Genre: Electronic, IDM, Soundtrack, Symphonic, Industrial, Electronic Rock
Years Active: 2012 – 2016, 2021
Michael LeJeune – Keys, Sequencing, Sampling, Voice, Guitar
Jenn Barnett – Guest Vocals
Releases (click to find):
cincture ● Music Video, released June 29, 2021
all hollow things are light ● LP, released 2016
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Synth, sequencing, and electronic sounds have always been a part of the music I love. And the genres that rely more heavily on these elements have been a part of my listening catalogue since I was a kid. But composing in that arena had been beyond me until Nil Significant.
With the expansion of my musical endeavors into the realm of serious recording, I made a point of acquiring certain things that would be needed for electronic sounds complimentary to metal, rock, etc., including some kind of in-the-box softsynth and midi controller. I found myself behind the keys of my ancient Yamaha keyboard with an incredibly expansive set of software tools at my fingertips. The voices I could simply click on and activate were…legion. The potential for creative composition was too broad to keep sidelined.
So, thinking about the artists that inspire me in electronic music (like Wisp, Lusine, Proem, Future Sounds of London, Boards of Canada, etc), I started putting together a song. Of course, it sounded nothing like any of my influences, but that’s a good thing.
The compositional process was very different, as the ideas about where the song is going, what is coming next, and where it will eventually need to be, are utterly unlike rock or metal or folk compositions. In the music I was used to creating, the parts are larger, more unlike each other, and must be fitted together carefully because of their disparate nature. With electronic music, the focus for me is on establishing an emotional state, and then subtly altering it over time, rather than creating a song-wide arc. Deep changes occur only once in a long while, and herald a shift into a whole new direction for the song. The compositions simply started at 00:00 and went forward from there, adding on one or two or four bars at a time, thinking visually about what is happening on the screen a lot more than other styles.
And that is how the song Cincture came about. The section of real drums and guitar I added have remained a question mark in my head: Are they good? Do they derail the track too much? What is the point?
But I loved the track so much, I had to try again. And that is how Axiomateer was composed. For this song, I hit the style of my influences much more precisely, but the influences were different. I had in my head the sounds of classic science fiction and horror films. The soundtracks to dark, grainy movies with tiny budgets and overreaching themes. It’s been compared to the theme from Stranger Things. You can read about my love for those movies at my blog entry on the topic.
With two songs out, the rest of the album had to happen. Multiformant Cynosure continued in the classic soundtrack vein, though with a much grander scope (fourteen minutes!). Jenn’s spoken voice came out perfectly on this track, and on Dull Boy, my attempt at creating something reminiscent of an urban vibe. Wax Homeostatic was all about putting symphonic grace to a groove, and An Itinerant Rubric came out as an homage to classic electronic or “dance” music I heard growing up.
Passager stole the show, for me. The ill-sounding tiger growls embodied a strength and a weakness at once that I fell in love with immediately after hearing the sample. I knew it needed to be a preface to something impactful. The acoustic drums that dominate the latter part of the song appear on the track nearly untouched from their original recording, done in a large church. I could not imagine a more honest, engaging dirge. The keys and instruments that dress the beat all flowed from that inspiration.
And so the album was born. Two parts sci-fi soundtrack, two parts symphonic dirge, one part each classic synth melody and industrial edge. You can stream the album free at the Bandcamp page (link above). If you like it, consider purchasing a CD to help fund Biscuit Bend endeavours.