INTONA REMORAE NOTES

Waaaaaay back in December Viral Conspiracy release my EP “Intona Remorae". People dug it which is interesting considering VCR (as they;re known) usually releases louder, faster, noisier and angrier stuff than this. Yet there it is. In side you will find lengthy notes on each song. I’ve included these here because, well, I can. So dig in:

INTONA REMORAE

These songs that make up “Intona Remorae” were born from destruction. In early 2018 I suffered catastrophic data loss, losing much of the last 18 years of music. With the past wiped clean but for finished songs I found myself first grieving then freed. With none of the loops, samples, beats or any other bits of sound and noise I usually drew from I was no longer bound to my habits. So I sought to devise a small set of songs within a fairly rigid framework. I do this often, actually, even before the data loss of 2018. And as is often the case when I dove deeper into the tracks, the limitations I imposed began to bind and constrain rather than focus and energize me. Once loosened, new aspects of the tracks emerged, exposed not because of changes in anything external but only internal. My self-imposed rules were few but firm: each track used roughly the same arrangement of an 808 drum machine, an organ simulator, new samples for atmospherics and each track’s length was not to exceed nine minutes. Of course by the end of the EP, Herbivores, shows I threw that rule aside and let the track blossom to its full size.

As far as instrumentation went, I chose some basics as the foundation. A simple 808 kit formed the root fo the percussive elements while a Hammond organ emulator provided much of the melody and threnodic parts. Audio Damage’s Basic was used for bass and much of their effects for reverb, delays and such. Sonic Charge’s SynPlant, with its extensive morphing capabilities, also figures heavily into the tracks. I sought to keep a large amount of space in each track while at the same time have enough occurring at any given moment so that hopefully the listener is engaged while not entirely aware of the amount of time passing. 

The title itself is a nod to the great composer, painter and futurist Luigi Rossolo. While not expressly imitating his methods or concepts, the EP definitely embodies the idea of evolution, moving forward into new sounds and modes of conceptualizing music. The lowly remorae, a suckerfish usually found attached to a larger sea creature, might seem an odd thing to name check in the title. That is until one realizes that remorae means “delay” in Latin, as suckerfish were thought to slow a sailing vessel down. In fact their aerodynamic design allows them to adhere painlessly and easily to their hosts without dragging unless their numbers grow too large. Once considering this, the title becomes “delay sounds” or “delayed tones” which is perfect. 

SOLITARIAN

The simple howl of a lone train whistle across a dark, barren landscape. Morning in a rust belt city, the citizens awakening hungover, hopeless and determined to carry on. The drones remind me of Richard Skelton, the enigmatic artist who leaves instruments out to the elements then records them. While I did that with none of these - it’s all pretty much done “in the box” i.e. the computer - I find a kinship in the wide open space of his compositions. 

POLLEN

I wrote this during the worst pollen attack of my life. My home was covered with a blanket of yellow powder which infrequent rains did little to remove. At one point I had to sequester myself in a room with an air conditioner and wait out the resulting allergy attack. Only a strong rain cut the powdery foe down. This track bears some of the urgency and sluggish movement that I felt. Wanting it to end but being unable to push my body’s ability to fight without prolonging the allergen’s attack on my system. So within the song, the drums are sparse but insistent. The synths murky and elusive or forceful and harsh. Much like sitting in a room on a bright sunny day wishing you could sleep off the pollen bloom.

TROGLODITICA

The screams are those of my daughter from her infancy, run through the magnificent Quanta plugin. Once manipulated they become unnerving and unholy, like ghosts hovering up high in the cathedral of the mind. The frenetic ice of an arpeggiated organ against the lagomorphic swirl of the bass synth and the heavily processed stabs creates an atmosphere of liturgic reverence, a large space wherein piety and control collide. The word Troglodyte refers to everything from a species of cave-dweller (the name literally translates as “cave goer”) to an ancient seaport in Egypt. Here the title refers to ancient ways of being and the need to rise beyond them, breaking the chains of dogma, forcing the dead hand of habit and going beyond.


