Golden Hour by Sevish, reverse cover

Our very first release on Split Notes – from that lovable drum and bass enthusiast Sevish. This album titled Golden Hour touches on dubstep, breakbeat, IDM and hip hop, but has a big d’n’b slant as you’d expect from Sevish.

“Since last year’s LP I have changed my techniques and ideas about music… I’ve been looking beyond traditional Western tonality to find the new moods you can make with alternative tunings – microtones. Meanwhile, my promiscuity with different styles of electronic music and my endless search for beautiful atmospheres and beats both remain!”

Golden Hour is arguably the most exciting work by Sevish yet.

“I think I’ve got all bases covered on Golden Hour… I’m really into my messed up complicated tracks so you’ll see plenty of those (Tapestry, Whitey) but I also wanted to bring back some straight-ahead sounding stuff (Mako Haze, Fifteen, Calabi-Yau Manifold) because people really liked that about my earlier music.”

Warm cup of SevishThe use of alternative tunings to achieve new emotions requires Sevish to retune his synthesisers using software. Only then is it possible to play the ‘notes between the notes’. Few of the rules that apply to the old way of doing music are true in the new way, but the results from this new way of composing are stellar and great to listen to:

“Ok, so people’s first reaction to this sound is often ‘that sounds out of tune’. In reality, it’s ‘in tune differently’. That’s something to embrace because those differences give a new character to the music that just aren’t possible with the 12 tone system. Take the Bohlen-Pierce scale. It sounds absolutely weird for the first few minutes you hear it! It’s exciting, but it’s shocking – and it takes a while to make sense of it. What’s going on is that you are unlearning your ideas about what is ‘in tune’ before you understand that the Bohlen-Pierce scale can be extremely dynamic sounding, either chillingly alien (used in Mako Haze) or serene and restful (Callisto), and a new experience in listening that you’ve never had before.
“Then take the 5-tet scale (used in the track Fifteen) which has an oriental character and doesn’t seem to sound out of tune to many people. Actually it’s quite badly out of tune but we think it’s great anyway. Its sound is quite familiar but otherwise the feeling of 5-tet is simply impossible to recreate in the Western 12 tone system.
“Those two scales are just the beginning. I used several more in the making of Golden Hour. I wanted to explore as much as I possibly could!! Why wouldn’t you, if a new world has been opened up to you?!”

Microtonal Notes

The following table explains the tunings used:

# Track Name Tuning Used Comments
1 Islands Pelog
2 Sean’s Bits 13-tet
3 Dirty Drummer 22-tet Scale degrees: (1) 4 7 11 13 17 20 (1)
4 Tapestry Alpha
5 Umbriel Just scale: 1/1 17/16 7/6 4/3 3/2 14/9 7/4 2/1
6 Fifteen 15-tet Mostly equal pentatonic mode (5-tet)
7 Mako Haze Bohlen-Pierce Equally tempered version
8 Calabi-Yau Manifold “JI-11” preset I found on a synth!
9 Callisto Bohlen-Pierce Equally tempered version
10 The Mersh Tune Non-octave empirical scale: 0¢ 86.265¢ 217.449¢ 410.520¢ 589.714¢ 683.627¢ 683.627 here acts as a pseudo-octave
11 Wicked Rhythm Non-octave empirical scale: 0¢ 86.265¢ 217.449¢ 410.520¢ 589.714¢ 683.627¢ 683.627 here acts as a pseudo-octave
12 Ganymede 22-tet Scale degrees: (1) 3 5 7 10 12 14 16 18 20 (1), also used by the great City of the Asleep
13 Light Cone Beta
14 Whitey Just scale: 1/1 2401/2304 7/6 343/288 343/256 49/36 2401/1728 49/32 2401/1536 343/216 7/4 343/192 2/1 Based on multiples of 7/4 and 7/6
15 Parliament of Moon Non-octave just scale: 1/1 32/31 8/7 4/3 7/5 3/2 51/31 16/9 15/8 2/1 13/6 40/17 8/3

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