I finally got the Frogtown MDS for May finished and posted. It took a few days longer than I had hoped, but some external impediments and internal variations slowed me down. This installment features guest contributor R K Faulhaber, who allowed me to use some of his sounds for the ‘R K Froghaupper’ portrait track; the original track took an unplanned detour into drone-rock neverland, so I decided to do a second track that is exclusively derived from manipulation of the RKF source material. I already had a good alternate selected from the ‘Froghaupper’ portrait shoot, so it seemed appropriate — maybe even preordained. Anyhow, apologies for the delay, and hope you enjoy the new single. More guest appearances are lined up for next month’s single, and a few more are planned for later in the year!
Hi all — Just a quick note to say I’m running a bit late on the next installment of Frogtown: I got bogged down with some other deadlines, and then I was put out of commission for a few days by my second Covid shot. I’ve already been nudging the release date forward a bit to make it land on the fee-less Fridays, and while there’s no fee-lessness on Friday this month, it looks like it’ll probably end up there again anyhow. Hopefully, it won’t be any later than that! But I don’t want to do a half-assed job on it just to get it out quicker.
Above is a new Frogtown portrait taken yesterday. It’s probably the tiniest one I’ve attempted to photograph so far, and the light was fading, so it was tricky to get a decent shot…
Second is the second installment of the ‘Isolation Fragments’ series. The post includes the original 22-minute version plus the 6-ish minute version edited for use as the video soundtrack. The video can be found on my YouTube channel here.
I’m really pleased with this particular batch! I really enjoyed making all of these. There are a couple more ongoing projects that I couldn’t manage to finish in time, but I should have those ready in tandem with the next Frogtown single.
The Monthly Digital Single for March has just been posted! There are a couple other projects in progress that I’d planned to launch this Friday, but I just couldn’t get them done in time…
A sneak peak into the future year: I recently completed a remix of ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Station’ for a forthcoming reissue of that very same classic NWW album. A number of exciting (but also fairly obvious) guest voices were enlisted to stunning effect. It’ll be a while yet before that reissue will be ready, so nothing further to say about it right now. Just very excited about how the remix turned out.
Also, you may have noticed a change to the appearance of this site. I’d been limping along on the old version for years, always intending to fancy it up a bit but never getting around to it… I’ve recently paid for an upgrade (well, there was a substantial discount code…) and have started to overhaul things to get them closer to what I’d originally wanted. A couple of these improvements have already been done: a ‘featured playlist’ media player has been added the the main page, and a page has been created for a ‘featured gallery’ of selected artwork. Both of these will be changed periodically. I’ve also embedded one of the videos from my YouTube channel, and more of that will be added soon.
The next big modification I need to tackle is the shop listings. I’ve had to de-activate all of the international purchase buttons because my shipping rates were so severely out of date. Some tedious hours are going to have to be dedicated to getting all the postage totals current again. Also, most of the home-made jewel case CDR listings are going to go away soon, so if you’ve been wanting one of those, best to get them soon. I’ve looking to replace the drab jewel case packaging format with something else, but have not yet decided what that will be; perhaps fully handmade editions like I did for ‘4 Orphans’, but hopefully something simpler & quicker to assemble. In any case, I’ll have to keep the editions fairly small — which is entirely appropriate for my small audience, anyhow. Most releases stop selling entirely after about a year… I’ll have to think carefully about what to keep in print. The interest in physical vs. digital is still wobbling back and forth and I’m not really sure where it’s going to land. I prefer CDs myself, but they seem to be on a non-stop rail replacement bus service headed to Obsoleteville. If I had a good label to work with I could consider vinyl editions, but on my own it’s not really plausible… and I don’t think it would a worthwhile investment for any label out there in the current economic climate.
If anyone is experiencing any problems with the new site format, or has any useful comments in regards to that (please note the word ‘useful’), feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
More thrills are lined up for next month, along with the regular Frogtown report.
I’ll make this quick, since I yet again had to pull an all-nighter to get things ready in time for Bandcamp’s fee-less Friday. I really need to find a way to manage my time better!
The first installment of the new Monthly Digital Single is now available! This year’s series is called ‘Legends of Frogtown’, and was inspired by a project I started last year, documenting the incredible variety of colours & patterns of the frogs that live in the Rock Creek Tributary (I’ve been intermittently posting some of them on my Instagram page). Every month I’ll be posting 3 tracks to accompany 3 of my frog portraits. The series is off to a pretty good start, I think. I’m approaching this year’s MDS differently from last year’s: I’m trying to avoid using any of my sound processing tricks and instead am just using the computer to capture performances done in the studio with whatever equipment & materials I have on hand.
