Thursday, April 27, 2017
the REVIEW SHOW w Kaleb R. Gubernick:: Premiere
Hello there. Hope you are well.
In an effort to increase interest in the "What I Said" blog, and in an interest in showcasing a talented friend, I am pleased to announce Kaleb R. Gubernick will be doing a monthly guest blog post in the form of an album review on the site here @ www.thadwenatchee.com once a month.
Below is the Premiere post.
Kaleb wished me to present his biography as such::
Kaleb R. Gubernick writes wrong/rights wrongs.
We here at the "What I Said" blog are please to present the Premiere post of the REVIEW SHOW w Kaleb R. Gubernick. The first episode features a review of the instrumental beat LP "The Hand Drawn Rhythm Machine" by 10.4 ROG.
Listen and Enjoy!
10.4 ROG in 2-D
by kaleb r. gubernick
The world of 10.4 ROG has two sides.
At least, the first glance at 10.4 ROG and his Hand Drawn Rhythm
Machine tells you his world his two-sided. This new record of
his has two parts, two parts, two movements. But to say 10.4 ROG
is two-sided or the world he occupies is either this or that
would be a bold lie to tell after bearing witness to HDRW, an
album striking a balance between whimsy and wilding. No, the
world of 10.4 ROG is not black and white, but colorful. Not twofaced
but full of sandblasted audio clips of the human condition
that somehow communicate a lot about ROG himself:
The world of 10.4 ROG is a patient one. HDRM is a digital
delivery of an analog ideal: an online release in the tradition
of cassettes: many songs split into warring factions: the Front
End and the Back End). ROG wants you to LISTEN to your music,
absorb it, not skip it. But we must suppose that’s the beauty of
analog cassettes. You’re riding around, listening to an album
that you either let play through or risk disrupting the flow
with a fast forward button. The world of 10.4 ROG is a wistful
one, an ephemeral world that wants to last longer thanks to the
people willing to dub the analog to the analog in the name of
keeping things alive.
The world of 10.4 ROG is not Photoshopped, it is painted, built,
sculpted, constructed. HDRW is a mosaic of fingerpainted synths,
basslines scurrying like cat feet across a keyboard, polyrhythms
tapped by restless digits on sampler pads, dragging and rushing
in equal parts, looping just so, drunk staggering along a damp
sidewalk. The beats are pure pastiche covering well-worn
territory, but entirely closer to chisel-tipped marker sketches
of his influencers and their signature kinds of magic he’s
managed to shape into fully-formed songs.
The world of 10.4 ROG is relatable, right now. The first swells
of life on HDRW sound like a Richard Linklater cut scene full of
aloof millennials pitterpattering and meandering back and forth,
talking about nothing, except the nothing has the possibility of
being everything, were one to look closer. The songs that follow
breathe with heavy compression, an audio rendition of the push
and pull of city life and the grit and grime that comes
attached. Loops of static exist as a permanent audience,
clapping along to each song. Different seashells, different
oceans, some soothing, some uncomfortable.
The world of 10.4 ROG is inside these waveforms, and he wants to
share it with you. If you want to listen.
Q and A with 10.4 ROG
In your words, tell me about the process and construction of the record.
This is a project that took on several versions over the course of two years while I
was in grad school. I just worked at it real slowly during my spare time. I had a
few beats that I thought could be good together as part of an instrumental album,
or a beat tape. I had many pieces of beats, either shorter things, or more
ambitious things with switch-ups and all that, which I pocketed or set aside. I
also had a few soundbites that I had saved which I loosely identified with in some
way, often from a person in music or another artform that I look up, i.e. Georgia
Anne Muldrow, Prince, the writer Richard Price, the filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik.
Eventually I took some of the beats out, inserted other ones, re-sequenced some
parts after each draft, until it became clear that some beats had to go after other
ones. This solidified over time until we have what has been released.
Now, in somebody else’s words, tell me about your process and
construction of the record.
"I honestly didn't listen to it."
What’s the ideal weather in which to listen to the record?
How do you know when a beat is done? Do you think calling them beats is
Haha. This is a hard question. I guess I don't really know when a beat is done
till I decide to move on. Just like a mixing engineer could theoretically mix a
record forever, so can a producer in dealing with their beats. The word "beats"
can be reductive sometimes, sure. For these specific cases that exist in Hand
Drawn Rhythm Machine, I don't mind.
Moments of your music sound too surreal to have any basis in reality. Do
some elements come to you in your dreams?
This is also a hard question. Damn. I don't know if I can say that some elements
that I use in my music come consciously in my dreams. Like I can't say I ever
woke up with an idea that I took with me from sleeping and transferred it onto the
piano, or into Ableton. But I am also not opposed to the idea that things from a
dreamstate creep into my music without me knowing.
How important is the analog lifestyle to you?
I wish I could say it's more important than it is to me, personally. I don't live it like
other people do, at least when it comes to gear acquisition, and owning records.
The analog lifestyle is very expensive to somebody like me. Almost all of this
music for this particular project I made digitally, that is to say, with virtual
instruments, on MIDI controllers, and in the box. I think as a point of reference,
analog is incredibly important. I feel like my age and the time that I grew up
reflects a philosophy of one foot in analog, one foot in digital. I grew up with
tapes, some records, and CDs. But I was in middle school when the MP3 was
introduced. For some time in high school and in college, I was collecting records
pretty heavily. But most of my music consumption at that point was done through
peer-to-peer networks, such as Napster, Audiogalaxy, Soulseek, etc.
What’s your desert island synth? Black keys or white keys?
In terms of hardware synths, it might have to be one of the polyphonic joints: an
OB-X, a Prophet 5/6, Korg Minilogue. Black keys.
You’re at high tea with the two people most responsible for the record
(other than yourself). Who are they? Talk about them a bit.
My better half, Aimee. She been letting me be myself since we been together.
And she be telling me when she doesn't like a certain beat. It's hilarious. Like,
51st State. That's her least favorite. I just showed her this passage to proofread
right now, and she's mimicking the bassline because she hates it so much. I'm
crying, lol. And if we're talking dead or alive, my mom. She pushed for me to get
into music before I had any inclination myself. She wanted a piano in our house,
so she bought it together with my dad when I was about 8. I always laugh when I
read about that being a stereotype among Filipino-American families: that there's
got to be a piano in the home. Also, we'd be eating those Lattemiele cookies with
coffee ice cream I think.
If you went deaf, would you still try to make music? Why? And if yes, how?
Oh hell yeah. It seems like, at this point, it's such a part of my regular, daily
practice, that it would feel strange to not have the act of making music be part of
my life. I might not be myself. As to how? Probably by playing music with the
volume up and against surfaces to get feedback from vibrations. Putting
monitors and subs on the floor and putting my ear to the ground, or something.
Maybe humming to myself hella loud wherever I went. I really don't know what
would work for me. Damn. It's a scary future to contemplate.