CWQ Delivers Ambient Lo-Fi Recordings, 20 years in the Making

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 in Blog

In the early 1990’s, Creamy Water Quiz (CWQ) experimented with an early music software program named Aegis Sonix on a Commodore Amiga 500 computer. Recording Sonix on a 4-track, with some synths and an assemblage of effects, they created some unabashedly unconventional psychedelic music.

 Creamy Water Quiz  - It’s All Your Vault: The Early 90′s Reinterpreted

Fast forward almost two decades, to August 2011, when these sessions are ‘re-discovered’ by Ryan ‘Delano’ Davis. CWQ decides to remix select tracks from this bygone analog era. “It’s All Your Vault: The Early 90’s Reinterpreted” is a modern perspective on some pre-millenium lo-fi reverberations. The goal of “It’s All Your Vault” was to preserve the linear and analog qualities of the original recordings, while infusing some new moxie via the digital domain with filters, compressions and an ambient approach to mixing.

We caught up with Adam ‘Miracle Kitty’ Walker, the other co-founder of the project and asked him a few questions about this new release.

Brent: How is “It’s All Your Vault: The Early 90’s Reinterpreted” different than Flojo, Loco y Enigmático?

Adam: Flojo was generated over a weekend and contained quite a bit of guitar and bass. Vault is a trip through the early 1990’s, spanning 4 years and is from 6 different sessions. Vault is heavier on synths, a little more minimal with instrumentation and mixing, and is decidedly more ‘analog’ than Flojo.

Brent: Describe your technical process for creating this album?

Adam: First, we listened to over 80 recordings form the early 90’s when CWQ experimented with an early music software program called Aegis Sonix on a Commodore Amiga 500 computer. Then we narrowed it down to some specific sessions that we extracted our favorite segments from. Once the ‘tracks’ were selected, we took the original 4-track mixes and transferred them into Logic Pro. No new sounds were added, and very few edits were made, however, there was quite a bit of equalization, compression, reverb, filters, and delays. CWQ decided to try and preserve the linear and analog qualities of the original recordings, while utilizing an ambient approach to mixing.

Brent: What is the one tool that a CWQ album couldn’t be made without?

Adam: Ryan. He is the ultimate tool.

Brent: What is the oddest sample used in the recording?

Adam: The sound of a squeaking office chair. We were recording one night and this chair was overpowering the mix with it’s creaking and screeching, so we decided to ‘play’ it for a while and archive it properly. It pops up in Miracle Kitty: Soma Swap.

Brent: What do you see when you hear these songs?

Adam: Irrationally evolving soft insects sweeping across foggy fields.

Naturally occurring right angles.

Triumphant wonderment of re-purposed robots.

The old analog future.

Jeremy Bleich Composes Music for Annual Santa Fe Circus

Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 in Blog

A collaboration between Wise Fool New Mexico and the Lensic Performing Arts Center, Circus Luminous is an annual “new circus” extravaganza featuring breath-defying circus acts created and performed by a predominantly local circus, dance and musical cast. Circus Luminous has become a Santa Fe family tradition for Thanksgiving Weekend, playing to sold out audiences at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center each year since 2002.

The 2011 event is this Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm in Sante Fe, New Mexico, but Jeremy Bleich has unleashed his compositions from the 2009 event this week to help celebrate and promote the performance!

Jeremy Bleich: Circus Luminous 2009 collects nearly an hour of live orchestrated accompaniment by Jeremy and the Luminous Orchestra, evoking imagery of the amazing and the sublime. Download today!

Celebrate a Decade of Experimental Music with “Year 10”

Posted by on Nov 15, 2011 in Blog

Ten years ago, Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company (INS Rec. Co.) offered up its first official release as an independent record label. The “Infinite Number of Sounds 2001 Compilation” featured 10-tracks by 4 Cleveland-based artists. We burned the CDs in our studio/living room, and Matt Mansbach (Nemo Nemon) painted each cover by hand. That compilation embodied our passion, ingenuity and DIY work ethic. It set the tone for the decade to come. Some tracks on that humble compilation would be polished and honed, and eventually appear on albums such as “Infinite Number of Sounds: Time Wants A Skeleton”, “Nemo Nemon: To Mock and Love”, and “Trepanning Trio: I Am a Crooked Arrow”.

Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company: Year 10

Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company: YEAR 10 is INS Rec. Co’s 25th release. It features 13 tracks by a family of artists that has grown to stretch from east coast to west coast. It represents 10 years of experimental, instrumental, electronic, and independent music. It is a testament of what is still to come. We hope you will enjoy this collection of singles and return to check out the 8 upcoming full-length albums represented. Download, sample, and share with your friends!

Thank you all so much for your support.

Here’s to 10 more years!
Brent & David
Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company

Electric Grandmother Brings “Sitcom Core” to Washington DC

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Blog

Electric Grandmother has relocated their home base to the District of Columbia. I wrote to Pete and Mary Alice to discuss the big move, Fugazi, Alphonso Ribiero and their next album.

The Electric Grandmother with Pauly Shore!

The Electric Grandmother with Pauly Shore!

David: You lived in Columbus for 10 years, why did you decide to move? Why D.C.?

Pete: We’ve both always had an affinity for D.C. We both have family here, and we both really like the area. We felt that EG had gone as far as it could in Columbus, and we were both itching for a change in general. We both agreed that D.C. would be a good hub for east coast touring, and a cool place to live in general. We’re both city-folk.

MA: We’d never intended to stay in Columbus forever and ended up staying a lot longer than we expected. Speaking for myself, Columbus came as quite a pleasant surprise to me, not being an Ohio native. The people, the culture, the pace and the food are just a few things that I grew to love and already miss terribly. It took an abrupt political shift with the potential to impact our livelihood to motivate us to finally leave. And I echo Pete in his assessment of the pull factors. I don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet that the White House is three miles down the street.

David: You just unleashed Sitcom Core on the nation’s capitol for the first time. How was it received?

Pete: It‘s been going really well so far! We’ve done two shows here, and though the crowds have been relatively small, the response has been great. It’s really exciting and refreshing to perform for new faces in new places. Pretty soon, we’ll be bigger than Fugazi.

MA: ^ Cute, isn’t he? I completely agree. After playing in front of an audience that was pretty consistently made up of friends and friends of friends for so long, it’s at once thrilling and scary and amazing to look back at brand new faces.

David: Can you describe “Sitcom-Core” for those who may not be familiar?

Pete: The genre “Sitcom-Core” was coined to describe the songs I wrote about the wonderfully absurd TV sitcoms that existed from approximately the early 1980s to the late 1990s. It takes a specific kind of sitcom to earn the distinction of “Core.” It can’t be too self-aware, there has to be elements of the absurd, and it can’t be too heavy-handed. To put it simply, Full House is the standard, whereas Roseanne is the opposite. That’s how it started, and I’ve always been thankful that it’s remained merely a term for what we do. You know, it’s a big responsibility to have your name attached to a movement. Just ask Ian Mackaye.

MA: What’s the over-under on Fugazi references in this discussion? It probably doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll put my money on the over.

David: Several years ago Pete, you and I have talked about the evolution of Sitcom Core. You said that you were moving away from the low-hanging fruit of 80 and 90’s family programming to explore more existential themes like “New Coke” and hipsters who talk like they are from England. How has your audience responded?

Pete: Mostly in a positive manner. I still love talking and laughing about those shows, but putting them to music was becoming an already beaten dead horse being beat again. Or at that’s how I felt. Especially when you’re doing what amounts to a musical-comedy production, if you don’t keep it fresh you’re history, both to the audience and yourself. “Sitcom-Core” has evolved to not just mean songs about wacky TV sitcoms, but of all things absurdly playful and nostalgic. It’s those things from the past that touch the happy area of your mind. People don’t take their memories that seriously, and I never understood why that is. Memories are sometimes all we have. There’s a Jonathan Richman song called “That Summer Feeling,” that comes as close as possible to what I’m trying to explain. Am I getting too serious here? Fuck.

