Category Archives: almost x


Almost X

Ten more dice rolls. Records don’t so much freeze as liquify time. I’ve lost years to music. Time is the price you pay, however, to alleviate dreams.

Almost X where X = whom, where, what or even why you want to be. Let’s fly this town, through the looking glass, riding our 99th dream into the stars, towards X.

“Nothing means anything.” – Kurt Vonnegut

:^D

released January 15, 2016

Written, performed and produced by Westy Reflector

Cover photo: “Drew’s Spare”
Dave Westreich, 17 July 2010, 04:02

Lead guitar on That Old Guitar:
Jason Perkel | switchfactory.com

Samples on Sedimentronic Figures
courtesy of:
Rupert Lally | rupertlally.bandcamp.com
and
Ahornberg | ahornberg.bandcamp.com


[track] King Jack’s 99th Dream

This track started out life as a disquiet junto challenge a couple years ago:

Assignment: re-tell a single-page comic strip, 99 Ways To Tell A Story [Panel 1], by Matt Madden:

Background (via disquiet.com): “Matt Madden’s single-page comic is the template for a book he created titled 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. In the book, Madden told that same story 99 different ways, each in a different comic-book style. For example, he told it as a superhero comic, he told it as a manga, he told it as experienced from upstairs, and he told it as if it were overheard at a bar. Madden did this in homage to the French writer Raymond Queneau’s own Exercises in Style, which is a key text of the literary movement known as Oulipo. Oulipo approaches the act of writing with intentional constraints, and the movement’s approach to creativity was a strong influence on the development of the Disquiet Junto. Oubapo is the name of the comics version of Oulipo. What we’re up to is the musical version: Oumupo.”

Original track is here.

Time to make up your mind
Time never falls behind
Time to make up your mind and close the door

She drew you in, black and white
From her studio in the sky
She drew you eight times ninety-nine…

Frames in time
And you will never escape that night
Until you make up your mind
And close the door

Should’ve paid off those bills
Should’ve laid off those pills
Should’ve written one more word
Before you put your machine to sleep

What the hell were you looking for
when you opened up that door?
What the hell were you looking for,
if not time?

It’s just like Jack once said
“Bittersweet life is at best.”
It’s just like King Jack once said

You’re framed in time
And you will never escape that night
If you never make up your mind
Yeah, you’re framed in time
And you’ll never escape that night
Until you make up your mind
And close the door


[track] Nothing / Anything

“Nothing means anything.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

LYRICS
There’s no right and wrong or light and dark
There are only in-betweens
When this world gives you no end
And you know nothing but your means

Nothing means anything

I crossed state lines and changed my name
Twenty years down that way
Still lost in song; still don’t belong
Nothing’s changed nothing’s changed

Nothing means anything

It’s how you end,
not where you start
Life is easy –
it’s living that’s hard

Dispossession, constant rejection
A world designed to keep you low
So the smartest thing you can ever do
Is let go

Nothing means anything


[track] Since I Heard The Sun

processing darkness with the sun works wonders. may your futures be full of light.

It’s been so long
since I heard the sun
call my name.
It’s been so long
since I had the power to
light my way.

Dreams left me high
and lovely,
(but) in darkness
with life undone.

It’s been so long
since I heard the sun.

It’s been so long
since I became
a forgotten one.
It’s been so long
since I started spinning
into oblivion.

You can still be a refugee
in a place you can’t escape,
running ahead as lights turn red,
trying to duck fate.

It’s been so long
since I had faith
in future plans.
It’s been so long
since I had faith
in a promised land.

Dreams left me high
and lovely,
(but) in darkness
with life undone.

It’s been so long
since I heard the sun.

track was developed from a piece of expository writing from this past october.
http://westyreflector.net/2015/10/words-since-i-heard-the-sun/


[track] chasing flight

ambient.drone.guitar

CHAIN
Pigtronix Infinity Looper –> Small Sound / Big Sound Sparkle Motion –> SS/BS Mini F*ck –> Electro-Faustus EF107 Regurgitator (send/receive: tc electronic flashback –> Earthquaker Grand Orbiter) –> electro-harmonix SuperEgo (send/receive: EQD Arpanoid –> Diamond Tremolo) –> EQD Afterneath –> Strymon blueSky –> Line6 Fender Blackface emulator


[track] That Old Guitar

Country-fried me.
special lead guitar guest star: Jason Perkel (switchfactory.com | soundcloud.com/switch-factory | soundcloud.com/halfofsf)

My wife comes from the South Side of Chicago,
and when she first brought me back in ‘ninety four,
down in the basement of her childhood home
I found an old guitar.

She said “That was my great uncle Bill’s,
“I guess he left it to my dad.
“I remember after Bill lost his Kentucky farm,
that Gibson was all he had.”

“But he said ‘I’m not scared of a changing world
Or losing anything we are
‘Cos I wave hi to distant good times
every time I play that guitar.’ “

For eleven quiet years after Bill passed on,
that L-1, I guess, had waited for me
‘Cos it rang one brilliant chord before the bridge caved in
Just to let me hear what it could be

You got to draw lines
Back through time
To know who you really are
Every note Bill played
Rang again that day
When we picked up that old guitar

So it returned with us to New York.
In the hands of The ‘Moose returned to life.
And the sound that it made again
returned Bill to my angel wife

He said, “I’m not scared of a changing world
or losing anything we are.
I just wave hi to distant good times
every time I play that guitar.”

