Strive To Make It Timeless : A Conversation With Broken Lamps’ Eric Bowr

Eric Bowr makes music under the name Broken Lamps. He works alone in his home studio building musical worlds that encapsulate mystery, dark beauty, and a feeling of being aged to perfection. There’s elements of classic Italian composers, which gives the songs an air of Bava, Leone, Fellini, and Argento. But Bowr is good enough that he doesn’t come across as copying. His “Original library music inspired by cult cinema and rare film soundtracks of the 60s and 70s” tips its hat to the classics while still retaining deft modern touches.

Of course, Eric Bowr started his musical life in a punk band.

But that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? The journey? How did a little kid from rural Pennsylvania who grew up during the height of “Satanic Panic” in the 80s end up touring in a punk band? Then end up comfortably secluded in a home recording studio creating beautifully curated soundscapes fit for a Giallo classic?

I sat down with Eric and we talked about all of this and more. Check it out below, won’t you?


J. Hubner: So tell me about yourself? Where did you grow up?

Eric Bowr: I grew up in a small town called Berwick in Northeastern Pennsylvania, renown for Wise potato chips and high school football. It peaked in the late 40’s to early 50s, due to tank production during World War II. As you can imagine, growing up there in the 80s, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. I gravitated towards music and skateboarding as a kid.

J. Hubner: Were you always interested in music in some form or another?

Eric Bowr: Music has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother was the church pianist, so her playing was constantly resonating throughout our household. I believe that’s where I started to develop an ear for it.

J. Hubner: Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? Is it something you still revisit nowadays?

Eric Bowr: Dare I say Kiss? Well, I was intrigued by Kiss at a very young age, but I think the actual first record I bought was probably Twisted Sister’s ‘Stay Hungry’. Keep in mind, I was 9 years old at the time, but I have always been attracted to music that involved theatrics.

As for listening today, maybe once in a great while for nostalgic reasons.

J. Hubner: Listening to the Broken Lamps’ debut album, it sounds like you’re pretty adept at quite a few instruments. When did you start playing?

Eric Bowr: Yes, I’ve always had a knack for learning different instruments, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a master at all of them. That said, with the exception of picking up some piano from my mother, the first instrument I officially learned to play was saxophone in the 4th grade. Later that year, my dad gave me my first guitar; which he purchased at an auction for probably pennies. It was just this little half sized beginner’s acoustic, but I fell in love with it and still have it to this day. Since then, the guitar has always been my main instrument.

J. Hubner: Given that Broken Lamps is original library music, where did the love for library music come from? Were you a fan of horror and sci fi films growing up? 

Eric Bowr: Absolutely, I’ve always been heavily attracted to horror and sci-fi films for as long as I can remember. To this day, I rarely watch anything else. My brain is forever poisoned!

As far as library music, this is something I’ve really just delved into within the last 5 years. I’ve always been intrigued by it in films, but I’ve never really jumped down the wormhole as a musician until recently. What I find appealing is…the possibilities are endless. There are no set genres or limitations. It’s literally just mood music, specifically recorded for the soul purpose of atmosphere. Being influenced by a variety of different musical forms, I find this to be a very comfortable and creative space.

 

J. Hubner: Who are some artists that have made an impression on you over the years, both artistically and creatively? 

Eric Bowr: I always find this to be the hardest question of any interview, because I have so many different interests. Let’s see if I can sum it up a bit.

As a teenager, I got heavily into punk rock. Naturally, being a horror fan, I was drawn to bands like The Misfits, The Cramps, TSOL, Bauhaus , etc. Later, I fell in love with 60s garage / psych music with bands like The Seeds, The Chocolate Watchband, among others. Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators had a huge impact on me! I still frequently revisit those records. I’ve also dabbled a lot in jazz, funk, and progressive music. I’m a big fan of the late 60s / early 70s Miles Davis records and a lot of the jazz fusion that was going on at that time. I like a lot of world music and classical. Being half Hungarian, I’m also very fond of Eastern European music. As far as film music, I love Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani, and of course, Goblin has been a big influence. Lately, I’ve been exploring a lot of early experimental electronic music, such as, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Italian composer, Daniela Casa.

Other than music, I enjoy art. I’ve always been fond of surrealism in the likes of Salvador Dali and Hieronymus Bosch, even though the latter doesn’t really classify as surrealism.

J. Hubner: Before Broken Lamps, where were you making noise at? What other music projects have you been involved in over the years?

Eric Bowr: When I was 19, in 1996, I moved to Philadelphia and co-founded a punk band called The Strychnine Babies. We played around the US East Coast for a few years and frequented places like Coney Island High in NYC and Upstairs At Nicks in Philadelphia. In the early 2000’s, I played guitar and sang in a few other bands, but eventually decided to move on to pursue a career in audio production and engineering. In 2012, I decided to give it another go with my most recent band, A Brood Of Vipers. We played for a couple years and released 2 EPs, but I eventually grew tired of playing live and went back to the studio. In a way, this led me to the realization of what I really feel comfortable doing. My passion lies more in the creative process and not so much in performing.

J. Hubner: So the realization that you prefer being in the studio, as opposed to the stage, seems like the perfect time to begin a project like Broken Lamps. Is that how it started?

Eric Bowr: I started recording music for this project almost immediately after A Brood of Vipers disbanded in mid 2014. I’ve always felt constrained to keeping up a rock persona that I created for myself at a young age. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just felt that at this point in my life, I had much more to offer and many more interests to convey. Also, the idea of instrumental music was very appealing to me. Sometimes I feel that adding lyrics almost immediately brands a song. Whereas, an instrumental piece allows the listener the freedom of painting their own picture. After all, music is an art-form and I feel it should be perceived that way.

J. Hubner: So this leads to your debut Broken Lamps LP, Turn Signals. How long was the process for making this record? 

Eric Bowr: Well, it’s funny, because Turn Signals was never really meant to be released. These were just songs I was experimenting with. They were recorded over the course of the year, in 2015, and periodically uploaded to Soundcloud. I would make videos for them here and there strictly for fun. It was actually Michael Figucio (aka Vi-Res) that heard the songs and persuaded me to release them as an album. I’m very grateful that he did, because I am genuinely happy with the tracks.

It’s always a good sign when you sit on something for a while, and it still brings you satisfaction in the end. Even though this music is very period focused, I still strive to make it timeless. I feel the wait is starting to become an important part of the process for me.

J. Hubner: Is everything we’re hearing on the album you? Where did you record? It sounds amazing, btw. 

Eric Bowr: Thank you very much! Yes, this album is all me. It was recorded in my home studio using a combination of various vintage gear. I also used a few sample libraries for strings and some other finishing touches. My choice DAW is Logic.

I also freelance as a mixing and mastering engineer, so audio is generally my forte.

J. Hubner: What’s the writing process like for you? Library music is typically recorded with moods and ideas in mind, not necessarily a specific guide or scene to go on. Were you just imagining scenes in your head and trying to recreate them through music? How long does a piece typically take for you to create?

Eric Bowr: It always varies. I went through a period where I was creating graphic artwork first and then writing songs that correspond with it. I also sometimes write in response to certain films that I like. For instance, ‘Anamnesis’ was written to a combination of the mondo documentary film ‘Witchcraft ’70’ and Kenneth Anger’s ‘Lucifer Rising’. Other times, I find a melody on a certain instrument and craft a song from that. Wherever the inspiration comes from, I just try to go with it.

J. Hubner: Has anyone asked to use any of these song for anything, or is ‘Turn Signals’ just for you(and others to enjoy of course.)

Eric Bowr: As a matter of fact, I have been approached by a few people. One being a documentary and a few other short films. Unfortunately, I can’t really disclose any further information at this time, because the projects haven’t been finalized yet.

J. Hubner: Do you ever play these songs live? 

Eric Bowr: I haven’t played anything live yet, but I have thought about it. I think it would be a pretty big production if I decided to do so. I’m a bit of a purest with certain things, so it would probably involve carrying a lot of heavy stuff, haha. If it were to happen, it would most likely only be a few shows, no big tours or anything like that. I do however have the means of putting a band together and have had conversations with people about it.

J. Hubner: I’ve gotta ask, what are some of your cinematic inspirations? What movies have helped mold you?

Eric Bowr: Wow, this one’s almost as hard as the music question!

Let’s see, I was a big fan of Hammer Horror films growing up, along with films directed by Mario Bava. I think some of this can be heard on a track like ‘Gallows’. Rosemary’s Baby has stuck with me for most of my life. I love 70s occult films in general, both low and higher budget. I feel like this influence surfaces a lot in my music. Of course, Dario Argento films were a big influence that encouraged me to explore the giallo genre in more depth. This in turn led me to discover a lot of great music and composers. I’m also a fan of some of the early Jess Franco’s films. Some of the soundtracks for films like Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed in Ecstasy, and even Les Demons were simply amazing. I actually have a song on my next album ‘Kaleidoscope’ that covers that sound quite accurately.

This is really just brushing the surface. Between film and music I can go on forever. Maybe we need to have a different interview dedicated solely to these subjects!

J. Hubner: Hey, I’ll hold you to that other interview! Until then, where would you like to see Broken Lamps in five years?

Eric Bowr: Well, I think the description says it all, “Original library music inspired by cult cinema and rare film soundtracks of the 60s and 70s.”

I would like to build a library of interesting music that celebrates this unique time in music and film. For me, this was a time of great inspiration and experimentation with a bit of an untold story that lies beneath. I would say, my 5 year plan is to record and release as much as possible focusing on a different style each time. Obviously, this music is meant for film placement, so I will be exploring that more as well.


