3DoF: 2 new LPs

Hello All,

I hope you’re all still keeping well in this weird time. Personally, I’ve found myself oscillating between days of immense productivity, and ones where I lack motivation and do nothing at all; such is the way of things I guess :roll_eyes:. However, due to ongoing events my schedule is almost entirely empty, so on those days when I do feel up for working I’ve enjoyed doing a bunch of music, including finishing the following two LPs, both of which have been sitting around almost finished for a good few months:

I’ve released them together because I feel that they complement each other, each one creating a very different atmosphere to the other.

Chaos! is Restor’d is a project which I’d been wanting to do for a while - it’s a very dark, angry album and explores drone and noise music quite a lot. I think music to this effect is very apt at the moment, and having someplace where I can channel my current feelings has certainly helped me. Hence why I choose to release it now.

Within this dark ambient/drone realm, the 4 tracks cover a fair bit of ground - the minimalist mantras of kvesse seksev and C/C’/C’’ start and end the album with a simple repeating melody, and occasional auditory blips, moving over a drone. They remind us that life keeps on moving, even through this temporary pause - change will come. In contrast, 20-00-00 is much more upfront. It’s angry and harsh, and the dark subtones are no longer subtones, they’re pushed to the forefront instead, channeled through the heavily distorted lead line. Patchwise, it is quite interesting too. It builds off an idea in the generative ideas thread (thanks @jasonw22!) which is using a Seriously Slow LFO to modulate the master volume of the track, causing a very gradual crescendo up to the climactic middle of the track, before dying back down again towards the end. [C]louds [C]ombined is a dark and noisy improvisation that fits the mood of the album quite well, and helps to break it up a bit more.

In contrast, final verse presents a calmer, more laidback collection of music. As much as the angryness helps as a vent, it is important to have the downtime and a calm space too. Something I’ve noticed over the past month or so, is the increase in birdsong that I can hear from my desk. With the reduced traffic flow and background noise, the birds have become much more noticeable. This is something I chose to include in this album, to help share this little bit of beauty. To quote Masakatsu Takagi, from his wonderful Marginalia series:

"I opened all the windows to welcome the sounds of nature and played
the piano without any sort of preparation : no overdubbing, no
writing, no editing, no fixing… just as it is.
What you are listening [to] now are raw, improvised piano recordings
where the sounds of nature and the musical notes are recorded at the
same time, in harmony without any discrimination.
I love to think that nature might also listen to my piano.

The nature is the melody.
The piano is the harmony."

The concept is the same for the 4 Q tracks off final verse - I first recorded 4 ambient pieces in VCV rack as .wav files onto my computer, then played them back through a couple of old HiFi speakers and rerecorded them and the birdsong simultaneously with one SM57 underneath my window. The result is these very natural, very calming pastoral soundtracks which make up the majority of the album. The surrounding tracks (labelled i) are improvisations I performed on a midi keyboard, that fit the same sort of ambient mood. They sounded quite dry though straight out of the computer, especially when compared to the lush natural sounds of the Q tracks, so I processed them through my microcassette player, an old Realistic Micro 12 dictaphone. This creates a wonderful bit of warble that slowly drifts in and out with the raw sound, and there’s a lovely bit of crunch - especially when pushed in volume. The background hiss and slight buzz also add such a nostalgic character, and provide a lovely backdrop for the tracks to play over. Patchwise, each of the i tracks have got a delay module in them, and in i1 and i2 they’re clocked with the gate of the midi keyboard. This is a technique I have found to be wonderful at creating these shifting harmonies, all of which stem from the same single oscillator but give it this deep richness. To further enhance this sound, each of the patches has various parameters mapped to mod/vel/PB on the midi module making them all very expressive to work with.

Also worth mentioning is the accompanying artwork. Both albums have separate artwork for each track on the album, and included with both are a whole load more visuals that match the mood of the respective LP. In Chaos! there are a collection of photos heavily disfigured and glitched by running the data through Audacity. For final verse there is a collage, again of databent visuals, but this time treated with more care and delicacy. The subject matter is different in both cases too: for Chaos! it’s foggy, overcast photos; for final verse it’s brightly lit flowers in sunshine, the first sign of spring. Also included in final verse is a text document with a link to the raw, unprocessed audio as it is quite different to the finished product. This is why I’ve put a price on the albums - I normally don’t, but because of the included artwork/tracks, I’m asking £1 for them as a download. If you do buy them, send me a message - I’d love to hear from y’all, and I’m always down for a bit of collaboration!

As usual, if anyone wants a more thorough rundown of the patches, ask below and I’ll happily supply. All the patches (except kvesse seksev - no idea where that one ended up) are on Patchstorage too, so you can check them out there. Also, in lieu of actual human socialising/contact, feel free to play around with them: remix them, repatch them, use them as inspiration for something new… anything really, just send me a link to it, I’d love to see where they end up. Likewise with the databent visuals included as part of the download - edit them, put them in a new context, try it out with a different photo, etc…

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy!

Jim

3 Likes

Une réussite :slightly_smiling_face:. Bravo…