This is How Cyberdyne Begins...

Sept. 1, 2015


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Good news, I've got more Umbah for you. You may have caught the review for the most excellent Enter the Dagobah Core. Hopefully that led you on a journey through the years of albums both before and after. Whether that is the case or not, Cal has a new one for you; and he's pulled all the stops. I'll start with the basics: there is plenty more avant-garde, industrial metal for you here. The strangeness has been cranked up quite a bit, but the most intriguing details are best left described by the musician himself:

Inspiration: I have a ton of real life horror to inspire me right now... .. i am kind of fueled by lots of disasters over the last few years, especially the aftermath of a tornado... it was an epic catastrophe!

Background: Since the first Umbah album, it's just my style to want to push to the max. The processes going on to make every album have always been pushing tech of the moment. In the early days Umbah, [this] was limited , an album like Enter the Dagobah Core is 1 half years to produce. Trilobeth 2 years. Now with a 6 core and the new cyborg band its 10 days!

[Here's the really fun part] The cyborg band: I develop these uber-instruments for all the sounds and riffs. and it's really cool. I have 50 so far. I upgraded them all to run as generators this year...this was to enable me to do exactly this new Umbah album... and it worked [like] a treat. A 10 day production with the music being generated in the first 24 hours! Wild!! Of course, I had been experimenting before and I already had a few generators built last year, and used them in the last few releases... but now this is [a] whole new level, and really it's just the beginning. So now i am not playing, not sampling anything, there is no midi or plugins to mess with. I guess well over 50% of what i would have done manually before is automated now.

I am gonna develop them more and refine the process. Now it's about how great an instrument I can build that will give me really cool material to build a track with minimal intervention. It's not to say i am gonna ditch my axe, but the next guitar stuff I record will be for seeding a machine so it has info from which to write new riffs. Then I will take a bit more time on future albums and i can hybrid the all the old techniques with this new dimension. Cause its not like i need to krank out albums every 10 days!

Behind the scenes in these machines is crazy, they are really complex, with multi-engines and multi-sequencers and multi-fx chains, all with massive amounts of layered automation systems running so that no machine will ever repeat. They constantly generate ever changing riffs, beats and sounds without me doing anything...

The challenge now is to make a machine that is musical and with a high percentage of good output. At the moment they average 10% [which is] good enough. I don't even need to improve this, but i do know how i can get that percentage up to around 20%+. Then it will speed up a bit more!

The recording of Cyborgial Schizms: There [are] many approaches and methods available , but here's how its done on this album. All the music with editing was completed in about 5 days. What i did was run around 20 of these machines two times, for around 1 hour to get all the material. I run 2 machines at a time, so that's 40 hours of riffs beats, hits etc inside 24 hours. Then i listen through and mark where i hear a good riff. These riffs i loop up and join together. The rest gets deleted. By then i have all the riffs and can organize [them] into the tracks.

That leaves the rest of the material which i just listen to alongside these riffs, keep the good, and cut the crap. It is a bit mysterious how it all lines up to make order out of total chaos, but somehow it works... and real fast. Then not much else really. I make the vox, which took up the second 5 days. While I am doing vox, I am listening through all the music keeping an ear out on the mix and just checking its ok. It's easy.

Yeah. I'm pretty sure this was the premise of a few movies that rhyme with "germinator." In any case, I find it all fascinating. I was already amazed by the innovations brought forth by groups like Author & Punisher, but this takes those ideas to terrifying new levels. In essence, the entire process is reversed. And the end result is still thoroughly entertaining. I think what impresses me the most, despite Cal making it sound so simple, is that he is able to wade through the murk of hours of robotic output and so quickly turn it into workable songs. You can experience it for yourself, all at a Name Your Price tag. Throw a few dollars in...lest you anger the machines.