Setaoc Mass has just dropped a new eight-track EP ‘Neo-Noir’ on Berlin’s SK_eleven label. ‘Neo-Noir’ is an accomplished collection of uncompromising techno and electro. We got him to talk us through the tracks.
Setaoc Mass: A lot of the productions in this EP are using the culture vulture Universal Audio Plugin, this is present throughout the tracks, this tube distortion has been my “go-to” since I got the UAD Apollo 8 soundcard. As well as this I used my Prophet Rev2 for most of the pads, as heard in the B2&D2 broken electro/experimental tracks.
Also, in ‘Moon Lit Eyes”, the beginning synth noises come from a recording of the Prophet Rev2 automated and manipulated with the Fabfilter Timeless Delay. This delay is one of my favourites such a cool bit of kit, especially when re-recording the automation and layering this over the original sound.
The whole EP is in the feeling as the title states “Neo-Noir” it’s meant to be a shadowy feeling towards a darker place, something that’s slightly nostalgic but also futuristic. I’m totally in love with old Neo Noir films, as I feel like they resonate with me the most, but then I also love futuristic notions. So, the whole idea is that this fits somewhere in between past and present.
Inferno is the A1 on this release for obvious reasons, it’s a big bleepy warehouse stomper, hopefully it will stand the test of time post-corona. The basis is all around the huge kick, as well as the off-kilter percussion which starts off the track. Most of the other sounds use samples for the bleeps which I originally recorded inside the U-he plugin Zebra2.
This track is basically layers on layers of gritty bass sounds pitched up, I’m often fucking around with random bits of audio after recording it from some pieces of hardware I own, so this is around 4 separate layers running at various different polyrhythms which adds into the groove.
For me, this track is all about the siren noises. Actually, I became obsessed with a track by Max Duley called ‘Raw‘ and wanted to make a more modern twist with my own character.
Moon Lit Eyes
My favourite track off the EP, hands down. I made this and then did nothing else except listen to it morning noon and night, how narcissistic of me. But sometimes I can’t help but just listen over and over. I made this at a time when I was feeling pretty emotional about life and things surrounding me. It all came together so well, the main dub chords are actually a sample which is ran through some delays, and then with some breaks over the top. The piano noises are as always coming out of the Prophet Rev2.
Don’t Come and Find Me
This was kind of inspired by a hero also, Mr Luke Slater, something from one of his older 90’s tracks, this “mouthy” kind of glitch which runs throughout. I wanted to make this nice and simple with crisp highs and big lows. The chord which runs throughout was made in Massive.
The Trip Commander (Drum Track)
As the name states it’s a functional drum track using mainly percussion samples to keep that groove rolling with washes of white noise also from massive.
Driving In Circles
The synths in this I remember were all coming out of Reaktor Blocks, resampled and sequenced. It’s made to be simple and effective, when I hoped that life would be back to normal after corona and we would be back on dancefloors; seems unlikely this is happening now.
The final electro cut on the EP, this one was a hard one to finish as there’s a lot of different tones and timbres happening, it’s spacey yet cutting. The hardest part was to manipulate the LFO’d bass sound so that it was all in time – the automation in this one went a bit crazy. I used the KV331 Synth master for this part, it’s a strong synth with endless possibilities.
‘Neo-Noir’ is available on Bandcamp.