So, I've got a couple things I wanted to announce. First off, I'm going to put up a rarities collection called Left Behind the Range that collects some odds and ends from XXXI, Oftenchance, Inland Empires Disregard the Sea, and At the End of the Road. There's a couple of alternate mixes of compilation tracks, a combined short film score, and some deep ambient sessions from the past couple of years. It should be up on my band camp by the end of next year.
Those in the know might be saying, what is At the End of the Road? It is going to be my last album under the Warning Light name for a bit. I'm not going to be melodramatic and say it's the last ever album, but now seems like a good time to take a break from this project to pursue other artistic endeavors. Hopefully, it will be ready for all to hear early next year (Eternity Droneswill be ten years old next year, an anniversary that's as good as any for me to take a break). Some of these songs have been gestating for quite a while, so I'm excited to put them out there into the universe. Both "Your Name on the Wind" and "Little Hearts, Big (Interludes)" have gone through chameleon-like changes, and "If There's a Ghost" and "She's Gone Liquid" have been around in various forms since XXXI. There's a little dance, a little drone, and a little synth for all to enjoy.
I'm very excited to try new things, make new art, and maybe pursue new sounds. I've been blessed (in some ways) with the time to pursue projects. But real artists don't sit around making the same thing for twenty years. Again, this probably isn't the end of Warning Light, but it's as good a time as any to try new things. I appreciate all the bands I've played shows with, and the labels that have worked with me on releases. I know this is a pretty "out there" project, and so I will never forget the kind people at Stickfigure and DKA. Playing music in Atlanta has had its up and downs, and I can honestly say I've learned a great deal from all of it. I'm very proud of my discography, and very excited to see where all this will lead me next.
Persistentmidnight has put up a new mix in honor of our current season, enjoy. I do have a downloadable version too, just reach out if you're interested. This time it's not so much a mix of tracks playing around the PM office, so much as it is a soundtrack to darker, cooler nights of the season.
So, I'm going to post a couple "round ups" of my production jobs this year, each post will be collecting a different aspect of my work here at Persistentmidnight.
The Dark Ones:
Outer GodsDismal Rift
A pretty unique transitional record, Dismal Rift straddles several music making approaches while maintaining a unified aesthetic. It took about a year and a half to finish Dismal Rift, which isn't too long for some bands, but seemed to be an eternity in Outer Gods time. The tracks have a certain quilt-like element, which gives the album an eclecticism that probably wasn't present on earlier OG recordings. It's an album of deep, open spaces and dark low frequencies. But it's a genre defying piece, certainly not metal in its sonics like the three other OG albums. It is the longest OG album, certainly the most diverse, and the only time I've done promotional edits for drone music. It's possibly the most non-metal metal album I've produced yet.
Released June 24th on Stickfigure Recordings.
Sareth DenInto the Glacial Unknown
As Dismal came together, I slowly took note of Into the Glacial Unknown, from some raw alchemical inspiration in the mists of the mind that I didn't completely understand. Unknown is certainly the sister-record, a different type of exploration of similar sonics. There are a lot of wide open spaces on this album as well, but the overall palette is a strange one, with little claustrophobic moments to break up too much placidity. The B-side takes a long dark ambient turn, which is meant to bring the listener down after the noisy strangeness of the A-side. If Outer Gods exist as ex-communicated monks living solitarily in an ancient library, toiling away in their research of dark unfathomable forces, Sareth Den exists as a mournful woodland witch who has left society to wander the darker reaches of her desolate forest domain forever.
Warning Light is many things/styles/genres I suppose, but as a person (not a "project") I will always think of myself as an experimental musician. To me, even with melodies or dance beats, they are still experimental songs that all imbedded with their own idiosyncrasies. Through my EPs I've always explored different aspects of what I do sonically, my albums are all like giant puzzles that I fit together with themes and concepts in my head. So the EPs can be a little more freewheeling in some ways, and I suppose I like that. Here is a bit of "director's cut" of these releases, and for the month of October I put them up for free download if you'd like to take a couple home with you.
