New Artist: Renku Corporation

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Today we’re really pleased to add another new artist to our roster… the wonderful Renku Corporation, from the US of A – currently residing in Houston, Texas.

A one man band creating intricate experimental electronic music with a modular synthesizer, this is ‘music for people who reject reality’. A tag line that we rather quite like. We asked them a few questions to get to know them better…

Cow Tongue Taco: How did you get started creating electronic music?

Renku Corporation: From an early age, I had access to a Tandy computer with a primitive sequencing program that I would create compositions on. It was there that I first started learning how to put together notes and form. Later that morphed into an interest in electric guitar and I had a band that was just myself on guitar and vocals and him on keyboard and drum machine. Basically I was writing industrial-style tracks and needed someone to run the keyboard/sequencer while I fronted, so I taught my friend how to play keys.

Naturally I acquired a sequencing keyboard next, and later much gear in my personal studio in a house I rented with a mate. It was there that much of Renku Corporation was formed and recorded, starting with the Conceptual series. By this time I was in love with the sounds of ‘IDM’, however broad and catch-all that might be. Autechre was probably the biggest influence on me then, and seeing them perform live in Columbus and in Detroit was amazing and halcyon.

CTT: Can you explain a bit about what inspired the tracks on this release?

RC: My process is to approach the modular, where I compose all my tracks now, with a blank mind, like a clean canvas, unpatched. Now I use exclusively a Eurorack modular synthesizer to make all my music, including this release. There are no other sound modules, synthesizers, soft-synths, or samples in this music; only the modular. My approach was to setup each patch, which use multiple hardware sequencers to achieve control of the different parts, and then ‘play’ the patch back live to two-track recording. I would mix parts in and out, trigger and unmute sequences and parts, fiddle with filters and knobs, all live in a single pass. There are no overdubs; everything you hear was produced simultaneously and mixed in the modular.

CTT: The imagery you use is great. Can you say a bit more about it?

RC: Working off the blank mind approach, when I start a track I have no preconceived notions of it’s title, just a vague idea of what modules I want to work with and what tempo it will be at. So when I finish the recording, I immediately name the file something that comes to me, stream-of-consciousness. But it has to be two words that don’t usually go together. Then I try to find a picture that expresses at least one of the concepts or words to match the track.

We have an exclusive tape cassette release coming up from Renku Corporation in the next few weeks, but in the meantime… you can check out their tunes on his Bandcamp or SoundCloud – or drop them a note via the contact info on renkucorp.com.

New Artist Interview: cuhto and kupo

In a few weeks we’ll be releasing a split cassette EP – ‘crow road’, from new Cow Tongue Taco artists cuhto and kupo. We fired them over some questions in advance of the release to get a bit of an insight into what is going on:

Cow Tongue Taco: Hello, tell us a bit about who you both are, and where you are from.

cuhto and kupo: We’re both from Scarborough and we met at college. We’ve been threatening to start a band together for almost as long as I can remember but nothing has come of that just yet. Late last year Steven moved in with me in Glasgow, and we’ve been spinning ideas for projects off of each other for a while so I guess now feels like the right time to do something about it.

CTT: What inspired you to create this split EP?

c and k: We’ve both been listening to a lot of drone and ambient music recently, especially on mornings when we’re both hungover so the sound itself is directly from that. After not properly sleeping for such a long time and feeling constantly shit, Steven wanted to make something that he just found beautiful. For me, I’m just confronting nostalgic-feelings that have been eating me up recently and I wanted to create something with it rather than let it mentally ruin me.

CTT: Can you speak about the tracks on the release?

c and k: I picked a 4 bar chord progression to loop from an improvised drunk jam we recorded one night on guitars, and started messing with the audio. After I treated it and made it feel more fractured as it progressed, Steven suggested he do a variant of it using the same loop. We settled on a 20 minute limit each which worked perfectly for this cassette release. Steven’s pretty bad at getting things completed, so if I didn’t encourage him to get this done within a certain time frame he’d never put it out. It’d still be getting tweaked this time next year or just forgotten about. I’m different in that I get that it’s not perfect, but I try to look past that as I’m not willing to chase perfection as if it’s the sole deciding factor of something’s worth.

CTT: Where else can we find you online?

c and k: We both take photos (Lee: radiomoths.com, Steven: stuttered.shutter on Instagram). Band-wise Lee’s making noise with Magnificent Bastard and (CTT label mates) Closet Organ.

Look out for ‘crow road’ coming up in the next few weeks.