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MX Skroch – Loophole

September 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 65

Recording Dates: 1992-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR25

ScratchNotes:

Here is the middle release from the “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls” trilogy. This collection was created when I decided to digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material to optimize fidelity.

“Loophole” is primarily focused on experimentation. This is the only album of the three to include other musicians, mostly on one-off performances or looped multi-track creations.

From the 90-second whimsy of “Soundo Effecto” to the brutal cacophony of the 17-minute “Intended Sexual Assault”; “Loophole” throws something completely different and unexpected at you every few minutes. Soundscapes, industrial music, loop built tracks, recordings of pizza delivery interactions…it’s all that and more!

Four samplings from this album can be accessed below. Enjoy!

P.S. You can click the cover image for a larger version.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – Tingle (MX Skroch) – A spooky cloud moves in from the distance. Your skin begins to crawl. Something is bubbling within. Suddenly it bursts out!  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Sitting Duck (MX Skroch with Suneel V.)  – Piano rock turns into crushing heaviness before bridging into a dance bit that turns into satellite signals reaching out for spiritual assistance when suddenly your messages get a response and a plea as sad orchestral music begins to take shape… Also featuring a rather unique vocal performance as I elucidate the context of modern life.  [Scratch on Bass, Vocals, Drum Beats, Galactus & Space Phone]

Track 08 – Cotton Candy (MX Skroch) – A drum driven, mostly sample based slap across the face. I’d recently taken a liking to obtaining collections of samples to play with. Where they came from wasn’t important – sometimes they came from CDs I bought; boom box recordings of the TV in my living room, or a small pocket tape recorder I kept handy for those special occasions.  [Scratch on Guitar, Drum Beats & Samples]

Track 13 – We Used to Wear Toughskins (MX Skroch) – This time it’s personal as I share recordings of pizza deliveries; answering machine messages from the Chophouse and our landlord trying to throw us out, and commentary about Jeffrey Dahmer. Oh, and I guess I made recordings of my neighbor’s kids in the mid-1980s so I fit that in as well; and some movie samples from 1961. So something for all ages I suppose!  [Scratch on Recorded Pizza Delivery, Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboard, Drum Beats & Samples]

MX Skroch – InSkroMental

August 18th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 62

Recording Dates: 1990-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR24

ScratchNotes:

My computer in 2005 was certainly laughable by today’s standards, but at the time it seemed so powerful that I decided to sort through all my recordings and digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material. Remasters of the Raging Bellybuttons, IMF, and the Hidden would come later – first I focused on my solo recordings. Looking for themes I came up with a 3 CD set: “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls”.

“InSkroMental” features (with one exception) compositions I’ve recorded completely by myself that don’t contain lyrics; newly remastered to optimize fidelity. These tracks were recorded everywhere: my Chicago apartment on Wolcott, then the Leaning House of Trog, then my apartment in Chicago on Larchmont, even at my Mom’s house over many years. Despite a wide range of styles this is the most straightforward approach to music I took during the 1990s.

Since this is a retrospective it features dozens of different instruments and effects I used over the years. The cover captures many of the tools used in the creation of these tracks.

I consider this set one of my more critical releases, so a full five song sampler is provided below. Enjoy!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Track Sampler

Track 01 – The Implant (MX Skroch) – This frantic opener was created when I got a new synthesizer/sequencer and tried to figure it out. Of course I went aggressive, dark and dissonant. Wouldn’t you?  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Covered With Blood and Twitching (MX Skroch)  – This is one of the most fully realized tracks I’ve written and recorded over the years – the Hidden even did a version on the “Brave New Failure” album. This mix is mostly instrumental and uses a wide collection of guitars, keyboards, and kazoo to tell the sad, sad story.  [Scratch on Kazoo, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drum Machine, Samples & Vocals]

Track 06 – Toilet Sonata (MX Skroch) – Sometimes you need your soul to quiet down for a bit. In these times of introspection a piano ballad is often appropriate mood music. Are the sounds of my upstairs bathroom also welcome? Toilet Sonata makes the case that yes they are…yes they are.  [Scratch on Piano & Samples]

