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Allmos Marks Solo Debut w/ ‘Sound Affects, Vol. 1’ [Premiere]

Allmos Marks Solo Debut w/ ‘Sound Affects, Vol. 1’ [Premiere]

Producer & One Half Of The Stuyvesants, Allan Cole, Marks His Solo Debut With ALLMOS: Sound Affects Vol. 1, Out Now via Fresh Selects

 

Producer & One Half Of The Stuyvesants, Allan Cole, Marks His Solo Debut With ALLMOS: Sound Affects Vol. 1, Out Now via Fresh Selects
Source: Nic Supa & Allan Cole

 

Okayplayer: You’ve been putting out projects as one half of The Stuyvesants alongside Darien Birks for the past several years. Sound Affects, Vol. 1 is your solo debut as Allmos. Why now?

Allan Cole: For me, it was kind of time. Especially when it comes to The Stuyvesants stuff, there’s certain sounds when we put together those albums we go through a lot of stuff. A lot of it, we usually come to a consensus on the things that work for the record, but there’s always a batch of stuff that doesn’t necessarily fit for The Stuyvesants but I still like the sound. So, its usually coming from that perspective for me where its just like, “Aw man, I still have a ton of stuff that can be used. Even though it doesn’t fit into The Stuyvesants context, what can I do with it?” I just took some time to work on some separate stuff that didn’t use much sampling and took those beats that were in rough stages that didn’t fit in one place and adapted them to this new thing.

 

OKP: The album feels a lot different than The Stuyvesants projects and your collaborative 2015 project with Substantial. When you started production on this project, what were your goals for the sound of it?

AC: The goals definitely changed over time and that is something that is still evolving for me, largely because I’m not sampling. When you’re sampling you’re a little limited with respect to publishing and what you can really do with your music. I’ve always just kind of had an appreciation for live music and instrumentation as it is. This was just a chance for me to pick up that skill set. I had taken a few classes here and there as a kid, but never really stuck with it long enough to feel confident in it. So that, in and of itself, was just a challenge for me on this project. I wanted to see if I could take away my crutches when it comes to samples and programming drums and all of that type of stuff and do more live stuff.

I wanted to bring out the stuff I hear in my head and make it a reality. A lot of the concept for this approach just came from that. Over the years, you kind of just hear certain things. Sometimes I’ll have random moments of inspiration where I want to make something but when it comes to sampling, unless I can find something that sounds like that already, I can’t really make it. Flipping the script for this project was a big deal for me. Opening things up where I could figure out how to make the sounds I needed with synths and keyboards and that kind of thing. A lot of the work for me was in accepting that challenge and seeing where that would lead me. This is where it has gone for this first generation. There will be a few other ones that will come later down the line.

OKP: What changed, if anything, this go-round with the creative process and your approach to the production of the release?

AC: I have a pretty small setup. I like to keep things pretty minimal in general. It usually allows me to get good at the things that I do have. I have a couple of samplers that I use. I use Reason as my main production software. I used that to come up with the initial sounds. So, I’ll play chords and different melodies through the software and then record them into a sampler that I have.

That way I’m able to play the sounds that I’m hearing, then bring them into a format that I’m more accustomed to working with. In doing that way, I’m playing the music on one hand but also adapting it to a form that I’m a little more comfortable with in terms of chopping and flipping things around that way. I use an OP-1, which looks like a toy but it is really, really fun to use. I have an SP-404, which I run a lot of the synth sounds and drums through. Then Reason, again, which is where the sounds originate before I manipulate them in the smaller machines to get the sound just right.

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OKP: This is Volume 1 of what I’m guessing is a series of releases. The first volume is full of music that feels cinematic — like the score to a film. Is there a narrative driving the series? If so, where does this project figure into that story?

AC: It really speaks to the title of the project and where the name Allmos comes from. It is a play on the regular word ‘almost.’ It speaks to my decision to take on this challenge of creating music without using samples, or at least not using traditional samples. In doing that, I could never get the music to sound exactly like what I was hearing in my head, but during the experience of going there I stumbled on new things and get new ideas that take me in directions that make those original ideas into something totally new. It speaks to the amount of learning and inspiration you get when you’re approaching a particular goal.

That plays out in the production of the music, but then also the overall sound of the project where I’m not deciding what things will be beforehand. I’m relying on the creative process of translating my ideas into music to dictate the direction and sound of what I produce. Creatively, it is a total departure from the way in which The Stuyvesants stuff is done and even other things I’ve done. In that space, we come up with the idea first and then make stuff to fit into that. Doing it this way, is liberating. I feel so much more free because I don’t have to have a fully fleshed out idea to sit down and make music. I can play around with stuff until something sounds cool, then build on that.

So, the title comes from that — from my efforts to move in a direction dictated by the spontaneous way in which I’m coming up with the music. Even before I had come up with the name, I had started working on the music. I have a couple of folks I always bounce ideas off of to make sure I’m not doing something that’s totally off base. As I progressed through the stages of working on the project, I sent it to those folks and everyone was really excited about. They usually keep me accountable for most of the projects that I do.

As I was working on the project, every time someone would check in about the completion of the release, my answer was always “almost.” That whole process in and of itself, kind of lead me to the name. Every time someone asked me about the project I kept saying the same word. So I thought, “How can I flip that and use it to my advantage?” That’s even something else that was not planned for but it ended up working out for the project.

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