Surachai – Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun

It is always a guess, an experiment and an art to try to capture a glimpse of it. All the equipment, time and obsession is an attempt to translate and capture an emotion I can come back to and evoke. The production and release of Asymmetry Codex and Temple of the Weakening Sun was a way to process then archive several versions of loss – it has served its purpose with me – I hope it can somehow find a way to serve you.

The album was released a week early on Bandcamp, Friday September 22, the autumn equinox, because there are actually no rules to this and we’re flexible to do what feels right. Streaming services will activate September 29th and vinyl will begin shipping early/mid November. All Wax Mage Editions and Test Pressing Editions have sold out, Standard Editions are in stock and everything will ship early/mid November. Every record, shirt, and piece of merch has been shipped personally, I’ve read every e-mail and note you’ve sent, and know many of you by name from the orders. Thank you for supporting a challenging artist to follow and keeping me busy with something I love doing.

Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine, Hypoxia, and Surachai will be playing in at Berghain in Berlin, October 5th. More shows and announcements coming soon. Hope to see you around.

Recording
The centerpiece of Asymmetry Codex is the Nord Modular G2. I acquired the G2 five years ago and was seduced by its clarity, dynamics, and general smooth sonics. For months I found distinct sounds that I could pinpoint to some of my favorite albums, though most of the time was spent scanning and dissecting several hundred patches that Richard bestowed upon me. I made dozens of terrible patches and while I admired the G2 and was happy to have it, I knew it wasn’t something I was ready for at that very moment and so, for the next few years, I loaned it out to people. In those years, I released albums that focused around the modular synthesizer and various hardware pieces, and became increasingly aware of how saturated the modular scene was becoming. I made a conscious decision to move away from my hardware modular trajectory and to finally become acquainted and focused on the Nord Modular G2. After a lot of studying and programming dozens of patches between a few songs, I recorded the G2 into the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 and that fed into a RME UFX. Aside from the recording signal chain, Asymmetry Codex is mostly digitally composed and Temple of the Weakening Sun was created with analog tools.

Arrangement & Mixing
After all the patterns and stems were recorded to audio, I arranged them into Pro Tools. All of the editing was done with dozens of plug-ins including: Valhalla DSP, INA-GRM, Sound Toys, Izotope, Soundhack, UAD and a few Richard told me to keep under wraps. I recorded and mixed the album using a pair of headphones that I was not familiar with which is a direct result of the heavy bass – something I normally wouldn’t have done but have grown to love. I have to thank Josh Eustis, Deru, Richard Devine, and John Hughes for guidance and advice and insight into my own mixes.

Mastering
Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities helped me tame these two projects into one cohesive experience. My mixes weren’t in the best form and we worked together to get the album to sound as rich as it could.

“We approached the mastering a little differently for Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun, as the first set of mixes I mastered ended up shedding some light on an unintended overall aesthetic in the mix that was much too bright. Rather than apply heavy processing to reverse that, Surachai went back to the mix and returned with a new set of files. From there, the process began in typical fashion with gear selection and careful gain staging. I experimented with several different pieces of equipment and order, and eventually chose a mostly tube-based setup for this record. The main pieces were a Knif Vari-Mu II compressor, Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ, and a tube preamp called a Creamliner 2 from Sonicfarm. With these main pieces, I carefully balanced and enhanced the overall frequency range, while controlling various areas of both micro and macro dynamics to give them that final glue and polish. The various tube stages driven at carefully chosen levels imparted really sweet additional harmonics that I felt helped the many small detailed layers that live and breathe in each song. This was all captured cleanly into the workstation where the final limiting was applied.” – Shawn Hatfield.

Artwork
Francis Kmiecik and I storyboarded a video for Asymmetry Codex and as time was running out, and our lives became increasingly busy – we decided to roll it back to a few shots for the album artwork. We shot on a stage in Portland, OR with Katrina Mishler who was tolerant, patient with us and overall a pleasure to work with. Francis spent the weeks leading up to the shoot designing the set pieces and we used some of his chainmail jewelry he created but never utilized. The wardrobe and jewelry was provided by Hvnter Gvtherer. Laura of Hvnter Gvtherer has a visual and sensory aesthetic that I subconsciously envision when planning out images. I knew from Francis’ work, the shots would be very studio and staged and clean, so I enlisted Moe Espinosa to take our selects and run it through a circuit bent video machine. Anj Puglise and I then overlapped the studio images and the pixelated assets and pieced it all together. Essentially the same core team that worked on Temple of the Weakening Sun created the visuals for Asymmetry Codex. Overall, two covers were chosen, an elegant version to grace the physical vinyl copy and a harsh digital treatment for the digital version.

Lacquering and Vinyl
Off of the recommendation of Joshua Eustis and former Hefty label owner John Hughes, I got in touch with Jason Ward of Chicago Mastering Service and will say that this is the best possible sounding record it can be. Gottagroov handled the pressing and printing and as always, its always beautiful to hold a complete project in your hands. Wax Mage does what they do and created some of the best looking records I’ve ever seen, the pictures don’t do it justice and only some of you will be lucky enough to see it in its full glory.

Temple of the Weakening Sun
For more information about the creation of the soundtrack and video go: HERE

Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun
Hvnter Gvtherer
Audible Oddities
Chicago Mastering Service
Temple of the Weakening Sun Production Notes

5 Responses to “Surachai – Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun”

  1. Valance Drakes September 22, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    Amazing work my brother.

  2. UNDA DA SEA September 22, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    UNDA DA SEA

  3. Tom Hall September 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    great release, sounds amazing

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