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Hindsight is...

Updated: Mar 21

Frontispiece engraving of 'Magia Naturalis'
Giambattista della Porta, 1608

When I recorded songs in December of 2019, I was mystified by sonic palates I was unlocking. Patching between a Moog Matriarch and a granular/ physical-modeling eurorack synth that I had built meticulously over the course of 2019 made me feel like a kid, playing with Legos in my parent's basement. Some days I would get up early with my daughter and play the piano in the morning, creating sequences out of melodic phrases I found myself liking and translating them through the modular synth. Other days I would just plug in all of the instruments before I even had coffee in the morning and scan for moods in hyperfocus. I would be so obsessed that I'd spend the whole morning experimenting and arranging; getting up from the breakfast table to tweak a loop. Instead of showering and getting ready, I would make weird noises in my pajamas and inevitably leave late for work.

Michigan restaurants shut down in March, and I was laid off. While I was stuck at home I started to take the production of my releases much more seriously. By that time had six 45-minute tapes of live sessions to processmost of it useable material. In addition to making a garden and calling my friends for aimless conversations like "Wow, yeah, totally crazy about the pandemic and stuff huh?" I took what extra money and time I was given, got some decent VST plugins, and learned how to engineer and master my own music pretty w̶e̶l̶l (OK) . About a month into the lockdown I wrote two new songs with Mooses, and we began to record demos for our first full-length album. Eventually, I got bored with that and decided it was time actually finish something even if it meant offending Andy and Rob publicly.

When I'm almost finished with a project when it consumes me. This altogether fairly ubiquitous for artists, but for me it is an untapped well and wormhole of time and new tracks. I find myself spending unhealthy amounts of time on the DAW and performing an unconscionable amount of bouncing masters for "the car test." I also know I'm getting close when I find myself pontificating about my journey to like five people in this obnoxiously verbose and sarcastic blog that is, through some stretch of the imagination, more pompous than my general image. It makes sense though that I should put this out now though; looking back over the last year, I am grateful to have reached some mockery of balance in spite of an excessively nocturnal schedule and the personality of someone with very little skill or desire to develop and maintain public relations (follow me on Spotify already, you assholes). I am also grateful to everyone who has actually supported my music. It's been a nice experience for a change.

Fox Photos: completely bomb-gutted cathedral during WWII in historic Coventry, London
Coventry Cathedral, 1940

Genre has long been irrelevant to me, however, in the hours I've recorded since the creation of Aleph Om, different themes and styles have become evident. Some of my notes came together well with my first release: longing, moody vocal pieces, balanced by filmic drone and tape noise. Other tracks would be pushed aside vehemently; it still might be years before some of them are heard by anyone but me. Tracks like "Buddha Playing Tennis" were expedited for their validity in the context of the album. Necessity and impulse alone are not fuel for passion, but nonetheless they can still fan its flames. In my experience as a musician the best way to meet a deadline is not by setting a reasonably attainable one, but instead by crashing through the first four. Now, with my second full-length album releasing on December 31st, I can easily admit that it was just expedited for the sake of its nominal validity in the context of time. Yes, the only real reason I wanted to put out this little IDM gem now was because whenever someone goes to type it out it would cleverly read well with the year of its release next to its title:

Hindsight Is (2020)

All said this album was probably less stressful to produce than my debut, and it sounds more exuberant too in its own dark little way. I did not need to "rush" to release it. Ultimately, I just want to keep people my fans engaged with a diverse catalog of music. Conventions will never hold me down. I will continue making the most psychedelic and curious sounds I can. Maybe somewhere along the way someone will want to help me out; maybe you will now! I want to reward my friends and family for being supportive of me all this time, but if I'm really lucky they'll feel bad enough to buy a Limited Edition Gold Plated cassette tape of Hindsight Is. It's funny though. I've afforded a website, streaming, and tapes, but I can't afford any of that other banal crap people actually like associated with musical artists (stickers, pins, brooches, bags, clothing, crafts, baseball caps, and chocolate bars). Maybe I just haven't really gotten there yet. Either way I'm going to keep making more music for y'all. Look out for me on instagram every day this #jamuary, and please enjoy streaming new music at my site tomorrow!

Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation
Onlookers in Amsterdam, 1941


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