This edition of Beautiful Decay uncovers the work of a highly experimental electronic producer whose unpredictable yet emotive music has caught our eyes for a long time. Previously known as Arakhronae, DuermeDuerme started making a name for himself in the past couple of years through highly experimental and soothing scores released independently, and through City by Night Records & Future Astronauts and a guest mix with MethlabRadio. Along with the name switch came a new record entitled ‘A Collection of Insecurities’, appearing to be a conceptual collection of sketches / short tracks. The format that this article will take is that a supposed idea for the album is hypothesised n later correlated to DuermeDuerme’s own interpretation.
The album kicks in with ‘Toy Crown’, echoing a distant childhood memory as witnessed through a near-death experience flashback, leading into the aptly titled Absence’n’Breaks, which forms melody from non-existing space between seemingly irregular glitches and makes insanely good use of the Amen Break. The format of barely crossing over the two minute mark is carried on into ‘Underneath.[WLDFLWR]’ which makes freestyle jazz seem like kindergarten boys choir; then it’s ‘Neptune Estate’ featuring Oneira which eerily makes almost no real sense, sounding like Bjork’s sleep paralysis experience. Marching on into the ‘Drive In Theater’, the grooves still only make sense to a handful of genius experimentalists, however the following track, ‘Orquesta Notturna’ is probably the most understandable track on the album so far; the format is highly broken, foley is plenty, chops are Kitana sharp, ghosts are around. The experimental spirit haunts the following sketch ‘HiddenHidden’ and the following ‘Helpless Interlude’ which perhaps precisely doesn’t seem any more interlude-ish than the other sketches. ‘MAPS’ is Jack-Nickelson-in-Shining mad but keeps grace in its fury, while ‘Teen Angst’ portrays the immature playfulness of the song title’s meaning. ‘Orchid Girl’ is probably the softest crazy on this bunch, liberating the listener from macho-angular fidgety composition into an ambient yet cloudy moment, before kicking the melancholy back with ‘UPTLK’ & ‘UPTLK Pt.II’ featuring Alaskan Tapes. Final track ‘Explore’ creates some sort of closure from the indescribable experience throughout this album; making the ambiance for curtains being dropped by way past post-mortem ghosts in a dusty deserted cinema hall.
Having inspected every song on the album, the title of ‘A Collection of Insecurities’ makes quite a lot of sense. The main binding concept behind the songs is the erratic sonic behaviour and vicissitudinous polypolar melancholy it unfolds. It all remains very human however. It’s difficult to get but it is relatable madness. It has to be said that musically, this collection of sketches are incredibly designed. Almost every single groove on the album is unique and unpredictable and the mixing is top notch. As far as conceptual sound design goes, this is flagbearer stuff, but as far as conceptual albums go, it can do with more direction. Given that a collection of insecurities don’t necessarily come with a chronology, the lack of direction can even be adding to the charm. Either way, this is perfect enough insight to take this review on to an interview state and find out more about the album.
Q. First things first, I really liked the title Arakhronae… what prompted the name change and what is DuermeDuerme?
A. I decided I wanted to quit working as Arakhronae earlier this year, just a couple of months after the release of the “Sketches” EP. At that point I felt like the initial goals behind the project were already fulfilled and there was no need for me to keep developing those ideas as that’d have been dishonest. I had also grown a bit tired of just making dark-ish music and I knew I wanted to start fresh. The idea was for me to do something way more experimental, but also personal so it’d need to have a human feel to it (You got that part right hahaha). DuermeDuerme literally means “SleepSleep” in spanish, I thought It was appropriate as most of my music has something to do with subconsciousness, dreams and fantasies. I’m aware by itself it’s quite a stupid sounding name but I guess It’ll ring better or worse depending on whether or not you enjoy the music.
Q. Obviously, you spent a lot of time putting these sketches together… how many sounds would you say were used in the making?
A. Well, actually not that many! I had quite a minimalistic approach when choosing the palette of sounds for each track. However, I did a lot of edits on each one of them, making the original audio evolve into something completely different… kind of like a lot of ramifications coming from the same source, I feel like that’s what makes the whole thing blend so nicely, creating more texture. I really like that feel of not knowing when one sound starts and when it ends.
Q. Beyond what is described above, is there a theme that ties the track listing structure together?
A. No, there’s no linear progression as that’s something I’m not good at working with. The whole album is a compilation of tracks with similar ideas and themes, but each one being kinda like it’s own contained story. The only exception is “Toy Crown”, that’s the first track I made for the LP and it started that mentality in me of wanting to do something more personal. I always knew I wanted to keep that one for the intro.
Q. What’s the deal with some of these track names? ‘Orquesta Notturna’, ‘Neptune Estate’, ‘Drive In Theatre’, ‘MAPS’, etc.
A. I draw most of my inspiration from illustrations, it’s just impossible for me to start something if I dont have a picture in mind that represents the music, so most of the times I’d just go with whatever’s the name of the original art piece, or my description of it. There are a couple of exceptions of course, I made “Neptune Estate” on a week where all I’d listen to was King Krule, I even copied a couple of chords from that track. “UPTLK_” was inspired by Kimmy Walter’s poetry book, that’s where the name comes from.
Q. What brings you to make music that is this experimental? What’s the ambition behind it?
A. It’s mainly just a way to satisfy my creative needs, just like drawing. I just think It’s fun the way music allows us to create worlds in a really different manner than visual art does; it can be way more abstract and ambiguous, specially when you dont have lyrics. The thing is, somehow, your ideas still come through, and it always makes me really happy when someone can see what I’m trying to say with every track. There’d be no drive for me to create music if I felt like what I was trying to do was already out there.
Q. What more can we expect from you in the months to come?
A. I have an EP in mind with just a couple of tracks, longer compositions and a bit more mature, but it’s still too early to tell if I’ll be able to do that. I want to take some more time to develop my sound and make sure the next thing I put out is worth the listen, that’s how it always goes. Just to finish things off I wanted to say I’m thankful for being offered this opportunity to have this small section on your blog 🙂
Thanks for your time!