TELL US ABOUT NIGHT MODE:
Here’s the process: Take instruments you’re not totally comfortable with . Improvise blindly for a while, then try to make a piece of music out of the results. Keep the headphones on and don’t wake up the family sleeping upstairs. To me, this project has been about applying constructive artistic constraints and just playing to have fun. Ideas have been flowing freely and often.
The first Night Mode release is something I made with no expectations whatsoever. I was learning how to use a bunch of synthesizers that a friend of mine had loaned to me while he was doing some house cleaning. I ended up with about 30 minutes worth of interesting sounds on a couple different 4 track cassettes, and decided to try and expand them into pieces of music. “OTHER” is the result of manipulating and adding onto those improvisations. I tracked live drums, bass guitar, additional synth layers, some Rhodes piano, a small amount of guitar feedback, and lots of knob manipulation on effects pedals. Almost everything you hear is from an analog source and was played live. I didn’t sequence or MIDI sync anything, so it all has a very loose, organic feel. I think of it as being akin to some of the more ambient krautrock works and the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop,though there is only one track to motorik beat and another that sounds like an 80s horror film soundtrack.
The next Night Mode release will be an immediate change of pace. My bandmate, Howie Howard (Mars Lights, Dark Satellites), made a record with a circular sequencer on his iPad. He overdubbed and re-amped a few things to put the finishing touches on it. We’ll put that out on Bandcamp in a few months. Like “OTHER,” it’s good stuff to space out to, but in a different way.
The third release will probably be based around some modular synth recordings that my friend, Damon Mar recorded at my house a while ago. He has requested that I add guitar and tape echo to it. Damon has built and sold modular synth equipment under the Marsynth name. I’ve known him for a number of years and I’m excited to finally collaborate with him on something.
Finally, to make sure we’ve always got something new in the chamber, I have been collecting ambient pieces and basic compositions for another Night Mode release in the vein of “OTHER.” This project will probably be going on in perpetuity with me either as a creator or curator.
ANY CHANCE WE’LL SEE NIGHT MODE LIVE?
I would like that very much, but I don’t own most of the gear I use for Night Mode. Howie, Damon, and I have talked about adapting some of our ideas to a live show. We are all extremely time-poor individuals, but I would like to make it happen sometime. It’s a good excuse for me to actually purchase a nice synth.
DOES THE KC AREA LACK A GOOD EXPERIMENTAL/ESOTERIC SCENE?
I have lived in KC for about 11 years, and I have seen a number of good noise shows in crusty DIY spaces. I wish I would go out and see more. It exists.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF IN THE REGION?
Publications like this where I can contact somebody and actually get a response.
WHAT MESSAGE OR IDEA DO YOU WANT TO CONVEY THROUGH YOUR ART? Space?
Interview by Jeff Winter