Kamloops local James Bethell is breaking all the podcast rules with his new show Sudohuman, a literary psychological thriller drama recorded at Shadybrook Studio in Knutsford. The show is produced by Bethell's music production company Sudohuman in Kamloops.
Drawing on his 20 years of experience as a music producer, Bethell puts a lot of work into crafting an immersive audio experience in the show.
"I’m always recording these ambient sounds, because there’s all sorts of information that’s just packed into that," he said, "If you use that, it’s sort of the backdrop on which to lay your scene. It feels more real."
Each episode is a carefully crafted, self-contained narrative around a certain theme, interwoven with sound clips collected by Bethell.
Sometimes Bethell will write a narrative and find sounds to accompany it, whereas other times the story will be inspired by a sound.
For an upcoming episode, Bethell wrote a script influenced by the sounds of coyotes howling, which he recorded outside his home in Knutsford.
"In the summer, the coyotes are altogether terrifying,” he said. "They’re all around us. So I’ve got some great footage of them off in the distance, and getting closer."
The show differs from typical podcasts as it has no intro, no sponsors or advertisers and a sporadic release schedule.
"When it comes to my creative work, I hate that feeling of deadlines," Bethell explained. "Because then you end up being rushed, and rushed creative work is garbage. This isn't a content factory."
Those who enjoy the weird and macabre, or enjoy shows like Black Mirror and the Twilight Zone, might find what they're looking for with Sudohuman.
Bethell narrates the podcast, as well as doing all the editing behind the scenes. His 16-year-old son, Darwin, creates the accompanying art for the show.
Sudohuman was inspired by Bethell's own love of podcasts, particularly those that use sound to immerse listeners in the story. He produced the first episode and chose to continue the series.
"The decision was mainly around hearing podcasts that I liked and knowing I could do something similar, and never actually finding that exact thing that I was looking for," he said.
His goal with Sudohuman was to create a podcast with more literary elements than typical for shows, with an emphasis on the quality of writing.
You can listen to Sudohuman for free on Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud.
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