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.

Happy New Year Y’all!

Liturgy’s The Ark Work graced a number of year-end lists, topping both Rolling Stone‘s and Spin‘s Best Avant Records of 2015 lists.  “The most ambitious art-rock statement of the year is an ecstatic jumble of disciplines, ideas and textures” (Rolling Stone) that “blurs boundaries between worlds that you wouldn’t have previously thought even shared a border” (Spin).  The record also made Washington Post’s Best Music of 2015 (#8 – a “lavish sound-world out of guitar-generated turbulence, computer-generated brass and the muscle-generated rhythms of Greg Fox, one of the greatest drummers doing it”), Consequence of Sound’s Top Metal Albums (#13- “a transcendent achievement in that it is the audible equivalent of finally rising above all and reaching your final form”), Tiny Mix Tapes’ Favorite Music Releases (#48), and Spin’s Best Songs of 2015 (#77 for “Vitriol” – “out of black metal comes black gold”) .  The Ark Work is unlike anything else out there – check out the centerpiece “Reign Array” below.

PC Worship dropped Basement Hysteria, the long-form EP follow-up to last year’s Social Rust, on Northern Spy in November.  Justin once again wrote, recorded and arranged these songs with his band, and we mixed and mastered together at my place.  It’s looser, freer, and rawer than Social Rust, but any long-time fan of the group will find much to enjoy here.   Pitchfork gave it a 7.8, opining that “Here, rock’n’roll is a pirated vessel, steered unhurriedly toward doom.”  Check out the EP in its entiriety below, or head over to Northern Spy to buy it on good, old-fashioned CD.

Parquet Courts also released a full-length EP recently, entitled Monastic Living, their first for Rough Trade.  The recordings were from recent studio sessions and practice-space jams, edited and arranged by Austin Brown, and mixed and mastered by myself and Austin at Doctor Wu’s.  This record’s a weird one – a mostly instrumental collage of the band stretching out into some new and uncharted territories.  Reviews have been mixed across the board, but personally I love to see the band exploring different facets of their sound, and it’s got some of my favorite A. Savage cover art yet.

[Cease and Desist] DIY! (Cult Classics from the Post-Punk Era 1978-1982) – the compilation that was a target of Sony’s copyright lawyers – was released at the end of October on Optimo Music.  Pitchfork wrote a comprehensive and complimentary review, rating it an 8.4.  The whole thing is a must for fans of this era: the selection and sequencing by JD Twitch of Optimo is excellent and unique, and the liner notes and essay paint a vivid picture of the material on-hand.  I’m thrilled to have been able to re-master and add “further audio love” to the compilation.  Stream the sampler below and hang tight while they repress the record, or download the (slightly-edited) digital release if you simply can’t wait until then.

Dan Friel‘s record Life continues to charm critics, with a gushing 8/10 review from Spin (“astounding”, “impressive”, “a career highlight”), a 4.5/5 on Allmusic, and a 7.8 from Pitchfork. If you haven’t heard it already, what are you waiting for?  Also, make sure to check out Dan’s sci-fi book club feature on Impose, and this video of his son and friends freaking out to the song “Rattler”.

Brooklyn rockers Junk Boys (featuring members of Organs, MPHO, and Yin-Yangs) recently released their self-titled album.  We recorded an EP in early 2015, and returned to Seaside Lounge this past summer to record the full-length, which both expands and refines the sound of the band.  Impose says the songs “rip through attitudinal, turbocharged power-chord riffage, with crude, impassioned soloing, and incensed vocal howls”, premiering the song “Arizona Nights” last month.  Check out the album below or on their Bandcamp page, and go see them around NYC and try to score a tape.

Holly Overton – singer and song-writer of MPHO and Juniper Rising – released a solo EP in November.  We worked together to record and arrange the songs – breezy synth pop that fans of MPHO will enjoy – and I mixed and mastered it last fall.  Check out the video Holly made for the song “Midnight Sun”, and stream the EP below.

One of my favorite projects to work on this past year is the new Turn to Crime record Secondary.  I’ve gotten to know Derek and the band over the past couple years and love the music he’s been creating, but this is the best one yet.  Super catchy and utterly bizarre, it’s an album full of singles beamed in from an alternate reality where new wave, kraut-rock and glam still rule the airwaves. Derek wrote and recorded the album at his Molten Sound studio, I mixed it, and Sarah Register mastered it at the Mastering Palace. I can’t wait for people to hear this record!

Another highlight of last year was mixing and mastering the new Cloud Becomes Your Hand record Rest in Fleas.  It’s a wild, proggy ride of a record – alternately goofy and threatening, often in the same breath – stuffed full of unison leads, odd time-signatures, crazy synth noises, bells, whistles, kitchen sinks and more… it’s fantastic!  Northern Spy is putting it out this spring – stay tuned.

I also recently mixed the debut full-length of the band Gold Dime – the new project from Andrya Ambro of Talk Normal, backed by Adam from the Dreebs and Lazar of Sediment Club.  The album – recorded by Andrya and Justin Frye – is a heavy, heady slice of densely-arranged no-wave.  Sarah Register was her bandmate in Talk Normal, and she’s mastering it now – I can’t wait to hear it in its full glory.

Jordan Bernstein (the other constant in the Dreebs and often-bassist in PC Worship) has a new project called Jordonna: trap beats, prepared guitar, rapping and singing by Jordan, with additional vocals by Heidi Beth Jaye and Kassie from Guerilla Toss.  I mixed and mastered it with Jordan over the summer and fall, finishing it at Doctor Wu’s.  It’s a total curve-ball of a project, really cool stuff.  I look forward to seeing them play this live around NYC this spring.

Honey Radar is a great band from Philly, mining the best gems from lo-fi rock’s history… a little GBV here, a little Olivia Tremor Control there… They’re prolific and always interesting – just try not to get absorbed into their Bandcamp page!  Plus, my old friend Jason Henn plays drums and records the group’s material, so it was a great pleasure to master their new record Blank Cartoon.  Take a moment to go listen to 2014’s full-length Chain Smoking on Easter or any of their 3 EPs from 2015 to prepare yourself – Blank Cartoon drops this spring on What’s Your Rupture.

I always enjoy working with old friends on new projects, and it was no exception mixing the documentary film Up This Hill by Paul Sobota.  The film follows a group of inner-city youths from Cleveland as they travel to rural southern Kentucky to repair and restore homes, shifting from one type of poverty to another, and learning a lot about themselves in the process.  It was great to work with Paul and Ben Kinsley (who recorded and edited the sound), and I hope to see this moving little film making the rounds soon.

I also mixed a couple series of ads for the new TiVo Bolt, directed by Robin Comisar for Ghost Robot.  You may have seen one from ‘Interruptus’ or ‘The Date’ somewhere.  Robin’s got a great eye, and these ads are utterly silly… hope you enjoy.

Lots of cool stuff is already happening this month.  If you should find yourself in the Providence/Pawtucket area, come see the art installation by Christopher Duffy and Eaters at Machines with Magnets, opening January 15th through February 7th.  Thank you for reading, and please feel free to write if you’d like to talk about sound.