Water

cabindock

There’s a point that’s made in Melville’s Moby Dick that’s obliviously interesting.

“Were the Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?’

It’s absurd how staring out your window just isn’t quite the same without rain. A desert has powerful energy, but imagine a thunderstorm in the middle of a dry canyon. Next level stuff yeah?

There’s something to be said for how water can easily be taken for granted. I’ve recently taken up lap swimming and my mind is cleared significantly more after a good swim compared to a run or even bike ride. When thinking of the other elements, yeah we sit around a fire, but a bonfire is not the same as going to the lake. I suppose to take that thought further, you can build a bonfire near the lake, but you can’t build a lake near a bonfire (unless you’ve got a mad bankroll to afford the task).

With these partial thoughts in mind, here are some projects I’ve come across recently with water in context that have just soaked my brain with intrigue.

Jürgen Müller was a German oceanographer who spent somewhere around 30 years of his life out amongst the sea. The story goes, while he was studying at the University of Kiel, he bought some music recording gear and set it up on his house boat. He went on to translate the more artistic versus scientific interest into music. The album is marked to be released around 1948 but has since been re-issued via Digitalis Recordings. Not the first time the ocean has been used as a muse, but I have yet to find the subject of the ocean exhausted  You can read in more in depth  on the project through the link, but below is the music to speak further for itself.

As common as rain can be, there’s not much competition for naturally occurring attractions. There’s something about a field recording that drowns your subconscious with the sounds of water bombarding surface areas. The more therapeutic side of water bleeds through waterfalls, streams, rushing rivers…I digress.

rAndom International has designed a way via 3D projections and a mystifying contraption for you to experience rain without getting wet. The rain room, as it’s called, is currently installed at NYC’s MoMa through July 28th, 2013.

I could go on and on and on and on and on….

about water. Links for days of cool projects (water influenced through sine waves to name one), beautiful pictures of subaquatic life, sounds of waves crashing, etc. If there’s ever a block in creativity or brain blockage of some sort, maybe some time near water is all that’s needed.

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Future/Early 2013

outskirt silver lake

It’s been a while since the last “Official” update.

This year, I have had three releases so far (Abstract Hat, Silver Lining, Wolf Fluorescence/Wet Eyes Split) as well as a featured remix on the 2020k Contagion Remix album.

With all of that being said, there are always things in the works. Potential releases are as follows; The next cassette release via Wet Eyes Productions, hip hop collaboration sequal album, as well as the next full length. All will remain vauge, for now.

The next release will be presented on an odd format, via postcard. If you would like to participate, your mailing address will eventually be needed. If this gets you curious, drop your info to weteyesproductions(at)gmail.com. More info soon…

As far as theme goes, here’s a hint…

Synthesis from Ross Auger on Vimeo.

Review: New Life – A New Beginning

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To start off with a personal belief, it’s almost impossible to keep your ears in one genre of music. It’s difficult imagine someone’s mind who is stubborn to just metal, just jazz, just electronica, and so on and so forth. There’s so many good grooves out there to bounce yourself along with.

Hip Hop group New Life vibes into your ear drums with swinging beats and catchy hooks. I’ve had the chorus of “Crackin’ Up” running through my head since I woke up this morning. Supporting the music to a new level of A New Beginning is the production work. When I had attended the Institute of Production and Recording, I was fellow classmates with MonopoleJoe/Sayjak and Signature (two of the dudes in New Life). These guys were of the few who were utilizing the studios beyond the required hours for class. It’s pretty obvious that the time spent crafting their work is paying off.

A New Beginning opens up with some sampled stutters breathing into the beat of “You Can Do It Well”. This track (as well as a few others) presents reminiscent elements of old school hip hop where a main beat will show you the way of the track while taking minor breaks for a drop here and there. Something about the track also has almost an elegant feel. By that I mean if I were at a masquerade ball, I might ask the DJ to throw on “You Can Do It Well”.

