I first caught word of Rene last summer while talking with Shane from Many Mansions in Jamaica Plain. He began raving about this kid Rene Netherlands (he's since dropped the 'surname'), popped his CD-R into the stereo and hit play. What came out the speakers was a toxic reverberation of all things rhythmic and scuzzy, sort of what it'd sound like if you mic'ed a Disposall while funneling in a few decades of pop culture and then drummed over it. Shane described watching Rene perform live – man hits play on a huge string of samples before absolutely annihilating his drumset. When I finally got the chance to see him play last April in Amherst, things didn't go exactly as smooth as the description leads on. It was certainly a sight, as Rene kept rhythm with his feet and left hand while messing with the malfunctioning sampler with his right.
Rene has released something like ten albums' worth of material through free downloads on his Myspace, including the newest batch of sludge entitled Kreep2K. Check out a selection of jams from various albums below. He's also agreed to share “Tugboat,” a random non-album joint.
Describe what it takes to create a Rene song.
In the past month all I've really needed to do was watch a peacock mantis shrimp beat the shit out of a couple crustaceans. What an amazing creature! Did you know the force of its punch is equal to that of a .22 caliber bullet? It also sees 10 times the amount of colors that humans do. WOW! That stopped working yesterday.
How has the process evolved from your earliest recordings to the present?
My earliest recordings only required that I refrain from doing anything else when I wake up in the morning. This now only works occasionally.
Is there a specific goal in mind when creating a song?
No goal, but I do tend to give myself an A+ if I can completely finish a song 100% in one sitting.
Is there anything about your current locale or climate that directly affects your creative process?
The only supermarket I know of that sells the shitty yerba mate that I like, the library, and a couple select sanctuaries.
You give away most if not all of your music for free via downloads from your Myspace. When did you decide this was the way you wanted to reach out to potential listeners? Would you prefer to keep it this way or is it simply out of necessity?
I don't have to go out and buy blank CDs and cases for them. I don't have to wait for them to burn. Best of all, I don't have to carry them around and wonder who the fuck would want them. Also I get to keep my money, and anybody who downloads my music online gets to do the same, all twenty of them.