Second Square To None

Gland&Conduit - Anal Duct Nodding by SSTN Noise

Gland & Conduit are a duo made up of 2 producers: Herv and Meljoann, who normally make ravey breakcore and R & B respectively when not working on this project. The two have also recently worked together on a much different album project which can be found here on The Centrifuge website. The track included in this weeks Noise Series is taken from their forthcoming album on SSTN (about which more information will be jettisoned soon).

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how you arrived at this


Meljoann: Wanted to work intuitively with open structures and dense, intense
texture. Noise can express more abstract musical ideas, as opposed to
necessarily dividing your initial, almost kinaesthetic musical impulse into
familiar time and pitch spacings. I like the idea of spectrum shaping: tracks
rough-hewn from wide-spectrum noisy sources. Noise can be transformative. It
affects changes in consciousness, especially those relating to physical
awareness. Sustained tones and tone clusters have a brain-cleaning effect.

Herv: We had a conversation about this recently and that idea of "open
structures" arose: its so liberating, just switching on the machines and
letting them drift for a while. The music we both compose individually is very
heavily structured and tightly clocked and this project lets us escape that.
Theres no demand to stick to any specific template either: we can make huge
rhythmic and textural jumps in the middle of a track if we wish. For me thats
particularly fun. My own music changes a lot over the course of a given piece
but I'm always wary of going too far off-road. Now I can just drive the entire
way in the ditch. :)

What sort of environment it is intended for /what is the intended effect on
listener (if any)?

Meljoann: Some of it is danceable. Mostly it's intended for close listening,
although its melodic elements will provide resting places for the ear. I think
it also works as a sleep/meditation//trip aid. It gave us visions of an
off-world mining colony, which is why the album's called 'Ore'.

Herv: Close listening definitely. Although I've just been waxing lyrical about
the benefits of improvising, we do also spend a great deal of time creating
additional flutters and hits and the like which are processed and very
carefully placed within and around the raw improvisations. This anchors
it a bit, the transitions can still be completely mental but the seams disappear
and it doesn't seem so much like a hatchet job.

What sort of equipment you use (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear,
circuit bent stuff etc.) do you use to make your sounds?

Includes Jeskola Buzz, Pro Tools, Max/MSP, Reaktor, Nord Micro Modular, Waldorf
Blofeld, Arturia ARP2600, and field recordings.

Any memorable noise-related incidents/interesting gig anecdotes?

Meljoann: There's a mixture of pride and shame about this, but we once
nearly cleared the room at the Twisted Pepper. [Incidentally at a Second Square to None gig...-ed.] Not at all into the macho 'ears-bleeding' kind of approach, because we're producers and actual hearing damage would make it difficult to mix and master with any subtlety. However, admittedly our interest in sonic intensity can make our stuff difficult to
listen to at high volumes. We'd like to get it to a sensible volume live,
ideally it'd be compatible with a pipe and slippers sort of crowd.

Herv: We were the first act to ever play on the new system there, or so we've
been told! We make music at very low volumes both individually and together as
both our respective studios are in shared housing and that can often have an
impact on how things sound once we get to play them out. Also, we have
similarly shaped ears which I think (although this might be nonsense) has
affected our sound in more ways than one. We both have a penchant for slightly
toppy music - Mel's comes from decades of devouring obscure R&B and mine
comes from the fact that I've practically burnt my ears out from blasting the
old high-velocity drum shrapnel at them on rubbish headphones for years. I'm
very sensitive, the siren from an ambulance practically has me in tears so I'm
a firm advocate of the "sensible volume" idea also. More sitting on floors
playing through computer speakers to audiences of five people as well. :)

Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.
- 29 May: Acid Futures Party, Berlin
- 'Ore', debut album, due for release June/July 2010 on Second Square to None

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