Author & Punisher announces new record, Krüller, out on February 11th via Relapse Records
Author & Punisher, the alias for visionary San Diego musician-meets-mechanical engineer Tristan Shone, returns a the melody-laden new record, Krüller. Featuring a suite of upgraded machines, a distilled vocal process and a handful of guest players including Tool’s Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor, Shone began work on Krüller after returning from his opening slot with Tool across the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, before being cut short due to the March 2020 lockdowns. “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.” Shone’s digitized snarls rightfully had their place on earlier 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.
A taste of the eagerly-awaited record arrives with today’s release of “Drone Carrying Dread”, and the accompanying graphically-saturated video, which was directed by Monte Legaspi and features illustrations from album cover artist Zlatko Mitev – you can watch it below this article. “’Drone Carrying Dread’ was the first song I wrote on Krüller,” explains Shone of the album that thematically was inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable series. “I had just gotten home from the final tour of the Beastland album cycle and I spent a couple weeks updating my overall tones with a nice balance of sub, saw/synth and tube amp. This track was basically the one where it all clicked and I had these chords that resonated just right, shaking the entire warehouse. It’s a simple but raw progression that was ripe for the addition of synthesizer programming from co-producer Jason Begin (Vytear). Lyrically, it’s about escape and survival, as the events that were unfolding in 2020 were prophesied by the books I was reading throughout the year”. Part of the Krüller revamp included refining the machines that have become synonymous with Author & Punisher. As a result, Shone is also launching a bespoke audio gear company called Drone Machines to coincide with the release of Krüller. The gear company launch follows nearly two decades of Author & Punisher honing in on his craft – meticulously inventing, machining, experimenting, and creating custom musical instruments for his incredible live performances and recordings.
Krüller will be released on February 11th via Relapse Records. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.
Photo credit: Becky DiGiglio