Octoplasm

available Sep 5, 2020

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1. Psychonaut Colombiano

This song was born while I was living in Medellin, Colombia.

The portrait is of my friend, Luis Mesa, who lives in Entrerios.

There's a particular energy to the people of Medellin, which I've been told is also typical of the people of the Andes in general. They are low-key and refined. I wanted to capture this as well as the lush, eternal spring of Medellin and its sunny optimism in a track. And so Psychonaut was born.

I've been strongly influenced by Thomas Dolby and this track shows it. The descending piano with the heavy reverb at the very beginning of the track is a direct reference.

Dolby was a pioneer of the New Wave. Blinded Me Wtih Science" was a hit that was played everywhere -- in the supermarket -- it was ubiquitous. But I think his "The Flat Earth" album is seminal with its bass lines and rhythmic complexity. It's on that album that Dolby's ability to create evocative soundscapes and full-on environments entranced me. In my track, Psychonaut Colombiano, The recordings of astronauts during the Apollo moon landing are probably something I learned to do from him.

One Dolby track that really astounded me was "Mulu, Keeper of the Rainforest." This track has environment, story, mood... it creates a whole different world. And that's probably been his biggest influence on me. I strive to create worlds, not songs. Architectural spaces of sound that have their own narrative.

2. Backstraight

Get your back straight.
That thing you want, that thing you hope for...
It's not coming.
Unless you stand up,
Unless you walk,
Unless you move forward
Unless you forgive.

Down in the basement
You keep a box of frozen wishes
You keep double-locked and hidden
Forever wrapped in silent, dusty photographs.
Sounds in the basement.
At night it stands all but forgotten
Until it wakes you up unbidden
Says it's urgent, says it's time... it's time has come

Get your back straight...

Loud your distractions
You turn the volume to eleven
To try and drown out all the questions
All your secret hopes for something higher
Round your defenses
Come all the sounds that make you wonder
Is anything in there worth keeping
Anything that's crying out for you to rise

Iconography

What's the story with these images?

3. SensationalismS

Your body is really amazing.
And I'm aware that you may feel like it's not entirely subtle,
But I want you to think about its fascinating ability
To experience various kinds of pleasure.
And the way you feel is just one of them.

Right now, I invite you to think
about all these wonderful sensations you can experience
Thanks to your body.

It might be a nice shiver which goes down your spine
And makes you smile a little.
Or it might be a wave of warmth
Which appears suddenly and goes through your entire body.
It awakens every part and every cell of your body,
Especially the most sensitive ones.

This feeling can be delicate at the beginning
But over time it gets more and more intense.
The other sensations are way stronger,
Until it comes to the point when you surrender completely
And let yourself flow with the waves of pleasure.

Think about the powerful fire that fills your whole body,
Or about the desire as it gets more and more
intense with every second,
With every breath. Think about all these feelings
That will make you squeeze your eyes, open your mouth,
And breathe heavily. That will make you move your hips and legs.

About these images

Although I have a Master's in Fine Art, I don't think of myserlf as a visual artist. Creating these personas (using 3D software and painting and editing in Photoshop), imaginary characters based on real-life people, is a way for me to fully realize the narrative that these songs intend.

The cover image of the guy with 8 matches, his hair on fire, and the name of the album, "Octoplasm," spelled out in the smoke, is a portrait of my friend, Raul. He represents the voluptuous sensuality, the almost over-ripeness, and the burnt-upness that are all part of the album's exploration.

As I created each character I thought about the images of saints (icons) and how they were depicted. I've always had a fascination with the archetypal imagery of the tarot, the way the images become significant thorugh the inclusion of elements and have a sense of the mystical due to the use of geometric composition... and contain their own stories, and so I attempted to imbue these images with a similar feeling.

If you imagined you opened your eyes and you were, in your real life, seeing what was depicted, that would be the mood I was going for with the track.