HERBIVORES


The track evolves slowly like a lifeforms, sounds collapsing and reforming like the waves of a primordial ocean beating against a shoreline of newly formed volcanic rock. Over time the rhythms coalesce into a shambling, loping unity under the undying rhythm of the universe as portrayed here by the ever present 808. Imagine ancient primates come down from the trees to stare up at the night time heavens, their minds at the cusp of sentience as they struggle to comprehend the vastness laid out before them. While many cowered in fear at this display of dark and lonely astronomical power, perhaps a few maintained their gaze and push consciousness forward a few inches each time they did so. Evolution is a slow, persistent process where life finds a way no matter what. 

Invisible Soundtracks: The Making of an Album!

NEW ALBUM "INVISIBLE SOUNDTRACKS" IS OUT NOW ON M-TRONIC!

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My new album "INVISIBLE SOUNDTRACKS" Is out now. You can get it on the M-Tronic Bandcamp page. 

I am so stupidly thrilled to be added to the M-Tronic roster. If you told me 35 years ago when I began playing with electronics and making music that one day I would release an album on a label in France I would have shrugged and hid from you. That it's a label that has already released some of my favorite music since I began reviewing music for Igloo Magazine is even more amazing. 

This album is a big step forward for me as it was entirely recorded in my new studio space Flow Control 8.0. I took on new strictures, ideas and theories as I set out to record these songs and I think it shows. There's a lot more dissionance, a lot more atmosphere and at the same time more focus on melody, harmony and a bit of a slide back to musicianship. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.

Interview with a Madman

Recently a friend (who has asked to be anonymous) asked me one of the most amazing questions anyone has ever asked about my music. The ensuing conversation fgascinated me so much I asked them if I could write about it and they agreed. I’ve redacted some sensitive and personal information but here it is almost in its entirety. We’ll call them CCD for obvious reasons.

CCD: Can you explain your music to me?  First off, I am tone deaf (this is literal as my ear bones are fused) so I'm trying to understand how the melody and harmony of your music works together.

CRT: Wow! Great question. So do you enjoy music in general or certain types or is it all just noise to you? Answer honestly as it will help me answer you better. And I won’t get offended. 😆

CCD: I do enjoy all types of music.  Actually, I really love music.  It's very emotional.  But the kind that you and {REDACTED} make seem chaotic to me.  I think I need a deeper understanding of what is going on so I can process it.  I may not be hearing it properly so my brain cannot interpret it as it was designed.

CRT: Ahhhhhh ok. No you’re hearing it just fine. Let me ask you this: what was your favorite music and who were your favorite bands when you were ages 13-16?

CCD: Well I’ve known {REDACTED} since college, so I have watched his music evolve. He introduced me to musician I hadn't heard before, Like Kate Bush and Lush. Ok. Um...  Well....  Do we have to back in time to the 80's? 

CRT: Yeah! Hahaha!

CCD: I grew up in New Orleans, so aside from the popular 80's music, I also liked Jazz, R&B, and zydeco.

CRT: Oh cool! I didn’t know that!

CCD: I didn't listen to Country/Western until I moved to Texas in 86'. I didn’t gravitate to that stuff until the last 5-7 years. Now I’m amazed by it. Always listened to classical.

CRT: Ok. Reason I ask is that musical tastes and inclination is formed around age 14 or so for most people. Definitely for me. I’ve been revisiting a lot of 80’s new wave and pop from when I was 14 and it’s still alive to me. But I’ve also gotten into newer stuff as it comes out.

CCD: Ah, so we should dive into the 80's deeper then?

CRT: Hah! I’d love to but that might be another interview in and of itself. Now, to finally answer your question. My wife views this type of music as very cerebral and masculine in a lot of ways. But she likes it. And the people who make stuff like this are 90% males. Now there are some women doing this but not a whole lot.

CCD: Wait, that is cool to know. I agree with your wife here.

CRT: Yeah she’s smart. Introduced me to Brian Eno, Leon Russell and Dr. John. See ultimately what I’m looking for in my music is a way to fuse my love of melody and harmony with the weird stuff.

CCD: Sweet!

CRT: I’d say a big factor in my music and your friend’s is the use of repetition, drone and cycling sounds to induce a semi-hypnotic state. Which is clear from that first song of his I played

CCD: He is very mathematical. Like genius.

