Monday, February 27, 2017

Something random

this is probably going to be on a PM Comp that's coming out this year /

Sunday, February 26, 2017

PM Mix: Distant Shores

NEUUU Mix up from Persistentmidnight! Here is an hour of ambient / jazz / pop to fuel your adventures to distant shores.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Productions 016, part four Light and Dark

Sometimes writing about Warning Light feels a little odd to me. I do so many things on the projects that sometimes it is hard to add that into the mix too. But it never hurts to assess, and Warning Light serves as a nexus of sorts for a lot of the Persistentmidnight work.

The Life/Death Suite came to me because I had wanted very badly to have a long epic piece at the end of Oftenchance originally. I wrote a lot, and the elements that became "Often Chance" and "Dream Lovers Never Dream Alone" bounced around several tracks before I figured out how to weave it together as a suite. I'll fully admit here "Dream Lovers Never Dream Alone" came to me in the form it exists here partially as a dream; I dreamt Roy Orbison was having a couple songs produced by Coil. So upon waking and wondering just what that would be, I sat down to mix the song again and this came out. I approached this EP to experiment with ways to kaleidoscope things together. It is meant to mimic the arc of a person's life as a listening experience, and then as a cassette tape, loop back on itself to play again (like LIFE itself :)-).

Of course, Inland Empires Disregard the Sea was a totally different beast. I spent a lot of time stream lining the material, being pretty ruthless about cutting parts actually, but I felt like the spirit of the project was pretty immediate. I started this album right after finishing Oftenchance and in some senses it is the full refinement of that experience. It was a very difficult production at times because I always wanted to add more, but I knew I had to keep it as "lean and hungry" as I could. At least, while still being true to the sprawling nature of the project in general. Inland Empires is a record about Perspective, and the relativity of one's own perspective in a myriad of others. But why it ended up being about that didn't become apparent to me until well after it was complete. I had several goals going into the production too, the primary goal was to shoot for a palette that utilized dub and krautrock textures while keeping firm dance and electronic roots. There was more "life" in this album than previous outings, the live percussion and field recordings of places put a lot of grit into a record that could have just been Ableton-Robot music. My ambient pieces on here ("Errants of Lost Youth" and "This Room Will Never Be the Same") are without a doubt some of my favorites, the beat work brings something entirely different to them. "Lumen Tracker" was the track that definitely came the easiest, "Darling Heart Gives Me Vertigo" certainly went through a lot of versions. This was the first time I made "single edits" for an album and it was a very challenging experience. I'm very pleased with how this album turned out, I somehow managed to cover all the aspects (and in just under an hour no less). Side note- I am especially proud of the album art on this one, the CD layout is among my favorites of anything I have designed.

Producing a single right at the end of the year was not my original intention! But honestly, I was stuck in a hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina alone, and I got to thinking about friends I have who I had had conversations with about how they weren't seeing some important person for Christmas this year. It was a somber thought, being alone myself, so I tried to write through my feelings so to speak. I managed to come up with a couple nice pieces, though they are perhaps a little more spacious and lo-fi than my work on Inland Empires had been. Sometimes you need to do something spur of the moment as an artist, and this is good proof of that. Rachel provided a really great photo for the album cover, I was honored to use it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Productions016, part three DARKBEATS

downers. came to an end last year with our best album (my opinion, I'm def biased). Ether Noir manages to be a total expansion of the high points of our more song oriented material on Low Informant. SIMNs tape effects mutate things in very subtle interesting ways throughout, his free form way of working always brought new things to the record. There's dark dance material on here coexisting with blaring industrial noise. This album stays true to the original context of it as a noise project, but pushed itself incorporate newer things like techno and Hyperdub electronic sounds. It's a dark and chaotic album, it manages to sample Madonna on "Crawl to Creep" before tumbling into an eight plus minute ambient tape loop on the next track. I'm proud of it, tremendously.

Clone Operators is noisy, analog leaning techno, made from live jams I started doing with my rhythm wolf drum machine in the studio. I lean about as heavily on my Trogotronics 666 as the wolf, and there's definitely still some Electribe influence here as well. Something about this project feels very punk to me, perhaps in the just "live angry jams" type sense at least. This is def the most aggressive project I have worked on in quite a while. But live demos can be rejuvenating as a recording engineer, and doing something in a new way can be very helpful.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Productions 016, part two Cosmic Tides

Seeing the Sights has been an off and on again project I have worked on since the days just after Roman Photos ending. My friend Jaye, who I knew from the UNCA music department, sent me some synthesizer recordings she had been dabbling with after giving up the violin. After a couple emails, we decided to start a spacey synthesizer duo, and we began to trade tapes. After a few years making recordings as a duo, we also started to bring in friends on the occasional track. So this album features some great percussion and noise guitar additions. Between Avalon & Harbour was definitely us stretching our wings to fly as a production duo. Our earlier albums had been lo-fi and self consciously minimal, this new album felt more like an epic post-rock production. Jaye kept referring to it as a shoegaze album, there's probably some truth in that.

Distant Hymns is a Seeing the Sights side project with just me and Jaye working on a pure aesthetic: synthesizers and effects recorded on tapes, then those tapes edited in crazy ways in our home studios. This album is filled with so many cascading synth textures and heavy tape drones. Living far away, we decided to email our tape recordings back and forth, layering as we went. In some ways it's similar to the first two Seeing the Sights albums when it was just Jaye and I, but really, this is probably a big maturation of that as a sound and idea. There are so many wide open spaces in this production. The amount of layers we did on this was pretty off the wall, but it truly is a space album in every sense of that word. Jaye also reduxed an old Warning Light track through her absurd tape setup and it came out great. THE EPIC EVERDAY COULD BE EVERY DAY.

Snowbride's follow up to Fateful 808s finally came together last summer, it was a great thing to be able to round out our Southern Trilogy. Small Town Synthetics really swirls together all the sounds we dabbled with in our initial big bang as a band, we actually finished several older tracks in the completion. Production-wise we were attempting a fairly airy palette on this album, but with some spacious synthesizer and minimal metronomic beatwork.  The most difficult track on here to get mixed was probably "Mary Beth on the Mezzanine" (those levels!!!) and the easiest was probably "Seafoam in Her Hair" (it was one of those moments that just kind of happened :) _). "Sun Vitality" became one of my favorite Snowbride tracks after we got it done, I finally felt like we wrote a sequel to "Breathing Neon, My Sweet" (if that was Snowbride taking on Italo disco then perhaps "Sun Vitality" was us somehow taking on ambient house). I was lucky to make this one with Rachel, she's a constant inspiration. There are several things on this record she did that I would have never though of, and Rachel has a great ear.

sincerely yours, DH