Label Spotlight: Mind Cure Records

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

YouTube Preview Image

2013-2014 been a whirlwind for Mind Cure Records – 12 singles by 12 Pittsburgh bands, 12 original songs, 12 cover songs not to mention videos about each band. It seemed like a bookend was needed for this project so I got together with a few friends to commemorate this occasion, and here you have it. Directed by Michael Seamans. Camera and Editing by Christopher Smalley.

 

Record Highlight — Troy Schafer

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Having just finished up a grueling Master’s degree in Sound at the School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, it’s impressive, but unsurprising that spirited Chicagoan violin prodigy, sound designer, and composer Troy Schafer has been able to balance a wealth of inspiring musical work with his intense studies. While he’s best known for his weeping string and guitar arrangements for Kinit Her and Wreathes and composing with Burial Hex, he’s also kept plenty busy over the past few years dialing in a brilliantly soulful approach to more scholarly sonic endeavors. We couldn’t be more excited to present ‘Untitled No. 1;’ some of the most inspired work from Schafer yet, as he presents this holy trinity of his artistic identity. According to Schafer, the incredible A side is the culmination of 36 hours of recordings chopped up and expertly sequenced into a gorgeous collage packed with string arrangements, modular synthesis, algorithmic analog and digital systems, tape, and much more. The controlled pacing of the B side’s moodier dirge pushes the listener into steady footing before twisting him/her into panicked, screeching emotional heights via organized bursts of sonic chaos. Art Design by Dani Schafer.

 

 

Record Highlight — Andy The Doorbum

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Andy the Doorbum is Music and Art…a Man and a Band…a Concept and a Project…a Movement of one life trying to prove its own existence and affirm its perception and interpretation of the world around it. Andy the Doorubm is Survival.  Grab the new LP - The Fool now – the record release show is June 27!

Record Highlight — Flesh Wounds

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Flesh Wounds cover art

Laura’s long-lost punk band Thee Scab Eaters got shelved when its other founding member had kids, so she recruited new guys for a loud rock band. Montgomery only knows chords and shrieks and really likes 1950′s R&B, so the band is really chordy and shrieky and likes to play songs from the 1950′s. Dan is really good on guitar and has been studying Chuck Berry for years, but his drum playing is the band’s ace-in-the hole since it lets Laura and Montgomery sing songs at the same time and pretend to be X. Flesh Wounds is from Chapel Hill, NC — Yes, the band is named after a line from Monty Python.

 

Record Highlight — Folkicide

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Photo: I suspect next week will be an interesting one for the Folkicide brand.

Ultra-blues? misanthropop? despair-core? What exactly is Folkicide? Agreed, it fits all these categories yet it is much more-possibly a genre all its own.

 

Record Highlight — Amanda X

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Hailing from the Kensington area of Philadelphia (home to infamous gangs such as the Yo’s, Twerks and Fuzzies), Amanda X imperviously sallys forth, creating an oasis of bedroom pop and post-punk among a landscape of toxic-speed, eroded enamel and chattering human skin suits.  Fused together, this set of songs from the whole of Amnesia, their debut LP coming soon from Siltbreeze Records.

 

Record Highlight — The Howlin’ Brothers

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Trouble

The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string band that brings heart and passion into every performance. Their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle. Their latest album TROUBLE was produced by Brendan Benson for Readymade Records.  You will find them touring all over North America in 2014 in support of the album, bringing their spirited, roots-based show to the good people.

 

Record Highlight — Surachai

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

cover

The following excerpts are from Surachai’s Trash Audio interview about his new album - Ritual.

Pre-Production
After several years of creating complex arrangements and aurally dense albums, I decided to simplify the tools and work with its impact on composition and sound. One of my favorite synthesizers is the semi-modular Cwejman S1 MKII and knew that it was complex enough to shape all the sounds I needed for an album. 

Recording
The signal chain was short. Cwejman S1 MKII output > Eventide Space > RME Fireface UC. The Cwejman was sequenced by the Make Noise RENE. The Dynaverb algorithm in the Eventide Space was the only reverb model used, except 20 (00) where a Tip Top Audio Z5000 delay preset was utilized. The album was tracked into Logic X and like my previous albums, everything was recorded into one large session but this time only 4 tracks were used.

Sync & Editing
Sync was placed by hand – not quantized on a grid or snapped to a BPM. A drifting master clock might be considered “charming” or give the album “personality” but it presented an unnecessary task of syncing audio files that would eventually sound like a train wreck if not reorganized. Although the drifting was unintended, by the end, I grew fond of this quirk, at points, and let some parts go their own way.

Mixing & Mastering

Unlike past albums, I didn’t dwell on the mix for very long – hell, I didn’t even EQ anything! Because of the unique and versatile filters in the Cwejman S1 MKII, I was able to carve out unwanted frequencies during the recording process and simply had to automate volume changes in post. The bass in the Cwejman is very intense, and even with proper monitoring, I didn’t understand its depth until I went to Richard Devine’s studio that has subs. His system revealed frequencies I didn’t know existed in the recordings until monitoring on his system. I decided to leave all this extra information for Shawn Hatfield to play with.

Mastering
The mastering duties were conducted by Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities. My biggest concern was keeping the Cwejman envelope aggression as well as the intense bass frequencies. The references I sent Shawn was Raime’s Quarter Turns Over a Living Line and Grischa Lichtenberger’s And IV (Inertia). As always, he glued it all together, didn’t compromise the mix and extended its volume slightly.

Artwork
For my previous albums I’ve worked with some of my favorite artists that I’m fortunate enough to call friends and Ritual was no different. I’ve followed Emilie Elizabeth’s photography for years and have always admired her style, sets, and aesthetic. John Crawford was involved throughout the process and provided his post production expertise that helped the images reach another level of unsettling. John also created the Waveform Gate which is an altered Necronomicon Gate Key with the 7 waveforms of the Cwejman S1 – one of many subtle and original touches this team obsessed over. They made me a bit uncomfortable by asking for my input so often. This is an abbreviated version of Emilie’s responses, the full length article can be found: Surachai.org.

 

Record Highlight — The Austerity Program

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

drano_cocktail

Four years after the band’s last release,  the Austerity Program are just about to release Beyond Calculation, an 8-song full length record. The record comes out in a few weeks but you can put in a pre-order now. A pre-order gets you a shirt and copy of the record that will ship right before the release date.  There’s four choices of color for the shirt; the design is a five-color print on nice American Apparel. The record is 150g black vinyl and includes both a CD and d/l instructions. (The band is going to toss a few extra things into the first few packages that get out too).

If you’d like to buy it from us in person, it will be available at the record release show - Wed 6/4 at St. Vitus in Greenpoint, Bkln, NYC with Mockingbird, Force + Fire and Scowl.

Record Highlight — Loose Planes

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

s/t cover art

Have you checked out Loose Planes yet?  Here two songs from their forthcoming EP on Bandcamp.  – the EP will be available on 7” / digital on July 8th from 6131 Records!