MA: I think he’s understating the response, honestly. Audience response has followed the same natural progression as his writing. I think it’s fair to say that England Man and Car Phone are two of the most beloved EG songs, because a good song is a good song.

David: You have a seventh album in the works. When is the projected drop date? How is your writing/recording process different now than when you released “My Imaginary Audience” in 2003?

Pete: That shit’s probably gonna drop in Summer 2012, y’all. It depends on how things go between now and then. I have a lot of songs recorded, but we’re in no rush. We still need to record the Mary Alice backup vocals, and we’ve never done that before. I’m excited to hear the different dynamic of it all.

My recording process has definitely changed a lot since 2003. For one, I used an analog 4-track back then, and was always scared that I’d wear out the tapes on playback, so often times I’d record a song and then not hear it again for months. Now since I record digitally, I can playback, tweak, adjust, doctor, and whatever to my heart’s content. The songs are less lo-fi, and have a lot more muscle now than they used to. I switched from Casio-keyboard beats to drum machines. I upgraded my synth/keyboard sound. Like I told Mary Alice before, it became a matter of wanting to be “good” instead of just “weird.” And not just for me, for her too. We invested a lot of money into our LCD Projector in 2006, and she’s really stepped her projection-game since then.

MA: Aw, thanks! I want to quickly add here, that having heard most of the songs that will go on the new album (spoiler alert!), I think the writing style has evolved (again) and listeners will either be surprised by the thoughtfulness and introspective nature of the lyrics or placated by the fact that it’s a total party up in here.

David: Will Smith recently purchased a piece of the Philadelphia 76ers… do you think Alfonso Ribeiro has ruined his dance prodigy legacy and been overshadowed by playing the role of “spoiled rich-kid Carlton Banks” in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996?

Pete: First of all, fuck Will Smith. He’s a Scientology-sympathizer. Him and his wife founded an elementary school that uses Scientology-based teaching methods. And he’s too chicken-shit to commit to the cult, because he maintains, “I am a Christian.” The “Fresh Prince” ruled, but Will Smith is a scuz bucket. I hope the 76ers like having their thetan levels audited.

MA: This from the man who once wrote: “Will Smith is one fine actor, I wish I could be his benefactor.” Scientology changes everything.

Pete: But anyway, regarding Alphonso Ribiero. I don’t think he ruined his dance prodigy legacy by playing Carlton, in fact, he’s probably only enhanced it since the advent of YouTube. Have you seen his “Breakin’ and Poppin’” commercial? That shit is hot. Remember when there was a rumor that he broke his neck while breakdancing with Michael Jackson? This was in the early-80’s, I’m not even sure he was on Silver Spoons yet. I was always proud that I identified him as “Alphonso” almost immediately after I saw him as “Carlton,” even though it had been several years and he was now grown up. I’ve always been pretty good at those type of TV cross-examinations.

MA: You know, I don’t think anyone becomes famous purely for being able to dance well anymore. Good dancers are pop stars too, and I think poor Alphonso is to square-headed and greasy-looking to have become a pop star. But what’s cool about him is that people remember Carlton primarily for the Carlton Dance, so he kind of got the best of both worlds, even if his remarkable dancing ability was on display in a wacky, spastic routine to the sounds of Tom Jones instead of impersonating Michael Jackson. Yes, I would say old Alphonso did pretty well for himself in the end.

Discussing “Multicultural Chamber Music” with Mike Hovancsek

Posted by on Oct 12, 2011 in Blog

Mike Hovancsek is a multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and writer from Kent, Ohio. In the late 1980s he founded the Pointless Music label, which was devoted to experimental music releases. In his solo work, and with Pointless Orchestra, he recorded and/or performed with many notable members of the world music community.