Check out Eric’s project Broken Lamps and the debut album Turn Signals over at Bandcamp. Snag a limited cassette version of the album while they’re still available. And keep up with Broken Lamps at www.brokenlamps.com.

Growing Up In The Dark Peaks : A Conversation With Simon Pott

When you step into the musical world of Simon Pott’s Isvisible Isinvisible, there’s a sense of wonder and mystery. It’s a wheezing, pulsating universe of buzzing circuits, synthetic rhythms, mechanical drones and vague nods to science fiction. Pott orchestrates these analog musical narratives mostly thru modular synthesizers(and seemingly lots of patience and trial and error, as you’ll hear.) Composing via modular synth is a path not for the impatient. It’s a constantly changing and evolving instrument, and despite it’s necessity for a mad musical scientist to control and manipulate it it very much has a mind of its own.

Simon Pott is indeed a mad musical scientist, having spent years working with the instrument made famous(or infamous) with names like Buchla, Moog, and ARP; as well as players like Pauline Oliveros, Klaus Schulze, Morton Subotnick Suzanne Ciani, Kraftwerk, and Tangerine Dream. The difference between Pott and those famous players is that he builds rather beautiful musical landscapes as opposed to the more obscure sonic worlds of his predecessors. Simon Pott’s debut with Burning Witches Records, simply titled Isvisible Isinvisible is an exquisite slice of analog beauty. He has this knack for creating these all-encompassing pieces of music that sound more like modular symphonies, rather than just well drawn synth pieces. There’s an epic quality to his work that makes his songs feel more like companion pieces to a much bigger artistic arc.

Besides his release with Burning Witches, he also self-released Ghosts of Furness Vale late last year(available for download right here.) It’s yet another example of the electronic beauty Pott creates.

I had the pleasure of talking with Simon Pott about his musical beginnings, influences, his process, and where he grew up(which plays a big role in the composer he has become.) Grab a cuppa and enjoy.


J. Hubner: So where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Simon Pott: I was born in Manchester and lived around and about there in the Greater Manchester area until moving to the Isle of Man in my teens.

I did spend a good chunk of my youth living in a village called Furness Vale about 15 miles from the centre of Manchester, and in the shadow of the Peak District (The Dark Peaks).

Memories of living there have influenced my music quite deeply. Most of the tracks on my last couple of albums have a tie to Furness Vale in one way or another.

J. Hubner: Were you interested in music as a kid? Did you take music lessons when you were young?

Simon Pott: I never had music lessons, but I was massively influenced by music as a kid.

After the usual kids records, like The Wombles, Jungle Book and so on I moved onto a lifelong love of ABBA, and by the time I was 8 I’d diversified and become a tiny little punk, Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols etc, but obviously still loved ABBA and The Wombles.

By the time I was a teenager I was deeply entrenched in the Post Punk scene, specifically the Manchester scene, Joy Division, Magazine, The Fall and so on along with a very healthy interest in The Human League, Tubeway Army, Throbbing Gristle, Soft Cell and Status Quo…

By my late teens I was discovering the older bands that had influenced the bands that I was into, bands like Can, Faust, Neu, Amon Duul II, Tangerine Dream, The Velvet Underground and so on… it’s all music that I still love to this day.

J. Hubner: Do you remember the first record you bought with your own money?

Simon Pott: The first single I bought with my own pocket money was S.O.S. by ABBA. Took me quite a while to save for it so it was probably a year after it was released or something, I think I got about 5p a week off my Dad back then.

I spent most of my money on a few singles, but it wasn’t until December 1977 that I bought my first album with a combination of pocket money and some Christmas money. I bought Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols…. I had to hide it from my Dad, and only bring it out to play when he was out. Although I’m sure he knew.

J. Hubner: Prior to your work under the Isvisible Isinvisible moniker, did you play in any proper bands? Punk rock band in a garage? Playing techno music in a club? Phil Collins cover band?

Simon Pott: I’ve been making music in one form or another for most of my life.

I guess from the early days before I was in a band I made noisy music with my synths, fuzz bass and drum machine, I think I sounded like Throbbing Gristle or something, in reality it was awful though.

Most of the bands I was in could be described as post punk/post rock, and the last band I was in (The Chasms) was probably best described as experimental.

We didn’t rehearse or record in a garage, it was a big old freezing cold barn at extreme volume. Fun times.

None of the bands I was in really got anywhere, the most successful(!?) of which being The Chasms who were voted into the John Peel Festive 50 (now curated by Dandelion Radio) top 5 for 4 years on the trot, culminating in a 2nd place, just as we broke up.

J. Hubner: So where did your love/interest in modular synths begin? What was the catalyst to go that route? I’ve watched some of your Youtube videos and I’m completely mesmerized by them. I find what you do quite beautiful, really. 

Simon Pott: Thank you. It’s basically all down to Richard Quirk who I was in The Chasms with. Along with some killer guitars and amps he had lots of old synths and vintage effects, which I loved. But he also had a few modular synth rigs in different formats, Eurorack, Bugbrand and so on. And he lent me one of his small(ish) Eurorack set-ups made up of mainly Doepfer modules and I fell in love with it. I ended up buying it off him, which sent me down this empty pocketed path I find myself on now.

J. Hubner: My first exposure to your work was with your Burning Witches cassette release earlier in the year. How did you get involved with Darren and Gary? You are in very good company over there.

Simon Pott: I used to run a record label for several years, and in that time I did enough promotion work to last a lifetime, so I’ve not really bothered promoting my own music. But I found myself with 3 albums I was really happy with, for one of them (Ghosts of Furness Vale) I decided to just do what I normally do and put it out on Bandcamp myself. That left me with two albums which got me thinking a bit about what I wanted to do with them, either stagger the releases on Bandcamp, or actually send it to people to see what they think.

I had a good think and decided to get in touch with Burning Witches as I had recently discovered them and absolutely loved what they were doing. So I sent them an album of the more ambient tracks and to my surprise they loved it.

We got talking and I mentioned I had another album of more Krautrock based tracks, they asked to hear it and they suggested a double album, which became the self titled ‘isvisible isinvisible’ album. Which I’m absolutely over the moon about.

J. Hubner: Let’s talk about the album. I think it’s a brilliant bit of analog bliss. Dense, dark, and with a progressive lean to it. What was the process like in creating that album? How long had you been composing the pieces that made up the record? 

Simon Pott: As mentioned, if the Burning Witches guys hadn’t intervened, it would have been two separate albums. So I’m grateful to them for seeing it as a double album, which I think works very well, and something I hadn’t even considered.

The tracks were selected from recordings made over about 18 months. I generally seem have around 50 tracks or so that I’m thinking about, the majority of which I’ll not even start mixing.

Some of the tracks were written and recorded in just a couple of days, and some over the space of a few weeks. Sometimes more depending on the complexity (or density) of the track, and my ability to bend the will of the modular to mine.

Sometimes it can take weeks to make it do exactly what I want, and sometimes I can’t get it to do what I want at all, but it will surprise me with something unexpected.

Once I’m happy with what I’m hearing and it’s as close as I can get to what I had in mind, then I’ll hit record and that’s it, a live recording that I’ll just edit down to what I want without any overdubs or additional effects.

I’m not sure if the way I work is the best for most people, and I’m sure I could probably improve several tracks with a bit of overdubbing, but I’m happy working this way.

J. Hubner: I would say don’t change a thing. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Even down to the instrumentation. Speaking of which, there’s quite an impressive list of instruments listed on your Bandcamp page of everything that went in to creating the album. If you had to pick just one piece of equipment as essential over all else, what would it be? And why?

Simon Pott: Well, obviously there’s the modular synth, that’s currently spread out over 5 racks or cases. But taking that out of the equation, my favourite bit of kit is my Marshall Time Modulator Model 5002. It’s a completely unique effect that has a sound that I just can’t recreate with any other bit of gear.

Ah, can I have 2 bits of gear?

I have several sequencers as part of the modular synth, but I also have an external cv and gate sequencer, the Koma Komplex, which is a stunning bit of kit that provides the modular with so much control. Love it.

J. Hubner: What’s the concept behind the epic “Behind The Studded Oak Door”? At nearly 15 minutes it feels like a moment the album works up to. 

Simon Pott: Funny you should say the album was working up to it as I nearly changed the running order at the last minute to make that the very last track, kinda wish I had done now. Although it also works as the introduction to the ambient(ish) Isinvisible side of the tape.

‘Behind The Studded Oak Door’ is influenced by my time in Furness Vale as a kid. My Dad worked for a local family, and on Christmas day they’d invite all their family from around the UK to their big old house to join them for their Christmas dinner, and me and my Dad were always invited (for some reason). The house was rumoured to be in the Domesday Book, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

Anyway, outside the house it’s surrounded by ancient woods, and inside was like a rabbit warren of rooms and corridors, and every room had a big old studded oak door, my imagination ran riot.

It was a strange combination of eerie and welcoming. Eerie due to the surroundings and those big old doors, what’s behind them? And welcoming due to the smells of Christmas and friendly atmosphere. I naturally focused on the eerie.

J. Hubner: There’s something very Gothic about the song, and now with that description it makes so much more sense. I can imagine strange worlds locked away behind those doors. Well, what about “The Level Crossing”, your contribution to Burning Witches’ RSD compilation ‘Communion’? Was that part of that original lot of songs? Or was that something new?

Simon Pott: ‘The level Crossing’ was going to be part of an as unyet completed album. When Burning Witches asked if I had a track for ‘Communion’ I sent them several tracks that I’d completed, and they picked that one, which I think fits perfectly on the album. Some of the others I sent wouldn’t have done at all, so kudos to them.

