Tehn - gnostics

This picks up nicely where Skyclad left off.


wonderful release @tehn
this is the first music i’ve listened to in a long time and i’m glad I saved my ears for it.


i also really enjoyed this, particularly the interplay between the field recordings and…the other recordings? i was struck by how a well timed bird or gust could, if i let it, take me wayyy back. the sudden transition between second circle and serpent took me directly to a rainstorm i experienced near the sierra gorda biosphere, en route to a waterfall i believe is near “the cave of swallows”, studying abroad in mexico circa august 2010.

this is a memory so remote in my mind that it took me several minutes of googling and digging through old photos to work out where it even was, because i was erroneously searching for “large bat cave mexico”, not remembering that apparently what i saw flying into the cave that evening were birds, not bats. i couldn’t tell you the last time i remembered this moment, but the sound took me there immediately and automatically.

i am clueless about why this is. i have to speculate that it has something to do with the relationship between the “organic” sounds and the tonal elements. but it’s very good!

if you are so inclined i would love to read any thoughts on what went into selecting and incorporating the field recordings into the tracks that feature them…


stunning. thanks for sharing this.

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"you can sense the algorithmic parasites waiting to eat your every decision
'we’re all on this leaky boat together, bailing water…
'genius :slightly_smiling_face:


this record is incredible. i was commenting elsewhere that new releases bounced off of me this year, feeling emotionally dulled from coping, yet i’ve already listened to this 3 times. i really love the percussion, the rhythms and timbres fit so nicely.

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i finally made time to sit down and listen to this and it is lovely. it’s very interesting to learn that you assembled this group of songs from a digital hoard–i’ll admit that this is the first work of yours i’ve listened to, but it’s clear to me that you have a voice and this group of songs is quite cohesive.

i will gush a bit and say that ‘pneuma’ is my favorite track. the movement and texture of the lead (bass?) and the way it starts jumping a little is beautiful! if you can recall how what the patch was like for this swelling, jumping voice, i’d be keen to understand, but if it’s the sauce, by all means keep it like a secret. :slight_smile:


Yoooo the club is called… Klubi. Which is slightly hilarious in that the cliche to turn any word into Finnish is to add an i to the end of it for speech patterns (Jay Gilligani, etc).

That night was sincerely one of the best performances I gave in my life so far! Reminded me of the improvisation show in your barn with @kellicain and @zebra all those years ago. Let’s do that again sooner than later???

Hyvää Joulua!


Listened to this twice last night. I really enjoyed the last track. It was a nice serene break

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this is so great. i love all these drum sounds too, i’d be curious to know what was used for them…

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What a fantastic album. Some seriously inspiring and atmospheric music. Manages to be abstract and yet maintain harmonics and songs that actually pull me in.

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@ypxkap ah, perhaps the sense memory was triggered by the the sound of our beloved barn swallows (!) who spend the warm half of each year to our great delight. i’ve likewise had powerful transportations when unexpectedly coming upon swallows in faraway places.

the field recordings were typically made alongside whatever accompanying part, selected for density and spectrum. the recordings were all made here at the farm (except one, see below) in different seasons and weather— so there the inhabitants vary greatly as well. in some of the larger multitracks i’d layer long loops, desynchronized and panned. the final track is untouched: that all happened in realtime (the leaves had fallen, a wind storm “played” this spot in the woods with numerous thin tall red maples clacking their branches).

tracks 4 and 9 feature a sample from a youtube capture of an old film that i meticulously cut up (removing the narrator but embracing the discontinuities)… something about the closeness of the bell and faraway wind sound… this filtered wind stuck with me: early teenage memories of this scene in the holy grail (the irony is not lost on me).

@Zeke_B that’s an old korg ms-20 through a re-201 space echo. i “played” the cutoff, lfo-to-cutoff-amount, lfo speed, and envelope knobs while exploring a simple melodic theme that somehow kept asserting itself… this is one of those moments where feels like channeling, not conscious composition (it’s uncut). the recording got a bit more growl with stereo post-processing through the colourbox (tape emulation and transformer) followed by an ozone maximizer. the “jumps” are sudden jerks of the lfo amount knob, where the lfo is triangle, to the filter, giving it that hard spike.

