last summer i recorded some roots-goth / 4AD cover songs. it was sisters, banshees, bauhaus, cocteaus, and then on to making demos for The Next Album of You Shriek Original Material. cue the vast gravity-well of escapist delight in reworking cherished classics, and it’s almost august again. i was going start on a new 2013 collection, different genre.

but the first EP of 4 songs doesn’t cover enough of my favorites from that era, and there’s no sense getting completely sidetracked from working on new songs anyway, so i’ve got another track to add to Hagiography I. watch this space, it’ll be out this week.


I’m almost finished mixing this one. agonizing over final details, which often occurs on the verge of starting over and completely nailing it in a matter of hours, therefore it may or may not sound exactly like this.



i’d been searching for motivation to make a new episode of this series for a couple of years. perfect opportunity: to collaborate with my friend and colleague Juan / Cellmod. music came as easily as ever, but this was the hardest one to edit. let’s say i’ve fallen out of practice planning shots. nevertheless, it turned into a fitting documentation of a great piece. i’m pleased. hope you are.

Cellmod’s post contains much more embellishment about the process and great time we had. as always, view the whole series on the spies website or subscribe in iTunes.


Diamond Girl photo of a Banksy pieceFinal mastering for Somewhere Between (Heaven & Sorrow) was finished (to be candid) long ago, by the talented and personable Brian Hazard of Resonance Mastering. Our paths had crossed several times; I was already a fan of his work on some albums in my collection, so connecting was natural. And now, after the work, he remains a terrific resource to follow around the ‘net.

With mastering comes the final decision on how loud to make the music sound. We could push these mixes to match screaming radio hits, but so doing means mercilessly crushing down all of the short, exciting micro-spikes of sound. That’s a trend. Many think it a horrible, garish, fatiguing trend…

Fortunately the first pass Brian delivered was nothing like that. The result is loud enough that you won’t want to reach for a volume knob when one of these songs comes on, but you’ll still experience the contrast of a quiet shimmer between stabs. It’s a physical & emotional component that I had to preserve.

The brilliant part is: if you want even more of that sound (and you’re willing to put forth the effort to turn up the volume) you’ll be able to choose an entirely different final master of the album with even greater dynamic contrast. What you get is the kind of sound you can turn up in your headphones and disappear into the song. This will be the “diamond mine” version, because “audiophile” is just too insulting.

I’ve never seen this done before, but since there’s no additional manufacturing requirement in offering both versions for download you get a choice. And to take it a step further, the diamond version will be offered in a format that’s higher-quality than CDs support; specifically 96khz, 24 bit lossless files. I’m excited to see if this delights or confuses everyone. Questions? Please ask here, or on Twitter or Facebook.


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