“Moments of Patience in Such a Fast, Fast World”: Inside the Mind of brainorchestra.

A candid look at the prolific producer’s art and process, from almost losing hundreds of beats to his deeply personal ‘DOMÍ’ project.

Gino Sorcinelli
Oct 19, 2018 · 6 min read

Before he gained a reputation for his unique instrumental compositions and dome-splitting live performances, Elizabeth, New Jersey native brainorchestra. first started out rocking mics with his high school friends. “The funny thing is, I was known as a rapper in Elizabeth, NJ — Jefferson High to be exact,” he explains. “I was in a group called The Doom, it was me and three of my best friends. We were just throwing shows with punk bands and all these other people.”

brainorchestra. live performance on Mad Lib TV.

Already dabbling with some side production in FL Studio during his time with The Doom, brainorchestra. signed up for a music production class during his junior year of high school that would forever alter his creative focus. “Music Midi Production with Mr. Sabet is kind of what really opened my eyes a lot more about production,” he says. “My teacher, he knew I was able to make beats. I fucked with Logic, I messed with FL, I learned Reason there and it wasn’t that crazy.”

Sensing that his pupil’s abilities were well beyond most of his peers, Mr. Sabet would give brainorchestra. more challenging tasks to push him to his creative limits in a positive manner. “He knew I was far beyond the basics of music MIDI technology,” he says. “So he would give me the same assignment but tell me to incorporate it in beats. Like, ‘Hey make a melody but put it in your beat.’ Or, “Harmonize three different times in your beat.” I was already sort of making beats, but that’s when brainorchestra. was in the startup.”

“All my albums tell wild stories. They really are like time capsules. They hold a lot of weight to what’s going on in my life — I love being able to do that without words.”

The Bandcamp version of ‘art.of.progress.’.

Two years after graduating high school in 2013, brainorchestra put out his first official release art.of.progress. Though he thinks of the release as more of beat tape than an album, it still marks an important moment in his evolution as a producer. “That was like the turning point in where my production was going,” he says. “It was like a lot more of me trying different things. I would honestly say though that my first official album was Patterns (2016), but I had a bunch of beat tapes before that.”

For brainorchestra., every project acts as a snapshot of his life — whether it’s a conceptual project or a more informal collection of beats. “All my albums tell wild stories,” he says. “They really are like time capsules. They hold a lot of weight to what’s going on in my life — I love being able to do that without words.”

For all of the interesting backstories to brainorchestra. projects, there’s one project in particular that stands out — perhaps because the album was almost extinguished from existence. His 2018 compilation The Lost Files almost died on the vine due to an unexpected technical mishap. “I dropped the hard drive and lost hella shit,” he says. “I kept trying to plug it in out of desperation.”

“It’s keeping whatever moment you got going on in the moment and not just thinking upon it, but acting. It’s kind of happening on an subconscious level.”

Though losing a massive cache of work from 2014–2016 would have made some producer’s heads explode with anxiety and stress, brainorchestra. took a rather stoic view of the situation. “When I dropped the hard drive, I was beyond even caring,” he says. “I was just like, ‘I just gotta go ahead and make more beats and make sure I back it up.’”

The Bandcamp version of ‘The Lost FIles’.

After accepting the loss of years of hard work, something propelled him to make one last attempt at salvaging his beats. “I remember I plugged it in a few weeks later and it ticked and worked,” he says. “I was able to take out a bunch of beats that I had and a few project files that were working. I sat in front of my computer for six hours just finding everything, samples and shit. I ended up mixing those beats and releasing them on Autumn Theory.”

Beyond the anxiety-provoking backstory of nearly having album’s worth of material blinked out of existence, The Lost Files holds a special place for brainorchestra. because some of the beats represent the harsh financial realities of life he was navigating at the time. “‘Just Enough’, that’s a very thoughtful piece about the hustle,’” he says. “I added that Styles P vocal cut, cause it’s just a daily reminder of when you’re broke and down and living on some rough shit. That beat gives the feel of me thinking about making ends meet in other ways that wouldn’t be seen in a positive manner. I’ve been there. Nobody wanna go back to that shit.”

“I like to have a lot of shit around me, I like to have wires everywhere. I’m smoking blunts, I”m ashing on the table. I’ve already cleaned out my SP-555 like three times.”

2017’s DOMÍ also remains a special project for brainorchestra. In addition to working through financial and work challenges, he also had to navigate an unfathomable amount of personal loss in a short time while the record was coming together. “I was going through a lot,” he says. “Working at a fucked up job and being broke as hell and trying to make ends meet. And getting over the death of three of my friends, that happened in a month from August to September 2017. It was a really weird time in my life.”

The Bandcamp version of ‘DOMÍ’.

Through it all, he found solace in his lab and continued cranking out beats as a form of healing. Looking back a year later, he believes his drive to produce helped him deal with the complex emotions of losing people close to him. “I was just cooking, trying to stay up and make beats,” says brainorchestra. “I got over it over time — not got over it. I just learned to cope with it in a positive manner.”

Now that DOMÍ is completed and brainorchestra. has had some time to process the loss of his friends, he continues to use music a vessel for conveying emotion — whether he’s happy or sad. As he describes his studio setup to me, where Ableton, Maschine, an MPC 2000, and SP-555 are all put to equal use, it conjures visions of a mad scientist in his basement lab tinkering and experimenting. “I like to have a lot of shit around me, I like to have wires everywhere,” he says. “I’m smoking blunts, I”m ashing on the table. I’ve already cleaned out my SP-555 like three times (laughs). My studio is really weird, it be messy as fuck. When I make music I’m in a corner with a bunch of shit wylin’ out.”

“That beat gives the feel of me thinking about making ends meet in other ways that wouldn’t be seen in a positive manner. I’ve been there.”

This cluttered mixture of hardware and software helps brainorchestra. unplug from the madness going on outside the walls of his studio. “I try to bring myself back to moments of patience in such a fast, fast world,” he explains. “It helps on a personal note — health wise I guess. I like being patient and being here with a bunch of shit, just having fun.”

Micro-Chopping brainorchestra. — an exclusive 33-track playlist.

He encourages other producers to follow his lead by embracing the music-making process and not getting over-analyzing everything. “Just fuckin’ plug the thing in and just go in,” he says. “Some of the craziest shit I’ve heard was demos. Or rough versions. I’m not saying don’t think hard about what you’re doing, just don’t try to get caught in a loop.”

After seeing the benefits of creating freely regardless of life circumstances during the recording of DOMÍ, brainorchestra. wants to see other producers find that subliminal level of creative thought that he was able to achieve. “It’s keeping whatever moment you got going on in the moment and not just thinking upon it, but acting,” he says. “It’s kind of happening on a subconscious level. I feel when people think too hard they fuck it up for themselves.”


Connect with brainorchestra. on Bandcamp, Instagram, his website, or on Twitter brainorchestra_.

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Micro-Chop

Dissecting beatmaking, DJing, music production, rapping, and sampling.

Gino Sorcinelli

Written by

Freelance journalist @Ableton, ‏@HipHopDX, @okayplayer, @Passionweiss, @RBMA, @ughhdotcom + @wearestillcrew. Creator of www.Micro-Chop.com and @bookshelfbeats.

Micro-Chop

Dissecting beatmaking, DJing, music production, rapping, and sampling.

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