EXCLUSIVE: 3 Tracks From SoundLab ’16 by similarobjects, Space360, Darko C, Darren Ashley & Nadia Reid

SoundLab has already produced an 11-track strong compilation that saw collaborative efforts by the 15 artistes from around the globe – Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany specifically – who were invited to jungle resort The Dusun for its inaugural musician residency. With a 10-day long stay in a secluded area, one can only imagine their productivity level there – there were probably a hell lot more materials than just those 11 tracks. You’re not wrong; the good folks at Detour Asia, the niche booking agency that incepted the initiative, has given JUICE an exclusive stream of three previously unreleased SoundLab tracks; ‘Massaj’ by similarobjects and Space360 (with vocal contribution from Vandetta), ‘Echo’ by Space360, Darko C, Darren Ashley & similarobjects, and ‘Sirens Lullaby’ by similarobjects and Nadia Reid.

Images Lisanne Schulze

source: SoundLab

As can be gleaned from the tracklist, similarobjects (né Jorge) is the one constant among all three. Wanting to get an understanding of what it was like to be within the same vicinity as a diverse selection of musicians for more than a week, we asked the hard-working Pinoy producer on the experience of working on each track.

‘Massaj’

Nope, the name isn’t in the native language of their respective countries – Philippines and Thailand – but instead an inside joke among the Lab’s participants (think its phonetic pronunciation). Jorge – an “r’n’b king,” as Benz aka Space360 would jokingly call him – explains that the succinct future r’n’b track isn’t quite what his ambient/IDM collaborator would have preferred as the end result, as he had imagined it to be something of a “dark ambient and bass music tune.” Regardless, Jorge says that he “loved the sort of tension and clash created by [their] artistic differences,” and Benz admits that the song became something more than just that in the end, stating that it’s all the sweeter due to Jorge – even if he frequently told him to “come to the dark side” during the residency.

‘Echo’

Originally conceived by Benz as a first concept before sharing it to Darren Ashley, Jorge, and Darko C for opinions, ‘Echo’ was then embellished by each of them with their respective specialties. Darren contributed more E piano chords, sounds from his Kaoss pads, and improvisational vocals; Darko added layers of E guitar chords; and finally, Jorge embossed the composition with glitches. “I had less involvement – Benz just wanted to get some ‘glitches’ from me, and being the glitch lover I am, I was so down to just throw down on his track,” he tells us. Describing it as “post-nuclear victory song of some sort,” ‘Echo’ is exactly the “dark ambient and bass music tune” that Benz initially had in mind when working on ‘Massaj’ with Jorge.

‘Sirens Lullaby’

While Jorge is uncertain whether ‘Sirens Lullaby’ sounds “incomplete,” mainly due to its rawness, folk artiste Nadia Reid’s vocals, which was recorded in a single take, the beat’s field recording, and its found-sound percussions (clocks, door creaks, pedal sounds) gel together in gentle ambience. “[T]o me [it] sounded very enchanting like a siren’s song, up until this day I still feel the soothing effect of this tune,” Jorge shares with us. With the jungle’s cicada sounds captured in the background, of which he tells us is of a different, more soothing frequency during night time, and Nadia’s candid cooing left untouched by his production, he likens the track to “some sort of countdown to dream land,” further elaborating that “it sounds like the song is wrapping itself around you, cradling you slowly into slumber [as] the clock slowly ticks.”

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