3:33 is another mind blowing group that is new to us this year and one that we are absolutely stunned by in the presentation of their latest works. Deeply planted into raw drum breaks and a hemisphere of the wildest tones, their trip embarks on the darkest of worlds and smashes through that veil with mantras of sonic energy. It’s a sound of carnivorous emotions that conveys some of the most raw expressions of sound from anyone we have heard all year. This raw state comes with composure and a prowess that can tumble buildings down. Bicameral Brain is the trio’s most extensive project, compiled over a multiple year space and filled with two CD’s of free form beats. This music is the basis to where the origins of drums meet the evolution of machinery and we are humbled beyond measure from what they achieve on every piece. Ethereal music at its finest in 2013. We interviewed the trio this year and staying true to their craft, they remained anonymous through communication, simply going by Members 1, 2 and 3. Stunning music from a cosmic and psychologically interwoven perspective, it doesn’t get more real.
From Parallel Thought
After being stuck “In the Middle of Infinity,” 3:33 found themselves in “The White Room,” an ever-expanding room. While inside the White Room, their minds were pulled apart. The resulting Bicameral Brain was comprised of two parts. One side spoke commands in the form of auditory hallucinations and the other listened and obeyed.
With their double album, “Bicameral Brian,” 3:33 isolate the two sides of this primitive state of consciousness, the commander and the commanded, and capture them in the form of an audio recording. 3:33 continue to bend the framework of their sound in the same vein as Yoshi Wada, Terry Riley, Whitehouse and La Monte Young. Follow 3:33 on their journey through the Bicameral Brain, an examination of primitive consciousness as it still functions today.
Erik: We have had a chance to listen to the new record at the house and it was a really enjoyable and memorable experience. It is definitely a sound that stands apart from a lot of the records we have had come in recently. Congratulations on aligning with such a respectable label and putting out a record of this magnitude! Before we dive into the conceptual side of the double LP, we wanted to ask you, what are some of your favorite aspects of break beats?
Member 1: Thanks, really appreciate the kind words. For us, it’s the intensity of the breaks, that raw feeling they give. There’s always so much unspoken power in the drums and we try and recreate that with every break/live drums we use.
Member 3: Break beats can be found in almost everything and promote synchronization.
Erik: You are one of the few groups we have heard recently that adds such complex layers and overtones to those break beats, are these tones that you are recording and manipulating instrumental based or are these created with hardware or software? Can you give us a little insight into how those extra layers of sound were created?
Member 1: It’s always different, it’s a mix of field recordings/samples. Everything is mostly processed sampled and recorded directly into the MPC. Bicameral Brain in particular incorporated alot of recordings from the house we were living in at the time. A lot of rusty pipes, generators, thunderstorms, which all gave off these ominous tones
Erik: Can you tell me a little about 3:33 and how you formed and some of the elements that you collectively bring to the table when you are composing music together?
Member 2: 3:33 was formed after the number and time 3:33 had created the opportunity. The group itself came together very naturally and we all have a common understanding of the connection between sounds and separate realities. We can come together and automatically and freely create without having to talk about it. We all know how to pull from the space behind or beneath what is in front of us and convert that into noise.
Erik: We would love to talk about the conceptual side of the latest record, Bicameral Brain. What were some of the initial catalysts that effected the direction of the album and can you maybe highlight a bit on the conceptual aspect of the record?
Member 3: I think we wanted to make this record, and there was a time and place for each side of the record. We completed each side with virtually no stopping. They were done completely apart from each other. In terms of the concept for the record, it is what is and was happening. All of our albums have a “concept” but they are all based on a true story that was happening at the time the music was created.
Member 1: For further reading I would recommend checking out Julian Jaynes brilliant book The Origin Of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.
Erik: With the length of the album, did you utilize everything that was created for it, or do you still have material that was not used in the final release?
Member 1: Yes, there’s tons of material that didn’t make the project. The first disc was actually recorded about 4-5 years ago. So we had what we thought was the album finished. When we started releasing records, things weren’t properly set up yet for the Bicameral Brain. We revisited the album last December and that’s when we created the second disc (which actually was originally one long 100 minute piece that had to be cut down). After finishing the second disc and comparing it to what was made years ago we knew were ready to release it.
Erik: Can you talk a little about the label Parallel Thought and how you were able to link with them for the release of this album and can you talk about the physical release itself and what people can expect with it?
Member 1: We would always trade music or be at their studio. They basically never stopped bothering us about releasing music. We were hesitant at the start so they included their name on the first few releases (which caused a lot of confusion because people thought we were the same group). All of our physical CD releases have the same packaging in order to keep the narrative going. Kevin Vitella designs everything, he’s brilliant. If possible, everything would be on vinyl but that comes down to money.
Member 2: Parallel Thought are fans of our music and have showed us full support. They have also inspired the 3:33 remixes. Specifically the seven sets of seven remix project and the Cannibal Ox project which will be out shortly.
Erik: We find a lot of similarities in your break beats with our friend Psychopop – who makes music with Gonjasufi – and a lot of producers from those San Diego circuits, are you familiar with any of his works or maybe other people working around them? In addition to that, are there any other people that you are listening to or watching closely right now?
Member 1: If it’s the same Psychopop that’s affiliated with Skrapez then yes, I’m familiar. Also big fans of the MRR-ADM guys. Outside of our projects, been stuck listening to Lustmord, Sunn, Swans, Whitehouse, Godspeed, Thomas Koner, Kevin Drumm, Lee Gamble.
Member 2: I do not think I have heard them. I am watching a few people fairly closely right now, none are involved in music though, that I know of.
Erik: Definitely him, he is the other half of Skrapez with Tenshun. The album has such a vivid and ominous aura attached to it, what type of atmosphere was present during the production of this album?
Member 1: It was brutally cold during the actual recording process , extremely dark endless nights, clear skies barren streets.
Member 2: A very heavy darkness that felt light and clear.
Erik: Was the album recorded in many different locations or at one central location?
Member 1: Few different locations, mostly was all recorded / mixed in New Jersey.
Erik: The legacy of your album and the conceptual side goes far beyond just a collection of tracks, how important was it to embed a concept of this magnitude into the fabric of your music?
Member 3: The concepts are extremely important because we didn’t really conceptualize them. The music is created from the concept itself. We didn’t choose a concept, we simply identified it. These concepts are what we believe the music actually is.
Member 2: From recording at the Bohemian Grove, to getting trapped in the middle of infinity, to the endless loss of the white room and now where we are with the Bicameral Brain, the narrative continues to unfold for us.
Erik: What is the oddest thing that happened during the creation of Bicameral Brain?
Member 2: It’s been a while but there were pipes in the roof that started playing, extremely loud thunderstorms, and some sort of domestic dispute.
Erik: Thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate it!
3:33: Thank you.