As it happens shortly after that they started the Burning Witches Vinyl Subscription, so I offered them a bonus digital EP for the people who’d subscribed, which consisted of a couple of tracks from the unfinished album, and a couple of new tracks.

J. Hubner: When composing, what are you pulling inspiration from? Do you look to sci fi novels, film, or are you creating from worlds and stories you’ve built in your head? What’s your creative process like? 

Simon Pott: Basically the process for me starts with imagining a certain sound, either by using a feeling or an image or certain memory, although it’s quite a loose idea. Then experimenting trying to recreate the sound in my head on the modular.

I’ll be messing around with one element and it just leads me down a certain path, sometimes melodic Krautrock based tracks, and sometimes more ambient soundscapes. I then have a feel for how it should work out fully in my head. Then the next step is trying to figure out how to combine all the sounds into a track. So usually it’s sound based ideas I work on rather than melody, although sometimes I do wake up with a tune in my head.

J. Hubner: What are two essential albums you couldn’t live without? 

Simon Pott: Aaargh!!!! So, so difficult.

If I was allowed to have a crate of albums it’ll be something like: (in absolutely no particular order)

 Adam And The Ants – Dirk Wears White Sox

Matthias Schuster – Atemlos

Kraftwerk – Man Machine

ENO – Here Come The Warm Jets

HEKLA – HEKLA

The Stranglers – The Raven

John Foxx – Metamatic

The Cure – Faith

Cindytalk – In This World I&II

The Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician

Faust – Faust IV

The Velvet Underground – Loaded

Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

Cardiacs – Sing to God

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy

ABBA – Album

Sparks – No.1 in Heaven

Roxy Music – Roxy Music

Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, You Are The Destroyer

Blondie – Blondie

Neu! – Neu! 2

New Order – Power Corruption & Lies

My Bloody Valentine – Isn’t Anything

The Cramps – Songs The Lord Taught Us

Tubeway Army – Replicas

Gong – Camembert Electrique

Skids – Days in Europa

Big Black – Songs About Fucking

T. Rex – The Slider

The Human League – Travelogue

The Fall —- EVERYTHING!

I know this looks like I only listen to music from the 70’s(ish), but I really don’t. This is just music that informs my own music, which mainly comes from a time that my young brain was forming itself.

I think I’ve missed out loads, and this will be a completely different list of old records tomorrow.

But as I’m only allowed two, I’m going to go for:

Henryk Gorecki – Symphony No.3 (performed by London Sinfonietta and Dawn Upshaw)

I have several recordings of this piece of music, but this version is the most beautiful and emotionally charged piece of music I’ve ever heard. It’s been a favourite of mine since this version was released on CD and cassette in 1992, I had to wait until last year for it to be released on vinyl… it was worth the wait.

Portishead – Third

This is a faultless album. Every single sound on it is absolutely perfect.

J. Hubner: Are you working on anything new? Do you have plans to work with Burning Witches in the future? What does the rest of 2018 look like for Isvisible Isinvisible? 

Simon Pott: I’m working on a couple of albums at the moment.

One I’ll probably release myself on my Bandcamp page, probably just a cassette and download this time. Don’t think I’ll go down the route of making 8-Track cartridges and Reels of tape again, although I’ll see.

The other is for Burning Witches, but I think that may be for release next year.

I’m going to keep on recording and might end up putting out more than one more album this year, will see what happens.


Head over to Simon’s Bandcamp page and download Ghosts of Furness Vale. Then bookmark that site and keep an eye out for new albums. And head to Burning Witches Bandcamp page and download his debut with them, too. Absolutely brilliant work there.

He’s an extremely unique and amazing composer and musician, so let’s support those kinds of artists. What do you say?

 

 

 

 

Locust Accords and Erotic Rites : Alex Cuervo and Timothy Fife Talk ‘Communion’ Compilation

So if you’ve been paying attention over the past week, I’ve been talking a lot about this Record Store Day 2018 compilation coming out in just a couple weeks called Communion. The righteous duo of Darren Page(Burning Tapes) and Gary Dimes(All of Them Witches) who run Burning Witches Records together are throwing their synth-heavy hat in the RSD ring this year with a powerhouse collection of tunes from some of the electronic/synth world’s greatest. It’s a smorgasbord of woozy synth goodness; from Berlin School headiness to dark cut and paste drum grooves.

April 21st. Find this and savor every morsel.

So last week I sat down and talked to musician/producer Cory Kilduff about his childhood in Texas, how he got into music, and his incredible contribution to Communion titled “LV426”. Cory’s got an album in the end stages of being complete and will be coming out with Burning Witches Records, hopefully sooner rather than later. Cory also recently was a guest on the Squirreling Podcast where he talks extensively about the music scene he came up in, graphic design, and how the electronic scene is far more punk rock than the punk rock scene is(something I completely agree with.) Check it out here. It’s a great conversation.

Today is a double feature. Today I’m talking to musicians Alex Cuervo of Espectrostatic and Timothy Fife, he of solo release Black Carbon, as well as his soundtrack work and with Chris Livengood in Victims.

First up is Alex Cuervo. He released the excellent Silhouette with Burning Witches back in 2017, but before that he’d been releasing music as Espectrostatic since 2012. As well as Espectrostatic, Alex was in the band Hex Dispensers(which disbanded just last year.) Music has been Alex’ main trip, but electronic music has become a passion over the last few years. You can hear that passion on Silhouette, as well as his excellent track “The Locust Accord” on Communion. Stuttering cut and paste drums, the ominous tinkling of piano keys, and the gloomy synth all come together to make one hell of an engaging listen. Check out our conversation below.

 

J. Hubner: Where did you grow up? 

Alex Cuervo: I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas.

J. Hubner:  Have you always been into music? Either as a fan or as a composer?

Alex Cuervo: Yes, I’ve always been drawn to music. I’ve been playing music in some capacity for most of my life now, beginning with playing in punk bands as a teenager (over 30 years ago!)

J. Hubner: Can you remember the first movie you saw where the score made as equal an impact on you as the film itself? Where you realized the importance of the score?

Alex Cuervo: I remember being really blown away by the music in Onibaba (A classic Japanese film). I think that was the first time I’d thought about how cool it would be to make music for films.

J. Hubner: Were you always into making electronic music? You also play in Hex Dispensers. Can you tell me a little bit about them? 

Alex Cuervo: Electronic music is a more recent interest. I’ve only been doing it for about 6-7 years. The Hex Dispensers called it a day last year, but we had been active since 2006. We released 3 full-length albums, many singles, and toured overseas quite a few times. It was incredibly rewarding, but I felt it was time to move on from it and push myself to write music more outside of my comfort zone.

J. Hubner: How long have you been making music as Espectrostatic? Prior to your Burning Witches debut release ‘Silhouette’, you had quite a few self-released albums.

Alex Cuervo: I’ve been doing Espectrostatic in some form since 2012. The first two Espectrostatic LPs were released by Trouble in Mind Records; a fantastic label out of Chicago. Before that I’d self-released some digital stuff. It’s evolved a lot since the earliest recordings.

J. Hubner: Speaking of Burning Witches Records, you released your debut with them late last year and now you’re contributing a track to their RSD 2018 release ‘Communion’. “The Locust Accord” is a powerful bit of looming dread and groove. 

Tell me a little bit about that song if you could. What was the process of creating it? Is there a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments? The drums don’t sound programmed to me. It sounds like a real kit. 

Alex Cuervo: Thanks. Yeah the drums on that one are all chopped up from human performances. I approach percussion and drums differently on every track. I often program the drums from acoustic samples, which also sounds more human – but sometimes I go for a colder, more mechanical feel. Depends on the song, but I do really enjoy chopping up and editing human percussion performances. I guess it’s similar to how Hip Hop producers have traditionally worked with drum breaks. The rest of the Locust Accord is a mix of virtual and analog synths, as well as sampled instruments. It was an idea I’d picked up and re-shelved a couple times over the years – so it was nice to finally see it through to a complete track.

J. Hubner: Besides having a very unique sound, you seem to also take your time on the visual aspects as well. Not only is the music intricate and detailed, so is the album art and videos. Are you also a graphic designer?

Alex Cuervo: I am, but I’m well aware of my limitations. I prefer to get more talented designers to handle the Espectrostatic LP art. I did all of the Hex Dispensers LP designs, and I also design a lot for Espectrostatic, but I really want the LPs to be something special – so I seek out the help of more skilled people for those.

J. Hubner: As a teenager did you haunt the local video store and burn through the horror section like I did? Who were some of your favorite horror filmmakers growing up? Or just filmmakers in general?

Alex Cuervo: Oh you bet I did! I’ve always been a huge science fiction fan. I was super obsessed with anything post apocalyptic in the 80s – and there were many low budget, straight to video movies to scratch that itch . I got really into horror in my late teens/early 20s. My favorite directors were the top ones of that era: John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Ridley Scott (etc). I was also really drawn to weirder arthouse, foreign & trash/cult cinema from David Lynch to John Waters.

J. Hubner: What’s next for Espectrostatic? 

Alex Cuervo: I’m planning on compiling some rarities, demos & one-off projects for a digital release this summer. After that – I’ve got a couple things planned with Burning Witches on a slightly more distant horizon.


Up next is the conversation I recently had with musician Timothy Fife. I first spoke with Tim back in 2016 as half the musical duo Victims. Their 10″ Death Waltz Originals release Form Hell really blew my mind. When Tim released his solo debut Black Carbon back in early 2017 I got to sit down and talk with him then as well. Timothy Fife is a humble dude, and an incredbibly talented one, so it’s no surprise that Burning Witches Records asked him to be a part of Communion(he contributed to their Halloween compilation as well.) His track “Erotic Rites” is a monster Giallo love fest. Exquisite, detailed, and makes you think of early 70s, Italian countryside, and beautiful bodies in a tangle of technicolor exploitation. Check out our talk below.

