Degree Zero: Untitled 170524

It would be a dream to get the vox-only stems of Jaala’s latest album. Her shrieks and shouts and tempo changes and overall chaotic vocal beauty would be used extensively.

You can listen to it here on Bandcamp.

I’m pretty happy with what I was able to eek out of Jaala’s “Junior Spirit” (the lead vocals for the track), Motion Graphics’ “Vistabrick” (which produces that great echo-y crack and bass beat), and a small smattering of Death Grips’ “Anne Bonny”, the 160BPM heart of the track, providing a driving foundation for the slowed pace of the other parts.

Jaala’s voice is beautiful: seductive and rough; high-pitched but with the subdued energy of an alto. It’s not easy to extract some vocals from her tracks what with the band’s usual frenetic guitars and drums. But “Spirit” has some isolated vocals, and luckily it’s one of my favorite singles. I jumped on the chance to cut her voice up into something so different – to insert her voice into the universe of Motion Graphics.

I’m not good at mixing – it sounds terrible on portable laptop speakers and barely sounds together on better headphones. However, I still feel the “justification”: Jaala’s voice may not belong on a dance album, but is at home as a red-hot knife searing through ambient electronics. It would be a dream to get the vox-only stems of Jaala’s latest album, Hard Hold. Her shrieks and shouts and tempo changes and overall chaotic vocal beauty would be used extensively.

For You: Abstraxion – Just What I’ve Always Wanted

For You: Abstraxion – Just What I’ve Always Wanted


Dear Aleks,

It’s been an oddly emotional Friday. I was making a track that seemed more on the level of “that’ll do” than anything particularly moving, yet my eyes welled up as the the syncopated tracks would interact in new and unique ways, producing sounds I could never have done without their serendipitous clashes and impacts. I highly doubt that the track will ever instigate the same emotions I experienced during its making; it’s a simple track laden with subtle micro-sounds that will fleetingly enter and exit as paths cross and diverge.

And then I watched the movie “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” and I run into a concept that seems to always pull on the heartstrings: the beauty of the elderly person and people’s misperception that that elderly person was and always will be the Elderly, with that capital E. They remark about the gentleman having visited the same bar for sixty years, and then we find this man sixty years younger, drinking at the bar with his usual shot of whiskey witnessing a beautiful moment between the female owner and a room of penniless sailors on their way to war. We arrive back at his aged self, with the faint echoes of past joy still bouncing off the walls.

I wonder if I tear up at the idea that this could be the last time I could ever experience a small beauty in my lifetime. Even when I cry I have this feeling that I want to get it all out, as if I could manufacture more tears and emotion and extend the feelings of my catharsis. But then I lose the tears, and I cry no more. There is this emotional/locational return; am I leaving reality when my eyes water? It’s such a rare experience nowadays that I can only have fascination at my more extreme emotions; in the mediocrity that I live now I can only feel okay.


Abstraxion – Just What I’ve Always Wanted