Sometimes you work on songs and love the results.  Sometimes they come out quickly, sometimes you have to wait a while, sometimes they never come out at all.  A couple of these languishing gems have finally been unearthed…

Frankie Rose recently released “Sorrow String”, a remix I made for the single from her last record Herein Wild.  The remix is based around voice, live strings, and Moog bass, and I’m thrilled to have it out in the world.  My studio partner Yale Yng-Wong recorded the strings and synth bass, as well as mixing Frankie’s new record Cage Tropical.  Cage Tropical is out now on Slumberland Records, and Frankie and her band are on tour now.

I also mixed the single “Asleep at the Wheel” for Fort Lean around the time Daniel Schlett, Jake Aron (my other studio partner, and former member of Fort Lean) and I were finishing mixing their last album Quiet Day.  It was one of my favorites from those sessions, and still sounds great years later.  Enjoy!

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Photo by Bryan Regan

Matador Records – the massively influential label and a personal longtime favorite – announced today that they’ve signed Snail Mail to their roster.  I went upstate last month to the newly re-designed and re-opened Outlier Inn (where I also recorded Parquet Courts’ Sunbathing Animal and Honduras’ Rituals) with the band and Jake Aron (my studio partner and the album’s producer) to do the basic tracking.  It sounds fantastic – the studio’s fun and beautiful, and the songs are a great progression from the first EP.  Jake’s mixing it this fall – it will be a good one!

The new Ice Balloons LP Fiesta is streaming now on Stereogum! This record’s a very fun, very weird one, featuring members of TV on the Radio, Surfbort, Samiam, and more… I’m very happy to have recorded (much), mixed (most), and mastered (all) of it at Seaside Lounge and Doctor Wu’s. Stream it on Stereogum, and don’t miss the video for “Fallen Family” by Jim Trainor.  Fiesta is out Friday August 9 on Volar Records.

It’s been waaaaayyyy toooo loooong since I’ve updated this page, and as a result I’ve decided to switch this page over to a more standard blog-style format from here on out: shorter updates more often.  In the meantime, here’s a ton of things that I’ve worked on which have come out in the last few months:

The Drums released their new record “Abysmal Thoughts”, the first for Anti Records. The reception has been across-the-board good, with a variety of publications proclaiming the “music has never been better” (AV Club), “the purest version of his vision yet” (Allmusic), and “a treasure chest of an album in which you’ll find something different and unique hiding within each listen” (Paste). I worked closely with Jonny Pierce on this – (re)recording many of the live instruments, developing arrangements, adding synths and effects, and mixing the entire album.  The album was beautifully mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, and I’m thrilled by this being out in the world.  Watch the video for lead single “Blood Under My Belt” and stream the album in its entirety below.

 

Eaters – my electronic/art rock group with Bob Jones and Christopher Duffy – released our second untitled record on Dull ToolsCLRVYNT debuted the first single “Embrace the Strange” ( “It’s a gnarly track, illustrating how the band can rocket from one starting point to the far reaches of space”), Impose and Brooklyn Vegan ran some insightful interviews, and positive reviews graced Post-Trash, Flood, and YellowGreenRed.  Favorite quote (from Post Trash): “Eaters have made an album that rewards those who listen by providing a different experience each time you put it on. Layered, complex, and varied, it pays off in different ways. It’s a record that gives you new favorite moments after you listen. Like light going through glass, the sounds refract outward based on who is listening. Give it a listen and see what sounds make it to you.”  We’ve got some great shows coming up late-summer/early-fall, and new songs and sculptures in the works – stay tuned.

 

Gold Dime – the arty no-wave trio led by Talk Normal’s Andrya Ambro – released their debut Nerves on Fire Talk.  I mixed this expansive feedback-soaked LP last year, Sarah Register mastered it, and it’s been gaining nice press from Impose, Brooklyn Vegan, AdHoc, and more.  They’re playing around NYC quite a bit, and you can stream/purchase the LP directly below:

 

NYC singer-songwriter Tica Douglas released their latest album Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help Us And Protect Us on Team Love.  I mixed and mastered this album, which ranges from intimate guitar-and-voice ballads to full-blown compositions with synths, drums, horns and more.  Tica and the LP received a great deal of press, with features in MTVImpose, CLRVYNT, and Bandcamp (who also named it one of the spring’s best releases).  Stream it below and then go pick up a copy on LP.

