Both seasons of Food Party, an absurdist “cooking” show featuring homemade puppets & cardboard sets, are streaming now on IFC.com!  The series was created by Thu Tran and a group of friends from Cleveland Institute of Art, aired in 2009-2010, and features an incredible crew including editor Dean Fleischer-Camp (creator of Marcel The Shell and the film Fraud) and director John Lee (of Wonder Showzen and Pee Wee’s Big Holiday).  I sound-designed and mixed both seasons (learning so much along the way), and the show and the people behind it were some of the main reasons I moved to NYC.  My personal favorites are “Cannibal Holiday” and the RV episode, but they’re all fun!  Check them out now at https://www.ifc.com/shows/food-party

Mazes - Wooden Aquarium

Two very different but equally exciting records that I worked on drop this week – Wooden Aquarium by the British band Mazes and Social Rust by Brooklyn’s own PC Worship.  I love the way both of these records sound and I love both of these bands, so it’s wonderful to see so many reviews remarking on the sonic quality and calling them both the best of each band’s work.

I produced the Mazes record this past February, recording it upstate at the Fat Cat studio and mixing it at Doctor Wu’s over the course of two weeks.  It was a crazy bonding experience – everyone jet-lagged (I had just got back from Australia), the rental van getting robbed outside my apartment (my bag with my laptop, hard drives, camera – gone), getting snowed in upstate and digging our way up to the studio – and I think that intensity and camaraderie really comes across.  DIY Magazine has been all over Wooden Aquarium, with a glowing review, an interview with Jack Cooper, and a track-by-track stream and guide; NME gave it a 8/10 review; and it was BBC Radio 6’s Album of the Day last week.  Alan Douches did a great job on the master – this record sounds incredible.  Wooden Aquarium is out now on Fat Cat Records.

PC Worship - Social Rust

Social Rust is just nuts.  I mixed and mastered the thing so I’ve probably heard it more times and more in depth than anyone aside from lead-worshipper Justin Frye, and there are things that still catch me by surprise.  This record sounds unlike any other record I’ve ever worked on – a mud-and-blood spattered, moth-eaten tapestry of absurdity – and I love it.  Ad Hoc interviewed Justin about the record, and Impose Magazine raved: “Social Rust is PC Worship at their very best, even if their best is dissonant and unsettling, voyeuristic and creepy, maniacal and rapturous. Maybe it’s a reflection of the times, or maybe it’s just a good record. Either way, listen to it and lose yourself a little.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Social Rust is out now on Northern Spy / Dull Tools.

Also out this week is the re-release of Mannequin Pussy’s Gypsy Pervert, re-mastered and re-sequenced on vinyl for the first time.  I mixed this with them last year, and it’s killer – I’m really psyched to see it getting another life.  Check out this interview they did with Impose recently, and go see them when they come through your town soon.  Gypsy Pervert is out now on Tiny Engines.

And out next week (September 16th) is the newest single in Famous Class Records’ LAMC series (#13) – Parquet Courts b/w Future Punx.  It’s kinda like the return of Fergus & Geronimo…  “This is Happening Now” was recorded during the Sunbathing Animal sessions and mixed this summer, “Spike Train” was recorded and mixed by Jason Kelly, and I mastered both sides.  All proceeds go to VH1 Save the Music – a non-profit dedicated to music education in public schools.

Parquet Courts also recently released a music video for “Bodies Made Of” recorded live at their show at Sugar Hill Supper Club this summer, and directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (whose amazing Nick Cave pseudo-doc 20,000 Days on Earth comes out later this month).  I recorded, mixed, and mastered this bad boy too.

I recently went on a road trip to Cleveland to see the opening of the new university center at Case Western Reserve University, which houses Welcome to Cleveland, a new interactive installation I worked on with Thu Tran, Ivan Safrin, and Bobo Do.  It was incredible to see and hear our work in the space, and surreal to be back on my old campus and honored at the opening.  Check out that photo below for an idea of what I’m talking about (that game on screen is inspired by the 1986 Balloon Fest, where your head controls a helicopter and you try to pop as many balloons as possible).  The games were as completely silly and weird in real life as we had hoped, so it was extra exciting to get to work with Thu, Ivan and Bobo on a new game this month.  I’m sure more will be announced about it soon, but it’s even sillier and even weirder than the others.

Welcome to Cleveland

I also had the opportunity this past month to do some sound design and mixing for Mary Harron (director of American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol, and The Notorious Bettie Page).  The short film is part of an upcoming series about the US economy produced by director Morgan Spurlock and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and is a black comedy about the healthcare system.  It was fantastic to be a part of this project, and hey – I learned something too!  The New York Times ran a story about the series, which airs this fall.

I’ve been doing more mastering recently as well, working on a split EP with Tonstartssbandht and Hot & Cold, finishing up the Beech Creeps record from this summer, and mastering a single by Von Hack.

