Musician Mike Ludwig from the group Screaming Bones, decided to immerse himself in an experience that was simply fascinating in his artistic prognosis, starting a solo process really ravishing in his intention. We know that the ambient genre is truly fascinating, totally disconnected from music as a product and much more rooted in the details, in creating a sensorial experience that is fascinating for those who enter the conceived journey. And here we have the conception of another masterpiece, the album “A Day in the Labyrinth of a Psychedelic Mind”, the release of the Bones:Dreaming project.
As with Screaming Bones, this project is also a one-man show. Mike generates the dark ambient sonic soundscapes with the help of a Soma Lyra 8, a Soma Ornament 8, a Soma Cosmos, a Moog Subharmonicon and several guitar pedals, mainly by Electro Harmonix and Strymon. The combination of those machines makes each session unique. The nature and philosophy of the Soma instruments is that the artist and instrument form a kind of symbiosis. Especially the Lyra 8 reacts to the mood of the artist in a given session and sounds different every time it is played. Therefore, no two sessions with the same setup will ever sound the same.
Each session is an experience for Mike, the setup of the instruments is different each time, the outcome is unknown, the journey is the goal. When playing the instruments, they seem to become alive, they develop their own sounds, rhythms and behaviour. Sometimes, the machines just sit there and talk to themselves, the outcome is what you hear in 'A Day in the Labyrinth of a Psychedelic Mind'. The dark ambient soundscapes take the listener onto a journey into the sonic unknown, patterns emerge, rhythms find themselves, only to be lost again moments later in a haze of electric crackling. The listener needs to reserve some time in their busy schedules, clear some headspace, put on the headphones, lean back, close their eyes and enjoy the journey.
“A Day in the Labyrinth of a Psychedelic Mind” is a firecracker to be tasted in all its quintessence, from the first seconds. The six tracks album will be able to relax you but at the same time make you see the metaphysical reality that surrounds us.
In this new interview, we talk with the German Psychedelic project Bones:Dreaming to ask about his new album "A Day In The Labyrinth Of A Psychedelic Mind".
Why did you want to play this genre?
I don’t think I ever lost any thought about wanting to play this genre. I don’t really have anything of the dark ambient genre in my record collection. Starting in that genre just fell into place when exploring new sounds. In today‘s music world, no matter where you go, I find it increasingly hard to find something that fascinates me, that captures me. When I started recording the stuff I do with the Screaming Bones project, the things I always liked most was to experiment with different effects, with different sounds. Finding that connection between human and machine and infusing your feelings into a piece of metal and electronic circuits, powered by electricity, always catapults me in a state of pure creation. The moment, when the speakers vibrate sounds into the room that match my DNA at that point in time has something magical. While I love doing the guitar psychedelia with Screaming Bones, the Bones:Dreaming project has opened up a door to a whole other dimension to me and I love to continue exploring it.
Who or what inspires you to write songs?
Life itself. Each morning I take a long walk with my dog. We live in the countryside with lots of wonderful forest around us. When we venture a bit further, we often end up in sections that seem to come out of a fairytale. I try to chase thoughts out of my mind when walking and take in what is around me. In those moments, ideas start to flower in my head that I am having trouble to take home with me sometimes and sculpt them with my machines. Without music, my life would be meaningless…
What bands have inspired you the most?
The inspiration for all the music I am making lies somewhere between the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Ramones, Electric Moon, Kungens Män, Massive Attack and Jesus & Mary Chain, to name a few. Now, if you had asked me about Screaming Bones, that selection would have made sense. I’m afraid, I don’t have any names that inspired me to make electronic music the way I do with the Bones:Dreaming project.
Whom would you like to feature with? Like your dream collab?
I am not sure whether I would want to collaborate when making music. I’m used to do things on my own. Literally as in locking myself into a room and work on my recordings all day and night until I like what I am hearing. I can’t really imagine to work with somebody on the actual music. I think, I wouldn’t be so good in making compromises if it came to it. I was asked a while back whether I would work together on a project in which to add lyrics to the sound I am making… that would be something I would do, but nothing has grown out of that idea yet. We‘ll see what the future brings.
How was the writing and recording process for this record?
When working with modular Synthesizers, there are gazillion ways of hooking them up together to shape your sound. I usually start by tuning one oscillator to a frequency that best suits my mood at that given point. Then, one after another, I bring in other modules and start to sculpt the sounds that I like. Once I have a setup that sounds like it is worth exploring further, I stop for a moment and lean back before I hit the record button to capture the evolving soundscapes with some enhanced mind and enhanced hearing ;) The soundscapes you can hear on ‘A Day in the Labyrinth of a Psychedelic Mind’ are the result of that process.
Did you play all the instruments in this music project?
Yes. Both of my projects are solo projects. I only add drums from a drum computer at times. Other than that, every sound is generated and played by myself.
Why you decide to do a solo project
For a number of reasons, I suppose. First of all, as I mentioned, I am not very good in making compromises when it comes to my music. It’s more a journey I go on myself, it’s a journey to my inner self, it’s a process in my life that helps keeping me sane in this crazy world we live in. Second, I live in the countryside in a small village. Even though a couple bigger cities are only about an hour away, I would be struggling to find anybody with the same musical interest who lives nearby. I did try it, believe me… but I dropped those efforts relatively quickly.
Who did the cover art?
I do my cover art with the help of A.I. imaging programs, which you tend to find more often online these days. I think of a theme I would like to see on an album cover and have the A.I. generate a number of images of which I choose the ones I like best. Those are then merged and enhanced in a photo and drawing app before they go onto the album.
Do you have plans to release new material soon?
I am currently working on an album each for Bones:Dreaming and Screaming Bones. If things go well, we should see the releases by end of this year, beginning of next year.