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Controlled chaos: Jimi Carr runs us through Bordertown, the off-kilter debut LP from Innamech

A beatmaker hailing from the Blue Mountains, Innamech wowed us last week with the release of their eclectic debut album Bordertown. Edging to experimental heights few would dare tread, brains of the operation Jimmi Carr weaved together a highly unique and totally satisfying genre-bender.

We’re always happy to delve into the minds of those who love getting a little weird, so we asked Carr to run us through the album.

innamech fool's game jimmi carr borderntown

How was Innamech’s gloriously weird debut Bordertown conceived? We dive into the mind of Blue Mountains producer Jimmi Carr?

Bordertown

Bordertown was the first track written for the album. It was originally written as an acoustic track and then adapted to beats and synths when Sammy and I started performing together at uni. As such, it’s the straightest pop song on the album.

The theme of the song is a recurring one throughout the album; the sadness and confusion of repeating mistakes and the compulsion to push past your boundaries even though you know the danger beyond. That’s not to say the album is all doom and gloom. Ironically, given the subject matter, the song is probably the most accessible on the record and one of the prettiest.

Was Not Out

This track was designed to be a live banger, and was in the live set for quite a while before the album was finished. Following from the vibe and writing process on the EP (Innamech, 2015), this song was written as a further exploration of what I wanted the band to sound like, in terms of genre fusion and dance music. The verses uses a combination of straight and odd time signatures, influenced by heavy prog rock.

The chorus is all broken beats, building up to a breakdown which is basically a slow psy-trance, beat. The use of various generic beat types like this one was influenced by our experiences playing at bush doofs, and also Sammy’s love of psy-trance. I’m not a fan myself but I like using sections of material that are recognisable enough to listeners to encourage pumping of dance floors. Thematically, this track is about feeling like an outsider but saying “fuck you whole world, I’ll do what I want!”

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Flying So Low

This song is kind of the centerpiece of the album. If I had to pick one track that I’ve written that I’m most proud of, this one would be hard to go past. It’s got a bit of a Day In The Life influence in its double song structure and epic, trippy breakdown.

It took me a long time to get the arrangement and mix just right but I’m really happy with it. The lyrics in the second section are based on a dream I had when I was a lot younger and was in a detox clinic in the country (and flooded in – true story), coming off some horrible nasties. In the dream I was much older, and my girlfriend (now wife) was there as an older person too and there was a twin version of myself that was all messed up that was interacting with my healthy self.

There’s a lot more to it, but it seemed prophetic and is turning out to be. Anyway, I woke up, went into a panic attack and when I chilled out I wrote the whole dream down and was saving it for a song for years. Sammy sings lead for the first section and sounds beautiful. I’m stoked to have this as a document of the band before she quit.

Fool’s Game

This track features some mighty drumming by Lachlan McEwen. It’s the most obvious rock track on the album and one of my favourites. The blend and crossover between the electronic and live instrumentation is key to the production on this track.

The theme, again, is the struggle to break free from a circular reality. This is a taste of a possible future direction for the band to a slightly less electronic format.

Baby Baby

Baby Baby features samples from interviews with the immortal Frank Zappa, a musical hero of mine. The session for this track started as a collaboration with Mountains DJ Another Dan, who gave me some useful tips about dubstep and drum and bass.

One of the samples kind of explains the inclusion of a straight up dance floor track like this on a fairly bent record:

“A lot of people didn’t like it because they didn’t want to hear that kind of stuff. They’d rather hear songs that went baby baby, so we threw in a few baby babies for them.”

Creator

This song is a co-write between Sammy and myself. Sammy came up with the soundscape bed, the melodic hook and some of the beats and I filled it out with the rapped sections and lyrics. I also recorded a whole room full of ridiculously loud guitar amps all pointed at one microphone, which creates all the ambient feedback in the track.

To me it’s kind of a redemption song. The general gist is ‘just breath, this will pass’. I think it’s an effective crossover between the dark and gnarly vibes present in a lot of my writing, and Sammy’s softer, more ethereal sound.

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Lonely Boney Bridge

This is another track conceived as an acoustic song. Sammy plays upright bass on it. We’ve played it live as the acoustic version and the synth heavy version on the album. It’s another one that’s full of metaphors about running from personal demons, but also flips the metaphor so that the demon becomes first person and the ‘prey’ becomes someone else. This one will probably turn up with a different arrangement on the solo album I’m currently working on.

Bird Mutations

This track had a different production process to the rest of the album. When I was doing my undergrad at uni I became interested in found sound compositions, which I used for Bird Mutations. Most of the sounds used in the track were recorded with a field recorder on a trip I did to the NSW south coast and down to Melbourne.

I went out in the bush and recorded a bunch of different birdcalls, as well as sounds of my brother and myself kicking things and throwing rocks at metal gates among other things. Some of the ‘wup wup’ blippy sounds are a recording of my son plucking a bit of stretched dried rubbery glue. Weird stuff like that. I then processed all the sounds in various ways, including time stretching and reversing, and added the electronic beats, synths and guitars.

None of it is set to a time grid, all the rhythms are based on naturally occurring sounds from the field recordings.

 

Innamech will launch Bordertown on July 8th at Wrong Side of the Tracks, a showcase of mountains-made alternative music.

Grab all the details on the Facebook event, and hot tip: first 50 people to walk through the doors score a free copy of Bordertown!

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May 25, 2017