“Dance can be a beautiful art form and way of expressing yourself. It can also be a bunch of drunk people shaking their butts.”
Wave Cave Admin and musician Patrick Keller (RED COMET 3), talked to fellow artist and admin Kendall Sandhop (of Brothercom) about topics like vaporwave, love, the ever present question of Analog VS Digital, EDM and Cassettes. This is the second interview hosted by WAVE TV in a series of artist to artist interviews with talented, undiscovered artists.
What is Brothercom?
It’s a form of communication. Especially since a lot of what we’ve done has been long-distance. Luke and I have been making music together for a long time, and it’s a way to keep our sanity and find meaning in life. That’s really what we hope our music does for other people as well, so in a way Brothercom also represents a sense of community. On a surface level though, I just wrote it on a CD I burned one time and thought it sounded cool. I think Luke hates it lol.
What’s the difference between making music alone, and making music with your brother?
Usually whatever one of us is working on will in some way be influenced by the other, even if it’s just bouncing ideas around. I value Luke’s opinion a lot, especially on the rhythms and technical stuff. We each have our own areas of expertise, so to speak, but I feel like music is always more fun when you’re working with other people. Usually when I get Luke involved on something I’m working on, I feel like it opens up a whole new dimension for the track.
Who are your top five artists in the scene right now?
Do you think the analog vs digital question is relevant in electronic music anymore?
Gestalt theory would say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When someone clicks play, they get what they get, unless they have previous knowledge. For the average listener, it’s more about the music itself. Some of the most popular songs ever have poor production quality.
As an artist, it’s more about finding what the song needs. Analog sounds can give you a nice warm tone. Digital synths usually have a brighter sound, and can allow you to synthesize some instruments and sounds that are physically impossible to create with analog.
Who are some of your favorite artists that have absolutely nothing to do with retro electronic music?
I could name a lot more but I’ll keep it to 5.
Do you think the synthwave scene is perhaps over saturated? Do you find it exhausting to keep up with all the new releases?
My feed is usually flooded with releases and memes. It can be overwhelming, but I like to hear and learn from what others are doing, especially my friends and artists I like.
You seem to be big on vaporwave, what are your thoughts on that genre? Why do you think it gets so much shit all the time?
I like it, I think it’s chill. I like the sampling and the pitched down vocals. I also like the counterculture elements of it, and the sort of empty euphoric nostalgia. It’s like looking at the past on VHS through rose-tinted 3D glasses.
I think it probably gets ripped on for a lot of reasons. A lot of people seem to be confused what it actually is, so that’s probably a major contributor. Then there are people that will make a vaporwave track as a joke, and it becomes a meme. It’s kind of hard to explain. There’s a vast ocean of material for such a niche genre, and it’s also divided up into countless subgenres, so it’s really easy to get lost in the mix. Usually if people don’t hear something they like right away, they give up. I think other people may be put off by a seeming lack of creativity within the genre, but there are talented artists out there doing some interesting things with it.
How’s the next Brothercom album coming along?
The next album is in its early stages. We have 4 demo recordings in progress, and a whole bunch of ideas. But before the next album, we are going to release a single. This single is going to mark a kind of transitional period for us, as we are finding our new sound for the next album, but first we want to take hardcore synthwave fans for one more night drive!
Are you comfortable giving an equipment run down?
As far as my gear, I’ve basically got my Macbook, a MicroKorg, an Electribe 2, an M-Audio Interface, an AKG condenser mic, an Ibanez electric guitar, and a Honer acoustic. Luke’s got some of the same stuff, plus more synths, a better computer, and an electric and acoustic drum kit. I can’t really get into specifics more than that haha.
How does your studio set up and live set up differ?
We haven’t actually played a live show yet, but we are wanting to soon. We have a live set, but it’s a little different than our releases. It’s more of a dance set. The main difference would be that in the studio we have a lot of options at our fingertips, whereas for our live set up we want to try to use less equipment and hopefully not rely on a computer.
Do drugs expand your mind or poison your brain?
People have been using drugs since the dawn of time. A drug is anything that alters your consciousness, from caffeine and alcohol to cocaine and acid. It depends on who you are, where you are, and your intentions, but there are probably some things you’re better off staying away from.
Do you think electronic music has lost its way?
Not at all because there are elements of electronic music in almost everything these days. Some areas of the “EDM” scene and other genres may have kind of lost their way for now, but there are plenty of artists out there who are still pushing the envelope and searching for new sounds.
Is experimentation and forward thinking antithetical to making retro music?
I don’t think so. There are so many types of music that were popular a few decades ago that are now considered “retro,” so you really have a huge catalogue of inspiration to draw from if that’s what you’re going for, but I do think it’s important to build on the past to create the future.
What are your thoughts on dance music? Is it mindless body music, or transformative?
There are all types of dance music, from African tribal drum rhythms to the modern DJ set. Dance can be a beautiful art form and way of expressing yourself. It can also be a bunch of drunk people shaking their butts.
What are your thoughts on cassette releases?
I dig them! I’ve got a small collection going. Actually, one of the first new cassette releases I bought was your album, Hexagon Computer Vision Technologies. I think the coolest part about them isn’t necessarily the music, but having a physical connection to the artist.
I love it when you get a note thanking you for your support, it’s a small gesture, but you know that someone also went through the effort of dubbing the tape, packing it and shipping it to you. It’s kind of cool, like back in the day when your friend used to give you a tape of songs off of the radio or something. I really like that aspect of tape releases.
What’s the last thing you listened to?
Probably the CD I have in my car right now, the latest Animal Collective release, “Painting With.” It’s pretty much been in there since the album dropped haha. They are one of my favorite groups to listen to. I love their rich layers of sound and how they are always doing their own thing.
What is love?
Baby don’t hurt me, no more.. Just kidding. On a more serious note, love is an action and it is a verb. It’s something that you do, it doesn’t just happen to you. I think it’s often misunderstood. People wait around for “the one” or only want to love those that love them or think like they do. Love doesn’t even have to be reciprocated. It’s a process of accepting things the way they are. In a way, it’s the ultimate of “living in the moment.”
Thanks for talking with me! Is there anything you want to add/plug?
Catch a video of Brothercom performing their track, “VHS Dance” below