The Records


When I started publishing music, I tried a unique approach to trying to make a living as an artist, under the naive assumption that I could offer my music for free and that people would just give me money if they liked my music. It wasn't a completely laughable business model; I also published commercially-distributed albums with the goals of making money and furthering exposure of my music. However, after a year (which is the amount of time I decided to allow this experiment before reevaluating my approach), I decided this method wasn't working for me. In the meantime, I had built up a large discography of "non-commercial" vs. "commercial" releases; the non-commercial releases being offered on a pay-what-you-will basis through websites such as Bandcamp, NoiseTrade, and Jamendo, and the commercial releases being "official" publications offered on streaming platforms and major online music stores such as Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

I decided to keep publishing under Creative Commons licensing, while setting the lowest prices for my music at my Bandcamp store (affectionately called Snail Tunes, after my "record label"), and occasionally offering a sampler or "gift" for free (tips appreciated, of course), to be collected on my NoiseTrade page. Everything is licensed Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike, so feel free to use my music and remix it, as long as it isn't for commercial purposes.

Since so much of my music has been available for free, I'm offering all of my pre-Cognitive releases for a seriously discounted price at the Snail Tunes store. Of course, you'll find everything I've released cheaper at my own store than you'll find it anywhere else, as part of the incentive to support me directly, rather than through the big-name stores.

Without further ado, here are the official full-length albums:

Occultation


Cover art by Tyrone Webb - http://finespraypaintart.com

My sophomore album was another compilation of songs from non-commercial releases, but this time also included several original songs and alternate versions composed specifically for this release, and most of the non-original tunes were altered and/or remastered. Altogether, it has a much different flavor from its predecessor, as my sound began coming into its own. I started out trying to compose orchestral alternative rock - which is which is how I still sum up my overall style - with mostly acoustic sounds, with the main exceptions being "A Determined Snail" and "A Minor Distraction," the former becoming one of my most popular tunes at the time. I had also been trying to incorporate world music into my sound, being largely influenced by Dead Can Dance and Afro Celt Sound System. With Occultation, I found myself embracing the electronic nature of my tools a bit more, as well as drifting toward my more gothic and metal roots. I also returned to a few songs from Instrumentality and gave them "updates," giving "A Minor Distraction" and industrial-metal makeover, fusing the electronic "A Determined Snail" with its more acoustic-sounding counterpart "The Snail Plays Piano," and fleshing out "Waltz with Lilith" while also adding a trip-hop/trap remix.

There's still a lot of grunge-rock and electronic-pop elements to be found in this record, but there's definitely some hints at the post-metal/post-industrial direction that my music would be taking and wouldn't be turning back from. To read the article that originally accompanied this album's release, visit the post "The Instrumentality Project Continues - Occultation."

This album is also available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, TIDAL, YouTube, and MS Groove.

Jaded


After Occultation, I found myself continuing to embrace the electronic nature of my compositions, incorporating more electronic sounds into my rhythm sections and even beginning to experiment with synths in my beats. I'd had some success in gaining recognition by the World of Trip-Hop, having some of my songs featured on their SoundCloud page, and I'd also succeeded in having some songs put into rotation on Darkwave Radio, prompting me to embrace "darkwave" as a label for my music. Several songs saw me continuing to move in a post-metal direction, prompted by the popularity of "The Cloud Walkers," while others were of a more electronic nature, particularly "Nyctality" and the Feral Bitch mix of "The Manic Widow." Some were even of a more ambient nature.

I also began to experiment in having spaces in my songs that weren't quite so "busy," trying to allow for the possibility of vocals, which had the desired effect of developing lyrics and melodies over subsequent listens. In the past, I'd been primarily a lyricist and vocalist, which I had put behind me when I ruined my singing voice with too much smoking and drinking resulting in a shredded esophagus. However, this didn't stop me from seeking out collaborations with other vocalists. This worked out in the case of "Lily White." But when the flaky nature of artists won out in others, I eventually took it upon myself to perform the vocals, which worked out beautifully for "Cold Sunlight," moderately well for "Sublime Like Swine," and in the case of "The Between," well, at least the screaming sounded good. Thankfully, the vocals for "Mr. Douter" developed into a spoken-word piece and I didn't have to sing.

Overall, this album actually turned out to have a lighter tone than its predecessor, even though I felt myself moving in more gothic, darkwave, and post-metal directions. It also proved to be a very diverse album, with many different styles present, perhaps more-so than any of the others. To read the article that originally accompanied the release of this album, visit the post "The Instrumentality Project - Jaded."

This album is also available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, MS Groove, Spotify, YouTube, and TIDAL.

Revolutions


While I had been waiting to see if any other vocalists might work out for songs on Jaded, I was already hard at work on material for the next album. I ended up publishing most of it in a back-to-back release of two non-commercial EPs, Obfuscate and Sublimate, which I am very proud of and somewhat regret not having made "official" releases. However, they still exist on my Jamendo page, and they were essentially my last non-commercial releases, aside from a compilation of songs from those EPs and songs from Jaded, called Radiate.

After Jaded, my music got darker, and I experimented even more with electronic rhythm sections and with merging synthesizers and drum machines, developing a sound that I believe is best described as "post-industrial." Some of my songs during this period approached orchestral post-rock, and there were lapses into post-metal territory as well. My piano is front-and-center for much of this album, and instead of reaching for the label of "piano rock" as I had with the three prior albums, I began reaching for "neoclassical," with frenetic notes instead of clusters of chords. The resulting record is a lot more haunting than the others, and a lot more experimental.

