NYC longtime-weirdos Ice Balloons have a new 7″ single: “Bicky Do Down” b/w “Body in the Park”.  I recorded these tracks with the group – which features members of TV on the Radio, Samiam, and Surfbort – at Seaside Lounge during the sessions for their last LP Fiesta, and mixed/mastered them later at Studio Windows.  We’re celebrating the occasion tonight at Coney Island Baby, where I’ll be performing a microtonal drone set with my group Eaters.  Pick up a copy there or from their Bandcamp page, and stream it below.

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.

Eventide Audio, the legendary effects and gear manufacturer, recently announced their latest plugin TVerb.  The plugin was developed in association with producer Tony Visconti, based on the fabled recording technique used on David Bowie’s “Heroes”, where he used multiple gated microphones placed at varying distances to capture the size of Bowie’s voice in the hall at Hansa Studios.  I worked with designers Joe Waltz and Adrienne Humblet as an “alpha tester” and sounding board to help develop the plugin, and contributed a handful of presets I developed on the new Eaters LP.  It’s not only a fantastic sounding reverb, but also an inventive approach to sound design that can yield some pretty unique results.  Check out Tony Visconti introducing TVerb below.

The psych/prog sextet Cloud Becomes Your Hand have announced their new LP Rest in Fleas.  I mixed and mastered the LP with head-Cloud Stephe Cooper and the band last fall, and I love this record – wild yet precise, hilarious and horrendous, it hits all the spots that you would want from a prog-pop opus. FACT Mag and Tiny Mix Tapes have both written excitedly about the new record, sharing a bonkers new trailer and the dizzying first single “Bridge of Ignorance Returns” (hear below).  FACT says the band have “such a knack for silly, cartoonish melodies that it can almost distract that they’re one of the most technically dazzling experimental rock bands on the rise.”  They’re hitting the road soon with label-mates Horse Lords… don’t miss out!  Rest in Fleas is out May 27th on Northern Spy.

Honey Radar is back with another batch of lo-fi pop-gems called Blank Cartoon.  Band-leader and old pal Jason Henn spoke with Noisey about the record, who also premiered the “busted pop” of the single “Fort Wayne Mermaids”.  Pitchfork reviewed the track as well, writing “Lo-fi, catchy, and classic-sounding, Honey Radar’s albums evoke a dirt-covered Nuggets collection from an alternate universe.”  Raven Sings the Blues shared the “hypnotic swirl and noxious chug” of “Caterpillar”, and Treblephonic posted an insightful interview about the background of the project.  I mastered this LP over the winter, it’s awesome, and available May 20 on What’s Your Rupture.

 

Parquet Courts recently released Human Performance to widespread acclaim and are out on tour now in support of it, but before they left, we worked on an EP of remixes and alternate versions of the title track.  I mixed a slower, more meditative version of the song called “Performing Human”, worked with my bandmate Bob Jones to create an Eaters remix, and mastered the EP (which also includes a dubbed-out remix by Chris P of Future Punx/Dull Tools).  The EP is due later this year on Rough Trade.

After some well-deserved time off and stripping back to a quartet, hard rockers The Men have completed a new LP called Devil Music.  They recorded it completely live (vocals and all) in their practice space with Jordan Lovelace (of Tournament/Pampers), and I recently mixed and mastered it at Doctor Wu’s.  It’s totally gnarly and woolly – fans of The Men’s first few records will be thrilled.  Devil Music should be out later this year.

I also recently worked with Mark Perro from the Men on another project – Midnight People, the debut album from MPHO.  We recorded at Seaside Lounge at the beginning of the year, and mixed and mastered the LP at Doctor Wu’s.  The group – which also features singer/songwriter Holly Overton and bassist Russ Hymowitz – shifted gears a bit on this recording, with the addition of a live drummer to the lineup.  The record still shares much with the melodic synth pop of their first EPs, but pushes in a rock/new-wave vibe with the more “live-band” dynamic.  Midnight People should hopefully be out soon.

I’ve recently put the finishing touches on Chroma, the new album by Australian dark-wave group Buzz Kull.  I first worked with Marcel Whyler on his single “Dreams”, co-producing/mixing/mastering it, and paving the way to this record. It’s great – heavy and danceable rhythms, moody and memorable hooks, with an interesting array of sounds and textures.  Chroma will be out later this year on Stellar Kinematics.

I’ve also been working with bizarro rock/synth noise band Ice Balloons to finish up their new LP.  We recorded a handful of tracks down at Seaside Lounge earlier this year and the group recorded a number of others themselves.  We took the batch into Doctor Wu’s to mix, and I’m mastering it now.

