From the heart of the Sonoran Desert arises psychedelic/alternative rock band MEDIA, and the release of their maiden transmissions, Influence.
MEDIA’s Influence is the first of a three-part meditation on the brutality and beauty of being. It is about the inner and outer disconnect on the earthly plane, culminating with a tune about the Sixth Mass Extinction event being brought on by the uncontrollable spread of an “idea pathogen.” Sonically, Influence is a heavy but groovy psychedelic whirlwind. With big, sweeping, tom-heavy grooves and lush synthesizers, layered over nasty Rickenbacker bass tones and guitars alternately grimy and soaring, the sound is massive. It harkens a lot of things familiar but adds something new and fresh to the mix.
On this first piece of the triptych, MEDIA was down to two members: founders Billy Tegethoff (The Oxford Coma) and Richard Wnuk. Deciding it was the fastest way to get these songs recorded after nearly four years of behind-the-scenes refinement and the annual hemorrhaging of a bassist, they decided to record the whole thing themselves, with Tegethoff handling guitar, bass, and vocals, Wnuk playing drums, and both contributing various synthesizers and electronics throughout the release.
Wnuk had a very clear picture of how he wanted the record to sound, so he wore the producer hat throughout a very meticulous mixing process. Jalipaz helmed the recording and the mixing at Audioconfusion Studios in Mesa, after which the tracks were mastered at Marcussen Mastering by Stephen Marcussen.
There are many Easter Eggs planted throughout the three-release arc, but one factor that will be consistent is that all instruments were tuned to a reference pitch of A 444hz. When you tune to that reference pitch, C will be at 528hz. This frequency is used in both traditional and modern sound-healing practices. It has been purported to have the ability to repair DNA. Media has no comment there, but certain sounds and rhythms have been shown to facilitate non-ordinary states of consciousness (see Stan Grof’s work on using music to guide psychedelic and holotropic breath therapy sessions, and his research into sound and rhythm as ancient “technology” for inducing non-ordinary states). This particular frequency has popped up as the tuning for traditional instruments like singing bowls and has a space in modern sound healing. It is also one of the Solfeggio frequencies–a scale associated with Gregorian chants and used in a wide array of meditation music. It made a solid candidate for a mind-altering tone, so it seemed like a cool idea to balance out some of the heaviness (both in subject matter and aggressive sounds) with a frequency that has a lovely association with healing.
Sound design enthusiasts and audiophiles can find some gems buried in this mix as well. There are production details best experienced on a good pair of headphones. But it holds its own as a car cranker too.
MEDIA’s Influence is now streaming at all DSPs including Bandcamp HERE, Spotify HERE, and Apple HERE.
Watch for new videos from Influence as well as updates on the subsequent installments of the series to post shortly.
Influence Track Listing:
1. ..-. — .-. –. .. …- . / . …- . .-. -.– -… — -.. -.–
The band writes, “When the binary friction between being and non-being was given billions of years to play out, it synthesized the atomic elements. The elements combined to create more complex forms.
Like…five minutes later or something, a sponge of grey matter developed from which the universe began experiencing itself. Naturally, it had some questions. It started experimenting to find some answers. The trouble was, the answers it was finding couldn’t be expressed easily with language, so it turned to abstraction through music, art, poetry, dance…any medium by which it might know itself. MEDIA is the channel by which the abstract is disseminated. It is the middle, the medi, the medium, the unmanipulated expressive output.
“We accidentally tapped into this weird channel of inspiration; some type of extra-dimensional spillage. We have done our best to be an unadulterated outlet for it, so that we can pump psychedelic, hip-thrusting grooves, and visuals into all your bodily and spiritual orifices with ever-increasing effectiveness. We are MEDIA: Broadcasting from the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Virgo Supercluster, current Universe.”
Billy Tegethoff – vocals, guitar, bass, synth
Rich Wnuk – drums, percussion, sample pad