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In conversation with: Sadnoise

In conversation with: Sadnoise

Femi Flaming, better known by his artist persona of Sadnoise, is an architecture student at RISD with a focus on acoustics and programming sound. For the past 5 years, he’s been making experimental electronic music, starting mostly by making house and overtime evolving into designing his own sounds as opposed to using samples. 

If you missed it, Sadnoise recently graced the Blast Radio airwaves as part of our Summer Series. On the broadcast he played music from his previous and upcoming release, as well as some songs that have heavily influenced the music he is interested in creating recently. He talked about gear, the importance of modular synthesis in his production workflow, and its relation to the idea of data birds.

We recently spoke with him to learn more about his taste, inspirations, and what he’s got going on. Read on to learn about the man behind the broadcast. 

Make sure to follow Sadnoise (https://blastradio.com/sadnoise or ‘sadnoise’ in the app) to catch upcoming broadcasts. 

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Can you tell us about Sadnoise?

​​Sadnoise has been an outlet for me to express a lot of my interests and emotions into sounds that are more or less designed to be so personalized and generative that the music itself creates its own genre. I am particularly interested in the complexities of organic sounds in nature and implementing the idea of what makes those sounds organic into my sound design. 

What is your first musical memory? How does that memory impact you today?

I think the first musical memory I have that has had an impact on the way I perceived music growing up was listening to a lot of the chill out and study music style of playlists in middle school. A lot of these playlists now would mostly fall under the genre of lofi-hiphop, but at the time a lot of it was ambient, minimal and almost psychedelic sounding. This was the first time I had heard songs made of mostly if not all synthesized sounds, but in a way that sculpted a cohesive atmosphere and ambiance. Breathe by Telepopmusik is one of those songs that I will always remember as maybe my gateway into wanting to dig deeper into electronic music production. 

How would you describe your music? 

I would describe the music I make as textural and generative. It consists of a lot of layers that contribute to single sounds with complex changes or larger soundscapes built up from multiple sounds with their own personalities. In a musical setting, it falls under the genres of drone, experimental electronic, and an overlap of both noise and ambient music, which I feel blend into each other more often than people might think. 

What single piece of art has had the biggest impact on you personally? 

An album that’s had a really big influence on the music I make is the EP Crush by Floating Points. Every song on this album utilizes sound design and composition in such a maximal way. It has a balance of soft ambiance and dramatic synth and orchestral swells. I particularly like how songs can be groovy in their repetition at times but grow so organically, making it feel almost like every song is a mutation of the last. 

As far as sound design, each individual sound feels so intentionally minimal and individual, leaving lots of room for sounds to have conversations with one another to create complex layers, rather than using a combination of a bunch of complex sounds, which can make something sound dense in my opinion. I tend to do a bit of both, but this album really made me appreciate focusing on the importance of designing individual sounds. 

What is your favorite broadcast you made to date and why?

During my last broadcast I spoke with a friend of mine who I had just started making techno music with about our workflows, the gear we use and what it's like creating music in a genre outside of what we usually create. I think especially in noise and experimental music because there are less “rules” people should ask more questions. 

Do you have anything you’d like readers to know about?

I recently released an album on Bandcamp titled Data Bird, which is a story about a digital bird exploring the internet. This release and my upcoming release will be an exploration of feedback paths in analog and digital circuitry to create generative textures. I wanted to explore creating random generative systems and then taming, filtering and formatting those sources of random to create melodies and controlled noise. 

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