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Album Preview: Olympus - Bold Mould

Album Preview: Olympus - Bold Mould

Tuesday 2nd November, 2010 10:38AM

Last week we announced the arrival of the Bold Mould 12" from new local duo Olympus to our record store and now we have a full preview of the album for you to check out.

Olympus is a collaboration between local noise enthusiasts Stefan Neville from Pumice (amongst other things) and Kraus from The Aesthetics. Bold Mould is their first release and they have not only allowed us to stream the whole album this week but have both written a very insightful track by track commentary to go with it.

To stream while you read, first scroll down past the commentary.

Stefan: I think we named this "Olympus" before we named the band is that right? Kraus sent me a guitar track so i overdubbed drums and piano on it & sent it back. Kraus then removed the guitar and piano and overdubbed that glorious synth. Proper nightclub music.
Kraus: We must have had the band name first? I don't remember. I know we thought this was a good theme song for us. The melody was originally a guitar riff that I had for a long time and didn't know how to finish. Kirsten of Newtown described Olympus as "medieval music of the future". I think this song fits that description.

Stefan: Because I actually had a stalker at the time. Bob Cardy just pointed out its similarity to a certain Beatles tune. Piano always sounds good through an intercom.
Kraus: The Beatles thing was deliberate. I had just been learning "Dear Prudence" before I recorded the guitar part so I was doing a lot of those descending chromatic lines. As Stefan and Bob discovered the other night you can sing "Prudence" over the top of this and it kind of works.

Stefan: All I can say is that I think its the best guitar solo & sound I've ever achieved but I'm ashamed to say the hi hat was overdubbed.
Kraus: Stefan did the lead guitar through a tiny battery-powered amp. I only did the rhythm guitar on this. In my mind it was a Buddy Holly-type thing but Stefan turned it into something else! The title is not supposed to have a question mark but I think it has one on the album cover. I like the idea of writing a question without a question mark, like you're so bored and jaded that you don't even care or expect to get an answer. Don't you think.

Stefan: Cos one night I was covered in split knuckle blood after drumming a Coolies gig and I had the best beard I've ever managed and the two things meant people couldn't recognise me. This is my favourite song on the album and Kraus is one of my all time favourite guitar players.
Kraus: This is my favourite song on this album too. I like fiddling around with this famous bit of Beethoven melody - we should have claimed this was a Beethoven cover, that would have been Prog with a capital P! Your double tracked vocals were a good idea Stefan.

Stefan: I was in America and recorded some accordian. I slowed it down and sent it to Kraus cos I knew he would know what to do with it. Sometimes making music is so easy!
Kraus: I think I was trying to get a Pumice-esque sound here with spring reverb. I put my synth through this little toy spring tank I had lying around. Is this accordian one of those long cassette loops you use? It's funny, recording through the mail means we haven't discussed these songs very much, I'm still learning what you did when I listen to it now.

I always forget which one this is. The drums were recorded in a flat overlooking Myers park on a sunny day with the windows open. When i was finished i looked out and there were people having picnics and squinting.
Kraus: This started off with me strumming an unamplified electric guitar and smacking the strings into the face of the mic and hitting the mic-stand with the guitar body. Stefan added the drums and guitars. More good double tracking on the lead guitar here Stefan!

Stefan: I think this was the first song we ever did? We certainly never got round to giving it a title. There was a piano in my flatmates room that she didn't use. One day when no one was home i went in and stole it. I pushed it through the kitchen, the hallway & into my room, navigating impossible angles all by myself and grazing my hand. It was really awful! Then I sat down and did the piano overdub.
Kraus: This is a tape-loop of a drum machine. I love making tape loops, you discover rhythms you'd never do in real life on the drums. Well, I'd never do them.

Stefan: Kraus had just built me a superfuzz pedal in a set of bathroom scales which is how come there's all that sludge at the end of the track. This also marks the first time we used the bambino organ on an Olympus track. It'll be all over the next album you mark my words.
Kraus: Again I started this off with guitar and Stefan did all the magic on it with drums and stuff and turned it into a song. I want to draw attention to Stefan's drumming on this song, it's really nifty. This fuzz guitar is so ridiculously muscular. I should have done a high guitar solo over the coda, but I only just realised that now - too late! Anyway I like hearing this huge guitar rasberry going on and on by itself, I'm glad we left it on there.

Stefan: Pumice sort of ran away with this song but Olympus done it first. The title comes from "Came a Hot Friday" by Ronald Hugh Morrieson. That reminds me I gotta give Wayne Gordon a copy of the record cos we mastered this song on his computer.
Kraus: I want to claim that sound is me cracking my knuckles. But actually it was done by some very boring complicated process involving...I think it was an 808 woodblock sample and a computer. Nerds.

Stefan: Named after Kraus' uncle from Whangarei who was very noble and never lost a fight. Piano again from the day I grazed my hand.
Kraus: Ha ha, no I'm going to tell the truth about the title. I thought this song sounded like a bumbling anthem for some ludicrous public figure like a king or something, so I just chose the name of an old Frankish king that I thought sounded cool. But I learned not to be so casual about song names because I read recently that Charles Martel is a hero of the French extreme right. Me and Stefan got worried that people might think we're fascists, but, honestly, I think it's obvious that this song is ironic. I mean it's not stomping martial music with trumpets and kettle drums. This song uses the same drum track from the first song on side one. The guitar on this is weird. I must have done it after doing "Is Love an Emotion" because I am playing the same kind of riff. I think the guitar is going through a tremolo effect and there's lots of Witcyst-style layering, but it's so long ago...1996? I can't remember.


Bold Mould is out now - you can get yourself a copy on vinyl with download from our store.


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