I was driving into work today and thought about the timeline of works I have:
City Shadows, circa 1996-2001
Well of Souls, circa 2002-2007
This Modern Depression, 2007-2009
<next project>, 2008-2010
<next project>, 2010
<next project>, 2010-2011
All of these are LPs with intentional track arrangement, artwork, and presentation. While I’ve been somewhat bashful and hesitant to release them, I always come to the conclusion that they are worthy of release to the public in an independent fashion (at least up to 2010, with the final 2010-2011 project looking for a home on a label). These collections of art display my work, growth, and unique genres throughout time. They are almost a bonus for folks who find me by any form of my “Sliptide” music and enjoy knowing more about an artist, or perhaps enjoy different styles of electronic music beyond what they were introduced to of mine.
This post is convincing me to keep releasing these materials. Lol.
After meeting with Seattle SoundCloud folks last week, I’m taking a hard look at nearly 3 unreleased LPs worth of music that span 2009-2011. I pushed “This Modern Depression” out, so why not continue down the path for an LP that wraps 2009-2010 together?
The project already has a name, the music is done, the songs are in order. I just need artwork, notes, and the business side of things to be completed. Do people want to hear more music of varying styles throughout the years of my career, or should I zero in on a smaller spectrum of sound?
Psh.. I don’t know. Identity as a musician is always a tough thing to sort out, but I need to keep in touch with WHY I’m making music— I love it, and I love so many different styles/sounds that I should continue doing what I do best… which is a little bit of everything! ;)
It’s frustrating, looking at these three distinct collections of music. Each has their own feeling, identity, sound, style.. I want to share them with the world, so perhaps the answer is to continue down a road of self-published work that fans can discover, listen to, and hopefully incorporate into their landscape and enjoy.
There is a lot of garbage/trash that will never see the light of day, but the projects/works/songs/albums I speak of are of quality enough that *I* enjoy them, some of my friends enjoy them, and perhaps fans and potential fans would enjoy them.
A quick post to talk a little about what’s been going on in 2012 so far. I think about this first month and how incredibly fast it’s gone by. I’ve had a lot on my plate between “daily life” responsibilities and the music business.
I have some major announcements coming up related to my personal life and a change of scenery (though still staying local to Seattle…). Also, with my first child in transit to the material world, you bet your ass I have a lot on my brain!
Music-wise, the snow screwed up my show for January and that was rescheduled for 2/15. The downtempo/original music played there is the first step in the right direction for me as I break into a lot more of my original works and focus on promoting those along side the continued momentum of my house music. This means that a few back-burner projects with Sliptide are coming up, as well as some delicious and very current work with mrastrong, Silver Standard, and Wob Saget.
Many, many plans in the works. It feels great as I check off bits and pieces of them along the way, and I can’t wait to share more music and things with everyone. =)
November brings the start of a crazy busy 2 months. Birthdays (mine, my wife’s, my Dad’s, a bunch of friends…), Thanksgiving, Christmas, retail season at my day job… add in the chaos of home shopping in the winter market, working on music for my live shows in December and January (house and downtempo, respectively), and I’m almost shutting down from overload.
Though, there are a lot of things keeping me in check, and I’m trying to take everything one day at a time and work towards my goals.
Right now I’m listening to Silver Standard’s first self titled LP that hit Bandcamp last spring. The album is due out on iTunes/Amazon/Spotify/everywhere else sometime this winter— I’m very excited for it as I still enjoy this album a lot. I look forward to the future of Silver Standard as an experimental project for Jeff and I.
We’ve been working on another project that takes chillwave/80’s/retro/8-bit influence with a side of light ‘wobble’ and wrapped it all up into “Wob Saget”. Ohhh yes we did!
Cheers to all, and I look forward to sharing more great music, photography, and other ish with you Tumblrs out there!
I now have my work cut out for me. Three weeks from today I will be performing my first live set. It will be a wonderful Sunday afternoon. It will be 30-45 minutes of wonderful, chilled house music. It will be all original material.
I’m not formally announcing this anywhere else for a few more days as I continue to work hard on my material for the show. I will write a lot more about it as the date approaches. This is a wonderful event for me to cut my teeth on!
I’m listening to a few of the tracks that I want to play during the show, while thinking about the awesome weekend I just had. I was able to spend a great 2 Seattle summer days with my best friend and my wife.
