Undersound: From Nowhere
Undersound is again looming loud, resonant and so evocative from out of the void… a bit like his artist name: you feel it before you see it. A chat about the soon-to-be-upon-us 17 Pantomimes ep was called for, sharpish…
Hi Undersound, first off tell us what inspired the ‘Gangland Thing’, it’s great.
I’d been writing a couple of neuro bits and wanted to go for a more gritty, less polished older vibe but still maintain that modern sound. I also keep the continuity of the orchestral vibe that runs through the ep.
Gangs overall are a pretty compelling topic, especially in these times…
What is politics if it’s not just a group of rival gangs?
‘Hunters Moon’ is great… let me know how it came about? Is that you on gtr?
It is indeed myself on guitar.
This is my personal favourite from the ep. It is my attempt at getting “that sound” ha ha. That neuro-y sound has always been a mystery to me but something I really wanted to come close to getting right one day.
Guitar and ‘real’ instruments are very much an Undersound thing as we discussed in the previous interview
It pays my mortgage! Also playing all other instruments too due to teaching and session work.
What inspired the title?
Well, the track title is a random one, ‘Hunters Moon’ is a well known piece from the solo French horn repertoire that I used to play a lot when I was younger. It was composed by Gilbert Vinter who wrote it about a hotel in Torquay called ‘The Hunters Moon’ when he was stationed there during WW2.
The title ‘Hunters Moon’ also reminded me of a film from Russia and that also leads me to ’17 Pantomimes’… it’s a very arthouse/film-like title so can you tell us what inspired?
The title comes from a scene in the film True Romance, there’s a scene where Christopher Walken is torturing Denis Hopper for some information and he explains after being lied to that Sicilians call the tell tale signs of lying ‘pantomimes’ and that women have 19 or 20 but men have 17.
Got to be heard in the club, this tune: what bass!
Glad you like the bass, it’s another one where I was trying to achieve “that sound”
In general you seem to like orchestral sounds, they must be lovely to work with! They remind me of film score sounds but ironically sound better in this context… D&B that is, than in many of the sort of films you’d associate them with, like big dramas.
Having grown up classically-trained as a French horn player playing in various orcherstas I am definitely drawn to orchestral sounds. It’s a combination of VST instruments and live instruments that I use to create the sounds, the brass on this track is all me.
I’ve recently been writing an album of horror music for a film soundtrack library so that’s definitely a reason why the ep sounds the way it does.
For me it’s all about ‘The Field of the Vibrations’, wow, can you take us through it? What’s it about? War? Paranoia? so haunting and lovely… I get a great mental image of a crystal dark sky and big moon.
I wrote the strings after watching Richard Ayoade film The Double. I was drawn to the dark melancholic feel of Andrew Hewitt’s soundscape. It remained just string chords for many months until I eventually added the drums and bass and developed it into the tune you hear today.
What films/TV/art/visual stuff do you like lately, what are you drawn to?
As with music I try to be as open minded as possible and enjoy most varieties of film. I recently really enjoyed It Follows. Wicked horror film with a great Blade Runner-esq sound track.
Eli Roth’s Knock Knock was really cool, great to see Keanu Reeves going fully crazy! Also Mad Max was awesome!
I’ve recently gotten really into light painting photography. A friend of mine called Michael Bosanko recently inspired me to try it out. Go check michaelbosanko.com, his stuff is amazing.
Jazz is a pretty constant influence on me lately as I’m working pretty flat out with my duo partner Bella Collins. We’ve had phases of gigging up to five times over a weekend! In fact this weekend just gone we did four gigs in a day… three at the Brecon Jazz festival in the afternoon / evening then on to Swansea for a four hour marathon gig.
If you want to check us out look us up here
What tune is in your head?
All I have in my head right now is Spanish! I’ve been learning it since January and have kind of been obsessed by it.
Any shouts, Undersound?
Gareth ‘War machine’ for putting so much effort into 17 Pantomimes and its release and his mastering skills are amazing.
Ceris my wife-to-be who proof read this interview for me ha ha.
And yourself for another set of inspiring questions for me to answer!