narducci Talks New EP "Darkness to Light"
Forward-thinking sax virtuoso and producer Matthew Silberman aka narducci whose music we covered earlier is back with a new EP, the third and final in a series of mini albums.

Matthew has recorded with Miguel, Bilal, Daron Malakian of System of a Down and Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran. But now his main focus is his own music.

The standout tracks on the new EP include Martial Meditation and Death Is In The Air. The first is a slow meditative jam with a vibe reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's Passion and Alice Coltrane. The second is a sonic equivalent of fear that almost makes the hairs on the back of your head stand up. We asked narducci to talk about the recording process behind the two songs.

This song started with the drums, percussion, 808, and synth bass. I was getting more into old O.G. Chicago house and Detroit techno, loving the vibe and feel of that music, but like everything, I have to do my own thing with it.

The soaring siren-like sound came later. It is a synth sound from Serum that I was playing via MIDI with my EWI on gigs with Dimond Saints, and I felt like it gave the song an interesting intensity and increased the vibe. The synth sound in the last section that ends the track was also an EWI sound, but this one is internal, analog, generated by the EWI itself, and as such, has a different texture and response since it's meant to be controlled by wind.

The vocal part came next, and it's actually an iPhone voice memo. I tried re-recording it with my U87 and all kinds of other great mics, but nothing could top the iPhone recording! I recorded it in the summer of 2020, when it was feeling like the world was going mad. 3 months into the pandemic, people dying of Covid in large numbers, the murder of George Floyd, political violence…it just felt crazy.

I remembered the old Woody Guthrie line about his guitar, "this machine kills fascists," and it made me think of how it felt like the growing political extremism was going to kill us all. One day I rapped into my iPhone: "Fascists to the right of me/Commies to the left of me/Violence in the Air/Violence in the Air. Fascists to the right of me/Commies to the left of me/Death is in the Air/Death is in the Air."

The rest of the parts came next. The kalimba parts on the 'B' sections give it a beautiful contrast and a hopefulness, and the saxophone and synths (Korg Volca Keys, Moog Matriarch and Prophet 10) felt like it connected all the remaining dots.

Martial Meditations started by improvising with the main synthesizer sound, which reminded me of the martial arts movie soundtracks from the 80s and 90s that I grew up loving, particularly "Bloodsport." Coincidentally, it's a digital emulation of the synth that powers one of my favorite scores and films of all time, "Blade Runner," the Yamaha CS-80. A lot of my music starts with improvisation, and when I land on something that feels unique and gives me a strong vibe, I start to develop that further.

The first version of the track was ambient, with just the synth, gongs, bells, chimes, and choir. Vocalist Shanti Snyder was visiting LA from Japan to work on some other songs we made (one of them is already released, called "Bad Intentions"). We met through our mutual friend, editor Taichi Erskine. She also liked the vibe of Martial Meditations and sang along with it a few times, improvising the sung parts that are in the final version you're hearing now. The spoken word part she emailed to me later, which translates to "Everything that we create comes from imagination and frequency. What you create is up to you." I loved the meaning and how it sounded and thought it fit beautifully in the song.

The drums came next, with the parts played beautifully by my friend Mike Tree, actually on a vintage Japanese drum kit called Whitehall that he let me keep at my studio. Then we recorded the bass with my friend Solomon Dorsey (who also plays on "Boards Break"), and guitar with my friend Orbel Babayan. Last I recorded the saxophone, and then it felt like the song was complete.
Make sure to listen to the whole EP.
Also check out the video for "Ancient Dialogue".