Jakalope Conjure "Industrial Magic" with Their First New Material in More Than a Decade

"I think the world needs more Jakalope these days," says Dave "Rave" Ogilvie of new single "When I'm Down"
Jakalope Conjure 'Industrial Magic' with Their First New Material in More Than a Decade
Photo: Chrystal Leigh
A few days before YSL Pro tapped legendary Vancouver producer and musician Dave "Rave" Ogilvie to record an original song, he saw Kraftwerk perform live.

"I think it leaked into the song," says the musician, who is known for his work with Jakalope, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails and Carly Rae Jepsen. "[I started with a] simple electronic beat then added more organic layers to it. Soon, it took on a life of itself, trying to combine sounds from that era and from what everyone is listening to today, as well as acoustic sounds. Hitting furniture and living room features has always been a blast, and always makes for more exciting percussion sounds. A little industrial magic!"

The result is a triumphant comeback for Jakalope, Ogilvie's genre-crossing industrial project, who have been largely inactive for more than a decade and haven't released any new material since 2010's album Things That Go Jump in the Night.

Reuniting with longtime Jakalope singer Chrystal Leigh, the new track "When I'm Down" began like all of the project's songs: with an acoustic guitar and a computer. But from there, he relied on an entirely different arsenal than ever before: he used drum sounds from YSL's gear and built upon them with sounds from a Modal Electronics COBALT8 and the Moog Minimoog plugin from Universal Audio's UAD Spark.

To keep with the theme of limitations, the track was mastered "in the box" using only UAD and Spark plug-ins by David Roman of 4130 Mastering.

"Not being able to use my usual bag of tricks definitely pushed my boundaries," says Ogilvie. "It [is] always challenging to find synths that cut through and add to a track. [The COBALT8] has that quality and sound that inspires you to come up with parts that actually show up in your mix." He ran these into a Universal Audio Apollo 8 interface, with a UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt to provide more processing power for Universal Audio plug-ins. 

Recording Leigh's vocals has traditionally been a challenge for the group, but Ogilvie found that a Mojave Audio MA-301fetVG condenser mic was up to the challenge."We've always had issues with mics handling her dynamics, but it had no problems. She was able to sing whatever she wanted," he explains.

He also used an sE Electronics sE4400a condenser mic for live instruments, including acoustic guitar, finding that "the two mics worked in tandem as well when stacked on top of each other, each with their own unique signatures." The result is a pulsing, futuristic banger, nestling Leigh's gothic vocals within a swirling synthscape of buzzing electronics, thumping dance beats, and spacious reverb from UAD Spark.

Fans and musicians can use these sonic textures for themselves, as Ogilvie has shared a free sample pack of the sounds he used on "When I'm Down." He says, "These are samples that we used to construct this song. I'm hoping that something from it will inspire a song that I hear and go, 'I recognize that sound.' That's always such a great feeling. Such a rush!"

Download the free sample pack here. Listen to "When I'm Down" at the bottom of this page.

YSL Pro's gear facilitated a vibrant return to form for Jakalope — an experience that was a reunion in more ways than one. They worked with the project's original co-producer, Anthony Valcic, at his studio on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, marking the first time Ogilvie and Leigh had worked in-person since the pandemic began. "Being able to work [with] a singer in the same room is so much easier than it has been the last couple of years," enthuses Ogilvie. "Zoom has been fun but just not the same. So we got together in person and hashed it out old-school. People in a room sharing ideas and comments, good and bad."

With their collaboration humming along once again, the collaborators will continue work on Leigh's new project, OUDi, before shifting their attention to creating more Jakalope material. "After we finish Chrystal's project, we are looking at releasing an old-school, 45-style, A-B side every three months. Maybe even try and press it to vinyl. It's like the Wild West out there, so anything goes," says Ogilvie.

"I think the world needs more Jakalope these days."