∆AIMON Interview

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https://soundcloud.com/aaimon/seraphim

∆AIMON, to me has always been on the forefront of what I consider the first wave of the witch house movement. With the release of your first full length album on Artoffact Records, do you feel that you have come a long way in the genre? 

It’s difficult to place the ∆AIMON project within any definitive genre label for us. We absolutely came into the scene through the witch house movement and are still very grateful for the incredible friendships and creative allies we’ve made within that circle, however we’ve always fought against confining our sound within any appointed limitations. We are extremely happy with the direction our musical career has gone and especially with how receptive everyone has been of us doing things our own way. A lot of the early witch house artists have gone to efforts to distance themselves from the witch house name for various reasons, so I feel it’s important for us to say that we don’t find any conflict in whether or not we’re considered witch house as long as it’s clear that we aren’t tailoring our music to any preconceived ideas of how it should sound.

How do you think the internet has shaped the possibilities of new genres such as witch house? 

Our own personal experience has shown us that it’s absolutely necessary for the growth and cultivation of new scenes and genres. A lot of the criticism with witch house revolved around it being a re-hashing or trending of older music that has been around for years. That’s definitely true to an extent but rather than it being a negative aspect to us, we see it as artists recognizing like-minded individuals sharing in an enthusiasm for and re-appropriating of dark electronic music within the larger context of wide-set influences. The internet  gives us access points for these artists to find each other and plays an extremely pivotal role in these genres even existing.

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What inspirations did you draw from for the self titled release?

Most notably, we were greatly inspired by interactions with our fans at the live shows and festivals we’ve performed at. It gave us a new perspective on how intimately we want to connect with our followers. That has had a large impact on how personal the record became, thematically as well as the production elements (less reverb, more distinct drum sounds, etc.). The mood of the record was also very inspired by visual media such as Lars von Trier and Tarkovsky films. Musically we’ve been re-exploring our noise, experimental, and trip-hop interests which have definitely shaped the style of our new material.

Would you say that this album has a general theme?

There’s definitely a cohesive aesthetic to the album, though not so much to where it’s a full concept. The songs themselves all work individually as their own pieces, but we developed them within the framework of the album so that there’s the appropriate amount of dynamics and theme within the over-arching flow. We always try to keep a consistent imagery or style within each release to tie everything together and I feel we did a decent job of keeping to that with the album. If I had to describe the theme, I’m not sure I’d be able to properly nail it down, but overall we really wanted a more exposed and honest portrayal of ourselves. This includes the dark and the light, and the importance of balance between both. 

Can you describe your writing process for a new track? 

We usually start with an idea of what sort of impression we want the track to have. If it’s a darker, slower song we’ll build it up from drone and ambient layers to give the track the mood we’re after. More beat oriented songs will start with the main structure and drums mapped out. The two of us pass ideas back and forth and will give feedback until we land on something we both like. Often-times we’ll have a melody or piano piece that we will structure a song around as well. After that we usually record vocals last so that we can experiment with what vocal delivery style fits best within the emotional context of the music.

There has been a wave recently of new and impressive hardware synthesizers released over the last few years - are you excited about any of these and how do you think that the new push for analog synthesizers will change the direction of music?

We’re always excited about new gear but our music tends to be extremely methodical. There’s a certain level of unpredictability with analog that we shy away from, but at the same time we really love exploring new ways of creating sounds and evoking emotions. With hardware we usually have a workflow that involves recording a lot of textures and samples or full parts that are then resequenced through our DAW (Logic) into a structure that fits our interest. With that in mind there’s definitely an appealing tactile interaction with hardware that lends itself extremely well to experimentation. We’ve been really satisfied with the addition of the Moog Minitaur into our set recently and would love to play around with the Arturia Brute series as well.

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Do you have any plans to take ∆AIMON on the road? 

Unfortunately we don’t have any specific plans outside of one-off shows. It’s definitely a goal of ours to promote the new record by doing some touring though, so hopefully we’ll get to play a few cities in 2014. It may end up being a lot of single shows here and there where time permits, but we definitely want to travel and meet our fans and online friends as much as possible.

