After years of home recording in various major cities across the world, Clay in Mono provides a compelling debut with his song “Slip.”
Creating a dynamic electro-pop track with skill-fully placed layers and an alluring sense of longing, “Slip” is a true exploration of musical bounds. Leaning into the idea of existentialism, Clay sings about “falling out of touch, how time speeds up as we age, and finding an uneasy comfort knowing we all share that experience.” Using melody loops on a Prophet synthesizer, 808s and white noise, the single feels like a twisting sojourn through life’s biggest woes and finds ways to mimic the journey sonically. As he sings “time slips away from all of us,” the song takes on a whole energy, as if to move from pondering to the true reality of things. As the track shifts and molds into various forms, there’s a parallel to the metamorphosis which we all face as humans. In this way, “Slip” becomes a demonstration of Clay’s artistic prowess and willingness to experiment.
We caught up with Clay In Mono to learn more about how “Slip” came about, upcoming album and more.
Aditya – Hey, glad to have you for the interview. How was the first half of this year for you?
Clay In Mono – It’s been good! I just relocated with my partner from LA to Vancouver, so a lot of time walking the dog on the rocky PNW beach. Other than that, prepping the next batch of music I plan to release, which has a more organic, Indie feel to it.
Aditya – Your latest track, ‘Slip’ coming up on your mini-album sounds absolutely stellar! What’s your creative process behind this track?
Clay In Mono – Thank you! The stylistic framework for most of the songs on this record came from finding loops I’d sequence on a synthesizer that I liked, then looping that melody and making sound design changes to it so that I could use texture instead of chord changes to imply different parts or evolutions of a song. “Slip” came from one of those experiments, in fact, the main synth part came from the first take, and the vocal ideas were written in just about one take, too!
Aditya – One thing I want to ask you right off the bat, what’s the ideation behind your artist name?
Clay In Mono – I was trying to come up with an artist name that included my real name, Clay, and I always enjoy it when artists reference the medium they work with, so Clay in Mono, as a mono signal of audio felt fun as my music is very decidedly in stereo and as clay the material, being forced into audio form (a la TV on the Radio). Plus it’s broad enough and different enough to work for the different styles I like to make.
Aditya – ‘Slip’, a psychedelic/ambient/electro-pop track, how did you manage to glue these genres together?
Clay In Mono – It’s just all the stuff I like to listen to and make, so it naturally came together that way. It feels different enough to be worth putting out there, I guess!
Aditya – Could you share more info on the upcoming album?
Clay In Mono – The upcoming album is called, “Entry,” out in August. While it’s only about 17 minutes long, it’s 8 songs (5 full, 3 interludes) and feels like it covers a lot of emotional territory so we’re calling it a mini-album. I’m very happy with it as my opening statement, musically speaking. It spans probably 5 years of songwriting. It’s definitely a slow burner– less is more was the motto.
Aditya – What kind of a producer & singer would you classify yourself as?
Clay In Mono – Maybe simply a songwriter, producer, musician. I like exploring the nuance of sounds, storytelling, moods.
Aditya – Who are your influences and why?
Clay In Mono – Man, honestly everything I listen to! This record, friends have told me it reminds them of Bon Iver, Nick Hakim, Rostam, James Blake. I hope people hear my love for Dub Reggae and Minimal Techno in here, too. I like artists to find warmth or groove or soul in working with electronic instruments.
Aditya – Which is your favorite synth to use and why?
Clay In Mono – This record wouldn’t have been made without my Prophet Rev-2. It’s so intuitive yet so deep. Just has an immediacy and musicality that you can get pretty lost with.
Aditya – Lastly, do you believe that AI will takeover the world?
Clay In Mono – I think we’re at the stage where AI is beginning to become a verrrrrry powerful tool that will transform the way we do things, for both good and bad. It certainly can be scary but seems like the jury is still out.