BLACKBOX UTILITIES WEB STORE / PILLBOX T-Z OUT NOW
Blackbox Utilities, or
BXU, is a web-based storefront configured to be
a centralized hub where materials released by both the INSTALL and
Second Sun Recordings boutique labels may be carried. Additionally,
music released on other imprints by current INSTALL-released
will also be carried in the store, as well as merchandise such as
official label clothing, stickers, art prints, literature and more.
Conceptualized as a unification of music, market and design that
allow listeners and collectors alike to create personal accounts,
track of their order history, earn rewards points, shop in three
different currencies, redeem or buy gift vouchers and subscribe to a
mailing list, all in addition to having the convenience of several
labels' worth of fantastic music available in a single place. BXU
intends to expand and streamline the experience of finding, sampling
and obtaining independent music to be one of comfort, ease and
reliability, all the while maintaining a more efficient online
workspace for creators David Tagg and Brian Grainger to experiment
with release formats and configurations, marketing approaches and
other ideas from their secluded fortified bunker, somewhere deep
beneath the Atlantic ocean.
At present, we have
launched BXU with a massive supply of new and
reissued materials, including David Tagg & Brian Grainger's
long 21Mg Series, presented in four 12-disc box sets and streamable
full at our
21Mg Bandcamp page. Collectors will note that the first
three box sets of the 21Mg Series (A-G, H-M and N-S, respectively)
have been out of print and scarce for some time now - all three
as well as the final T-Z box are now simultaneously available in the
store. Additionally, a limited amount of Install t-shirts have been
created and are available in different sizes.
DAVID TAGG - "I AM THE WOLF"
David Tagg's first new album at SSR since 2009's Wind Blown
arrived. I Am The Wolf encompasses many of David's trademark
emotive loops to dense layers of drones, while also bringing
- the sound of David's raw, untreated guitar - to the fore. Wolf
living breathing space filled with bone-white arch like
tower high above an ebbing red ocean. Bits of sonic debris
like snow, making ripples of echoes as they land in the water. A
sadness pervades the area - perhaps giving us the feeling that
we are, in
fact, standing in a grave. David's masterful way with etching
isolation and total disconnection out of six bronze strings
be nothing short of a dreamlike experience for listeners, who
are drawn directly into the gloom and tasked with lighting a
climbing the stairs out of the Pentecost cellar, and finding
their way out
of the castle. Outside the tower, the massive red unnavigable
watches, waits, knows - knows that no one who has been drawn
inside it can
leave without being marked.
click here. To order proceed to the
MILIEU - THE
LONELINESS OF EMPTY ROADS
Heralding the return
of rust-orange days and cool blue nights, Milieu's
first new full-length at SSR since 2008 is an elegant and
Comprised of three long tracks, all improvised and recorded live
with no overdubs, The Loneliness Of Empty Roads sees Brian at
unaccompanied, driving through the uninhabited backroads and
his subconscious. This is a blues album, reduced to single
clusters of notes. A live broadcast from an unmappable location
humming car radio. Power lines and the occasional streetlight
pass by, but
nothing breaks the monochrome repetition of straight lines,
and casino bonuses the hope of arriving at your destination soon. For those of
finding your way home, here's one for the road.
click here. To order proceed to the
VCV - HD 98618
OUT NOW 12:32pm EST
during David's visit to South Carolina in May, 2007 and
sufficiently aged like a dry red wine in the SSR cellars since
98618 is VCV singing in the deep southern Summer. Open windows,
and humidity, VCV have never sounded this warm or inviting
you could say the first three records were transmissions from a
planet, light years away, HD 98618 is the sound of a band in a
door, playing towering tributes to the trees and the night air.
record is also a more diversified sound for VCV, as Brian played
organ and bass than guitar, and David utilized a more
setup as well. Woodshop droning and water-tower bass, covered in
textural airy production sound from Brian's Eight Thousander
was recorded at the same time. Packaged in a similar style as
Blown Guitar album and limited to 100 copies.
click here. To order proceed to the
PILL BOX 2009
OUT NOW 3:23pm EST
After a long
season of silence, waiting and darkness, SSR returns once
again, in new clothes, dressed for a new year. You will find,
things, that we have finally completed the missing eight 21Mg
pill-discs. Please visit our new 21Mg series website for more
info and samples.
