This particular album was originally released in March 2009 on an indie noise label that's been defunct for so long that I don't even remember its name. At some point or another I uploaded it to Bandcamp and in the name of consolidating my online presence to as few places as possible, I decided to re-release it as a VFI edition in spite of its advanced digital age. Not to mention that in the grand scheme of things, only a few dozen folks have ever heard this and as far as binaural drone compositions go, it's actually not all that bad.
Here's the notes from the original release. Or maybe the second. Either way, read on.
26 is an album for the winter. A cold one. With dark, sludgy mud that creeps inside your boots, freezing your feet and leaving you with the sensation that warmth is a long way coming. The air is crisp and ominous, seeded with a degree of uncertainty ala what the next whim of the weather will bring. Grayness pervades as clouds obscure the horizon. Somehow, in spite of this all, industry prevails. The roots if this album came from a dark place, with roots stemming from a winter solstice spent in Troy, New York, participating in a residency at the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute as the rest of the universe seemed to crumble beneath my feet. Ever the pervasive archivist, I did what I could to capture the snippets of said demise. Most notably, a day was spent exploring the ruins of abandoned industrial sites on the outskirts of town. Needless to say, parables and comparisons to the city's historic namesake abounded as I shifted through the cisterns and rust, collecting whatever artifacts I could, stepping lightly through shambled clearings indicating recent hobo activity and less than savory warnings spray-painted throughout the complex that the environ was hostile to intruders. Every once in a while, the shattered remains of a bottle of boxcar wine further cemented the unsavory nature. On the news, reporters talked of politics, recession and snow – all biting topics, especially as frozen mud seeps between toes.
I returned to California a month later, jobless and penniless as the news talked of hope amid the stinging cold. Not the best scenario to analyze cistern gurglings and hobo camps, but such was the case. Somewhere between pounding the pavement for a situation and hoofing on foot to spare the bus fare, the rest of this disc was assembled, as binaural frequencies were dialed in to best accentuate bleakness and the proper treatments were applied to further expand on the broken industrial gloom recorded three timezones ahead and a month in the past. Mixing was finished on my 26th birthday. Shortly after dropping the disc in the mail to the label that commissioned it, I received a call for a job interview that would inevitably steer my career into uncharted territories.
Now, years after the fact, I feel compelled to digitally offer this mix to the masses once again, curious on it's intentions. Is this a historical disc indicative of a specific era? Is it capable of standing on it's own outside of circumstance? Does it matter? Regardless, we invite you to take a listen. Warm socks and a sweater are advised.
released May 7, 2021
Travis Johns - field recordings, synthesizers, processing, custom binaural software
Post-industrial soundtracks for abandoned warehouses, crumbling cities and experimental electronics cobbled together from
the remains of a beautiful future. Possibly also a spattering of improvised new-age doom, culture jams and zombie field hollers for good measure. I'm not saying you can't dance to it, but it might take some creativity. Or something like that....more
A soundtrack to a series of art books previously released by the band, "Music from Taiwan Mystery" combines slow-paced electronic psychedelia with samples from vintage video games and film. Bandcamp Album of the Day Apr 28, 2021