Producer Jeremiah Chiu uses Vintage Synth Museum to create album in two days
Jeremiah Chiu’s album, In Electric Time, was made using 23 different synths
Electronic composer and producer Jeremiah Chiu has announced an album that was made in the space of just two days at The Vintage Synth Museum in LA.
The album, In Electric Time, is set to be released on 29 September 2023 via record label International Anthem. It was created on 29/30 June and features 12 tracks created by Chiu, with additions by engineer Ben Lumsdaine. Cooper Crain (of Bitchin Bajas) also makes an appearance on the album. You can listen to the first single from the album below:
The album was solely recorded via analogue by Lumsdaine at the Vintage Synth Museum, an interactive museum and electronic music recording studio in LA’s Highland Park.
According to a press release, Chiu worked with lots of vintage gear, finding unique sweet spots for melodies and rhythms and maintaining a raw, spontaneous feeling by improvisatory editing.
The, frankly, insane number of synths used include an Elka Synthex, EML Electrocomp 101, EMS Vocoder 2000, Gleeman Pentaphonic, Oberheim 4-Voice, several Korg synths [Mono/Poly, MS10, MS20, MS50, PS3100, Trident MKII], Maestro Rhythm King, Roland synths [CR-8000, Juno– 60, Jupiter–6, Jupiter–8, JX–3P, RE–301 Space Echo, RS–505, SH–101, TR–606, TR–808], and the Serge Modular I.
On the project, Chiu says, “The approach to the improvisations was to embrace the mixer setups at VSM — where a section of synthesizers are all routed to a single mixer/patchbay — and to start at one end of the studio and work our way around the six different sections. I began with the synths I was most familiar with — or had spent years researching — and was fairly certain I could reign in quickly.
“When working with vintage gear, there’s always a sweet spot where the instrument sings in a unique way. This may be the idiosyncrasies of its filter and how it resonates, the action of the keys, the ability to trigger and use control voltage to sequence, or the unique onboard features. I love finding the moments where a melody or rhythm appears in an unexpected way — at times feeling more like archaeology than sculpture.
“I was quite improvisatory with the editing as well, often pulling bits from distinctly different sections in dialogue with each other, in order to maintain the raw, spontaneous feeling. I loved hearing moments in the recordings when Ben started or stopped tape, so a take that was running long and beyond its moment would hit directly against a fresh idea.”
Vintage Synth Museum’s founder and curator, Lance Hill, says on the album: “Jeremiah arrived before the engineer showed up. We talked for maybe 5 minutes before he started programming a sound and sequence into the Gleeman Pentaphonic. By the time the engineer showed up, Jeremiah had built several other parts around the Gleeman that weren’t synced by any control method but sounded like they were just calling and responding to each other. They plugged the Tascam 388 into the patch bay, and hit record. Jeremiah played with it, and that was it. First piece written and recorded in under an hour. It felt natural, fun and free. And that’s pretty much how the rest of the session went. Constant ecstatic motion. It was the funnest non-hip-hop session I’ve ever worked on.”
Pre-order In Electric Time via International Anthem’s Bandcamp.
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