Mystical Sun Interview
October 18, 2008, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Interviews, Releases | Tags: , , ,

We recently caught up with Mystical Sun for a short interview to find out a little more about the amazing new release “Energy Mind Consciousness”…

“One of the best albums we have heard in a long time. Mystical Sun must have been in some deep meditative state when working on this project as it takes you way beyond the realms of normal musical stratospheres” – Fluid Radio U.K.

Q: Your first album “Deeperworlds” was a huge success and has been well received in the UK. What was your take on the the album and what was the thinking/process behind it’s creation?

A:  “Deeperworlds” is a travelogue of the first decade of Mystical Sun music, each song is from a different period with a different character and feeling.  During this period the Mystical Sun musical output was in the form of digital singles and limited edition CDs.  “Deeperworlds” brought the music from the period together into one album along with new and previously unreleased tracks.  It’s sort of a compilation album with a theme woven into the structure.

Q: We have now been graced by a brand new release called “Energy Mind Consciousness.” Can you tell us more about this new album.

A: With “Energy Mind Consciousness” Mystical Sun has decided to slow down the pace to counteract the presently frantic world around us.  When the world is over heated the music needs to be more cooling, therefore “Energy Mind Consciousness” is intended to be extremely laid back.

The slowed tempo has the effect of dilating the perception of time and inserting useful space into an otherwise compacted time period.  It finds new space within space to experience extra time.

“Energy Mind Consciousness” is an album release of related tracks that form a whole.  The cover has a thematic meaning in relationship to the music.  The music was completed and mastered July 2008 as the culmination 13 months of production.  “Energy Mind Consciousness” is intended to be a conceptual movie soundtrack.  “Protostar” is the first video and others will follow.

On the album there is live instrumentation in the form of guitars and electric sitars treated with shoegaze inspired effects.  The qualities from magnetic pickups add a lot of character and realness to the album.  The music as a whole hovers in a dropped down BPM that is similar to being very relaxed, sofa surfing.  The drums are prominent at the same time as being minimally arranged, intentionally laid back and each hit of the kit is unique, not looped and drenched in echoes.  The bass sounds are designed to be huge and modulated to support the upper structure of the songs.  The translucent pads and melodies are supported by a sub heavy sound wall underneath.  Any sound system with a subwofer speaker will get a whole extra level of experience from the music.  This album was mixed and mastered with subs in place.  Reverbs and echoes are also designed and engineered to invoke a sense of four dimensional space.  There are really subtle melodies in each song, sometimes only a sound or two, or notes coupled together will calls and answers.

The album has about three chapters and transitions in between amounting to eleven unique songs.  “Dune Oscillator” is a vast desert chiller with electric sitar and dub fx.  “Blue Lotus” is playful, melodic and deep.  “Departure” feels moody and shoegazey.  “Passage” and “Holographic Rain” are related to invisible landscapes.  “Protostar” is an epic galactic level electric sitar dub with transcendent synth voxes.  “Lava Tubes” is a tribal subsurface rhythm flowing in and out.  Transitioning “Incense” signals the beginning of an experience. “Dark Energy” and “Expansions” become cosmic twins in space.  “Sanctuarium” closes the album with warmth.

One has to have the perception of the space within the sounds to really understand this album.  That’s a literal statement, after you hear each note the echo space opens and interesting things happen.  If your mind is racing, multitasking, distracted and you’ll be moving too fast, the album will be almost invisible to you.  “Energy Mind Consciousness” is out of place and out of time, still here anyway.  Listen for what happens in between notes and everything comes into focus.

“Energy Mind Consciousness” is about texture, feeling and mood.  In some ways it is a return to Mystical Sun’s roots in ambient having pushed more into grooves on the last album.

Another production aspect is that instead of being loop based the compositions are linear.  This means that each song is different from the beginning through the end and doesn’t loop sections like most other music does.  It is like the songs take you on a path that goes somewhere, that where being up to you.  The songs charter unfamiliar structures and have their own logic about them.  After repeated listening they come together in the mind of the listener in a more coherent way.  One should understand that this music is non-repeating which means it takes longer to sink in.

The CD packaging is made from mostly recycled materials. No jewel case or extra plastics used to hold the CD in place.  It is more like a vinyl album sleeve presentation.  The cover is a vortexual mathematical formula that was rendered in software and then digitally composited into a montage of image processing and digital painting.

Full sized headphones or a super nice stereo system is suggested.  It’s designed for that.  A subwofer capable system is rewarded with subsonic throbbing sounds.  There is an LFO symphony going on in the bottom end of this album.  A planetarium is optimal for listening.

Q: What kind of studio equipment did you use for the project?

A:  The studio has always been centered around the Mac.  The sounds are mostly custom programmed and from a large sound library that has been compiled over the years.  Real instrument, mics, field recordings, digital and analog synths, software synths are mixed and mastered digitally.

Q: Did it take a long time to build up your studio kit and how much have you spent over the years?

A:  It’s been reduced over the years and replaced by the Mac.  Less need for gear now than in the past.  Raw parallel computing power can handle everything, this has bypassed the need for most the old kit.  Minimal gear means less obstacles and more time to understand the specific details of each item you are using.

Q: Any tips for someone just starting out with regards to building a home studio?

A: Monitors are incredibly important.  Without proper monitoring it is like painting in colour with black and white vision.  Get a subwofer for proper bass management.  Add gear only if there is no workaround for it.  Too much gear is a headache and won’t improve the music.  Focus on the skills and developing really good hearing.  Do a lot of EQing on everything and learn what the frequencies are all about.  Study what dynamic range is all about.  Don’t rely on loops because everyone has the same loops.  Make your own stuff.  Try new things that don’t make sense.

Q: Plans for the future?

A: Currently working on completing videos for the new album.  Then next year will start work on a new album.  The follow up album will be different than “Energy Mind Consciousness.” The goal is to make albums that are related yet very different from each other.
Basically Mystical Sun is a fluid project, each album will have a different character.


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