You made it to the bottom
A word with seeyousoon on their 'Wanderland' Album
Dan Jones |
The mysterious duo recently released their 11 track debut 'Wanderland', An album that encompasses the journey they have been through and somehow manages to transfer these chaotic, yet oddly liberating emotions to the listeners.
These 2 artists compiled the album over a 5 year period, filtering through dozens of their produced tracks to finally become what has been presented. We had a chat with these guys to get some insights to their thought process, ideas & potential plans for the future.
At what moment did you decide to compile this album, was it something that you guys had aimed for from the very beginning?
We never really had plans for doing an album. Both of us value organic and natural production processes in art and music, meaning: if something emerges, it isn’t because we intended it to, but because we gave this process of 'Pure song' creation room to develop. 'Letting go' is intrinsically connected to our creative process.
We believe when one focuses on expectations of the audience or oneself, this only leads to disappointment and disenchantment, even alienation from the inner self is possible if you start up your synthesizer with the idea of producing a certain kind of music. Following this thin line of reasoning boils down to a kind of Nietzsche-like approach, wherein one (or several) dare to follow instincts.
'Music is my diary', is perhaps the easiest way of explaining this view. It’s a constant sparring of emotions, and sometimes stuff doesn’t work out, but that’s fine, you just keep on creating. At one point in time, there is some much music and work stockpiled into files, that an overlap or 'consensus' between projects starts to become apparent. Then you start to realise, we are actually creating something bigger than just some tunes randomly stacked together.
At this point the vulnerability of our musical beliefs becomes visible, because you start looking back to what you did in the past, and try to live up to these standards and lose this tabula rasa sense of freedom we hold so dearly. Not thinking of, forgetting (and rediscovering) tracks was an important part of creating the album and we had several talks about taking our time, waiting and the underlying eternal value of music. You don’t want to live up to an idea or believe about what music is, but to create something people haven’t heard before. Safeguarding these underlying principles is an important part of our musical enquiries, besides spending a shit load of time in the studio of course.
How do you achieve those insanely ambient textures? What kind of tools/software did you guys use to compile the album?
Short answer: hardware orientated jams. Hardly any virtual tools. We use Ableton to record and arrange and use basic Ableton tools and automation. Filters, sidechains etc. We try to use the visual monitor as less as possible and have an emphasis on playing and turning knobs till something happens. We use several drum computer and synths, including: DSI Mopho, DSI Tempest, Korg r3, Roland mc505 and mc808, Nord A1 lead, Analog four, and field recordings and some mixers with on board overdrives or other effects. Complete freedom for both of us during the creation process is very important in achieving these open ended sounds. Everything is possible at all times. Sometimes the project is completely overthrown after hours of work and something new emerges because someone played a new synth part and we adapt the tempo and “feel” of the beat accordingly.
You are basically talking to each other with synthesizers and strange stuff can happen within these interactions, as long as you don’t limit yourself to a fixed vibe or harmony. Another important aspect is the length of the synth or drum loops. Some tracks have 5 minute live jams overlaying the entire song and hence sound very much alive or ambient.
From each of you, what are your favourite moments in the album and why?
(Jelle) Forest: This track kick started our journey that led to the album. The field recording that was at the basis for the production of this track is something extraordinary and I have some very strong memories attached to it. It revolves around Peter and me having a walk, recording nature and smoking a joint in a park near where Peter used to live.
(Peter) Everybody Will Suffer: That’s when I got the guts to start singing. At this point I started to embrace my own singing properties and was able to welcome these into my own musical projects as well as seeyousoon’s.
Which leads me to my final question... Will we be seeing any more of 'seeyousoon' any time soon (pun intended)?
See question one (pun intended). We try not to force a structural process onto our music. Stuff will emerge if you let it. At this moment we are focusing on our own musical practices. Although no concrete plans exist, we are exploring new sounds and possibilities in a collective manner. The main emphasis is on finding a new way to continue as a duo. You don’t want to become a persiflage of the debut album and don’t want to produce something people expect you to do. Although something new will probably eventually arise, it won’t be in the near future and probably won’t be along the same lines as the debut album. Al lot of stuff is happening for both of us on an individual level, as ADNT and Raadsel.
It is difficult to say how and where this will lead for both of them, hence it is difficult to say where their styles will meet in the future. We try to think of this as little as possible. The universe has an odd way of arranging itself and we try to follow along these lines. As vague as this may seem, this is how things currently are for seeyousoon.