If you could choose anyone to go on tour with, who would it be (from any point in history)?

That’s a great question. The artistic side of us would love to tour with artists like Throbbing Gristle, COIL, or Ulver because of the depth of expression and emotion they carry, but we’ve had such great reactions from house-parties and DIY spaces that I think a tour in that vein would be really amazing. So maybe a group tour with our artist friends who are more in touch with the current underground would have the really intense energy we like. Something sweaty, dark, and overwhelming with waves of anxiety. We’re open to suggestions…

If someone gave you 1 million dollars to use only on music related business - what would you do with it? 

Hmmm. I think we’d have to build ourselves a hide-away studio retreat filled with all the appropriate gear for immersive recording. We dream of isolating ourselves with art and collaborators in a space designed solely for creating. Perhaps opening it to the public for special events. I imagine it a bit like Warhol’s Factory… Otherwise, we could easily spend it traveling to perform all over the world wherever our fans request. As we said earlier, we would love to explore further and meet our amazing supporters and friends from online.

As 2013 draws to a close there is no short supply of brilliant releases, what have been your top 5 favorite albums of 2013? 

This year has indeed been an amazing one for releases. Almost to the point of feeling it too daunting a task to try and select favorites. We’ve also spent a huge portion of the year working on our own album so we’re definitely still catching up on a ton of releases we missed earlier. A few we’ve had on play quite a bit that immediately come to mind would be: Corrections House - Last City Zero, Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty, Bestial Mouths - Bestial Mouths, Ulver - Messe I.X - VI.X, and CREEP - ECHOES.

Pick up the album now: http://www.stormingthebase.com/aimon-aimon-limited-2cd/

An open letter:

An open letter to club goers, industrial compatriots, gothic romances in the deep shadows, and the everlasting beat - 

Forget everything you know about music. Forget your favorite song. Forget the handful of bands that you have held onto for decades. Forget your understanding and overanalyzing. Forget the words. Allow yourself to fall into the gentle oblivion of youth and innocence. Do you remember the first time you went to a club night - the excitement and all the pleasure of feeling like you had somewhere to go that made you feel excited to be away from the real world? Do you remember not knowing every song you danced to, but danced anyway because it had a good beat and just the right aggression for your long week? Do you remember the beauty of just feeling the music inside of you, moving your body - the romance of it all? 

There have been endless debates about the necessity of old, tired songs to keep people moving on a dance floor because they are familiar. They have a past and a place in hearts - they are what people know. But why move robotically, to robotic music, in a robotic fashion when the very thing you look to escape is a robotic world? Where did the alternative go? 

So I implore you, great romantics, ever stomping rivet heads! Take back the scene, loose yourself in the music no matter what the song is! Request new songs, beg for them, each and every one - it is the only way. Talk to your favorite DJ about music! They are nerds just like you, I promise. They want to hear about the band you discovered, or are in, or are friends with - or just like the name of! Most of all though, dance like you used to, without care or worry. Without status or purpose. Dance like there is no one watching.

ESA: No-One Will Ever Touch You / False In Tongue EP

Electronic Substance Abuse: No-One Will Ever Touch You / False In Tongue EP (Tympanik) 

Following up the twin release for Themes of Carnal empowerment, ESA is back with a “pay what you want” EP on the Tympanik Bandcamp page! I am always curious to see what Jamie has to offer, especially with his contributions to IVardensphere. I had the great opportunity to see ESA live last time they came through Portland and was very impressed - If you get the chance go and see it - definitely one of the better one-man shows that I have seen. 

The IVardensphere remix for This Is Not Love stands out most for this release. It is a fun club track to get the bodies moving on the floor! It is strikingly apparent that IV has a good hold on how to make people dance. This remix in particular has a seamless blend of tribal and noise elements. 

The Cloud Roots remix of the same song is a very close second favorite, there is a weird ambient glitchy element that I thoroughly enjoy. I am a sucker for glitchy beats over piano movements!

