Rooie Waas Residency

Between the 11th and the 15th of November Rooie Waas had the chance to work at Steim developing new material and expanding our instrumentarium. As a short history of the band we started as a noise band with the occasional mp3 drum tracks, went in the industrial direction for our first album, started bringing in hip hop and balkan influences for the second one and finally deepened our sound vocabulary by way off synths and more subtle programming on our latest release. We also became a fixed trio formation in contrast to our previous collective approach. Our music has always been text (or rather word-) based. Up until recently the production was done in the studio and consequently translated into a live set, which evolved in it’s own way after.

For our new phase the idea was to make new songs in a more traditional way, in the rehearsal room, so to speak. The defining factor in our sound is the use of electronic drums and samples that move a lot of air. This is further developed in a live situation with a decent size PA. We thought it would be nice this time to write the music at concert levels thus observing the sonic interactions as they happen in the room. And to include the spontaneity that comes from our temperament as improvising musicians.

So an audio workstation was set up, as well as the wonderful full range PA that we could use from Steim. We recorded everything multitrack for the possibility postproduction. It is a really different dynamic when you have to also consider making parts and musical choices that you feel comfortable executing, instead of composing what you hear and then translating it to a playable part. Since we don’t like to use backing tracks, before you would see Gerri, our drummer bound to complex paraplegic exercises. Now as we compose our individual parts, the music becomes a bit more expressive and has a rounder feel.

It’s a real pleasure having enough time to create, confuse, reflect and regroup with enough time. More often that not, creation needs a touch of idleness and some very good ideas came taking some air at the canal front of this inspiring building. We wish Steim an equally illustrious future in it’s new location.

Mikael, Gerri and Gijs

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