∆AIMON is a male/female duo working within the electronic genre to produce atmospheric compositions built upon dark and occult aesthetics. Dense and weighed heavily by a bleak and oddly romantic sentiment.
What was the first soundtrack or composition that you listened to and how did it affect you?
I think the first soundtrack I really paid attention to was either John Carpenter’s Christine or Prince of Darkness. His use of minimal synth pads and re-occurring themes to evoke suspense really inspired me to explore atmospheric and horror style compositions. There’s just so much foreboding in every single note of his scores. Since then I’ve paid a lot more attention to soundtrack composers. The potential to build tension and anxiety through music has really impacted our approach to song-writing since the very beginning.
What was it that first attracted you to horror?
That’s always a tough question to answer. I’ve enjoyed horror since I was very young. Personally I think it’s important to respect the dark we harbour inside us. Horror films are an expression of our fears and desires made appropriate by the distance of voyeurism. For me at least, it’s always been about identifying the parts of us that carry the ability to do terrible things. Understanding our hidden thoughts and relating them through artistic expression as a form of catharsis or exhibition keeps us from psychologically repressing those traits; something I find very important for proper balance. There are also aspects of how it is entertainment as well, but primarily I enjoy horror that involves provoking thought and self-awareness, or otherwise exposes us to our deep fears.
We just released an extended edition of our Flatliner EP on Artoffact Records, and have a collection of related remixes about to be made available at the end of this year. Currently we’re finishing up various collaborations and remixes for other artists so that we can start off the New Year fresh and ready to delve into production work on our first full-length album.
What achievement are you most proud of?
We’re honestly just amazed and grateful for the huge amount of support we’ve received since we first started the ∆AIMON project. It’s extremely rewarding to have listeners understand and affirm something we put a lot of care into. There’s been a few major highlights along the way of course, such as performing a show with Douglas McCarthy and Suicide Commando but it always comes back to sharing a connection with all the amazing people we’ve met through doing this music.
Who do you most admire musically?
As far as film compositions specifically, I really admire all of Clint Mansell’s work, as well as John Murphy (his score for Sunshine is incredible) and Charlie Clouser. I’m not a particular fan of a lot of the films Clouser has scored, but definitely love how he’s merging the underground experimental approach into more mainstream productions similar to what Graeme Revell was doing in his earlier career. As for music in general, I’ve always been extremely inspired by Peter Christopherson (from COIL, Throbbing Gristle, SOISONG, etc.) and the various old-school/experimental industrial artists such as Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, SWANS, and Einstürzende Neubauten. I’d say they all have a similar aesthetic in their use of sound design and unique production towards evoking an emotional response (especially in relating anxiety, paranoia, and horror).
Talk us through your musical training and background.
Well, I’ve always had strong synaesthesia so I started playing and recording music in my early teens; mostly noise and textural experiments using non-traditional sounds and effect loops, edited and arranged in odd ways. From there I started utilizing digital workstations to layer more and more complex production until eventually I decided to study it in a professional capacity. I’m trained in music theory on various instruments and have performed in several bands including earlier music projects that developed into the style that we now perform as ∆AIMON. I earned an audio engineering degree at a conservatory for recording and have used that to pursue compositional and sound design work for an independent film company here in San Diego. Other than that most of my background is just a lot of time spent experimenting with sounds and recording tools/techniques. I also tend to listen to a lot of lush soundscapes and textural pieces. Nancy has a less formal background but is still very proficient with the experimental aspects, having done recordings of her own before we met.
What influences you when writing music?
Both of us have a very strong attraction to dark and fetishistic photography and fashion. We find a lot of inspiration from artists and filmmakers utilising those themes in unique and provoking ways. Recently we’ve found a lot of inspiration from films like Antichrist and Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession, which have a very intense way of depicting sexuality and feelings of depression/anxiety/etc. Those types of imagery, along with our own personal relationship and the dynamic we share, have a lot of effect on us as musicians.
Recommend a score.
We’d definitely have to recommend the Beyond the Black Rainbow score. The film is very visually impressive, but the lush vintage synth score by Jeremy Schmidt is absolutely mesmerising and perfectly complements the overly-saturated film. Another soundtrack that impressed us recently was the selections for Enter the Void. A maelstrom of sounds from LFO, Throbbing Gristle, COIL, and others all collaged into a properly dense and psychedelic cloud of sound.