19 May 2011

Damaged Tape - 2011 - Ambiguous Reality

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)


cnjnctvsynth said...

This is great! Realy nice drony psych. I dig the Alan Watts-inspired voice over narration. Being familiar with your blog, I can definitely feel the influence of your favorite records here and that's a good thing! Thanks for sharing.

Dan McCool said...

I've been a quiet follower of your blog since about last summer. The first thing I downloaded actually was 'Psychedelic Anthropology' and believe it or not, it may have been the first piece of instrumental psychedelia I appreciated outside of Sun Ra. Or better said, your tunes were there, amidst a stoner induced google search, when I was ready for a new kind of listening experience.

I've scoured yours and other's blogs to educate myself better on this brand of music, and its been a heck of a journey. Even if my girlfriend can't stomach half of it.

The past year has left me with a far better outlook on life, a new ability to meditate, and one hell of an itunes library. My top listens these days are Divine Songs by Alice Coltrane, Shri Camel by Terry Riley, and Pshychedlic Anthropology by Damaged Tape.

SO YEAH, really great music man. I animate to it all the time. This new one's going on my subway playlist ASAP.

Thanks for sharing!

Dr. Schluss said...

Thanks for the comments, Mr. McCool (I do hope that's your real name). Give Damaged Tape's "Beyond the Astral Labyrinth" a listen as well - I started running my signals through a vacuum tube, and I'm much happier with the warmer, wonkier sounds on that and "Ambiguous Reality."

I do hope you've found the instrumental sounds of 70's Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze. They go down smooth and your girlfriend might even dig them.

By the way, do you have links to your animations (or was 'animate' just an allusion to experiencing the more sensory bending side of life?)?

Dan McCool said...

I'll be taking you up on those recommendations.

I'm close to finishing a cartoon now. At least in the next couple of months anyway. I'll get you a link to it as soon as it sparkles.