Mike’s current musical output, which he describes as “multicultural chamber music,” often combines instruments from several different cultures in unique ways. Reviewer Anastasia Pantsios of Cleveland Scene describes his work as “elegant, textured music that sounds spare and understated yet is quite complex.”

With the re-release of “Temporal Angels“, Mike’s entire solo catalog is now available from Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Co. I wrote to Mike recently to talk about his music…

David: I first met you in Cleveland, at the release show for Temporal Angels in 2003. It was a special experience for me as an audience member. What do you remember from that night?

Mike: It was bitter cold that night. Also, half an hour before the performance we found out that our percussionist was too sick to play. We had to come up with new arrangements for several of the pieces minutes before the show started. That was a nice challenge!

I also remember what an enthusiastic and well-informed audience we had that night. People had been listening to my radio interviews and reading the articles about my CD in the papers.

David: You have been making music for a long time. What was the first music you ever recorded?

Mike: When I was eleven years old I decided that I wanted to invent my own form of music. I found a broken reel-to-reel tape machine and modified it many different ways so that I could layer and loop sounds, add delay, play things backwards, and mess with the tape speed. Eventually I had a couple of different tape machines hooked up together, feeding the signal so it would wind its way through each machine separately. I could create all this real-time sonic shrubbery that way. Then, I plugged an electric guitar into the whole mess and experimented with creating textures using a variety of unconventional tunings. A few years later I found out that most of the things I had “invented” were actually done in the 1950s by people like Otto Leuning and Vladimir Ussachevski!

David: What music were you listening to then?

Mike: I listened to a lot of generic, over-produced corporate rock music back then, which I am ashamed to admit!

David: What is your personal favorite piece that you have recorded?

Mike: Whatever I am working on at the moment.

David: What was the best collaborative experience/moment you ever had in a recording session?

Mike: There have been so many. I’m always amazed when I toss some rough ideas at Samuel Salsbury and he runs wild with them on his violin. We usually get something really wonderful in one take. Joe Culley is a lot of fun to work with too. I’m really blessed to work with so many incredible people.

David: You play many exotic instruments: guzheng, waterphone, koto, tambura, etc. What, is your musical education? How did you acquire the techniques to play all these instruments?

Mike: When I was earning my degree in psychology at Kent State University I discovered that the school had an amazing department of ethnomusicology. I studied Chinese and Japanese music there. I often performed in the recital hall and in other concert venues. I also mingled with some pretty amazing musicians from around the world who came to the school to study and teach. In addition to my formal education, I am self-taught on several instruments. Once you learn the logic of a particular instrument it is fairly easy to translate your skills to other instruments in the same classification.

David: What new projects are you working on?

Mike: I am aimlessly recording a few pieces that may eventually end up on a release. I like to casually record a little bit here and there over a long period of time and then cobble together my favorite bits for a release. I know that in the age of downloads people can release their music one piece at a time but I really like the journey that you can take people on with a sequence of pieces. I guess that comes from growing up listing to vinyl records. I’m also working on my yearly film festival and on a lot of visual art. Each creative medium informs the others.

Easier Downloads & Streaming Previews Highlight New INS Rec Co Site!

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Blog

Infinite Number of Sound Recording Company Website

INS Rec Co redesign

I realize that many folks have already stumbled upon our new design, but both Dave and I are very excited for the label’s unofficial relaunch. We’ve got several new features that I’d like to announce:

  • Streaming preview of any album right from its product page
  • Simplified checkout system – you don’t need an account to purchase music
  • Paid orders get immediate access to download links – no more waiting for an email
  • Easier free downloads
  • Restructured catalog focusing on similar genres
  • And a design update to bring us into this decade

The new version of the store should make it easier than ever to hear, download, and purchase the music you’ve been looking for!

Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment on Facebook or Twitter!

We are prepping several releases for the next few months, but I’d also like to announce a call for submissions. Do you know of any touring bands or artists who would fit with our existing catalog? Specifically we are focusing on either acoustic/instrumental or indie/alternative/electronic acts who already have high-quality recordings but would like help with digital distribution, prep, and promotion. Hit us up on the Contact page if you have any suggestions.

