous closer ‘Soothed by Summer’ vibrates with crystalline melancholia, resonating long after the last note has dropped.

Biography

Liminal Drifter is Dr. Simon Order. Under the ’90s moniker of dUB Rumble, Order worked with UK prog rockers Galahad on Deconstructing Ghosts, assumed bass and production duties with Dorset funksters The Bird Tribe, and produced acoustic blues band The Producers’ Nearly Wired album. He also brings numerous TV, film and radio sound credits from ol’ Blighty. Order landed in Western Australia in 2005 and went on sonic hiatus until 2013, when he emerged from the wilderness to resume working on tracks as Liminal Drifter.

Order is also an academic at Perth’s Murdoch University, where he researches radio and music technology, including radio production, community media, user-interface usability, and the use of music technology in teaching and learning.

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Reviews

  • Liminal Drifter “Connected” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

    “We sat on this album for an entire season ~ it remained on the outskirts of our consciousness, struggling to find its way to the top like a buried daydream. But here it is, summer, and the recent heatwaves have us picturing the couple on the cover, while the set’s themes have grown remarkably prescient. We’re all yearning for connection right now, and digging through the archives of our lives, seeking familiar faces and sounds. As a throwback disc, rightfully compared to The Orb, Connected fits the bill.

    “Choir On Mars” was the first taste of the album, which dropped back in May. In July, California banned singing in churches. The world has become so surreal we don’t know what to make of it. But to hear these sounds is a comfort. Strangely, it’s winter now in Perth, but we’re not going to dig that deeply; the pair has likely added another quilt. We can remember the carefree days of (searches Discogs) ~ 1991! Wow, some of us have gotten old. There’s even some scratching and light dub on “This Is from Earth,” a sign that maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to discard the old sounds so completely.

    Will the couple on the cover turn back toward each other? Are they back to back because they’ve had an argument, or are their positions chance? And why does their bed look like a giant crib? The baby in “Braxton” implies that the association is intentional, although one might interpret the entire set as an expression of wanting to return to a more innocent time. Such nostalgia has recently accelerated.

    The popcorn synth of “We Funky” is another comfort ~ we haven’t heard this style in ages! A gentle breakdown leads to crowd noise and a soft, rather than climactic recovery. Then we reach the album’s odd point: the voiceover of “Happy Garden of Life,” which reminds us of Buddha Bar, an imprint that is incidentally still releasing albums as well. This makes me think of the old chill-out bus at my favorite club in the 90s; it seemed to be in another room, and we didn’t know we were outside until we looked up and saw the stars. But “Sheep Radio” is the highlight, the album’s most modern piece, ironically including more birds than sheep as our fleeced friends wait until the end to take over. The Caribbean rhythms exude peace: a path to staying connected. The title track ups the tempo before the last piece brings it down, ushering the couple to a softer, more stable sleep. Perhaps tomorrow won’t be so bad after all; we only needed a new perspective, as we did on this album. (Richard Allen)”

    - A Closer Listen

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  • Liminal Drifter “Connected” Reviewed at Xpress Mag

    “After moving to Western Australia from the UK in 2005, Dr. Simon Order formed the solo project Liminal Drifter in 2013, and has since built up an excellent catalogue of music. His new album Connected follows on from well-received 2018 album The Dreams, continuing on a path of sonic exploration. Order describes his sound as an ongoing travelogue between identities, physical places and states of consciousness, which rings as true as ever on this new release.

    After listening to Liminal Drifter, it’s not surprising to hear that its creator is a doctor, working at Murdoch University, where Simon Order researches radio and music technology. The sounds he creates are so intensely modified and planned as to be obviously from a background of academia. To listen to Liminal Drifter is to give oneself to an abundance of electronic experimentation, intricately layered and infinitely involving. It’s the type of music that demands one’s complete attention – eyes closed, mind open, everything ready to be aware in the moment to give oneself to his sonic vision.

    Connected is less of an album than a creation of atmosphere. Each song positively melts into the next, forming a dense and intricately detailed collage. Choir On Mars is the ideal opener, leading the listener in gently with delicate and airy beats. The first single to be released from Connected, Life on Mars has captured the attention of listeners right across the world, hitting a massive number two on the North American College and Community Chart Chill Albums chart this month.

    Braxton recalls the melancholia of 90s electronic music, infused with sad and weighty beats as the song unfolds. There are good uses of samples, particularly on Happy Garden of Life, a spacey song filled with layered synthesizers. Sheep Radio feels like a companion piece to Braxton, the morning song to its late night haziness. It vibrates with sunny warmth, like a dub electronica soundtrack to the walk home under early sunrise.

