Pumpkin_head's music (LIXIVIAT)

Hello dear Elektronaut community, first thing first I’d like to thank you all for this welcoming forum, which has been a great source of information and fun, for the past couple of years.

I would like to share my first album, under the moniker LIXIVIAT. It was due for the 2022 commitment thread (thanks for this @Craig), but life got in the way.
Better late than never, it’s there now and I am super proud of it.
I’d say it is a blend of dark electronic with illbient, dub, indus and doom influences, but I have struggled to define it precisely and I’d love to hear your opinion on this matter.

I think the most important influence on this album comes from Zonal, it had a massive impact on me and gave me confidence on how I wanted my music to sound. Samewise the theme from Twin peaks Fire walk with me, and then Sunset Mission by Bohren und der club of gore were on my mind when composing, even though I have not yet achieved the same mood in my track, as I tend to add too much elements, while in theses examples the music is quite quiet and minimal.

I’d like to mention that none of these song are coming from a jam, I didn’t work that way at all. Instead I spent a lot of time trying to meticulously craft these, one by one on my spare time ( which is hard to find nowadays )

Ok here’s the bandcamp link :

Now for the gear oriented details, all analog bass and leads - also some pads - are from the microvolt 3900b, I used other synths but this one is really the star of the show on this album. I LOVE this synth !

Then most of the kicks, some snares, percs and weird blips are done with the moog dfam, sampled and sequenced with the DT.

Speaking of the DT, I used a lot of the factory samples for the drums too, they are very well made, and it’s easy to tweak them to alter the sound.

Then goes the Digitone, I had it a bit late in the composition process, so it is underused on purpose. I wanted to preserve the sound coherence on the whole album which is mainly analog sounding. That said, I really like this device and it will have more space on the following songs I make.

There are also some heavy drones here and there, the Michael Rucci Maximal Drone is responsible for that. It’s a bit tricky to tune, but that’s what gives this massive wall of sound feel.

For hardware effects, you can hear some nice texturing almost reverblike atmospheres made with the OBNE Black Fountain delay, a slight bit of bleeps and bloops with the montreal assembly CT5, and that’s about it. All the other effects, reverbs, delays, compression etc, are from Cubase stock plugins. I don’t want to spend money on plugins, and instead I prefer to use those I already have with the daw.

Anyway, I’d appreciate any feedback, thank you !


Some further details and trivia about the album, and my creative process :

The tracks :

Serotonin Zero is the first track I was satisfied with . It became a guide for the rest of the album in terms of mood. Could be a theme for a SciFi TV show, starring rusty and depressive terminators ^^

When I started this one I only had the mv3900 and the dfam, so it took me some time to compose. I had to go back to it when the other tracks were finished because my mixing knowledge had improved a lot, and I wanted to add sounds from DT and DN.

I eventually made something wrong with the daw and deleted all the sound source, which is to me the ultimate horror. Fortunately I already had exported a decent mix, and it was a sign it was time to let this one go.

Infected Blood, this one was the next track I made and I struggled a LOT to achieve something that pleased me, it was during the pandemic with a lot of personal stuff going on and it shows. I think it has the darkest tone on the whole album. For a while I only had these two tracks, and I was listening to it on repeat on my car.

It also has a sibling song that came from the composing sessions and this one is …

Godspeed Taikonaut, at first I didn’t even want to have this track on the album because of the fast tempo, I had to listen to it on repeat to convince myself that it was worth being included. Now it’s one of my favorites, so, go figure … The intro voice is actually a countdown in Chinese from a friend I recorded.

Death Finds A Mask, I had the title before even recording anything, and it was the inspiration for the song. This title initials could be related to a particular Moog synth too :D. The song also contains one of the very few live takes I (poorly) played on DN , nothing fancy at all because well, I can’t play those damn keys.

The Crispr Cas9 Twins, the very last song I did. I was watching the Miles Davies documentary on Netflix, and astonished by the man’s genius I thought “what would this guy do if he had the tools we have now”. Simple answer : not what I did. But anyway the inspiration came from there. I grabbed my DT and started sequencing this crazy 5/4 rhythm, because, why not. Then I left this pattern untouched for months, and when I came to the end of the creative process I realized I would need another fast paced song, to balance the album’s overall downtempo-ish mood. That’s where the DN comes to add the “melodic” lines. It’s the only song with only DT and DN.

As for the title, I discovered what Crispr Cas9 was in a Le Monde Diplomatique article ( it’s a tool to alter or replace any parts of our DNA), the twins refers to a forbidden experiment a Chinese doctor did on twin babies to immune them to Aids.

Sacrificial Dance, this one is freely inspired by the Resident’s Walrus Hunt song on Eskimo. Also it’s in 11/4 because once again why not ? More seriously I’m a Primus fan, and amazed by their song “Eleven” I wanted to do something in 11/4 too.

Illusion Mountain, was quite a challenge because, discovering that the human perception of rhythm sits around 30 bpm, I decided to set the song’s BPM at 20, just for fun. Actually, with the rhythm subdivisions it is not really perceivable, but it results in a very slow song.

I really love the Talking Heads song “the Overload” but I always wish it would last more, like a 30 minute version :D, so I decided to do something with a similar mood, that would last waaay longer. And the longer it gets, the harder I had to find ways to keep it interesting.

The final monologue is , like the title suggests, an illusion. The text was generated by AI ( the prompt was the song title, but I had to remove a lot of interesting parts ) and the voice was generated by google text to speech. So a text no-one ever wrote, for words no one ever pronounced.

Deriveurs Nocturnes, Nocturnal Drifters in English. There is nothing special about this one, I needed an introduction song, that’s it.

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