J. Hubner: So it’s been close to a year since we last spoke. At that time your excellent ‘Black Carbon’ was recently released. How has the last year treated you? Are you going on your 4th week of being snowed in out east?

Timothy Fife: It’s been a while!  Last year was pretty good, I played SxSW with Antoni Maiovvi then played at the Boston Underground Film Festival with Antoni and Dust Witch and then two other shows, one with Boy Harsher and the other with Bastian Void.  Those were the first shows I ever played as a solo artist and each set was totally different.  But then I didn’t do much for the rest of the year because my parents passed away and I had to clean out their house and sell it.  Then I got married right after that.  So now I’m getting back into working on new music, although I did manage to sneak out two releases by the end of the year.  And the snow doesn’t bother me, it keeps me inside working on stuff.

J. Hubner: Well my condolences about your parents, but congratulations on the nuptials. I’m glad to hear your back working on new music. I wanted to ask you about a couple things you’ve been involved with over the last year. First is your excellent work on ‘The Streets Run Red’ S/T with David Ellesmere. How did that come about? 

Timothy Fife:  Streets Run Red is the second soundtrack I did with Dave, the first being a Suburbia-type film called The Ungovernable Force.  It was my third full length feature for Ungovernable Films, a company out of the Boston area that do punk inspired exploitation films.  Dave is great to work with.  He’s known for being in all of these classic punk bands but he has great musical depth and can play just about any style of music.

J. Hubner: You also did a single release with the Polytechnic Youth label. Both tracks, “Simulacra” and “All Tomorrow’s Remembered” are Komische heaven. Just brilliant work. I was wondering how that collaboration with Polytechnic Youth came about? And where did the idea for the 45 to play from the inside out come from? 

Timothy Fife: I can’t remember how I came across Polytechnic Youth, but I figured out that they did odd releases like reverse playing records and stuff like that.  So I contacted them, they knew the Victims record I think and said “let’s do something.”  There was some talk in the beginning about it being a split with Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 but that never materialized.  I really wanted the tracks to match the feeling of the record playing backwards so I wrote those tracks with that specifically in mind.

J. Hubner: Along with a bunch of other amazing artists, you are contributing a track to Burning Witches Records’ RSD 2018 release ‘Communion’. And like those other amazing artists your track “Erotic Rites” is a real banger. Love the vibe of that one. How did this collaboration come about? 

Timothy Fife: I did a track for their really amazing Halloween compilation “Witches’ Halloween Brew” and the record company and I both wanted to continue working with each other.  They have a really cool roster of artists and I hear something great and inventive out of their work.

J. Hubner: Was “Erotic Rites” something you wrote specifically for the compilation? Or was it something you were working on for another release?

Timothy Fife:  I wrote Erotic Rites for it for sure.  I originally had this grand idea to have this really crazy kosmische-type track and worked on one for like a month straight until I realized it was just not going to work for the comp.  So I sat down and pumped Erotic Rites out in a day after watching some sleazy Italian films and I’m glad I did because it fits the mood of the compilation much better.

J. Hubner: So what else is lined up for 2018? Any super secret information you can divulge?  

Timothy Fife: 2018 has still just begun!  In the beginning of the year I scored a short called “Tiny Clones” that’s getting into some cool festivals.  I’m playing with Pentagram Home Video at the Boston Underground Film Festival next week, then I’ll be scoring another film.  I’m trying to get a live group together right now and I’m preparing work for three different collaborations.  Hoping this is gonna be the best year yet!


Communion will be available on Record Store Day, April 21st 2018(that’s two weeks from tomorrow if you’re keeping score.) Go get in line at 4 am, drink lots of coffee, and don’t leave until there’s a copy in your grubby hands. If you can’t find one, keep up with Burning Witches Records over at their website for possible post-RSD copies available online at their shop.

“More John Hughes Than John Carpenter” : A Talk With Composer Cory Kilduff

Cory Kilduff was an 80s kid, so that means he was raised on a steady diet of Stephen Spielberg, John Williams, and synth pop. He also developed a fear of clowns(thanks, Poltergeist), a passion for skateboarding, and was changed by Nirvana’s Bleach. Kilduff grew up in Texas in the suburbs, which just outside the city limits near him offered up a vast landscape to hone his imagination and anxieties(only difference between imagination and anxiety is that imagination bends at your will; anxiety does not.) Music became his main artistic outlet, like so many others that came before him and will come after. Back in 2016 he even re-scored Ridley Scott’s classic Alien and blew minds with his synth-heavy take. His score is simply amazing.

Now, Cory Kilduff will soon be debuting on Burning Witches Records. On April 21st Cory will be featured on Communion, a RSD compilation that will also feature many other amazing musical minds showcasing their compositional mastery of the synth vibe and electro heartbeat. Cory is also working on a debut album that will come out with Burning Witches.

I sat down recently and talked with Cory Kilduff about his childhood growing up in Texas, the 80s cinema impact on him, and his musical inspirations.


 

J. Hubner : So where did you grow up?

Cory Kilduff: I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas during the 1980’s.

J. Hubner: Were you interested in music when you were growing up, or did that come later?

Cory Kilduff: I was always interested in music, but my parents were not really big music people so I had an interesting mix. Outside of Def Leppard and Michael Jackson cassettes I badgered them into buying me early on or the adult contemporary radio my mom would leave on in the car (which did give me a genuine love for things like Whitney Houston, Christopher Cross and Miami Sound Machine), the main way I consumed music was through movies. I would tape movies off the tv and watch them over and over. The soundtracks really became my musical vocabulary. I was very much an Amblin kid so the sounds that I absorbed were of course the scores of John Williams, but also people like Giorgio Moroder and all the synth pop of that era as well.

Young Cory

J. Hubner: With that much musical variety going on, along with digging on soundtracks, your parents must’ve seen you were becoming quite the music fan. 

Cory Kilduff: My parents caught on and were supportive enough to get me piano lessons but, as the story has been told to me, I was at a recital playing a Beethoven piece and I added 2 extra notes to the ending and then turned to the audience with excitement and said, “Isn’t that better?!” My piano teacher called my parents a couple days later and quit.

J. Hubner: I’m sure Moroder would’ve added those last two notes as well. So as you got older, who was your “in” into the good stuff. Who was your music pusher?

Cory Kilduff: Later, as I started getting closer to my teenage years, my sources widened. I had an older sister who was into new wave, industrial and goth. I’d be lying if I said she gracefully bestowed this musical knowledge on me as opposed to I would go into her room and steal her cassettes. Still, this was the closest thing I had to a well curated library of exciting new music. I also started skating and hanging out with older kids who would dub me Thrashin’ Magazine comp tapes and other punk records, starting my interest in counter culture and separating music from movies and MTV into something attainable and DIY.

For the curious, here’s a list of some of Cory’s favorite childhood movies. The art that grew the artist, if you will: The Goonies, Rad, BMX Bandits, Gleaming The Cube, Thrashin’, Tron, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Flight of the Navigator, The Shining, The Fly(1986), Cat’s Eye, Red Dawn, The Dark Crystal, and The Last Unicorn…to name a few. 

J. Hubner: Given your Alien re-scoring awhile back, horror and sci fi must’ve made an impact on you. Were you a big a fan of the horror section at video stores growing up? 

Cory Kilduff: I was a big fan of video stores– period. However, my parents were fairly protective so there was a lot of bringing tapes to them and getting shut down based on graphic cover art. This was probably for the better because I was a pretty sensitive kid who scared easy. After seeing Poltergeist for the first time, I gathered up anything clown related in our house, loaded all of it up in a wagon, pulled it up the street and just dumped it in a neighbor’s yard who was having a garage sale. Clowns still give me anxiety to this day. Horror movies were reserved for slumber parties and were this sort of group activity growing up. We would all get together and someones parents would let us rent Halloween or Friday the 13th and we would all be stupid. If I’m being honest, I was probably always the kid in the room asking, “yeah, but have you guys seen Beat Street? We should get that”  I did love sci-fi fi though. I adored the escapism, as well as the world-building of the fantasy elements. The suburbs are boring places and can seem small in their own way. Sci-Fi movies gave my imagination a friend to hang out with.

J. Hubner: Did you have any favorite directors that you’d follow their work religiously?

Cory Kilduff: I didn’t pay much attention to directors as a kid. I mean, you couldn’t help but know Spielberg. Of course I was watching anything he did. More than anything, I was grabbing whatever looked interesting and I could get my hands on, from Killer Klowns to The Gate. I would also watch anything with Stephen King’s name attached to it.

J. Hubner: What was the first album to really blow your mind? That one that felt like it rewired your brain to see things differently?

Cory Kilduff: I have a 2 part answer to this, sorry.(laughs)

Writing music always seemed like a tall mountain to climb and also something wholly disconnected from my day to day life. The musicians I looked up to seemed so far down a path that I didn’t know how to start. When you idolize Quincy Jones’ work with Michael Jackson that can be tough to visualize how you get there. Around the time I was 14 or 15 Nirvana’s Bleach found its way into my hands. I loved it instantly. I was having a rough time as a teenager and this was a record that felt like it understood that and made depression feel much less alone. The other thing it did, which was just as important, was that it gave me a feeling that I could do that. Suddenly music wasn’t just drumline in the school marching band or something MTV made seem so far removed from my actual life. I bought a pawn shop guitar immediately and learned the power chords I needed to play those songs. I took that knowledge and started writing my own. Like anything I was just copying at first but I never stopped writing and that was the starting point for every musical project that followed.