    This is From Earth feels like an anachronistic title for Drifter, for the soundscapes he moulds seem not of this world, possessing an ethereal quality. Perhaps he’s just reassuring his audience that a human created the music after all. It’s also curious that Drifter calls the last song Atlantean Shaman, referencing the utopian ideals of the famed lost city of Atlantis. As the introspective electronica plays us out, it’s not hard to imagine a utopia being enveloped by the soothing and thoughtful sounds of Liminal Drifter.”

    Xpress Mag

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  • Liminal Drifter “Connected” Reviewed at Happy Mag

    “Last week, when Perth-based artist Liminal Drifter shared his first single of 2020, Choir On Mars, we suspected that his then-unreleased album Connected was packing plenty more great material. Today, the album has officially been released, and our suspicions have been confirmed.

    This boundless eight-track collection is brimming with imagination and inventiveness; it’s never easy to categorise, but always easy to get lost inside of. Journeying through this record feels like exploring a new and exciting world, completely unlike the one you’re familiar with — a truly hypnotic and transportive listening experience.

    The album’s lead single, Choir On Mars, is also its opening track. With this immersive first single, Liminal Drifter invites you into his universe of sounds. He guides you through a series of shape-shifting soundscapes where intricate ambient arrangements expand and contract, each note highlighted by the absence of sound that surrounds it.

    From here, songs like This Is From Earth and Braxton further build upon this otherworldly brand of music. The former is groove-laden and robotic, while the latter is woozy and formless. On We Funky, Liminal Drifter ventures back into more exotic rhythms, blending slinky beats with his own distinct kind of sparse electronica.

    The album’s title track, Connected, plays out like a dream — it never really begins and never really ends; it floats in and out of consciousness, like an apparition, leaving a ghost-like feeling in its tracks.

    By the time the album’s closer, Atlantean Shaman, reaches its final moments, you’ll have been roped in completely by Liminal Drifter’s expansive sound.

    Do yourself a favour and listen to the new album.”

     

    - Happy Mag

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  • Liminal Drifter ‘Choir on Mars’ Reviewed at Happy Mag

    “Liminal Drifter makes music that transcends all concepts of time and space. Over the past number of years, the Fremantle-based artist (real name Dr. Simon Order) has developed a sound that resembles a large body of water; it’s unbound and free-flowing, takes different forms at different times, and is completely immersive.

    Now, with the release of Choir On Mars (his first slice of new music since 2018’s The Dreams), he continues to establish his penchant for crafting far-reaching gems of sound. If you’re not already across this artist, now’s the perfect time for you to change that.

    On his new single Choir On Mars, Fremantle-based musician Liminal Drifter delivers an otherworldly slice of ambient brilliance.

    All throughout the new track, Liminal Drifter journeys through a carefully designed, sweeping sonic landscape. With his well-thought-out blend of ambience and electronica, he’s created something that feels equal parts sparse and lush — his arrangements are undeniably bountiful and intricate, but never feel over overwrought.

    Over the course of its six-minute run-time, Choir On Mars will pull you into a hypnosis, leaving you spellbound at the sonic figures taking shape before you. Diving into a song like this is an otherworldly listening experience, but an undeniably rewarding one.”

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  • Liminal Drifter “The Dreams” Reviewed at Happy Mag

    “Fremantle-based Dr. Simon Order, otherwise known as Liminal Drifter, has returned with The Dreams, another sprawling album that traverses through boundless ambience and intricately layered electronica. As its name suggests, the new album is a slice of hallucinatory bliss, simultaneously focused and spaced-out. It’s a collection of songs that will leave you without concept of space or time. Close your eyes, open your mind, and let Liminal Drifter’s hypnotic new album The Dreams to take you places you’ve never been before.

    After working with various bands throughout the nineties, Order went on hiatus upon arriving in Western Australia in 2006, eventually re-emerging under his current moniker. He has since released two full-length albums plus a remix companion album to 2015’s Troubled Mystic, titled The Night Train Vacancies.

    On The Dreams, Liminal Drifter presents a collection of songs that effortlessly weave into one another with their lush and dense soundscapes. Much like an active body of water, the album drifts through different environments – changing and evolving with every moment. Album opener Beach Fair, along with Angels Of The Sea and Fish Don’t Have Arms Or Legs, all explore aquatic themes with washy synths that will leave you feeling submerged. On Stranger Things, the album journeys some place fare more exotic, with its almost tropical beats and infectious bass line.