To order please
proceed to the SSR
*For those of
you that already ordered pills this year please get in contact
HERE so we can
give you a special deal to complete your 2009 series.
WIND BLOWN GUITAR
David Tagg's long-awaited follow-up to last year's Fundamentals
Of Orchid Biology has finally arrived. Wind Blown Guitar carries
solemn white hymns of warped wooden harmonies through cobwebbed
hallways and down porch steps, into the open air of a hot
summer. The whir and hum of aged reel-to-reel tapes bathes
David's guitar in a humid shroud, and pools of raw reverb steam
his amp like a hot bath in a cavern. Musically similar to things
like "A Kingdom Of Dusk" from the 21MG Series or even Skin
Diagram at times, Wind Blown Guitar contains some of David's
most straightforward guitar playing yet, presented over a
stately backdrop of loops and drones and woven together like an
old family scrapbook. This release also features the track
"Nautical Dusk", which was originally featured on Attacknine's
"13 Weeks Of Summer" compilation. The definitive summer album
from us at SSR, and limited to 100 copies with beautiful
photography and design by David.
NEW PILLS AND ONLINE RELEASES
1:18pm EST 2009/05/30
It's been a long time since we've updated SSR, surely you
thought we were dead. We're happy to say we were merely in
hibernation and we now have lots of new music to share! With
this update, we have four new 21MG Series pill-discs and the
first new webreleases in well over a year.
Starting the 2009-chapter of the 21MG Series off with PILL-N1 is
David Tagg's contemplative drone "A Spindle Of Regret". At times
sounding melodic and familiar, and other times completely
disembodied, this 21-minute trip would definitely appeal to fans
of David's darker ambient works within VCV or his releases at
Install. Frail and horizontal tonalities stretched across an
uneven, unending landscape. Light and heavy all at once.
Continuing on with PILL-N2 is Brian Grainger's "Winter
Triptych", a hazy cloud of seemingly dissonant loops that
actually yield monochromatic harmonies as the piece swells up.
This piece focuses primarily on the procedural generation of
decayed bass loops in the style of something like Eight
Thousander, only much darker, and with minimal droning
improvisations over the top. A gaseous accumulation of gloom.
PILL-O1 offers a much lighter atmosphere, titled "Carolina
Allspice". David builds a very open and friendly mood with
wobbly flutters of lead guitar and reel-to-reel looping. Using
this as a backdrop he plays the occasional lazy guitar line to
mesmerizing effect. This is the sound of Spring in limbo, or a
very humid climate with birdlike melodies floating through the
air like smoke.
PILL-O2 brings the dark back with Brian's "Sunken Swamp Widsoms".
A heavy, pregnant bass drone creaks and groans in the belly of a
warped wooden container. The chord's muffled joints bend like
wet dinosaur bones and eerie archs of humming midrange tower
above your head. Deep, murky and almost slightly scary, and a
very dynamic companion piece to PILL-O1.
Bringing it back to the beginning, we have sorely neglected our
online catalog of free releases. With lots more still unreleased
in this catalog, we hope you like our two newest offerings:
David's "Angry Weekend" is an Obscurist-document that feels so
empty it almost sounds sad. This was the last field recording
David did at his previous home, eight months before he moved.
The air is filled with birdsong and the occasional sound of
nails dropping, though the atmosphere is tense, as if two people
are ignoring each other while in the same room. As if on cue,
thunderstorms and rain break the piercing silence and bear down
on the listener with a different kind of weight.
Brian's "Naked Sound Seven" is the seventh volume of his ongoing
Naked Sound series of found sound, field recordings and musique-concrete
experiments. Four 10-minute pieces creating using only numerical
frequencies of sine tones to create mathematically-harmonic
chord drones. Very warm and bassy, but incredibly monochromatic,
and probably better suited to a "room listening" presentation
where the sound is allowed to merely color the physical
environment rather than surround it. This is incredibly minimal,
dissonance-free ambience that would be best enjoyed in the
evening as the listener relaxes with other activities such as
reading a book or taking a warm bath.