Some of the songs are new versions of songs from previous releases. "Hell is for Reels" had a demo version on The Hypnotic Jamboree; "They Delving" got a final industrial-metal incarnation on this record; and "Momentum" got a remix featuring a new drum machine. But this album doesn't get any more cheerful than the poppy, piano-based, indie-rocker, "Matriculating." It's full of strange sounds and melancholy. For that reason, it may be my personal favorite. To read the article that originally accompanied this album's release, visit the post "Revolutions are NOT Safe in Cars."

This album is also available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, YouTube, MS Groove, Apple Music, and TIDAL.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Cover art by Matt Warneford - http://iamwarface.com

After the non-commercial compilation Radiate, I came to the conclusion that I would stop releasing all of my music on a pay-what-you-will basis. I had released Revival and Progress Report - The Anniversary Spin afterward, but those were gifts to my audience in celebration of my one-year anniversary of self-publishing my music. Anyway, this decision brought on a new release strategy for me. Instead of releasing several EPs with duplicate tracks until I had enough material for a full-length compilation, and then releasing an "official" album, I decided to be more methodical, releasing only EPs of entirely original content (which would result in releases being fewer and further between) and only drawing select material from those EPs for an album that would itself include original content. So I released Carnivale and Interlude. Admittedly, I was experiencing a time of artistic stagnancy, and I was only really proud of two or three songs on each of those releases. When I began compiling songs for a fifth album, I found myself wanting more material to draw from, and so I allowed myself to release an unplanned third EP, which also broke the rule of entirely original material by including instrumental versions of older songs. These instrumentals were also under consideration for the fifth album, as I hadn't released these versions before (in the case of "Mr. Douter" and "Lily White"), or didn't want them to fade into obscurity after deleting my non-commercial discography (in the case of "Darkest Dreams"). The desire to not see certain songs or versions obliterated entirely from my official discography also played into "Odd Gastropod" and the Selenophilia Spin of "The Cloud Walkers" being considered for this album.

In the end Cognitive Behavioral Therapy became a mix of songs from the post-Revolutions EPs with a few original songs and a few old favorites. Overall, it continues the trend of seeing more electronic elements in my music along with more neoclassical elements, but it has a much more light-hearted and ambient tone than its predecessor, though it can be awfully diverse with the inclusion of some of my darker and more metallic works such as "Mr. Douter," "Darkest Dreams," and "The Cloud Walkers." To read the article that originally accompanied this album's release, visit the post "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy."

This album is also available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, MS Groove, YouTube, Spotify, and TIDAL.


The Instrumentality Project


Some of you may have noticed that my first album, Instrumentality, has disappeared from my "official" discography. This is because, after having a better grasp of my tools and spending more time with my songs, I have delivered what I believe to be improved versions of the songs that were published on that album, which was a compilation of amateurish recordings, while testing the waters of wider distribution to mainstream stores and streaming platforms. Some of the songs on Instrumentality had multiple versions, whereas in The Instrumentality Project they are limited to one per song. Therefore, the usual sixteen-track formula of my albums has been shortened to thirteen.

This album is comprised of recordings from each of the previous albums, from Occultation to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, while offering new versions of the songs "Jade's Theme," "Waltz with Lilith," "The Nocturnal Dervish," and "Winter's Salve." "Introducing...," also revisited as "No Introduction Needed," was renamed "Jade's Theme" on Jaded, where it was featured twice. I made it the theme music for the character Jade, who is the protagonist of several stories that have yet to be written, and is featured in the short story "A Jaded Beltaine" in the Snail Tales section of this blog. This version was the result of several ideas, each of which may be seen in simplified versions later on down the line.

"Waltz with Lilith" (a derivative of "Giger's Lullaby," as is the song "Waltz for Giger") was supposed to be retired, after ten versions seen throughout the old free-to-download non-commercial records, with the remix "The Last Waltz." I was going to make the first version that was titled "Waltz with Lilith" publicly available again on this album, but found that I no longer have the project file for it. I have an MP3, but DistroKid - my distributor - prefers uploads of lossless files. It provides a better transfer to the compressed versions heard on, and sold by, most stores and streaming platforms. So I pulled up the project file for the "Claim" version of this tune and tried out an experiment that had been niggling the back of my mind, and rerecorded the "It's so fucked" vocals heard at the end of the original.

For the "Simplified" mix of "The Nocturnal Dervish," I went through each measure of the drum tracks (there are multiple drum machines overlaid in the original) and made them a little less convoluted, but also added a few beats from new drum kits that have appeared in the upgrades of my DAW, as well as some additions to the electric guitars and changes in a couple of places to the bass-line. It's in rotation on a few radio stations, yet most seem to prefer the original. With subsequent listens to both versions, I've found that I don't know which I prefer.

The "Fecund Remix" of "Winter's Salve" (which only existed as "Winter's Remix 2.0" after the removal of Instrumentality) was the result of several experiments that I wanted to toy around with - many of which were inspired by recording "Microcosms" for the EP Dissonance, later included on the album Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) - and The Instrumentality Project gave me an excuse to try them out. In my mind, this has replaced Instrumentality's Alternate Spin as the definitive version of this song. I think it is quite beautiful, though I've already had the though of simplifying it for a version simply titled "Fecundity."

The inclusion of "Hell is for Reels" is also notable, as it wasn't on Instrumentality, but the demo version was recorded during the period of which the songs on that album were created. Therefore, it seemed appropriate.

I hope this "replacement" for Instrumentality is indeed an improvement and enjoyed by all. It's been called an "ambitious undertaking" by the host of MusicMatters on IndieRage Radio, while all the songs have been put into rotation on the ever-supportive Open The Door Radio. To read the blog post that originally accompanied this album, visit the post "The Instrumentality Project - Culmination."

This album is also available on AmazoniTunesGoogle PlayApple MusicMS GrooveYouTubeSpotify, and TIDAL.