New Year Update: Eaters, The Men, and more

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve updated the site – it was crazy end to 2016…

My group Eaters put together an installation of sound and light sculptures at Knockdown Center in December.  Entitled Eyes Have Brightened, the exhibition opened as part of the massive Parquet Courts event (where I mixed their set as well) and was up through the end of the season.  From the statement:

Building on the visual and sonic vocabulary of their unique live music performances, the show features sound and light sculptures and immersive installation elements by Christopher Duffy. This will be the New York premiere of their performative sound sculpture ‘Moment of Inertia’, and will feature a new soundtrack for the installation composed by Bob Jones and Jonathan Schenke.

eaters_knockdown_center_2016_05_photo_steven_probert
‘Eyes Have Brightened’ installation shot, photo by Steven Probert

At Chris’ suggestion, Bob and I spent a few days making some improvised, beat-less instrumental music for the installation.  Prisms, the resulting soundtrack album, was featured on Brooklyn Vegan and AdHoc, who called it “transportive… full of minimalist tones, Prisms oscillates between hopeful and buoyant swells to eerie and confounding synths.”  Prisms is streaming below, and available to download from Bandcamp.

Tangentially, I was featured in an Eventide video, where I discussed their new TEC Award-nominated plugin TVerb.  I was a consultant and “alpha-tester” for the plugin (which is inspired by Tony Visconti’s recording techniques employed on David Bowie’s “Heroes”), and used it throughout the mixing of the upcoming sophomore Eaters LP (due this spring on Dull Tools).  Check out the video on Eventide’s Facebook page.

NYC psych-punks The Men released their sixth album Devil Music in November.  The back-to-basics LP was recorded live-to-tape in their practice space by Jordan Lovelace (of Pampers and Tournament), and I mixed/mastered it at Doctor Wu’s with the group last spring. Many reviewers have used terms like “raw”, “caustic”, “cathartic”, and “primal” – all of which are apt descriptions for this awesome show of force.  Devil Music is available on LP/download now via We Are The Men/Sacred Bones, and is streaming below.

Speaking of Tournament, the rawk-n-rollers released their new EP Take The Wheel via Colonel Records in October.  Also tracked live-to-tape by Jordan and mixed/mastered by me with the band at Doctor Wu’s, the EP is six songs of rowdy good-times.  As Noisey put it: “there is nothing more true to the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll—as it was originally intended, that is—as playing your heart out in a garage as if it were a packed, smoke-filled arena.”  Take The Wheel is available now on LP, cassette and download via Colonel Records, and is streaming below.

Shop Talk‘s self-titled debut was released on LP last fall as well.  The group plays a kind of melodic, slightly twangy, classic “punk” – instantly recognizable yet completely its own thing.  Kyle Keays-Hagerman tracked the band at his studio and I recorded the vocals and mixed/mastered it at Doctor Wu’s, wrapping it up back in 2015.  The band (featuring members of Queening, Liturgy, and Pygmy Shrews) has done a couple tours and a bunch of local shows since then, and has been covered in The Deli and Brooklyn Vegan, so it’s awesome to see this get a proper pressing.  Shop Talk is out now on Brainbox Records and is streaming below.

I worked with Operator Music Band on their debut full-length Puzzlephonics I & II in October.  They’re a Brooklyn quartet who create electronic pop songs around relentless motorik grooves with tag-team male/female vocals.  Dara Hirsch (one of the singer/guitarist/synth players) recorded the songs at Gravesend Recordings (in the Silent Barn), and we mixed and mastered it at Doctor Wu’s.  The album will be out later this year on New Professor Music – in the meantime, take the opportunity to check out their single Materielmusik, go see them live (a real treat!), or pick up one of the pedals made by Jared Hiller (the other co-singer/guitarist/synth player) and his company L0/Rez…the Mona Lisa Overdrive is one of the most insane things I’ve plugged in!

In November, I mixed and mastered the new record by Tica Douglas, entitled Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help Us and Protect Us.  Tica’s last record Joey was featured in Pitchfork, Impose, and other zines, and this new one was recorded by Ryan Dieringer (who co-produced Joey as well) in various locations upstate.  I really admire the ambition of this record – which shifts from intimate, singer/songwriter moments to densely-packed arrangements featuring horns, synths, and a rocking band – and I had the songs stuck in my head for weeks.  Our Lady Star of the Sea will be out later this year on Team Love Records.

I also mastered a few singles at the end of the year: The Tills’ “I Don’t Wanna Be Here Blues” (which has a killer video, and whose upcoming album Shannin I mastered last year as well), Dark Tea’s “Providence Sky” (a side project of Gary Canino of the band Rips – check the Impose feature and accompanying video too), and a pair of singles by Brian Chillemi and his band Junk Boys.

Video-wise: In and Out of Control, a short film by Emir Eralp featuring a score by Eaters, has continued to receive wide acclaaim, winning accolades in Istanbul, Berlin, London, and other festivals around the world.  And Hospital Head Doctor – a short film by Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate (of Marcel the Shell, Catherine, and other projects) which I sound-designed and mixed back in 2015 – was recently released and awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick.  Watch it below.

Coming out next month: new releases by PC Worship, Turn to Crime, Dougie Poole, The Britanys!

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to write me at: jonathan [dot] schenke [at] gmail [dot] com.

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