J. Hubner: So Bleach led you down the path?

Cory Kilduff: You want to talk about “rewiring my brain”– I know the exact record that did that though. I was about 19 or 20 and was working in record stores at the time. I’d been playing in punk/hardcore bands for a few years but had started to feel a little stagnant. I was alone late at night and started rifling through the jazz bin. I had very limited exposure but always liked what I heard people play. I picked up John Coltrane’s – “Sun Ship” and it changed everything for me. Here were these sounds and notes and arrangements that were making some of the most expressive music I’d ever heard. I started to think of music so much more like the art it is. This was what a Jackson Pollack painting sounded like I thought. My whole approach changed, it wasn’t just about verse/chorus or soft/loud anymore it was about how sound could make a person feel and communicating how I felt through a musical vernacular. That was really when I opened up to everything and really started to listen to more composers like Angelo Badalamenti. But also my start into electronic music and artists like Squarepusher and Oval which directly leads me to the music I’m working on today.

J. Hubner: Let’s talk about Burning Witches Records. You have contributed the song “LV426” to their upcoming RSD 2018 release ‘Communion’. First of all, how did you get hooked up with Darren and Gary?

Cory Kilduff: Word about my Alien rescore got around and when we did the screening of it at Alamo Drafthouse, we produced some limited cassettes of the score to give away. I sent a few to a guy in London who contacted me and I assume that’s how they got a hold of them. They contacted me a few months ago and asked if I would like to make a record for them. They’ve been really great to work with and I’m pretty excited with the final product.


J. Hubner: Speaking of ‘Alien’, your track “LV426” is a reference to a moon in the film. How did the re-scoring of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi classic come about? It’s some really brilliant work, and one that seems like it was very long process.

Cory Kilduff: I spent some years living in the UK writing and producing dance music but had moved back to Texas and hadn’t felt inspired by the music or the music industry in quite some time. I knew I wanted to do more with my love of movies and wanted to use my electronic production experience to score for someone. I figured I both needed to create some type of proof of concept work and also to test myself. Learn how the ‘rules’ of scoring to picture was different than writing what I was used to. I had to do my homework. I picked 3 movies that I was really interested in and they were Eyes Wide Shut, Bright Lights Big City and Alien. I didn’t want to just write music over a silent version of a film and luckily I found a copy of Alien with almost no music in it but the dialogue and FX intact. I’d always loved the original score (both of them) and with it being more orchestral it gave me a great chance of creating something very different from the original. I worked to create tension in a different way, through repetition while also leaning on nostalgia to keep the synths sounding of the time.

J. Hubner: How did the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse go? 

Cory Kilduff: It couldn’t have gone better. That was a real bucket list night for me. I love them so much and it was great to be welcomed like that. My friend Pete runs a publication in Dallas called Central Track; he knew about this project I was working on and was trying to find a reason to work with Drafthouse. He called me and said he thought it was a great fit and wanted to make it happen. They said yes and set a date and then I had a panic attack because I had to actually finish this thing in a matter of weeks that was only about half done after 9 months! We showed it once and sold out the big screen in Dallas. That was a real trial by fire moment. Alien is rightfully beloved and here I was in a room full of its fans fucking with their good friend. It could have gone real bad. I was so nervous. Drafthouse graciously let me come in late one night and screen most of it with just me and my girlfriend as I scribbled down pages of mix notes to go back and tweak for the final mix. I made that whole thing in my living room on a laptop and a few synths but it had to sound huge in the theater like it was worthy of the film playing on screen.

J. Hubner: That sounds like an amazing and gut-churning experience. I’ve watched the re-scored version of the film and I think it’s pretty brilliant. So now that you’ve made a fan out of me, what else are you working on that we might see in the near future? You’ve got a pretty brilliant group of songs you’re readying for Burning Witches Records that will be coming out under your own name, right? No nom de plumes? 

Cory Kilduff: I am releasing this under my own name. This will be the first proper release I’ve ever done that way. First off, I’m super happy about what looks like a synth revival or wave of synth music that seems to be really forming a pretty extensive genre. I’m a fan of it, especially of artists like Wojciech Golczewski, Steve Moore, SURVIVE, Sinoia Caves, Joel Grind and the Italo wave artists like Vercetti Tehnicolor. A lot of this genre has such a strong connection to horror movies which I do too but I was really afraid of stepping on toes and also repeating myself from the Alien score since I had just come off that. I need something to write to though. A concept, a story, or an idea but most importantly, I need an emotion. When I sat down and started playing with sounds I kept writing to nostalgia but it was sad. There was no doubt a connection to the ‘80s and the sounds of my childhood. I found I wasn’t thinking fondly of horror movies but of the introspective dramatic scenes that stayed with me emotionally all my life. I thought about the train scene in Risky Business, the death in Less Than Zero, and the isolation of Bright Lights Big City. But the singular image that kept popping up was Molly Ringwald. I kept coming back to her characters and realized that I was writing music for that point in all her movies where everything gets too much and she finally can’t take it and cries. So I started working from there. I used what felt like sadder, more introspective arpeggiations and layers that built into lush walls of sound to feel at times like overwhelming emotions. I started saying to myself that the record I was making was more John Hughes than John Carpenter.

J. Hubner: I think what the world needs right now is a score to Molly Ringwald’s many 80s emotional breakdowns. I was an 80’s kid/teen as well and I know exactly what you’re describing. I need this album. Who are some musical starting points for you here?

Cory Kilduff: As for musical influences, they range, but I purposefully set out to make a record with no drums on it. I was listening to a lot of ambient and strictly synth composition music. When I start a new project, I always make a ‘homework playlist’ to immerse myself in. Some of the things in that were Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre, Cliff Martinez (Solaris score), Paul Haslinger’s Halt and Catch Fire work, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, M83, and Alessandro Cortini.

J. Hubner: Did you take part in SXSW this year? Curious to know your thoughts. There seems to be either love or hate for the festival, and as an outsider I’d be interested to hear your perspective. 

Cory Kilduff: I am not. I lived in Austin for about 10 years and still consider it a second hometown. I played SXSW almost 10 times both in Hardcore bands and with dance music projects. It’s a fickle beast. Some years were amazing and I would get to play to Jello Biafra and David Byrne or open up for Moby. I got to see some amazing bands that never came to Texas before like Phoenix and Mogwai, but after a few years they got overprotective. They would work with the city to shut down unaffiliated parties via the fire marshal. The crowds got too big and you couldn’t navigate the shows with any reasonable expectation to get into a show. The trade off of standing in line for 5 hours to maybe see James Blake play just wasn’t worth it anymore. The machine that is SXSW is ruthless and vindictive to the artists and I don’t think I will ever play an official show for them again, but I have friends who throw great parties showcasing real breakthrough talent. So if I ever am at SXSW performing again, then it would be in that context.


Pick up Burning Witches Records Communion compilation on Record Store Day Saturday, April 21st 2018 at your nearest participating brick and mortar music retailer. Check out Cory Kilduff, and keep an eye out for his debut release with Burning Witches Records.

 

The Witching Hour : A Conversation With All of Them Witches’ Gary Dimes

There’s a certain chunk of the population that are molded and fostered from a young age by horror movies. Where some watch the work of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Dario Argento and George Romero and are disturbed, disgusted, and generally turned off by the blood, terror, and occasional flash of boobs, the rest of us have formed a kinship with these Masters of Horror. Within the confines of the abandoned cabin in the woods, quiet suburban neighborhood, Gothic European surroundings, or seemingly end of the world we find allegories on our own lives, metaphors for the human condition, visual beauty in the menace of terror, and of course boobs.

And within that community of horror lovers there’s a smaller percentage that go on to do something creative with that horror love. Some make horror of their own, in the form of making their own films. Or some write their own tales in the form of short stories and novels. Maybe even some go into special effects like their heroes Tom Savini, Rick Baker, and Stan Winston. And some even go into music.

Enter Gary Dimes.

Dimes grew up on horror films. He also grew up on music. His love for both came together in All of Them Witches, a synth-heavy music project where Dimes plays the role of composer for the imagined horror film. He establishes early on that he’s a fan of John Carpenter, but his love for other genres besides the horror score makes his music quite unique. His debut as All of Them Witches was 2016s excellent The Coven. And now he’s releasing Hunters Moon(available 3/9 via Burning Witches Records.) I got the chance to ask Gary a few questions about his music, growing up, influences, and All of Them Witches. Grab some coffee and enjoy.


J. Hubner: So where did you grow up?

Gary Dimes: I grew up in the Medway Towns in South East England. Still live in the dive today. It’s under an hour’s train journey to London, so good for catching gigs.

J. Hubner: What was your childhood like? Were you outside running around or inside reading comic books? Or both?

Gary Dimes: Bit of both, I was really into my comics, I used to walk four miles to the nearest comic shop with my friend once a month to spend all our pocket money. And not getting the bus meant you had that extra bit of cash to buy more. That and hanging around the nearby woods, building camps and setting fires.

J. Hubner: Given the music of All of Them Witches, as well as your label name(Burning Witches Records), I can only assume horror films play a big role in your formative years. Are you a big horror fan? What was the first movie you remember that truly scared the hell of out of you?

Gary Dimes: Yeah I’m a huge horror/thriller fan, have been since way back. Can’t remember the first movie, but one that really scared the crap out of me was “House”, I must’ve been about seven or eight at the time. The Vietnam soldier was really scary to me as a kid, watching it back recently It’s more funny than scary.

J. Hubner: Has music always played a big role in your life?

Gary Dimes: Yeah massively, I’ve always been in to a lot of different styles of music, but Nirvana changed my world. In Utero is incredible! Love the more abrasive and natural sound it has to their previous albums.  After that I was all about the alternative grunge scene. Big into Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus Lizard, Pixies, Breeders, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth. Wasn’t until a little later that I started getting into electronic music.

