Ah, the sweet sounds of a few buds getting together in the SSTUDIO for an electro-acoustic improv potluck. “You bring your sound sources and I’ll bring mine,” says Lasse Marhaug, cramming his electronics and patch cables into a briefcase. “And how!” C. Spencer Yeh exclaims as he spreads out his violin, laptop, tapes, pedals, and oscillators on his bed and starts up a li’l draft process, selecting instruments as one would cherry pick chiseled athletes from a gym class mob. “Is there room for my cello in the mix?” ponders Okkyung Lee aloud, more rhetorically than anything, as if any session wouldn’t benefit from her four-string shreddery. “Looks like we’ve got everything we need.” The three musicians form a triangle and join hands: fingers interlaced. They raise their arms up above their heads in the traditional pre-recording ritual. Marhaug: “Hit it right.” Lee: “Hit it right.” Yeh: “Hit it tight.”
After logging his own collab explorations with Tim Hecker last year, label boss and modern synth messiah Daniel Lopatin continues his Software Studio Series with the prenominate trio’s album Wake Up Awesome. Our first excerpts confound the senses with squalls of hi-fi noise, manipulated fanfare samples, fried dialogue, chiming synth figures, and in-the-red scratching of bow on catgut. “Throw Down the Fishcake / Anise Tongue and Durian Wet Dream (Edit)” combines these musicians’ unique capabilities into a monstrous amalgam that defies any template of song structure, harmony, or rhythm. At 15 sessions deep, with these omnivorous improvisers in front of the mics, there’s no telling what madnesses constitute the rest of the LP.
Wake Up Awesome arrives on November 19. You can preorder the LP or CD now from Software mother-label Mexican Summer.