Wisconsin trio Audeka are set to take us to the furthest bass frontiers on September 23 as they deliver their debut album Lost Souls on MethLab.
With a rich repertoire in dubstep and drum & bass that dates back to 2012 on labels such as Caliber, Ammunition and Adapted, this year the trio have taken their stark designs and signature narrative aesthetics to new levels with collaborations on Bad Taste, Medschool and Methlab. Tracks such as Ritual with Signal & Disprove, or the boundary-crushing Samurai has set the tone perfectly for Lost Souls.
A project that began with nascent ideas in 2013 Lost Souls is a conceptual odyssey where each track comes with its own illustration. The document will resonate deeply with fans of Moody Good, Broken Note, Rawtekk or any act who seem happiest exploring the frayed and often furious fringes of our music: An album with capitol A, Lost Souls will pull you deep inside, captivates, stimulates before bringing you back into reality softly.
Read on to find out more about Skyler, Marty and Max’s mission, vision and ambition and hear three brand new tracks from the album….
Stories are important to you aren’t they?
We enjoy working with a narrative first and foremost. Creating a story gives us an interesting source of inspiration. You’ve got atmospheres, emotions, and events occurring, that might be concrete or abstract.
Either way it becomes a test for us to make audio that matches the content of our story. We become more attached to what we create when a story serves as the inspiration for developing the audio. We would say ‘substance’ is the quality of the sounds and structures utilized. The music should sound cool even if it is dissociated from the story we have in our minds for the track. A step further in regards to ‘substance’ is how well the structure of the track fits the scene/or concept we are trying to grasp.
Sharing the story between three brains… How do you align these ideas?
Skyler created the story at the beginning of this process, but it’s aligned naturally because we enjoy playing similar video games such as Dark Souls, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed and many other medieval/fantasy RPGs.
These types of games stretch the extremes of the human experience. For example, the accentuation of fear, despair, love and anger, and battling against odds that seem insurmountable. The imagery experienced playing these otherworldly titles helps us create different plots that may have taken place in these types of environments.
We also like music that aligns with these themes. Murcof has been a large influence in our creative process because of his ability to capture emotions, his attention to details, and his patience. On the other hand, we really enjoy the raw sound design of artists such as Rawtekk & Rob Clouth. Once we have a story, we begin making audio for each part of it. Many times it doesn’t fit right away, but we can filter through what material we have created, and pick what works the best.
What’s the specific story of Lost Souls?
The story centers on a protagonist named Velok and his journey from his village through a forbidden underworld, and to the realm of spirits in order to find his wife – who was stolen away by dark magic. Each track describes a different scene or event, and the artwork represents those scenarios. More details on the full story will be available closer to the release date.
How about the artwork?
Marty developed the initial artwork for each track on the LP. MethLab linked us with SHVLFCE who does all their artwork and asked us if we wanted to collaborate with him. After seeing SHVLFCE’s work, we were amazed and couldn’t refuse. He was able use ideas from our story, and take the artwork to the next level. He completely redid the art from scratch, and added incredible detail and realism.
There’s a great contrast between very industrial synthetic designs and organic instrumentation – this balance seems crucial to your approach too, right?
Absolutely. In order to capture the story of Lost Souls, we had to use other elements that were not necessarily digital. Audio manipulation is an endless playground, and to stick to a strictly digital process wouldn’t be as fun for us.
However, there are times when these types of processed digital sounds are essential to obtaining the characteristics that we want in a track.
We also had the opportunity to work with some friends of ours for vocal content. Explaining our story and lyrics to them, and seeing their excitement and execution of the ideas using their voice, was a fantastic experience. Also working with Rawtekk was an absolute blast. They seemed to just get it. We explained what our vision was for our collaboration, Necromancy, and from there on things went very naturally.
Are you actually using organic instruments or just really good at designing sounds and manipulating samples?
We sampled a large variety of sounds such as pan drums, cellos, guitars, ordinary recordings such as rain, leaves, metallic knocks and oatmeal. Some of these sources were from freesound.org, Native Instruments, and our own recordings – these really help with making digital elements sound more like they are living creatures, and capturing different moods.
If there are three moods you hope people might take away from Lost Souls what are they?
An exploration of the abyss filled with unexpected encounters, seemingly indestructible foes, and a fading light of hope that is constantly pursued.