Two Contagions

by Cyclops Joint

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  • pen and ink drawing on paper. 8.5" x 11"

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about

i don't want to say that this album is about anything, but it is very much rooted in the isolating experience of plague life, and in trying to hold steady against the state of mass delusion that half of our population here in the United States is currently afflicted with. The two have been inextricably linked by feedback loops of fear and disinformation, despite the lack of any real connective tissue. They are a numbness on my world.

on January 16, 2021, i set up the studio for a session of drum feedback. Two guitar amplifiers, 3 mics for performance and a bunch more for capture, a 16" floor tom a 14" snare drum and a 12" rack tom tuned down low. I turned down the lights and emptied my brain into this evolving sonic world for about 45 minutes. Later i chopped it in two, because it had felt like a descent into somewhere, a moment of reprieve, and then an exploration of that space and time until i felt emptied and ready to resurface.

i'd recorded with multiple mics, and a moment of curiosity quickly led me to repitch many of the mic positions. This was the first time i'd done this with a recording of drum feedback and i loved that the result sounded like a weird hybrid of horns and animals. Throughout the two pieces i brought different mics/signals/pitches in and out of the mix to vary the tone and density of the sound. Maybe i'll set things up in advance someday so i can mix the sources/pitches in real time as a performance....but i think mixing those sources live might prove too distracting from the performance itself, which requires total focus because tiny movements of the microphones can radically transform the nature of the feedback and how it interacts with the resonant bodies of the drums, the amplifiers, and even the room. Also in a live context, it feels more "honest" for the sound to be completely dependent on the moves i make, rather than relying on any "behind-the-scenes" pitch shifting.

credits

released August 11, 2021

mastered by JAK, August 2021

drawing by John Alan Kennedy, August 2021

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Cyclops Joint Texas

ambient feedback, electroacoustic improv, electronic collage, heavy hypnotic beats. inspired by the sci fi & horror soundtracks i heard every childhood Saturday,
Cyclops Joint reared its head in the early 1990's experimental music scene in Houston, Texas.
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