Friend of Ember Release: Crux by Cruxes

We’re happy to let all of you know of another great release by good friend of Ember, Austin TX’s Gabriel Sandoval, aka Cruxes. This is his first solo release in quite a while and it’s got a fantastic mix of ambient, electronic and alt-rock.

Here’s some info in Gabe’s own words:

Today I’m releasing my first solo record in years. It’s an instrumental post-rock record under the name CRUXES. I recorded all of this over the course of the last 4 months, but some of the songs are over 2 years old now and came as sketches that I then fleshed out piece by piece.

It’s FREE, so go grab it and let me know what you think! 

There are 9 songs on the record and along with the download you’ll get a piece of artwork that I made for each song. As the year goes by, I hope to come back to the project…maybe doing a live show or getting myself and friends to put vocals over the tracks. I’ll also be releasing more projects under different names since I have several that are almost completed. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to collaborate on anything musical, visual, or otherwise!

So, please if you dig sounds like Sigur Ros, The Pixies and Brian Eno, you’ll definitely want to give “Crux” a listen.


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Ember Music Chain Album Volume 1 is coming soon

We are very happy to announce our next compilation project Ember Music Chain Album Volume 1 is coming soon. The project started with an idea generated by Ember Music artist Daniel J. Davis… the concept was simple, give the first artist in the chain some samples and have them create a track using them… upon completion of their track they would pass samples from it on to the next artist in the chain. Included with the samples was an inspirational image (curated/created by Ember Music co-founder Kurt Lorenz) that would also serve as the artwork for each track and the album.

The first section of the chain will run like this:

01. Nordmach
02. Beaufays
03. Kikai
04. Solaris Affair
05. Murat Esmer
06. Daniel J. Davis
07. Known Rebel
08. Fake Empire
09. Graham Brinkert
10. Akisma

The project has taken a little longer to complete than anticipated and the decision was made to break it into smaller volumes in order to get the release out in 2013. We will start working on Volume 2 in the coming months and hope to release that in mid to late 2014.

As a special preview we have allowed Nordmach to share his track “Angels to Anguish” on his Soundcloud page.

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10 Questions: Graham Brinkert

01. How long have you been making music?
about 15 years.

02. When did you start using electronics in your music making?  
When I was about 16.  I began hanging out with a lot of hip-hop producers and a good friend of mine mostly used a Korg Karma.  I loved the sound of the Karma, but it was way too deep and overwhelming for me at the time. Lucky for me, he also had an MS-2000 that just kinda sat there since he bought the Karma. The MS-2000 was something I could wrap my head around, and I used to love visiting his studio and creating patches and learning the basics of synthesis.  Good times…

03. Are you an electronic purist?
Not in the least. I’ve just always been more captivated by the idea of blending the acoustic, analog, and digital into a cohesive fabric (to varying degrees of success.)  I like to think that I have philosophical reasons, i.e. I feel like it represents the times in which we live – and not merely just that we live in the age of technology, but also the conflict, confusion, the intermingling of the world’s cultures, the dichotomy of tradition and progress, etc. etc.  But perhaps it’s really just a preference, and I’m trying to justify my preferences intellectually.

04. What is your current favorite piece of hardware? Software?
Hardware – hmm… Currently, it’s my iPad.  I just love having so much power in a small, mobile solution.  It’s become my new swiss army knife.  I can construct new sounds, provide a backbeat for a impromptu jam, sample things wherever I go, study harmonic theory, or just goof around inside something like Figure or iKaossilator.
Similarly, my new favorite bits of software are Samplr and iPolySix, which are both iOS apps.  Thor is a longtime favorite of mine, and it’s great to have it on the go now also.

05. Do you use canned loops or samples? Why/Why not?   
Yes, almost in every song.  I think it’s my hip-hop background again.  And while I most often mangle them and reshape them into something completely different from it’s initial state, sometimes I just love a great loop.

06. Do you use iPad/iPhone or other mobile computing devices in your music making?
See question 4.

07. Was there a moment of inspiration… a certain track or artist, that ignited your passion for electronic music? 
The bass line to Flashlight by Parliament.  Instantly I knew I wanted to do two things: play funk and play synths.

08. How does visual art/photography inform your music making?
When I was a young boy, I had this book which depicted dinosaurs roaming through full-color landscapes, with volcanoes and wildlife and all that.  I used to open the book to a random page and then place the book on the piano and begin banging out what I thought the picture sounded like.  I was trying reading the music of the picture, though I couldn’t read music and had no formal training and it is likely the reason my parents sold the piano at a yard sale.  However, I still use this method for inspiration sometimes.
Also, I tend to develop instrumental song structures with a visual story as a guide.  The entire Lascivious Limbs album was developed out of a story I wrote in fragmented bits. Each song was based around a different event in the storyline.  Essentially, I created 9 little vignettes in my head, and then wrote the soundtrack to them.  I always wanted to work with an artist to create a graphic novel or even a comic book based around it, but time moves on and so does my focus.

09. Has the internet/Social Media changed the way you make music?
Not really.  The internet has been there since I started making music.  And social media probably just reduced my musical output by way of distracting me.

10. What is your favorite artist or track of all time?
I don’t know how to answer this question.  I could barrage you with a list names, all of which would have belonged to an individual who was – at one time in the past – my “favorite” artist… but alas, I am unable to answer that confidently.  I might just go ahead and say Philip Jeck.  But tomorrow the answer would be different.

However, I can say with the utmost confidence that if I had to choose one band to listen to for the rest of time, it would be Parliament. Easy.

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New Release by Friend of Ember Music, John McKusick

We wanted to give everyone a heads up on great new indy release from good friend of Ember Music, John McKusick, the project is called “Copulationface” and the album is called “The Foreplay”.

John is an immensely talented multi-instrumentalist from Boston MA and this release spans styles from IDM to experimental dark ambient/noise. Some of the tracks trace their history back to the days of John’s former project “Produkt” which included Ember Music co-founder Bill Bendrot (MobiusB). The album is available on Bandcamp and is a ‘Name your price’ release, so please check it out and if you dig, please consider purchasing.


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