J. Hubner: Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? Do you still listen to that album today?

Gary Dimes: First album was Madonna True Blue, still get a regular spin at the Coven. The record still somehow sounds pretty good, even though I used to play it to death on a cheap old hifi system. The first soundtrack I bought was the Labyrinth, 1986 was a pretty good start to my vinyl collection!

J. Hubner: Are you a horror fiction fan? Stephen King? Clive Barker? HP Lovecraft? Ray Bradbury?

Gary Dimes: Big Stephen King fan. The Shining is my all time favourite book/film. Also a fan of the sequel Doctor Sleep. I love James Herbert. Shrine is another favourite, this story to me was totally different to what I was used to. Where Stephen King concentrated on characterization and how they dealt with terrible and impossibly situations both physically and ethereal – James Herbert took his characters and put them through hell with all the blood and guts he could find.

J. Hubner: So when did you first really get into music? What artist influenced you to want to make music? 

Gary Dimes: Probably about the age of 14/15 when I discovered Nirvana. I was a little bit late to the party on that one though. I formed a post-rock band in 2005 which I was in for 15 years. Played some pretty cool gigs. Dunk! Festival in Belgium was one of many highlight, and ArcTanGent with Fuck Buttons was a bit special. But recording an EP in Abbey Road Studio 2 was the fondest memory.

J. Hubner: What was the first instrument you learned to play?

Gary Dimes: Probably a Yamaha keyboard I was bought one Christmas. Remember being chuffed to bits because I learnt to play “Heart and Soul” from Big. I taught myself to play the guitar at 17, and started a band the year after. My band were a bit more experimental when we started, so I could  just whack delay and distortion on and play a load of noise.

J. Hubner: Let’s talk about All of Them Witches. How long have you been making music as AoTW? 

Gary Dimes: I’ve been making music as All of Them Witches for nearly 2 years now, I started around July 2016. I left my band 2 years previously, and wanted to do something more soundtrack based.

J. Hubner: Were horror soundtracks a prime influence on the sound you were going for? Who are some of your favorite horror score artists? 

Gary Dimes: Yeah, both The Coven and Hunters Moon are heavily influenced by horror. I did start writing a sci-fi style album, but i’m not sure if that’ll ever see the light of day. My favourite horror score artists are : The obvious ones are John Carpenter and Alan Howarth,the best directors/composers of the 70’s and 80’s. There’s a lot of modern synth artist i’m really digging like Wojciech Golczewski, he knocks it out of the park with everything he touches. Favourite recent soundtrack is Sinoia Caves’ Beyond the Black Rainbow. It’s just prefect!

J. Hubner: Are the AoTW albums all you? What’s your gear set up like? Is it a mix of hardware and soft synths? 

Gary Dimes: Yes all me. I started off with soft synths, until I could afford to start building up my arsenal of analogue. I’ve recently picked up a Korg monologue and Volca Keys, been working on a lot of sequence stuff recently with them. Also an old Casio keyboard i picked up form a second hand store. I put it through a delay pedal to get a nice poly synth sound. Just a very basic setup at the moment, but something to build on.

J. Hubner: Your first record came out in 2016. That was ‘The Coven’. Your newest record, which is being released on March 9th, is called ‘Hunters Moon’. Can you tell me a little bit about how that record came together?

Gary Dimes: Hunters Moon was written over the past year. I wanted to get ahead of myself as I had my first child on the way, and heard they take up a lot of time. I ended up with 2 albums worth of material, and painstakingly stripped it apart and ended up with the 11 songs that make up the album. Some of the tracks that were on the chopping block may resurface at some point.

J. Hubner: What’s your writing process like in All of Them Witches? Do you go in with concepts in mind, or is it more of just a song by song thing?

Gary Dimes: It varies, sometimes I have a clear vision/concept in mind before I start, but most of the time it’s just playing about, finding a decent sound and building from there. I like to try and tie all the songs together, so there’s a running theme through the album. Although Hunters Moon is more of a mix bag than The Coven, I think I achieved that.

J. Hubner: Do you see any major differences from ‘The Coven’ to ‘Hunters Moon’ style-wise or approach-wise?

Gary Dimes: I think it’s been a natural progression. On The Coven my influences are laid bare, I think I’ve developed my sound a lot more on Hunters Moon. Hopefully people will be into it as much as my first album. I have been blown away by the response to my music and the Burning Witches Records label I started with Darren Page of BurningTapes.

J. Hubner: Do you ever take All of Them Witches out for live shows? 

Gary Dimes: No, not yet at the moment. I don’t really have enough equipment to do so. I’m trying to strip things down for future releases and go as analogue as possible.

J. Hubner: What does the rest of 2018 look like for All of Them Witches?

Gary Dimes: I’ve started working on a new album, been listening to a lot of Krautrock and Post Punk, so that may have a few influences. Also going to have a split cassette release out towards the end of the year. There’s also a download extra remix album with Hunters Moon. I’ve got a bunch of my favourite artists onboard Xander Harris, Timothy Fife,Thomas Ragsdale, Ian Alex Mac and BurningTapes. Also have DIE HEXEN on a vocal duties on an alternative version of Copper Bones. I’m over the Hunters Moon they’ve all contributed to my release.


Head over to Burning Witches Records and order Hunters Moon. It’s available today, 3/9. Bookmark that site because they’ve got some big releases coming this year. And give their other artists like Burning Tapes, Espectrostatic, Isvisible Isinvisible, Brass Hearse, and Maine a listen. You may find a new favorite.

 

 

Synthesizers and Event Horizons : A Conversation With Steve Greene

Photo by Brian Rozman Photography

 

Steve Greene is not a soft synth kind of guy. He likes hardware. He likes the tangibility of a real synth; buttons, faders, patches, circuits, and keys. His band Voyag3r is a progressive synth rock band, and there’s tangibility in the sound they create. It’s synth rock, with emphasis on the rock. Steve Greene mans the stack of vintage synths while his cousin Aaron Greene lays down some crunchy guitar tones. Greg Mastin adds the nice touch of both electric and acoustic drums. Being a Detroit band, there’s a working class feel to the space rock they create. They can get into orbit for sure, but there’s always a feeling of groundedness on albums like Doom Fortress and Are You Synthetic. 

Steve had been writing songs on his own and felt these were songs meant for something besides another Voyag3r album, so they culminated into Greene’s debut solo LP. Electronic Dreams for a Holographic Existence is a tour-de-force of hard synths, proggy feels, and sci fi vibes. It’s a hell of a record and one Steve Greene was happy to talk to me about. We also discussed his childhood, influences, his first high school rock band, and just what Electronic Dreams for a Holographic Existence really means to him.


J. Hubner: So where did you grow up Steve?

Steve Greene: A little bit in Michigan and Florida.

J. Hubner: At what age did music start to have an impact on you? Do you remember the first song or album that made an impression on you?

Steve Greene: Music impacted me pretty early. My parents always had some rock, funk and R&B 45’s spinning. Also, a huge impact on me was the Star Wars soundtrack I had on 2xLP with the gatefold with scenes from the movie as well as the poster. Super inspiring!

As the era of Miami Vice, Knight Rider and Street Hawk set in, I was about 10 years old and soaked up all the imagery, energy and music those shows put out.

J. Hubner: At what age did you start to play an instrument? Was piano/keys your first foray into playing?

Steve Green: When I was in 6th grade I started playing saxophone in jr high band. Shortly thereafter I picked up a bass guitar and that’s what started me on composing and performing music. I was super inspired by punk rock like the Dead Kennesys, Butthole Surfers and staples like the Beatles and Neil Young.

J. Hubner: Did you have a band or bands in high school? What artists did you cover, if any?

Steve Greene: My high school band was called the Vegetarian Cannibals along with my cousin and Voyag3r guitarist Aaron Greene. We released a few self produced cassettes. Along with our own songs, we covered “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles and “Gary Floyd” by the Butthole Surfers. Many years later the Vegetarian Cannibals album Before The Fact was re-released by Cass City Records and Jack White wrote a couple of paragraphs in the liner notes describing how he and our drummer at that time would listen to those tapes and how he enjoyed the raw energy and spirit of Vegetarian Cannibals. We recorded that record on a boom box in a bedroom. True punk, DIY style.

J. Hubner: Horror and sci fi seem to be a big influence on you and your work. As a kid were you a fan of horror films? What are some pivotal films that made an impact on you?

Steve Greene: Indeed, it’s always been a part of my life. I used to have to hide in the back of my parents station wagon as we went to the drive in to see Halloween, Phantasm, Motel Hell and Jaws… to name a few. I loved that stuff and can remember all the times we would go.

J. Hubner: Can you tell me a little about how Voyag3r started? Was there a concept behind the band? With albums like ‘Doom Fortress’ and ‘Are You Synthetic’ you guys seemed to cover quite a bit of ground sound and mood-wise.

Steve Greene: Thanks! Both were vary fun albums to write. Initially, I knew I wanted to do music akin to what Voyag3r is doing. Several years before we formed, I didn’t think I’d be able to find anyone to play this sort of music with me, so I just composed and recorded a handful of songs by myself. After the rock band I was in with Aaron and Greg Mastin came to an end, I was trying to put a proper band together in the vein of a synth focused rock band. I first asked Greg if he would be interested and to my surprise he was all in. We auditioned a guitarist, but it wasn’t clicking, so I asked my cousin Aaron if he wanted to do this weird thing I had in my head. He was also all about it. We have been in 3 bands together since the 90’s, so that was actually a relief because we know each other so well and work very smoothly together. So, then we started writing Voyag3r songs and I also kept composing solo songs… finally now releasing my debut solo album.

