I'm always trying to keep from stagnating in my own music, and I think this new set of Damaged Tape recordings takes a step in a notably different direction. The first Damaged Tape album, "Electronic Ocean," was recorded with a very different set up than I have now, and I've been trying to return to the hazy, moody atmospheres of that album ever since unsuccessfully. I think I've finally managed to do so here. There is very little drum programming, and many tracks are based on arpaggiator riffs from my various synthesizers. I often start to make an ambient type track, but eventually find myself drifting in a different, more elaborate direction, yet much of this music makes for what I think is very groovy, shapeshifting psychedelic wallpaper. I had also been listening to a lot of 70's Vangelis during these sessions, and I think "Mathematics of the Genome" and "Sandcastles of Paraguay" hit upon that vibe quite nicely. I've also accepted that I play guitar a lot better than synthesizer, and I tried to mix in plenty of guitar work with the electronics - in fact, "Wheels of Vishnu" barely has a synthesizer in it. I've also been trying to live up to the Damaged Tape monkier a bit more, and have been trying to record with a little more warped sound and grit. While I'm still happy with albums like "Futara" and "Stone God," they sound a little more sterile and polished than I really wanted.
While I do the instrumental heavy lifting, this music would not be the same without the contributions of Scott Atkinson. I always dig his cosmic poetry, and his guidance as I'm recording is invaluable. He's also the fellow who comes up with the song titles (except for the last one), which I think gives the recordings their identity.
A couple of these tracks were recorded with my old roommate Devin Carlen in a late night, wasted recording session. I gave them a listen recently, and a few had a very freaky experimental edge that I still found entertaining six years later. Just as a warning, if you listen to "Waiting in a Time Capsule Trapped in Outer Space" on headphones, it may actually drive you insane - that or make you vomit from disorientation. Either way - you have been warned.
Ah yes, and the fellow you almost see on the cover is Mark Malek, a good friend of mind who I've played in bands with over the years and made a few entertaining Glaze of Cathexis remixes that I'll need to post eventually. We were in downtown Atlanta on our way to Mai Tai night at Trader Vic's when that was taken.
Anyway, here's a track listing for "Ambiguous Reality." I'd love to hear your comments about the songs:
1. The Fluorescent Darkness (2:19)
2. Pilgrimage of the Cosmic Warrior (4:32)
3. Victorian Era Phantoms of the Ganges (2:00)
4. Wheels of Vishnu (5:42)
5. Dance of the Stained-Glass Shamen (4:32)
6. The Tryps to Saturn (2:19)
7. Mathematics of the Genome (3:24)
8. Sandcastles of Paraguay (4:17)
9. The Tropical Glacier (4:07)
10. Ambiguous Reality (8:57)
11. Waiting in a Time Capsule Trapped in Outer Space (4:20)
Listen to Me:
Damaged Tape - 2011 - Ambiguous Reality (256kbs mp3)
Damaged Tape - 2011 - Ambiguous Reality (full quality part 1)
Damaged Tape - 2011 - Ambiguous Reality (full quality part 2)