The Wireless presents the premiere of Shuedet’s ‘Somewhere New’.
When it came time to begin working on his just-released EP Permutations, local producer and multi-instrumentalist Shuedet – otherwise known as Thom King – set out to write songs that would work in a live setting. At its heart, Thom says the project is “soundsystem music”, written with the idea that the songs should be felt as well as heard.
“The music was produced with the intent that it be experienced on a system capable of accurately reproducing low frequency sounds. A lot of the dynamic emphasis on the EP occurs in that 30-100 Hz sub-bass region and I think for the tunes to be experienced and felt as I intended the system needs to be up to scratch,” Thom says.
“I find though that some of my most memorable musical experiences involve that physicality and bass weight, and that immersive quality is what I aimed for.”
To make it work, the Nelson-raised / Wellington-based musician placed an emphasis on raw instrumentation rather than on processing. The transition was just a natural progression, he says, which also goes some way to explain his overall approach. Classically trained from a young age, Thom noticed as he got older that contemporary acts like Sigur Ros and Andrew Bird were incorporating strings into their songs. Taking that idea, he worked the instruments he learned to play growing up into a sound that leans heavily on electronica.
“Playing viola in youth orchestras definitely helped my understanding of how musical parts interact and fit together rhythmically and harmonically and exposed me to music I probably wouldn’t have come across on my own,” he says. “The viola section is positioned in the middle of the orchestra so sound comes at you from all around and I really loved being enveloped in the music. Maybe that comes across in my tunes?”
It does: The results are methodically considered, relying on both the subtle textures scattered throughout his songs as well as the driving rhythms that sit well above the surface. That same approach is especially apparent on ‘Somewhere New’, the latest single from the EP. The video comes courtesy of Melbourne-based collective Bloom AV, who used an audio-reactive visualiser system to make the one-take clip. The whole thing is “a step in the development of a Shuedet live audio-visual show”, says Thom.
For now though, his focus is on getting the 12” vinyl release of Permutations out the door. It’s the last few days of the presale, but Thom says that if people miss out or happen to be short on cash due to the silly season, they can expect to see it in stores sometime around February. For those not willing to wait, you can get hold of it right here.