Form Volume II consists of four archived performances and four new recordings. Form Volume II can be found on Bandcamp. The vinyl is shipping out around December 16th, 2014. Since most time, effort, and money went into the physical product – I’ll start there and work backwards.
As a response to the deluxe presentation of Ritual and because Form Volume II wasn’t supposed to exist, I decided to keep the theme of non-existence with the vinyl and artwork by calling it the Void Presentation. Firstly: there is no artwork. The vinyl is clear and with no center sticker making it an entirely transparent vinyl record. Again, the record is pressed at GottaGroov Records. The transparent information card was manufactured by Offbeat Press and the reference I gave them was the winning ticket to Fhloston Paradise from The Fifth Element. The clear jacket is also clear and originally intended for picture discs. If you’re not looking for this album, you’re not going to find it – basically its a marketing nightmare.
Pre-Master & Mastering
Because all tracks were recorded in single takes to stereo or mono tracks and mixing was performed on the fly, the results were raw, hugely dynamic, and sometimes lackluster. All tracks were mixed afterwords and pre-mastered with the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 with a couple dynamic processing UAD plug-ins. I turned these pre-master versions into Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities to officially master the album and tame the inconsistencies between the tracks while preserving the dynamics.
“In general, I used all the different input/output transformer stages on my gear, driven just enough to saturate a little. Dave Hill Titans were used to add weight and body, Knif Vari-Mu II mid/side compression to glue things together and further enhance the stereo information followed by a BAX EQ to help open things up a little more where needed. And I also ran them through some custom op amps built around a 1970’s design that impart a smooth character.” – Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities.
Despite the length of time between recordings, the recording sessions were almost identical to each other: construct a patch, tweak the patch anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 weeks, record the patch, keep the 1st or 23rd take. There were no limitations of modules used and as you can tell in the videos, there were plenty – although the last track is using only one module.
Form Volume II is not supposed to exist. The album started with Aaron Funk requesting source audio files from a few Form session videos. That was an easy ask: track down the sessions folders, zip up a few bounced files, and send them over Dropbox – that should have been the end of the transaction. But this small request spiraled into obsession to the point where I found myself finishing an album I hadn’t known I was working on for more than two years – in the mountains of Tennessee. The first four tracks were previously recorded from June, 2012 to August, 2014 in Chicago and the last four tracks were recorded in a weekend with Richard Devine and his live system in Tellico Plains, Tennessee in August, 2014.
I’m writing this a day before the official release and am confused after looking at Bandcamp’s best seller’s column for electronic vinyl. Currently, Make Noise Records: Shared System Series – Surachai 7” is number 1 and Form Volume II is in third place. What does this mean? For Make Noise Records, its makes a bit of sense – We’ve released some of the top names in experimental music on our short 5 record, 2 year stint and mine being the last, the momentum is expected. As for Form Volume II being a top seller, initially I’m skeptical. I haven’t utilized active PR for the past 3 vinyl releases and am constantly hopping labels and switching musical styles. The only thing I can think of is that I know who you all are. I order, assemble, pack and ship the vinyl to you and that must mean something. Whatever is driving the sales, thank you for the support over the years.
Form Thirty Recorded in Chicago, IL. June 9 2012
Form Thirty-Two Recorded in Chicago, IL. November 12, 2013
Form Thirty-Four Recorded in Chicago, IL. May 3, 2014
Form Thirty-Five Recorded in Chicago, IL. August 12, 2014
Form Thirty-Six Recorded with Richard Devine in Tellico Plains, TN. August 31, 2014
Form Thirty-Seven Recorded with Richard Devine in Tellico Plains, TN. August 31, 2014
Form Thirty-Eight Recorded with Richard Devine in Tellico Plains, TN. August 31, 2014
Form Thirty-Nine Recorded in Tellico Plains, TN. August 31, 2014
Limited to 250 copies of vinyl
Mastered by Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities
Released by BL_K NOISE
– Surachai – Form Volume II