Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through the process of putting together a live band for the Tycho show coming up on July 9th here in San Francisco. Those of you who’ve been to my past shows will know that I usually play solo and the focus is on the visuals and some light synth work. But this recent break from playing live (been working on the new album) has given me a chance to re-evaluate what I want the performances to be about and it’s also afforded me some time to put into developing the whole thing a little more. The visuals will still be a central element of the show, but I also want to try and bring some of the instrumentation to the forefront as well.
This upcoming set at Mezzanine will be my first show back in a while — and one of only a few I’ll be playing this summer as I wrap up the album — so I wanted it to be something special. I’ve been working with some other musicians on the new material so it sort of made sense to try and incorporate them into the live stuff. I spent the past couple weeks deconstructing a lot of the songs and working them into live versions that sort of bridge the gap between electronic and traditional instrumentation and have been rehearsing with the band at Ira Skinner’s studio in Sacramento. Zac Brown (frequent collaborator and guitarist for Dusty Brown) will be handling bass duties while Matt McCord will be on drums. I’ll be on some guitars and synth and Dusty and Jessica Brown will be joining us for a couple songs as well. We’ve got a few more practices but things are sounding really good and I’m excited to bring it all to life on the 9th. Hope to see you there.
I’ll be playing a Tycho set in San Francisco at Mezzanine on Friday, July 9th, 2010 as part of this year’s Ghostly Showcase. It’s a great lineup and last year’s show at Mezzanine was incredible so this one is not to be missed. I’ll be debuting some new material from the upcoming album and should have a couple other surprises and guests in store. Should be a great night, I hope to see you out there.
Ghostly Live A/V Showcase
Featuring live audio and visual performances.
Past is Prologue — my first album as Tycho to be released on a label — has been reissued by Ghostly International and is now available on iTunes (and, as always, at the ISO50 Shop). the reissue includes an exclusive remix by Mux Mool of From Home.
I often get asked about the lineage of this album, which has taken on many forms, so I thought I’d lay it out here. The original release was entitled Sunrise Projector and was self-released. Later, Merck records picked it up and released it as Past is Prologue. The Merck version featured new artwork, two new original songs, and two new remixes — but was missing one of the tracks from the Sunrise Projector release. Merck also released a 12″ vinyl sampler featuring 5 tracks from the album. Now, ghostly has released this digital reissue which features the new Mux Mool remix. Hope that clears it up!
I’ve sort of had my head down for the past couple months really digging into the recording of my next album so I thought I’d post up some shots from various sessions. Recently, guitarist Zac Brown (of Dusty Brown and DoomBird) has been coming in and contributing parts to some songs. It’s one of the first times I’ve collaborated with another musician and it’s been a great experience. It’s also been fun to wrap my head around recording guitar amps, something I had limited experience with before as most of my songs are written and recorded on my acoustic guitar with the keyboard and drum parts added later. It’s always exciting to find a new sonic texture to work with and it’s definitely an inspiring process to see your vision for a song expanded on by someone else.
If you’ve been following along with the album’s progress, you might have noticed the somewhat protracted nature of the whole thing. It’s been a test to say the least trying to keep on track with music while staying on top of the ISO50 side of things. There was definitely a long period where all I wanted to do was write new songs but not finish them, which is the hardest part for me. The good news is that because of this I now have a few albums of solid material, but the bad news is that it delayed the process of this one getting out. But that’s all behind me now and the past couple months have been the most productive of my musical life. The only problem is that I now have this self-imposed feeling that I’m behind and when I’m feeling that way I can sometimes forget to relax and enjoy the process of creating. It’s funny how much design and music differ in this way for me. While I see the processes of creating both as very similar, I don’t feel I can really sit down and just get music done in the same way as my visual work. It’s easy to say I’m going to devote three nights to a poster and be pretty confident it will get done and I’ll be happy with it. With music it’s always a much longer and drawn out process with more intangible milestones along the way.
The beauty of this entire process and the time devoted to it is that I’ve been allowed the luxury of perspective, something that’s very hard for me when I have to be neck-deep in a project from beginning to end with no breaks. The time has allowed me to continually reevaluate what the work is supposed to be and how best to do the material justice. Most of my songs start out as very small sketches, usually a guitar part and a keyboard part recorded quickly. I then set it aside and move on to something else. When I finally come back to an idea to develop it into a full composition my biggest fear is that I will somehow lose the meaning or the soul of it in the process. The problem is that as I’m adding new parts I start to go on tangents and the song can become something completely different. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but in other cases it takes time to be able to look back and realize that the original idea has been muddled in some way by the initial excitement of discovery. Problems like this tend to disappear when I allow myself to revisit work over time.
Overall, I feel close to wrapping up the production/arrangement phase but then comes mixing and mastering which can be time consuming. My goal is to have things sewn up by, at the very latest, end of summer. But putting time-lines on things doesn’t exactly serve the artistic process, at least not mine anyways, so I’m trying my best to pretend that goal doesn’t exist.
I’ll try to post some more pics / videos as things progress. And on a related note, Yourstru.ly has been filming a piece on the making of the album so there should be some interesting stuff by the time that’s done.
Ghostly International has a new compilation coming out next week called Horizon Line which is a collection of classics and ten new, forthcoming, and unreleased songs. The tracklist includes these 2 FREE songs from Tycho and Mux Mool which Ghostly is giving away here. This will also be available in a 2xCD format inserted into a DVD-style case in May 2010, so enjoy the digital but the CD will definitely be a nice piece to have.
As for the Morning Strut remix by Shigeto, it was offered today in the Ghostly newsletter which also included this great 1 minute video of Mux Mool being interviewed, I love the part about them asking if he has health insurance, I wish more musicians did shorts like these.
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out for the SEMF show in Sacramento last night, you guys were awesome and the energy was great. I always love playing in Sacto and it was nice to see that the electronic scene there is alive and better than ever. Thanks to Adam and everyone from SEMF for putting together three straight days of incredible music; I hope this becomes and annual event.
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Sat, Jan.30, 2010) I’ll be playing at the Sacramento Electronica Festival along with Dusty Brown and many others. I should go on around 12:30am and Dusty will be up right after. We’ll be playing some songs together and I’ll have all the visuals set up so it should be a fun night. Hope to see you out.
I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be playing at this year’s Sacramento Electronica Music Festival. I’m shouldn’t really be playing shows right now as the album’s due date is rapidly approaching, but I can never pass up an opportunity to play a show in my home town. There are lots of great names on the bill including Dusty Brown, who I’ll be playing some songs with. All in all it’s shaping up to be quite an experience: three days of great music for $10, I’m pretty sure you can’t beat that. And if you’re from the bay area, try to make the drive, it’s only 90 minutes and as you’ll see there’s something about live shows in Sacramento you don’t often get out here.
And for those who know their Sacramento electronic music history, you might notice that this is a partial Command Collective reunion of sorts. With the exception of Chachi Jones, all the original members will be playing during the festival: Dusty Brown, Tha Fruitbat, Lifeliner (aka Park Avenue), and myself.
Tycho: Saturday, Jan. 30th, 2010 – 11:30 PM
Festival: January 28, 2010 9:00 PM – Jan. 31, 2010 2:00 AM