Welcome to 2020k’s third official edition of Infrasound: A word used to describe frequencies underneath the human hearing range. In this way, we hope to bring under the radar, unsigned, and independent music to your attention to get word out about those works of art that are needed to be heard among a larger group of people.
On October 18th, 2011 California based Electronic musician Carl Madison Burgin, better known by the pseudonym Sahy Uhns released a exceptionally personal and musically complex debut album, An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings. Elements of Hip-Hop create the basis of an lavish and Electronically fundamental disc, fueled by field recordings, manipulated recordings & samples, that bring together a musically generative and genuinely emotional infusion of inspirations that weave together an extraordinary sound that could sit well when mixed in conjunction to any artist on Warp Records.
The Proximal Records (which Uhns co-founded) released album is a joy because of it’s unique approach to song structure. There isn’t any time during a track where one element is the most important key, but it’s an infestation of harmonics, melodies, heavy rhythmic composition, and subtle but effective mixing techniques that bring together each piece as a whole, providing each track as an ever evolving mixture of greatness. “War Song” (YouTube Stream) begins using several well placed rhythmic instrumentation that quickly starts distorting at the start of the song before collapsing upon heavily compressed low-end & punchy kick sounds. It does a fine job at morphing through every few measures or so, showing interest in becoming more aggressive before settling down to a comfort feeling of using broken-sounding in thought but beautiful synthesizers and construction that Warp artist Clark included on the majority of his Body Riddle album. It’s a track that shows an electronic battle – the aggressive, the soft, the emotional, the hard times: it’s the most triumphant metamorphosed song on the record , but hardly the only track worth checking out.
“Montebello Postpartum,” the opening track on Underlings starts off almost a fourth of the track with layered field recordings before breaking off into a Toro y Moi–esque, abstractly Hip-Hopped, but chilled articulation of ever-changing programmed percussion, melodic breaks, and at time, time stretched sounds upon a catching sounding whistle synthesizer.
Checking out Sahy perform these tracks live sounds like an awe-inspiring experience as well. Ableton Live is used as the main software program for the productions, using Reaktor as a VST within the program. Uhns also built his own custom instrument called The Castro, equipped with 8 touch faders and 16 buttons. A press release sent to us explains, “Within Sahy Uhns’ custom Reaktor patch there’s a granular engine where he can do realtime time and pitch manipulation, Karplus-Strong physical modeling, and many other methods of manipulating the sound. The Reaktor patch also utilizes generative components which allows for a part of his set to be different every time.” An un-quantized Akai MPD is also utilized for performances, and isn’t quantized so Uhns has the ability to mess up. An extremely humanistic and honest Electronic performance? Count 2020k in!
Uhn’s album and music isn’t only exceptionally amazing because of it’s musical factor, but the overall presentation of the product, which comes housed in a gorgeous 5×5 hardcover mini-booklet. It contains an opening paragraph explaining the Californian influence on Sahy’s image and sound; the success with failure, abandoned shacks compared to the vast cityscape Los Angeles is known for, are all cited as the motivation behind the record. “Each piece was written about isolated incidents” the page on sound begins, “relationships, my choices, and the choices of those in my life, bookended with the celebration of the new life Ian Gael, and mourning the loss of my friend, Steve Pitts. The music was created with the goal of helping me find my scars.”
The musical scars of The Intolerant Disdain Of Underlings are heard loud and clear on Sahy Uhn’s album and not one lyric or vocal needs to be present to be felt. It’s a musical exploration of an artist’s ever-transforming life and a sonic autobiography worth taking the time out to purchase and attach ones self to.
How about you check out the music video for “Montebello Postpartum” below and snag a free remix of the song by Tenterhook here. For more on Sahy Uhns, check out his official website, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and be sure to bookmark 2020k as we’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the happenings of this exquisite artist!
A personal message from Sahy states, “The video imagines a future memory of a mother and interprets how that day was perceived through the eyes of her child. It begins in the early morning, a time of peace preceding the chaos of the rest of the mother’s day. Throughout the video, the point of view switches between first-person accounts of the memory from the perspective of the mother and the child and my own reflection on their relationship. The middle section of the video attempts to depict the kind of over-saturation of information and concepts that a child is flooded with and how it must feel to make sense of them. An inundation of images that super-impose and intersect, revealing their similarities and differences, becomes a visualization of the child’s analytical process. The closing segment of the video takes us back to the perspective of the mother, watching her child until his image is the last thing she sees as she fades into sleep.
The video was shot using an iPhone and Sony Digital8 Handycam. Much of the footage was then transferred to VHS tape and then digitized. The video was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. I decided to shoot portions on Digital8 and transfer to VHS because those are the mediums for me that represent nostalgia – I even used the same Digital8 camera I filmed with growing up. Other portions of the video were shot on an iPhone because I imagine that the camera phone is a format that will become nostalgic for the young boy depicted in the video.”