Friday, April 29, 2011

"Self Destruction" and "OUT"


ER03 & ER27 Digital Release

John Fell Ryan: vocals, synth, programming
Dan Hougland: programming, synth
Caitlin Cook: vocals
Calder Martin: vocals, guitar, percussion
Nathan Corbin: synths

"Self Destruction" recorded 2004 at 382 Jeff Street.
Edited, mixed and processed 2005 by John Fell Ryan.

Self Destruction” … a troubled record, conceived under heavy depression and mixed during serious band infighting. The band performed not as group, but in separate individual overdubbing sessions, abandoning the in-the-red recording quality of previous efforts in favor of a clear, multi-tracked sound. Cook and Martin would leave the band before the release date, making promotion awkward. Anticipating the success of “KA,” the album was printed on both LP and CD simultaneously, but didn't sell as well, leaving unopened boxes of copies gathering dust. Yet, “Self Destruction” would go on to become something of a fan-favorite, being the highest-ranked Excepter album on and years later, being licensed by artist Doug Aitken for inclusion in his video installation work Migration.

Self Destruction” digital release comes with three bonus tracks, forming a long, ambient reflection of the album. Two are previously unreleased 2003 instrumentals: “Obedience,” a solo synth system performance by John Fell Ryan, and “Non Leg,” a synth duet between Ryan and Macrae Semans. Both instrumentals were used as backing tracks for the live performances captured on the “Obedience” cassette-only release (777 was 666.) The final bonus track is “Blue Moon” produced by John Fell Ryan for the Phiiliip CD “Divided by Lightning.” Phiiliip's vocal and guitar were recorded on the roof of 382 Jeff Street under the light of the actual blue moon of 2004. During the final and best take of the night, an unmarked, black helicopter buzzed over the building, shining its searchlight onto the performer. (You can hear it on the recording.)

“OUT” is the companion outtakes album – a collection of unreleased demos and practice recordings from late 2003, early 2004, compiled from three CDRs found scattered around 382 Jeff Street, Blackout Sundazed, Self Destruction Demos, and Apartment Living. (Many original Excepter recordings were lost due to hard drive rot in the update wars of 2007-2009.) “OUT” is Excepter at its most unhinged, with the triple vocal interplay of Ryan, Cook and Martin in full, chaotic effect. Blasted by jeep beats and burning through gnarled versions of tracks eventually featured on Alternation and the Burgers 12”, this was music deemed too wiggy for inclusion on the cold moon of Self Destruction.

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