New Mike Downey Tape release nearing completion. Here’s a quick spin around my recording space with a mixdown of one of the newest songs playing in the background.
New project alert! For the past couple years I’ve been getting more and more into guitar-based looping / ambient experiments or whatever we want to call this. I don’t think categorizing it is all that important. It’s fun to break down the walls of verses and choruses and lean into the world of the the expanding, the evolving and the generative. It clears my head. I would consider it meditation for myself.
I rarely record these sessions, although I have had the tendency to capture short bits on my iPhone or quickly to 4-track. I wouldn’t consider anything I’ve done in this style to be complete, only ideas. And maybe that’s all they are ever supposed to be. Time will tell.
But as the years went by I finally decided that I wanted to document this stuff to a point. And so here we have that, a lone Instagram account which I started a couple weeks ago. The time limit on Instagram is 1 minute. These excursions can last far, far longer, so this is a platform to give a taste as to what some of this stuff sounds like. Please give me a follow if you want and we’ll see where the road takes us.
Teleport was originally released on cassette by In a Lighthouse in 1998 in an edition of 200 copies (ILC-5).
A majority of these songs ended up on the Lincolnwood Tech CD on Blackbean and Placenta in 2000, however some of the songs were only available on this tape. I always liked Teleport as it was originally released as a whole and wanted to make it available.
This version was digitized from the only copy I have, which is labeled as #1 of 200. The master tape used for dubbing was nowhere to be found. This tape shows some wear at the begining of “Tape Machines and Tambourines” but cleaned up nicely after the first 30 or so seconds.
I mastered all of the songs from the first generation dub after digitization. The Teleport cassette was not mastered originally; we mixed straight from 4-track to the master tape.
Ok, finally Audio Graves 3 is out in its entirety. This last one spans 2010-2015 and dips in and out the fidelity spectrum. There are some hints of more polished songs from my Shy Mirrors project to the, you know me, 4-track sludge. As always, these are a lot of work to gather together but at the same time a lot of fun for me personally to compile and relive. I hope you might get some enjoyment out of some of the songs scattered throughout. I can safely say there won’t be another Audio Graves volume any time soon but as the collection of outtakes grows over the years I will surely keep it in mind. Thanks again for hanging with me on this crazy project!
A special thanks goes out to Jason Pierce at mperfect for the 4 collages used for the artwork!
For documentation’s sake, here’s a group of collages I’ve done in the past couple years. A couple of these were used as album artwork for my recent releases. I’d like to do more of these; it’s just a matter of getting to the thrift store and getting a new supply of magazines and keeping the X-acto blade sharp.
Audio Graves 3, Vol. 11 is out now. Next week I’ll round this up with the final installment, then it’s on to releasing new music!
This volume is all fairly new stuff from the past 3 years; a huge amount of it coming from 2016 which turned out to be a prolific year. As usual, these Audio Graves are all previously unreleased and you can grab them for free or pay what you like.
To sweeten the pot I included a couple Guided By Voices covers I did. I don’t cover songs often, but when I do…
Audio Graves 3, Vol. 10 is out now. This one is a time machine back to the late ’90s. 4-tracked tape saturation from small rooms in Central Illinois. Fueled by Rolling Rock. Mathlete outtakes, Wolfie demos, National Splits side projects… are you in or are you out? Dan Marsden plays on a handful of these (essential). I peeled most of these out of a cardboard box last Spring when I spent nearly a full day going through master tapes that had absolutely no right ever being spun up again on a Tascam that pleaded no mercy. Thanks for reading and stay sweet.
So I’ve been hinting at putting together another Audio Graves collection for a couple of years now. Man, these things take some time to figure out. As with the previous ones this will be a 100 song collection (25 songs x 4 releases). I’m going to release them one at a time over the next month.
Audio Graves 3, Vol. 9 is out now. Pay what you want. This one is all Shy Mirrors unreleased material including the first 2 songs I did under the name, an unreleased EP from 2010 and an unreleased full album from 2014. Stay tuned!
While I was back in Chicago a couple months ago I got the chance to dig back into my archives again and ended up finding a few New Constitution recordings I thought were worth putting up on the site. Head over here for all of the download links. Here’s a quick summary…
These first two are for the On 4 afficianados!
Most notable, the Studio Tedium Demos from July, 2001. These are the earliest recordings we have as a full band. We did these with Rick Valentin (of Poster Children) at his Studio Tedium in Champaign. All four of these songs were eventually re-recorded and ended up on our full length.
Live at Fireside Bowl June, 2002. According to my timeline this show happened right when we went into the studio to begin work on the full length. So what we have here are live, raw versions of most of those songs from the album. A few songs in the set, “Let’s Make War”, “Real Old Picture”, “Mike 3” and “Country Life” were only played live a handful of times back then and as far as I know this is the only live recording we have of these songs.
And finally, fast forward 2 years to July, 2004 at Schubas. This is a soundboard recording. We were working on our follow up thus playing a majority of brand new songs in this set. It sounds sweaty. Enjoy!