Release Insight: RED – Katrina Fairlee

Katrina Fairlee

For our next release insight we’ve asked Austin’s Katrina Fairlee, who produced the track “Oak” together with Sneaker. Both got to know each other in 2018 on a small US tour, which Sneaker put together with the help of some active promoters. They ended up jamming and out came the wonderful psychedelic drum lesson that just was released on our latest record RED.

How did the record come about? How and when did you produce the tracks?

Austin, Texas has a nice little community of electronic and experimental musicians. It is small but unpretentious! Austin is kinda stuck on rock and roll and there aren’t many great venues to play. It is changing but most everyone in our scene takes a more diy approach to booking shows because no one warmed up to us in the bars and music venues. Instead, people book warehouses or turn restaurants into late night spots for people to dance. Joshua Cordova had been working at this restaurant bar that would let him throw parties. I think he booked Sneaker in February of 2018. We set up sound systems clear out the furniture for a dance floor and then party! At the time Joshua and I were sharing a small music studio in an artist compound called Monofonus. I had a night off of work the day after Thomas’ show and Joshua said Sneaker wanted to jam.

Katrina with Joshua Cordova

Was there a musical premise or sounds you wanted to approach?

Meeting Sneaker from the very beginning was really cool. It was obvious how intentional he was with sound and recording. He would be very specific of how he wanted something to sound and I would help sculpt it. He wanted a repetitive beat that just stayed pretty driving in the background and picked certain sounds he wanted from each drum machine and synth. I basically repatched everything in my studio as we went and then we recorded to cassette. Sneaker took the cassette back with him to Germany, bounced it down and made some edits. I really enjoyed discussing the break down of the edit with Thomas. It was very detailed and forced me to think of how to explain sound with words in a way that I hadn’t before.

A head full of music

Is there anything special that connects you to Uncanny Valley? A record, a party or something like that?

I’ve listened to a lot of the Uncanny Valley catalog like Credit 00 and Jacob Korn releases. One day Thomas emailed me and said he submitted our track for the compilation series and you guys picked it. It was very much a surprise! I’ve been recording music for a number of years but have always thought of it more of a therapy and hobby. I have little compositional training, I usually work alone and am still discovering processes that work for me.  Meeting Thomas and collaborating with him meant getting out of my own headspace I had been in and sharing it with others.