Sun Dumb

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

I am in Coogee and Julian is in Bondi in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

How did Sun Dum come about?

A friend of mine suggested I hire Julian to play on a record I was producing. We stayed friends after those sessions and wrote a bunch of stuff for other artists. Eventually we decided to keep a few of those songs for ourselves (hence the high singing at times – quite a few tracks were going to be pitched to female singers).

What’s been happening recently?

Julian is doing a heap of stuff – producing Royel Otis and drumming for Genesis Owusu. I’m putting the finishing touches on the Sun Dumb Ep and I’m sound engineering for the next series record of the Voice in December.

Your track ‘Tokyo’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

I think the initial influence was Empire of the Sun. That style for sure. We started trying to find hooky alternate melodies to flow through the track, whether it be guitar, whistle, synths or vocals.

How did you go about writing Tokyo?

It started with a riff and went from there. We just took the best bits and formed the song around that. Left it for a day or two and came back to see if we still liked it, then built on that. I certainly don’t usually write like this but Julian challenges my traditional song writing habits which is great. 

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?

We produced/recorded/performed and mixed the song ourselves, except for the drums. I was interstate and Julian couldn’t throw a drum track down one day so I reached out to JT Bates in the US (Big Red Machine, Bon Iver, Tayla Swift) and he recrded a drum take for us and that’s the one we ended up using. 

How did you approach the recording/production process?

For me I wanted to try a different process. If I am producing another artist there are certain steps I do by default. I was happy to change that up. We are always learning and as it was our project with no dead line we could give ourselves space.

Also decisions we made sonically during the writing process we committed “to tape”. So if a delay effect sounded cool, we would record it that way so there’s no going back…only forward. 

What programs/equipment did you use?

I use Pro Tools as a DAW but I try to use it as a tape machine and editor. I use an analogue console and outboard FX and am lucky to own some vintage Neve compressors which help create the Sun Dumb sound. The Korg Miniligue also featured heavily on this track, also the OP-1 synth.

I tend to look for instruments/sounds that suit the track there and then. I dislike recording a dry signal and then trolling through sounds for ages to make it fit. For some reason everything starts to sound smaller than bigger when you do that – probably because you are conforming the whole time.

For Mix Down I’ll mix stems and bring them into the desk/use the analogue gear and record the console’s output. I do use plugins etc as well. Whatever works.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Right now it’s the Chicago band “Whitney”. Had me on first listen. They can hit a chord during a song and it feels like your heart’s just been ripped out. So cool. 

What do you like to do away from music?

Family stuff, surfing with my son, fixing up old motorcycles.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2021 going into 2022?

Need to sign off on the Ep. So excited about the remaining tracks. 

Keen to get amongst it and see some music.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Can’t go past a seafood pasta – can’t help myself, I always order it at nice restaurants even though I know I should try something else.

I realised during lockdown that what I missed most was going to friend’s houses especially during an afternoon on a weekend. So the best place the hangout is someone else’s place! Any of them. It’s fun.



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