Life/Death Suite is something different for me, I finally the original outro I meant for Oftenchance and decided to make an endless loop experience. The original long outro, just called Oftenchance, was meant to make the album a true double LP experience. Putting out an album nearly 79 minutes long seemed a little too much, so I decided to split the releases. Basically, the cassette was designed to be played in an endless, mantra style loop, withdifferent sections representing different times in a person's life. Oftenchance was meant to be a kind of commentary on the place "chance" plays in a person's life, the subtle ways those different avenues of chance can alter a person's life forever. I thought of Life/Death Suite as being a kind of a sister release, it acknowledges those concepts and refines them into a half hour-plus experimental song cycle.
Ambient Summer came out of a series of recordings at my father's lake house. My girlfriend Rachel and I took several vacations up there and I decided every week I would try to make a short, ambient house leaning jam and post it to Soundcloud. It was a fun project for the summer, but I ended up liking several of the songs so much I decided to do a little one off release. These are some of the most immediate tracks I've recorded since the early days when I would mostly jam and do a little editing after the fact.
Largely recorded at the same lake house over several months with the idea of making another album to release on the same day as Oftenchance (craziness!!!), these tracks were sunbaked psychedelic moments, capture for posterity in a very blissful part of my life. My life soundtrack at the time was just pure Krautrock, Progressive Rock, and Psychedelia, so I definitely think of this is being one of my most spacious recordings.
A Vast Moment collects a series of tracks I originally wanted to be paired with some of the material for the Lost Patterns album and Night Time tracks for a much longer, crazier version of Heavens Above, Heavens Below. The material took a long time to get settled (I started working on Heavens Above, Heavens Below as a follow up to Wild Silver in 2011) and these tracks finally started to gel as their own little collection. The title is in reference to my idea that each moment in a person's life can be vast and expansive if you choose to see it that way.
Night Time collects one extremely heavy synthesizer session and several of my tape loop experiments from this "in-between" era from Wild Silver to Heavens Above, Heavens Below and the Lost Patterns. At the time, I felt pretty directionless in this project so this EP brings up a lot of mixed feelings in my heart. But honestly, I'm quite proud of these songs; this and A Vast Moment probably should have just been a whole album.
Blacked Out was something completely unique for me, a political "single" I put out to stand in protest of the SOPA/PIPA movement. In my catalogue, it stands as something unique and found me trying to create something more approachable and minimalist at the same time. Of course, seventeen minute singles exist solely as art (not for radios surely), but my heart was in the right place. Blacked Out was also used in a friend's student film, which definitely jump started my interest in soundtracking.
Before the release of Wild Silver on Stickfigure, I decided to release two EPs that would dissect my own recording process at the time. New Pilgrimage represented how I worked about half the time during that era: multi-track recordings that layer on various effects and samples. I decided this would be the darker of the two EPs, and there would be more thematic tie-in with that album that came out just after its release. New Pilgrimage feels like a "sneak preview" in that sense, of what was to come.
Starry Way manifested my other approach, live recordings subjected to repeated cuts and obsessive editing. These tracks were recorded very quickly and then mixed down with live effects in a very rapid fire way, when I worked in that style I set time limits on each track to stop myself from over thinking. The content was definitely space-drone centered I was at the height of my Tangerine Dream obsession in this era of my life.
Early Birds was a one-off experiment recording with my friend Allen. There was a pretty informal element to it, I just wanted to jam with my friend and the jams sounded good live. At the time we were both playing synths in Roman Photos, so these recordings were just kind of fun vacations from our main outlet. This EP came out right around the same time as my first album Further On.
After I made Eternity Drones, it took me over three years to write Further On and find a direction for the band. In that time, I did a little bit of soul searching, and Unknown Clearing was definitely a part of that. I had yet to figure out a lot of the production elements I would use on Further On, but some of my ideas were starting to move in that direction. I wanted very badly to be Eno at this point, but who doesn't? There have been times I want to remove this from my band camp, but "In a Silent Trench" reminds me I probably had more future for this project than I realized at the time.
Each one of these represents a little moment in the sounds as they evolved around me. Nothing remains but the moment, the sounds move ever forward across uncharted mysterious terrains.