CRT: Ok! Yeah! Now a lot of these cats who like this stuff are mathematically inclined unlike me. But they all come to programming and technical stuff easily. Which is why they can work in the musical programming langauges with ease. Whereas a lot of sequential logic has evaded me for a long time.

CCD: Yes, he is also a programmer.  Cool stuff.

CRT: So there you go.

CCD: Wait, to go back to sequential logic in music - 

CRT: Ok, Shoot.

CCD: What is it?

CRT: Well you need it for certain basic things like verse chorus structure, music theory and stuff like that.

CCD: This sounds very complex.

CRT: Well sequential logic is actually simple. You use it all the time without thinking. Cooking, dressing, etc. If things go out of order you have problems. But when you get into the more electronic stuff it gets very reliant on it.

CCD: I’m reading it for circuitry.  But now you are applying it to motor planning.

CRT: YES EXACTLY!!! Are you a PT? I learned it through doing yoga.

CCD: I have two sons with motor planning disorders.

CRT: Ah ok then. I learned about it through a pt working with my mom after her stroke. And yoga taught me motor planning I.e. sequential logic applied to human physiology. You dig? I really came to understand how to use and move my body outside of the regular things. It was no longer just a vehicle for walking to work or sex or whatever.

CCD: Yes, it's a lot like a stroke.   So I do kind of get what you are saying with the music. I may have to understand what the musician was thinking when making it then?

CRT: Wait have you done yoga? And if not you should. Might help your boys, too.

CCD: All inputs and outputs (historical) also help decide what is next in the song?

CRT: Whoa that’s a good question. Yes. Kinda. That’s my initial answer.

CCD: The boys do OT.  Yoga would totally be impossible because they can't stop moving for sensory input needs.

CRT: Ok. You said it was like motor planning. So what’s their overarching diagnosis? Autism? Or is that part of it?

CCD: My oldest son is global dyspraxia.   It affects his speech and movement.  But not his cognitive ability (but it does make it the cognitive process slower, but not inaccurate).  He is actually very good at math, but awful at reading. My youngest son is awaiting dx.  Not as bad at older son.  Has issue with crossing the midline and sensory integration.  Speech and cognitive processes intact. For us, it is genetic.  My brother and his children also have some form.  We also have Auditory Processing Disorder (notice I said we, because I have it too).  I have 3 out of 4 kids with it, plus 3 cousins.

CRT: Wow!

CCD: But, we all love music.  My youngest son loves ELO, REO Speedwagon.  My youngest daughter loves Electronica, like her dad. My oldest daughter liked this opera death rock in high school but has mellowed a bit now. I'll have to look more into the physiology of music.   My son's are listing to TLP.  Have you heard of it?  Music that helps the brain?

CRT: Wow! That’s fascinating! The human brain is a weird and wonderful landscape. So how does that APD manifest? I had an employee who couldn’t learn stuff verbally. Training her was a nightmare. Had to let her go when a mistake of hers cost me $1,600. Agony for her of course but for me as I felt such guilt firing her (Yeah my employee was also probably really high all the time). I’ve got ADD which was diagnosed midway through my post-graduate year. I’m a better auditory learner but also kinetic.

CCD: For APD, the person afflicted with it needs to get speech therapy or a home program where they can learn to isolate foreground sounds from background noises.   Some types of OTC hearing aids in work situations can help with this.

CRT: Ah ok. Interesting.

CCD: They also have to watch everything the speaker says. And write everything down.  And ask for all materials in advance so they can learn at home before being formally taught.

CRT. Ok that makes sense. CRT: Is the issue that certain sounds can’t be isolated?

CCD: Yeah if I don’t have my meds I’m easily distracted especially by sound. There is actually several kinds of APD. 31 flavors do to speak.

  1. Sounds drop out from words.
  2. The person can't hear spaces and everything runs together
  3. Both ears won't work together
  4. Both ears can't work separately.

My son has 3 out of 4.  My daughter and I only have 1. It's really fucked up. But like I said, Dx'ed early and you get the therapy so you learn to deal with it when you become an adult. When you were dx'ed with ADD what did they do for you? I'm learning a lot about ADD just with my kids in OT.   Like the fact, that ADD is Dx'ed when the real issue was APD or VPD. Or was SPD.

