From July 2010 until April 2013, I was, for better or worse, completely in the thrall of modular synthesizers. Maybe I’ll write something, one day, about what an ultimately silly zone I found that to be (putting it kindly), but that’s a subject for another place - suffice it to say that this album, as well as my collaboration with Scott Cazan, Red Door, are the only documents of that period which I feel needed to see the light of day.

I found thematic inspiration here in the Mayan conception of the underworld, Persian miniature painting (specifically things like this), and ancient Babylonian star charts. I decided that, in short, I wanted to illustrate a journey through some kind of amalgamation of those worlds, seeing them as adjacent rather than mutually exclusive, as they often are.

My modular synth was the centerpiece of the album production, with everything being run through it in one form or another - I had a bee in my bonnet about computers during this phase, so although there are definitely samples of Tibetan funeral chanting and metallic percussion incorporated into the mix, they were played off of an old iPod, direct into my sampler module, and effected from there. This was to be the only time I really felt like the modular was working for me on a compositional level - it was great to jam with, or to get ideas from, but I often found it somewhat lacking when it came to actually writing music (maybe because, oddly enough, I don’t really love purely synthesized sounds).

This was originally released as a cassette on Khalija Records, hence the A/B side track names. The original cover was simply a brown square of recycled paper with the name hand-stamped on, so the art that now appears with the digital release is my modification of a 19th century astronomical depiction of the Crab Nebula, which fills me with the appropriate sense of dread for pondering matters cosmic.