 

Australian darkwave maestro Buzz Kull released his debut LP Chroma.  I co-produced/mixed/mastered over the course of many months, trading files back and forth as the songs took shape.  It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so happy to see this killer LP out.  Chroma is out now on Burning Rose, and you can stream it on their Soundcloud.

 

Canadian trio Telecomo recently released their debut album For Sale.  I recorded/mixed/mastered this collection of tightly-wound jangly garage anthems, which you can stream below and purchase from their Bandcamp page.

 

Prog-punk/psychedelic hardcore group Fucked Up released the Year of the Snake EP, the latest in their ongoing series of Zodiac-themed epics.  Noisey interviewed the guitarist/song-writer Mike Haliechuk about the record (which I mastered), calling this EP “the best one next to 2008’s 19-minute long Year of the Pig.”  Pitchfork also praised the EP, saying “even after decades’ worth of relaxing boundaries, Fucked Up bastardize hardcore in a way that gives off the thrill of creative heresy.”  Year of the Snake is out now on Tankcrimes.

 

Former Dirty Beaches ringleader Alex Zhang-Hungtai has a trio called Love Theme.  Their new self-titled LP (which I mastered) is out now via Alter, with songs on Pitchfork and FADER, and they’re touring North America this September.  Check it out:

 

The Tills – a wild and catchy psych-garage group from North Carolina – released their new LP CANON. I mastered this record, which was recorded and mixed at The Fidelitorium by Missy Thangs, and it slays.  Amplifier Magazine and Clture both featured the group, calling it “thoughtfully unkempt and unpredictable at times, catchy yet familiar”.  CANON is out now on Phuzz Records.

 

And NYC-based glitch-pop duo HDLSS recently released the LP Selections from DUMB.  I mastered this record along with my studio partner Yale Yng-Wong, and tracks have been featured on FADER, Stereogum, and Noisey.  Stream the thing below:

 

I also edited and mixed the feature-length film component of Radical Hospitality, a long-form installation by Montana Simone at IDIO Gallery, as well as assisted on sound-design for the installation itself.  The project is based on her experiences while traveling through the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Western Europe, being welcomed in both “hostile” cultures and by refugees alike.  The abstract film serves as the guide/anchor to the installation, which also featured large-scale sculptures, interactive music, and a zine of found photographs.  The trailer is streaming below.

 

Thank you for reading.  Please write me at jonathan [dot] schenke [at] gmail to get in touch.

New music by Parquet Courts, the Drums, PC Worship, Turn to Crime, The Britanys, Dougie Poole, Operator Music Band and more…

To kick things off, Parquet Courts‘ collaboration with Bun B finally came out!  They debuted this version of “Captive of the Sun” on Colbert last summer with members of PC Worship, Blues Control, and my bandmate Bob Jones.  Austin Brown and I went into Doctor Wu’s shortly after that to put together this remix, which has a chopped n’ screwed version by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C on the B-side.  Pitchfork premiered the track, along with a Houston rap playlist by Young Doc Gooden (fka Austin Brown)… so proud to still have my 713- number.  Pick it up on limited-edition LP via Rough Trade, and check out the lyric video below.

I was also super excited to see the premiere of The Drums‘ new single “Blood Under My Belt”.  Pitchfork premiered the song last week, as the first single from the new record “Abysmal Thoughts”.  Bandleader Jonny Pierce and I worked together last summer at Doctor Wu’s, disassembling his demos and rebuilding them into something else entirely.  I’m really happy to have recorded and mixed this album, and I can’t wait for more of it to be released.  Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, “Abysmal Thoughts” will be released in June on Anti-.

PC Worship – one of my favorite groups going – released their new album Buried Wish, which I had the pleasure to master and help sequence with Justin Frye.  All of the PC Worship records (and many PC Worship songs) have their own series of detours and digressions, which is particularly true of this album – it veers from ornate horn arrangements to grunge-sludge stomp to acoustic/field recording meanderings and everywhere else in between.  Hopefully you caught them on tour with Naomi Punk, but either way you should catch them next month with The Dreebs.  Check out the great press in Pitchfork, Noisey, and Clrvynt, and pick up Buried Wish on Northern Spy now.

