Alexei Shishkin / Tomemitsu - 'Had a Dream' [CS]

Alexei Shishkin / Tomemitsu - 'Had a Dream' [CS]

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CS edition of 50

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Tomemitsu on Alexei Shishkin:

I met Alexei through twitter in 2016 around the time that my second album Loaf Eye came out. We both had releases on buddy labels, I with Chill Mega Chill and he with Forged Artifacts. Alexei reached out about doing a possible split release with Matt at Forged Artifacts. I have had great results trusting the internet to lead wonderful people to me and, after listening to Alexei’s album, Yucca Street, my positive gut reaction was confirmed. Alexei, while also having a great eye for art film and photography, creates the kind of mid-fi bedroom pop that I think fits into the niche of music that I have been working on. My first reaction was that he’s a wiz at garageband and that we had some similar midi-drums going on, but obviously there’s a lot more depth to his music than the drums. His tunes have a restraint to them that I enjoy but don’t hear enough of in other artists. They give me feelings of nostalgia and relaxation while still being more present than a lot of the tracks I write. Most of all I really enjoyed his guitar work- he has great chord voicings, as well as hearing the images and locations mentioned in his lyrics.

Alexei’s track “fear” is a perfect example of the kind of beautiful guitar work that usually grabs my attention. Since the first instruments I learned were cello and bass, I love songs that intro with a bass line (New Order’s age of consent comes to mind). Then the rhythm guitar chords enter and strike a tension that is relieved by the warmth of the lead guitar line doubling the vocal melody. Though this tension is echoed in the lyrics of the chorus “no matter how much I try I find I have trouble relaxing my mind sometimes”, when I listen I can easily escape into thought and reflection. I love the half time instrumental bridge and how everything layers itself until the final chorus bleeds into the outro.

With this collaboration my feeling was that it would be awesome to co-release something with friends on the east coast. I had tracks that I had been saving up that I wrote and started recording just prior to Loaf Eye, but were more electric guitar driven and had a shoegaze sound that was crunchier than anything I had released before as tomemitsu. My original intention was to write songs that were a cross between MBV and Radio Dept, but through the lens of tomemitsu. I had set aside these tracks so that there would be more of a progression of sound from release to release. A couple of these are being reworked into acoustic versions for the future because I’m a big fan of reinventing songs, but I’m excited for people to hear this side of my sound.

Alexei Shishkin on Tomemitsu:

The first time I ever heard any of Martin’s tracks was actually on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. The tune was “In Dreams”, and I heard it while I was working. I edit videos for work, so I don’t get to listen to music too often — usually only if I’m setting up projects, syncing, that type of stuff. About halfway through “In Dreams,” I had to jump over to my Spotify window and add Tomemitsu to my library.

Later that day I listened to m_o_d_e_s in its entirety, and I was pretty blown away. From that point, I ended up following Martin on Twitter, and then a few days later I decided to email him to see if he was interested in putting out a split. I had 6 tunes that had been sitting around gathering dust — not enough for an album, but not anything I was interested in putting out as an EP. They didn’t fit in with other stuff I had sitting around, so they never found a home. Luckily, Martin also had some tracks in a similar situation, so the timing was pretty perfect.

It’s easy to see why this batch of tunes didn’t necessarily fit in with Martin’s other stuff — where his previous releases tend to reside on the more acoustic, bedroom-y, lo-fi side of things, these six songs lean a little more heavily on electric guitars and crunch. It doesn’t take a tremendous leap of faith to transition from one side of Tomemitsu to the other, however. The “wall-of-sound” style layering is still there, the waves of reverb are still there, the floating vocals are still there. Basically, if his prior work felt like drifting lazily down a warm river, these tracks are like a slowly meandering ice floe — same dazed feel but with cooler overtones.

As far as my tunes on this thing, they’re the first six songs I wrote/recorded when I first moved to Oregon. I was just experimenting with recording on my own, and I recorded them using a friend’s gear, so they ended up sounding pretty different from the stuff I recorded later. Since they sounded so different, I could never find a place to fit them, but fortunately this opportunity came along.

One last thing: A little over a month ago, I got a text from a friend of mine, recommending an artist I might like. It went a little something like this…

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