F54 presents:

Author & Punisher


  • Date: Sat 3 Aug 2024
  • Venue: Cluny 2
  • Advance tickets: £17.50
  • Doors: 7:30pm


Author & Punisher has returned after a three-year gap with a mind-blowing
new album in *Krüller*. Wielding upgraded machines, a new sensory
stratagem, and a crafty curation of top-tier collaborators, proprietor
Tristan Shone emerged from the time off refined and re-tooled. *Krüller *is
hoisted defiantly on breakouts “Incinerator,” “Drone Carrying Dread,”
“Maiden Star,” but menaces profoundly on “Blacksmith,” “Centurion,” and the
title track. These are anthems for the decay and self-absorption of today.
To celebrate and invite musicians and creators into his visceral and
tactile world, Shone’s also launching a bespoke audio gear company called
Drone Machines to coincide with the release of *Krüller*.

“Drone Machines is a boutique gear company started by myself and two others
with skills in mechanical engineering and synth architecture,” Shone says.
“Using my current devices as a starting point, we have redesigned them to
be much more robust and streamlined. The machines I use in Author &
Punisher are pretty raw in construction, so we wanted to expand the
functionality. As for Author & Punisher, I wanted to up the game. The time
off [largely due to the global pandemic] allowed me to reshape my synth and
drum sounds, my microphone, and the rest of the gear. I’ve made some new
machine versions for practically every album, but I never got the chance to
dig into the guts because I was always writing or touring: album cycles
became a lot more important after the *Drone Machines *album. I finally got
the chance to improve the machines I use with a team of like-minded folks.
And most importantly, I wrote constantly. As the pandemic kept pushing out,
I just kept on writing. I haven’t spent this much time writing in a very
long time.”

Shone, the creative core of Author & Punisher, started the project in 2004,
setting out to craft devices (machines) as a force multiplier. That he
could control machines to trigger a myriad of sound objects (synths et al.)
was not just heuristic but revolutionary. Shone’s mechanical engineering
and art background functioned perfectly as a catalyst to his songwriter
form. To date, Author & Punisher has seven lauded full-lengths and one EP,
the latest of which is *Krüller*. Shone’s unconventional yet assiduous
methods with music and machine have landed crucial collaborations with
Perturbator’s James Kent, and Tool’s Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor, who
appear on *Krüller *tracks “Misery” and “Centurion,” respectively.

“There are collaborations on this record that mean a lot to me,” says
Shone. “The song ‘Blacksmith’ is this jungle/IDM-like thing that is a real
branch-out from what I normally do. That track features my producer Jason
Begin (Vytear). My wife Marilia appears as a backing vocalist on ‘Maiden
Star.’ Phil Sgrosso wrote all the guitar parts on *Krüller*. Of course, as
already mentioned, ‘Misery’ and ‘Centurion’ were collaborations with Danny
Carey and Justin Chancellor from Tool. They turned out really cool. I’ll
say with all these artists coming in and adding to *Krüller*; I think the
Author & Punisher sound is still there.”

Shone started the *Krüller *project mainly on the heels of pandemic ennui
in May 2020. The original idea was to carry over “A Crude Sectioning” from
his Adult Swim sessions. Still, the angle proved wrong for the vision to
succeed Author & Punisher’s critically-acclaimed *Beastland *(2018).
Advancement was critical, and so it was with the removal of harsh vocals.
Shone’s digitized snarls rightfully had their place

on tracks like “Doppler,” “Terrorbird,” and “Nihil Strength,” but
contrasting mellow vocals atop Author & Punisher’s unparalleled heft made
dynamic sense. Indeed, with Shone’s singing on songs like “Drone Carrying
Dread,” “Maiden Star,” and the exceptional translation of Portishead hit
“Glory Box,” Author & Punisher have projected an air of uncertainty around
the steely, often slow-motion grind.

“Melody has been and is still a part of my sound,” says Shone. “I’ve always
bathed them in a lot of reverb, delay, and distortion, though. This time
around, I was bothered by the wall of distortion I had created. I wanted a
little more clarity. I wanted to refine the sound. I wanted to step back
from my own show and analyze it a bit. I had all these competing
distortions that I wanted to streamline. I like contrast and wanted the
vocals to be immediately noticeable. There’s something about mixing
punishing drones and rumble with a mellow thing on top that I really like
on *Krüller*.”

Thematically, Shone was inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s *Parable *series,
particularly *Parable of the Sower*. Butler’s take on climate change and
social inequality was prescient and relatable to Shone. Combined with the
pandemic, government shutdowns, and responses to both (like the prepper
culture), the lyrics materialized purposefully into an ominous if fearful
motif. That they merge into the stony-hearted cover art—think *Tarkus *hewn
through a rasterized image of ‘80s military tech—by illustrator Zlatko
Mitev is yet more proof of Author & Punisher’s conceptual consistency.

“*Krüller *was originally a placeholder title like *Melk en Honing*,” Shone
says. “I had originally thought I’d title it *Drone Carrying Dread*, but
Phil [Sgrosso] was adamant that *Krüller *be the title. So, the title,
*Krüller*, is a made-up word tied to whatever world that’s represented on
the cover. I try not to talk about the apocalyptic stuff too much because
it’s such a cliché. Still, after reading *Parable of the Sower*, I started
to think about self-sustainability a lot. I guess we all were. Some people
bought guns, some moved out to the country and learned how to farm, and it
was something that I was thinking about. When the geared-up Sprinter vans
and tactically-colored Toyota Tacomas started to drive around, I was
fascinated by that movement, but I was also unsure of the motives. *Krüller
*is kind of a reaction to all that.”

Author & Punisher went to K Street Recordings to write and record *Krüller *in
San Diego, while producer Jason Begin wrote and recorded synths,
electronics, and drums at Black Unicorn Studios in New Mexico. The guitars
were then written and recorded by Sgrosso in Carlsbad, as Justin Chancellor
tracked his bass at The Garden of Weeden in Topanga and Danny Carey tracked
drums with Tim Dawson at the LOFT in Los Angeles. John Cota (Death Eyes)
engineered and played additional drums on “Drone Carrying Dread” and
“Incinerator” at K Street Recordings. Shone then on-boarded ace Brad
Boatright (Monolord, Yautja) at Audiosiege in Portland to master *Krüller*.
The goal was to employ collaborators who understood and could enhance
Shone’s physical-sounding production.

“K Street Recordings is a collective,” says Shone. “It’s a basic studio,
but for what I do, I had unlimited use of it. Then, I went to Jason’s Black
Unicorn Studios. I brought everything to him, and he tweaked the sounds. I
work in software, so he was able to run all that through a plethora of
vintage and modular synths. Me and Jason mixed *Krüller *the way I wanted.
I wanted the bass to come forward in the mix. I wanted to feel that in the
production. Often, that hasn’t come across with previous Author & Punisher
productions. I’m really happy with the production on *Krüller*. It has
tangibility to it.”

Shone is readying the Author & Punisher arsenal to support *Krüller *on the
road. He’ll add guitarist Douglas Sabolick (Ecstatic Vision) to the
on-stage lineup. Current plans are to hit Europe in February, March, and
April, the Oblivion Access 2022 festival in May, with a smattering of
U.S.-based shows around that event. There will be another European tour
with Perturbator and Health in the fall. *Krüller *is coming…


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