This is the final BABEL album. At least for a while. I’m putting the project into hibernation as I did in 2006 until I resurrected it in 2009 for the ‘RILE’ album. When I started making music as BABEL again, I had a very specific idea of what kind of music I wanted it to be. Something at the nexus of Einsturzende Neubauten and Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ. Over the last 7 years I’ve tried to get there from a number of angles and this album, ‘Sofandi’, is where I finally achieve the sound in my head (or as near enough as to satisfy my intentions). It collects the clanging industrial guitar of ‘Heurter’ and ‘Zwerm’, the lone endless reverb piano notes of ‘Morpheum’, the guitar drones of ‘Maze’ and ‘Cosmos Bleu’, the tinkling chimes of ‘Glockengeister’, the plaintive reeds and abstract percussion of the ‘Sacred Fire’ albums and the kosmische synths of more recent works. Every idea I’ve had converges here, so what is left to say? Time to put the project to sleep and watch the fire die. 

Review and eulogy at A Closer Listen.

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crystalion
New long-form ambient/drone track. Experimenting with analog synth and harmonic reverb patches. Ice music, winter’s a-comin’.

In 2013 I began working on an album project that never quite materialized. At least not in the manner I’d envisioned. It was to be a definitive BABEL album and was conceived as a continuation of another project of mine, MOONWOOD. Originally, Moonwood had been an acoustic-based psychedelic-folk solo project before morphing into a kraut-rock influenced electro-psych duo by 2012 and then a full-fledged space-rock jam band in early 2013. Around that time I felt I’d taken my solo drone guitar explorations with BABEL about as far as I could for the time-being so I figured I’d take BABEL back to the source, so to speak.

In the meantime, I ended up going on an analog synth detour with the retro-electronic “Grid Series” albums and EPs. Inevitably, the approach of these recordings began to leech into my “psychedelic-folk acoustic improv” album. As a result the project kept evolving and never felt completed. I ended up with three years of kosmische drones, Middle-Eastern acoustic ragas, pseudo-gamelan meditations and noir-ish fake-jazz jams.

The final result was a series of albums, EPs and mini-albums. None of these followed the blueprint of what they were intended to be and were probably all the better for it.


Unsere Sterne—”Our Stars” Electro-acoustic kosmische drones. The end result of many approaches discovered in search of an elusive sound.


Nocturna—”done, occurring, or active at night.” A cosmic desert drone EP. Meditations on the night sky. Psychedelic guitar over synths and reeds.


Orison—”The source” also “a prayer.” Mostly from the first sessions recorded in 2013, a mini-album in the vein of the original concept.


Ceci n’est pas le jazz—”This is not jazz.” A collection of fake-jazz jams.


This Is Not The Sacred Fire—Gamelan-inspired junk jazz and meditation drones.


Inizio—”The beginning” or “an entrance.” Nearly hour-long track comprised of krautrock-inspired jams from various sessions in a Cosmic Jokers style of collage.


Cosmos Bleu—Synth and electric guitar drones. A kosmische muzik / Frippertronics-inspired  journey.

Most of the tracks were compiled onto two limited edition double-CD sets by Arachnidiscs Recordings.


Tracks from: Orison, Nocturna, Inizio, Ceci n’est pas le jazz, This Is Not The Sacred Fire


Tracks from: Unsere Sterne, Ceci n’est pas le jazz, This Is Not The Sacred Fire

FUTURTOPIA
Every need met. Every desire granted. Every dream a reality. BUT CAN THEY ESCAPE… The METROSCAPE? A soundtrack for the classic 1982 film.

Quietly released today… Volume 3 of 4 in “The Grid Series” of retro-influenced analogue synth albums. To be released physically as part of a double disc “Complete Grid Series” set upon the release of Volume 4. This digital version comes with an exclusive bonus of a 36 minute version of Subterranea.

01. Metroscape 04:40
02. Subterranea 04:04
03. Wastelander 05:33
04. Water Bandits 02:58
05. Hunter Drones 03:29
06. 149th Floor Loft 01:56
07. Grid Surfer 04:02
08. Sector Patrol 02:54
09. Insufficient Atmosphere 05:05
10. Neon Black 02:56
11. Radiation Zone 02:12
12. Judgement Daze 03:41
13. Subterranea (Live Mix) [Digital exclusive] 36:16

REDANKEN
In Q4 of 2015 I quietly released a pair of free digital albums.

DANKEN was released around Thanksgiving (the American one) and is four kosmische-electronic tracks I recorded for (and given in the form of an exclusive limited deluxe-edition CD-R as a gift to) some unreasonably dedicated Arachnidiscs Recordings/BABEL patrons.

2015 REDUX is three new versions of pieces (FEBRIS, MAZE and VEMÖDALEN) released in 2015 on various formats. Recorded direct to 2-track in late Autumn 2015 during several rehearsals for an early November gig, then edited into the three long-form tracks in December. Released on New Years Eve.

 

MAZE Build 1

One hour of continuous solo guitar and synth drones recorded in May 2015.

VEMoDALEN-stamp

Vemödalen – the fear that everything has already been done.

2xCD. Another 2.5 hours of music culled from the same sessions that produced the ZWERM album. All sounds produced by a Telecaster and recorded live direct to 2-track digital during rehearsals during Spring of 2014. All tracks contain material previously released on the limited edition TOTAAL USB album, though in most cases a slightly truncated form.

FebrisTymbral
Hot new label on the cassette scene Tymbal Tapes has done me the honour of releasing my FEBRIS album. It’s a C60 of continuous kosmische kraut jams and middle eastern psych. You can order the limited edition cassette here.

IMG_9475
I’m very pleased to have my album of piano and synthesizer improvisations, JANIFORM, released on the UK-based label Assembly Field. At time of this posting, there are still a few copies of the limited edition CD left. You can purchase it here.

Maze2
New piece I’ve been working on for Toronto’s Sound Seance festival (June 12th @ Geary Lane) assembled from direct-to-two track digital recordings of writing sessions in May 2015. This excerpt is indicative of the first movement of improvised, minimalist tones (results will vary with each performance). A 55 minute version is slated for CD release in the future.

MAZE will see its live debut prior to Sound Seance at The Yeti in Kitchener, ON on June 5th, 2015.

BABELBUMPER

BABEL now has a page on Facebook for those who like that sort of thing.

https://www.facebook.com/babeldrone