For bass aficionados seeking an exponentially innovative take on the underground sound, Lord Genmu is your new musical obsession – and we mean it. It was not coincidence nor luck he secured a spot on our 2023 Artists on Hawkeye Watch. Lord Genmu falls into a special category of an artist whose project unleashes top-tier quality tracks while still undergoing formative development. Production standards aside, his releases are new, unexpected, and 100% authentically him. Electric Hawk had the pleasure of conducting Lord Genmu’s first-ever interview, an insightful deep-dive into his passions, influences, and upcoming debut album Sigils, awaiting its full release on March 31st via Dome of Doom.
The Lord Genmu Project and Sigils
“When I first got the idea to put all of these tracks together as an album, my brain immediately thought of the word ‘SIGILS’ for some reason. Most of my ideas just shoot into my brain, and I have to deconstruct what my brain is trying to tell me.”– Lord Genmu
Liz Brewer: Thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with me about your project and upcoming album, Sigils – and a BIG congratulations on the release of the lead single, “Dranzer!”
It is no surprise G Jones routinely rinsed it throughout the Illusory tour – the track is unique, explorative, and undeniably filthy. So, how would you describe your music style for those fresh to the Lord Genmu audience?
Lord Genmu: Thank you so much for this; this is actually my first interview ever, so I’m super excited to be doing this. Also, thank you for the kind words about “Dranzer.” It’s one of my favorites. To answer your question, I would say electronic music with trap and west coast bass music influence. I’m still figuring it out as I go along, honestly.
LB: I am a huge fan of music that has a concept. I love storylines and when an artist takes the time to create lore. In your album’s case, this idea was effortless. Could you please share how it feels to execute a 7 track album with a unique and personable story?
Lord Genmu: When writing these tracks, I was going through an immense transition in my life. I often found myself in front of my laptop as a way to sort of zone out through a lot of what was going on. [So] each time I sat down, I wanted to write something that made me feel happy in a way that I could only get when I made a track that I really enjoyed. So the album is a culmination of the escapism I witnessed last year.
How did you decide on each song’s sigil?
Lord Genmu: I collaborated with my designer Boo on these sigils. She’s been super integral to the project as a whole. We have similar upbringings in terms of media, so we [can] bounce ideas off each other constantly. “Blaiid” is the sword (referencing my favorite Elden ring character), “Dranzer” is the Beyblade-looking one (which is just a reference to the anime), and “Nostalgia Bomb” is just the old macintosh bomb. But distorted, “Voices” is the Goetic circuit board rune, “Textured Inorganics” is the weird thumbprint, “Assembly Line” is the blueprints, and “Hold It” is the HOL DIT stuff.
LB: You have spoken about video game influences in your music – I really hear that throughout the album, especially in the ear candy. Can you share which ones specifically inspired you? (I definitely heard Navi from Legend of Zelda in “Dranzer”).
Lord Genmu: A lot of the samples in my music would be video game samples, from classic fighting games like Street Fighter Third Strike, Killer Instinct, and MvC2 to RPG games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. But it’s not just limited to my resampling as I grew up playing a lot of these games and have been enthralled by their scores which influenced me to go in this direction from when I started making beats.
LB: You cite Bleep Bloop, G Jones, Rustie, and Awe as artists that ignited your love for electronic music. How did your introduction to these experimental powerhouses help mold you into the artist you are today?
Lord Genmu: I would say that it gave me a blueprint for how cohesive I wanted my project as a whole to be. You could look at any of their releases and see how they all fit together in a certain canon. Also, I have to mention Porter Robinson was the first electronic artist I found who sculpted a world around this music then I found my other influences through him.
LB: Speaking of G Jones, you are joining him in the Caverns on March 31st – the same day Sigil is released. I imagine the feeling of playing with one of your earliest influences is indescribable. What does it mean to you to have this opportunity?
Lord Genmu: Honestly, it seems unreal to me still. I remember getting the email with the offer [and] then asking him on Twitter if it was, in fact, real. It honestly means the world to me. I caught a lot of his touring [over] the past couple of years and always admired the curation of his lineups. No one has had such constantly stacked touring support like that. So it was always a personal goal of mine to open for him one day. [However] never did I imagine it would be on his first curated event at the Caverns!
LB: I believe this is only the beginning of the huge shows you will play. Do you have other dream artists you want to perform with or dream venues?
Lord Genmu: Definitely Virtual Self or Porter Robinson, either or, I would be over-elated to join [them] on stage regardless. Plus, I feel like our inspirations are super similar. For venues, Brooklyn Mirage (have you seen that screen?!), Red Rocks, and Okeechobee.
LB: Your sound design is nuts. It’s new and refreshing, and I love that I never knew what to expect when diving into each song off of Sigils. Do you have a go-to synthesizer such as Operator or Serum? Or do you find yourself switching between plugins for sound design?
Lord Genmu: I like to stay experimenting with plugins for sound design. Of the two you mentioned, though, I use Operator a lot more, although I did use Serum for the acid line in “Voices.” Each song uses Portal as well; it’s one of my go-to plugins right now.
LB: I see that you resampled your Moog Sub 37 for this album. Do you often utilize audio manipulation and post-processing techniques for bass noises?
Lord Genmu: I have been using it for my FX in my tracks! I have this super old session I did in quarantine that I constantly resample for fills. I use it in all of my songs.
LB: You mixed the entirety of Sigils, and it sounds really clean across the frequency spectrum despite what seems to be a lot of sonic complexity. Is it as simple as you make it sound, or is there a lot that goes into getting a clean mix for you?
Lord Genmu: I try and mix as I go, and for this record specifically, I used a lot of clipping with Ableton’s saturator. It’s pretty simple, but it may be because I upgraded my monitors before I started making this record to a pair of Neumann KH 310s.
LB: So, there is a bright future on the immediate horizon for the Lord Genmu project. Your next single, “Voices,” releases tomorrow, March 17th, and there is a full Sigils album AND a major show on March 31st – any artist would be elated with these accomplishments. Do you have surprises left in the arsenal for 2023?
Lord Genmu: I just announced that I’m playing Lightning in a Bottle as well as a Pirate Pandas show in San Diego. Super stoked about those! Also, I’m starting on a bunch of collaborations with a couple of very dope artists as well.
Lord Genmu is a rising star!
It is profoundly refreshing to discover music that is not trying to be anything other than what it wants to be. Instead, Lord Genmu creates a project that is a raw reflection of his passions and upbringing, adorned with smooth cohesion and a burgeoning canon storyline. So add him to your own “artists to watch” list, and get ready to see Lord Genmu flourish.
Discover the Sigils of Lord Genmu – follow the canon and listen to the first release here!
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