Track 12 – Vikings (part 3) (MX Skroch) – A follow up to some instrumental tracks from a few years back, the third incarnation of “Vikings” brings back pounding drums and jazzy horn sounds to accompany this fast paced and ever modulating rocker. I find the use of tension to be particularly effective here.  [Scratch on Guitars, Bass, Keyboards & Drum Programming]

Track 17 – Eyesore (MX Skroch) – Another sequencer creation exploring my twisted vision of chamber music. Or something.  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Scratchrock Volume XIII

March 11th, 2012 Comments off

Album #: 32

Recording Dates: 1999 – 2000

Release Date: 2001

Catalog: SMR18

ScratchNotes:

Recording with the Sheep Fiends increasingly made up the bulk of my musical output as my free time turned to other endeavours.  A sick fascination with the stock market ensued, and an emotional obsession was fostered by way of the rise and collapse of Wall Street.  I must forever live with the knowledge that at an April 2000 Sheep Fiend jam, I warned through song that “The Nasdaq is gonna crash” – while in real life I kept my tech stocks and took a beating.

My former role as multi-instrumentalist in the Sheep Fiends became mutated, as I slowly transformed into one of the main vocal presences in the band. My unique improvisational take on reality and what should be done about it meshed well with the more folk and hippie elements typical of the Fiends lyrics. A few of the band members began making edited CDs of our rehearsals, and the Sheep Fiends’ archiving ritual was stepped up a level.

I purchased a digital 8-track recorder which saw little use – “Vikings (part 3)” and “The Skyway” being the only recorded output to date.  I also played around with sample manipulation using my PC, and participated in a few left field collaborations.

Anisa and I kept quite busy during this period, our primary activities being the creation of the “Vortex of Skrochocracy” website, and making preparations to buy a house and finally ditch the dirty city…

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Five Track Sampler

Track 02 – The Rising Price of Gasoline (Sheep Fiends) – Behold my autobiographical rage at the concept of having to pay 20 bucks for a tank of gas. Those were the days my friend…  [Scratch on Vocals]

Track 03 – The Wind Cries Howard (MX Skroch and Dave L.) – The Howard Stern show occupies Jimi Hendrix in this indigestion-fraught reinterpretation that I don’t…really…understand. But I was happy to lay down the bass track for this jam and think it’s an amusing one-off track.  [Scratch on Bass]

Track 08 – The Skyway (MX Skroch) – Sadly, a rare example of my solo work during this period. The Sheep Fiends were fairly active and my projects with Suneel were underway so my personal output was scarce. But I really like the few tracks I did knock out; including this rocking tribute to the tollway lifestyle.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 13 – The Madness (MX Skroch) – Just samples and effects. Despite a slightly rough final production I think this track sounds just as cool today as it did a decade ago.  [Scratch on Sample Collection & Manipulation]

Track 17 – Unhappyman (MX Skroch and Suneel Viktor) – I pour my freshly plucked sample collection all over Suneel’s synthy grooves to satisfying effect. He thought there was no way he could lose… [Scratch on Sample Collection & Manipulation]

From the Vault: Field Recordings 1991-1994

March 10th, 2012 Comments off

Album #: 31

Recording Dates: 1991-1994

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR17

ScratchNotes:

Recording equipment and techniques change dramatically every few years. Sometimes you need to dig out the long forgotten gear and see just what you recorded. The “From the Vault” series gathers these leftover oddities into one place. Much of this collection was recorded on a microcassette player – in a tour van, in my basement, and even a recording of a phone call. Add in a few sample experiments using other artists’ music and you have the stranger side of my early 1990’s compositions.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 01 – AbubicaJoe and I play Zonk. We record it. Early 1990s.  [Scratch on Talking]

Track 02  – Freerange Eruption – A crappy Vesta Fire 4-track recorder and a Van Halen record.  [Scratch on Concept & Execution]

Joerock

August 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 23

Recording Dates: 1987-1997

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR15

ScratchNotes:

