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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

BL_K Noise – 8th Annual Event. Jan 22. LA.

How many times must we warn you?
Tickets
Event information

FINAL

Surachai – Temple of the Weakening Sun

This version of Temple of the Weakening Sun is an abbreviated cut from my live show which you can see January 22nd at Bl_k Noise. Please forgive my technical ignorance regarding anything video, and even audio – I still have no idea what I’m doing. We hope you enjoy.

Pre Production
We researched high frame rate cameras that were cost effective and came up short. The only way to achieve what I was envisioning, without a compromising work around, was using the Phantom camera. The Phantom Miro is an interesting camera which turns a few seconds of footage into a few minutes. It shoots in 3 second bursts, making choreography and planning essential for a useful shot. Luckily the Phantom has onboard editing for heads and tails which helps with cutting the fat and saving disk space. While researching, most footage we came across of the Phantom was clinical, uninspiring and more or less used for experiments and tests – we wanted to create something that was thematic, stylized and story driven. Naturally, I drew inspiration from the world which my previous album artworks lived in, works by Sarah Sitkin (Heavy Mask, To No Avail), Kraw (Heavy Mask, Ritual), and Emilie Elizabeth (Instinct and Memory, Ritual) and expanded on it. The Metal piece, made by Hvnter Gvtherer, and cloak, made by Wulfka, were repurposed from the Instinct and Memory album artwork.

The music was created before any of the story was conceived or written down. I wanted to have the soundtrack create a story through its arrangements and overall mood. Because of the constant versioning up between music and picture, its drawn out process that required constant access to an editor. The tracks were composed using the TTSH and Cwejman S1 MKII with the Arturia Beatstep Pro. The Prophet 6 contributed some background textures and guitars were added after screening a few versions.

Production
The shoot took place in Cape Kiwanda, Oregon over 2 days. A beautiful and deceptively dangerous place where five people died from accidents in the 8 months leading up to the shoot. Being a small crew of 3, we had to wear many hats behind the production. In general and with many exceptions, I was assigned to throwing the cape, Anj was behind the camera, and Francis scouted locations and acted as a general wardrobe / makeup artist. The first day was characteristically Pacific Northwestern with constant cold rain and overcast which obviously is not ideal for a mostly nude model and our gear. The locations didn’t help either for Zara, she was barefoot on slippery rocks, wet sand, mud and grass. Zara was incredibly patient with us, the weather, the wardrobe, and technical difficulties. She came over and watched the selects with us everyday and was quick to learn our unorthodox way of working.

Post Production
Zak and I passed picture and music edits back and forth for a couple weeks and worked out something that flows very well in a live setting. After some debate we decided that the full length was appropriate for a live setting (where you’re forced to watch) but too long for a normal viewer in front of a computer and decided on a concise and impactful edit for the public. Anj worked on color correction. Francis rotoscoped a lot of details of out the shots like tattoos and piercings, or the climax shot. I tried to stay out of the way in post.

Release
After considering several different physical releases to accompany the film, I felt that this was a learning experience to the many planned future endeavors and that getting the world to see Temple was more important than recovering costs. If you want to support, buy music or merch at my Bandcamp.

Created by Surachai, Anj Puglise, Francis Kmiecik, Zak Kiernan.
Metalwork – Hvnter Gvtherer
Wardrobe – Wulfka
Starring – Zara Luttrell

All photos by Francis Kmiecik
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BL_K Noise. January 22nd, Los Angeles. Lot 613.

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Happy new year everyone. LOOK AT THIS LINEUP. We’ve been working hard and against many odds trying to get the annual BL_K Noise show ready – and we’ve finally arrived. If you’re around the Los Angeles area that weekend, especially for NAMM – come out, hear amazing music, and most of all, lets have fun.

The 8th annual convention inspired event will present an amalgamation of Audio / Visual live performances from various corners of North America. Showcasing avante garde, left field and thought provoking sound, BL_K Noise’s musical program will focus on artists that implement video along with their sets for a full immersive experience. Every performer will be accompanied by expert content manipulators / creators. Oktaform, Effix and others will administer their high caliber compositions live. This will be a unique nightlife experience. Attendance very necessary.

