It’s a rare occasion that you are blown away by the layers and dynamics of a two piece band. Not that it’s a bad thing, but something (more often than not) sounds lacking. This is what makes Noise-A-Tron so unique amongst minimalist outfits. Noise-A-Tron is one drummer, Jason Bledsoe, and one bass player (who doubles on keyboard, synth and samples), Lea Bledsoe.
Jason started playing drums in 1995 in a small rural area of Indiana, and after a brief move to Washington, ended up in Florida playing with the band Bullhead. The band had recorded 2 EP’s, and in the summer of 2000, added Terror Organ bassist Lea Rudko. Lea, born in Michigan and but raised in Los Angeles, started experimenting with playing bass. At 21 Lea moved to Tampa, Florida and was the creative force behind the two piece experimental noise project Terror Organ with Angel Corpse singer/bassist Pete Helmkamp. After both bands disbanded in early 2002, Jason and Lea started playing with The Human Echo and were married in 2005. The Human Echo put out two full-length LP’s, and after several tours, called it quits in early 2009. From there the ashes of The Human Echo became Noise-A-Tron the following August.
Noise-A-Tron’s music is a sonic assault that’s both menacing and moody, yet atmospheric while still maintaining melodic sensibilities. With the lack of a vocalist it never loses any of its edge, and Lea keeps you intrigued with keyboard lines that sometimes double her bass, and other times complementing a riff or takes off in another direction entirely. The self-titled EP, released in August of 2010, is a perfect example of the bands ability to churn out abrasive riffs layered with noise and sampling, without being redundant. The band never holds on to an idea for too long, so it never wears out its welcome. After several west coast tours in 2011, the band eventually sold out of all 200 copies of the CD and began writing material for the next record in late 2012 and early 2013, and also taking the opportunity to upgrade their gear and hone the sound they wanted for the next record.
On the upcoming release Vast Arcane, the band decided to take a little different approach to recording. Recorded over several months, Vast Arcane is a more focused recording then their previous work. After tracking bass and drums at Matt Bayles’ Red Room Studios with producer Robert Cheek in April of 2013, Noise-A-Tron chose to let the record breathe more and record keyboards and samples over the next few months at his Ex-Ex Studios, also where the band practices. On top of producing and mixing the record Cheek took a more hands-on approach to the recording and helped guide the band to the final results. “He [Cheek] actually approached us early on, and asked how we’d feel about him being way more involved this time and we were cool with it,” Jason says. “The first thing he did was ask us to do a live performance of the record in the live room, then we used that as a reference to map out tracking. We referenced that with the recording, added sections, expanded parts, etc. Bob gets a lot of credit for what ended up on the record.” Lea also had Cheek’s input on some of her bass tones. “He would tweak the bass tones on every track to make it perfect, he had a sound in his head, and would search it out and find it,” she says. After that, the band handed the final mixes to Blake Bickel of Dynamic Sound Services for mastering. The end result is the bands best sounding work to date.
Live, the band is able to perfectly replicate those layers of sound. Watching the band is also an experience. Jason is a heavy hitter on the drums. He keeps things tight and solid, while Lea goes back and forth from her 8-string bass to her keyboards and mixer, constructing all the riffs and filling in all the blanks