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

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