PULVERIZER is, perhaps like BY A RIVER before it, a psychedelic ambient techno session that exists purely in the wake of the ASTRAL SALONS series. A fully polymetric composition, built out of a revolving set of rhythms, melodic passages and basslines that never overlap in quite the same way, due to their differing bar lengths. Techno has always been defined by hypnotic (and even surrealistic) sound experiences, and I feel that reconsidering the fundamentals of the structures and tropes of the genre itself, at the molecular level, is a way forward into new and vivid lands. It is my interest to further explore and develop polymetric forms within the techno template as a working method, and see where these near-generative systems take the music as they become more and more involved.
Musically, PULVERIZER began with raw samples from a piezoelectric microphone, held with rubber bands to an aluminum grinder for marijuana plantmatter. In the stoner community, it is a popular practice to place a coin inside the chamber that holds the ground up flower, and shake it vigorously, pushing the trichomes (small THC-concentrated deposits in the leaves) through a secondary screen, into a lower chamber that collects them into a powdery sticky substance called kief. My grandfather, born to Italian immigrants in New York, collected many different foreign coins when he was enlisted in the service, in WWII, and when I was a small boy he gave me a cigar box filled with them. I picked out a Franc from 1932 and cleaned it up for use in my aluminum grinder, and almost immediately hatched the idea to record the pings with a piezo, and use them as trigger sources within my modular system.
What you hear then, is a pasture of dub chords, generated with the voice of a vocoder, and triggered by these impulses from the 1932 Franc. With this sonic bed laid before me, I went to work shaping more melodies, bass, rhythms and so on, once again finding the statue inside the stone, feeling as if I was not creating or constructing, but merely locating existing peripheries within these triggered chords. All of the rhythms, besides two drum breaks that enter in the second half, are built with vintage Yamaha, Korg and Roland drum machines (Yammy RX11, RX21L, Korg KPR77, Roland TR505) and most of the overlaid lead sections were made using Yamaha TX81Z and Korg Volca FM synthesizers, while the arpeggiator in the ending is from a Roland SH-32 digital polysynth.
The entire session was dubbed and mixed while stoned on the same kief that the triggers originated from, but mastered and finalized while sober (because I'm still not yet solid enough to fully complete the equation while under the influence). While it remains my preference to work sober, and only check mixes for changes while under any chemical influence, PULVERIZER could be seen as a small exception to this ethos, as it was designed from top to bottom in anticipation of the 4/20 stoner's holiday. Whether or not you're a weed geek like I am shouldn't matter, as the only real point of celebrating marijuana on a calendar date is to hopefully draw attention to the beneficial nature of finding something that works for you as an individual, and perhaps normalizing it just a little bit more. With medicinal and recreational usage, as well as full decriminalization, we can embrace something more natural and beneficial, with a slight bend toward psychedelic experiences, serving to jailbreak a bit of empathy in our baby animal brains, and maybe even leave behind more harmful vices like alcohol, nicotine and pharmaceuticals. However you get through the night, that's up to you - I hope PULVERIZER and the wider Coppice Halifax catalog enriches your passage.
released April 20, 2022
W/P by Brian Grainger. Recorded at White Pillar, April 2022 using a Crank Sturgeon piezoelectric microphone, a Higher Standards Aerodynamic aluminum grinder, an Arturia Microfreak, Yamaha RX11 / RX21L / TX81Z, Korg Volca FM / KPR77 and Roland SH-32 / TR505 in conjunction with the R-EW Audioholistics modular system and generative processing path, and two DAWs. Mastered by The Analog Botanist. Text by ABM&D. Cover design by ABM&D using a painting by Albrecht Altdorfer, 1510. This is Milieu Music number ABX421. (C) + (P) Oscillog ASCAP 2022. All heights convected.
As always, I am in utter awe at the vastness of our musical universe, comprised of beautiful stars for our ever-listening ears. Let the gorgeous waves of this incredible album wash over you, perhaps taking you to another realm, out of space & time. One of the most pleasurable experiences I have had in a long while. GoryLori