Some thoughts on DIY and recording our upcoming EP

We’re busy doing stuff lately and very happy about it. One week left until our first gig here in Sofia. Our EP is done, mixed and mastered and a bunch of tapes are being dubbed as we speak; we also have a couple more things to get all starry-eyed about in the following days.

We’re letting the first track break free soon, followed by an exclusive album stream and will reveal more on the go. Meanwhile a lot of rehearsing is taking place, we currently eat, drink and breathe Feedbacker. Silver hours of glorious noise. We’re cooking a nice tight set for our first hometown gig, as well as some new songs that didn’t make it to the EP.

A year of first things

Until now 2016 has provided feral ground for new beginnings and debuts: out first festival gig, our first EP and first live in Sofia being among the most important for Feedbacker. Same applies for my other projects, and also a lot of personal stuff, but that is another thing. All of this brings a lot of food for thought about our band situation and what we do, how we do it and how we want to do to it in the future.

The benefits of self-produced music and working with friends

DIY ethics has an awful lot to do with Feedbacker since day one and this is not entirely an accident. Recording our first material reflects that approach almost perfectly. We made all recordings with our mate Mihail, who plays guitar in King of Sorrow and lately he is really into recording and producing stuff and audio engineering. He’s gaining some experience and widening his expertise with recording both new songs by Trysth and Leaver‘s first album; we’re sharing the stage with both bands on Sept. 21

2109-cover

Here’s a link to the Facebook event for the show.

We recorded in our rehearsal space, nothing fancy, just four walls and our amps and drums. Sessions went smooth and fast, coining most of the stuff right away with virtually no overdubs. All vocals are done straight away, one take and that’s all. We kept the takes with the best energy, even when they weren’t perfect. It’s and easy and obvious choice as we rely on raw energy a lot in our music. The whole process felt natural and calm, nothing like the nervous wrecks I’ve experienced with other bands recording in a studio paying by the hour. Working as a team without such limitations has inspired us all a lot.

Actually we weren’t chasing the best quality of the most flawless take, we just wanted to make a good recording of a set of songs, catch a certain vibe, capture the energy. Our mission was to test the grounds as it was our first more focused recording experience with Feedbacker. We were free to set the sound we wanted without fearing “professional” criticism from the this-isn’t-how-it’s-done type. This turns out to be of crucial importance for the creative process I think recording pretty much is.

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Using a lot of fuzz and incorporating various glitches and what may seem a malfunction of my effects rig is really a big part of the Feedbacker sound and it’s what makes this band sound like itself.

Personally, I was feeling weird about entering a studio with this rig and approach – bass lead, bi-amping, unorthodox fuzz-stacking and so on – as this is new to me as well. Working with a friend has given me freedom to experiment and gain more profound understanding of what I do with sound and feel comfortable in the process.

And things often get ugly with the sound when we play our shit – most of it on purpose, of course.

On behalf of the mixing and mastering process we have given Misho a lot of trust and, aside from a few basic things we wanted, it’s all his creative work. Giving other people power over your work may be frightening, but also can be very refreshing and in the end we are pleasantly surprised by how the EP turned out.

The do-it-yourself approach continues with the artwork and preparing the whole release, we made the artwork 100% by ourselves, facing all the limitations and tiny little problems with graphic design, printing options and what not. Hopefully a glimpse of the front cover will be available on our Facebook by the end of the week.

DIY is love

As much as I’d like someone else to take care of all this, we are doing this release through my label Kontingent Records, which in the end of the days is always a valid option to bring some of my music out of the world. This is why I started in the first place, so you get the picture.

It’s a lot of work and hassle, that’s right. A financial burden? Very likely. But I feel empowered and very much in control over my creative output, and that is always a good thing in a world where we’re taught from an early age to ask for permission and conform to rigid rules and being told we’re not good enough.

Looking at your own music (or, insert whatever you do) taking shape from a single idea arising through layers of chaotic noise and random drumming to a song, then into recording and into a physical carrier is hands down the best feeling ever. Holding your own tape. I mean, it’s magical! Look at this beauties! They sound killer, too!

So, we will have a pretty limited stock of this EP, and each and every copy of it will be made and prepared by ourselves, which is kinda warm, and personal and sweet. Or I have been over-romanticizing things. Could be. Fuck if I know!

So it’s only a week until we come out and cease being the best kept secret in the local scene, eh! Lots more regarding our EP will be revealed in the following days.

Stay tuned!

Shentov | Feedbacker

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