Shuya Onuki stands tall against the emerging existential, humane abyss with the invocation of The Sleeper. This release opens the gates of KR3 Records for the producer’s debut, synchronizing their views regarding electronic music: relentless, raw, and mental. From this creation we chose Spectral Norm for a premiere. A track that is more like a spell of whirling percussion that sparks those purifying bassline flames, which, in turn, capitalize on an ever-growing sense of disruption with their wholly demanding presence. On top of that, revolving echoes tighten the grip around the listener while gaining strength from the front-lining looping patterns. Flashing, strobing bangs create fractures that enhance the composition’s aim to inject a mental haze and make a distress call to neural ignition.
The upcoming EP from your solo project is The Sleeper. How does this word make you feel, and how it stood as an inspiration for your tracks and overall production?
The word The Sleeper means that I sometimes feel as if there are several conscious beings living inside me. It can be very cyclical or random. When I come across such situations I always surprise myself. Like I used to hate carrots, but now I like them, that kind of thing. I call them The Sleeper. It could be considered a latent capacity. If influenced by someone other than myself, that could be preconscious. Ideas often fall into place when I get into these situations. I often play an instrument then. The Sleeper is my imagination, my inquisitive mind and thinking about the moment.
What are you exploring through those compositions, and which thoughts are you trying to combine?
First of all, for most of tracks on the EP, I came up with the phrases and chords on the guitar, except An Shou and A Dream Within A Dream. In my case, I feel that this way it sounds more passionate, instead of touching a synthesizer and create a melody. From there, I dropped it into the synthesizer, recorded it and built up the sound. It is really fun doing this process and get unexpected results thanks to the flexibility of the synthesizer sound. Then, I listened to it again and again and thought about the structure. Sometimes there was nothing left of the original part. The process was repeated so many times that what was being explored changed from day to day. So, it is difficult to describe what I have explored, but I can say one thing. It’s like melting into the sound and becoming one vibration. I always wanted to create sounds like that.
The premiere is from the track Spectral Norm. Would you like to describe it, from the original idea to the production process and how it connects with the rest?
Spectral Norm also started with the guitar. It’s a phrase I thought might be good when I was playing it on my fingernails without thinking. I feel a sense of inevitability when I think this phrase is good, regardless of the instrument. The melody and chords were good in process, but it was just an ordinary track that could have been written anywhere. So, I deliberately put a lot of comp on the feedback to make it sound like it was going to swallow you up. Basically, I don’t want to put comp on the sound so much, but trying that has produced some good results to make it different. And this was a new experiment for me. Also, I decided to Autopan the hi-hat so that when the DJ mixes, they can also enjoy the mix in the hi-hat position. I think I started talking with Dani (KR3 records Boss) more after this track and I was really happy with his feedback after he listened to Spectral Norm. I was also glad that he spoke purely about sound. This song was the beginning of The Sleeper EP and I feel like this was the guiding light for it.
Which parts of your personality have you enclosed within the EP, and how are they affecting you? Or was it more like bringing something out while working on it?
I never think about personality when I create sounds. But I think the personality shows in the sound. I hope so. And yes different and better ideas come down to me while I’m working on it, and good for changes I think. I see that as growth.
What makes this release special, and where does it take you from now on?
I don’t understand it well, but of course for me everything about this work is special. This is my first vinyl release as a solo project. I moved to Berlin to understand more about techno and electronic music. It meant so, so, so much to me. If this question is asking if the sound of this work is special, I think it should be decided by the listener. From now on… I will create a sound without rules. I recently came up with a new sound structure! I’d like to give that a try. I want to do a gig. Whether it’s composing or gig, I want to keep creating my own groove. Pleasurable and exciting sounds. Thank you for all the questions.
The EP is available on vinyl and digital format via KR3 Records Bandcamp.