I hope that everyone out there is having an enjoyable & fulfilling end to their year, in the company of supportive friends and relatives.
Firstly, the last of the 2018 Monthly Digital Singles has been posted! You can find the December single here. I haven’t posted links to the singles since August, so links for the singles from September to November are listed below:
Endless thanks to everyone who has supported this MDS series! It made a tremendous difference in what was otherwise a relentlessly stressful & difficult year. For a more concrete way to thank you, I’ve created a bonus, 13th single for the series, which will be made available for free to anyone who purchased the full set of 12. Throughout January, I’ll be sending out download codes for the bonus single via email; if, by chance, there is anyone who did buy all 12 but hasn’t received a code by mid-January, please get in touch with me at email@example.com so I can remedy the oversight. I’ll try to be thorough, but mistakes are sometimes made.
Secondly, I’ve also listed 5 items from the irr. archives to Bandcamp; 4 which are out-of-print, and one of which has never been released.
‘Neornithes Rex Imperator‘ collects two long-form tracks originally released as separate limited 3″ CDRs (‘Neognath In Machina’ in 2012 & ‘Neognathæ Portentosus’ in 2013) by the much-missed Petit Mal Music label. The first release paid homage to the beauty & variety of birds by taking mechanical & other non-avian sources and altering them to sound bird-like, while conversely taking bird sources and altering them to sound more like machines. The second release continued this tribute by utilising the extensive archive of bird recordings I’ve been accumulating for 25+ years and modifying them (but also sometimes not modifying them) in as many ways as I could come up with at the time. ‘Orny ‘Arry says ‘allo!
This combined & remastered version was going to be released on vinyl, but that plan fell through. With luck, I’ll eventually find another way to make it happen. I decided to make the tracks available digitally in the meantime. This reissue is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend James Kaiser, who manufactured the original 3″s and provided the motivation for the whole idea in the first place. Sadly, he died just after we had discussed the idea of having a third installment in the series.
‘While Unconscious In Compost I Was Temporarily A Motile Vesicular Cluster‘ is another long-form track that was originally released by Nihilist Records as half of a split LP with Panicsville back in 2007. The guiding concept behind it is no doubt completely explained by the title. The track has been fully reconstructed from the original audio sources, each of which has been individually scrubbed, polished & sonically optimised.
“This is probably the most astonishing work ever created in the entire history of recorded sound” — Heinrich Hertz, 1887.
“I use it to lull my earthworms to sleep every night” — Jean-Paul Sartre, 1967.
“The perfect party record! I never stage an orgy without it! The ideal soundtrack for salad tossing” — Phyllis Diller, 1979.
‘Tellurium-Ergot-Contingency‘ is yet another long-form track originally released by Nihilist Records, this one in 2010 as part of the 3-cassette box set ‘New Directions In Experimental Music’. Again, I’m sure the title makes the concept behind it obvious enough to make any further explanation unnecessary — except perhaps to say it reflects on the nature of mass delusion being assimilated as profound truth, the unnecessary being regarded as indispensable. (Thanks for that, Captain Obvious.)
Extensive remastering was done in 2011 when I had plans to include it as part of a CD collection; in keeping with a long-standing trend, that release never came to pass. Some additional audio polishing has been done, but the heavy lifting was already taken care of with the 2011 revision.
‘Blue Tongues Ignite/To Render The Chalaza‘ is an unreleased track (“a long-form track?” I hear you ask; why, yes, indeed it is!) from 2008 that was intended for release as a 3″ CD on the Ferns Recordings label. Ferns had invited me to contribute to their 3″ series, so I created this track and artwork, sent it to them, and subsequently never heard another word from the label in reply. They didn’t acknowledge receiving the material, but also never asked after the status of my contribution, nor responded to any of my inquiries, so I can only assume they were so unimpressed that they chose to pretend they had never made the invitation. This had already happened often enough (with what would have been the 2nd full-length irr. album ‘Foreign Matter, Nor Frequency Carrier’, and with what would have been the 5th full-length album ‘Not Hidden, But Concealed’, and with what have been the 6th full-length album ‘Radiant Black Future’, to name a few examples) that it wasn’t too unexpected; but it was discouraging enough for me to abandon the material. However, I did adapt & integrate re-recorded versions of some of the techniques developed on ‘Blue Tongues’ into later projects (like the layered prepared guitar percussion, which was re-recorded for ‘Tellurium-Ergot-Contingency’).
