Audio Saturdays! La Sudar demos pt. 4

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the new La Sudar album dropped this summer: The Debussy Loops. Check it out, listen, download, whatever! We’ve also got a new Songwriting Prompt Contest that’s live! Win $50 bucks! Details here.

Here’s another la sudar demo. Another beat created with one of the hundreds of Bandlab loopers.

Audio Saturdays! La Sudar demos pt. 3

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the new La Sudar album dropped this summer: The Debussy Loops. Check it out, listen, download, whatever! We’ve also got a new Songwriting Prompt Contest that’s live! Win $50 bucks! Details here.

Here’s another la sudar demo. Another beat created with one of the hundreds of Bandlab loopers.

Also, it’s 9/11, so you should probably go listen to The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski. We’ve got tickets to the big TDL 20th anniversary show tonight at Riverside Church, and will spend most of the day thinking about how the fuck they’re going to recreate these pieces with electronics, synths, a string section, a horn section, and two percussionists, and how amazing it’s going to sound. The man himself can’t be there for health reasons, but this figures to be a once in a lifetime experience regardless. Maybe we’ll write a review next week!

La Sudar: The Debussy Loops

just in time for your summer vibes~

NEW LA SUDAR! drops 6/22/21

TRACKLIST:

  1. The Debussy Loops 2
  2. The Debussy Loops 6
  3. The Debussy Loops 4
  4. The Debussy Loops 9

I’ve been wanting to make a record like this for a long time.

I’ve been working on writing and composing in the ambient space for a few years now, with mixed results. Listening back on the La Sudar stuff I’ve put out over the years in anticipation of this new record, I’ve found some of it fun, some of it interesting, some of it bloated, and some of it unlistenable. It’s been educational. When working on a piece, the urge to tinker, to add, to dress up the music can be overwhelming. But when I’m able to let that go, and get out of the way of the music, it can lead to some spectacular results.

The best thing, however, about getting into ambient music, and starting to think about what I might want my ambient music to sound like, was being able to browse active ambient, drone, and experimental artists releasing music around the world right now on sites like Bandcamp. Bandcamp makes finding new sounds really easy through its tags; it has expected ones like ‘drone’ and ‘ambient’ but also more intriguing ones like ‘plant music’ and ‘musique concrete’ that allowed me to scratch very specific itches I hadn’t been aware of.

While I’d always loved jammy, spacy music (bands like Pink Floyd, Spiritualized, The Velvet Underground, and Phish have all been favorites since college or before) I didn’t start specifically seeking out ambient music until I bought a synth back in 2015 or so and started to become intrigued by the idea of writing in that space. The first stuff to really blow me away was a series of pieces called The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski. I found it transcendent in a literal way, almost more of a painting than music, a true four dimensional work of art. It made me want to put out a true looping project one day, but I could never seem to find the right music to loop.

Then one day a few months ago, I was listening to an LP of Debussy Preludes (Books I and II) when it began to skip. A lightbulb went off in my head. I grabbed my phone and held it up to the speaker and hit record. When it had cycled a few times I hit stop. The audio file I’d captured was maybe three seconds of actual music, and the sound of the skip. But I slowed it down, sped it up, reversed it, reverbed it, distorted it, stretched it and turned it inside out, and before I knew it I had more loops than I knew what to do with. I’m still working on it. There will probably be a Volume 2, unless I get sidetracked by this new snippet I have from when my Chopin record skipped last week.

So this was a fun record to make. I hope you enjoy listening to it. I’d been wanting to do a homage to Basinski’s loops for years, so this feels like an actual accomplishment. It releases on Bandcamp Tuesday June 22, just in time for your Summer vibes. If you want to know more about it just hit me up at info@sunshineandwind.com.

Audio Saturdays! New La Sudar coming!

If you’re a follower of the Audio Saturdays column here, you know that for the past couple week’s we’ve been exploring the music of early 00s indie band Trousers. It was a lot of fun revisiting that old material, but now that the album is finished we’re kind of at a loss for what to do next. While we mull over some ideas, we’re going to go back to what got us here, at least for the time being.

DL SAMPLE

Going to drop some new la sudar music June 5, maybe drop the first single next week – who can say? But there’s been a whole lot going on in the la sudar world and it’s long past time to give you a taste. Here’s a sample of an outtake – not anything I used, but part of something I used, looped, slapped around and dressed up.

As far as the actual music that’s coming, see the picture below for a hint about the main source of inspiration…

Audio Saturdays! Back to Basics

If you’re a follower of the Audio Saturdays column here, you know that for the past couple week’s we’ve been exploring the music of early 00s indie band Trousers. It was a lot of fun revisiting that old material, but now that the album is finished we’re kind of at a loss for what to do next. While we mull over some ideas, we’re going to go back to what got us here, at least for the time being.

“undo”

Feeling pretty unfocused in a lot of my work lately. I’ve got three or four different projects I’m trying to run with at once and not really getting anywhere with either of them. I’m loathe to shelve any of them, but I’m tired of being pulled in several different directions.

This particular audio track is an excerpt of a larger thing, which I plucked out and toyed with a bit. Given my failure to see the larger picture with some of these sound collages, I’m hoping that by zooming in I can discover just what about them is not working, or figure out a better way to present them. I leave you to judge just how successful I am at this.

There’s a separate music project I’m working on, unrelated to this except that I’m using this to avoid it (the other project). It’s been a frustrating week, hoping to rally this weekend, or at least catch up on sleep.

