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Comfortable Noise cover art

Comfortable Noise
(remastered)

RELEASED MAY 5, 2023 
The album consists of my psychedelic guitar loops and field recordings that I made during my stay in Berlin in 2021. These are not recordings containing the sound of specific places or situations. They are a record of the ordinary sounds of Berlin streets, which are the background to the soundscapes, and the song titles are my spontaneous associations with my time in Berlin in summer of 2022. The guitar parts were created using flashback delay, reverses and a little post-production in Ableton Live.

 
tracklist

Temporarily Open (comfortable noise 2)
Noir (comfortable noise 1)
Donuts and Photos (comfortable noise 6)
Mitte (comfortable noise 3)
Blue Tank (comfortable noise 5)
Bicycles (comfortable noise 4)
Temporarily Closed (comfortable noise 7)
Invalidenstrasse (comfortable noise 8)
Markthalle Neun (comfortable noise 9)
MUSIC
Michał Milczarek

FIELD RECORDINGS
Michał Milczarek

REMASTER
Marcin Cichy

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Jan Gierach

Field recordings were made in Berlin in August 2021.
notes

 

My stay in Berlin in August 2021 resulted not only in discoveries of new hipster places with Middle Eastern and Vietnamese cuisine and a traditional walk along the East Side Gallery. I also managed to make some interesting field recordings on the streets of Berlin. Nothing extraordinary, on the contrary. I wanted to capture the Berlin sound of everyday life. City noise during the day and evening. Cars, people, the sounds of nearby pubs, fire trucks, ambulances. Typical urban vibe.

I wanted to capture what is so captivating about Berlin, i.e. its contradictions. It turned out that they are also present sonically. Berlin is a city full of beautiful and ugly elements. Comfortable and uncomfortable sounds. Totally bizarre and completely normal places. Soothing spaces and disgusting noises.

Some time later, already in my home studio in Warsaw, I recorded a dozen or so guitar tracks.

They were based on the use of my tc electronic Flashback Delay. Playing around with the "tape" and "reverse" modes, I recorded several improvisations - all of them were one-off and unique takes. I got an idea. I recorded. And I moved on. Without any edits.

Particularly interesting were the fragments using the reversed loop. This mode in Flashback sounds very weird - on the one hand, it loops a piece of normal-sounding guitar, and then in a unique way mixes it with the reversed signal. Great! In itself,

it can create an interesting soundscape,

and additional play with the "delay time" knob caused the loop to deconstruct itself. I've used it on several occasions!

Both those guitar tracks and field recordings were on my hard drive for weeks. Untouched, and at some point even a little forgotten. One evening (I think it was November) I went back to them and started spontaneously mixing psychedelic loops with cut-up recordings of Berlin streets. It turned out that this combination sounds great. Guitar fragments on the one hand are ambient and soothing, but on the other hand they often sound very uncomfortable, disturbing. Kind of like a glitch. Field recordings in some moments create a pleasant background, and in others they pierce the music with some annoying hum or police siren.

This is the expression of my fascination with Berlin. This is what "my Berlin" sounds like anyway. It is a comfortable noise.

Michał Milczarek

I did 11-12 tracks this way. I published 7 of them regularly as singles (as part of the series Comfortable Noise on Spotify and YouTube -

from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022). This music remained in this form for over a year.

In the first half of 2023, however, I decided that it needed to be refreshed and released as a full LP.

I called Marcin Cichy and asked him to prepare a remastered version of Comfortable Noise.

Marcin did an excellent job - he gave each of these tracks great depth. He had a great sense of aesthetics, as always. On the occasion of the remastered release of the album, I added two more previously unreleased tracks on bandcamp (available as bonus tracks when purchased).

Each song received a new title, which is my loose association with my stays in Berlin.

remaster & visual

The visual setting of this project is a separate story.
I asked Janek Gierach to make a cover in a minimalistic bauhaus style. Janek worked on it for quite a long time, until he finally came up with the idea of optical play with the theme of the box and "something" inside it. There are several versions of the cover, referring to the Berlin aesthetic (two alternative covers are also available as bc bonuses). It is worth recalling that the very theme of urban aesthetics, noise, comfortable and uncomfortable elements was explored with Janek earlier during my photo session (also summer 2021).
We called it
... Comfortable Noise.
Michał Milczarek
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