Listening to it again a full decade later, I think it’s actually a rather good track — although, as with all tracks I recorded that long ago, it was in serious need of some deep cleaning, EQ and remixing. Since it never was released, I took the liberty of also adding some new sources to give certain sections the oomf that was lacking in the original.
‘Observation Affects The Outcome‘ is the first collaboration between myself and Pentti Dassum’s experimental project Umpio. I’ve been a fan of Pentti’s since discovering his old band Deep Turtle back in the days of the Bad Vugum label, and it was great to have an opportunity to collaborate with him. ‘Observation’ was released on CD in 2013 by the Monochrome Vision label in Russia; my own copies sold out years ago, and following the tragic accidental death of label boss Dmitry Vasilyev earlier this year, the physical version is now definitively out-of-print.
On a happier note, the second Umpio + irr collaboration ‘Permutable Schema’ (a double CD this time) is now in production, and should be available in January. More news on that when news on that has more news.
Lastly, a bit of an update on my personal situation. This part doesn’t contain any release news, so you can skip it without missing any irr-relevant information.
My current living circumstances are in a state of disintegration, which means having a functional studio space, and perhaps even private computer access, will be coming to an end before long. I’ve got a grace period of perhaps a year, although nothing is completely certain at this point. I’m a bit overwhelmed by everything that’s been happening… a year and a few days ago I nearly dropped dead without any warning, and while still in the process of trying to piece myself back together physically & psychologically, I learned that the one thing I thought was stable in my life — my housing situation — was coming to an unexpected end. I’ve spent the past few months exploring what options are available, and the realities are turning out to be pretty grim.
I’ve been fully self-employed as a musician & artist for the past 12 years, and this was only possible due to the inexpensive housing I’ve been lucky enough to have during that time. My self-employed work has required a lot of different skills: audio recording, production, mixing & mastering; graphic & design work in a variety of media and creating printer-ready layouts; business accounting to figure my self-employment taxes every year; creating & maintaining my web shops & social media profiles. Unfortunately, I don’t have any outside credentials for any of these skills, so, as far as the job market is concerned, I could almost have been doing absolutely nothing for the past 12 years. My resume has always been rather feeble, but, at this point in time, none of the places I’ve been employed in the past exist anymore, so I have no references. This is also the case with my unusual living situation: I have no ‘official’ renter’s history or references, which puts my ability to secure a place to live (even if I can manage to find one I can afford) into question.
I’ve registered with several job search services, and next month I’m signed up for a slew of employment assistance seminars: ‘career exploration’, ‘resume writing’, ‘interview technique’, etc; but the early indications are that the only jobs I’m likely to get right now pay at minimum wage or very close to it, which (I’m sure some of you already know well enough) are not actually living wage jobs — that is, aren’t jobs that provide enough money to keep up with the cost of rent & basic living expenses. I’ve also been exploring the possibility of moving to the UK or the EU, but the financial & bureaucratic obstacles are overwhelming… and of course the timing of that could hardly be worse with both poised on the brink of the Brexit abyss.
I find myself as a car-less, mobile phone-less, college degree-less, job & housing reference-less, functionally resume-less, unmarried & child-less nearly-50-year-old trying to figure out how to move forward in an area where I don’t have a social network… I’ve spent all my time shut up in my studio working on my own, so I still barely know anyone here in Oregon. Honestly, the situation scares the piss out of me. I’m running out of ideas. So I’m throwing my net as wide as possible to bring in as many good ideas & strategies as I can before things become dire.
If anyone out there has some useful information they can share in regards to how to find reasonably-paid work & affordable housing, or know of any resources that can help with this kind of thing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
best wishes to all,