BADSOMA is a psych-pop project by singer-songwriter and producer, Armin Fard. Inspired by the likes of Tame Impala and Radiohead, California-based BADSOMA has combined bizarre electronics and acoustic elements in his latest single, “Heat and Disorder”.
About the track
Constantly present throughout is a bass arp, which acts as the track’s heartbeat – nicely mixed in and immediately gives you a sense of what the three-dimensional space is like. BADSOMA’s sound is quite full in this song, though the elements used are minimal. His mellow vocals fit right in with the live drum section giving off an acoustic vibe in some parts, a bit intimate and in a good way! The listener is always unraveling different creative elements in this track with every listen, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the outro of the 5:17 minute long experience.
I noticed a lot of computer sounds on this track which I usually wouldn’t enjoy hearing in a song like this, but the way BADSOMA breaks some of the “rules” is quite appreciable. In addition to all this, the clever use of simple effects like delay and reverb here are excellent – not too overpowering nor too dry, just the right amount!
All in all, I think Armin is onto something big with this project. His unique ability to merge electronics with acoustics seamlessly in a kinda psychedelic space is what will help him reach a big audience, it’s just a matter of time!
Interview with Armin Fard
1- What inspired you to name the track, “Heat and Disorder”?
The name is a reference to entropy. For us humans, with our tiny little heads, the way we experience life is completely interconnected with how we perceive change – change from order, to disorder, and back. The narrator in the song is struggling to come to terms with change and loss. That’s what “Heat and Disorder” is to me – it’s about coming to terms with change.
I was reading a book called The Order of Time while writing and recording the song. It’s written by Carlo Rovelli, a brilliant theoretical physicist, and it’s an overview of everything we know about time. A lot of the ideas incorporated in the song were inspired by that book from the very beginning.
I won’t spoil the book for you, but one idea that stuck with me was that time is a function of our limited ability to understand reality. In other words, time exists within us, not independent of us. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real, we’ve just been thinking about it the wrong way.
2- There are many intricate elements in the production that are a treat to listen to! What’s your process of selecting what sounds stay in a track and what don’t?
I think that’s actually the key to my production workflow. I really enjoy getting lost in creating layers upon layers of sound. When I first start writing parts for a song, I often loop a phrase, and just record layers of synth and guitar on it. Then, I start removing elements and hacking away at the sound, like slowly chipping away at a sculpture. I think of it as a subtractive process, as opposed to an additive approach to production. I work much better when I’m taking away and refining the sound. It doesn’t always work, but “Heat and Disorder” was definitely produced in this subtractive way.
3- You’ve listed LCD Soundsystem as one of your influences, do you also play around with sounds from the Farfisa, Wurli and the CP-60?
LCD Sounsystem have probably had more influence on my sound recently than any other band, so naturally, yes! The classic Wurli is probably one of my favorite sounds. I do have the Farfisa V plugin from Arturia which is a fantastic virtual emulator, and a couple of VSTs that resemble the Wurli. But I always go back to my Crumar Seven electric piano to really get the lushness of that classic Wurli sound. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to the real thing, and you can actually hear a lot of it in “Heat and Disorder.”
I think the influence of LCD Soundsystem on BADSOMA’s sound goes beyond particular synthesizers. What really inspires me when I listen to them is their ability to capture an extraordinary amount of tension in the span of one song
4- Do you prefer analog synths or digital simulations?
When I first started getting into music production, I only used digital synths and VSTs – mainly because analog gear, while it’s fantastic, and really fun to play with, is also pretty expensive. But over the years, I’ve accumulated more analog synths and, to be honest, it’s really influenced the way I write. I have a Prophet 08 that I use every chance I get. It’s a really versatile and intuitive instrument. To me, nothing replaces the rawness and fullness of an analog system, but I do still use plenty of VSTs and virtual instruments as well.
5- When can we expect to hear more music from BADSOMA?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a second single, so fairly soon! I don’t have an exact date yet, but the recoding process is almost finished.