Djeisan Suskov apparently spent a lot of time at his dad’s Revolver studios from a young age, which is not the kind of environment a lot of home recording artists have to their advantage. Something about the head-start gave him a suitable dose of motivation – his interest in music eventually extended to several other bands in the Auckland area over the years including Trees Climbing Trees and Robot Tigers, also engaging himself readily as an Auckland producer. These years of working on fine-tuning his ears has brought us Whale Rocket by Cool Rainbows, the conclusive result of a lifetime’s studio experience. The word ‘shimmer’ gets overused, but Whale Rocket is a truly reflective thing. Cool Rainbows is illustrative pop delivered with true precision – even the entranced vocals suggest he’s thought about everything through and through.
Being a producer might not be what it used to be, especially with the homogenisation of studio production techniques and environments in the last few decades – but occasionally there are some who prove to us that studio production has always been less about the sound of the studio and more about the mind using it.
Here ‘Fake Tattoo’, which, starting with a playground melody and a slapback echo on a locomotive bass rhythm, brings the trademarks of Brian Wilson into today (as huge a call as it might be), showing that the studio can still be used as an instrument in itself. Too often people forget the care that goes into every detail of a craft – but as Djeisan goes to great effort to point out in ‘Fake Tattoos’, the ‘universe was no mistake’. The snare drum is unintrusive, suspended in a mist of natural reverb. If you can’t hear it, wait until the song slumps into its chair at 1:09. ‘We could escaaaaape… bury the sun. And never lose a daaaaay…’ Give it another verse and a chorus and then oh shit – here come the strings. Oh shiiiit. A second later, as the next track on Whale Rocket comes in, the music will snap into the words ‘Warning signs of tidal waves’ – innocence is the temporary trying to be permanent, according to a title like ‘Fake Tattoos’.
From 2007, Real Groove magazine released four Awesome Feeling compilations, showcasing a diverse and exciting range of underground local talent. The Corner decided to pick up on that for the fifth volume and we’re back again for round six. We’ll be revealing one new artist/track every weekday throughout May, and posting the entire compilation for download at the end of the month.