Here's the deal. In 2012, people loved Silver Age (to a degree that surprised me, pleasantly), likewise Beauty & Ruin in 2014 (despite the heaviness of the subject matter, which I thought might be a bit alienating… apparently not. Another pleasant surprise.).
But PATCH THE SKY is the darkest one.
After the Letterman performance in February 2015 where "dust fell from the rafters," it would have seemed logical to go the punk rock route—an entire album of two-minute songs—but that wasn't where my soul was at.
I withdrew from everyday life. I wrote alone for six months. I love people, but I needed my solitude. The search for my own truth kept me alive. These songs are my salvation.
I've had a solid stretch of hard emotional times, and thanks for the condolences in advance. I don't want to go into the details—more death, relationships ending, life getting shorter—because they're already in the songs. Just listen and see if you can fit yourself into my stories. The words make you remember. The music makes you forget.
But PATCH THE SKY is also the catchiest one.
I always aim for the perfect balance of bright melodies and dark stories. I've used this juxtaposition for years. This time, I've tuned it to high contrast.
The first side of the album is generally simple and catchy. The second side is heavier in spirit and tone. Opposing forces and properties. I love both sides of PATCH THE SKY.
At the core of these songs is what I call the chemical chorus—you hear it once and your brain starts tingling. The heart rate picks up. It gets worse—you know it's coming again and you can barely stand the anticipation. Then, the beautifully heartbreaking bridge appears, and you're all set up—hooked for life. Music is an incredibly powerful drug. I want to be your drug dealer. I have what you need.
On the current band.
I'm currently in the best band in the world with Jon Wurster on drums and Jason Narducy on bass. We've been working together since March 2008. Jon and Jason are involved in many quality projects, and I'm amazed they find the time to play music with me. I am always thankful for their contributions.
On the recording process.
Beau Sorenson engineered the tracking sessions at Electrical Audio in Chicago. We all played really hard, and I used very loud amps. We mixed PATCH THE SKY at Different Fur in San Francisco. Bob Weston mastered the album at Chicago Mastering Service. Sonically, it's deeper and richer than the previous two albums.
On the state of my music.
Beyond the aforementioned trials of life, I found myself thinking about the 1970s, where heavy metal, soft rock, and confessional singer/songwriters collided (and gay porno was better). I circled back to the forgotten sounds of my teen years, and how I used to absorb, learn, and emulate in order to create.
When I was younger, I always felt the need to justify my work. These days, I don't have time or energy for that. I only want to finish the songs that get stuck in my head for days and weeks and months on end. And add lots of guitar solos.
On the last campaign, I had a song called "Little Glass Pill" that talked about "a window and a mirror." That's what music is to me, both as creator and lifelong fan. The window—where you can see inside my soul. The mirror—where I look to find my own truth. When the inspiration hits, roll with it. Write what you live, love, and know.
Apparently I've been given some special dispensation. How many musicians get to play loud rock at 55 and still have an audience?
It's amazing that people from so many different cities, countries, ages, and walks of life all continue to find something in common in my music. I take the art form very seriously; I appreciate being recognized for my efforts, and I'm incredibly grateful for the time I've had in the light. I like the brightness, and Lord knows I've got darkness covered.
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Anyhow—let's try to make something enjoyable out of all the heaviness of life and death and love and failure and fear and regret that we all go through. Talk with me about normal stuff. Ask me fun questions. I'll say some crazy shit because I'm old. Kids will think I'm out of touch with modern times. I love it. Let's do it.
Combining the considerable talents of Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact and Colin Newman of Wire, Immersion is a true collaboration. Immersion’s new album of seductive instrumentals takes in a wide range of moods and energies. Their music is a kind of Electro-Kosmishe - the sound of the 21st century, which nonetheless draws inspiration from German pioneers such as Cluster and Popol Vuh. And, like those groups, Immersion can create a world which is simultaneously devotional and sensual.
Between 1994 and 1999, Immersion released three critically acclaimed albums of expansive instrumental electronica. Music which encom- passed the meditative and the hallucinatory. They also garnered remixes by some of the biggest names in electronic music. And then? Then, they faded from view...
Cut to a mere 17 years later, and a new Immersion album glides into earshot. Their sound is unmistakable. And yet, clearly the duo have evolved. Immersion has returned a different beast. The most noticeable differences are the introduction of guitars into the mix and an increased sense of urgency to their compositions.
And it’s true the album exhibits a very organic flow. Another contributory factor could well be the duo’s relocation from London to Brighton. “We live 10 minutes away from the sea,” says Spigel. “We walk by it almost every day. It’s different every time we see it, even every hour. We’ve definitely been inspired by the light and the sound.” This influence is perhaps heard most strongly on "Spinner," the sonic equivalent of a bright spray of light radiating across a seascape.
Analogue Creatures Living On An Island is the point where Immersion emerge from being one of the UK electronica scene’s best kept secrets, and gain the recognition they so richly deserve.
Alina is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer making progressive pop music in Los Angeles. In live performances over the past year, Alina and her band combine the sophistication of acts like Bjork and St. Vincent with the raw power of artists like Kate Bush and Fiona Apple. Alina’s background in dance contributes to a live show that transcends the expected.
She recently released a group of singles, a preview of her forthcoming album, on New Professor Music. Collaborating with producer and composer Theo Karon (Robert Gomez, Cross Record, Idlewild, Liphemra), she has vastly expanded the scope and ambition of her work, drawing new influence from experimental synthesis, electronics, and the classical avant-garde. As her lyrics explore and challenge the darkness within and without, startling and complex textures drawn from acoustic instruments mesh seamlessly with experiments in timbre and tone to form a body of work that is both direct and intricate.
Grimy Goods hailed her recent residency at The Bootleg Theater as a performance that "permanently raised the bar for all bar performances in the city of Los Angeles" and stated that she has the "rare potential to become one of this city’s landmark artists before the end of the decade." She was also listed as one of 20 Bands to Watch in 2017 by Buzzbands.la.