Feature: The Ingredients of Tame Harm with Autosuggest

Friday, May 24, 2019

It's a big week for Sydney artist Autosuggest, who has just shared his debut album Tame Harm. Written over the space of over four years, the album is a reflection of his unique sound. Alec Mallia (Autosuggest) explores what impacted him when working on the LP below.

The best Kanye album, I’m not taking questions. The opening track 'On Sight' essentially turned me onto distorting the living hell out of synthesisers, and I pretty much chased that feeling the whole record. Between that record and the track 'Cracked Actor' from Bowie, that was essentially what we constantly referenced in the studio.

Live Shows
Best seen in our clip for 'Heron'. that live show revolves around myself, Jack McFarlane (Bass) and Jordan Sexty (Guitar). As we began to play more and more I wanted to showcase that dynamic in the tracks…and more or less give the boys some fun stuff to do. Initially I wanted to write a hyper-electronic record, and of course by the end of it I had half a dozen guitars strapped around me and a busted amp telling the mastering engineer; “Make it sound like the electronic version of ‘Songs For The Deaf’.”

Where to begin? Electronic music tends to fester in little separate pots around Sydney, and heaven help you if you’re trying to put shows on during Vivid….There’s a lot of frustration to be had about the cultural infrastructure of the place, but I do believe it births extremely self-assured art.

It’s our beautiful monster, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there are many weird and wonderful acts birthed from the sprawl. I’m very happy to have the mess influence me.

The Visuals
I remember standing around the little set for the 'In Lust' video with director Thom Muir and smirking like a dickhead before asking him, “So, what do you think we should do for the next one?”. This has basically been more or less now a constant for the project, I’ll write what I think is a single, and before it's even in the studio we’re working out how to get away with aesthetic murder for minimal dollars. Managing three music videos for this album, I can’t listen to the songs without thinking of the videos, and you know I won’t stop myself if I get the opportunity to do more.

My distinct lack of technical ability
I’m sure many have figured this out by now but I can’t play my instruments particularly well, but I’ve evolved a bit of a weird style to compensate for this, mostly evident in the guitar work of Tame Harm. There’s almost exclusively no chords, no rapid-fire melodies or complex patterns. What there is however is a stupid amount of nuanced bending and partially muted notes. I honestly believe that it contributed to the sort of crushing textured weight of a lot of the tracks because the bass had so much room to breathe and dominate the song structures. It’s also a pain in the arse to teach someone to play so…sorry Sexty.

Listen to Tame Harm by Autosuggest below:

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