4. Octoplasm

It starts by being in balance
clean mind, no worries, no fears
and I let the cord down
root lock, grounded and solid  
feel her rising  up
through my roots
I want to go deeper
down to the core 

And I shake out my hands
and I let go of grasping
and wanting and taking 
and I focus solely on your pleasure
and well-being

take my hands
and I put them
over your heart
there’s a deep red
glowing light
that flows out of my chest
and down through my arms
and into your heart
it wakes up
like a fire
that’s been sleeping in the coals

can I show you something?
if I put my hand here
look at that perfect navel
can I touch it?
beneath my hand
is the center of your willpower
your self control
your self discipline
the push pull  
the hard rock of domination
the sweet fragrance of surrender  
together, entwined
this is the source of your true power

here at the arch of your throat
feel my hands radiating
liquid blue sapphire light
pouring into the center of your vocal cords
it activates your ability to communicate
to articulate new ideas
that change minds to inspire
to architect reality with your words
to say what you need
to ask for what you want
to speak out for what is right
to stand up
lift your voice and sing!

directly in the center of your skull
there's an  amethyst ultraviolet crystal
that’s shining like a lighthouse on a hill
giving you the  insight to know what is real
what is hidden what is true
what exists above and beyond time
yet inside of you
and I open up this third-eye channel
wider and wider and wider

5. Want to Watch You Light Up

(with Karina Hsieh)

Hello.
We've been watching you
and all of your efforts at self-realization.
We've been enjoying the show.
You thinking: I'm going to glow,
well, that's what this is about...
The very, very old technique of
unconditional love (om namah shivaya)

And we know (I hope) that you will feel the sound
bathe you and tune you up
but I will hold you in the spaces (and let you hear my breath)
in between.
Here we go.

Want to watch you light up...

Next,
we put you in a chamber
shower you with vibrations
new frequencies
DNA shifters
and geometric light shapes
over and around
in front of and behind
your body
from head to toe
this is the energy surrounding you
which is why I chose it
so just relax
while I smoke you out
with this beautiful holy wood.

octahedron
 

6. Winged Antler God

Another influential musician for me has been David Sylvian. It had been years since I listened to Gone to Earth and Secrets of the Beehive, and when I listened again recently I heard how much I learned from his approach. Again, it's the sense of architectural spaces created through sound that captures my attention.

In this track, the image I had in my mind was wide sweeping snow-covered tundra under a cold moon. My goal was to evoke this place and the sense of vast solitude that accompanies it.

My collage style of composition led me to listen to sounds of elk mating calls. In this track, they're pitched down about 2 octaves, and they sound almost like distorted guitar or some other sort of stringed instrument. Aside from lowering the pitch, the sound wasn't changed.

7. Honu Breath

just breathe

8. Silver Sphere

a true story

Always on the lookout for an open door,
entheogenic rituals, there must be something more.
Castaneda, Crowley, New Enochian
Goetia to tantra, hallucinogens.

With my hands open
I receive nothing less
than I'm willing to let go of.

I'm standing out beneath the starry sky
with no place I'd rather be than
here with them tonight.

Six nights in the desert watching distant suns,
Puja to the river of the ancient ones.
Dark sunglasses in their black sedans
follow us at twilight just to show they can.

At night when the satellites are doing semaphor
strange light in the mountain, infrared record.
Faded paintings in a cave in Joshua Tree
We're not the first to engage this mystery.

With our eyes open, bright sun, broad daylight
from a new dimension comes the silver sphere.

I'm standing out beneath the starry sky
with no place I'd rather be than
here with them tonight.

10/16/19 10:35 Osceola AR Sphere 30 seconds silver sphere changes to translucent then shot vertical into atmosphere

6/20/19 19:30 Kansas City MO Sphere 20 minutes 2 silver/white spheres hovering/non-moving at 5000 ft. until covered by clouds after 20 minutes.

6/27/19 Detroit OR Sphere 5 minutes While taking a scenic photo of Mt. Jefferson, looking S. I noticed a silver sphere motionless.

6/20/19 4 /25/19 19:41 Lincoln NH Sphere ~2 minutes Sphere shaped craft disappears in the sky.

4/25/19 08:05 Toronto (Canada) ON Sphere 3 seconds Silver sphere (orb) sighting in Toronto (Leslieville)

3/11/19 09:15 Lakewood WA Sphere 10-15 seconds 2 silver-reflective sphere/orbs seen in the sky west of I-5 in Lakewood, WA area.

11/24/18 16:25 San Diego CA Sphere 5 minutes + Silver orb hovering over San Diego.

10/29/18 08:53 San Bernardino CA Sphere Running ((HOAX??)) I look up and seen a silver ball in the sky I just don’t know what it is.

