Recording Ten Mouth Electron’s “Brite Lites’ EP


I first saw Ten Mouth Electron about a year ago in Gulliver’s in Manchester, and it absolutely pinned me to the wall. Brutal, brilliant, and synapse-janglingly strange. I then spent the next few months completely failing to find out anything about them or who they were, until, when attempting to describe them to a chap I’d just met, was informed “Ah, that’s my band”.

I first realised that I really had to record them at a later gig where they played this EP’s opening track Brite Lites. For one thing, I simply could not work out how the sounds I was hearing were being summoned from a guitar, and as a guitar player, I thought getting them into a recording situation would be my best shot at figuring out how to rip it off.

Numerous tracking and overdub sessions later, I still have absolutely no idea how it’s done. We used two amps running in parallel, and I used multiple mics around the room to capture it, but what goes on between fingers and amp remains fairly opaque to me.

Basic tracking was done in the band’s rehearsal room, in a fairly chaotic session that ran til around 3am. We then did some overdubs both in the rehearsal room and in my mix room.

Coming to mix the tracks later, we realised that the cider level had been way too high on Hate Week At The Coven, so we re-tracked that at the end of a session for the Minor Characters project at Parr Street Studios. Hate Week works best wonky, I think, but there is such a thing as too much wonky.


For anyone interested n the technical stuff:

Only had the one room to work with, so we put the bass amp out in the corridor, and ran the two guitars through both channels of a Pod X3 Pro. This is the rack version, that handily lets you run two guitars through two completely seperate amp and effect chains at once. We only used the amp sims for monitoring, as we wanted to get the tone of the band’s really rather nice valve amps. I did, however, record the straight-through DI sgnal of the guitars.

So once we had the bass and drum parts down, with no spill from anywhere, we had the choice of re-tracking the guitars as overdubs, or re-amping the DI guitars. In the end, I used a blend of the two on Cut Up Technique, and exclusively the re-tracked stuff on Brite Lites.

Bass is a combination of a DI signal and the amp. Amp for all the grit, DI to add some low end pulse. If I recall correctly, the DI signal is cut off completely from about 200 hz, so it’s really just providing some thump.