Sasha Perera is back with a brand new Perera Elsewhere album, which capitalises on her discovery of and newfound love for synthesisers, in the building of a sound platform that shows an evolution from her 2013 debut, Everlast.

London-born but Berlin-based, Perera also worked on bits of the album in Istanbul and approached its creation in a natural, almost unplanned manner. The result is an album with twists and turns that surprise and excite - often so.

The 405 loved the record's first two singles, 'Something's Up' and 'Happened', and, as the rest of the set transpired to be just as engaging as those two, we asked Perera to talk us through some of its compositions and tell us more about the past three years' work that has led to All Of This.

How would you describe All Of This?

A body of work I made to continue my musical vision as a producer, musician and songwriter, and to tell the stories and put in the commentary I feel I need to.

What, to you, is the main difference between this album and its predecessor, Everlast?

I fell in love with synthesisers! Analogue ones and VSTs. Sonically, the first one felt more like a sketchbook and with the new one it's like I started to colour in some of the parts, using different kinds of paints and ink et cetera. On some tracks, I forced myself to focus more on arrangements more than ever before. I kind of surprised myself in the process... and it was a long and arduous process. It took me almost 3 years to produce this album.

Let's talk about the title - why All Of This?

Because of all this shit that is happening around us and that is happening in our heads - it is something we have to deal with and find a way to individually and collectively move forward. I think that makes so much sense. We are the product of and the victims of all that we created and caused together as humanity. The music on this album is inspired by this collective existence. We all struggle to find a way to deal with all of this shit that is happening within our heads and in the world around us and maybe this is mine for now. I also don't just mean bad shit... I mean the weird combination of good shit and bad shit. It is very polarising to live inside the body of a person on this planet especially when you think about how many of us there are.

What was the first song you wrote for the album?

'The Girl from Monotronica'.

When was that?

In summer 2014. I recorded all the synthesisers using the Korg Monotron Delay which is basically a tiny little analogue ribbon synthesiser with a crazy space delay. My friend, Paula Temple, gave it to me as a present - big ups, Paula, dope present. It was the beginning of my synth journey. I even went and recorded a Buchla with her around the same time. It also pops up on a few tracks of mine. This was how I started to dabble with synths on my productions - first with analogue ones and then some VST's, because I went away to work on some tunes and couldn't take the synths with me.

What was your working routine like for this album?

Unfortunately, I'm not so good at working routines! I work instinctually - I start making tracks in totally different ways. There is usually an element of coincidence, chance or availablism in terms of how I start and what element initially sparks things off. It often depends on if I'm working in the studio or somewhere else, what gear I have with me, what mood I'm in and maybe if there are other people around.

So it varies from track to track...

Each song has its own story. If I decide I'm gonna sit down and write a song rather than an instrumental track or a sketch then I often start by recording a melodic line or chord progression. Often on some kind of keys like 'All of This' or a guitar - with 'The Other Side' or 'Something's Up' - but on the latter, I dumped the guitar for a synth and an arpeggiator. Or sometimes the bass guitar like on 'Weary'. I loop a bit I like from what I record and start to add some textures or percussive elements. My aim is to transport me to a sonic place or landscape that makes me want to write and record a verse. A lot of my vocals don't just entail me singing, they are almost composed in the editing. I find bits I like and use parts of to form a sentence or make other sounds for the instrumentation or make high hats from my T's and S's or make a melodic pad from my own voice. I record trumpets or other synth melodies, I programme beats and sub-bass elements or ask my drummer to play on top after I have finished and feel it could use live drums. If I add live drums I usually drown them in reverb put them relatively low in the mix - they are used as a texture instead of as to drive the beat. Using compression, different reverbs and EQs on all the different element and side chaining is what helps me create the dynamics I want. I often record percussion by using random household objects and a compressor and a condenser mic. I like the sound of places, room ambience or so-called sound leakage, so it's cool to record things in audio and not just use midi. I sometimes use samples of instruments like bass clarinets or mandolins or surdos and gongs which I got from the London Philharmonic Orchestra's free downloads but there is so much you can do with sound manipulation that allows you to create an entirely new sounding element.

Sounds cool.

It's fun. Sculpting sounds and sound design are very much what I enjoy doing as an artist. I often have to really push myself to actually get on the microphone. That is the difference between me and someone who is really a singer singer, you know - someone who always wants to sing. I love singing at times, I'm just really selective about it and there's so much other stuff I enjoy doing too, like playing synths and basses, recording and pitch shifting trumpets or guitars, or tweaking sounds and stuff that I just get really involved in the other elements.

I guess a lot of it just happens organically.

Yes. Like, the "no no no no" parts that are in 'The Other Side' only came about because I was chopping the vocal and pitching it - I would never have written or recorded a part like that over a microphone, it arose out of me having fun in the editing process instead. 'Runaway' was born out of a jam in my living room. I made a synth from a sampled contrabass and created some Martian dub anthem right there in the living room with my boyfriend playing the bass. Later I recorded my trumpet and psychedelic sitar virtual synth. On tracks like 'Happened' and 'All of This', I hit a mini roadblock, so I took the arrangements to a friend of mine, Nadine Neven, who did some additional production on those tracks within my arrangements. They were such minimal things in vital places, but they added in so much more dimension and dynamic sounds-wise, it taught me so much. It's like I saw the light and it opened me up to using similar techniques to arrange and finish some of the other songs on the record.