The (partial) title track is nothing short of a great ESA track. It is chaotic, noisy and percussion based - which is exactly what I am looking for when gearing up for a night out or just good old fashion aggression. 

You can pick up No-One Will Ever Touch You/False in Tongue EP directly from Tympanik Audio or just listen to it for free at their bandcamp page: http://tympanikaudio.bandcamp.com/track/this-is-not-love-ivardensphere-remix

Dawn of Ashes - Poisoning the Steps of Babel Official Video

(You will have to go to Bloody Disgusting’s website to see the official video - it is exclusive right now and I do not want to upset them…)

I usually try not to write negative reviews, so I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. 

Here are some thoughts I had while watching the video:

- I feel like 14 year old me would have liked this video. 24 year old me…

- Anyone who uses “fist fuck” in a song has lost my respect. 

- How many songs can you write about hating Christians?

- Didn’t these guys used to make dance music? (I know the history, and am a fan, I just don’t like American Metal very often.)

- Wasn’t this supposed to be the more industrial album? 

- If Nero is in every track/DJ set/Live performance/Video for Dawn of Ashes, is it really necessary to credit him as a “feat. Nero Bellum from Psyclon Nine”? Isn’t he just a band member now? The new Psyclon Nine might as well be a Dawn of Ashes album anyway…

Anyway, over all I am sure that many people already knew that this video/new material was going to be the same as before. At the end of the day, I was not shocked or surprised by the content - but understand that some people over 14 still like it. Not for me personally. 

Psykkle - Mother Monoxide

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Psykkle - Mother Monoxide (CRL Studios)

"Mother Monoxide" stands as a turning point for Psykkle. Over the last few years I have been keeping tabs on our good Edmontonian freinds Psykkle and watched as mastermind Evan Collingwood shaped the project from a aggrotech background into the atmospheric reality glitch it has become today. 

After the “In the City of Nodes” Single/remix disk and “Back to Paradise: B-Sides and Rarities” releases, it was easy to see that the project was coming fully out of its shell. “Mother Monoxide” brings the tempo down and the clarity up. I was surprised by the quality of the sounds in this release. Swelling tempos and soft pads shape a cyberpunk take on what I can only imagine is a perverse futurescape. The vocals are heavily effected, but I do not think that the songs could be presented the same way if they were not. 

From the first track, “The Colony,” it is very apparent that this is an album with a pretty large scope - not your average Aggro-dance-step-class release. I was also excited that there was not a purely dubstep influence in every track (personally I am tired of the dubstep bleed-over,) but that it was used conservatively and in a unique way.

This is definitely a release for people who like: Encephalon and Comaduster 

You can buy this release directly from the artist’s Bandcamp Page

Bandcamping: Ant-Zen

I had a very long and boring workday yesterday - due to the American holiday - and was able to go through a large number of tracks from the Ant-Zen catalog (courtesy of their Bandcamp Page).

Here are some awesome songs that I discovered:

A Quick Bandcamp search for “Neofolk” Brought me to Empusae’s album on the Ant-Zen bandcamp page and I was pleasantly surprised by their album “Symbiosis.” This project is cool because there are a few different musicians that are featured on different tracks and they each bring their own feel to it.

Mind Necrosis Factor’s “Beyond The Flesh” is a very creepy track with great atmosphere. The build up of the track is solid and it doesn’t meander like some ambient tracks tend to do.

Tzolk’in’s self titled album I am really pleased with. Again, great atmosphere and the percussive elements move the tracks along at a nice pace. When I read the description for this release, it came of no surprise that it was a project consisting of members of Empusae and Flint Glass. 

You may know the name Arco Trauma (Chrysallide, Punish Yourself, Twinkle [sometimes], etc.) Sonic Area is a personal project that delves more into an odd realm of mismatched noise and old worldly feelings. I have a hard time getting into Music For Ghosts, it is a little too odd for me, but the work is amazing non-the-less! The composition of sound and structure are unmistakably Arco’s. 

Nao is something that was suggested to me, and I was able to check it out this morning (another long day of workless work.) Again, great atmosphere - very soundtrack-esque qualities to the composition. I like it.