The Last Martian – Sound of Science

About six months ago I was asked to take part in a then secret music project. Tom J Carpenter and Jason Subtractive of Analogue Solutions were planning an ambitious string of Synthpop/New Wave releases. They were going to work with different vocalists, create music videos and promised a high quality package. I knew Jason’s synth work from his synth demos so I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. To say he has the Depeche Mode sound down is an understatement. On the song I gave my voice to titled The Last Martian listen to filtering bassline, high pitched delaying notes and at 43 seconds in there is a panning mid range sound that I’ve only heard Alan Wilder himself create. I knew that Tom was friends with Alan helping him repair some synths and selling him a Telemark. In fact, I question if Jason is actually who he says he is. This was also the first time I recorded my own vocal to someone else’s lyrics. Vile Electrodes and Chad Glenn also remixed the track. Here he comes with his gun the last martian.

“Sound of Science is pleased to announce the availability of our 2nd EP, “The Last Martian”, featuring THE HORRORIST (Oliver Chesler). Included are remixes by Vile Electrodes, Chad Glenn (The Coil), and SOS!” – Sound of Science

Buy now: iTunes or CD Baby

LTD Edition Fire Funmania

I am extremely pleased to announce that a Limited Edition of my newest album Fire Funmania is available. Made in Germany and limited to 100 copies you get the album on 12″ Vinyl, CD with 2 exclusive Bonus Tracks and an Armband. The set is only 20 Euros so they will disappear quickly. Thanks to Steffen Kuschel and Maurice Roy for making this happen.

“just received it from sbmonline.de . Great package!” – JF.Gore

Buy now: sbmonline.de/2013/e/temartic.php?nr=TTC23

Remix The Horrorist

The record label The Seed is having a remix contest for my song Automatic. The song which is about guns was originally released in 2007 on my album Attack Decay. It’s such a strong dance track I still play it live.

Demo Dropbox: theseedmusic.label-engine.com
Download the Stems: sendspace.com/pro/dl/rek7iv

“The Seed is proud to announce that we are doing our first ever remix contest in association with Underground legend, The Horrorist. For your remix to be considered it must be uploaded to our demo dropbox by no later than May 13, 2013. The contest will be judged by The Horrorist and label management. Winners selected will have their remix released as part of the “Automatic; Reloaded” Remix collection out in June on the Seed.” – facebook.com/theseedmusic

For more info: facebook.com/theseedmusic

Fire Funmania Side-Line Review

If you asked me what is the most important website to get EBM, goth, synthpop and New Wave news hands down I would say Side-Line. I love when I am mentioned there and they just reviewed my latest album Fire Funmania (link). I am extremely glad they like it. It took me about 18 months to create the songs and even though the initial release came out a month ago the party is only getting started. The cassette, limited German CD and 12″ and merchandise are all forthcoming. I also didn’t forget to let you know the behind the scenes production and song writing wise. I will start tomorrow with “Enter the Sex Game” so stay tuned.

“The songs remain simple, but damn efficient. The Horrorist is a sound wizard confirming his genius on “Starving For You”. The Horrorist has deployed his entire battery of electronic creativity which resulted in a new fascinating and diversified opus.” – Side-Line Magazine

Read the full review: side-line.com/reviews_49252

Distro

I am very pleased to let you know Wire to the Ear is featured in this months Engadget Distro! Distro is thier super slick and free iPad magazine. In the interview I discuss Make Noise, TRS-80s, Ableton, Buchla and more. Be sure to download the March 8, 2013 issue and check it out!

“What are you favorite gadget names? There is a modular synthesizer module called…”

Download now: itunes.apple.com/us/app/engadget-distro

Societe Perrier

Yours truly and your favorite blog has been featured on Société Perrier. I do an interview titled Better Know A Blogger: Oliver Chesler of Wire to the Ear. I’m glad all things synth, strange and songwriting is interesting so many people!

“I started the blog in September 2007, so that’s over five years ago. Around that time I was emailing and phoning friends whenever I would see a cool piece of music tech or hear a great song. I realized I was annoying most of them so I decided to put it on a blog and find the people actually interested. I didn’t know…”

Read the full interview: societeperrier.com/oliver-chesler-of-wire-to-the-ear

Photos from France and Spain

I finally had a chance to sort through and post some photos from last week’s live shows in Bordeaux, France and San Sebastian, Spain. Both shows were good but as expected the Spain show was really crazy. Those kids really know how to party! All I can say is their event went to 5PM the next afternoon. I left my jacket in the DJ booth and went back and enjoyed walking through the parking lot full of cars and vans with kids doing all sorts of subersive activities. It’s good to know life is going on somewhere! The next live show is in Rotterdam on December 29 at the infamous Herr Zimmerman party!

To see the full photosets click here: Bordeaux and Spain.

“The perfect night for an incredible and crazy 2012 Closing Party in Rotterdam, Factory 010! Herr Zimmerman’s Spanky Wanky Party!!! :-) Very Spezial Guest & Live act! – The Horrorist (New York, USA)” – facebook.com/HerrZimmerman

For more info: thehorrorist.com

New Myspace

The new Myspace from Myspace on Vimeo.

MySpace is going to try again. It’s hard to believe they were once the defacto social network and that it was based mostly around music. The new site is very pretty but the chances they can get people back to the site is slim. That said I think everyone is sick of Facebook and Google+ seems off a bit. You can head over to the new site’s place holder and sign up to be one of the first to check it all out. The comeback kid?