My fellow electro-rock weirdos Turn to Crime released their latest (fourth? sixth?) record Secondary in early February.  Derek Stanton records all of the music himself at his own Molten Sound studio in Detroit, and you can hear that freedom of creativity and amazing collection of gear throughout each of his records.  Secondary, which I mixed and Sarah Register mastered last year, is my personal favorite – “Chasing”, “Dead Man”, and the title track are all undeniable gems.  Check out these features on Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, and pick up the record through Mugg and Bopp.

Bushwick rock+rollers The Britanys released their debut EP Five A Side, which premiered with an enthusiastic NME review. We recorded these songs in two different sessions, deciding in the end to go with the stripped-down basement recordings for this EP – they just rocked harder!  Check them out at SXSW, and stream/purchase Five A Side from the group’s Bandcamp.

Electronic country-crooner Dougie Poole released his debut LP Wideass Highway on JMC Aggregate.  I mixed and mastered this strange and beautiful record last year, and was happy to see it featured in both FADER and Ad Hoc. Do yourself a favor and pick it up at Dougie’s Bandcamp.

Fuzzy synth rockers Operator Music Band‘s debut LP Puzzlephonics I & II came out last week.  The album pairs two EPs (recorded by band member Dara Hirsch) which we mixed and mastered at Doctor Wu’s last fall.  Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan both featured the group, who is heading out on tour this week toward SXSW. Pick up a copy now on New Professor Music, and stream it below.

My German indie-rock buddies Behave! released a video for “Someone”, the first single from the record we did last summer in Hannover.  It was a pleasure working with the group over there on a Studer A800 with a bunch of vintage German mics, and I’m really happy with the results, which I mixed and mastered back in NYC.  If you read German, you may enjoy this interview on Diffus, but even if you don’t, you’ll probably enjoy the song (it’s in English).

NYC alterna-singer-songwriter Tica Douglas’ new single “The Same Thing” was recently released.  The Wild Honey Pie and Gold Flake Paint both featured the track, which I mixed and mastered as part of the new record Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help and Protect Us.  2014’s Joey was released to great reviews, and I’m excited that this one will be released on Team Love later in May.  Stay tuned…

In a similarly off-kilter-folk vein, Dark Tea’s debut EP was released last month.  I mastered this for Gary Canino, who also plays in the fierce NYC punk band Rips.  CLRVYNT  wrote about the EP, and you can purchase it on Bandcamp.

And Brian Chillemi (also of shredders Junk Boys) released a video single for the new song “Child of the Earth” (which I mastered).  Read about it on Impose, and buy the track on Bandcamp.

Also released: Eventide debuted their new plugin ‘Fission‘.  It’s the first in their line of “Structural Effects”, which separates the transient and tonal information of a source, and allows you to effect each separately.  I consulted with the designers Russ & Tom and my friend Joe Waltz early on in the process of development, and contributed a handful of presents to the plugin.  Check out this explanation here and download the demo now!

I spent some time upstate this past month, checking out the progress on the incredible new control room at Outlier Inn (where I recorded Parquet Courts’ Sunbathing Animal and Honduras’ Rituals).  I always loved visiting and working at the space, but with this new room (designed by Wes Lachot) and new console (Tom Elmhirst’s modified Neve VR 72), it’s going to be a truly incredible place to make a record.  I can’t wait for the opening this May.

I also spent some time with Acid Dad, recording and co-producing their debut LP.  We recorded the basics to my Otari MX-5050 at their studio upstate, and mixed it in Brooklyn at Doctor Wu’s.  It’s a fierce and fun album – I’m excited for people to hear this one.  Check them out later this month on the road with Honduras.

One last thing:  I posted a new Soundcloud playlist too, if you’re interested in hearing a mix of different things I’ve worked on.

Thanks for reading all of this!

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.

 

Hi everyone, long time no post.  I’ve been in the studio and/or traveling over the past few months… here’s an attempt to catch up:

NYC scuzz-rockers The Men have announced their upcoming album Devil Music.  They recorded it live in their practice space with Jordan Lovelace (of Pampers and Tournament), and we mixed/mastered it at Doctor Wu’s this spring.  It’s a rawkus return to form for these guys – fans of the early albums should be psyched!  Noisey premiered the first single “Lion’s Den” and asked some questions of guitarist/singer Nick Chiericozzi – check it out!  Devil Music is out November 11th on We Are The Men.

