slow burn - echo memory

soundcloud (full stream for lines) | bandcamp

today, i am sharing an album in the works for about 3 years. each of these compositions is an approach to what i’ve been calling “ambient-dub,” a nod to the the hybridity of taste, hybridity of process they encompass. i will share process notes for each piece, and share where my influences lie. i don’t have a physical release planned, but am open to ideas/thoughts.

general notes

these recordings are not in chronological order, but move through varying levels of intensity, dissonance, and harmony, like a heartbeat or the changing of seasons. all of these recordings are a single take with no overdubs (with one exception*, but we will get there). i’ll share my context and my process, then i’ll add some notes on gear in a drop down so folks can delve into what i used to make each track if that’s their cup of tea.

1. sapphire blood

this song was recorded 2 months after the first quarantine here in the US. i had taken to making music as my main form of creative expression. the main lead synth cycles through a pattern that changes ever so slightly each time it passes through, like a carousel. the bass line glides across a few octaves as a cradle for the delay lines.

this track centers on delay with very brief feedback. in my mind, this is the sound signature of this album. long drawn out drones with layering delays that add depth to the waves. the intensity of this track builds when the distortion takes over. after i finished the main composition, i overdubbed* a roygbiv like bass line underneath to complement the evolving loop.

gear notes

gear: just friends sequenced by one of the sequencers on norns over i2c, which goes into three sisters for shaping. the main sound signature on most of my tracks will be the bizarre jezebel chloe stereo. the main sound is the chloe with the filter set at 2 o’clock. i gradually increased the input until the tubes warmed the signal in the most wonderful way. the bassline is a moog sirin with a pretty noticeable glide, sequenced in pro tools.

2. ∞ = ∅ (pronounced infinity equals null)

i recorded this sketch on the evening i lost someone i loved very dearly. their presence, although not constant, was a creative inspiration whenever we shared space. part of me lives with some regret on letting those moments slip past unacknowledged.

this track is a granular cloud filtered and echoed. i play the filter with one hand and adjust what section of my sample is playing with the other.

gear notes

gear: this is an ipad running borderlands routed through a modular effect system. sample is futuresonus parva 8 voice. main delay/distortion is again, chloe stereo.

3. Flight Risk

the thing with this track is that i wrote it and recorded it on mushrooms. for some reason, the heavy clipping and distortion was soothing to me. i got lost in a meditation for a few hours and decided that this loop was good enough to record.

this was a wonderful 3 track sequencer creating 3 unsynced, interwoven patterns. i routed 2 unsynced lfos to each of the filter cutoffs on my end of chain filter which escorts you through the patterns, bringing out different notes each passthrough.

gear notes

gear: just friends sequenced by cheats codes 2. lfos from instruo ochd. filter, delay, and distortion from the chloe stereo.

4. Nostalghia 1983

this track was an experiment with deep bass, samples, drones, and dissonance. i was inspired by some techno artists (notably: gand) and tim heckers early works. i actually finished this while watching the tarkovsky film nostalghia, hence the name.

a granular cloud swarms around in the background while a cycling envelope generator cuts through. both are modulated by a series of related lfos creating rhythms in the disharmony. beneath these are samples of a thunderstorm, downsampled and destroyed, and a buried kick drum.

gear notes

gear: just friends sequenced modulated by the lfos from instruo ochd. granular cloud from borderlands. filter, delay, and distortion from the chloe stereo. samples triggered at random from the just friends in audio rate mode on the er-301 (except kick, which chugs away somewhere between 80-90 bpm).

5. Sketches for Sunset

this track was recorded in the same session as infinity equals null with the same setup.

this track is a granular cloud filtered and echoed. i play the filter with one hand and adjust what section of my sample is playing with the other. only difference is that this one was processed using the sp-303 vinyl sim, so it’s a bit more gritty.

gear notes

gear: this is an ipad running borderlands routed through a modular effect system. sample is futuresonus parva 8 voice. main delay/distortion is again, chloe stereo.

6. Bitter Fruit

this track was written and recorded on december 31, 2021, an ode to another year gone by. had just come out of a creative and intellectual drought and felt drawn to a tiny eurorack rig i set by my window.

i recorded the room sounds, layered those with a field recordings, and played a few track live from my sequencer through the eurorack effects. no edits other than fades on this one.

gear notes

gear: field recordings played from the er-301, microphones are a stereo pair of loms, bass note is a 303 clone triggered by my deluge. deluge plays two synth lines that are both fed into the chloe stereo for effects and processing.

7. Dissidents in Love

I wrote this piece for a live show i did at NW Detroit Experimental Music (with my partner, as Garden Burial). I wanted something to offset some of the more drone oriented pieces we were playing as part of this set.

The end result is two simple evolving synth voices moving through waves of distortion and intensity. nothing much more to say. oh, and i absolutely love caterina barbieri.

gear notes

gear: harmonic oscillator as the main voice, with brenso adding flourishes in certain areas. sequencing done with synthstrom deluge. as always, chloe stereo on the bus.

8. Dub for Polygraph Evaluators

This piece was an accident when I was giving a friend a demo of a small eurorack setup. I have no idea how it happened.

gear notes

gear: just friends cycling. some kind of modulation from the bizarre jezebel matl causing some timbral and speed changes. I believe that a trigger was generated from this and sent to the input of natural gate for the wonderful chord stabs. there might have been a norns script in here, too? 303 vinyl sim on the bus.

9, 10. Surrogate Lovers Touch // Tonight, I Am Free

both of these were recorded with a small instrument in 2019. no real recollection of the context, other than i was living in a basement and this tiny instrument was one of my only sources of joy and musical inspiration at the time.

these were both recorded on a self contained instrument and a diy metal box that resonated and created the most wonderful feedback. of all of these tracks, these are pretty special recordings.

gear notes

gear: this setup is ears > rings > three sisters > oto bam played with a TSNM mk1. I setup the system in front of my monitors to get feedback due to the metal case vibrating.

11. My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys

this was recorded on the same setup as flight risk, but the day after. I felt like i just try to give this setup a go at its more extreme ends of the spectrum.

the main thing to note is that the clipping on this was actually an old mackie mixer. no one talks about how great those things sound for clipping in ambient music. take the mackie back from noise.

gear notes

gear: just friends sequenced by cheats codes 2. lfos from instruo ochd. filter, delay, and distortion from the chloe stereo. mackie mixer as the end of chain for some added grit.

Thanks for listening.

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enjoying greatly so far, thank you for sharing!

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thanks for listening! :grinning:

thanks for sharing the soundcloud stream - can totally get lost in deep space with the textures and lushness of it all :ringer_planet:

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