CRT: I was given Ritalin and a little instruction on how to learn and cope with it. Afterwards I went to a place called Learning Strategies where they actually re-taught me how to learn using my skills. Very helpful.

CCD: Ok so music?

CRT. Hah! How to make sense of what me and your friend make?Hmmm...

CCD: Wait, tell me how your music affects you.

CRT: Good question!

CCD: Like, what does it do for you emotionally?   Does it sedate you?  Get you ramped up?

CRT: It depends. I’m weird because I listen to my own music more than most musicians do. I use it to zone out to or as background noise sometimes. I think it’s best suited to soundtrack, TV or film scores. It’s hard because I think it works best when people don’t listen to it directly.

CCD: {REDACTED} also is bipolar, and uses music as therapy.

CRT: Interesting. Me, too.

CCD: So you mean put it on and vacuum or do the laundry a few times? Like not pay attention, just have it in the background?

CRT: Yes exactly! You must have a little laundry with 3-4 kids right? Hah! Though it does bear up to direct examination I think.

CCD: My whole house is laundry. It’s easier when the kids can do it on their own. Already training #2 for that. I just want them all driving a car by 5th grade.

CRT: Hah!

CCD: Well, thanks for explaining the music to me. {REDACTED} is neat, but he has a genius complex that can sometimes make it hard for him to  compassionately explain something to the uneducated. And if you ever get another employee with APD, let me know.  I'll help you work with them.

CRT: Lol cool. I don’t think I answered you at all though.

CCD: I do think I understood it better.  The motorplanning analogy was a big help.

CRT: Oh good!

 

~END~

Been a long time since I blogged and rolled oh ohoh!

Whoa. Hey. Where you been?

A lot of stuff happening here at CHizzle Rizzle Tizzle HQ. To wit:

BUNNYHEAD: I'm hard at work on my first ever comic book/graphic novel whatever you want to call it. As I'm writing and drawing/inking/coloring it on my own time and dime it's double duty. I love it! I'm aiming to release it in early June. "Bunnyhead: A Tale of The Corrupted Age" is the story of a lone robot, scouring the wastes of his desolate world in search of others like him. All this while fighting off invaders from the sky. It's a pretty dope tale as afar as I'm concerned and I think you'll agree. Here's the most action packed panel so far. It contains 0.00% spoilers.

Ooohh! In yo face, Hogbot!

Ooohh! In yo face, Hogbot!

CATHODE RAY TUBE: I've been busy musically. Yeah you know it. Recently Component Recordings has released my latest album The Void And Other Structures. Not to be a braggart but it's my thirty-first album. I think. Anyway I think it's pretty badass and I bet you will, too. Check it:

Other than that I'm a walk the dog, play Fallout and watch TV type of guy. Hope all is well with you.

NEW BRITTNEY SPARSE EP

It's here!!! The new Brittney Sparse EP "TRIUMPH OF A HORSE CALLED RADIOMAN" is a mix of drones, ambience and dancefloor grooves. Previous releases by BS include the Birdy EP and the deliriously crisp and weird "UNCOMFORTABLE."

ATLAS OF MIGRAINE IGLOO REVIEW + Videos!

"Cathode Ray Tube (aka Chang Terhune) returns with a new full-length titled  Atlas Of Migraine  for Oregon-based  Heterodox " - Igloo Magazine

"Cathode Ray Tube (aka Chang Terhune) returns with a new full-length titled Atlas Of Migraine for Oregon-based Heterodox" - Igloo Magazine

Igloo Magazine has reviewed Atlas of Migraine:

As a whole, Atlas Of Migraine details an expansive foray through the ventricles of intelligent dub music, mustering up hundreds of ideas that disperse evenly upon its technoid infused landscape. Deserving further accolades for his prolific work, Cathode Ray Tube explores multiple genres of the exp-electronic music scene as Atlas Of Migraine summarizes his signature exquisitely.

Atlas of Migraine is of course available on Heterodox Recordings.

And two new videos have surfaced for tracks from Atlas of Migraine!

Here's the video for First Thing On Land:

And here's the video for Florence: