monolabo x PreciseHero

I never would’ve thought I’d be working on new PreciseHero material again, yet here we are & I’m happy to say that I’m working on it with my brother monolabo. He’s handling production and I’m handling rhymes. If you’ve ever read manga like Beck or Bakuman that feature hot-blooded youth, striving for their goals then you’d know that our story as middle-aged men with full-time jobs & home lives are a bit different than those manga, but still - come root for the underdogs & give a listen to our tunes that we put together in our spare time and on weekends. Hm, maybe our story is a less depressing version of The Legend of Black Heaven? In all seriousness though - I’m truly grateful to have creative partners like Kimi, Yuki, Adam, Caleb, & everyone else that ‘gets it‘, gives each other the creative space/freedom to be themselves, and comes together to make stuff. That’s truly where my passion lies. Everything else is bonus. We’re still recording songs and haven’t put a hard limit on how many we’ll do before we count the project as finished, but for now I’m just enjoying the ride. We may even have an opportunity to release these jams in some kind of round, physical format in the future. Wouldn’t that be neat?

Do you even lo-fi, bro?

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In this zany internet-world we operate in, terms get thrown around like ‘aesthetic’, ‘mood’, and ‘lo-fi’, but the meanings have shifted a bit. They’ve adopted more slang qualities than literal definitions. Hey teens, I see your lo-fi beats to study to and wonder, are these even lo-fi? They just sound like the jazzy hip-hop I’ve always listened to for the most part; maybe with more Nujabes or Uyama Hiroto influences, but not that different. I dig that too, but chill music doesn’t exactly mean lo-fi. When I think of lo-fi - i hear those early Wu-Tang Clan projects. I hear Guided By Voices. I hear Tobacco. I hear distortion, muffled sounds, hiss, odd pops, technically wrong mixing choices, etc. I don’t hear that analog feel or the d.i.y. vibe in modern lo-fi. Lo-Fi is pretty much just a tag or a brand these days to lend authenticity or conjure an idea in the listeners mind at this point. Not hatin’, just sayin’. Maybe it’s that the technology has evolved to the point where making true lo-fi is more work than it’s worth or it’s become an Instagram filter that you can slap on at will? Well, I like the old lo-fi (because I’m old) and want to bring that feeling to my works more prominently. The track above is the new single that Yuki & I created as Caramel Ship, but I ran it through my new handy-dandy tape recorder before exporting it back to my PC. As a first attempt, it has all of those ‘bad’ qualities that I love, but I think it could be refined further. I’m planning to experiment with exporting each track to tape before bouncing everything back for a final mix. To my ears - digital sounds better with some analog texture. Otherwise, it can sound a bit cold and clinical. On top of that, I just like to play around with the sound and sometimes mess it up to see what comes out of it.

Separate Science (SE x PH)

Since I’ve known Starling Electric, I’ve dug what they’ve done. We’d been talking for a while about working together and around 2013, we started working on a few ideas for songs for a potential Starling Electric x PreciseHero project under the name ‘Separate Science’. Not much music came about because we both were in odd places in our lives and sometimes things just don’t come together as we hope. We’re in different places now as people and as creators, but what’s most important is that we’re still good friends. That said, who knows what the future holds as far as us coming together to do an entire project, but there have been collaborations after this endeavor. For right now - you can listen to these tracks and hear the potential for what could’ve been or imagine how things would sound if our current selves gave it a solid go.