Midi Memory is a new minimal synth side-project of Matt Messore that goes in a slightly different direction his main band, Cathedral Bells. The songs have a darkwave tone, while also touching on a dream pop sound. Over the past six months, I’ve had the honor of working with Matt on his songs as a mixing and mastering engineer. Today, he released Anywhere, Anytime, through Spirit Goth, CASTLEBEAT’s indie label based in Los Angeles.
Anywhere, Anytime opens with a drum loop that has a snare slap back on the kick and snare, and a synth punching out the bass line. A swirl brings a warped analog synth tone, and the vocals enter with a warbling chorus and reverb effect.
“Underground, I fell into a holeMidi Memory – ‘Anywhere, Anytime’
Had nowhere else to go”
The release marks a transition for Puddlegum, one where we’re not only supporting artists, but also helping them create their music. So when Matt approached me about mixing his music (Midi Memory and Cathedral Bells), I was thrilled to hop on board.
We talked about what his vision was and is for Midi Memory. “I wanted to write more synth heavy tracks under a different moniker. I wanted to create dark tones, separate from Cathedral Bells’ format of writing,” Matt shared with Puddlegum. He elaborated, “I was focusing on lower / deeper vocal tones, heavier electronic sound, synth driven.”
The Mix Process
Before we begin, I become familiar with the artist’s influences. I want to know what snare sound they prefer, what vocal effects they love.
Midi Memory’s influences pull from: CD Ghost, Black Marble, Drab Majesty, The Soft Moon, The Cure, New Order, Blouse, ESPRIT, Cold Showers, Provoker, Spirit Goth, Choir Boy, Ruby Haunt, The Doorbells, Teen Blush, and Cool Heat.
Midi Memory’s sound is synth heavy, with drum loops and occasional electric guitar. As for preferences on synths, “Mostly I used the Roland JD-XI. It’s a very versatile synth,” Matt shared.
The songs typically begin as demos that he sends me. I give feedback, but I’m careful with the input I give because there’s a fine line between mixing and producing. The instrument tracks are usually finished first, while the vocals take longer as the melody and lyrics are teased out.
I begin mixing the instruments, completing a rough mix with basic edits such as compression, initial EQing and shaping, and general placements, before sending the mix to Matt. He provides initial feedback, and I follow with a second rough mix. We bounce the tracks back and forth, and I make requested edits.
Somewhere in the process, vocals are completed and mixed into the song somewhere during the process, if they’re not finished before we begin mixing. This process is one that works well for most artists I’ve worked with; the artist is involved throughout the mixing and editing.
More from Midi Memory…
So far, this is the second Midi Memory single, and both songs are personal to Messore. “Both these songs were written pretty quickly, I was forcing myself to do nothing but create these songs and numbing the pain inside away with the best way I knew how to.”
The other song Matt is referring to is No Return, the first Midi Memory single. The lead synth in No Return lays out a memorable melody, and a bouncing bass locks in with the driving drum loop. i’m cyborg but that’s ok created a music video for No Return, using clips from the short 1964 film Scorpio Rising.
Additional Midi Memory songs have been completed, and new Cathedral Bells songs are underway. Later this year, Matt will be on the road with his band; check their Instagram for dates across the United States.
With this transition, we’ve launched Puddlegum Studio, a side of Puddlegum Music, LLC that focuses on helping artists create their music. We’ll share more about this as it develops. Our focus remains on supporting independent artists and labels.
Midi Memory Links: