Archives for category: Music

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’.

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.

febris

Febris. Latin, noun. Fever.

New composition written under the influence of the Norwalk virus. Segment of a rehearsal session in February 2015.

OUTSKIRTS

In an act of archival house-cleaning, I’ve uploaded volumes 2 & 3 in the “words scores” ALPHABETA series to Bandcamp.

The first is ALPHABETA 2: Outskirts. In 2011 I recorded the original ALPHABETA (released 2012), an album of music composed using the letters that spell words for the notes of each piece. For instance the melody of “Defaced” went D-E-F-A-C-E-D. A gimmick situated somewhere between artistic creativity and laziness.

The nine tracks on this EP were first sketches, demos and out-takes. Some I rejected purely for (what I now see as relatively minor) flaws in the recording or performance, some because I recorded two versions of the “word” and chose the other for the album. Ironically, I feel these abandoned takes hold together more cohesively than the original album. There’s a continuity of sound and approach (a sort of spaghetti western jazz) that was missing from the hodge-podge approach of the official album.

Interestingly, the first track ACE DECADE takes it’s name from the Scooby-Doo episode “The Diabolical Disc Demon” which possibly was the subconscious inspiration for this whole project.

Ace Decade is the nephew of the owner of a music studio. He is a Caucasian male with dark brown hair and wears glasses. Ace Decade is disloyal, sneaky, jealous and conniving. Decade was smuggling records out of the studio in trash cans in order to sell them for personal profit. When a music writer, Tony Symes, realized his actions, Ace disguised himself as the Phantom and kidnapped Symes, locking him in a cupboard in the cafeteria. Decade attempted to mislead the Scooby gang whilst they attempted to solve the mystery, leading them to a tape recorder wired to the intercom in his office in order to give the appearance he was being framed. However, Symes left a clue which was Decade’s ultimate downfall; his last piece of music spelled the culprit’s name in the first three bars: ACE DEC ADE.

The second album is one I’d posted last year to the BABEL Soundcloud under the title ALPHABETA {organ redux}.

The inspiration for these recordings was that about half the original album turned out exactly as I intended. The other half… I suppose I was never happy with it. Some pieces were too cluttered in the arrangements, others too cutesy in my attempt to tie the dictionary definition of the word thematically to the piece. Often that approach resulted, I felt, in some ham-fisted results where the music suffered as I forced it to conform to the concept of the project. Still, other pieces disregarded the literal meaning of the word altogether and because of this, it seemed, the work as a whole was disjointed. Here I returned to the concept and reduced it to its basic elements: the notes themselves.

To aid in this, I used the same synthesized organ voice for each track and used echo loops in the manner of Messrs Riley and Reich. This time, I’ve let the notes speak for themselves and ignored the literal meaning of the word. Save, perhaps, “DEAF” with its tinnitus-like ringing at the end and “BE” could be used as an aid to a meditation on simply being.

For this reposting I changed the title to ALPHABETA 3: Organizm.

Both titles are available in micro-batch edition CD-Rs.

And finally, not on Bandcamp but back over on Soundcloud, I’ve uploaded a live recording from the ALPHABETA launch party.

defaced

Since I was releasing an album of electronically manipulated glockenspiel titled Glockengeister that same night, I combined the approach of the two in a composition called DEFACED/FACADE with the help of Pavlov’s Dogs Handbell Ensemble. The performance was captured by recordist Joe Strutt but sat in his vault for a couple years and then mine for another. You can listen now, or download it (free), below.