Surachai
Embraced

Embodiments of every genre gather for six weeks of summer fun: Hardcore grills burgers as Ska guzzles root beer; Classic Rock steers the boat as Indie Rock trails behind on an inner tube; “Where’s Seapunk?” asks Vaporwave, and everyone has a good laugh. EuroHouse runs around the grounds passing out invitations to a Memorial Day Rave. R&B, Detroit Techno, even Gamelan all get the nod. “But you guys can’t come,” EuroHouse tells Black Metal and Modular Synthesis, snatching the embossed invites from under their noses at the last second. “You’ll just scare everyone off.” Mod-Synth scoffs, “We don’t need ‘em.” The two flee to a cabin on the outskirts of the grounds. Inside, a wood-paneled chamber overflows with rack-mounted hardware and patch cables. Mod-Synth points to an empty corner. “We’ve got room for some half-stacks over there.” Montage: Black Metal moving gear in; the two pals hunching over a sequencer as LED lights dance across their faces; a tremolo picking workshop featuring chalkboard wrist diagrams; EDM and Nü-Metal making out at the Memorial Day Rave; genres heading home to their parents at camp’s end; our heroes shutting themselves in and woodshedding through the winter; finally high fiving over what they build together.

A co-founder of Chicago-based synth collective Trash Audio, composer Surachai Sutthisasanakul has fused avant-garde synthesis and metal across a number of vinyl and digital-only EPs since 2010. Embraced, the most recent release under the Surachai moniker, represents a labor of love for Sutthisasanakul: his detailed statement follows his creative process from composing to tracking a full band of collaborators to putting it on wax. The album finds four guitars, howled vocals, bass, and blast beats cohering into the near-baroque arrangements and melodic odysseys we’ve come to expect from contemporary USBM heavyweights Wolves In The Throne Room, Krallice, and Ash Borer. Surachai juxtaposes all this against squeals, drones, and fragmented sequences from the Buchla Easel rig of Alessandro Cortini (he of Nine Inch Nails collabs and a forthcoming 2xLP on Important Records), and maxes out the overwhelming mix with the help of Richard Devine (credited here with Sound Design).

Let’s pretend we all knew Modular Synthesis and Black Metal were best friends this whole time. Embraced slays. Order this album straight from Surachai’s Bandcamp.

• Surachai: http://surachai.org

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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