Also available is ‘Isolation Fragments 2021-01-26‘ the soundtrack to a spontaneous video project I made at the end of January. It’s a very simple video — just editing together different images of snowfall in the Rock Creek Tributary — but it was a good excuse to motivate myself to start developing some basic video editing skills. The full version of the soundtrack and the mix/edit made for the video are both included. The video itself can be found on my YouTube page.
The final public installment of ‘Vesicular Distributor’ has now been posted. The bonus 13th installment has also been privately posted, and anyone who bought all 12 will be sent a code to get #13 for free. It’ll probably take a few days for me to get all the codes sorted. If you’re supposed to receive one and it hasn’t turned up after a week, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. Sometimes wires get crossed!
I’d originally planned for this series to have a total of 26 tracks + 26 panels — 2 of each per month plus 2 more for the bonus — but it’s turned out that I needed one more panel to wrap up the story properly. So the bonus installment now includes the 3 final narrative panels and 3 accompanying tracks (close to 25 minutes of extra audio).
So what’s in store for next year, you may or may not be asking? I’ll give you an answer regardless of which camp you’re in.
I am going to be doing another monthly single, as it’s proved to play a vital role in keeping my bills paid. The next one will be of a different nature, however. I do have some other narrative ideas in the works, but it takes time to get the text & visuals properly worked out, and I don’t feel up to jumping straight into another one without a break; so while I work out the next storyline, I’ll be posting a ‘Legends of Frogtown’ series every month, culled from the LOFT photo project I started this year. Each frog portrait will be accompanied by a track around 3 minutes long, with each month’s installment including 4 portraits & 4 tracks — so the total amount of audio will end up being approximately the same (the 2 tracks for ‘Vesicular Distributor’ were about 6 minutes long on average). The stylistic approach to the tracks will be very different from ‘Vesicular’, which I’ve taken about as far as I’m interested in going with it for the present. Here’s an example of one of the ‘Legends’ portraits if you haven’t already seen them on my Facebook or Instagram pages:
Aside from that, I’ve got a few more reissue/remasters lined up. The never-released album from 2011 ‘Vulgar Probabilities’ is next on the list. Ozeanische Gefühle will get a thorough scrubbing at some point. An older never-released (and never quite completed) album ‘Not Hidden But Concealed’ from way back in 2000 should be sorted out sometime next year. But I think after ‘Vulgar’, the next two reissues will probably be ‘Dust Pincher Appliances’ from 1999, and a deluxe reissue of the first irr. album ‘An Uncertain Animal’. It’d be nice to finally have all of the releases from the first phase of irr. public activity (1997-2001) fully cleaned up and made available to the world.
Several newer projects have been knocking around, and with luck I’ll find enough time to get some of those finished as well. ‘The Voice Of The Tiktaalik (Or, In The Sunshine Of Your Lungs)’, ‘Future Reveries Of The Eoarchaean Biomass, Volume 2’, ‘The Drowned Sisters Of Doggerland’, ‘All The Mystery Has Gone From The World’ and a couple others are in various stages of completion. A 4-way collaboration between myself, R K Faulhaber, Esperik Glare and Xambuca is waiting for my attention, and so is a collaboration with Recordist Overlord William Davison. And, of course, the essentially-completed-but-suspended-in-gaffa 2018 album ’10 Stations’ (of which some preview tracks have long been posted on the neglected irr. Soundcloud page) still needs to find it’s resolution.
That’s a lot, and there’s more as well, but it won’t all be coming out in a heap. That’s probably at least another 2-3 years’ worth of work, and I only hope I’ll have the good fortune to keep things going that long — and hopefully even longer.
It’s the first Friday of the month, and once again I’m scrambling until the early hours of the morning to upload the new batch of offerings, get all the announcements sent out, and then hopefully get to bed before the sun comes up. Not too likely at this point, but the main work is done.
A big new batch has been posted to the irr, Bandcamp site! Not exactly the batch I had planned: I’d hoped to have ‘Vulgar Probabilities’ ready for this Fee-less Friday grouping, but I felt it needed some additional artwork and that takes time. Also, one of the new projects got a little out of hand and ended up splitting into three different releases.