(aside: I’ve learned to remember my camera when venturing out.. I keep forgetting and I keep missing some great opportunities that would benefit from a real camera and not my cell phone camera)
We ate a lot of great food. We saw some great people. We played volleyball at a park in Woodinville. We went hiking in Discovery Park with Zephyr. A lot of sun was consumed through our skin, our eyes, and our souls. It’s sad to have my friend go back home to his family up north, but such is life and we shall make more plans for the future.
I’m going to unwind with some music and some screwing around in a video game. Good times all around as I prepare for the work week (and the music work week!).
I love music. I love listening to music. I love making music. I love playing music.
One of the demons constantly in my face when I’m working on music projects is that of a specific type of distraction: The desire to work on many different projects and sound styles.
Through various reading material written by new-music-industry professionals, I’ve learned that I increase my chances of ‘break out success’ (i.e. propelling myself into a music career, which is my goal) by focusing my efforts on a specific product. In this case, the product is my style of music, and I’ve chosen downtempo and house (and their close sub-genre relatives) as my ‘main’ focus in production.
The trouble is, I get these great ideas for side projects with new monikers that I want to work on, or I get a wild streak and end up producing nearly an albums worth of song starts or snippets that are great pieces (or have the potential to be great). This pulls me away from the main path (downtempo and house) and clouds my vision of becoming a successful musician. It’s very frustrating!
The positive aspects of this are: I learn a lot about producing in different styles and pick up new tactics that I can apply to ALL of my music writing and producing. The experience gained in these side projects and one-off sessions provide me with more knowledge, skill, and tools to increase the quality of my music overall.
Like I already wrote, though, a negative is that it clouds my vision. I feel further away from my goals as a budding musician wanting to make music his prime focus as a career and a means to provide for his family. I become somewhat frustrated when thinking about the music I want to take to a live audience. My wires get crossed and I have a hard time focusing on what I *want* to do VS. what *would be nice* to do.
It all comes down to blog posts like this or journal entries that allow me to sort my thoughts and keep a calm collective about the whole thing.
Remain focused, and keep working hard on my primary craft. I will have time in the future to work on the other projects that I want to.
I have a lot to do.. but I’m going to Tumblr about it instead.
Seriously though.. It’s Friday and I have a crap ton going on today; this weekend; this month. From music ‘work’ to projects, day job stuff, haps on the craps, BBQ goodness, dance parties to attend, concerts abound, and important life decisions to weigh. Life is busy, and busy is great right now!
I have a big announcement to make on my website, this Tumblr, and my Facebook page.. but only when I’ve completed my end of the ‘deal’ in order to get things going. I’m really flippin’ stoked about this opportunity I have coming up, though it doesn’t overshadow some of the other exciting things going on.
Amy and I have been in the same rental home for a few years now, and as she says, we never finished moving in.
Part of it is our reluctance to be located in the suburbs of King County. Though our ‘upper east side’ home in a quiet neighborhood near quaint public schools and local gems for food is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just not enough of the urban brilliance and lustre that Amy and I yearn for.
We’ve made a bold attempt at improving our living space, though, and some of our friends will get to see the unveiling of the new vibes presented through rearranged furniture, some new furniture, some painted walls, and a new spin on my in-home music studio space, this weekend (yay BBQ season!)
I’m excited to say, though, that the new space promotes practicing my performances both as a DJ and as a live electronic artist. I have a work space that is of appropriate height for me to set up cameras and record me toiling away for hours on end.
I continue down a road of deep, luscious house tracks, with side ventures into downtempo and tech variations— There are some amazing things that have yet to come to light.. It’s tough going through a very prolific production period, but release schedules aren’t in sync with everything I’m doing. Things will fall into place as I continue my hard work, though.
Let’s see.. oh yes.. and there’s a large, exciting announcement coming your way in the next few weeks. A new direction in the ‘business’ side of my music in the form of a partnership… but I can’t give you the spoils just yet. ;)
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We finally got the decent weather here in Seattle. Decent, meaning I don’t have to wear a light coat all of the time and I may consider shorts 2-3 days a week. Psh.
Right now I’m listening to This Modern Depression (streaming teaser set below) and thinking about the fate of this project. Why is it that I haven’t taken the time to finish this collection of, in my opinion, rather good songs? They would allow me to step into vocal recording of my own and expand upon my production skills and techniques.