@instantjuggler KLUBI, yes. and i believe you, it was incredible. you were more tired than i’ve ever seen (and i’ve seen, a lot??) yes, more soon, it’s been a long year.

@reallyok all sounds (including drums) on the “circle” tracks are @randy’s aalto. “ash” (the only modular recording) is @Galapagoose’s plucked, resonant three sisters. the rest are the bitwig bass drum synth— which is remarkably good as is but becomes great when accruing some dirt via the colourbox.

thank you all again for taking the time to listen— it means a lot, as this collection doesn’t work well as a click-through-preview-get-the-gist


surprised to learn those drums are all synthesized with aalto. I was sure some of the snappy rimshot type sounds were chopped up home kitchen percussion or something of that nature.

Anyway, very much enjoying the release!

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Thanks for breaking that down in so much detail! That is really cool!! My initial guess was a Moog of some type, but MS-20 makes sense. Really appreciate you explaining that and it’s awesome to know that just happened and you captured it.

Btw, I had a v1 Colourbox pedal but let it go because I want a v2 eventually and the 9v input.

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really great notes!

thought 4 and 9 were linked…some of my fav moments on the album because they seemed like a slight departure from past recordings

also i was sure that pneuma was the track featuring aleph, but now i’m curious: where did it fit into these pieces?


now playing over a third consecutive evening tea—wonderful work!!

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I really enjoyed that! Very nicely composed, and inspiring work with the field recordings. How did you arrange things? I am struggling with arrangement like many others, so would be nice to hear some more about that. For instance Wide awake - is it done in a DAW?

Perhaps not of general interest but I hope it is ok to share: The track “wide awake” really hit me… Very beautiful track on its own, and being in my hometown during Christmas the “hollering” (sorry if it is not a great choice of word, I am Norwegian) really connected me with old memories. I had a youth connected to graffiti, and those sounds somehow triggered memories from a classic scene in the film Stylewars where they see the newly painted train rolling past and start yelling/hollering with such pure excitement… Reminds me that I really need to get going on documenting the walls of my heroes around here as they are slowly decaying since the eighties.


@glia i realize that the aleph was used on a track that was cut from the collection late in the game. (so i guess we’ll just say aleph was used as the spiritual precursor to norns)

@Zeke_B in reading your comment i realized that i’ve been using the wrong word— we do use the colourbox (jhs pedal) for softbits (for kelli’s mic)— what i mean for the mastering process was the DIYRE color 500 modules.

regarding mastering/mixing: i wanted to additionally thank those who contributed to many technical threads here. particularly @Gregg and @madeofoak

@hallvard indeed that track was highly arranged— the timings needed to land precisely to match the aforementioned dance/circus piece (still waiting to hear back as to my ability to link it). i used bitwig for arranging— it works fine. the process involved recording a ton of takes of similar phrases then cutting together the ones which timed well with the screen actions. for some reason it was very difficult to get natural sounding phrases while “playing live to the screen”

the low and high parts were added after the initial phrases lined up well. the second half of the piece i removed entirely for the album— it felt glued on (this is weird to talk about without seeing the video, apologies!)

and yes, the sparse hollering adds a ton of life. (likewise, stylewars was a huge influence when i first saw it… when i was making d&b with an akai sampler in 1999?)

original video for the “circles”:


ah that is too awesome to see that performance included!

before finishing the album i was wondering if any past video work would be on gnostics ( still love the kria metasequencing demo and one duo performance in the barn w/ trent…had secretly hoped those made the cut)


music aside, my favorite (or most relatable) part of the video is seeing someone who has plugged in a grid possibly more times than any other person on earth flipping the cable after putting it in the wrong way at first

@glia agreed, that barn jam was great. would love to hear more of that.

love the album