J. Hubner: Voyag3r recorded ‘Are You Synthetic’ direct to 2″ tape. Do you prefer working in an analog music world, as opposed to computers, plug-ins, and Pro Tools? What is it about analog that appeals to you? From what I’ve seen you have quite a collection of classic synth hardware.

Steve Greene: Actually, Victory In The Battle Chamber, Doom Fortress and AYS were all recorded to 2” tape through a Harrison console. I don’t mind working in either format, but if time, bugdet and logistic allow, I’d choose tape most of the time.

It’s probably related to the era in which I came up in, but I very much prefer real instruments and “earning” your performance, vibe and atmosphere. Even when I produce or record into Pro Tools, I still utilize a lot of old school practices and really just use Pro Tools as a tape machine. I mostly record, on the way in, how I want the track to sound and don’t really heavily rely on Pro Tolls to edit the life out of something. I also love to turn real, tactile knobs and react to what sounds they produce. I don’t really have too much fun with software or a pedal that emulates something.

J. Hubner: You have just recently released your debut solo debut called ‘Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence’. It’s an amazing piece of heavy synth and sci fi vibes. I particularly love “Machines, Schemes, and Manipulations” and “Aerial Maneuvers” which I first heard when Tony Giles played it on his DFC podcast back in early January. The album has a great narrative flow to it.

What made you decide to do a solo album, as opposed to going back in with Voyag3r and putting out an album with them?

Steve Greene: Thank you! I always appreciate Tony and crew at the Damn Fine Cast’s support. I have always planned to do music with and without the band. A solo record, I feel, let’s me get even more “out there” wilth less of a rock band mentality. I love both.

J. Hubner: So what’s the inspiration behind the title Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence? It has a very Philip K. Dick vibe to it.

Steve Greene: I feel there is so much of our reality we do not understand or perceive and I find that, more often than not, my mind wonders into that blurred area between what we think we know and the event horizon of the unknown. I get inspiration, moods and colors from that zone. I think that this album title also helps illustrate that frame of mind. I’ve heard quite a few ideas on what people think it means and I like all of them.

J. Hubner: Are there pros or cons to working on your own, as opposed to being in a band environment?

Steve Greene: No pros or cons to me, just different head spaces. I plan to keep making music in many capacities as I have time. I am really proud of my solo album and people seem to be responding very positively to it. I am also excited about the new Voyag3r songs we are working on. Things seem to be taking a heavier turn. We’ll see how the final collection turns out.

J. Hubner: Are you playing any shows to promote ‘Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence’? If so, do you have a band lined up to play with you for these shows or will you be playing solo? 

Steve Greene: I do intend to play some solo shows as time permits. It will just be me surrounded by a bunch of synthesizers. Looking forward to it!

J. Hubner: What album has been a constant for you thru the years? That one record that you would replace no matter how many times it was misplaced? 

Steve Greene: Death – Human

J. Hubner: Romero or Argento? And why?

Steve Greene: That is really tough! I absolutely love both. I’d go with Romero, I think he wrote better characters in his films.

J. Hubner: So what does the rest of 2018 hold for Steve Greene? 

Steve Greene: Playing a few solo shows to promote Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence while continuing to write the next Voyag3r album and then hitting the studio to start recording it. Lastly, I am super excited for this sort of audio book I worked on with author and friend Dirk Manning. We took 4 short stories from his popular Nightmare World comic books series and turned them into these cool radio drama type pieces. I composed an original score to go with the reading and even mixed in a little bit of select Foley(sound effects artist Jack Foley) to enhance the vibe. I really think it turned out pretty special. That should be available later this year.


Head over to Steve Greene’s Bandcamp page and give Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence a spin. It is quite amazing. But listen, I know you’re going to love it so just head over to Bellyache Records and order the vinyl. You’ll be glad you did.

 

“Another Los Angeles” : Graham Reznick Talks Influences, Film, and New Album ‘Glass Angles’

You may not be familiar with the name Graham Reznick, but I don’t think it will be long until you are. Reznick has been working in the independent film world for years now, wearing multiple hats. What hats, you ask? Well he’s done sound design, engineering, mixing, and scoring. He’s also acted, written, composed, and edited on films going back to 2001. Some of the films he’s worked on include The House Of The Devil, In A Valley Of Violence, The Mind’s Eye, V/H/S, Stake Land, The Innkeepers, The Sacrament, and he wrote and directed the 2008 film I Can See You. He’s been a lifelong friend to writer/director Ti West and he worked under the tutelage of writer, producer, director, and actor Larry Fessenden(don’t know that name either? Believe me, you’d know him if you saw him.) Reznick also wrote the hit PS4 game Until Dawn with Larry Fessenden.

So Graham Reznick is a guy that’s been behind the scenes for years doing the work and making some great indie films. He’s very adept at sound design, which brings us to his debut album on Mondo/Death Waltz Originals titled Glass Angles. It’s a hallucinatory musical trip. There’s elements of Berlin School, EDM, synthwave, and independent electronic like Boards of Canada, Four Tet, and even Flying Lotus at times. But really, Glass Angles is unlike anything you’ve heard. It’s quite brilliant. It’s also a kind of a concept album, really. Reznick wrote the album while adjusting to life in Los Angeles after being a New Yorker for years. The album is an ode to an alternate world version of Los Angeles. Odd angles in mirrors that turn the familiar into something new, unknown, and maybe slightly sinister.

I got the chance to talk to Graham about his childhood, how he got into film, and the making of Glass Angles. We also discussed musical influences, David Lynch, his stoner path in Austin, Texas not taken, and album number two that’s coming out later this year on Burning Witches Records.


J. Hubner: So where did you grow up?

Graham Reznick: Born in New Jersey, raised in Delaware, died in New York, live in LA.

J. Hubner: What was your childhood like? Were you making Hi8 films with your pals in the backyard?

Graham Reznick: I spent a lot of time taking things apart and trying to put them back together again.  Radios, science kits, clocks, whatever.  Anything I liked as a kid I tried to replicate – so yeah, making movies with old cameras and two VCR’s, usually blowing up GI Joe’s in the backyard with Ti West, or drawing comics, or making patches for DOOM.

J. Hubner: So were you always interested in film and music? 

Graham Reznick: I was always very interested in art and drawing, and movies, though I didn’t really know that you could express the things I wanted to express in film until I discovered Twin Peaks and David Lynch.

J. Hubner: So Lynch was the gateway for you?

Graham Reznick: He was the first director that I understood was an artist, able to synthesize all the elements of the medium into something greater than the sum of its parts.

J. Hubner: Lynch is a true auteur, mixing sound and music so incredibly flawlessly. 

Graham Reznick: Music and sound went hand in hand with the other elements of film for me – they’re equal pieces of the puzzle and need to be treated with the same amount of attention as the script, the camera work, the acting, the editing.  For some directors, the balance is different – music and sound are means to an end – but I’ve never been able to approach it that way.  Cinematic gestalt is axiomatic.

J. Hubner: All the elements come together equally, at least they should. I think if you’re not giving equally to each then you’re doing a disservice to the art. 

Graham Reznick: I’ve always felt that if a screenplay expressed an idea perfectly, it should remain a screenplay.  If a photo expresses an idea perfectly, it should remain a photo.  If a song… etc.   Cinema should use all the tools at its disposal to express an idea impossible to express in any other single medium.

J. Hubner: So where did this commitment to cinematic artistic integrity come from? How did you get started in independent film?

Graham Reznick: I grew up with Ti West (director of THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE INNKEEPERS, IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE); he went to SVA for film, I went NYU, both in NYC.   We shared resources and experience – best of both worlds.  Through Kelly Reichardt, Ti met Larry Fessenden, who was already a legend to us because of his incredible 90’s NYC vampire indie film HABIT (and Larry and I went on to co-write UNTIL DAWN and related games together).   Larry financed Ti’s first film, THE ROOST, in 2003.  I was just out of college and considering moving to Austin and becoming a stoner, but Ti convinced me to move back to Delaware for a year and live in our parents houses and put the film together.  It was a remarkable opportunity to learn the entire professional filmmaking process.  I did almost all of the post sound work, and some additional music (Jeff Grace did the great score), in my parents basement.  I had a Pro Tools LE license and a Digi001, an SM57, a DOD Buzz Box pedal, a Line 6 Delay Modeler, two broken guitars and a Roland HS-60 – which I got dirt cheap because in 2000 when I bought it, people didn’t realize it was virtually the same keyboard as the Juno 106!  That was basically my entire music setup for the next 10 years.  After THE ROOST, my filmmaker friends asked me to sound design or contribute music to their films.  It was a good way to collaborate with directors and friends I admired, as well as pay the rent while I tried to get my own projects off the ground.

Still from Graham Reznick’s 2008 film ‘I Can See You’

J. Hubner: Speaking of your own projects, could you tell me a bit about your 2008 feature film debut, I Can See You? Where did the idea for the film come from?

Graham Reznick: In the mid 2000’s I worked with a group of friends from NYU who had started a company called Waverly Films (filmmakers who have gone on to direct some interesting things, including CREATIVE CONTROL and SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING) and they made a lot of music videos.  I crashed on their couch in Bushwick for months and edited music videos for them (including The Juan Maclean’s “Give Me Every Little Thing” and LCD Soundsystem’s “North American Scum.”)  One video, which will go unnamed, didn’t turn out the way the label expected, and things went pretty sideways.  The experience of being part of a group of young, creative professionals being completely taken advantage of by a big company looking to scrape talent for peanuts had a big effect on me.  I CAN SEE YOU is about a lot of things, but that experience was a major influence.

