We’ve all had sleepless nights in which our thoughts, ideas, and emotions rattle around our head in perpetuity, perhaps more so during this current time and its uncertainty. Rather than let the challenging contents of his own mindfully consume him, Berlin’s WEIRDO chose to siphon them through his unrelenting creativity, resulting in the aptly titled audiovisual project INSOMNIAC IDEAS.
Rarely are these thoughts so simple, and WEIRDO’s latest release follows suit in its own rapturous complexities. Pulling from a compelling range of pensive alt-pop and frenetic ’90s Rave, a kaleidoscope of themes are salubriously woven together to deliver a vivid overarching narrative. Paired alongside a mesmeric visual, WEIRDO extends the lyrical concepts into his own internal-meets-alternate reality.
As you go on this fourteen-minute audiovisual journey, read along below to discover some insight directly from the artist behind each track.
I wrote the EP over a long period of time, mainly during this isolation period. I’d just come out of a relationship, I was confused where to live in the world, and was generally going through a rough time. I recorded everything between digital and analogue – I mixed tape/cassette re-amping and the laptop essentially.
The first song “<#3BRKR” (Heartbreaker) was inspired by not being able to sleep and playing Crash Bandicoot til I finally switched off. All the feelings come out when you have Insomnia, which is one of my many listed complexities. The tempo was raised much higher than my original demo. I used slap echo on the snare click and used an old 12-bit reverb unit to create the main chorus snare effect. The guitar was straight D.I’d as I didn’t really want to use amps. The synths are a mixture of vintage stuff, the bass is an old Russian analogue bass/mono thing that is so hard to stay in tune. I wanted to really show the energy that feels like a speedy night-time but shows the struggle lyrically with inner emotions, thoughts and feelings.
“321MEOUT” (Count Me Out) was taken from a guitar picking pattern I’ve been playing around with for years. I wanted to really clean and twinkly. I wanted to bring 90s vibes into this one with the drum rhythm which is a mixture of real playing and triggered samples. The song really throws me back into the days of taking a pill and looking up at the ceiling listening to Radiohead in my old apartment in Brighton, wishing things would just slow down but feeling so in love with the feeling of finding a new reality. You can tell a theme of repetition within the song though, which is definitely a symptom of my chronic on-off insomnia. In the video, we took a motorbike around Rome and the guys played with a lot of time-lapse. It symbolises thought in motion.
“MDRNMN” (Modern Man) is a sycophantic, expressive yet elusive song. I threw together an old Organ Bass sound from a Yahama synth I had and added small breaks and a solid four-to-the-floor thing to add a Rave element. This one was my most strange moment and really threw it together using practically all vintage gear apart from the bass sound which is digital. I rode the entire master as hard as I could through my MT8X 8-track cassette to give it the disgusting saturated sound; quite similar to what was going on in my head that night.
The finalé BONUS SADNESS… well… kinda hard to talk about this one. It was one of my darkest moments I think. I set up a microphone at 03:00 am in my bedroom, took an old acoustic guitar from the corner, blew off the dust mites, and began to play. The song came together very naturally and it really symbolises loss and acceptance for me. It’s all done whilst extremely drunk on Beer, Whiskey and Wine too… borderline alcoholic? Never. I’m very proud of this song. It reminds me and will forever remind me of a Jellyfish called Elena.
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