Troy Pierce and Gibby Miller are blurring the lines between their respective influences on this week's RA podcast.
You might not think that a hardcore punk vocalist and minimal techno producer would be the likeliest of studio bedfellows, but Troy Pierce and Gibby Miller have forged quite the partnership with their Louderbach project. Marrying Minus man Pierce's tenebrous take on techno with Miller's gothic vocals, the duo have created an electronic pop synergy that isn't afraid to get deep and dark both musically and lyrically. Miller's began his musical career in the late '90s as vocalist in Boston-based punk band The Trouble, but the turn of the century saw him become inaugurated into the techno scene after meeting up with Troy Pierce in New York. The two struck up a friendship and have been collaborating ever since, birthing the first fruits of their collective labour on a split release for Mo's Ferry Productions.
After more collaborations with Marc Houle, Guido Schneider and Sammy Dee, Miller was formally welcomed into the Louderbach fold, and the pair set to work on what would become their debut album. Entitled Enemy Love, the record seemed to be a continuation of Pierce's previous nocturnal minimal techno outings on Underl_ne and Minus, but this year's Autumn LP is a very different beast. Miller's love of EBM, new wave and minimal synth music are clearer than ever, whilst Pierce's has found new directions to channel his love of menacing electronic sounds. This week's RA podcast sees Pierce and Miller select the pieces of music that have heavily influenced each of them, before merging them into a single genre-defying whole that represents the ingredients that make the Louderbach sound. We caught up with both members by e-mail to ask about the mix, the decision to release on Minus, and their recent video competition.
What have you been working on recently?
Troy Pierce: I have been in London a lot over the past few weeks working with my girlfriend on the sound design for an installation she is doing for her degree show. (She graduates from Central St. Martins in June.) I am also trying to finish a number of remixes at the moment: a Function remix for Sandwell District, one for my New York friend Mike Bryant's Intrinsic Design label, one for the Swayzak guys and a Louderbach cover of a Passarella Death Squad track. All of them are in various states of completion.
Gibby Miller: Working on my label, Dais Records. It's mostly experimental sounds; ambient, folk, archival, avant-garde etc... I'm also working on some new Louderbach remixes which are coming this summer.
How and where was the mix recorded?
GM: I submitted about 100 tracks to Troy for this project, and we communicated back and forth a bit about order and flow, but he did all the hard work (creating it!) and it was done in Berlin.
Can you tell us a little bit about the mix?
TP: I was in Los Angeles in January visiting Gibby, and we did a DJ gig together at this goth party there. Gibby was playing more punk/new wave/goth stuff and I played sort of dark slower techno and it worked really well together. So from that, I sort of proposed the idea that he send me one hundred tracks, his root influences—whatever you want to call them—and I would get one hundred together and try to create this snapshot of Louderbach and where we come from musically. It was really fun to do, but a lot of tedious work warping all of the tracks to make sure they would go together and could be mixed in Ableton. Musically it's all over the place with experimental tracks from William Basinski, then spaced out '70s weirdness from Silver Apples into dark techno from Jake Fairley. But there is a common thread: this murky melancholy that is running through all 35 of the tracks that brought us together and helped us to create Louderbach.
What was the weirdest submission you received for the "Shine" video contest?
TP: There were definitely a few that left us scratching our heads, but the ones I found the strangest were ones that weren't finished. Like no audio and two minutes long, as if we were supposed to fill in the blanks or something.
GM: We got some very unique submissions... I'm proud to say that all of them were amazing and all of them were weird! We wouldn't have it any other way!
Why did you decide to release the new record on Minus, instead of Underline?
GM: We stopped working with Underline soon after Enemy Love was released, best described as personal difference...
TP: At that point I thought the project was over, I never imagined that Rich would be into releasing a record like this. I am really thankful for his openness.
What are you up to next?
GM: Working hard on the label, Louderbach, music, writing, etc...
TP: Well, I obviously need to get my ass in gear on those remixes! Apart from that, I want to learn how to play an instrument or two. My girlfriend got me a cello for Christmas and I picked up a bass guitar in Los Angeles, so those are on the top of my to-do list. I have been making some really, really slow tracks lately, 80 BPM max. I quite like them actually, so who knows what will happen with them. Do some more projects with my girlfriend, she's amazing... Stay busy and have fun.
The Acid Didj - 4 - Telepathic Recordings
Stars Of The Lid - 13 Piano Aquieu - Kranky
Andrew Thomas - Hushhh - Kompakt
Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs To Make Music To - Father Yod
Cluster - Marzipan - Brain
DJ Dove - Feel The Sun - Narcotic Records
Plastikman - Contain - M_nus
Der Zyklus - Formenverwandler - Frustrated Funk
Acidrain - Floatin - Stadtgruen
Phuture - Jiggerwatts - Public
Plastikman - Plastiscene - novamute
I.A. Bericochea - R7 - M_nus
Losoul - Open Door - Playhouse
Section 25 - New Horizon - Factory
Jack Master - Manic Danser - Jack
Ø - Helium - Säkhö Recordings
Kotai & Mo - Boys In The Backstreet - Elektro Music Department
Peter F. Spiess - Malfunction - Klang Elektronik
Silver Apples - Lovefingers - Kapp Records
Higher Intelligence Agency - Selinite - Warp Records
Drexciya - 700 Million Light Years From Earth - Clone Records
Jake Fairley - In Stitches - Sender Records
Psychic TV - New Sexuality - Temple Records
Konrad Black - Separation Anxiety - 240 Volts
Bauhaus - Of Lillies And Remains - Nippon Columbia
Baby Ford - Normal - Rephlex
Monojunk - Mindwander - Dum Records
The Cure - All Cats Are Grey - Polydor
Round Four - Found A Way - Main Street Records
Stephan Laubner - Portside Waves - Perlon
Arthur Russell - Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun - Rough Trade
William Basinski - Melancholia 1 - 2062