Bold movements underscore the drama of Bolt Ruin’s new, imaginary soundtrack, False Awakening Loops. The Belgian producer creates tense atmospheres with gleaming melodies and scalpel-sharp arpeggios. False Awakening Loops stings with an underlying urgency to dig through the countless layers of our inner worlds, blasting through mental walls and sensitive delusions. Further, Bolt Ruin is joined by collaborators KMRU and Innerwoud on two tracks, expanding the sonic landscape to heighten this music’s overall impact.
False Awakening Loops is out now. Grab it HERE.
The whole record was written as the soundtrack to a non-existent movie. Each song portrays a scene where the borders between reality, dreams, and flashbacks of the protagonist are unclear. This concept is inspired by my own personal experience with episodes of parasomnia, a catchall term for unusual events while asleep, like nested dreams and sleep paralysis.
I wanted to translate these ‘dreams within a dream’ and the surreal feelings accompanying them into a musical concept by creating recurring but changing patterns. Similar to how the music is built out of scattered pieces and vague narratives, the track titles refer to an incomprehensible fractured language of someone talking in their sleep. Apparently, when we sleep, the entire language area of the brain is less active, making reading, writing, and even speaking very rare in dreams.
I live in an old mansion. Apart from my studio space, all rooms behind the six white doors on the top floor are desolated. When creating ‘Ekht’ I envisioned a movie scene unfolding here: the character opens door after door but repeatedly enters the same room. It’s inspired by a dream I had where I would run down the same street at night and never reach the end of it.
‘Ekht’ was made in three days. Which might not be a big deal for most producers, but for me it was. Finishing a track usually takes me between three months and three years. It was the first time I only followed my gut feeling and was not overthinking the process or losing myself in creating countless alternate versions. ‘Ekht’ is probably the most purified song I’ve ever made and thus the ideal lead track.
‘Aevoid’ is my take on sci-fi nostalgia. Imagine a bootlegged movie plagued with discolored grainy artifacts. On this tape, you find a childhood flashback scene where the protagonist bikes through a stretched-out forest and is being enchanted by alluring voices. It’s unclear whether he’s awake or not.
This song is inspired by blurry memories of sleepwalking as a kid and waking up disoriented in a different room or outside of the house.
You can hear heavy use of a vintage SH-2 synth throughout the track. Recording this temperature-sensitive instrument was quite challenging during the final days of winter. I had to spend at least an hour firing up the wood stove while running melodies through the synth before the hardware was warm enough to keep the notes from drifting too far.
Skevr (ft. KMRU)
Have you ever had a dream where someone you once knew was present, but you don’t understand why? As if you’re randomly shifting through your mind’s archive while asleep. To me, this track is about those long-lost memories of people that used to be in one’s life.
A crumpled tape loop of a sparse piano motif forms the anchorage, through which I layered stretched-out voices and environment sounds recorded in my workspace. I wanted to mimic the intimacy of hearing the quiet rattling of a pianist playing at a chamber concert. My initial plan was to keep the song minimalist and subdued. But I was more curious to open up the creative process and send it over to KMRU. Joseph pulled that fragile tension further open by interweaving various synth lines and field recordings from parks in Nairobi and Berlin, pushing the song in a new direction.
This track is blueprinted on the structure and length of a movie trailer. ‘Wrekth’ is an ode to found footage horror. A group of friends move into a dilapidated mansion previously occupied by gypsies and junkies. The strange and inexplicable things occurring at night push them to question their own sanity.
This fictitious narrative is influenced by personal experiences with sleep paralysis: a state where you appear to be awake and aware of your surroundings, but are unable to move. Meanwhile, things happen around you, like people entering the room. This cycle repeats a few times until you finally wake up.
Years ago I did a lengthy recording session where I miked a toy guitar, channeled it through broken tape decks, and battled with infinite feedback loops. I always loved these raw takes of distorted basses and scraping noises but was never able to tame them into a song. Until recently, when I noticed it fitted right in with some ambient stretches and vocal stabs I was working on.
The song ‘Aerhk’ wants to amplify feelings of entrapment. Like a movie scene where the character wakes up trapped in a sailboat cabin while hearing footsteps stomping on the deck. Or like an inexplicable dream of mine where I’d cling onto a buoy in the open sea.
Phaer (ft. Innerwoud)
For a few hours, Innerwoud improvised over this song with his contrabas. I then intertwined these shreds of strings with my electronic sound design, trying to blur the distinction between both. When everything falls together in the final melody, I wanted the arpeggiator to resemble both a soothing music box and a threatening Morse code.
‘Phaer’ is about spiraling in recurring thoughts. As a metaphor, I portrayed a desolate lighthouse with a revolving beam that blinds the person trying to get closer. The character is aware that he’s dreaming but has no control over his surroundings. When waking up he experiences the well-known illusion of falling.