With partner Casey Vandyke, Tyler Fleming is half of golfer two, an experimental noise outfit based here in Jacksonville. So far this year, the pair has released two EPs—dead mouse and, most recently, bl00db4th6000, which Fleming describes as a grouping of tracks that “encapsulates the sound we like to play live.” Each track you hear on the EP was recorded live and exactly one time, making each track both the first and last take.
Some may say that the five tracks on bl00db4th6000 sound influence-less, but when I asked Fleming about golfer two’s influences, he provided quite the list. He mentioned 90s alt-rock staples like Built to Spill and Presidents of the United States of America alongside Linkin Park, Alanis Morisette and 311. (In fact, Fleming listed 311 twice in his list of influences, which I don’t think was an accident at all.) While making this scraping, gritty EP, Fleming says that issues like toxic masculinity, consumerism, subversion and advertising were on his mind.
The bl00db4th6000 EP is one that challenges its listener to really lean in to attempt to make sense of harsh sounds that are so rarely put to tape. I asked Fleming about the gear used on these tracks, and I found his answers delightfully surprising and cutting-edge. In his own words, here are Fleming’s essentials to recording bl00db4th6000, ranging from dog chains to samples to the good old state of Florida.
Cymbal + dog chain + car. We have a special cymbal that we ran over with my car and recorded. It has a dog chain on it, which gives us that wispy sound.
Vox Les Paul through a Vox amp. One of the instruments we utilized in this EP is a 1971 Vox Les Paul that was given to me specifically to play heavy music. At first, this EP was a challenge to make the heaviest of sounds with my gear. My Vox amp also gives the dark, heavy sound I was looking for.
Roland SP-404. We mic’d everything and ran it through a mixer to my SP-404, which we use for samples and mixing while recording and also during live shows. I bought it in 2020 in hopes of making vaporwave, but then I went down the rabbit hole of sampling. During our first live shows, I was sampling religious speeches and chopping them up. Then we started conceptualizing the voices to sample.
Adobe Premiere. We have no idea how to mix or master or do anything like that, so we balanced everything the best we could and recorded it on the SP-404, then we bounced it to Adobe Premiere. We compressed and edited it there for the final mix.
Other bl00db4th6000 Recording Essentials
Muffin Manson. The making of our music is heavily reliant on the inspiration of our black-and-white cat, Muffin Manson. You can follow him on Instagram: @muffinludwigvanmanson.
Bong rips. We also rely on the bong Casey has had for too long that we take chops out of. (Part tobacco, part weed.)
Florida, in general. Florida is one thing that drives us to create because the best people in the world are here and no one talks about it. We theorize that the Florida heat is what makes the people as crazy as we are here. The unique climate breeds unique people and art.