Thursday, February 4, 2016

Radiate and Matriculate

Presenting the fourth Snail Tunes compilation by The Lady anoNYMous,
collecting songs from Jaded, Obfuscate, and Sublimate.

It seems like only last month I was releasing Jaded...which isn't that far from the truth. There's usually a bit more space between the album releases, but I had a very productive winter, folken. I guess it's just how I cope with the season, as the previous winter was also a very productive one; one that resulted in the debut EP, during which not only was I using my tools for the first time (and therefore everything felt highly experimental of me at the time, even though those songs sound a bit mundane when compared to some of the shit I've been producing a year later), but I wrote the first incarnations of all of the songs on Progress Report, as well as "Giger's Lullaby" and "Winter's Salve" (then called "Winter's Discontent" and a lot more classical than it's latest incarnation "Winter's Remix 2.0").

I've continued to work with a lot of those songs since releasing that first EP last February. Some saw their first makeover as soon as the following month, on the Alternate Spin of Progress Report. "Winter's Salve (Alternate Spin)" remains, to me, one of the most mind-blowing pieces I've ever written, even though it's so minimalist and uses the musicians' old "repeating itself" trick to fill out a "proper song length" - oldest, most blatant standby in the book.

Other songs from Progress Report have had new incarnations as recently as Jaded and are therefore included on Radiate, such as the very first track on the album, "The Ground Up (Rebuild)."

As the anniversary of Progress Report draws near, I felt the need to visit with these songs and wrap up a select few in some special packaging for Progress Report - The Anniversary Spin, the result being a nine-track, fifty-seven minute "mini-album" that I've tacked an all-new song at the end of as a hidden bonus track. The rest of the songs have been seen on previous non-commercial releases, so there's not going to be any huge surprises when this Anniversary Spin is released to the public (non-commercial at the Snail Tunes store, of course), aside from the hidden track...and I realized that one of the songs had never had an alternate version recorded, and I'd actually been thinking about it for a couple months now, so there is a never-before-heard remix of "Momentum" that I'm quite proud of.

This leads me to also tell y'all a bit about the "update" on The Hypnotic Jamboree that I've been mentioning, Revival. This new record is also all about alternate versions of songs from the original, though there is just one alternate version for each, and they're in the original order.  However, I came to the realization pretty quick that I don't have alternate versions recorded of each song, and in the case of "Vainglorious Wrath," it already is (sort of) an alternate version. I already had recorded a (finally) finished rendition of "Hell Is For Reels" - with the fiddle part and much of the cello rerecorded throughout, as well as some added instrumentation - and I already had the new version of "They Delving" just waiting to be put on a public, non-commercial record; but I needed to decide if I'd leave "Vainglorious Wrath" as is (and I should note that I had already started, and failed at, a remix of that song) and I would need an alternate version of "Trip-Hop Thing"...a song that just doesn't seem like it should be anything other than what it is.

Anyway, there's likely a blog article to be attached to the release of these records, but I thought I'd give up a few more details and tease a bit, since they're already available on Patreon, and I'm always on a crusade for new Patrons.

So, as long as I'm crusading, I guess I should also speak a little about Matriculated, which I've sort of snuck in under the radar. The inspiration to release this was a rather recent event, not planned with a great amount of forethought. Well, I had been thinking of releasing a single through my commercial distributor to see how it might generate interest in the upcoming commercial album. This was originally to be a song called "The Hallows," which I had already released to Patrons on the album preview Vanitas. Vanitas (being, as I understand it, a style of still-life art that usually is of objects representing mortality) is very much along the same lines of Matriculated - a four-track EP previewing the new album - but "The Hallows" is the only track they have in common.

The track lists are as follows: Vanitas contains "Hell Is For Reels" (the finished version I mentioned earlier), "The Hallows," "Groove" (a sort of post-industrial piano jazz number), and a sin palabras recording of "Cold Sunlight" - I'd like to take a moment to clarify that, just because there's no words doesn't mean there's no vocals, which leads me to wonder how many people realize that the wordless soprano vocals in the song are actually me and not a synth... Moving on. Matriculated contains "Reticulated" (a post-industrial overture I feel would make Trent Reznor proud), "The Hallows," "Matriculating" (an upbeat indie-pop-meets-post-industrial tune), and "Revolutions" (being a darkwave dance track).

You may be noticing that, while I've offered brief descriptions of all the songs on these two album-previewing EPs, I haven't bothered to describe "The Hallows." That's because, I don't have to. As I said before, I had thought of releasing a single to generate interest in the album. Well, I'm already doing that in extended-play form with Matriculated. I decided, for a single, I'd go the route of SoundCloud yet again and make it available for free streaming for everyone. I had originally planned for this song to be "The Hallows," then I thought it was going to be "Revolutions," but after consulting with a certain super fan (who is also a friend), I've reverted back to choosing the former. So, without further ado (do-do-do-do-do...sorry, Bran Van 3000 reference there), I present a single from the upcoming album for y'all to enjoy that will hopefully whet your appetites: "The Hallows."

I hope y'all like it. Both Matriculated and Vanitas are available to supporters via Patreon, while Vanitas is also available to The League of Extraordinary Snails, and Matriculated is soon to be available on most major streaming platforms and at most major online music stores (Amazon, Google, iTunes, TIDAL, YouTube, Spotify, MS Groove, etc...).

This article has becoming far more about what I've been up to since releasing Radiated (and I guess I can get up to a lot in five days!), but that's probably because there's just not a whole to say about this latest compilation album that hasn't already been said. All of the songs had already been released, and this is a truer compilation in that regard than Nefelibata or Wisps of Reason. With everything that had been released prior, there was already ample material to fill out an album without resorting to unreleased songs. And so I have all of these songs that are just itching to be released on the next commercial album, which I guess I can tell you is tentatively (maybe more than tentatively) titled Revolutions after the song making its first appearance as part of Matriculated. "Revolutions" receives the honor of being the title track partly because it's more on the experimental side (I'm not one known for putting together dance tracks, usually, and it also utilizes a new drum machine as well as synths that are new to me, which inspired writing a darkwave dance track in the first place).

I can also share a rough draft of the cover art for the upcoming album, which is being used with permission from the photographer, Thad Metzger, and is a shot of composer Sean Beeson on what appears to be a very magical night involving a rather epic bonfire.

I'm going to see what I can do to clean up the text and make it look less rough, but that's the gist of it. Sean shared this photo on twitter and I was immediately struck by it and asked right away if I could steal it. Both he and Thad gave me their permission, and with the amount of Likes we've had fluttering around our conversation about it, I've been beginning to feel almost as if I had a hand with this bonfire and was there on that night, dancing with these two Twitter friends of mine. Apparently, this fire was roaring at that strength for two hours...

Well, folken, although this article hasn't been particularly lengthy, it feels like a lot of sharing in a short amount of time, and I do believe I've run out of news. I do hope you enjoy Radiate. I'm very happy to have all of the songs from Jaded available on non-commercial records, and I've enjoyed composing and recording the material for Obfuscate/Sublimate and fitting it together with those songs immensely. This was a very easy album to assemble, and quite enjoyable to listen to repeatedly as I've been working on it. Now, I do indeed have enough material for Revolutions (more than enough) and I have to concentrate on that album and even, for the first time, select which songs will not be making the cut! So, until it's time for me to write something soul-searching and sappy about the anniversary of Progress Report at length - or I have something else to report - may your inner snails remain resilient and determined!