Where are you currently based?
Hey there, I’ve been back and forth between New York City and Los Angeles for many years and have finally settled permanently on the west coast. Due to some unforeseen circumstances during the pandemic, I moved my studio to Ojai – about 90 minutes north of LA. It’s a beautiful area. Very peaceful.
How does the sound of your new album Refolded – Waving at Airplanes Remixes differ from the original Waving At Airplanes album?
For the original album, I set up parameters to use specific sound sources which were a modular synth, piano and some acoustic guitar. I wanted the tracks to have a continuous, sonic thread beyond the vocals of Natalie Walker and Merz. For the new remixes, we had the freedom to experiment with different musical styles so, while the originals are somewhat subdued, the remixes are more immediate, beat-heavy, and venture into some darker territory.
What initially inspired you to remix the album?
The pandemic put a halt on in-person collaborations so I thought a great project would be to revisit the songs from Waving At Airplanes and come up with some new interpretations. Normally, I would farm out the remixes to other producers, but I was playing around with the vocal tracks and was really keen on doing some myself. I asked Mike Lindsay if he wanted to remix one of the songs and he was up for it so I was thrilled to have him involved.
How did the collaboration between Natalie Walker and Merz come about, and how do the two feature on the album?
I worked with both Natalie and Merz way back on the Dive Index album, Mid/Air which was a wonderful collaboration. They both are phenomenal talents and I was so honored to work with them again on Waving At Airplanes. I sent them both a handful of demos and they picked multiple songs so the album ended up being just the two of them. We alternated the track order – Natalie, then Merz and so on – which created a nice dialog between their voices. As far as the remix album, it really came down to which vocals were ‘remix-able’, if that makes sense. And some worked better than others so the selections came together organically.
Can you tell us a bit about the original production of the EP?
Since I used mostly modular synth, piano and acoustic guitar on the original versions, I made a conscious decision not to use those instruments at all for the remixes. This was to make sure there was a clear distinction of sound sources used for each version. When I was packing up my studio to move, I rediscovered a few pieces of gear that I haven’t used in quite a while. Mostly analog synths from the 80s like a Roland JX3P and an Oberheim Xpander. It was great to get reacquainted with these old friends.
What’s the creative process like behind a Dive Index release, and how does this differ from your other projects such as Plumbline?
Plumbline is primarily an instrumental project and Dive Index is vocal oriented with somewhat traditional song structures so that’s the main difference between the two. Working on Plumbline material is more of a solo affair, except when working with Roger Eno. And since I know the Dive Index songs will ultimately have a vocal track, I have to approach those songs with that in mind and leave room for the voice within the sonic space.
What are your favourite tracks from the new album, and why?
Oh geez, that’s like asking a parent which kid they like best. I know this isn’t fair, but I truly like each one for different reasons. And the ones that I felt weren’t working, didn’t make the cut. Now that said, Mike Lindsay’s remix of ‘She’s Exploding’ is certainly a stand out for me simply because Mike took it to a place that I wouldn’t normally go. And it’s wonderful to get lost in all of his sounds.
What does the rest of 2021 hold for Dive Index?
I hope we can do some shows in the fall. Nothing is booked at the moment but thankfully things are opening up so live music is alive and well. Finally!
Buy Now here On Bandcamp