New Artist: donotrunwithpixels

Simeon Smith

We’re pleased to be able to share a brand new artist with you: donotrunwithpixels. We’ve come together to bring out their latest release on limited edition cassette, which will be out soon. In the meantime, we thought they deserved a bit of an introduction.

Cow Tongue Taco: So, who who are you, where do you come from, and how long have you been at this?

donotrunwithpixels: Hi, My name is Simeon and I’ve made music with Game Boys for the best part of a decade. Other musical projects have come and gone, but donotrunwithpixels is where I return to when I’ve totally burnt out. I’ve come to the realisation that making this music, using this process, is essential to my wellbeing. This society we’ve built makes me feel under constant pressure, and hiding behind a tiny, pea-green screen, headphones on, takes me back to a place when ignorance was bliss. I live in South Wales with my wife, kids and pet tortoise.

CTT: How would you describe your sound, and what’s your setup like?

dnrwp: I have a studio full of toys, modular gear, a beautiful old piano, a lovely double bass, some great valve mics, and some classy outboard gear, and I use exactly NONE of it for donotrunwithpixels. For me, this project is all about the limitations, using only Game Boys loaded with LSDJ. The sound is messy and anarchic, but still melodic. I hope people listen to it with big, dumb smiles on the faces.

donotrunwithpixels

CTT: What’s the thought behind this upcoming release? Why cassette?

dnrwp: My work has always been quite short, with most tracks clocking in under 2 minutes, but I’ve been playing these two sets live for a couple of years now, mashing songs together, and jamming around themes and I wanted people to listen to a longer body of my work. For me, downloads are about instant gratification, whereas physical releases like cassettes are about the long listen. Plus the way Cow Tongue Taco do releases is fucking cool and fits in with my DIY aesthetic. 

You can find more from donotrunwithpixels over on their Bandcamp.

New Artist: Renku Corporation

renku.jpg

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.