Sci-fi droplets picking over as the bass line slowly approaches through a volume swell welcoming you into “Clock In”. As soon as the beat drops, I find myself resisting a good air drumming session. I apologize for not being too well versed with the individual voices of New Life, but the first verse rocks solid phrasing through the flow. Tons of personality through this track. Mentioning the phrasing again, the chorus has unique carry of words, “Put in the work/all the sweat and the hurt“. You would think referencing music to work would come off as someone complaining but this is the opposite. Those who create music and do their own production, know how much work goes into presenting your tracks exactly how you intend. “Clock In” bounces as a celebration in said work. Personally, makes me want to fire up ProTools.

“On the 13”.  I honestly don’t how to put it into words without coming off pushy, but if there is one song in this collection that you NEED to check out, this is it. If this song doesn’t cradle your disgruntled attitude towards hip hop into some sort of affection, your on your own. The download of A New Beginning landed in my media player on January 1st (the release date) and this track has already made itself into my Top 25 Most Played. The kick emphasizes the inevitable head bobbing while ambient keys create a triumphant and almost emotional surrounding. For those of us who have grown up on rock music might know about the Spinal Tap joke about amps on 11. The chorus of “On the 13” completely dismisses eleven and twelve and proclaims the untouchable level of 13. I also get the feeling that this song welcomes 2013 with hands in the air and slow motion dancing while crushing any thoughts of 13 being an unlucky number.

“Hell Yeah (Makin’ moves)” is as if you’re about to observe a serious match of Mortal Kombat. The bass line bumps along in almost a stomp promoted by the shamisen riff. With an vibe of world music, it’s pretty awesome to have a simple beat rocking the rhythm along. A unique blend that is done infrequently but when done properly, how could you complain?

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You want all the money and not a portion?” Sounds like a concept to a mainstream rap song yeah? You won’t find any bragging of dollar count here. “Crackin’ Up” is a fresh contrary to the main bulk of rap music. Within one of the verses, the lyrics even express not wanting to be a prick. This track has a humble undertone of a mindset that just loves music, not the fame. Again, a nice opposition to your typical rap song. The same sort of reminiscence of old school hip hop stated earlier rings through “Crackin’ Up” this track blooms into a cloud rap-esque chorus getting that hook glued into your conscious. “Fame, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be be be…

“Finding Gold” steps in with a classy emotion. There’s a tension that holds between each piano cord and it’s following riff. It’s a not so distant detour from the rest of the tracks showing some versatility. The lyrics take a solemn side step. I almost imagine each MC sitting down next to a kid whose growing up, reminding them that things may be messed up but there’s gold somewhere. Gold maybe as a metaphor for the things in life worth while.

“Avengers” is a reminder of what encompasses New Life. As each verse passes through MC to MC, I realize that none of the segues between each person contains any chop or stutter. Clean microphone passing keeping the flow of lyrics just as solid as the flow between each member of the crew. Between the beat and the main progression, theres a sub melody that can be noticed as almost a signature piece to New Life tracks. The sub melody fills out the background nodding to the beat, but in a joining bounce. On a side note, I understand folks are back into Pokemon. There’s a nod to catching them all for all you culty people. Dig it.

The EP comes to a solid closing with what is noted as a Bonus track, “Had to Run” . Right off the first verse, there are some clever lyrics that gave me a few chuckles. “I’m spittin’ on em cause I can count to potato…” I’m rockin that right, right? As the chorus pans back an forth between your ears and brain, there is actually a sense of running and dipping. Also noted, this song only features Signature, Reidy, and MonopoleJoe. All of the guys in New Life present unique pieces to the group but it is nice to hear these three dudes with more time allowed to speak their piece.

Their Facebook page (click here) states that the dudes behind the project are

“MonoPoleJoe, Signature, Reidy, BDaMan, Bill$ and Burgdaddy. It also features production from their in-house producers, SayJak and Signature as well as production from Slomo.”

For a New Life intro into the music world, this is no basement mixtape. What these guys made is just the beginning, a new one at that. You can stream A New Beginning below or follow usual procedure for a free download (can’t beat free).