J. Hubner: And you worked with Larry Fessenden once again on that film. Besides being in the film, did he have any other role in the production?

Graham Reznick: Larry Fessenden financed the film (which was ultra low budget) and allowed me complete creative freedom.  I knew I had the opportunity to try things and say things I would never be able to achieve in a larger budget, more traditional situation – so I went for it.

J. Hubner: Let’s talk about your Death Waltz Originals debut record ‘Glass Angles’. I’ve been filling my head with it for the past couple weeks and it’s amazing. How did you get involved with Death Waltz? 

Graham Reznick: I met Spencer Hickman, founder of Death Waltz, after he released Jeff Grace’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL score on vinyl, but I’d been familiar with the label already because of his incredible run of soundtrack reissues on vinyl.  Around the time I’d put the album demos together, I heard through a few friends that he was considering putting out original material as well as soundtracks, so I took a chance and sent it over.

J. Hubner: Regarding the record, what was the writing process like? You’d said that you were learning to work with Ableton and soft synths while writing the album. Was the software inspiring you to create? The album also feels like it has the specter of Los Angeles haunting it.

Graham Reznick: After living (on and off) in NYC for almost 15 years, I relocated to Los Angeles in 2013.  I had just finished sound designing three films in New York – CLOWN, BENEATH, and THE SACRAMENT – and had some time off to get acclimated to the new city.  I’d also just had a track included on Joseph Stannard and Justin Watson’s incredible compilation THE OUTER CHURCH, and it was receiving some nice attention.  I wanted to make more electronic music, but I’m really not a very good keyboardist (not as good as I’d like to be).  Most of the music I made for myself or for the films I worked on involved a ton of sloppy live playing and then heavy, time consuming editing (of both synth and guitar feedback).   So I invested in Ableton, swapped out my Roland HS-60 for a midi controller, and started learning soft synths – which had come a long way from when I first tried midi compositions in the early 2000s, and when I had tried the early versions of Ableton.

J. Hubner: So learning Ableton helped the process along?

Graham Reznick: Ableton 9 was a huge revelation and I started writing a ton of material immediately.  The HS-60 only makes one appearance – as a lead line halfway through the final track, “Palm Freeze.”  There’s a unique, buzzy, disorienting, thick sound you can get when using the 106 / HS-60’s dual oscillator monophonic mode – I’ve never heard anything like it in any soft synth.  But that’s the only true analog synth on the album – the rest is entirely software.

J. Hubner: And the subtle nods to Los Angeles in the song titles?

Graham Reznick: The culture shock of jumping from NYC to LA informed my mood and I’d write songs during the day, and drive around the city late into the evening, listening to the mixes.  I realized that depending on where you positioned your car, on particular streets, around the city, at particular times, you could look into your mirror or out your window, and if you were listening to the right music, you would see another Los Angeles.

J. Hubner: There’s a real hallucinatory feel to the album. Listening with headphones on, songs like “Beverly’s Crop” and “Highland Steel” have a really psychedelic, sensory overload feel to them. They make you feel off-kilter, but in the best way possible. Even with something like your film ‘I Can See You’ there’s a real hallucinogenic feel, as if you’re not sure what your seeing is real or not. What was the influence on the sound of ‘Glass Angles’?

Graham Reznick: There’s an interesting theory about brain plasticity (which I’m sure I’m misrepresenting here) that says we create new neural pathways when we think about familiar things in a new way, and we rely on preconceptions and existing pathways when we are presented with the familiar – which means we may discount important new info that is hidden by the familiar.  For a piece of art – story, music, film, whatever – to be effective, I think it should find a good balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar.  Sometimes the complete unknown can be exhilarating, and sometimes the familiar can be comforting – but a good balance of the two can allow the audience a way in and then hold their attention while their brain has to literally rebuild itself to keep up.  That’s all just a way to say that there’s always a new angle on things, and those new angles should be explored.

J. Hubner: So from a mixing and engineering standpoint, did you intentionally want to create a dizzying, almost psychedelic feel with the songs?

Graham Reznick: In regards to the album specifically – I did a lot of the initial work and mixing in headphones.  It wasn’t ultimately mixed for headphones specifically, but a lot of the creative choices were geared towards a dizzying, psychedelic, headphone experience.

J. Hubner: Speaking of hallucinatory, your video for “Highland Steel” is insane. It’s dark, nightmarish, and you can’t stop looking at it. What was the influence for what you created? And should there be a seizure warning on this thing? 

Graham Reznick: I wanted to capture the experience of the way the mind works, or doesn’t, during a panic attack.  I didn’t want to recreate the unpleasant experience of a panic attack in the viewer (who wants that?) – but I wanted to find a way to express the terrible awe of how our racing, spinning minds malfunction in fear.

J. Hubner: It’s really hard to pinpoint influences on your sound. The record has bits of 80s electronic in it, but your sound is very much your own. What are some albums that have made an impact on you that may have made their way into your sound?

Graham Reznick: It’s very likely that I’m directly ripping off the artists and music that influenced me.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I will list at least some of the artists and pieces of music that I was consciously aware of directly ripping off while making Glass Angles.  I cannot claim that the music I made comes anywhere near the excellence of any one of the pieces in this list.

In no particular order:

Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe, and Appalachian Grove
Terry Riley – Happy Ending
La Monte Young – The Black Record
Steve Moore – Light Echoes
Aphex Twin – all
Tangerine Dream – White Eagle
MGMT – Congratulations
Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure 
Harold Faltermeyer – Beverly Hills Cop
Tangerine Dream – Phaedras 
John Carpenter – Assault on Precinct 13
Tangerine Dream – Encore
Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
Tangerine Dream – Ricochet
The Amps – Pacer
Emeralds – Just to Feel Anything
Valium Aggelein – Hier Kommt Der Schwartze Mond
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Architecture & Morality
Steve Hauschildt – Tragedy & Geometry
This Mortal Coil – It’ll End in Tears
Isabelle Adjiani screaming in the subway in POSSESSION
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts
Lou Reed – Coney Island Baby
Pye Corner Audio – Prowler
Outer Space – Outer Space
Heart – Dreamboat Annie
Pierre Bachelet – Gwendoline
High Rise – High Rise II
Add N To X – On The Wires of Our Nerves
Donovan – Open Road
Heron – Twice as Nice & Half the Price
Tangerine Dream – Encore 
Future Sound of  London – We Have Explosive 
Butthole Surfers – Psychic, Powerless, Another Man’s Sac
Olivia Tremor Control – Dusk at Cubist Castle
Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage
Shellac – 1000 Hurts
Disasterpeace – Fez
Wendy Carlos – Sonic Seasonings
Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
Tyrannosaurus Rex – A Beard of Stars
Maurice Jarre – Witness
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Akira
Little Wings – Light Green Leaves
New Age Steppers / Creation Rebel – Threat to Creation
Daniel Johnston – 1990
Monolake – Cinemascope 
Don Caballero –American Don
Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army – Replicas
Mazzy Star – So Tonight that I Might See
The Flaming Lips – In A Priest Driven Ambulance
Proem – You Shall Have Ever Been (disc 2)
Popul Vuh – Cobra Verde
John Stewart – Bombs Away Dream Babies
Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
Richard Lloyd – Alchemy
Can – Monster Movie
Mike Oldfield –Ommadawn 
The Holy Modal Rounders – Indian War Whoop
Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends
Kraftwerk – Autobahn
Electric Light Orchestra – El Dorado
Roky Erickson – All That May Do My Rhyme 
Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy
The Microphones – Mt. Eerie
Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
Godspeed You Black Emperor – F#A#Infinity
Chris Bell – I Am The Cosmos
The Feud – The Feud Vs. Yr Universe
Klaus Schulz – Audentity
Mikal Cronin –Mikal Cronin 
Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4
Yume Bitsu – Giant Surface Music Falling to Earth Like Jewels From the Sky
John Cale – Fear
William Basinski – Silent Night 
Os Mutantes – “Virginia” 
Mark McGuire – A Young Person’s Guide
Gangpol und Mit – The Hopelessly Sad Story of the Hideous End of the World
Paul McCartney – RAM
Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Start a People 
Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Harold Budd – The Serpent In Quicksilver
Zombi – Digitalis
Chromatics – Kill For Love
Cliff Martinez – Only God Forgives

Also, I’m between 15 and 90 percent certain that if you play every one of these albums simultaneously it will be no different than listening to Glass Angles.

J. Hubner: Glass Angles isn’t the only album you have coming out this year. You have ‘Robophasia’ coming out with Burning Witches Records. How did this record come about? How does it compare stylistically with Glass Angles? 

Graham Reznick: Glass Angles is very specific mood, tone, moment in time.  Robophasia is a much darker record, in a much brighter package.  Less textural; more acid electro-funk with vocoders and sharp edges.  Faltermeyer factored heavily in some of it.

J. Hubner:  It seems like 2018 could be Graham Reznick’s year? With two albums and a great video, what else do you have planned? Are you working on any films? Maybe a feature you’re writing and directing? 

Graham Reznick:  There’s a ton more music in the pipeline.  Some more videos, too, hopefully…  And on the film side, I directed a first episode of a live-action interactive show last year called RAPID EYE, about a sleep study gone very wrong.   It’s full of surprises – it’s going to be a heck of a mindfuck.  Stay tuned on the release info.   I’m also a few weeks out from shooting a new series for SHUDDER, called DEADWAX… but that’s all I can say about that for now!


Head over the Mondotees and grab a copy of Glass Angles before they’re all gone(only a limited run available.) And follow Burning Witches Records on Facebook for a future announcement on Robophasia.