Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from Mike Langlie aka Cat Temper – mad scientist, graphic designer and musician from Boston who previously recorded under the name Twink the Toy Piano Band. His new album Feralyzed is out now and features cover art by Quinzel Kills. As the liner notes state:
Prepare to become prey to the ferocious charms of Feralyzed! Synthwave’s favorite meowsician shows a wicked sense of humor with song titles like “No New Tail to Tell,” “Ace of Spays” and “Careless Whisker” while the music strikes you with the sharpest of claws.
Mike contributed a number of guest mixes (electropunk / fave 15 from ’18) to IHN. You can also find a few of his tracks on our digital compilations – one is Fruitbat by Twink the Toy Piano Band and the other is Purranoid by Cat Temper.
Visit our archives to read/hear more stories!
Van Halen’s 1984 and Rush’s Moving Pictures (both foundational albums in my musical upbringing) never fail to get me pumped with their opening filter sweeps, so I couldn’t resist starting things off with my own epic growl.
People have commented on the meowing nature of my synth leads. That’s not an entirely intentional sound design choice but I don’t mind letting the cats loose to let listeners know where things are headed.
It’s probably obvious that my track title puns pay tribute to classic Punk and Metal tunes. My songs certainly don’t compare to anything by those legendary bands but hopefully the frantic energy they inspire in me comes across.
I enjoy strange sounds, especially weird synths that try (and fantastically fail) to mimic human voices. Dynamic contrasts also appeal to me which should explain this song’s fits and starts. Plus even more of my favorite thing: big spaceship landing filter sweeps!
A song I completely deconstructed after thinking it was finished several times. Only a sliver of the original idea remains but I’m happy with the doomy direction it ended up taking. (And take another swig for your filter sweep drinking game.)
My love of 8-bit synths, weird vocal patches and angular riffs shines through. Also using some horrible distortion plug-ins. As the saying (kind of) goes, “Cat Temper can have little a distortion, as a treat.”
Plenty of obnoxious sections and sounds. I get carried away with detuning, phasing and bit-crushing when I’m worried about a synth sounding too stale. Always better to overdo the “personality” in electronic music than put people to sleep.
Probably the album’s heaviest song. By now it should be clear I can’t resist a whooshing transition or a hard-panned arpeggio.
Combining my love of repetitive stomping Minimal Wave and dreamy New Romantic synths. The sweet parts are no doubt subconsciously inspired by my favorite commercial jingle, Nestlé’s Alpine White ad from 1986.
Unapologetically dumb riffs and bombastic hits. Enjoy the sounds of chirping chiptune chords and toy drum machine fills. Random filter knobs get twisted with abandon as it careens to the end.
I can’t help ending an album in a dramatic fashion and am happy with the slow build-up. For the solos I pulled out my best cape-wearing prog-rock analog noodling followed by some over-the-top Eddie Van Halen inspired keyboard “hammer-ons.”
Let me give a big shout-out to artist Quinnzel Kills (https://qzkills.com/) who graciously illustrated the cover for Feralyzed. I love her energetic style and electric color palettes. The cover “model” is inspired by 1980s babes like Vanity and Vanessa Williams and represents the music well with her mischievous fanged smile.
On a Different Note:
- Track-by-Track: Body/Negative – Fragments
- Premiere: Cheer-Accident – Weather Report/Shaft/Salvation Army Salad/InnTrialTaint
- Interview with Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love & Rockets) + Collaborative Video Playlist
- Review Batch: Automatic Colors / Zero Gravity Tea Ceremony / Toothbrush / Cat Temper
- Music Recommendations for April 2020: Pt. 3