Howling for Wolves

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For those who may know me personally and/or have been to my pad, you may know about my  love for wolves. It’s hard to deny even just the beauty of wolves along with the whole Canis crew. Wether you live in Minnesota or not, you might have stumbled across, heard, or read about Howling for Wolves.

Next week (January 7th-14th) I shall be changing the price of every album on my Bandcamp (click here) to “name your price” . All of the proceeds will be forwarded to Howling for Wolves.

For those who may own my discography but would still like to support through my cause, I haven’t forgotten about you. I will also be releasing a small compilation of unreleased tracks more specifically for said demographic. If you want nothing to do with my music but would still like to donate, click here. If all of this sounds great and you want to help out further, click here.

If I may piggy back of some words and quote the state representative of the National Audubon Society for those of you with hunting in mind….

“The National Audubon Society historically has not assumed a position either for or against hunting. We do not promote hunting, nor do we oppose hunting so long as it does not adversely affect wildlife populations, and is done legally and in keeping with the principles of good sportsmanship.”

I hope for a peaceful earth and along those lines, I also hope that 2013 is kind to you.

Ross

mugnguitar

Wet Eyes Productions Early 2013

Enough of the end of the world jokes, here’s some seriousness. Although I will feel like an idiot if we do in fact burn…

There are some new releases on the horizon for Wet Eyes Productions. Below is a list of who, a little bit of what, somewhat of a where, a vague when, and no reasons why besides that we/I/they can.

 

As you may have read, Silver Lining which is the next album on deck for Wet Eyes features some tag team work by Andrew Blaeser, aka Duke Silver. The album has an anticipated  drop date for sometime in February. Follow the Wet Eye’s Facebook page or Twitter for updates.

 

Another Wet Eyes collaboration record is due very soon, potentially January/early February. The album’s name in progress is called Abstract Hat and features Wet Eyes compositions with the flowing talent of MonopoleJoe. Some of you may have listened to Cellblock near the end of this past summer. Both MonopoleJoe and myself dug the end product so much that we decided to see how an album turns out.

 

I am also very pleased to announce the first cassette tape release through Wet Eyes Productions. I am honored to say that Wolf Fluorescence has agreed to produce music for Side A. He is one of my favorite artists and I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on board. The release date on this is unsure at the moment, but I hope to have everything ready for whomever early this Spring.

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A few other projects that I’d like to mention coming up are of some close and collaborative friends of mine.

 

2020k is due for his Contagion EP sometime early 2013. The project features remixes of his track Contagion and I have personally mixed down a little version for the project.

-Duke Silver has announced that he intends to release an album sometime this Spring. Not to much info is out on this one but I’m expecting some cool tunes.

-My good friend and bandmate Trevor Klopp also intends to drop an album with his project, Spicy Tuna Melt sometime early 2013. From what I’ve heard so far, it’s a pretty cool twist on what you would expect from a man with an acoustic guitar.

 

If that’s not enough for you, remember…this is all just intended for Late Winter/Spring. Shows shall be booked, more albums shall be created, and the wheels intend to stay in motion.

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Wintery Tunes

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Some of you may remember last year when I had released some winter themed tunes. Due to some of the samples I had used, I am un-able to re post the small handful of Wintery Tunes. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Click HERE and they are all yours.

Double Sided Interview: RJ Kozain of 2020k

Earlier this summer I received a message in my SoundCloud inbox. The samples I had used for a song had been pin pointed to the source of where I got them accompanied by a nod of approval through text. This continued into a conversation of mutual appreciation for Alfred Hitchcock and the back stories of live performances. Now at least once a week, my personal inbox tells me I have an unread message from RJ. With how long winded our emails become, I figured why not ask some more “serious” questions and share what Wet Eyes and 2020k might ask each other. Here is side one of the two sided interview.

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2020k.

Q: You and whose army?


A:
Me and this army! (holds up fist, laughing) Actually, I’m answering these questions in my underwear, so I really don’t have an army right now. Is this the proper way to answer this question?!! We’re off to a great start, right? (laughs) Uhm, If you would’ve asked me earlier I would’ve told you Turntable.fm. I’ve been spinning some tracks and listening on their lately.