By: Anand Harsh
One of our absolute favorites in the glitch game, and by far one of the most inventive and hardest-working producers in terms of pure technicality and technological domination, Mr. Bill, is embarking on a brand new audio/visual project with longtime collaborator Funilab, who has been Bill's go-to artwork imagineer.
Corrective Scene Surgery is an open-ended, open-themed album that pairs Bill's original songs with Funi's single panel comics. Progressing sequentially, with no real restrictions or foreseeable terminus, Bill Day estimates they could end up with a 500-song album that's matched by a 500-page comic book.
Last week, we investigated Mr. Bill's collaboration with ill.Gates, "Harmonica Lewinsky," and Bill broke down his decision to publicize the entire 60-hour studio session along with all the stems. Today we bring fans the fifth installment in the series, as well as an interview with Bill's artistic muse and cohort.
In what is possibly Mr. Bill's sexiest output to date, "Fehon" channels the sultry sounds of bossa nova, which swept the left coast in the 60's, as a swirling fusion of Brazilian samba and that light jazz sound auteurs like Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto popularized. An airy vocal hook is chopped up a milion times and reconfigured across this lilting melody until Bill Day's signature layering and sonic collage work climaxes in pitch-shifted future bass flavors. If there's a complicated rhythmic mode to attack, Bill will tackle it, make it all the more complicated, and then make that shit look like it's easy. It's kind of unfair.
Here's what Funilab had to say about not only working on this new project, but collaboration with Mr. Bill, in general.
The concept for Corrective Scene Surgery seems to be that there is no concept. Is that freeing for you? How did this project with Mr. Bill come about?
The concept for this series is that each cover and song are connected to the previous one creating a journey. Usually, this wouldn't be called a concept, because that's like pitching a movie saying that the concept is 'a series of still images which, when shown on a screen, creates the illusion of moving images'-- that's just how it works. But because of the medium we thought it would have been interesting to experiment in this direction. Story-wise it's completely free, we're going where the heart takes us. Usually it's weird places
Potato Bill (as we call him) was at first just a random character from our previous series--The Collaborative Endeavors, but Bill felt a special connection with his blobby-roundness and asked me to develop him as if he was some sort of alter ego. I wasn't sure at first but then I've reluctantly agreed and since then it has become an aubergine-shaped legend.
You've done a number of covers now for a wide range of artists. How did you get involved in album artwork?
I've always loved music, I've always loved drawing. It happened naturally (by naturally I mean that I wrote--sometimes to the point of stalking--every artist I like begging them to notice me). I feel so lucky to have the privilege to collaborate with people that I've always looked up to.
What has been the workflow for this project, thus far? Mr. Bill sends you a song, you listen to it and sketch it out? Does it go the other way--you send him a comic and he produces what that makes him feel? Or is there a lot of back and forth?
There's a lot of back and forth indeed, Bill and I talk on daily basis and he always sends me work in progress and I do the same. But we've been friends for years now and we've come to the point where sometimes we don't even need to share thoughts about what to do because we are on the same page pretty much all the time and love the shit out of each other's work. This is kinda like when you're married to someone for so long that you have to try new ways to still surprise your partner.
Why do you think your collaborative relationship with Mr. Bill has been so fruitful? What is it about your collective understanding of one another in your separate mediums that allows for such an imaginative wellspring of creativity?
We both aim for the same goals, we share common taste and, most important, we balance ourselves out. Bill never stops creating stuff and to me it's amazing and inspiring and it gives me so much motivation. I'm way more lazy than him, but I'm probably better at connecting dots and creating some sort of cohesion between things. I think that every musician should have a visual artist as a friend to collaborate with. Audio and visual are pretty cool on their own, but when they work together to the point where you can't separate them, it's magic.
You can catch Mr. Bill live and in the flesh, perpetrating the most heinous acts of sonic debauchery on unsuspecting fans at The Untz Festival taking place at Mariposa County Fairgrounds in Mariposa, CA from June 2-4, 2016. Bill will be performing alongside allies in the industry like Fractal, and perhaps some fellow collaborators of his yet to be announced.
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