John Keston has released his first solo album in seven years titled, Isosceles. It is an eighty minute long departure from his usual esoteric experiments and full of unapologetically funky and tonal instrumental synth tracks. Years in the making, the collection was carefully picked from dozens of compositions. Vintage and contemporary electronic instruments and processors were used alongside each other to create a unique yet familiar sound. The album is full of thick analog arpeggios, punchy bass lines, earthy beats, and ballistic leads. The anthology is interspersed with contemplative moments reminiscent of the promise of space exploration and discovery. It is a journey through light years of exploratory sound design, future thought, and galactic musical manifestations.
The gorgeous artwork is by Benjamin Montag and the impeccable mastering was handled by Tom Garneau. The album is available from UEM on Bandcamp as well as the usual suspect (iTunes, et al).
Composed and performed by John C. S. Keston
Ablum art by Benjamin Montag
Mastered by Tom Garneau of Audioactive
Unearthed Music is currently distributing the album Isikles, a collaboration between John C. S. Keston and Chilean producer, Lister Rossel. The two spent countless hours during the 2014–2015 winter in Minnesota composing and producing eleven movements that portray the fragility and magnificence of frigid environments. The liner notes for the album describe the concept:
Geologists propose that Earth has entered the Anthropocene. This epoch is marked by human activities that significantly impact the planet’s ecosystems. Markers include mass-extinctions that have led to a reduction in biodiversity, industrial and agricultural impacts on geology, radioactive fallout, and the most obvious marker — climate change.
As the planet warms polar regions teeter from stoic landscapes of frigid ice to rapidly evolving environments as they shed their ancient layers. Isikles is a portrait of nature and its transitions. It is a soundscape — a window to the coldest environments on earth; from the microscopic (Ice Mutation) to the macroscopic (Scattered Disk). Isikles reflects the undergoing global transitions of which we are all participants.
This album, produced by John Keston and Lister Rossel, combines composition with sound design techniques to present soundscapes inspired by these transitions. The sound sources include their own field recordings from frigid environments mixed with sonic interpretations uncovered through sound synthesis and processing during the brittle Minnesota winter.
The album was produced by John Keston and Lister Rossel, mastered by Tom Garneau, art direction by Luisa Rivera, and cover art by Forrest Wasko.
Unearthed Music are now offering their releases through Bandcamp. This is great news for listeners who prefer high quality MP3s or uncompressed formats like FLAC and WAV. The first release available is Ostracon’s Unauthorized Modifications at just $5.99. A limited edition cassette is also available for $7.99 plus shipping. The rest of the UEM catalog will follow quickly in time for the holiday season.
A new cassettes run of Ostracon’s debut release, Unauthorized Modifications is now available. The cassettes are professionally duplicated at the proper length on each side. They will available at Ostracon shows and select local record stores including Shuga Records in Northeast Minneapolis. If you are in the area please stop in and pick one up. Priced at $5.00 they are less expensive than the $8.00 electronic version included as a free download with each tape! So far we have no plans to ship tapes my mail, but we might sell a limited run on the site if persuaded by our customers. Please let us know if you are interested!
Ostracon is performing this Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at the Honey Lounge in Minneapolis. Master modular maestro, Low-Gain, shares the bill. The new cassettes will be on sale at the show for $5 (includes a free download code) and if you are one of the 25 customers who bought the previous cassette, bring it to the show and we will swap it with a new one for free!
Here’s a sample from Ostracon’s performance at their release show on June 24, 2011:
Ostracon Release Show Segment 3
This ethereal segment from the Ostracon release show contains a combination of an evolving pad with a bouncy arpeggiated line that were both produced during the performance on the Roland MKS-80driven by GMS.
Ostracon Release Show Segment 2