Sunday January 22, 2017. 6PM – 12AM.
Lot 613
613 Imperial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Tickets & Information
Facebook Event Page

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Alessandro Cortini
[Performing ‘Spie’ from his Make Noise release with custom visuals]

Second Woman
[Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv performing as SW for the second time since Atonal]

Richard Devine (Visuals by: Oktaform)
[Live generative modular mayhem with custom visuals by Oktaform]

Deru (Visuals by: EFFIXX)
[Debuting new material with new visuals with EFFIXX ]

Surachai
Performing Temple of the Weakening Sun, an audio visual experience]

Hypoxia (Visuals by: Oktaform)
[Warming up the night with lush modular synthesis with visuals by Oktaform]

Tickets & Information
Facebook Event Page

Hyperbole – Houston, TX. Dec 18-19.

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Facebook Event Page
Tickets

DEFUNKT & Soundsystem Cultures LLC are proud to present Hyperbole. Join us Saturday and Sunday night after the festival for after hours music and visual performances. Set times TBA. Powered by Funktion-One (Official).

Night One:
>> Telefon Tel Aviv
>> Qebrus
>> Hitori Tori
>> cygnus
>> Dylan Cameron
>> Trax Rebo
>> Rose Croix
>> P.L.X.T.X
>> zvλd
>> Luuli
>> Ohr
>> Slacktivist
>> Easyjack
>> Samyaza

Night Two:
>> Richard Devine
>> Surachai
>> Daed
>> Shwex
>> Acid Jeep
>> Trip the Light
>> Five Step Path
>> Kona FM
>> Secret Recipe Music
>> Naudible

18+
Single Day Pass – $20 / 2 Day Pass – $30
Vanguard Warehouse
7115 Harrisburg Blvd
Houston, TX 77011

Surachai – Temple of the Weakening Sun (Preview)

Created by Surachai, Anj Puglise, Francis Kmiecik, Zak Kiernan.
Full Length Release: Winter 2016.

Surachai – https://surachai.bandcamp.com/
Anj Puglise – http://dailyanj.tumblr.com/
Francis Kmiecik – http://www.halfanese.com/
Zak Kiernan – http://thedoomcult.com/

Hypoxia – Unwilling Suspension of Disbelief

As a follow-up to the sold-out and critically acclaimed ‘A Constant Preparation For Loss’ EP, Moe Espinosa’s Hypoxia presents ‘Unwilling Suspension of Disbelief’, a two track EP containing improvised pieces of music captured in front of a live audience in two cities on two continents.

‘Distant Mystic’ was recorded in Berlin inside of a vast industrial hall that provides the perfect atmospheric environment to vaccinate melancholy in its melodies. ‘

‘Active Tension’ was recorded at the debut label showcase for BL__K NOISE. The performance was orchestrated in front of the very close audience from which Hypoxia draws influence.

This unpolished recording process embraces all the imperfections of improvisation and eschews any post production or overdubs. Single tracks are performed live with a Make Noise shared system modular synthesizer through a Strymon blue sky reverb pedal.

Like the first Hypoxia record, Hypoxia II was crafted 100% in Los Angeles, California with the artist’s hand in every step. This personal approach to bring art to fruition proves tedious and time-consuming – the transportation of the raw vinyl material from manufacturer to pressing plant in LA traffic, the hand-pressing of each record in a blistering lab, the design of artwork and packaging, the shipping each order received to the artist’s bandcamp page. Despite the toiling efforts, Moe feels this process is the most rewarding in sharing his work.

Bandcamp

David Lynch on Having a Setup

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Some mornings, in a perfect world, you might wake up, have a coffee, finish meditation, and say, “Okay, today I’m going into the shop to work on a lamp.” This idea comes to you, you can see it, but to accomplish it you need what I call a “setup.” For example, you may need a working shop or a working painting studio. You may need a working music studio. Or a computer room where you can write something. It’s crucial to have a setup, so that, at any given moment, when you get an idea, you have the place and the tools to make it happen.

When you don’t have a setup, there are many times when you get the inspiration, the idea, but you have no tools, no place to put it together. And the idea just sits there and festers. Over time, it will go away. You didn’t fulfill it—and that’s just a heartache.

— David Lynch, Catching the Big Fish

Richard Devine – Ringing Rocks

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Field recordings of the Ringing Rocks, music made with Rocks :-)
All sounds captured with the Sony PCM-D100 24bit-96khz
Download the Kontakt kit here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/owre3t7wzslqcr3/RingingRock-Samples-RD.zip?dl=0

Mechanism – Sweet Justice Sound, Richard Devine & SoundMorph

Made in collaboration with Sweet Justice Sound, Richard Devine, and SoundMorph, MECHANISM is a Steampunk inspired collection of gears, contraptions, metal, impacts, and of course: mechanisms. All captured with the Sanken C0-100k microphone

Mechanism – $69

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