The instigator of the trio of new albums is ‘Vacuous Truths‘, which was originally going to be more of a field-recording-based project, but mutated into something else (while still retaining a few of the underlying field recordings). As it mutated, it grew a couple of buds which shed off and became their own, individual entities.
The second album, ‘Reticulate Shifting‘, grew out of a series of looping experiments that were created for ‘Vacuous’; while some of them fit into areas of the original record, it became clear to me that some fertile territory was waiting to be explored. The album was ultimately compiled out of 93 different loops, many of which feature the handy & dandy electro-acoustic Ragebox constructed for me by Wm. Rage several years back. I’ve used the Ragebox on several other recordings, but it really comes into it’s own on this project.
It’s a lot of fun to find different ways of working with exclusively loop sources, so I’ll definitely be doing another in this series at some point. Keep an eye out for ‘Reticulate Shifting 2: Electric Boogaloop’.
All three albums include new text pieces and graphic panels, both included as bonus items with the download.
Of course, also included in the new batch is the penultimate episode of ‘Vesicular Distributor‘. Only one public installment left! And, if you weren’t aware, an additional installment of two tracks and the final two panels in the story will be available free to anyone who bought the full set of twelve installments.
A special addition to this batch is the long-unreleased collaborative album I made with French pianist Sylvie Walder. Sylvie contacted me in 2011, and, using her piano recordings as the centrepiece, I gradually developed these tracks over the next four years in-between the regular overseas travel for NWW that was happening at the time. The full album was completed in October 2015 and I tried to get a proper (possibly vinyl?) release through a label for years without any luck. So it’s time to get it out there the one way I know I can. I think it’s a great collaboration, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it again.
In the interest of full transparency, I’ll admit that I haven’t been able to get in touch with Sylvie since 2017. I’d told her I would eventually post the album to Bandcamp if I couldn’t get any other option to work, but I did not expect at that time that I would have no way to communicate her when that came to pass. I went ahead with posting it anyways because there didn’t seem to be any point in leaving it on the shelf any longer. If anyone knows her and can let me know how to reach her, I would greatly appreciate it. I hope she’s ok! It’s a crazy world out there now.
I’m ready to fall over, so I’ll leave it there. Huge thanks to everyone for their support! Please grab some of these if can: it really helps a lot!
Just a quick mention that the October installment of Vesicular Distributor has been posted in time for this month’s fee-less Friday on Bandcamp. Perpetual thanks to all of you that have been supporting the monthly digital single and all the other downloads: it’s made an enormous difference in what would otherwise have been a pretty dire year.
I’d hoped to have a few other things available today, but I just couldn’t quite get them done. It’s 6 am now and I’ll have to admit defeat this time. They’ll have to wait for December.
I’ll end by mentioning that I’ve been invited by the big S to do a remix of Rock ‘N’ Roll Station, and I’m very excited about the guests who have agreed to contribute their voices to my version! It’s going to be a thing of beauty and astonishment when it’s all stitched together. I have no idea when or how the results will be released, though.
Hope all of you are holding up in these dubious times, and have uplifting projects & people to help you through it all. Give your alpaca a belly rub for me. Much love to you all.
The world just keeps getting crazier! Since my last post, I’ve had to spend part of the past month hiding indoors to avoid a vast cloud of toxic smoke… apparently a global pandemic and a megalomaniacal president aren’t enough. Fortunately, the local frogs seem to have survived the hazardous air; I’ve been amassing a catalogue of little portraits of them, which you can see on my Instagram page here: www.instagram.com/m.s.waldron. They’re also on my personal Facebook page (not the irr. FB page).
The September installment of ‘Vesicular Distributor’ is now available! I’m particularly happy with how this one turned out. It’s Bandcamp’s Fee-less Friday, so if you get it sometime today, all the proceeds (except for the PayPal fees) will go directly to me. The single is all that I’ve posted this month: it’s tempting to pile on a bunch of new stuff every time one of these fee-less days comes up, but I’m concerned that people are getting burned out on it. I might have a couple of extra things next month.
As I mentioned in the last update, I’ve remixed and remastered the audio for ‘Nocturnal Emissaries‘. I just wasn’t satisfied with the version I posted last month. If you’ve bought a copy, you should be able to go to my Bandcamp site and download it again to get the revised version. It’s not enormously different: the adjustments I’ve made mostly involve some refinement of the details and cleaning up some messy frequencies.
Hope you’re all doing well and staying clear of wildfires, toxic clouds of smoke, viruses, racist extremists, eight-legged donkeys and sociopathic police.