I’ve worked on a handful of masters over the last couple of months as well.  Alex Zhang Hungtai (formerly Dirty Beaches, currently Last Lizard) sent me a record’s worth of solo piano and field recordings, entitled Nina.  This beautiful and haunting collection will be out later this year on Ascetic House.  I mastered a record of blissed-out synth jams by Barry London (of Oneida) for Decontrol Records; a single by Alex Rose, a singer-songwriter associated with GODMODE’s House of Feelings; a bluesy solo EP by lead Junk Boy Brian Chillemi;  and the lead single by Obliques (formerly Zulu Pearls) for Cantora Records.

Many other projects are in the works too, and hopefully it won’t take another two months to update again… if it does, don’t forget to check out the Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Honey Radar records in the next few weeks!  Thanks for reading.

 

In fall 2014, Parquet Courts and PC Worship toured together in Europe, playing individual sets as well as a collaborative set under the name PCPC.  They wrote a bunch of new material specifically for these shows, loose and noisy tunes that drew influences from both camps.  Their performance at Ramsgate Music Hall in Kent, England was captured, and with no studio recording, it is the only document of this project.   I mixed and mastered it with members of the group last summer, and the performance is now available on LP and digital download via Dull Tools.  Check out my jam “I Know (You)” below, or head over the Dull Tools Bandcamp page to pick up a copy for you and your friends.

Shortly after their tour supporting their debut LP Rituals, I went back into the studio with Honduras to work on a new EP called Gathering Rust.  We recorded the tracks at Thump Studios in Brooklyn and mixed/mastered at Doctor Wu’s this winter, and these new songs show the band building upon the strengths of the LP and their time on the road.  NME debuted the first single “Hollywood”, and the follow-up “That Old Feeling” recently hit The Fader.  The Gathering Rust EP is out this week, and the band is currently on the road with Sunflower Bean on their way down to SXSW.  Check out “Hollywood” below:

I spent some time in the studio last fall with Jordan Bernstein (of PC Worship and the Dreebs) to help bring his new project Jordonna into focus.  It’s a far cry from the damaged noise rock of either of those groups, focusing instead on trap beats, prepared guitar, and male/female rapping/singing.  Far out stuff, for sure.  Jordan, along with Marilu Donovan and Heidi Beth Ferrell, recently released the debut LP The Wallet in its entirety via Soundcloud, along with some videos and live performances.  Stream the video for “Mad Dog” below, and visit the Jordonna Soundcloud page to stream the album in full.

Bronze Float recently released their second LP Standard Final Candle.  Led by David Brant, the personnel on the record includes many of my old friends from the rotating Elephant Micah/Vollmar/Honey Radar crew.  I mixed and mastered this record with David back in 2014, and it’s a pleasure to be able to share these tender, beautiful recordings with the public.  Fans of Arthur Russell’s album Love is Overtaking Me, Sebadoh’s more reined-in moments, and Skip Spence will find much to enjoy here.  The limited-edition hand-cut LP is already sold out, but you can download and stream the album via Third Uncle.

Eaters – my project in collaboration with Bob Jones (music) and Christopher Duffy (visuals) – created a sound and light installation at Machines in Magnets (in Pawtucket, RI) in January/February.  The show included our prepared-turntable sound sculpture Moment of Inertia, as well as a new sound sculpture (a modification of the Ring sculpture from our live show) and a series of light objects that Chris made based on and inspired by his work for our performances.  It was an amazing experience to see some new ideas come to fruition and to transform a space like that.  We’re planning a NYC installation now – more news when we get it.  In, other news: we finished our new record!  Come see us April 28th at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall (with Suuns and John Congleton) to hear some new songs, and check out the video for Moment of Inertia below.

I’ve recently been working with Hunter Hunt-Hendrix from Liturgy on his new solo project, Kel Valhaal.  In many ways, the project picks up where The Ark Work left off minus the “band” aspects, with the sound palette focused on abstract electronics, pitched kicks, glitch edits, and the “uncanny valley” of quasi-realistic instrumentation.  We did vocal recording (though the record is largely instrumental) and mixing at Doctor Wu’s over the past couple months, and are wrapping up the master now.  It’s a rich and unique sound, and am excited for people to hear this soon.

I’ve also been working on the new Fucked Up EP Year of the Snake, the latest installment of their Zodiac series.  I recently mastered their tracks for the A-side and B-side (as epic as you’d expect!), and am waiting on a couple of remixes to complete the release.  Expect it later this year on What’s Your Rupture.

Additionally, I’ve been on new records by MPHO (now a quartet with a live drummer), Ice Balloons (featuring members of TV on the Radio and Wild Yaks), and Buzz Kull (whose singles “Dreams” and “Nausea” I’ve previously mixed).  I’ll be wrapping up each of these (very different but equally interesting) releases in the next month, and will write more about them next time.

As always, thanks for reading, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to talk about sound.  All the best, Jonny.