Although some singles (Šentjanževo and Kabinetni ljudje) have already been aired during the last year (and a half even, maybe, IDK, time got a bit weird during this virus madness...), this album in its entirety was finally released today, on the Slovene national culture day or "Prešeren's day", as befits such an album. For the impatient TL;DR types that want to hear it, like, nao!!1, here is the link to the links to your favorite streaming platform.
I know I say that every time, but I honestly mean it - it is a special album. I can vividly remember talking to Janez during one of the mixing sessions for the first few songs about the concept of the whole project and at that point, it just "clicked";
We used to think that folk music passed down the generations is an echo of the past, but in reality, it's a kind of a primordial interface (lol) to our deepest roots that's as relevant and present in us today as it was on any other day for the time immemorial. No matter what your everyday favorite genre is, the motifs of the songs that you inherited from your forefathers will find a handle in your heart that you may not have even been aware of... and grab it.
And now that the song has your attention, it will use that to attach a contemporary poet's interpretation of the same experience to the chain of ancient history distilled in the original folk song. Using the old, the archetypal, to put the current into a broader context, and using the current to show that the old human experience archetypes are still relevant.
I, for one, find that simply genius. I'm so happy to have been a part of something like that.
As the album itself is conceptually merging the old and the new, I too wanted the mixes to give a subtle nod to the warmth and coziness of the 60's and 70's while being precise, open, and spacious like most of the contemporary production. Within that broader framework, I approached each song like an individual story, drawing inspiration both from the lyrics theme and the arrangement.
The first song, Zemlja, is practically a psychedelic trip that has to be felt more than heard, while Kabinetni ljudje is very "down to earth", mundane, literal. It was challenging and so much fun at the same time to have to switch between so many headspaces inside one single album!
The basis of the general sonics is the Brainworx' Focusrite SC console channel. It almost never works for my ears, but for this arrangement and the feeling that I was after, it just made it happen almost by itself. The next big part of the sound was the stereo bus compressor, which was my trusty ol' GSSL 4k clone for the punchy songs, and the Pulsar Mu for the more gooey ones. Other than that, it was boring digital corrective EQ here and there, some multiband compression for bass and vocals, and various saturation toys depending on the flavor, you never know which one of those is going to work on what...
Where am I going?
It seems like a funny crossroads at the moment where I'm mixing this kind of music and enjoying it immensely, while at the same time I've just finished mixing a death metal album that comes out in late spring this year (hopefully), and enjoyed that immensely as well. I thought that I'd eventually specialize in one general genre, but this is worlds apart. So where will it take me?