Though this may seem like a lot, we're not planning on taking
another extended break anytime soon - next month you can look
forward to David Tagg's brand new album Wind Blown Guitar and
the much anticipated second album by the White Star Line!
PILL BOX H-M OUT NOW
5:21pm EST 2009/01/31
Pill Series Box H-M is now available. We have a limit of about
50 of these which are sure to go fast. Orders will ship on or
around February 16th.
NEW PILLS & 2008 PILL BOX INFO 11:23am EST 2008/12/26
So it's dead-center of the Winter season, and you just want to
sleep your way out of 2008 and into the new year you say? We can
relate. Giving you the last two doses of the 21MG Series in the
2008 year, this should be just enough to keep you in your toasty
bed for forty more minutes...
PILL-M1 is David Tagg's muted guitar improvisation "Deception On
The Mountain". Bearing immediate resemblance to his Skin Diagram
EP, this could almost be old-school David Tagg. Deep and warm
like a steaming clear bath in a dimly lit cavern, so quiet that
you can actually hear yourself think. It is the sound of
absolute reflection, both physical and mental. David's craft
continues an inward path that charts almost painfully sad waters
like these, but it's difficult not to get lulled in to the
warmth. This is a beautiful year-ender for David, and a longing
glance back at the smiles and sorrows of the past.
The last Pill of the year is Brian Grainger's "Wind Speech", a
cozy acoustic guitar piece that carries a similar sadness to
David's previous Pill. Wispy, bedroom string tones fill with
musty air and Winter solitude, forming a pillar of pure gaseous
melancholy. A three-note bassline eventually makes itself
audible, and small sections of ringing loops cascade in and out
of the mix. Almost a bookend piece with Brian's first Pill of
2008, "Sun Trails", and a stately finale to this year's twelve
*IMPORTANT* A small word of advice - these two Pills, while
brand new, will only be available for individual purchase until
the end of January 2009. After that, you will ONLY be able to
buy them as part of the 2008 PILL BOX (H-M). We're aware that
some of you have purchased the Pills individually throughout the
year and so this is your deadline for filling out your
collections, should you decide to do so. We apologize for any
inconveniences this causes, but please understand we are unable
to continually manufacture all twelve discs on top of our
regular catalog items and the 2009 Pills.
For those seeking the PILL BOX - look for the 2008 PILL BOX to
become available in January, either filled with all 12 Pills
(H-M) or empty. These boxes will be limited in number as well,
so as always watch this space for updates. See you next year!
*REPRESS* Finally, David Tagg's first full length album 'No One
Came Out Last Night' is back in stock for a limited time.
12:12am EST 2008/11/09
So it's finally November, and here at SSR we've been pretty
silent since "Nine Billion Names" was released. We're sure some
of you are wondering where September's 21MG Series installment
is, and, in short, we've decided to release the Pill-discs in
bi-monthly batches. That is to say, couples of coinciding Pills,
such as this months L1 and L2, will hereafter be released at the
same time. This will make it easier for us, as far as updating
the site goes, and probably easier for those of you who would
rather buy them that way too.
September's Pill-L1 is a wonderful musty 20 minute walk through
Autumn, guided by none other than David Tagg. A murky wobbly
tape surface transparently wraps David's ebbing drones, and the
effect is a beautiful phased out piece that is both colorful and
gracefully aged. Possibly David's most low-fi recording yet, and
a little bit of a precursor to his next album, "Wind Blown
Guitar". This piece is titled "A Kingdom Of Dusk" and your
Autumn wouldn't be the same without it.
October's 21MG-installment is a mountainous, granite-thick drone
by Brian Grainger named "Tenth Glowing Arch". The title is
refers to this being Brian's tenth contribution to this series,
and an epic one at that. Conceived and improvised in the vein of
his recent 3CD album "Porous Variations", this piece is twenty
minutes of humming hallway-tonalities, buzzing ever so slightly,
like an endless fluorescent overhead light in a corridor ten
miles long. Muted movements inside the drone subtly shift it
from its otherwise straight-lined path, while a sub bassline
manages to warm up the stereo field. Perfect isolationist
listening for the colder months.