    Do yourself a favour and listen to the new album.”

    Hhhhappy

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  • Liminal Drifter “The Dreams” Reviewed at WRUV

    “Australian dreamsonica is on full display from Dr. Simon Order aka Liminal Drifter. And yes, he actually does have Ph.D. Order has been making electronic music since the early 90’s, and describes his Liminal Drifter project as “an ongoing travelogue between identities, physical places and states of consciousness.” The good doctor’s exceptional talents are on full display here. The Dreams is a beautiful, textured arrangement of melodic down tempo electronic music that is simply perfect for Summer.”

    WRUV

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  • Liminal Drifter “The Dreams” Reviewed at Igloo Magazine

    “The third album for Simon Order (aka Liminal Drifter), it’s easy to hear that the artist has had an extensive background in sonic sculpting and The Dreams is such a behemoth which follows 2015’s Troubled Mystic. “Beach Fair” is its own hypnotic electronic masterpiece, crisp percussive echoes venturing through fields of blissful guitars, melodic bubbles and lively instrumentation taking center stage. Perhaps better suited for the lounge, The Dreams drifts into distilled dub elements as evidenced on the effervescent “Phone Home” (and its eventual four-on-the-floor techno stream) and “Man is Part of Nature” that doesn’t let up on fluid bass. The title track an over-arching low-end infused beauty reminding one of 90s-era electronica from artists like The Orb, 808 State, and System 7—but with a relaxed vibration. Elsewhere you’ll find this album veering into downtempo corridors (ie. “Stranger Things”) to the closing vocal stream of consciousness that is “Time Lapse.” The Dreams is a beautifully choreographed snapshot of the artists’ knack for the surreal, fluid mechanics of mid-90s electronic music shaped with current-era finesse.”

    Igloo Magazine

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  • Liminal Drifter ‘Beach Fair’ Reviewed at A Closer Listen

    “We’re back at the shore in “Beach Fair”, the first single from Liminal Drifter’s ocean-themed album The Dreams (June 12).  We can picture the paddles, the fins, the snorkels and the colorful fish waiting at the reef.  A prior album included the hit single “Soothed by Summer” and the new release continues in this vein.  For a fully immersive experience, get those waterproof ear buds and give this one a spin!”

    - A Closer Listen

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  • Liminal Drifter “The Dreams” Reviewed at 4ZZZ

    “Liminal Drifter is the alias of Perth-based musican Dr Simon Order. His soon to be latest release, ‘The Dreams’, is a lush soundscape of melodic and dream like elements that come together to form an intricate and truely beautiful piece of work. The album has an aquatic feel to it, heavily featuring washed out synth pads, the sounds of waves washing along the shore and a wide open soundscape that sounds as broad and expansive as the ocean itself; perhaps even an ode to Order’s home by the sea in Fremantle. The album is set to be released early June. For the time being, take a listen to Order’s newly released single from the album ‘Beach Fair’. It’s always good to hear such inspired and arranged music coming out of Australia. Keep your eye on this one.”

    – 4ZZZ (Harry Bain)

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  • Liminal Drifter “Troubled Mystic (Erik Nilsson Remix)” Reviewed at The Sunday Experience

    “must admit to being a tad smitten with this. Incoming from hidden shoal, liminal drifter’s 2015 set ‘troubled mystic’ gets the rephrasing treatment courtesy of a select gathering of folk who arrive to adore this re-visualised set, now renamed ‘the night train vacancies’, to impart their own unique musical tongue upon Simon Order’s sublime sound palette. For now, sent ahead on scouting duty, Erik Nilsson relocates the dream drift demur of the title track ‘troubled mystic’ into more nocturnal climates. Utilising down tempo motifs rubbed in smoky noir murmurs, a chilled svelte beguile is ushered forth that draws both on the carnival vibrancy of the city lights and the lulling syncopating purr of the train carriage rhythm as it bobs and weaves huffing and puffing to a metronomic lilt. Add in the vapour kissed ethereal tones, the dancing folk pastorals, a hinting of lights lowered torch lounge sophistication not to mention that overall sense of being lost in the moment, and you have yourself something that finds itself seesawing of a beautified spectrum somewhere between ROC and Musetta.”

    The Sunday Experience

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Licensing

Liminal Drifter’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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