Schism – the second album

Schism

Schism is available now.

This is my second album. Written over the last five years, it is a more diverse and also a darker album than Empire and Dust. As well as the neo-classical elements that will be familiar from my previous work, there are harsher industrial sounds and dark ambient passages.

This album wasn’t easy to make. The oldest track dates to before the release of Empire and Dust, and the others were created at various points over the last five years. Over that time my techniques have changed a fair amount. And my desire to create something harsher than Empire and Dust led me to experiment with more aggressive electronic sound manipulation. That meant that when it came to putting the tracks together into an album, each track had its own palette of sounds and fitting them together into something cohesive was a challenge.

Difficult as it was, I think the end result is more interesting for being the product of that struggle.

You can get the album on Bandcamp. I’m very grateful for your support.

Schism to be released 31 October

cover My second album, Schism, will be released on 31 October. It has taken over five years and hasn’t been an easy process. Indeed, I had thought that the album was almost finished two years ago… but I was wrong. After Empire and Dust I wanted to create something harsher, and I’ve had to push myself to learn how to do that. While I don’t expect to ever be entirely satisfied, I think that with Schism I’m on the right path.

You can hear a preview from the album on Bandcamp, and you can also pre-order it there. Please know that your support is always very much appreciated.

A year of writing for Heathen Harvest

After my “Is all martial industrial the same?” post a couple of years ago, Sage L. Weatherford, editor of Heathen Harvest, reached out to me and asked if I’d like to do some writing for Heathen Harvest. I had some trepidation about this. Writing is not something that comes easily to me. Indeed, I would even describe it as painful. I’m one of those writers for whom every word goes onto the page accompanied by an inwardly-directed curse at how stupid it sounds.

So I said yes.

Over the course of a year I wrote thirteen articles with a schedule of one per month (enforced by Beeminder):

Happily, I got better at getting words out onto the page as a result of all that.

Heathen Harvest is one of the finest publications in its field. I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute to it.

The Fall of the House of Usher available now

The Hands of Ruin soundtrack to The Fall of the House of Usher is available today. I’ve been very happy with how this first attempt at writing a soundtrack went, and I think it stands up as a piece of music even apart from the film, so it’s a pleasure to now give it a release of its own.

You can get The Fall of the House of Usher on Bandcamp.

Thank you so much for all your support.

The Fall of the House of Usher to be released on Bandcamp

The Fall of the House of UsherEven though it was made some years ago, I’m still rather proud of the soundtrack to The Fall of the House of Usher that I made in 2012, and I’ve wanted for a while to give it its own release. This is a modern soundtrack to the 1928 adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s story by American avant-garde cinema pioneers James Sibley Watson Jr. and Melville Webber. While there are a few things that I might change if I were to re-write it today, I think it does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of melancholy and dread in the film, and I think it also stands as a good piece of music apart from the film.

Many thanks to Malwina Chabocka for creating the wonderful cover art for this release.

The release date is 15 March, but you can pre-order The Fall of the House of Usher on Bandcamp now. Thank you for your support.

Neofolk & Martial Mix

A mix of neofolk, martial industrial and related music, old and new, with a bit of neoclassical to start things off. I’ve heard quite a bit of music lately that I’d like to share. Some of these are things I’ve also reviewed for Heathen Harvest:

And I was proud to see my own track, Tyburn, included on Heathen Harvest’s Midsummer II compilation.

Tracklist:

  • Arcana – In Memoriam
  • Jo Quail – White Salt Stag
  • Rome – This Light Shall Undress All
  • Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio – Venus in Nothing but Nylons and Pearls
  • :Of the Wand and the Moon: – Camouflage
  • Arbeit – Tod ist mein Schicksal
  • Erde – Die Quelle
  • Hands of Ruin – Tyburn
  • BloodSoil – A New Race
  • Wappenbund – Der flammende Ritt zum rechten Pfad
  • Hezaliel – Light at the end of the fall

Remixing Seventh Harmonic

Seventh Harmonic - Mneme (Hands of Ruin remix)

Caroline Jago is the composer and multi-instrumentalist behind Seventh Harmonic and Shadow Biosphere. We hadn’t met before, but a few weeks ago she sent me a nice message on SoundCloud. She mentioned that she’d be open to collaborations, and since I’ve done a couple of remixes and enjoyed the process I suggested that I might remix one of the tracks from Garden of Dilmun.

As it happens, that was something that I had been thinking about even before Caroline got in touch. I’ve been familiar with Seventh Harmonic for some time, having seen them playing live at shows in London on a couple of occasions, and one of the things that has always struck me about their music is how dense the sound is. I’m someone who leaves a lot more space in my music, so I’d wondered what they might sound like with a more open mix. So that’s part of what I’ve attempted to achieve with my remix of Mneme.

I love doing remixes because it’s an opportunity to learn deeply about how other people write music. I’ve always worked on my own, so I only know my own way of making music. But when I do a remix I’m always struck by how differently other people approach melody and the structure of their tracks. Like many electronic musicians, I’m perpetually afflicted by loopitis, and remixing has shown me how musicians that I admire avoid that trap.

This month marks Garden of Dilmun’s fifth anniversary, so I was very pleased that this remix could be part of that celebration.

Martial Industrial Mix III

It’s been a couple of years since my last mix focussing entirely on the martial industrial genre, and since then I’ve discovered some more great musicians, plus there have been new releases from some of my old favourites. So it’s time for another:

Tracklist:

  • L’effet c’est moi – Runes of Victory
  • The Protagonist – Spirits of the Dead
  • Rukkanor – The Final Trace
  • In The Nursery – Resonate
  • Parzival – Regnabit
  • Sophia – Downfall
  • In Slaughter Natives – Gaudium et alia vitia
  • Tribes of Medusa – Banishment
  • Arditi – Sturm auf die Zukunft
  • Waffenruhe – Stuka
  • Triarii – Europe in Flames
  • Atomtrakt – Ins Verderben
  • Wappenbund – Licht ist Leben II
  • Ribat – Document #2: Révolte Nationale

Remixing THYX

In addition to my obvious love for the genres of martial industrial and dark ambient, I’m also rather partial to a bit of EBM and futurepop. One of the finest musicians in those genres is Stefan Poiss of mind.in.a.box and THYX. So when he offered remix kits to anyone who wanted to make a remix, I jumped at the chance and made a rather Hands of Ruin-ish mix of Black Hole.

I was hoping (and I think he was too) that the remix album would come out sooner. When it does, I’m optimistic that my mix will be on it. But in the meantime, I want to share something of what I did. This is the instrumental mix of Black Hole. When the remix album is released you’ll hear the mix complete with vocals (and if my mix doesn’t make the cut then I’ll put it here on the blog).