Infinite Number of Sounds
Recording Company

Free Downloads!

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011 in Blog

Free Downloads!

Every album on this site can be downloaded for FREE! If you like music, tell your friends, or buy the deluxe version which upgrades the quality to 320kbs and includes exclusive bonus material!

Download Mike Hovancsek’s “Ascend” for free!

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Blog

Following the recent INS Rec Co release of Turbulent Calm, Mike approached us with a request to release another special recording.


Rather than even try to express the right words to describe this project, we will let Mike speak in his own words:

Our infant son Paul passed away unexpectedly on May 28, 2010. I won’t attempt to describe that experience here; there aren’t words big enough to explain the loss of a child. Several of my friends urged me to use music us part of my grief work in the brutal months after our loss. There is something therapeutic about the creation of music with a community of friends and this recording played an important role in the long, difficult healing process. I am grateful to all the wonderful people who offered their time and talent to this project. I couldn’t possibly have created it without their help:

Samuel Salsbury – violin
Joe Culley – tabla and ragini
Anna HomIer – vocals
Jim Cole – harmonic singing
Jim Winters – hurdy-gurdy
David Mansbach – double bass
Margot Milcetich – vocals

I played koto, guzheng, tubular bells, slide sitar; clarinet, kalimba, Native American flute, block chimes, waterphone, Indonesian drum, talking drum., udu drum, frame drum, dumbek, assorted gongs, piano, guitar; Chinese meditation balls, water jar, star chimes, balafon, elephant bells, and singing bowls.

This recording was made very spontaneously, with little discussion beforehand and with nearly everything captured in a single take. I did not use any computer editing or noise reduction equipment. Occasionally, you will hear a passing truck or the sound of our pet birds adding to the mix. I hope that these elements will make the music feel like what it is: A snapshot of a particular time and place. It may be a picture that occasionally looks confusing, sad, or troubled but it eventually ends with hope.

This recording is not for sale. I didn’t feel right charging money for a recording that is this personal. The fine people at Infinite Number of Sounds were generous enough to let me make it available us a free download from their website. I’m grateful to them for their ongoing support. Please pass this recording on to anyone you know who may be interested in it. If you share this music, however, please include the liner notes so that all the contributing musicians will receive proper credit for their contributions.

– Mike Hovancsek, 5/28/11

Download Ascend for free!

Mike Hovancsek’s “Turbulent Calm” now available for download!

Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Blog

We first met Mike through his remarkable work with the Pointless Orchestra, but we were also big fan’s of his first solo release, Temporal Angels. When the opportunity to release his second solo album fell into our laps, we couldn’t resist.

This release is an interesting experiment in collaboration. Mike gathered a number of his talented friends and gave them the briefest of guidelines and then recorded their interpretations in one or two takes. Fans of of Trepanning Trio, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Wu Man, and Lou Harrison should enjoy the work.

Download Turbulent Calm today!

Mike Hovancsek - Turbulent Calm

INS Recording Company Presents “Oblique Orchestra: Duo Sessions Live, Volume 1”

Posted by on Dec 14, 2010 in Blog

INS Rec. Co. is happy to present this second set of explorative improvisations by Cleveland’s Oblique Orchestra! Oblique Orchestra is a free-improvisation group of extraordinary skill and talent. “Duo Sessions Live, Volume 1” represents the first collection of duo performances by Oblique Orchestra, recorded at the 1Way (a monthly event at the AllGoSigns Factory in Cleveland, Ohio). This event focuses on multi-media improvisational performances and provides an environment where these experimental works can be debuted and documented.

20101214-Oblique Orchestra - Duo Sessions Live - Volume 1 (deluxe download).jpg

The bonus tracks on the Deluxe Download are the first duo performance ever between saxophonist Dan Wenninger and drummer Carmen Castaldi.

Suggested for fans of Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Jack Wright and Michel Doneda.