Selections from Continuing Worlds is a CD-length playlist curated from the primary work.
I wanted to capture something that’s happening in my brain, at the intersection of the 404 samplers and my “Jam My Wave” guitar demos. I’m doing something new, made possible by learning the 404 and sample-based music generally, that no one would guess from just hearing the end results.
As I listen to “Jam My wave” guitar demos and work on melodies, I’m making progress not by singing nonsense or jamming like I typically would, but by listening to the guitar and imagining what kind of vocals would sound interesting or make a good call and response with the instrumental. It’s almost like, or is like, thinking about what kind of sample is needed next in sample-based music-making, and I wouldn’t be doing it if not for the 404s.
In some spots I’ve actually written the vocals, with notes/intervals and scratch lyrics. In other places I just have ideas like “Be inspired by Thom Yorke here” or “Fit the vocal into the space between the 4th chord and the downbeat of the next progression.”
This changed way of listening and writing is why I bought the 404SX in the first place, not knowing if I’d actually finish any music with it. I hoped it would change my ears in interesting ways, putting new tools in the mental toolkit. I’m happy that both the new ears and actual 404 music are happening.
All The Things
Been a while since I updated, but it’s not for nothing going on; too much, rather! Many things. All of the things.
- “Frog On The King’s Head,” my first record on the 404mkII, keeps rolling along. Five songs are essentially done save for little mix tweaks, and in the past few weeks I’ve finished three more instrumentals. (It’s a 10-song record.) It’ll be out of order but I’m excited to share it so I think I’ll release it about as soon as it’s ready, mid- to late summer
- In February Daniel G (Hypermortal, L.U.V.C.R.A.F., etc.) and I were talking and spontaneously decided to make a house record. It… is not going to sound anything like a house record. It’s weird progressive synth music with otherworldly vocals and a few guitars. We’re having a blast, though, using the back-and-forth process Nate and I used for “Orbital Debris”
- Anywaves keeps sending tracks, and I keep mastering them :)
- I’m working on a Drone Space Nine record in VCV Rack, inspired by the first DS9 but starting from scratch and building the space station sounds to my exact specs
- Melodies and lyrics for the next M/S Ride guitar record, “Jam My Wave / Don’t Jam My Wave,” emerge from time to time as I continue listening to the instrumental demos
- The Leploop remains fun, and I’m building some passive breakout boxes/controls to make better use of its modular outputs and inputs. I’ve intentionally avoided recording much with it yet in order to gain experience and just keep exploring before starting to “work” on recordings, but it does appear a little on “Frog…” and I have one good test-jam-turned-keeper on the 404mkII
- In the garage I’m working on turning my Graphic Fuzz Variant into a PCB format to do a run. The PCB is much more stable compared to the breadboard, so I’ll have to change some things to get the breadboard sounds in the PCB format
This list is mostly for me, but I hope your projects are going well, whatever they are. And I’d be happy to hear about them.
MFR and Night Mode Data Visualizations Update
I’ve updated the data visualizations with our latest releases, plus some enhancements.
As we approach twenty years in the independent label game, we have as much music coming out as ever. I wish I had a way to embed this as an interactive visualization, because in Power BI where I created this you can hover to get actual artists and album titles.
One thing you *can* see, in the rainbow of artists, is Night Mode; the salmon pink that starts in 2016 and dominates 2019 – present.
There’s a good chance we’ll put out at least four more records this year, continuing the renaissance that started in 2019 (pre-pandemic! This is not just a COVID phenomenon).
Changes to the Night Mode chart include adding the newest releases, clearing up some older stuff (mostly 404-based material that’s ending up under “M/S Ride”), and color-coding the approximate “eras” of Night Mode. Of course “eras” are subject to interpretation, and have fuzzier starts and ends than the color changes would indicate.
The first, blue era kicks things off and releases mostly follow recordings, with the major exception of “I Could Not Bring Myself To Sing.”
The second, yellow era is anchored by our second solo Night Mode projects, “Gentlemen Scientist” (Drew) and “Your Pain Matters” (me).
Green era three is a collaborative time that encompasses pre- and early-pandemic, where Drew and I were figuring out how to write, perform, and record live sets with just the two of us. Very successful era!
Fourth, red era are my mid-pandemic collaborations with Nate, Christopher, and Dad, plus a quick solo joint.
Finally, I’ve set “Exoplanetary Shadows” in new era, though it could also go with the fourth era.
We’re not finished releasing recordings from earlier eras; “Murder Mountain,” the AX-60 project, and the TM+QuantiZer project will all certainly come out, and maybe others as well.
M/S Ride and Royce Diamond White “Just To Have The Memory” Pop-Up Video
Not One Person Left Out on The Long Play Listening Party
Royce, Nate, and I gave “Not One Person Left Out” the mini-LPLP treatment; listen below or on your favorite podcast platform here.
Howie on KKFI’s Wednesday MidDay Medley with Mark Manning
I was on the real radio this morning with Mark, talking about MFR and playing songs from our recent releases. You can stream the show here for the next two weeks!
NOT ONE PERSON LEFT OUT | M/S Ride and Royce Diamond White
ESP dB (The Past Is Written) by M/S Ride and Royce Diamond White Pop-Up Video
Pre-order “Not One Person Left Out” here, it comes out Feb. 1!