October 26, 2016

Oscillator Breach...

by Chris Randall

As some of you may know, I dropped a new album on Detroit Underground™ two weeks ago. It is unusual for me not to self-release, as has been my habit for the last 15 years or so, but I really like what Detund is doing; they first popped on my radar when they put out Richard Devine's excellent RISP project, and their releases comprise a major percentage (maybe 80%?) of the music I've been listening to since then. Kero has an amazing visual sense, along with his great taste in IDM stylings, and I wanted to be part of that family.

The album consists of six tracks and four remixes (from Baseck, Proem, Qebo, and Corbin Davis.) The six tracks are, as is my way for the last couple years, all Euro and tape loops of found sounds. The Tech Time videos in my Analog Industries YouTube channel accurately describe my methodology for making these tracks, so in lieu of an extended process explanation, you can go watch those. The tracks all start with a stand-alone Euro patch and tape loops, and once I have something that I like, I part them out in to Live, and do the arrangement and post-production there. Once each track was done, I pre-mastered it to my Otari MTR-12 two-track deck, and then dumped it back in to the computer and sent it to Wade Alin at Standard Mastering for the final squish. (The remixes were mastered and level-matched by Detund. Not sure who they used.) These are mastered to what Wade calls "Old Guy Levels," which is to say that they retain most of their dynamics, and are not square waves at 0dBfs. The artwork was done by the amazing Layer-Based Human Activities™ from Athens, Greece.

If you guys have any technical questions or comments about the album, now is the time and this is the place!



Oct.27.2016 @ 9:27 AM
drt_895r -- it starts with what sounds like a tape loop of a vinyl run-out groove. Does that continue throughout the track? It seems to disappear but I think that may be masking by all the other sounds.

I find that for there's a tension between through-composing and ;ove analog exploration. What you've done on this track very much feels like it's got a solid narrative through line, but it's constructed to some extent by gluing together different recordings of modular noodling. I've done things like this, but one of the problems I run into is that I can lose the thread; I can have A then B then C, but if they're samples pulled out of different performances, and they almost but not quite relate.

The obvious answer is that you have to be willing to throw away stuff that doesn't work, but do you have anything you do to keep things hanging together when they weren't made necessarily together?

Oct.27.2016 @ 4:14 PM
Chris Randall
The noise is several different sounds. There's a vinyl runout, and some idle equipment under heavy gain, and some field recording in there. In the very beginning, it is much, much louder; I automate it down as soon as everything starts. The wwwwwiipp in the beginning is starting the tape deck it was mastered to with the heads engaged. (See also: the queueing sounds in a couple other tracks at the beginning. Love that shit.)

As far as how I construct things for a cohesive track, I build the initial self-playing bed and part it out, then add to it. So it is technically one performance, as such things are counted. In the case of that particular track, after I got it all arranged, I decided that the middle section wasn't different enough and the whole thing was too static, so I made an entirely new drum part for it. I don't generally move on to a new track until I've finished the previous one entirely, so there's no problem with mixing "performances," as the modular is still set up for the original patch the whole time I'm working on the song.


Oct.28.2016 @ 9:18 PM
Is this going to get a vinyl release? I'd love to see some of the Micronaut stuff out too. Or RT60...look, just make some vinyls for my vinyl player.

Oct.28.2016 @ 9:38 PM
Chris Randall
Not that I'm aware of.


Nov.03.2016 @ 1:50 AM
Man, this is some great music. Nice work! Why not release on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music?

Nov.05.2016 @ 3:51 AM
Great release. Been getting lots of plays here, already... link [www.last.fm]

Glad it's a bandcamp release, too!

Nov.05.2016 @ 3:17 PM
Chris Randall
@Nikolozi: Ask the label. But personally, I don't give a shit about the streaming services. Don't use them, don't care. My releases don't get enough play to cover the TuneCore fee to get them in there, so I'd just be doing it out of the goodness of my heart, and while I'm a nice guy, I'm not that nice.


Nov.17.2016 @ 2:09 PM
For those of us who love streaming, Oscillator breach is now up on Spotify (in Australia anyway). No excuse not to buy it on Bandcamp though.
drt_895r (corbin davis remix) is a very good track.



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