David Morley is an electronic musician known for his innovative compositions that blend ambient, techno, and experimental elements. Emerging in the early 1990s on Belgium’s R&S Records and its ambient-leaning sub-label Apollo, he has crafted a distinct sound characterized by synthesized melodies, pulsating rhythms, and ethereal atmospheres that transports listeners to otherworldly spaces. With a career spanning over three decades, Morley has garnered critical acclaim and collaborated with renowned artists (most notably Andrea Parker) and labels worldwide, solidifying his reputation as a visionary of electronic music.
I first encountered Morley’s work on the Apollo Ambient Collection to which our Brit contributed – via his Belgium-based studio – single “Evolution”, another track “Calibration” and a remix of Golden Girls’ “Kinetic”. Apollo’s 2-CD follow-up in 1995 – The Divine Compilation – featured Morley’s “The First Floor” and “Stardancer” plus “Too Good To Be Strange”, his first collaboration with Andrea Parker under the name Two Sandwiches Short Of A Lunchbox. UK residents picking up a copy of Muzik magazine that same year might also recall a covermount cassette called Refresh Your Ears that mixed some of R&S Records’ tougher techno cuts like Joey Beltram’s “Energy Flash”, Ken Ishii’s “Extra” and the recently re-issued/re-mixed “20Hz” by Capricorn with more contemplative fare like David Morley’s “Birth” and Future/Past’s “Hyperspace”. If I’m being honest, I grabbed it for Orbital’s remix of the aforementioned “Kinetic”.
Almost thirty years later, I wondered if Morley would be keen to chat on the Darko.Audio podcast. What follows confirms his affirmative response but also the man’s thoughts on the ambient techno of the early-to-mid 90s being like no other period in electronic music. Before we got into that, I wanted to ask Morley: was he really in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon?