(((HUM))) December Update

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I am happy to announce that all recording for the album is complete and I am working my way through the tracks getting final mixes ready for mastering. After a few setbacks and delays, I can say with confidence that it shouldn’t be much longer now until release. The tentative track list is as follows, listed alphabetically:

  • Conduit
  • Hazy Meadow, Sleepy Field
  • Howl
  • (HUM)
  • ((HUM))
  • (((HUM)))
  • Meditation Bell
  • Memorial (feat Jesse Spillane on organ/mellotron/synths/clarinet and James Dittrich on bass)
  • Shaman of the Northern Forest (feat Allison Kacmar Richards on bass)
  • $pace! (feat Jesse Spillane on piano/synths)
  • Voice of the Mountain, Voice of the Sky (feat Allison Kacmar Richards on bass, Jesse Spillane on Organ/Wurlitzer, and Mike Smales on drums)
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some messes are worth making
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keyboard stand converted to Djembe stand
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Setting up to record an Udu (clay pot drum)
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Lots of tracks to contend with

New Album by Jesse Spillane

In other news, I recently mastered a new album by Jesse Spillane (http://www.jessespillane.com/) that should be out “some time by the next decade or so”. There is a preview song now available on his soundcloud page. Check it out below!

Update on the Album

 

The new album is coming along really well, with a large portion of the songs either completely mixed or getting very, very close. Unfortunately, my original estimate of a mid-October release may need to be pushed back ever so slightly, but for good reason. I’ve actually decided to track a few more songs that have been on the back burner, ones that I think very much deserve to get their shot on this album. I’m hoping for sometime in November.

Despite the delay, I’m still really excited to get this collection of songs out there. In many ways I think it will serve as a recap of where I’ve been musically in the ten years since I recorded my last solo effort, Trap Door. My jazz, rock and blues influences, as prominently displayed on my work with Eighth Whale, will downplayed the most, I think. They may still show themselves from time to time on a few tracks. In their place will be a renewed interest in stoner, post-rock, psychedelic, world music, and even some metal-esc undertones. Of course there will still be quite a few drone, experimental and soundscape tracks, many of which are being filtered through the lens of analog synths and electronic drum machines.

Confused by that description? Basically, all you need to do is mix burning off impurities era Grails with a sun that never sets era Neurosis, throw on some pre-80’s King Crimson and Pink Floyd’s live at Pompeii, pile on some Boards of Canada and Nine Inch Nail’s Ghosts I-IV,  and finally blend in some Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Om, Sleep, and Swans for a little flavor.  Should be interesting!

Cheap Gear? Never Fear!

Okay, my gear isn’t really all that cheap, but still very much in the realm of D.I.Y.  I figured It might be fun to share some pictures of my recording setup. Sorry about a few blurry pictures, maybe I should lay off the caffeine a little bit.

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Say what you will about the Presonus Tube Pre. Combined with the MXR d.i. + it sounds great on electric bass.
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50 watt tube amp cranked in a small closet with the door closed, The sennheiser e906 sounds great on it.
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Cables from the pedalboard stationed in the mixing room lead into the bedroom containing the closeted amp. Isolation is key!
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When recording alone, use a loop pedal to help with guitar amp mic placement. The looper will play the guitar while you concentrate on getting the best tone.
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drums before being mic’ed up. Bonus points if you can spot all the hidden Latin percussion.
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Sure beta 52 on the kick.
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the e906 sounds great on the snare too.
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AKG perception 170’s as overheads. A nice collection of low-mid level mics for recording drums.
Three keyboards and a guitar all in the same selfie. Awesome.
Three keyboards and a guitar all in the same selfie. Awesome.

Art for the New Album, (((HUM)))

I just finished the artwork for my new album, entitled (((HUM))), which is scheduled for a bandcamp release sometime in mid-October. The artwork cover is a mix of photography, text, and freehand drawing using the paintbrush tool in GIMP.

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This will mark the third release of my music featuring some sort of moon-like object on the album cover. This wasn’t something I was doing intentionally, at least on a conscious level. It was actually only after the art was finished that I realized I was continuing the dusk and moon theme from Trap Door and the Blue Hour Sessions. Interesting how that works out.

dusklight bluehour

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moons, moons, and more moons

New Album and Pedalboard Setup

I’m excited to announce that I am currently in the mixing stages of a new full-length album estimated to be released sometime in mid-October of this year. The recording is a follow-up to last years “Trap Door” album, which was a collection of experimental, drone and rock songs originally recorded in 2005 at a house in Youngstown, Ohio.

The passage of ten years has certainly had its influence on my approach to songwriting, mixing and recording, though I think the general spirit of what I was doing back in ’05 remains intact with this new work. The inclusion of more electronic and synthesizer tones is probably the biggest contrast to the previous release, though I think I it is fair to say I am also paying more mind to melody and song structure as well. The album will feature a few surprise guest musicians and will be available for download on bandcamp.

In somewhat related news, I have a new incarnation of my seemingly ever-changing pedalboard (pictured below). This setup has really allowed me to get some crazy guitar tones that I don’t think I could have arrived at in any other way, many of which will be featured on this new release. Though one could easily imagine a more complex setup (I myself have been known to occasionally employ two similarly sized boards in the past), the current pedals bridge the gaps between versatility, portability and simplicity.

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The current order is like this: guitar> Isp Decimator> boss TU-2 tuner> boss PS-6 harmonist> Ibanez TS9 tubescreamer> EHX Superego> Moog Ring Modulator> EHX delux Memory Boy> Boss TR-2 tremolo. The board is a pedaltrain PT-2 PRO and I am running a pedalpower 2 plus for the power supply. The heart of the board is definitely the Superego and the Ring Mod , both of which take the guitar more so into the realm of a synthesizer than anything else. With these tools I am able to lay down huge sounding and ever evolving drones, very reminiscent of Indian classical, Arabic, and Celtic traditional music. Here’s a sample recorded live with a zoom H2. Everything is coming out of the amp at the same time and there are no overdubs.