My pal Joe G. was the first musician I ever wrote music with. This is a compilation I put together featuring all four configurations in which he and I played as well as most of the solo material Joe recorded over a ten year period.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 10 – Blah (Joe G and MX Skroch)Joe lets the ladies know that he’s serious in his devotion…ridiculously so…  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 13 – Headwound (Joe G and MX Skroch)Music performed and lyrics by Joe, questionable singing by MX Skroch.  [Scratch on Vocals]

MX Skroch – From the Vault: The Three-peat Tapes

May 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 22

Recording Dates: 06/20/1993

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR14

ScratchNotes:

We watched the big game and were excited to be a part of history – the Chicago Bulls Three-peat! But our excitement was quite muted compared to that of the city. Sixty-four minutes of chaos and partying in the streets of Chicago were recorded on my Walkman as I joined the neighborhood celebration. The abridged version here is the immediate aftermath of victory.

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One Track Sampler

Track 01 – The Three-peat Tapes [edit] (MX Skroch) [Scratch on the Corner ]

Categories: 1990s - Early, From the Vault, MX Skroch Tags:

Scratchrock Volume XII

March 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 17

Recording Dates: 1998-1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SMR13

ScratchNotes:

I graduated from school, got married, landed a decent job and moved back to the dirty city. Our landlord spent every night for two months in our apartment installing a furnace. I ran into Brian C. at former Hidden voiceman Brian M.’s wedding. Soon thereafter I joined the two of them in the fluctuating entity known as the Sheep Fiends. With a revolving lineup of musicians, the band emphasis was on improvisation, and the spontaneity kick-started my lagging musical spirit. Meanwhile, I had met Suneel near the end of my tenure at ITT, and had begun recording industrial music with him.

My primary expression shifted from guitars to sample manipulation with the addition of a powerful home computer. Much of 1999 was spent using that computer to create the first twelve volumes of Scratchrock.

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Five Track Sampler

Track 02  – The Skipper (Sheep Fiends) – Keyboards and guitars pulsate on this low-grade recording from an early Sheep Fiends jam.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 06  – Everything is Kinda Bizarre (MX Skroch) – Clocking in at over six minutes, this tour-de-force of home studio trickery came out well despite my less than compelling vocals. This song illustrates why it’s not too difficult to look outside oneself and see the array of confusion that presents itself. The outro bit is the ending of a very early prototype of the song.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 13  – Ralph’s Reed (MX Skroch) – Speed manipulation and overdriven drums pound away on this foray into sonic religious terror.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 16  – Victory Riot (Sheep Fiends) – Just another otherworldly mindfuck typical of 1999-era Sheep Fiends jams.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Track 20  – Catfish With Advil (MX Skroch) – The flipside of Ralph’s Reed, this track slows the tempo to a crawl…letting every eerie note sink in.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Scratchrock Volume XI

December 27th, 2009 Comments off

Album #: 15

Recording Dates: 1996-1997

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SMR11

ScratchNotes:

I was getting straight A’s at my joke of a school, but my musical productivity was lacking.  A band formed with Joe G., his comrade Kirk K., and a singing lawyer named Tony.  We were off to a fairly good start, when some thieving bastard broke down our rehearsal space door and stole important musical gear.  The lack of instruments and practice space caused the band to go their separate ways.

I continued recording solo material, but the overall quality not what it once had been.  In April of 1997, I cut off all my hair.

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Five Track Sampler

Track 01  – The Woman in My House (MX Skroch) – I lived in a small bedroom down in the crooked basement of the crooked house of the Hidden. We had smeared grey and black paint all over the ceiling, and it got cold at night. This track is about that period of my life.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 08  – Hanging (MX Skroch) – Sometimes pinin’ for the one you love can take a turn for the tragic.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 09  – Looking For War (MX Skroch) – Ashtrays, Mountain Dew cans and a wood table provide peculiar percussion on this instrumental experiment in gloom.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 10  – So Happy (MX Skroch) – Some folks can never find love. Some folks find it in a few too many places.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 21  – Trying to Live Forever (MX Skroch) – Technology as conformity? Life as routine?  Freedom as an act of self-preservation? No, I’m not really sure what this one is about either. But I sure dig all the crazy keyboard sounds…  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]