i previously wrote about working with bryin dall in general terms. now that the new album is finished, it's easier for me to see the subtle but ultimately huge effect he had on the music.
bryin is always quick to point out that dream into dust is my project, and downplays his own input. however, he adds his own sound and brings objectivity to the process. we've worked together for years on many different projects, our tastes overlap, and we influence each other to a degree, but we come from different backgrounds and points of view. it keeps things interesting.
the most obvious effect of bryin's presence on the album is the guitar feedback. he's a master of this, whether using multiple effect pedals or just overloading the natural sound of one of his vintage tube amps. at times he will also use his infamous technique of playing with a machete. people may be surprised to know this isn't just onstage showmanship, but done for good sonic effect. with it, he creates noises that sound as if they're slicing through the speakers. at other times, his distortion shrieks, divebombs, or sputters.
a less obvious, but still very audible contribution is all the other strange sounds he makes with his guitar that don't sound like guitar. again, he creates these live in the rehearsal room - there's very little studio effect processing on his sounds, other than at times to add a stereo effect or a bit of echo to make it fit in the mix better.
another of bryin's influences on the new album is his love of old analog synthesizers. i'd always been fascinated by them, but only owned a few over the years (gearheads and synth geeks, read this previous post for more details). bryin had them in his arsenal long before it became hip, and could do things with some of them equivalent to his guitar noisemaking. at times he combined the two by using a guitar synthesizer, where a guitar controls and mixes with a synth to create tones neither could get alone. besides that, i got to play with his synthetic arsenal myself and ended up picking up some of my own along the way.
on "counterfeit", as well as the title track, "so beautiful and so dangerous," bryin got to exercise one of his other talents: overprocessing rhythm tracks. he takes drum loops and runs them through a variety of destructive computer effects, with little regard for "proper engineering", until we end up with a dizzying array of choices. sometimes i would then chop up the results into beats with even less resemblance to the original source. they're then reassembled to fit the song, and accented with additional individual drum hits.
he also helped clarify my voice on some songs through similar unorthodox processing methods. as a result, it's the loudest and clearest on any DID release, even when the surrounding music is intentionally overwhelming.
very often as i worked on a mix, he'd sit back, a few feet away, listening objectively, making suggestions, or jumping in and fixing a problem. his very presence is motivating, and his willingness to sit there for hours a night over the course of several years makes me extremely grateful.
to hear bryin's incredible noises, check out the album trailer video. preorder before march 29.