The Unicorn Princess Royally Reviews ‘[rr009] demi batard’ by Rhythmus Records

- Posted October 21st, 2015 by

Happy Wednesday, folks!

This month, I wanted to shed some light on a local record label, Rhythmus Records, and their newest release ‘[rr009], featuring music by artist Demi Batard. Rhythmus Records was created by Scott Buchanan, also known as Radio Scotvoid. Scott is the perfect person to have run a label focusing solely on lo-fi music, as his own releases showcase his dedication to synthesis and chip. I’ve been working with Rhythmus Records since last year, and have a lot of love for the label. I’ve been able to find a lot of unique artists through it, and believe it’s essential to bring attention to local labels and scenes.  I know RR was very excited about Demi Batard’s release, and given that there isn’t much music quite like his, I think you should be, too.

a1412068943_16Cover art by Ritzy Sheens

Demi Batard is an artist in Portland, Oregon, and has brought his own unique twist to dnb, featuring memorable chip melodies, and intense sound design. [rr009] showcases really intricate music that displays some really heavy beats, with memorable melodies (if you haven’t been able to tell, melodies are what draw me to music most, so this wins) and sound design to compliment. To me, if I can hum back a melody and if it pops into my head later in the day, then the composer wins (which is exactly what’s happened to me since listening to this EP). I always feel drawn to music in the chip realm that has great post production work on it. There is so much life that’s created during this segment of time, and while I have a ton of love for note trackers, editing audio and messing with effects after wards in the DAW world can really bring new perspectives to music. To me, sound design can be just as important as composition, because there are certain times when certain instruments or sounds just fit better than others and keeps a song going strongly. Demi Batard displays all of this here, and part of what makes this EP so strong to me is that I just kept rewinding to replay segments of intense audio collages and kept thinking how in depth everything sounded.

The release begins with ‘escape from ganymede’, which gradually brings in the main melody (which is still stuck in my head — notes begin with tremolo, and then a call and response lead), with just a kick underneath it, slowly complimenting the notes stacked above it. At :41, when the dnb style breakbeat hits, we’re shot into a new world of  sounds (2:56 = ♥… those water notes that jump down are really beautiful to me), insane editing filled with noise, vocal sounding samples, filters, and then we’re back to our main melody. My favorite part of the track was probably at 3:47, when the filter sweeps through the noise, and the melody is brought back in and totally unaffected by the filter- it brings out the importance of the theme once again and really just made everything stand out.

My favorite track off the release is ‘pulsar radiation’, which starts off with higher bitcrushed percussion and bass, and gradually becomes more intense with chip sweeps. The usage of awesome panning, and then a beautiful melody with the perfect amount of attack comes in, shows how much control Demi Batard had over his production. Everything seems to be created with a certain producer mindset, which brought more character to the EP. I have major appreciation for artists who display tons of different techniques with an instrument. This release is so different than anything I’ve ever heard within the scene and I had a ton of fun listening to how much each track changed but always stuck to its main theme. It’s really tricky to find your voice as a producer. There are absolutely times where everyone isn’t quite sure what direction you want to take yourself in, and it might even take a few releases to finally feel like you’ve landed a project that sounds exactly how you want it to. Although no two tracks sounded the same, I really feel like Demi Batard has found his voice, especially given how special this project is. I’m all for different genres that display chip and sound design.

The label put on an all-day event in August, featuring local artists at the Willows in Salem, MA, giving artists a chance to showcase live performances and promote releases.  Since creation, RR has had nine releases. The previous eight featuring individual artists’ work, and the first showcasing a compilation of work featuring each artist.

I hope everyone keeps an eye on both Demi Batard and Rhythmus Records. It’s refreshing to hear such a different release and I’m personally really excited to hear more. RR has been actively sharing digital and cassette releases, and while I mentioned it being a local label, it’s been reaching out to artists from all over, and I feel adds a sense of community to artists and listeners from all over. I’m not sure if Demi Batard is working on another release at the moment, but I certainly hope to hear something as gorgeous as this one next.

Till next time,
The Unicorn Princess

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