Tagged: jeffmcleod

Borne Down Upon

BDUCover2SmallI’ve just released Borne Down Upon, my latest recording, on Bandcamp. While I’ve worked on these 9 songs since April of this year, this is really the culmination of a total of 3 recordings, the first (Under Dim Self) of which I began in January of 2011 and the second (Scalps Of Gods) released last year. On each of these, I’ve attempted to create unique soundworlds using synthesizers, sampling, programming and the occasional “normal” instrument (i.e. the guitar . . . which is really only on that first one from 2011 . . . and is actually the not-so-normal Moog guitar). Equipment failures, the passing of a long-time friend, leaving my job of 11 years and just general living in a world that I really feel disconnected from from have all come into play during these last few years of work . . . and it’s all there, if not a bit abstracted and warped into different shapes. Each release has a sidebar with complete lyrics, if you want to read along while listening–and each download comes with a packet of many drawings completed during the sessions, along with alternate cover art images.

I believe that Borne Down Upon is the strongest of these three recordings, but they all hold special places in my mind. I’m very close to the work, and I’ve put every bit of myself into them, working very hard to create things that are interesting to listen to multiple times, with many small layers working towards the larger whole. On this latest one, I limited myself to only working with 8 tracks, instead of the normal 16, and I found that to be as fun and challenging as way back when I was working with a Fostex cassette 4-track and all of its own limitations. There are only synthesizers, programmed drums and vocals on Borne Down Upon. I eschewed custom sampling for this one, opting instead for sounds created from scratch in a different manner. I think it’s really good. I’m glad to be done with it. I’m glad to be done with all of these recordings, honestly, but completely proud of them.

The amazing Neal Williams has done all the artwork for these, and his work has been so spot-on and intuitive to the root of each of them that I want to offer my deepest thanks to him for that. His work is always amazing and perfect, and I encourage everyone to see his stupendous work at his website.

I hope you enjoy Borne Down Upon. I appreciate the support and interest from all the folks out there who’ve encouraged and helped me during these last few years. You know who you are. Beyond you few fine humans, Borne Down Upon, and all of these songs I’ve written and recorded over the last three years, are dedicated to no one, nothing, never & nonsense.

In the new year, I shall bring you much noise…

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Moving on towards noise…

photo (13)Last night I mixed tracks on my new recording until my ears were completely burned out. I’m making up for lost time because, when I sat down to get started on the last leg of this year-long recording (the final release in a trilogy of recordings that began with Under Dim Self in 2011 and continued with Scalps Of Gods in 2012), I had gear failure . . . which meant I had to spend money and time getting back up to mixing speed. A screeching halt. Immediately. I work with gear from the dark ages of digital recording. I don’t use a computer workstation. I’ve got an old, outdated Roland 16-track, and I have to mix down to a standalone CD Recorder. That was what died exactly at the moment when I sat down to start my final mixes. You can imagine my reaction…

Yesterday, my new (used) CD Recorder arrived courtesy of eBay,  so I got set back up. I managed to get three of the nine tracks mixed, but I had to start from scratch on one of them because where I had left it was simply not working. The tracks are all great-sounding, and I can’t wait for folks to hear them, but I really want to be done so that I can move on into other sounds, expanding on some ideas that I’ve been mapping out for a series of noise releases next year.

Moving on is why I self-released Migration Of The Device, which was something I was hoping would be out on a vinyl split this year. I wrote a little more about it in a previous blog, and just did a 5-question session with our local paper. That particular recording had been complete since February, so just to get it out of the way and move on, I put that up on my Bandcamp page.

Got a new synth coming, too, that I’m planning to add into my noise arsenal for 2014. An Arturia MicroBrute!

Also getting ready to record a couple of new songs with my trio No with Jamie Uertz (of Hematovore) at Sarcophagus Studios in Auburn soon, too. More on that after it happens next month.

So . . . just a little update, really. Heading to see Alice Cooper here in town Halloween night! Show review will be posted here! Hope you all have a great Halloween!

Migration Of The Device

Migration CoverEven though I’m nearly done with a full-length recording that I hope to make available by November/December, I’ve got a new 4-song release now available that I finished much earlier this year. I began work on these songs in late 2012, and their ultimate destination was to be on a vinyl split with an awesome artist on an equally awesome label. But, as these things go, for a variety of reasons well beyond my control, it seems that this isn’t going to happen. At least not in time for me to get this music out there before I begin finishing up my full-length. I won’t bore you with any of the details any further, but I’m moving forward and releasing this one on Bandcamp today . . . before it gets lost in the glut of other musical output.

It’s called Migration Of The Device, and it’s in line with the electronic-oriented style of things that I’ve been doing for the past few years on other solo releases. This one, however, is quite different than the last couple (2011’s Under Dim Self and 2012’s Scalps Of Gods) in the respect that I employed some freshly-outside devices for inspiration towards the texture, mood and lyrical content (all of which is on the release site, if you want to see) of the 4 pieces. Oddball personal tarot spreads and readings from a variety of occult texts were sources of great inspiration for this collection, and I really think they shine darkly and smartly through the sonics that I was able to conjure.

In short, I’m completely happy with it! It’s a quick (20+ minutes), noisy jaunt through a few months of my life. I’m so glad to finally get it out into the cold light of day . . . and I’m equally elated to be able to move on to another recording well on it’s way to being finished. This is part of musical closure for me . . . these four songs being precursors to something even bigger & better that is nearly completed. Both of these writing and recording sessions have allowed me to move my music and my ideas into a new area that I’m excited about. Details on all this stuff are coming very soon.

You can listen to and download Migration Of The Device on my Bandcamp site, as well as all the other releases. Downloads of this new one come with a packet of drawings and photos from the recording session. As always, I truly appreciate your support and I hope you enjoy what I’ve made. More is definitely on the way…

Brain farts have feelings, too!

BAghouse HOTDRight before my set with Baghouse a couple of weekends ago, I accidentally plugged my guitar into the LOW input on my amp. What this meant was that, for the rest of the evening, I would be cursed with trying to sort out what was causing my sound to appear (to my ears) anemic–AND to play and adapt the best I could to the improvisation. In short, a brain fart. Classic. Undeniably stupid. Confounding, even . . . at the time. On one hand, I feel as if I NEVER do that sort of thing. On the other . . . I always seem to.

Luckily, everything else worked that night. I recently listened back to a recording of the evening and, despite feeling that my levels on loops fluctuated as I attempted to adjust in the chaos of the moment, it’s pretty excellent, nicely tense and has lots of fantastic playing & dynamics. Things were solid. Whew. Give it a go here, if you wanna get an earful of the proceedings at The World Famous in Athens, GA that  evening.

It’s happening again this Saturday night at Head On The Door in Montgomery, AL. We’re going to do a couple of sets, making music, conjuring textures, tones and irregularities, seeing where the sound takes us. This is a call to all the weirdos and wanderers looking and listening for something freakishly pure. Music pulled from the air, shaped and reshaped, then shoved into your earholes. It feels like magic. Automatic writing. Baghouse. Come hear something being tapped into.

Wear a gasmask in case of brain farts.

Current listening:

Caspar Brotzmann – Nohome

Disappears – Era

Gorguts – Colored Sands

The Howling Wind – Vortex

True Widow – Circumambulation