Sunday, July 5, 2015

Free Art Is A Gift, Not A Standard

In the past we have said that all of our music will always be available to download for free. We have never cared about receiving money for our music, nor are there enough people who enjoy what we do for there to be any kind of impact on our finances one way or the other should we charge for our music. We work day jobs, and enjoy making music, paintings, and writings for the love of it (and because we have no choice, we have to create these things). Even when we released a physical copy of our last album, we priced it so that we would hopefully break even (which thankfully we did).

Something that has been bothering us about this arrangement is that there seems to be a growing expectation many people have to receive the arts for free. That is an ideology that we do not want to support. Even though what we do is on such a small scale, it has little to no effect on anything or anyone else, we do believe in taking sides when an issue is important to us. On our digital releases, the only option used to be "free download". Now there is an option to "pay what you want" (which does give one the option to enter $0). It's a small gesture to say that art is worth more than nothing. All we ask of someone who downloads something of ours for free is that they spend whatever value they think the music has on another artist's work.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Retreat Is Available Now

Our new album has been released as both a free 12 track download, and a three disc (2CD-Rs + 1DVD-R) art object with 26 tracks and a 20 page booklet.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Release With Sana Obruent

We recorded two new songs with Sana Obruent, and they can be downloaded for free (or pay what you want -- any money we receive through our bandcamp store goes toward making the physical release of the upcoming Plasticstatic full length).

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Album Tracklist

Finally!  There's still a lot of work to be done -- a few overdubs, mixing, mastering, and artwork -- but our new album is recorded.  We're hoping to put it out in the late summer.  So far, the working title Retreat is still going to be the title of the album.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Release

Beauty Is In The Eye That Stares Through The Abyss is our new song, and is the first song to be released from our upcoming full length album (with the working title Retreat, due sometime in 2014).  It is available as part of a new release containing two non-album tracks, plus remixes by members of Golden Gardens, Mirror Mirror, The Sirago 17, and The Solar System.  A free download can be found at our Bandcamp page .

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Foreign Spirits Lift My Voice, or Foreign Voices Lift My Spirit

Foreign Spirits Lift My Voice, or Foreign Voices Lift My Spirit was originally the title of an album I started working on in 2005. It was recorded with a 4-track recorder. I finished an early mix of it April 2006. I wasn't happy with the mix at all, but when working on it some more the master tape was chewed up and mangled beyond use.

I worked on re-recording parts with some of the pre-bounced tapes, and also started some new songs. I bought a digital 8-track recorder (Korg D888) in early 2007, and transferred some of the 4-tracks onto the D888. At the time, I was drinking a lot of absinthe and would often find files on the D888 I had no recollection of recording.

Absinthe inspired much of the album. I first started drinking it in 2003, but in 2006 I really threw myself into learning about the spirit and trying as many different brands as I could. The title Foreign Spirits... is a play on the different meanings of the word 'spirit'. The lyrics of the album were centered around an artist trying to create under the duress of both kinds of spirits, as well as a relationship that was ending. Originally I wanted to release the finished album as a mixed media thing with a cd-r, writings, and prints of paintings I was doing for the album. It would be three mediums and three lyrical themes.

The first couple of songs were written when I still lived in Blackstone, but I moved shortly after to a suburb of Richmond, Virginia. I lived with my girlfriend at the time, who not only was discouraging toward the direction my music was taking but also started drifting away right after the death of my father on December 23, 2005. We would barely stay together until 2008, which ended the most miserable years of my life. During those years, I would work on Foreign Spirits... off and on.

The first apartment I lived in while recording Foreign Spirits. I lived in a loft apartment on the top floor.

The second apartment I lived in while recording Foreign Spirits. I was on the bottom floor this time. You can see the patio on the right.

I'm in the second apartment, before I did a lot of work to my Jaguar.

The only good memories I have of those years were spent alone, working on music, painting, writing, and absorbing myself in watching films and drinking absinthe. It was in 2006 that I developed a special love for the music of Psychic TV, Coil, and Current 93. I also started watching the films of Kenneth Anger, Ken Russell, and Derek Jarman.

I worked nights back then, so I would be off work from Saturday morning until Monday night. Saturday and Sunday nights were spent in my home studio, working on music, watching the most insanely genius films I could find, and drinking. I usually did all of these things by candlelight. I was a pretentious bastard, but it was fun.

Here is a picture taken in my second home studio (I don't have a picture of the first). I was drinking Absinthe Montmartre, which isn't as good now as it was then.

In early 2008, I broke up with the girl I mentioned earlier. Later that year, I moved to an apartment just behind Plan 9 Records in Richmond. I loved that apartment. I had a harder time recording there, because it was easier to hear my neighbors and be heard. I did get a few things recorded, though.

My apartment was in the top left of the middle building in this picture.

This one was taken after I met Keisha.

Other things happened in my life, such as meeting Keisha, getting married, and moving to Washington. I pretty much abandoned my ideas for the album, and started working on new stuff. I re-recorded some of the songs from Foreign Spirits for Reverse.

Between working on Reverse and Anchors, I was going through my old demos. I cleaned them up and compiled them the best I could. The new version of Foreign Spirits Lift My Voice, or Foreign Voices Lift My Spirit is very different from the original mix I made, but it's also a lot better. There's a lot in this album that makes me cringe when I hear it, but I've long since moved on so this is the only way these ideas can be heard.

Demos. Lots and lots of demos. These aren't even half of the tapes I had to go through.

The top portion of the cover of the album is a picture I took at Belle Isle in Richmond. My girlfriend at the time and I went there for a walk one afternoon, and saw some graffiti on the foot bridge. It was getting dark, so we came back the next day with a friend and took a bunch of photos. I planned on making some field recordings there, but never did.
The bottom portion is a picture of the 4-track recorder I used to record the majority of the songs on this album.

It feels good to finally make something out of all of these pieces, and also to briefly relive some of the few good moments of creativity and exploration during this time.

On April 30th, Foreign Spirits will be available as a free download at It has 23 tracks and 79 minutes of music.