I think a big part of why this one has remained “in progress” for a few years now is the timing of when I wrote/worked on this album compared to my assessment of skill: At the time, I felt that I had to make a very large jump in skill of producing downtempo and house music in order to bring myself up to an acceptable level to start promoting my music.
While I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time from last year into this year and have certainly learned and applied a ton of knowledge, I still feel somewhat sad/bothered by the fact that “This Modern Depression” remains unfinished and unreleased.
What I won’t do, is an old habit that I used to apply in making a deal with myself. I won’t say that “I won’t release x project until y is done” because I hate prioritizing my own art that does not have a firm deadline. However, that last word is the key: deadlines.
What has worked well for me in the house-music side of things is working under a deadline for a project to be completed. It’s a bit more significant of an impact when dealing with a whole LP instead of a single remix or EP, but I think I’m going to give it a shot as it relates to “This Modern Depression”. I need to take a closer look at my schedule and give myself a realistic timeline to complete the following:
Writing (a few songs need the lyrics finished)
Art, PR… let’s say “the business side of things” since I don’t want to open my humongous checklist for an LP release.
2 months? 3 months? That sounds about right. It will conflict with my desire to work on my live performance set, though, and that is also important.. but the live sets display newer materials.. what to do?
Sometimes I wonder if I enjoy making too many forms of music… It’s all under one name though, because that’s who I am.
With the recent release of my debut deep/tech house “Pike” EP on Beatport, I’ve been feeling pretty good about the direction of my house music. I’ve been working on two remixes for two labels. I have a number of pretty chill and deep house tracks of my own ready to roll to more labels.
The echoes in my head, though, bring up the “but what about your other music?” question.
I’m working with Jeff Surek on Silver Standard, still, and we have some great material started. We are also going to re-visit our previous (still unreleased) LP for some EQ and mastering action before we bring that to the public eye again (you can check out its current state on SoundCloud).
I’m working with my friend Matt Amberg on an EBM style project that has some amazing potential. He’s very determined and focused on the sounds he wants to create and I’m having serious fun doing some music that I wouldn’t do on my own. We aim to perform it live, too, including vocals on some tracks.
Then there’s my alternate sounds outside of house music altogether: Trip-hop, indie-electronic, and even ideas I have for some ambient downtempo guitar type music that are simmering on the back burner of my brain’s industrial grade cook top.
I’m currently meditating on a project that has been a long time coming: “This Modern Depression”. I had posted a teaser streaming EP on SoundCloud awhile back. The music is great, and I have some lyrics written for four of the eleven tracks which means I have some work to do outside of the mastering/EQ work that some of the music still needs.
Beyond that, I also have assembled the plans for a new LP based off of the downtempo styled music from January (“Paper Heart”,”Espres”, etc..) that make for a gorgeous album overall. I really need to bust my ass and get these things going, ‘eh?
All the while, I plan on playing live sets of music.. house would be great, but I should also plan to play my non house stuff as well because I know there’s a lot of people out there that would love to go see a Trip-Hop artist, right?
Tonight I’m stepping out of my normal weekday habits, taking a small break, and heading down to the SoundCloud meetup at The Living Room in Seattle. I’m excited to meet some other local area DJs and producers at the meetup, and afterward is Show N Tell, featuring Your City Sleeps and Scratchmaster Joe. I’ll write about my take on the whole experience in the next week or so.
I’m lusting after some new gear that will enable me to perform a live show of my own music mixed together. I’d love to take the house tunes to a live audience, but I don’t have a laptop and I’d like to pick up a grid controller to assist with my Ableton Live! sets.
Though, my wife made a deal with me: Before I jump the gun on gear, I must put together concept shows and perform them with quality and consistency. I’m going to record them (with video, too) and post them to YouTube! Sa-weet! That will keep me busy for the next month or two at least. I’m motivated by this and it is also forcing me to work with the gear I have on hand to come up with a feasible way to play/mix my music live.
She brought up a great point in that while we are saving our money for a future home, I should ensure I’m not buying the car before I learn how to drive. It works in this situation because I know that I have capable hands and the appropriate gear to get something going in my studio now. It will then make my transition into having the new hardware a lot easier and smooth out the process for building my live shows.
I have some great news that I’m working on wrapping up and making ‘final’ before I drop the bombs… so sit tight!