“Although we’ll have to wait and see if the demoed functionality comes together into a coherent and enjoyable service, there’s no denying that the design shown in the preview looks absolutely gorgeous. This is especially surprising, considering how rough around the edges Myspace has always been.” – thenextweb.com

For more info: new.myspace.com

Take This Step Studio Notes

One of the major reasons for starting this blog was to share my studio notes with you. I love sharing the creation process and hearing feedback. Take This Step was released last month with remixes by Pet Duo, Mark Hawkins, Brian Burger and Lenny Dee. You can get the full details of the song including a promo video on it’s original post page: click here. Today let’s get into how I created it. My last album Joyless Pleasure was very autobiographical, song structured, love songed and a real listeners album. For my next album Fire Funmania which will be released later this year I wanted to go back to my roots a bit. The first single Take This Step clears the way. Lyrically it has two themes. You can take the song literally as an indoctrination anthem. Join the army, the troop and fight. You can decide if I am being satirical or not. However, the theme could also be about getting a day job or even being pushed into marriage and society. As a 42 year old trying to conform and be healthy yet keep my art pure surely there’s a reason I was able to make this song. The arrangement shows the nervous tension with 5 parts growing to a peak each higher than each other until the cresendo at the end. I think I’m trying to say yes it’s ok to join but if you do do it strong, properly and aggresively!

Ok so yeah now to the toys. There are several kick drums on the track. I’ve been DJing on my Traktor S4 a bit and you can hear that influence here. As I use NI’s Traktor anytime I put a loop into one of the Sample Decks and it loops more than 2 times is saves the loop on my hard drive for later use. I grabbed 2 of the kicks on Take This Step from this folder. I also created 2 kicks on my Jomox Mbase 01 which is signed by Jürgen Michaelis. The Mbase has a depth you can’t get from samples. There are parts of the song where you hear the underlying kicks booming and that’s the Mbase in action. In sections of the song there is a Boss DM-100 bucket-brigade analog delay on the kicks. You can hear it right away as the song starts. The ride is from my MFB-522. The 522 is like a mini Roland TR-808 and I like it quite a lot. You can get some really clean shimmering rides from it that again most of the time samples can’t match. I used Ableton Live’s built in Auto Filter to cut some of the high’s out from it so it fit well in the song. There are some large long white noise crashes that bring in new sections. Those are from an Ensoniq ESQ-1. I bought a Crystal-X cartridge off eBay that has a few hundred sounds on it and the crash/smash is on there.

The main synth is a Moog Slim Phatty going through Audio Damage’s Vapor diffusion chorus plug-in. In different sections of the song the main synth pattern changes. I used 3 plug-ins each seperately at different times to achieve the different synth patterns: Izotope’s Stutter Edit, PSP’s N20 and Sugar-Bytes Turnado. These are the type of plug-ins that are nearly impossible to replicate in hardware without a serious amount of work. What I usually do is go through the presets, do some editing and then render the same part 5-10 times. Then as the song plays back into the section I swap out the different renderings and choose the one that’s the coolest. It’s that little extra work that makes all the difference. Towards the end of the song there is a build up where the synth starts panning, changing and “lifting”. This was done with Sugar-Bytes Effectrix and automation.

I wanted to keep these vocals clean and commanding. The chain was a Shure SM7b mic through an API 512c micpre. I also used Izotope’s Nectar plug-in. There’s quite a few places where the last song in a verse has some effects on it. Like the synth parts I would render the last word, move it to a blank channel, load several effects on the channel and change presets, edit and render about 5 different versions. I would again listen back to the song with replacing each version and choosing the best one.

I follow my own advice and the faders were all at about half height so the mix came out nice and clean. I added some volume to the master file using Izotope’s Ozone. I didn’t work on this song all day in a succession of days so it’s hard to tell you exactly how long it took to create it. I would guess about a full week or two weeks on and off. For me the most difficult part is always the arrangement. It’s like a puzzle and if you don’t feel inspired or take the time to get it right you can really ruin a song. So this song is a mix of the best hardware and software I have.

The next single which comes out in August is called The Man Master. I shot a music video for it in Berlin, there are remixes by David Carretta, Millimetric and Dupont and there will be a limited edition 7″. Production wise this song is a full analog affair using only analog sequencers and such. More on that when it’s released!

“The Horrorist’ new single is pretty awesome. His new record is going to be the best one yet.” – alexxaugustus (via Twitter)

For more info: iTunes, Amazon and Beatport

Take This Step – The Horrorist

Take this Step – The Horrorist from Oliver Chesler on Vimeo.

Available now on iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Beatport!

You must confess we are the best. We know war! War for sure. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. You must undress. Dress like the rest. Wear the uniform. It is the message! Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step! You must scream. Big as it is! Your one of the troop. Man in a group! Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step! You must oppress. Hit like you hit! Hit like a truck. Hit so you’re seen. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step! Hit like bull. Hit like steel. Hit like a shank. Hit like a sword. Hit like a gun. Hit like a storm. Hit like fire. Hit like doom. Hit like death! Hit like death! Hit like death! Hit like death! Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step! Take this step. Take this step. Take this step. Take this step.

1. Take This Step – The Horrorist
2. Take This Step (Mark Hawkins remix) – The Horrorist
3. Take This Step (Pet Duo remix) – The Horrorist
4. Take This Step (Brian Burger remix) – The Horrorist
5. Take This Step (Lenny Dee remix) – The Horrorist

Written & produced by Oliver Chesler. Published by Strengholt Music Group and Things to Come Records. thehorrorist.com thingstocome.com

“Absolute hammer!! The 1st single from The Horrorist’s next album “Fire Funmania” that comes out later in 2012. A wild slick techno blood war song. Super crazy! Easy hit! Now add diverse remixes by Pet Duo, Lenny Dee, Mark Hawkins and Brian Burger. 10/10!!” – Red Team (USA)

Available now: iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Beatport.