11/19/17 15:00 Oxford MA Sphere 30 seconds Floating silver/white 3D ball. It was there, and then shrunk and disappeared in seconds.

9. Psychonaut (Guaracha mix)

In Medellin, a certain style of music called guaracha is popular in clubs and with a certain type of people. My impression of the guaracha music culture was that it was a little trashy, essentially about having fun (not aggressive), and being silly.

Although there's a style of music that has been referred to as guaracha since the 1800's, the recent version, originating in Cuba, is rapid-tempo reggae or reggaeton. It has evolved into garacha house, the way I encountered it in Medellin, and entails the use of fewer hard saw waves (as in EDM) and more organic sounds like (synth) saxes and trumpets doing the (very) repetitive hooks on top of the reggaeton beat sped up to 124-128bpm.

One track that captured my ear was "Shango" by Gerald Sanchez. Although this is on the outer edge of guaracha it still plays side-by-side with more standard guaracha tracks.

I was mesmerized by the drumming and the use of mallet instruments and those found their way into "Psychonaut". For good measure I threw in a little traditional cumbia rhythm.

10. Sensations Overflow

These tracks evolve over years and invariably I end up working with the underlying architecture and song structure but through different beats and different focus on elements. In that regard, they become not remixes but complete retellings, the way a child is a different person than their parent. This version of "SensationalismS" is less intense, maybe a little more cerebral?

11. Octogasm

That's why there are 8 matches

12. Want to Watch
You Light Up (Portal Mix)

with Karina Hsieh

Credits

All art, composition, lyrics, and production by Grisecon unless otherwise noted.

1. Psychonaut Colombiano:
Keys: Grisecon
Beats: Grisecon
Mallets: 381384__uso-sketch__jungle.wav
Vocals: 437584__chenny0607__female-vocal-chops.mp3
Apollo 11 Astronauts Talking to President Nixon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxtidg-91KA

2. Backstraight:
Beats, keys, all vocals: Grisecon

3. SensationalismS:
Beats:
Vocal "Uh":
Bass: Grisecon
Keys: Grisecon
Male ASMR: "Your body is really amazing... Part #1", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl0zoW3Sdhk

4. Octoplasm
Beats:
Vocals: Grisecon
Bass: Grisecon
Male ASMR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdcCBH6a108
Vibraphone: Grisecon
"Look": Rickie Lee Jones, 'Juke Box Fury', 2:04 - 2:05
"the circus, Polly got hit...": Rickie Lee Jones, 'Juke Box Fury', 0:04 - 0:08
"now they're on their way": Rickie Lee Jones, 'Skeletons', 0:25 - 0:32
"Open way to sing": Grisecon

5. Want to Watch You Light Up
Woman counting:
Woman moaning:
Drums: Grisecon
Female ASMR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1ozwIrQV6Y
ET Whisper: Grisecon
Female vocal harmonies: Karina Hsieh
Sopranos: Karina Hsieh and ...
Male vocals: Grisecon
Sustained dissonant vocal pad:
Female solo: Karina Hsieh

6. Winged Antler God
Mallets: Grisecon
Strings: Grisecon
Elk Mating Calls:
Many spoken word samples taken from 'Children of the Tundra', https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQeNOiYL3AQ
Noises of passion: helix_....
Drums: Grisecon

7. Honu Breath
All sounds: Grisecon

8. Silver Sphere
Mallets: Grisecon
Vocals: Grisecon
Keys: Grisecon
Female Vocal Harmonies: ' ', 1:35:33 - 1:37:44
Bass: Grisecon
Guitar:

9. Psychonaut (Guaracha Mix)
Keys: Grisecon
Beats: Grisecon
Mallets: 381384__uso-sketch__jungle.wav
Vocals: 437584__chenny0607__female-vocal-chops.mp3

10. Sensations Overflow

11. Octogasm

12. Want to Watch You Light Up (Portal Mix)
Drums: Grisecon
Female ASMR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1ozwIrQV6Y
ET Whisper: Grisecon
Female vocal harmonies: Karina Hsieh
Sopranos: Karina Hsieh and ...
Male vocals: Grisecon
Sustained dissonant vocal pad:
Female solo: Karina Hsieh




© Guts Recordings, 2020