What was your favourite part of the recording process?

I decided to record the saddest 50 Cent cover ever known to mankind! 'Karam' is so emotional that I would almost cry while I was making it! I recorded it in Istanbul because I was forced to live there for 7 months. Some nutters at a massive TV company in Turkey had heard of me and asked me to play a mute Ethiopian slave in the Ottoman Empire in a TV series.

Oh, right!

You have to understand that I haven't had a TV for almost 15 years. This is not my world. They managed to talk me into it by the fact that the role involved learning to horse-ride and kick box and kill 7 men in the pilot. And, of course, I needed the cash injection. So I went but I kinda hated it, obviously, because it's just a superficial television show and that just ain't my thing. And long hours and chaos and slave-driver mentality! Whatever. I was forced to finish making my album in Istanbul. I recorded the vocals of this cover in the backstage of the TV show on the internal microphone of my Macbook when nobody was around. It was my form of protest. I composed the rest of the track in my apartment in Istanbul and I feel like this track features basically the most Burial moment of my career to date [laughs]. It's just a super deep sub driven emotional moment in this track. I had a view of Istanbul which was amazing and there was snow lying on the tops of the buildings. This track will always remind me of that time and the sentimental time of feeling pretty weirdly out of place in this whole TV blah blah sizzle environment. Virtually nobody on set spoke English, so I learnt a lot of Turkish but I still felt very alienated to be in this TV environment. Just not what I wanna do with my life, morally and content-wise... helping to mind- numb people, dumb them down with shit content and sell them dumb shit in the commercial breaks is not what I am on this planet to do. Anyway, it was good to suffer a form of identity crisis in Istanbul. Shit like that makes you stronger long-term.

Which song on the record would you say managed to evolve the most between its initial version and the finished album version?

'Big Heart' is born out of me jamming on an organ and my boyfriend on a bass guitar. I recorded a song right there in the living room. I recorded the vocals on the Macbook mic for fun because it sounds really crunchy and distorted if you go too close. The result was a total crackhead-sounding broken bossa-nova meets heroin-fuelled grunge pit. The choice was to make a whole album like that or just don't! Aesthetically, it was beautiful but just so painful to listen to. I didn't really want to be tied to that sound aesthetic, although I love that version. I re-recorded the vocals and later I muted that bass guitar, played synthesisers on the track instead and then recorded my drummer on it. But all along I kept that bossa-nova feel and groove. I just got more and more into synthesisers and narcotic drone-y swirling sounds as I progressed in process of producing the album. I love the journey of this track. The song is about a woman who hates her life. The nuclear family gone wrong: she has a smile on her face but she fucking hates them all. Think 1950s big hair and barbiturates and lots of pastel technicolour.

When did you know that the album was finished?

I dumped the drums I'd recorded on 'Weary' and decided that it's a dope closing track that didn't need any fucking drums! Free-flowing textures and a few percussive elements in there were more than enough. It was like I'd found the missing piece of the puzzle just by muting stuff.

I probably made 30 tracks, 15 of which were instrumental experimental stuff. As I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot to make me sit down and decide to write and record a song. Leeor [Brown] at FoF pushed me to keep writing songs. I'm glad he did.

It's good to be able to bounce these things off another person for their opinion.

I'm notoriously bad at track-lists and I become so attached to tracks that I can't even get a head around the track-list. Hugo Holger Schneider who makes my videos and artwork and who made the LP cover together with Gene Glover - he is usually the person who listens to my tracks the first, so he sees the journey they take from conception to when they are finished. He is also a trusted person whose feedback and input I ask for when coming up with the track-list. As a solo artist, it's super important to have a few trusted people you can ask for feedbacks and whose opinion you at least consider. Hugo and Leeor are those people. My boyfriend has pretty good ears too. Actually, Oren from my old band Jahcoozi plays bass in the Perera Elsewhere live show and he is someone I can ask for opinions from simply because I know him for so long, that I can easily take and leave what I don't want. Even Robert from Jahcoozi is someone I would send my album to while in the closing stages and ask for feedbacks as a whole body of work because - again - I also know him for such a long time that I have no qualms about sending him something on the fly and vice versa.

Which song are you most attached to on All Of This?

'All Of This' is the song that touches me the most emotionally. I don't know why - just the combination of melodies, sounds and the lyrics. 'Runaway' is maybe what I'm most attached to - I just love the beat, my trumpet part and the sitar VST I'm playing at the end - the way it intertwines in between the parts and instruments at the end. It's really like a Martian smurf dub band. I never imagined I would compose music like this 10 years ago. The track almost reminds me of Joe Meek. I feel blessed to have been able to do... all of this!

And finally, is there a track from the record which you are particularly excited about performing live?

'Weary' it's just super-beautiful when I play it live with my bass player and drummer - it feels like we are in a David Lynch movie. You just get in a proper zone because of that repetitive bassline, synths and organ.

All Of This is out now on Friends of Friends Music.