Audio Saturdays! Back to Basics

If you’re a follower of the Audio Saturdays column here, you know that for the past couple week’s we’ve been exploring the music of early 00s indie band Trousers. It was a lot of fun revisiting that old material, but now that the album is finished we’re kind of at a loss for what to do next. While we mull over some ideas, we’re going to go back to what got us here, at least for the time being.

“Astoria Sound Collage #2”

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been doing some entry level explorations into field recording, and while the results are mixed, there does seem to be some promise in the idea of taking field recordings and composing some ambient music around them. That’s not what we’re doing in today’s selection, “Astoria Sound College #2” though- here we broke out some samples from a recent twitch stream and combined them with some bird chirps we got from our last field recording expedition.

We’d love to hear from some of you field recorders out there, especially the musicians among you, to discuss how you’ve integrated the two into your art, to see how one has informed the other.

photo of China, photographer unknown, ripped from the internet at some point

Audio Saturdays! Trousers pt. 2: Bedtime

Today and for the next few weeks we’ll be handing the reins over to poet-in-residence J.E. O’Leary, so he can tell the story of his band Trousers as he goes track-by-track through the band’s only release, 2004’s We Pitched a Hut and Called it Providence. This week: track #2, “Bedtime”

This song is pretty much peak Trousers. We wrote it at the height of our powers and it was one of our favorites to play live. Joey, our guitar player, wrote the verse riff and brought it to us to jam on. I came up with the bassline during the jam and started thinking about lyrics. In cases like this I would just kind of sing la-la-las until lyrics came to me. I had pretty much fully transitioned to playing with a pick at this point. It made singing way easier.

Singing and playing the bass at the same time had not come naturally to me. When I first began playing bass, I couldn’t do it at all. It was almost like you needed two brains in your head at once. But by the time Trousers was in full swing, I’d been playing bass for about ten years, just about every day, and I’d had some experience doing background vocals and leads (with very simple lines under them). I’d also picked up some basic guitar skills along the way, which gave me experience playing and carrying a tune. I found that using a pick on my bass let me think of my right arm as it were strumming chords, and I could accompany myself on increasingly difficult basslines. And as always you learn different ways to cheat a little when you need to.

During practice we developed the verses and they were looking strong. I told the band I would take the song home and try and write a chorus. I was still in my Early Period of songwriting at this point, and didn’t really know many tricks besides the basics, so I figured since this song was in F (the verse was F- Dm), I would go major 4th and hit the chorus in A#. It didn’t really sound right on the first fret, so the next time around I slid up to the 13th fret and added that power chord on the 5th, and that sounded so good. A couple of tweaks later and I had the right feel. The chorus ended up major 4th major 5th, which worked. Joey worked out a great ascending power chord part on the chorus to give it some real oomph.

I was pretty proud of the lyrics on this one. They basically came straight from a dream. In my dream I was literally in the 110th subway station on the 1/9 talking to my ex (who I hadn’t seen in years by this point). I also remember I couldn’t think of a second line for the 4th verse after “Am I holding your hand or fondling my alarm clock” so I just repeated it and it kinda stuck,

It was Becca’s idea to call it Bedtime, and we had a running joke about her cello part. When I finish with “but what good does it do meeee” she slides up to a really high note and I would always try to match it with a falsetto. We always cracked each other up trying to reach the high note.

afaik the only extant picture of TROUSERS

Audio Saturdays! Sound collage #1

We know, we know. We’ve gotta stop leaving these until the last minute. Here’s a little sound collage from a folder deep inside the Sunshine and Wind archives called RANDOM WAV FILES. No clue the story behind this. But maybe someone can find some use for it.

It’s a beautiful morning here in Queens, and we’re recovering from a fairly bad back strain, so not much work has gotten done this week. But we’ve got a chunk of time carved out tomorrow to do some fairly heavy lifting, site wise, so expect these posts to be higher effort in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here is a picture from the summer. We actually considered this for the WHAT A FUTURE cover, but decided it was too Instagram-y and not representative of the mood of the book.

Audio Saturdays: a beat waiting for a hook

Happy Saturday! There are only a few days left in Donald Trump’s siege of America, so it’s time to celebrate! We’ve been busy over here with biz and overhead stuff, so we’re going to continue to post tracks from the latest La Sudar record until we get out from the weeds. Keep an eye out for next Saturday’s audio feature – we’ve got new music from a new featured artist on deck, as well as a new contest!

But for now please enjoy “What Did You Get Your Computer for Christmas?” off the new La Sudar mixtape, “Extreme Christmas” – download on bandcamp or datpiff today! This is an instrumental jam that would be ripe for a nice hook or a sick verse so let’s say in honor of the world’s oldest terrorist leaving the White House this week, Sunshine and Wind will donate $50 to Stacy Abrams’ FAIR FIGHT in the name of the person who sends us the wildest verse or hook for this track.

WHAT DID YOU GET YOUR COMPUTER FOR CHRISTMAS? by la sudar
scene from the Women’s March, Midtown Manhattan – Jan 2017

Audio Saturdays!

Happy New Year from Sunshine and Wind! This is the 2nd featured track, “I Can See the Tree From the Window” off the new La Sudar mixtape, “Extreme Christmas” – download on bandcamp or datpiff today! It may be 2021 but this tape is forcing us to fuck with Christmas a little longer than planned.

I Can See The Tree From the Window