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Meet Gloomer, the LA producer who creates shoegaze that feels like staring into a strobe light – Alternative Press | Casual Expat

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When Elliott Kozel was younger, listening to Beatles records soon turned into wasting time in his room with a Tascam four-track recorder. “Probably [around] In seventh or eighth grade, I started thinking, ‘God, I’m addicted to this,'” he says from his home in Los Angeles. Years later, Kozel bought the exact same model as a reminder of his roots. “It’s funny though. I don’t really use it. I only have it here as a consolation,” he says.

Kozel has evolved since those days, both making music his career and mostly producing for others. You may know him from the “bubble noise”. Yves tumor‘s”Katrina‘ or from the dizzying disturbances of that colour Jean Dawson‘s”dummy.” Now he’s stepping out with another new project called darkera shoeshine boy-meets-drum-and-bass blitz.

“A lot of the songs came about because I was like, ‘How can I make a bunch of shit that doesn’t go together, goes together?'” he explains. The answer: experiment a lot. “I would do 10 different sections for a song and keep doing different things,” Kozel continues. “It could be halftime. Rock ‘n’ roll could go crazy. Everything could go quiet.” He then worked on the best of those ideas until it became a three-minute song.

For example, his debut single “Drumjoy” was originally six minutes long, a song Kozel sampled his friends in the “Grit-Pop” band on sick peach. That in turn became a big part of his sound. He used a technique called granular synthesis, where you put a song in a sampler and it spits out different parts of the audio, “rebuilding it in this weird way” and amplifying the song’s confusing stroboscopic effect.

But while the new tracks are experimental, they’re not limitless. Unlike musicians who brag about mixing myriad genres, Kozel want Because he works with so many different types of musicians, he struggled to set boundaries to work on the inside so he didn’t think about it too much. Otherwise he would swing too far, too much.

The result is a string of songs where the guitars are shabby, the vocals claustrophobic, the mood chaotic and lo-fi. Kozel achieves this by throwing in Connan Mockasin’s guitar warbles, drum breaks scurrying back and forth My bloody valentine‘s loud bliss. (In fact, Kozel ripped his nickname from a Loomer pedal — a multi-effects box, named after the My Bloody Valentine song of the same name, which aims to emulate Kevin Shields’ guitar tones — and a “G” added.) The sound is jerky and somber, but not disconcerting. Rather, it is the feeling that his emotions are reaching a pent-up frenzy and need to be exorcised.

“I kind of keep it all to myself and try not to bother anyone, and then I come in here late at night and I’m just like, ‘I have to get it out, but I’m going to do it whisper it,'” he laughs.

To be honest, listeners might mistake the vocals as shoegaze-influenced where it’s often swallowed up by a wall of sound, but it has more to do with a fear of expression. “I took a break [from my own projects] and working on other people’s music, and then when I went to the mic I was scared,” he admits. You won’t find any heartwarming confessions or gutting self-loathing in his songs either. If anything, the lyrics are intentionally left vague and overlaid with textures, leaving interpretation up to the listener.

However, texture is essential to his sound and something Kozel wants to carry over to his live shows as a gloomer. After all, a lot has changed since he last appeared on stage as Tickle Torture, his erotic “prince Rip-off” project that had dancers painted gold, confetti cannons exploded on stage, and Kozel performed in a thong. But like David Bowie’s Thin White Duke or George Clinton’s Dr. Funkenstein calls Kozel Tickle Torture a character he played who “long since disappeared into my psyche.” Instead, Gloomer feels more true to his personality and a welcome relief from his Tickle torture theatrics. “I hung up the thong,” he jokes.

As for his live show as a Gloomer? He’s still planning how it’s going to sound, but he promises to create a low-stakes, DIY vibe. “There are so many reasons to switch it up and put on a humble shoegaze show,” he adds. “I’ll look at my pedals and try to get my tones right.” For now, he’s planning to bring a laptop so he can keep the drum and bass aspect, and there will be a drummer to do the samples plays. Kozel also writes new songs weekly so he can produce a 30-minute set, and now that he knows his formula, more are on the way.

“I want to leave room for Sonic Youth moments where we can just focus on feedback for a few minutes,” he enthuses. “The beauty of playing live is that you can have some spontaneity. Otherwise what’s the point?

FOR FANS OF: Yves tumor, nothing, Vegyn

SONG RECOMMENDATION: “Wait”

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