top of page

Aortaproject Perforates the Electronic Category With Album "Dark Secrets"

Aortaproject has released their album, 'Dark Secrets', and the name pretty much gives away the essence of its sound. Led by frontman Steven Sheffield, Aortaproject has always found themselves favoring spirit and collaboration of sound. We feel completely drawn to the atmosphere that Aortaproject can construct, and we appreciate the utmost variability in their overall sound. 'Dark Secrets' is an opportunity for free expression from Aortaproject, and you'll find the album to packed with contrasting emotions.

'Dark Secrets' begins with "Rogue Waves", a track with a very ominous and heavily alluring beat. "Rogue Waves" makes us feel as if we're on a mysterious and mystified mission. We found ourselves getting caught up within the atmospheric ambiances the track brought to light, as well as the enigmatic feel throughout the entire duration of the song. Aortaproject expands their horizons in "Sleeping With Ghosts", the second track off of "Dark Secrets", that features artist Imitara. The effect that "Sleeping With Ghosts" imparted onto us was very overwhelming but in such a great sense. The track started with what seemed to be a consistent and more mellow melody but quickly transitioned into an immersive and otherworldly environment. We felt that the beat progressed to become a very vivid soundscape, filled with the luscious vocals of Imitara. There were so many points throughout "Sleeping With Ghosts" that we felt as if we were experiencing something magical. Helpful hint: the track is one to listen to at full volume to get that complete listening experience. All in all, we felt that "Sleeping With Ghosts" allowed for many vibrant emotions to be felt with its fervorous approach.

Aortaproject began to switch up the theme of "Dark Secrets" with "The Last Sunrise". This track embodies more of an advancing soundscape, where Aortaproject exposes listeners to contrasting synths that bring a bit of eclecticism into the mix. We felt that "The Last Sunrise" modeled its name quite well regarding the beat of the song, giving listeners the slow and brooding feel of the morning sunrise, but quickly getting into the chaos of the day. Aortaproject extended this intense feeling into "Evil Twin". Given the name of this track, listeners can already assume what they're signing up for. If there was any type of theme music to go along with the plot of an evil twin, Aortaproject's "Evil Twin" would be the one used. The song is very powerful in its approach, housing a fierce mix by Aortaproject, and executing itself in a very programmed, methodical way. Simply put, "Evil Twin" will quicken your heart rate almost immediately, so prepare!

"Perfect Form" held a very diversified atmosphere with all of its sound properties. "Perfect Form" begins a consistently held tempo, but soon sees the integration of Imitara's delicate and creamy vocalism. The song tells a story and pulls you in via its hypnotic and sensual potency. "RECOVR" is the final track off of 'Dark Secrets', and it shares a similar feature to previous tracks where listeners will find themselves on an expressive journey. Aortaproject begins the first part of the song with a moderate tempo, creating a floating-type of sensation. Around the midway point, the beat begins to take a turn and "RECOVR" begins to show its darker elements. All of a sudden Aortaproject brings listeners back down with a soothing melody, only to explode with a multi-dimensional sound. "RECOVR" brought on the most surprising for us as listeners, and we felt that it was the right kind of track to end off the transcendent sound that Aortaproject perfectly constructs.

'Dark Secrets' felt just as mysterious and elusive as we first believed it would. Aortaproject's creative collections bring about such personal reflection and offer valuable effects. We ultimately find ourselves craving more of what Aortaproject is able to serve.

Discover 'Dark Secrets' here.

Welcome, Aortaproject! 'Dark Secrets recently saw its debut, and the album truly brought listeners on a vivid exploration. Where did you source your primary inspiration from in order to construct the various soundscapes offers in this album? I've always been drawn to soundscapes and moody atmosphere. There's more of a story to tell. At the time of constructing "Dark Secrets" I was on a heavy diet of "nine inch nails-the fragile, Deadmau5-While (1<2), Perturbator-Dangerous Days, and Jon Hopkins-Immunity." Those albums are lush atmospheres, deeply layered tracks, and alternate song structures. The influence of these albums is sprinkled throughout Dark Secrets' moods, but the biggest factor IMO in it's crafting was having limited access to equipment. I was unable to use my studio, the only equipment I had available was my DAW (Logic Pro-X) and a set of DT-990 headphones. Dark Secrets was 95% constructed on a laptop with the pencil tool.  It was an exercise in forcing me to dig deep and find new ways/tricks to make certain elements come together/life I would previously have access to via instruments: guitar, bass, keyboard. 

Are you able to explain how the collaboration ensued over 'Dark Secrets'? What kind of narrative did each contributing member want to incorporate into each song? Allanah and I were old acquaintances, I reached-out out over SM to see if she would be interested in collaborating remotely as she lives in Austin TX and I live in Houston TX. We were never in the same room together at any point during this process. That was something different for both of us, but fruitful. At the time of collaborating the tracks had already been crafted but were instrumental. Once Allanah's voice came into the picture we knew we had unexpectedly stumbled on to something. It was a joint narrative, we discussed word choices and exploring a subliminal meaning behind them in correlation to the vibe of the songs after Allanah had laid some groundwork. Once a foundation was in place we started to structure cadence and themes to ark with the movements of the tracks. This played out more in "Sleeping With Ghosts" than "Perfect Form." We would pass tracks and ideas back and forth. It allowed for us artist to do what we do uninterrupted, give clearer vision/perspective, and place the pieces together more collaboratively as you have to work around what the other has already laid down instead of changing on the spot in person without getting to fully form an idea.  What would Aortaproject say the ultimate goal of the music is? What does Aortaproject want to truly project onto their listeners, and what are your primary intents with the way your music is designed? My personal goal with making music has been for a cathartic release, making sense or processing life's intense moments. Music has always been a lifeline when nothing made sense in my own life. I only hope that I can provide the same service for others as it has for me. I think back on albums that have touched me over the years and the ones with the highest impact were the albums I gravitated to when in tough times. IF people are able to relate in their own subjective way, that's all I could ask for. With that being said, Dark Secrets serves as a journey through a tunnel, but you can see the light at the end. You still have no idea how far you have left to go, but you know the end is visible. Then looking back on those moments from the other side...

Where is Aortaproject planning on extending the sound from here? Are there any plans on what trajectory you'll be taking in the near future? There isn't any specific direction, I focus on feeling and mood. I have difficulty planning on writing specific songs or themes, my work reveals itself along the way. However, the Dark Secrets follow up already has 10 instrumentals under its belt. The songs are deeper undertones and have more space. IDK if they all will make the final cut, but I've been dedicating a large amount of time to crafting them in memoriam to my father. My aim to have them released within the next 6-8 months. In the meantime, some select shows (after COVID 19) and a video release for "Sleeping With Ghosts" is in the works along with a few remixes and vocal additions.


bottom of page