So I’m not scared of a changing world.
We’ve lost nothing that we are.
‘Cos I hear echoes of distant good times
every time I play that old guitar.


[track] Through The Looking Glass

This track grew out of a poem written in August.
Man, sometimes this world…
:^D

We’re surrounded by people
Who can’t think for themselves
They fear loneliness more than they feel hell
Then take comfort that they can’t even tell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well

We’ve gone through the looking glass
Nothing’s left up ahead we haven’t already passed
Now we’re so alone
We don’t need to turn our backs
We’ve gone through the looking glass

We’re surrounded by people
Who don’t learn for themselves
They buy into the bullshit they turn around and sell
Then take comfort in the lies they tell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well

We’ve gone through the looking glass

But you and me
come from a place beyond time
in the company of love
we live outside the lines

We’re surrounded by people
Who only live for themselves
They drink all the water but can’t dig a well
They say they make love but it’s just a shell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well


[track] sedimentronic figures [disquiet0190-missedconnections]

PROCESS
20 bars of Rupert Lally‘s “Sediment Layers

8 bars of Ahornberg‘s “Digital Frippertronics

Loads of flying, fluttery harmonics and shifting undertones as these loops cycled together. Rupert Lally’s track loop is 30% right and ahornberg’s is 30% left in the mix and they’re both blended (smeared?) together by a slight (27% wet) band-pass (1500Hz) resonance filter and a bit of room reverb. They’re both in related keys (G and D, it seemed) so their ensuing conversation took some pretty turns. Put my guitar down this week in favor of Propellerhead’s Figure app for iPad (the latest update’s “arpeggiator” has become a tiny addiction). I programmed 8 bar synth and bass loops in the key of G at 96bpm and played the percussion pad live as the track streamed along with the sources on my Acid timeline. Figure ran via Audiobus into Flux:FX’s “Multi-Verb” preset located in the app’s stock Ambient bank.

RIG
Propellerhead Figure: “Sonny” drum kit (4/4 kick, 6/4 snareclap, 12/4 hats, 10/4 toms), “Bassguitar” bass (5/4 rhythm, 7 scale steps), “Super Poly” synth (5/4 rhythm, 7 scale steps)
Noiise Flux:FX for iPad (ver 1.01): Ambience “Multi-Verb” preset
Audiobus for iPad (2.1.17), Sony Acid 7.0, Win 8.1

PROJECT
“Set two out-of-sync loops atop each other, and then add sonic glue”

More on this 190th Disquiet Junto project

More on the Disquiet Junto

Join the Disquiet Junto

Disquiet Junto general discussion


[track] c swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer]

PROCESS

Single notes in the key of C, staggered and stacked to move through different chords. “Attack” was eliminated using a combination of my trusted E-bow fed through an EHX POG2 with its attack setting jacked all the way up for max swell. Tape Delay, Phaser, Reverb added for space travel (or ocean travel as the case may be here).

RIG

Fabien (Peekamoose Custom Guitars M2), EHX POG2, Small Sound / Big Sound Sparkle Motion, tc electronic flashback delay, EQD Grand Orbiter, EQD Afterneath, Strymon blueSky, Line6 POD-XT (Vox AC-30 emulation), RECORDING DAW: Sony Acid 7.0 (Win 8.1), MASTERING DAW: Harrison Mixbus 2.5 (Mac OS 10.7.5)

PROJECT

Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source.

Step 1: Choose an instrument that can create extended tones.

Step 2: Record a short loop of a single held tone on that instrument. Use a volume pedal or other tool to eliminate the attack at the start of the tone.

Step 3: Create many more such loops, all with the same instrument, and layer them atop the original loop.

Step 4: Record a document of these layered loops lasting approximately 1 minute.

Step 5: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

————————————————
More on this 189th Disquiet Junto project (“Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source”) at:
disquiet.com/2015/08/13/disquiet0189-tonelayer/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
disquiet.com/forums/


[track] Elena’s Stars

Dusted off some twang for a story of beauty in sadness. Some days, whiskey over absinthe…

Elena lived on Avenue X,
next to a trestle
all her life.

She dreamed of distant places
and of jumping random trains
a thousand times.

She craved a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.

Counting the trains
to and from Coney Island
every night,

searching in vain
for salvation, in a city
full of lies.

[ch.]

I’m still here, amidst the fallout of our life.
I’m still here, living with her dreams.

She found a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.


[track] fly this town

alan watts reflected in a disco ball

there’s a rip in the galaxy
sounds like wind through a door
it’s headed for us full speed ahead
we’ve got nothing to lose anymore

so no more running from the past
running from the dark
searching through the void
chasing love

let’s fly this town tonight
dance away from these city lights
take our cues from distant satellites
let’s fly this town

over the horizon lies
a ring of endless light
made of the dreams we carried
through our coldest nights

there’s no more falling out of time
falling for the cons
calling out in vain
waiting on love

let’s fly this town tonight
dance away from these city lights
take our cues from distant satellites
let’s fly this town