And while I’ve been doing a lot of post-production this month, I did get a chance to break out the MX-5050 with the band Pocket Hercules down at Seaside Lounge.  The tracks sound cool, we’ll be mixing in a couple weeks at Doctor Wu’s.

Eaters have been keeping busy too.  We have a show this Saturday (September 13) with Survive from Austin, TX, an incredible band live by all accounts – get your tickets and come on out!  We’ve got some new material coming out this month, including a track on the newly-announced Driftless Ambient 1 compilation.  And more shows soon, including a tour with Lace Curtain (a Total Control/Rat Columns offshoot) and some CMJ shows.

Eaters Live @ Moogfest

So, many things…. first of all, thanks to everyone who came out to or helped put together any of the Eaters shows.  The tour was great – nothing like driving around the midwest with one of your best friends, playing music you’re excited about, meeting new people, and hearing a bunch of interesting sounds along the way.  The album’s out now on Driftless Recordings/Dull Tools.

Sunbathing Ani-Mania continues!  Parquet Courts recently debuted their new Stooge-y single ‘Black and White’  on Late Night with Seth Meyers [spoiler alert: Fred Armisen jumps onstage for the feedback solo, but Austin upstages him anyway] and released the album version the next day (stream it up above).  Slow-burner ballad ‘Instant Disassembly’ surfaced last week, and immediately grabbed a Best New Track nod from Pitchfork (stream that down below).  Sunbathing Animal is out June 3rd on What’s Your Rupture/Rough Trade.

I’ve been working with artist/director Thu Tran on a series of games for the new Tinkham Veale student center at Case Western Reserve University (where I went to school and met Thu… trippy).  The six Cleveland-inspired games are displayed on a 30′ LED screen in the middle of the main atrium, and are played through a motion-controlled Kinect sensor… so basically you’re just jumping around or punching the air in front of this giant video wall.  Since the installation is designed to run continuously in a public space, Thu and I decided to treat the sound design as a sort of generative ambient music…. something that registers to a participant as reacting to them, and that can also blend pleasantly into the background for everyone else in the space.  I’ve always enjoyed working with Thu (like on her shows Food Party and The Misguided Guide to the Origin of Everything), and it was a pleasure to collaborate with Ivan Safrin (who’s designed such bonkers games as Space Cruiser, a flight simulator at the Hayden Planetarium, and Sidescroller, where players run around a room with 20 monitors from screen to screen) and Bobo Do (whose work you may have seen projected behind Beyonce once or twice).  There’s an inherent goofiness and giddiness in the games, but there’s also a depth and beauty in everyone’s work that truly amazes me… I can’t wait to play them in the space when the building opens this fall.

Veale Center

I’ve been doing some mastering lately too.  I finished mixing and mastered the new PC Worship record Rust – this thing is unbelievable… just wait.   Jungle Green brought me a couple more damaged crooner tunes for a new single coming out on Kingfisher Bluez, following the Twelve-and-a-half Minutes of the Most Beautiful Love Songs Ever Written EP we worked on last year.  I also worked on an EP for Bordeaux, an off-kilter synth-pop duo mixed by my studio partner Jake Aron at Doctor Wu’s.  I recently mastered a new EP for gloomy doomers Vibrant Light as well.  And I just mastered Girl Talk and Freeway’s ‘Suicide Remix’, featuring A$AP Ferg – a new version of their Add (N) to X-sampling tune off Broken Ankles.

I’m in the middle of a few new projects, but please write me at jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com if you’d like to talk about sound.  Thank  yeur!!

 

So I just wrapped up two weeks straight in the studio with Parquet Courts on their new new album.  It’s madness.  I’ve never worked so hard or gotten in so deep as I did on this one – we really pushed ourselves this time.  They’re back on the road now (at Austin City Limits, then on a European tour with Mazes, who I’ll be working with on their new album next year), and we’ll finish this beast next month.

Their current new EP, Tally All the Things That You Broke is out now! Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NME, and just about everyone else is praising the EP, and the band packed Music Hall of Williamsburg for their record release show.  Now you can check out this video for “You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now” by my buddy Thu Tran.  I’m really excited that this EP is out now – we had a blast working on it, and it’s a great step forward… just wait until you hear the new one.


My friends and associates Forest Fire also got a nice write-up from Pitchfork and played their record release show for their fantastic album Screens.  They also have a new video for the release; bassist Galen Bremer made a creepy psyched-out collage for “Cold Kind”.


Another band I worked with recently also just celebrated their record release: the ever- ferocious Mannequin Pussy!  You can stream their kick-in-the-nuts of an album Gypsy Pervert and check out their tour dates at their bandcamp page. Go see ’em!


And chances are, you may have seen them around town – they played both the Parquet Courts and Mannequin Pussy record release shows – but have you heard the twitchy dance punk of Future Punx on record??  You can now!  Check it out!!


 

In the meantime, I’m working on this.

Thanks for stopping by – please feel free to hit me up at jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com if you wanna talk sound!