Five years ago, Mike Wells set himself the task of writing an album that would reflect the kind of music that he was about. Influenced by musicians including Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Rae & Christian, Wells began the long road to his debut album "Swim: In the Deep".
A self- taught multi-instrumentalist, song writer, producer, Wells found his ideal creative partnership with Bob Scott and they began the monumental task of writing and recording the album. "Swim: In The Deep" is an album recorded over a two year period at Dodgy Sound Studio in Sydney's Glebe, together with Mike's own studio in Kings Cross. The only exception is the title track from the album - "I'll Carry You" - which was mixed by Carmen Rizzo in Los Angles, an artist mostly known for his work with Paul Oakenfold.
"Swim: In The Deep" features an eclectic and highly talented group of session players... namely Phil Slater (Band of Five Names/ Diagram), Bill Risby ( Elizabeth Carthew Group/ Head Band), Sam Dixon (d.i.g/ Pnau/ Multiball) and Dave Symes (Prop). It is the result of Mike's almost religious obsession with jazz that these players came to be on Swim. While writing the album he had had kept them in mind as he "only wanted the best jazz players". The story repeats itself with the vocalists that feature on the album. Once again, Mike had written music with specific voices in mind, primarily choosing each of them based on their uniqueness. These being Steve Kilby, IOTA, Connie Mitchell, Inga Liljestorm and Betty Emanuelle.
Mike's album is Steve Kilby's (The Church) first electro/ jazz collaboration. Coincidently he had been working in the studio opposite from where Wells and Scott were recording. As Kilby recalls "dodgy Bob Scott came over to our studio room and asked me to sing on the track... I listened to it and thought it was beautiful... so we did it off the cuff." Over the next two hours after their meeting, Kilby wrote the lyrics and together they recorded The Long Way Home. Ironically the track had always been written with Kilby in mind.
"Swim: In The Deep" is an album that has been made with the upmost painful and acute attention to detail. Mike cannot begin to count the many hours that he has spent programming and writing in an attempt to build the warm texture of the music to how he envisaged. He admits that the math involved in making the album is implausible and at times troublesome due to multiple refining of the music and choice of unusual keys. The journey to the release of the album has not been an easy one, but worth the wait.
Mike Wells is known to most by "Stereo Flavas", a track sung by Betty Emanuelle, that received much attention on radio and in the clubs worldwide. It sold over 8,000 vinyl worldwide, together with charting Number 1 on the ARIA dance chart on release in Australia. The release of Swim: In The Deep will change the public's perception of Mike as an artist. This jazz infused album that is rich and warm in texture yet chilling and intense in its lyrics with a story to tell. Let's hope he tours. Soon. Very soon.