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Cloud Nothings - Expect the unexpected

presented by They shoot music and AKG

on 30 April 2014

The setting is Yppenplatz, a pleasant, sunny square in Vienna where two busy street markets converge. But it’s early evening, and the market stalls are empty. Indeed, there are few people to be seen at this in-between hour. But there is one. A bearded young man in dark-rimmed glasses sits on a café chair. He plays his guitar. He sings. The song builds. The singer is Dylan Baldi, lead singer, guitarist and founder of American indie-rock band, Cloud Nothings, performing solo in the square for the creative collective They Shoot Music Don’t They, there to capture the moment with their AKG gear.

Dylan’s acoustic treatment of the song “Psychic Trauma” for They Shoot Music belies Cloud Nothing’s sound as a group. The band is aggressive, dynamic, even harsh at times, with emphatic drums. But that wasn’t always so. The first Cloud Nothing songs were a Dylan solo project recorded in his parents’ Ohio suburban basement. Lo-fi power pop is how those first songs, released on an EP, were often described. An offer to play in New York drove Dylan to assemble a band, and he was quickly encouraged by the band’s potential. So much so, that he dropped out of college to pursue music full time, thoughtfully composing a seven-page email for his parents, explaining his decision. With band mates Jayson Gerycz on drums and TJ Duke on bass, Cloud Nothings released a self-titled debut album, which featured “sweet and airy singles”, according to one critic.

The band toured extensively, and it was the grind of performing the same songs over and over again that inspired Dylan to go for something new next time around. For inspiration, he turned to the music he enjoyed listening to, most notably Portland’s ‘70’s punk band, the Wipers. The result was “Attack on Memory”, the band’s third album and a significant departure from its past music. So much so, that Pitchfork declared, “It’s literally a different band…”, and went on to describe “…how alive it sounds, aggressively leaping out at you with real dynamics.”

To record Dylan’s toned-down Yppenplatz performance, They Shoot Music Don’t They (TSMDT) used AKG microphones and headphones. TSMDT used two mics for the Dylan Baldi shoot – an AKG C214, a large-diaphragm condenser microphone designed to deliver detailed recording of lead vocals and solo instruments, and a CK77 WR lavalier microphone. The CK77 is a small, omnidirectional mic with a patented dual-diaphragm capsule to protect the transducer from moisture and perspiration, and two back-to-back vertical diaphragms to cancel out mechanical and cable noise by mixing the signals of both capsules out of phase.

For monitoring, the TSMDT turns to the AKG K271 MKII headphones. They combine the comfort of an over-the-ear design and the benefits of closed-back technology for the best possible sound reproduction. The sealed design ensures low signal bleeding into microphones in the studio and maximum isolation for live mixing applications. And for video work, TSMDT’s filmmaker rely on the AKG PR4500 ENG wireless camera receiver that combines the outstanding audio quality for which AKG is known with exceptional ease-of-use thanks to an automatic setup function and scanning of the radio frequency environment.

As for Dylan and Cloud Nothings, it seems we should expect the unexpected. When speaking to Interview magazine, Dylan said, “…my idea for this band is to be influenced by something different for every album. So it’s almost like making a new band with every record we make...” Let’s hope that the folks at TSMDT are there to capture whatever the band comes up with next.

 

ABOUT They shoot music

They Shoot Music Don’t They is a collective of pop culture enthusiasts, film makers and photographers. We film unique offstage performances of bands we like in unusual – mostly urban – settings. The stripped-down sessions feature internationally acclaimed as well as local bands, are unannounced, spontaneous and can take place literally anywhere.

Used AKG products: AKG C214, AKG CK77 WR, AKG K271 MKII, AKG PR4500 ENG

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