Well Imminent Domains is out the door and finding it’s way in the world, so I’m well onto my next things.
The guitar build I mentioned is well underway. In my opinion the relic’ing has been a raging success. I took it to a much greater extreme than I originally intended but it felt right so I went with it. Here’s where I’m at now:
I aged the hardware with muriatic acid and started aging the wood with vinegar/steel wool as well as a coffee/tea mix. This plan started life with a pickguard but the aging just wasn’t working out. There’s a guy in Canada that makes Tele pickguards out of reclaimed scrap metal I was going to hit up but in the end that felt like it’d be fake. I beat the body up grinding it on my bar in the backyard and gave it a good chiseling. Sometime this week it’ll get a teak oil finish. I’ve never done a whole guitar with that but i think it’ll work well here. Teak, in my experience darkens the finish and the guitar could be a lot darker to my tastes.
Next up on this is to relic the pickups (still waiting on parts for that), making sure the neck aligns and wiring this bad boy up. Looking forward to seeing it come together.
in other news work is proceeding well on the next Derision Cult album. I tracked a bunch of vocals today and tried some new techniques (I’m trying to find ways to not destroy my voice). I still have a few more to go which I hope to have wrapped up on Wednesday. Then there’s the long process of treating all those vox (DC is by far my heaviest treated vocals…chains get 10-12 effects long all the time). I’d say it’s entirely possible this could be out in February.
Couple of new production approaches on this one. First I stopped obsessing over being down the middle and embraced the stereo field. Lotta hard pans. I was worried about phasing because I’d compared tracks to commercial mixes in a goniometer and they looked totall mono. I chalked that up to perfect phasing but I think I may have just been loading the tracks wrong. Anyhow I like the really wide sound so that’s that. The OTHER change is that I tracked guitar last. That’s the opposite of how I worked previously. Normally I’d lay down riffs and build the track around them. I still write on a guitar but I lay in bass and drums and some basic synth sounds first. I did this with the last Sys Machine project and it was much tighter and I dunno? Robotic? It also gave me some new ideas and guitars are a lot more textural here.
As far as the tracks themselves…it’s both the heaviest and most melodic album I’ve done as Derision Cult. I deliberately tried to make the drums very Machine like— so no swing and very little AI stuff like Apple drums. It’s also a lot more drum synth heavy vs real samples. My goal was to basically make the tracks sound like what they are verse fooling the listener into thinking they’re hearing real drums. That’s not to say it sounds like the sugar hill gang but you should be able to tell you’re hearing a drum machine.
I also put guitar melody lines over things which really brought out a new grandiose sound. It also ties the tracks together.
After vocals I still have some guitar solos and production work (samples etc) and then we’ll mix this bad boy. I’ll definitely take some learnings from Sys Machine….particularly around effect automation…very happy with how that worked out on Imminent Domains