Australian dark-wave artist Buzz Kull premiered “Tomorrow’s Ghosts” on Noisey.  It’s the new single from the upcoming album Chroma, which I co-produced/mixed/mastered this LP long-distance over the course of a year or so.  Buzz Kull is supporting The Soft Moon on their Australian tour this fall – a perfect fit.  Chroma is out soon via Stellar Kinematics.

On the Eaters front: Our remix of Parquet Courts’ “Human Performance” was released as a single, and the Performing Human EP is out now on Rough Trade.  Parquet Courts has also invited us to create an installation at the Knockdown Center in Queens, NY on December 10th – tickets are on-sale now, and more information is available here.  And our new LP will be out in Spring 2017 – we’re finishing art and masters now.

New releases available now:

  • Parquet Courts – Performing Human EP (in addition to the Eaters remix, I mixed the ‘Dreamland Version’ of the song and mastered the EP)
  • Kel Valhaal – New Introductory Lectures… (Hunter Hunt-Hendrix from Liturgy’s solo electronic project, which I mixed and recorded vocals at Doctor Wu’s – check out his interview with Paper Mag)
  • A couple records by Alex Zhang-Hungtai, formerly Dirty Beaches: Ancora, a live improvisational recording with David Maranha and Gabriel Ferrandini on Grain of Sound (which I mixed and mastered) and Knave of Hearts, a collection of drones and solo-piano on Ascetic House (which I mastered)
  • Holly Overton – The Split EP (the MPHO singer/songwriter backed by Jason Kelly from Fergus & Geronimo/Future Punx and Ben Jaffe from Pill.  I recorded/mixed/mastered this earlier this year)
  • Brian Chillemi – I Went to Town EP (Junk Boys/Organs singer/songwriter goes solo, check it out on Impose or on cassette via Time Castle Recordings.  I mastered this.)
  • AntibodiesVessels EP (Brooklyn indie duo via Don Giovanni, mastered at Doctor Wu’s)
  • Alex Rose – Grandmothers/Coattails (Austin folkie, produced by House of Feelings, mastered by me)

Film-wise:

I recently did an interview with the podcast The Stonehall Sessions.  The host Riley had done quite a bit of listening to my back-catalogue, and we had a great talk about recording and the creative process.  The title about sums it up perfectly: “Work on it Until You Don’t Want to Work on it Anymore”

I spent a couple weeks in Germany this summer working on a record with the group Behave.  Their music is catchy, creative, and grooving rock – fans of classic 10cc, kraut rock, and the Captured Tracks roster take note! We recorded to a Studer A800 using a bunch of vintage Neumann and AKG mics, and the results sound amazing.  I’m putting the finishing touches on the mixes now, so hopefully this record will be out early next year.

Shortly after returning, I began working with The Drums on their new LP.  Their previous releases had been performed and recorded almost entirely by band-leader Jonny Pierce, but he wanted to try things a bit differently this time.  We took his original sessions, recorded live drums (at Thump), and spent a month at Doctor Wu’s adding to/replacing/re-arranging/mixing the record.  I am immensely proud of the work we did – it’s a beautiful, imaginative, and immediately memorable collection of songs.  Joe LaPorta will be mastering it at Sterling Sound, and it should be out in Spring 2017.  I can’t wait for people to hear it.

Last week, I worked with the Brooklyn buzz-band The Britanys on their debut EP.  Their early singles were home-recorded and mixed by Gordon Raphael (of Is This It fame), and the group has already gained an eager following from publications like NME (who premiered a video while we were in the studio).  We spent a few days at Seaside Lounge recording to 8-track tape, and mixed and mastered at Doctor Wu’s.  Expect to hear a lot more soon.

And in between all of this, I mastered a couple of records: a brilliantly damaged new LP by PC Worship for Northern Spy; and a go-for-broke gonzo rock record by The Tills from North Carolina.  Both are excellent, and should hopefully be out sooner rather than later.

Oh!  And Eventide‘s TVerb (for which I was I was a consultant and alpha tester) was just nominated for a TEC Award!  I’m working with Eventide on some other software and gear now… super exciting stuff.

Thank you for reading – if you’d like to talk about sound, please write jonathan [dot] schenke [at] gmail [dot] com