Michael Figucio | Vis-Res

PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Up to this date, Disco Cinematic Records has only been releasing the cassettes of Vi-Res, the electronic project of Michael Figucio, who founded the label along with his wife, Kerry, in May of last year. However, not only is the label moving beyond tape to vinyl, they’re also moving beyond just Vi-Res. The first vinyl release on Disco Cinematic will be SNDTRK, a 12-track compilation of the best in film score influenced musicians, such as Repeated Viewing, and the Wolfmen of Mars, Slasher Film Festival Strategy, along with Figucio’s Vi-Res. It may also be the only vinyl release from Disco Cinematic, according to a post on the Spin the Blackest Circles soundtrack forum. It was such an intriguing statement, we spoke to Figucio ask the Australian musician about the label and its upcoming release of SNDTRK.

STARBURST: I imagine that everything behind this forthcoming SNDTRK LP started with Vi-Res. How did Vi-Res start?

Michael Figucio: Vi-Res started from a combination of me making instrumental music and a film renaissance that I was having at the time. I have always wanted to score film of any kind so I eventually decided to make music for imaginary films and stories.

The synth / soundtrack crew seems to be very tight online. What's it been like, the experience of interacting with all these like-minded musicians?

Everyone is down-to-earth and approachable. We are not so much tight but just shout out to one another when online and have the occasional chat. For me, it is good to know that there are likeminded people about, even if they are in other continents. I don't know of many musicians in Australia and of none in my local area that are moved by soundtracks in particular so it is really good to have contact with these artists that are really friendly. It's fantastic when new artists come along too, it keeps things interesting. There are no egos on display here.

Was everyone you approached about being on the album into it from the start? Did anyone say no? Alternately, were there people you wished you'd asked, in hindsight?

There were a couple of artists that politely turned us down due to being involved with other projects, but everyone else agreed. I was surprised because I thought that only a couple would say yes. We physically couldn't fit any more onto the record. We have since discovered more artists which is interesting for future prospects.

There's SNDTRK the podcast and SNDTRK the album. Did they come about simultaneously, or did one come from the other?

The album came first. The podcast was made due to discovering more artists that I feel compelled to share.

As amazing as SNDTRK sounds blasting out of stereo speakers, there are some real headphone delights to be found. Was mastering this for vinyl and getting everything just right a real priority?

Sound quality was priority one on the production side. We wanted the tracks to have the best sonic presentation and take advantage of the vinyl sound characteristics. That's why we opted for 180g black vinyl; we didn't to take any risks with splatters or splits. The novelty is in having these twelve artists on one album.

Even though your act, Vi-Res is on the compilation which you're releasing, ‘Bow’ doesn't come until the second song of the second side. How did you determine the sequencing?

Track-by-track and side-by-side. When I heard ‘Technicolor Road’ by Wolfmen Of Mars I thought, “That's how you start a film and that's how you start an album,” then I just thought, “What should go next?” and kept up with the feeling of how the tracks flow together with each other.

When I heard Albatross Wirehead's ‘Basement’, I thought that it would be a good ending that feels like an open ending and suggestion that there may be a sequel. I made three different sequences in this style, and then Kerry and I tried them at different times of the day: meaning that we tried them when we were getting motivated in the morning, on a vague Sunday afternoon, when we were studying or internet surfing, and when we were having a few drinks. We found that the final sequence works for both casual and intentional listening.

You've stated that Disco Cinematic has some very particular ideals. For instance, this may or may not be the only thing you put out. How strongly do you feel about SNDTRK and its content that you'd be happy with it being your only release under the Disco Cinematic aegis?

Well, I am listening to the album right now and have listened to it so many times through the processes of curating, compiling mastering and reviewing masters and test pressings, et cetera. I really love it. It's an album that is good from the first play (it's not a grower) and it holds up extremely well to repeated listening.

It is important for us, personally, to only release something that we enjoy ourselves. If this is the last release from DCR, then we don't mind. We discovered some fantastic music and came into contact with some great people that we would like to meet properly one day. We have enjoyed the project every step of the way and have been part of making a record that we hope will become symbolic and representative of a genre of music that we love - and believe that it will.

Drop the needle anywhere on this record and you will find a mind-blowing instrumental that you could say would fit into a ‘XYZ’ film -- or, lie back, close your eyes, and let your imagination run free.

SNDTRK will be available worldwide on August 26th, and the record will be available through Bandcamp, Ondes Positives, and Two Headed Dog. You can find Vi-Res’ music at vi-resmusic.bandcamp.com.

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