Mastered by Grant Richardson
Design and layout by Shea Hardacre
Technology has always been a topic of debate in experimental music. From modern digital audio workstation based compositions, to early primitive electronic music, there seems to be an inescapable link between the method and the creation of sound, and worse yet, an inescapable debate of the methods and their validity. From Merzbow being blasted for using laptops or the countless purists scoffing at the use of anything non-analog, it seems despite experimental / noise / industrial etc. music’s ever boasting stance on being the front line of avant-garde boundary pushing sound, the rhetoric surrounding HOW the sound is made remains unending and ever stagnant. Pedal memes and cliche low end rumble drops, piercing high end squeals inspiring raised fists, and back to back almost at times indiscernible sets now run rampant, rendering what once was extreme now almost entirely monochromatic. That’s not to say there’s not a place and space for ‘classic’ sounds and structures – A hammer is still among the most worthy of tools.
Yet in 2022, with the myriad of options and templates for experimental electronics, one avenue perhaps remains the most divisive, obnoxious, ingenious, wild and at times, controversial: Modular synthesis. Both Mack Chami (God Is War, Koufar, Terror Cell Unit, Crown Of Cerberus etc.) and myself (Apaixonar, Plagues, Sensory Deprivation etc.) are no strangers to attempting different tactics and sonic / aesthetic approaches, and I would say that incorporating the unwieldy and chaotic world of modular for both of our artistic paths has been one of the most both challenging and liberating approaches to creating sounds I can think of. It is with these sometimes crude, sometimes highly complex weapons so to speak that all sounds and structures here were created. A limitation so to speak set on the means by which to create, yet using tools infinitely malleable.
Both Midwest at heart, Mack and I share a deep affinity for a great number of extreme, heavy, cold, emotive and challenging electronic works and otherwise spanning Hip-Hop, IDM, Techno, Hardcore, Jungle, Grime, Juke and more. This recording was inspired by both the need for collaboration, forced by the seemingly unending distant nature of the 2020 pandemic as well as a shared and mutual respect for each-others works. To see Mack rise and create across a myriad of projects and platforms has been inspiring and energizing I believe to many, and in our chats about the often modular-synth tools utilized, this mutual excitement for such creations was only enhanced. On the surface one would see a near opposing force, with God Is War largely being an aggressive, beyond heavy tour de force in modern electronics and Apaixonar being largely more contemplative and-often melodic, yet purely of experimental- electronic origin. Both projects also explore heritage, geography, history, all while juxtaposing these Earthly topics into more abstract Sci-Fi soundscapes. As with all things, progression is often born of challenge and risk, and it is through this attempt I would wager we both have created something we could not have done without the help of the other.
In 2003, the world was graced with one of the finest musical collaborations to ever take place: Detroit, Michigan meets Los Angeles / West Coast via Champion Sound by J Dilla (R.I.P.) and Madlib. The record showcased each producer sending a beat to the other, and then each would lace the track with a vocal – Madlib MC’ing over Dilla beats, Dilla MC’ing over Madlib beats. Through this incredibly simple and effective constraint, one of the finest modern Hip-Hop LPs was born. It is this direct inspiration taken to our approach of sending ‘beats’ and ‘rhymes’ back and forth:
Vol. 1 mainly is the visions of GIW taking APX melodic stems, modular drum grooves and wavetable synth snippets into unimaginable territories spanning crude jungle, menacing industrial, and a gorgeous IDM-laced trap anthem aptly entitled Oriental Trap House.
Vol. 2 is more the sum of APX taking structures and heavy beats and rhythms from GIW into at times melodic Sci-Fi ambient, all the way into fractured 90’s PSX OST and breaks worship, modern electronic composition and Chicago Footwork rhythms.
My hope is that this work inspires risk, collaboration, free creativity and exploration – To maybe perhaps challenge one’s own comfort zone, especially those of us feeling pressured or ensnared in today’s anti-imaginative echo chamber of artistic trappings of needing to fit into this or that category, to appear just the right way or sound ‘harsh’ or ‘dark’ or like dreamy ‘Instagram driven plant ambient’. To go back to the heart and joy of making experimental music: Explore, by all means necessary