[dropcap]The[/dropcap] Chicago-based musician Surachai is responsible for a few of the most interesting releases in the past few years. Always dangerous, never predictable, he managed to deliver high quality records with a certain twist, and his new album Instinct and Memory, out on Friday, April 29th on Bl_k Noise, is no exception from that rule.
Hands down—Instinct and Memory is not easy to consume. It’s a demanding record that forced me to sit down actively and listen to it a few times. Surachai himself agrees on that—after not listening to the album for a few months, after it was finished, he was overwhelmed by the many things going on in the individual tracks. But it’s not just about the concept. Taking a look onto the sleeve and the added pictures, Instinct and Memory is a very sexual record.
“The process of creating a world where both music and visuals live is very important to me because you’re inviting listeners to immerse themselves into a world, much like a book. You give them the necessary details, and they fill in the rest themselves.”
“I made it a specific decision to integrate it completely with Instinct and Memory. I called upon strong, creative women to give a voice to female sexuality and to create a mystique around it and they nailed it”—leaning heavily onto the music that evoked these exact images in Surachai’s head.
The pencils utilized by him to realize his visions are predominantly modular, these barely–to–tame machines that Surgeon described as wild animals thrown into an equation. Especially the more experimental tracks that are resisting to be squeezed into a pattern are controlled by randomized voltages controlling various synthesizers challenge the listener—and are a very pleasurable product of the radical experimentalism defining Surachai’s work.
As a fan of music, in the first place, his records are always defined by the emotional connection he can establish to certain music, or frequencies. The mystery created by the music is also a part of the emotions he wants to trigger inside his listeners.
“Music I love rarely makes me think about the genre, origin, country or technology thats being used – the stuff I like penetrates me on an emotional level. It’s like when you’re watching a movie, you don’t want to see the boom mic, the 40 people off camera, the green screen – it breaks character, ruins the mystique/mood and you realize its just people doing their job – most music is like that for me because I know how its made and its going through a formula that I’ve been exposed to for too long.”
A very big role in acting out his radically experimental approach on music is the label he co-founded with Drumcell, Bl_k Noise, according to him a product of “control issues”, a creative outlet which allows the two artists to have their releases under control from the initial idea to its completion. “No one cares more about your stuff than you, right? The only album I released on another label is an album called To No Avail on the now defunct, Handshake, Inc. – it was a great experience because I had full control of everything and thats the only way I know how to work but there is something to be said about working for yourself and your immediate circle.”
Surachai’s 6th full-length release Instinct and Memory is out on April 29.