Progressive Rock Artist seeks Audience

Author: colin (Page 5 of 39)

Better Late than Never

Well, at long last, album #2 has been released.

My previous release, Fruit of the Steel Tree, was my best effort to realize the music that Walter and I wrote back in the 1990’s.

This new release, The Inevitable Obscenity of Autonomous Weaponry, includes a few tracks from that same period. I’ve perhaps taken more liberties with them this time, relying on my own vision.

The other tracks are all “new” in the sense that they are based on material I wrote since Walter and I stopped collaborating on music, from 2003 to 2019.

You can find out more at the album-specific pages I created (see the The Inevitable Obscenity link in the blog top menu above).

I used CD Baby as my manufacturer/distributer and due to COVID-19 related circumstances, I’m not sure exactly when and how this will be made available to purchase. It *should* appear on Amazon at some point, and although CD Baby has closed their online store, they do have copies in their warehouse for distribution.

The physical package is nice: an eco-sensitive cardboard wallet:


The artwork came out nicely but I acknowledge I used a sub-optimal font point size on the smallest text. It seemed ok in the PDF but I should have realized that white-on-black in print would be harder to read. Oh well, no big deal. The information (and more!) is all available online (see link above).

Digitally, the album is now up on Spotify and probably other streaming services as well. Yay!

Okay, so the timing for this release isn’t great: as I write this, we are still under a County Public Health “Stay At Home Order” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy is taking a nose-dive. Folks just aren’t going to have the disposable income (or the will to spend it) that they did a couple months ago.

Originally I’d planned for this to be out in 2019 which would have been nice, but it didn’t happen.

Since the last blog post, “Final polishing” of the tracks took longer than expected because I kept finding little things I wasn’t totally happy with. This is actually an infinite process because there will *always* be things that I think I could improve, and my tastes change over time so it’s a moving target. The trick is to apply the law of diminishing returns and identify when it is time to Let It Go.

At this point, I think I chose appropriately. It’s out there now, anyway.

What’s Next

I’ve uploaded two videos on YouTube to accompany the release: A studio “play-through” for Paradigm Shift and a second one for Cathedral with “behind the scenes” text captions.

I intend to create a third video for The Toks Invade before putting the project to bed.

I’m going to be preparing a Bonus CD (well, EP maybe) with alternative versions of some of the tracks. I’ll make this available digitally via BandCamp, no physical CD for this.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been working on new lyrics and some musical ideas and it really does look like there will be an Album #3. But that’s for later.

5 Albums

Challenged by sister Julia to choose 10 albums that greatly influenced my taste in music, I’ll respond by changing it up a bit and also to count down the days until my new album is released: I’ll choose 5 albums that fit the criteria of the original challenge, and add some commentary. In no particular order:

We start with the obvious because its influence is all over Inevitable Obscenity: Arguably the best album from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (ELP) is TRILOGY, released in 1972. I love all their albums but if I’m super-critical then this one avoids the early unevenness of previous releases such as Tarkus, but also the over-the-top pretension of later albums. It’s got everything that is good about ELP and nothing bad: Classical adaptations; a ballad; a ragtime; brings the “heavy” and plenty of Moog Modular. “Endless Enigma” and “Trilogy” are examples of ELP at their best.

1972 is a bit before my time – but I can thank Eldest Brother for exposing me to plenty of musical fertilizer from this period.

Continuing the commentary on top 5 artists and albums that influenced my taste in music, we come to Mike Oldfield. Tubular Bells arrived in 1973 but I’ll chose the 1983 album CRISES as one of my five. Although I’m not a fan of the insipid “Moonlight Shadow” single, I think that the side-long multi-part composition “Crises” could be considered Oldfield’s last great work. Featuring the superior percussion and production work of Simon Phillips; perhaps the last appearance of the Gibson L6-S Deluxe guitar ; introducing the Fairlight CMI (but before it took over as the primary composition medium), and excellent production work.


I remember hearing music from Tangerine Dream’s EXIT at a ballet based around Night on Bald Mountain. I’m pretty sure that was the first TD album I acquired but it wasn’t the last. Exit represents accessible instrumental pieces from a classic line-up of the band. Definitely an influence (although perhaps more so is the later UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT release…)


The first time I heard Tony Levin and the Chapman Stick was on the 1983 live release from Peter Gabriel, “Plays Live” (thank you James Mitchell!). However I’ll choose the 1982 studio album “4” as representing the artistry of Peter Gabriel, before SO launched him into popular stardom in 1986. Shock the Monkey!


We finish up the commentary on the top 5 artists and albums that influenced my taste in music and perhaps the content of Inevitable Obscenity… with THE DREAMING by Kate Bush, released in 1982. I remember seeing the video of the title track on Radio With Pictures. But to be fair, her 1985 release THE HOUNDS OF LOVE perhaps is more of an influence, particularly the side-long multi-part suite “The Ninth Wave”. However I’ll stick with the earlier album to maintain my hipster status.

First Quarter End Game

January 1
In 2013, we climbed the Steel Tree. In 2020, the Inevitable happens.

January 30
Frantically trying to finish the last track; having trouble with bass+drums co-ordination, my own stupid fault. May have cracked the problem yesterday. Album artwork coming together. Forward…

March 10
Album artwork is, I think, mostly complete. Currently working on the guitars on the final track.

March 25
Album recording is completed. Mastering basically done (just a couple more listening tests on different environments).
Currently working on a teaser video.

April 23
Dithering is good for sample rate conversion; not so good for deciding when to send the mastered files to manufacturing. However, final tweaks are complete; it’s not going to sound any better, so, it’s done.

March 2020 – The Inevitable Track List

I’ve completed recording. I’ve been mastering the tracks in Presonus’ Studio One, because it has this great “Project View” that I haven’t seen in any other software.


This allows me to set volume levels, frequency equalization, and cross-fades across all tracks, to ensure that they sound like a unified collection.

I still need to burn a CD and play it in a variety of locations but I think I’m close.

Next steps will be to finalize the artwork for CD duplication, and also upload to Bandcamp and/or CD Baby for distribution. This is going to be primarily a digital release but I do want some physical CDs to give to friends and family and anyone else who really wants one.

About 50% of these tracks are old music that Walter and I worked on together, and the rest is all (relatively) new.

Track List:

1. EULA (0:31)

2. Working the Paradigm Shift (8:42)

3. Listen (12:52)

4. The Toks Invade Bogland (4:57)

5. Cathedral of Hosts (3:27)

6. Enlightenment (6:06)

7. Omnipotence in 17/8  (2:58)

8. Priority Interrupt (2:07)

9. Head Crash (5:18)

10. Cathedral (reprise)  (1:12)

11. Introspection in G / Tubular DLLs  (6:57)

Tracks 5-10 are a continuous suite, so there is a choice to be made here about whether to break it up into separate tracks or keep it as one long track, for digital distribution. On an audio CD you kind of get both as it cross-fades between tracks cleanly. (usually).

I guess the right answer is “both” which is actually feasible, to have two different versions of the album up on Bandcamp. Or maybe just an additional bonus “EP” for the single-track contiguous version.

I’ll mull this over. In the meantime, stay safe folks. Don’t go viral.

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