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'Spectral Gates' debut album - a dubby, distorted post-rock/electronic experiment.


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Hi all! Our new album is out! It's post-...something, dubby, distorted and weird. One track got tons of terrestrial airplay; another seems to be getting picked up by a bunch of blogs. One guy I know says some of it sounds like Tool, but I don't hear that myself.

It's grubby and strange and full of cool drumming and custom DSP code and modular gear used as a *conventional instrument*. We recorded the whole thing in a day. I hope you like it! Cheers.

Album link: https://gyro.lnk.to/SpectralGates

 

Background:

SPECTRAL GATES is a collaboration between Steve Allison & Daniel Arena (who also perform individually as Scruffamudda and Daniel Arena's Musical Entertainment Cube). The duo create energetic, ethereal and apocalyptic electronic beats, dub and post-rock.

In late 2019, after a seven year break from playing together in bands, they went into a hacked-together DIY studio space for a day and came out with the bones of a self-titled album, scheduled for release on streaming services and Bandcamp March 31:

"I'd just finished getting my recording rig sorted out again following some sessions for other bands, and it felt silly to pack it all away again in storage without doing some more tracking. Somehow this led to a one-day unplanned recording in a rehearsal room with me and Steve Allison - nothing written in advance, the very slightest amount of prep (most of which we discarded), and a terrifying mountain of instruments and equipment. Just, like, three of everything. Loopers and synths and mess. Angry homemade digital. I think I had ten different ways to make a guitar sound more distorted ready to patch in.

Going in I wanted to capture some of the sheer exhilaration of making a terrible racket with friends. There's nothing like letting a guitar just feedback, barely under control. The air takes on mass and menace. Infamous noise pioneer Lucas Abela joked in an interview about one of his public installations that experimental music is a lot more fun to make than to listen to, and I was expecting this would go the same way. Maybe we'd capture a bit of that.

What I hadn't counted on was that Steve and I would find something musically coherent from the first seconds of recording, and we kept gravitating back towards sanity in the sessions. The literal first thing we recorded survived through as track one on the album - this big, dubby, distorted thing that just rolls and flows and makes sense, and most of the album grew out of this apocalyptic cloud of electronic tension.

Three minutes into a totally improvised piece that's working, you get this terror, you have to figure how to land this crazy machine before the wings fall off. We got a few good landings on tape."
 

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  • 4 months later...

Cheers!

We ended up having a ton of success with this one - loads of Sydney radio airplay, a bit of action on Spotify. Then just as we were about to start gigging to support it everything went into lockdown.

So we ... recorded another three albums worth of music from home. We're just about to start putting some of it out. Rather than spam a whole new thread for it, I might post some of it here - this is the first track from the new batch, 'system16':

Note: serious amounts of strobing in this one. Editing the second half of this was a huge pain in the butt.

 

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ah man please take care

(+ thanks)

i struggled with this a bit because my favourite aesthetic is OMG LOUD FLASHING GLITCHY NONSENSE from 1987 and i wanted to amp that up to maximum impact but i am super aware of how rough it is on some folks. hence warnings etc.

here it is on bandcamp for audio only: https://spectralgates.bandcamp.com/album/system16

 

(like, i have made personal ASMR videos of c64 loading screens which are just the contents of disk decompressing to the screen border colours 25 times a second. i love all that stuff.)

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Oh, and because this is the 'full release' thread - this track is from one of three upcoming mini-albums, 'Holocene', which should be out in the next month - just waiting on artwork (building a system to generatively produce album covers is slower than just making a cover from scratch, but whatever). We split the new material into mathy/doomy, upbeat/electronic ('Lunar') and experimental/dubby ('Perihelion'), to be released over the next few months.

Edited by dub3000
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New album 'holocene' is out!

Retro scroller demo here, 1987 forever: https://spectralgates.com/holocene.html

Bandcamp and streaming below:

It was always going to be a bit weird to follow up the completely improvised, single-day session that turned into our debut album with an actual 'composed' album, but I think we managed to get something that feels coherent with our previous stuff. Really happy with it, thanks for listening!

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