Sunday, October 12, 2014

the 24 Hour Psychosis by Bedtime for Robots

     In the early 90s, I began brainstorming on a 24-Hour studio album of music that would take the listener on a journey into hallucinatory madness. At the time, the technology available made the project an undertaking that would be painful at best. After recording a 3-hour album that took several months of non-stop work, I realized I would have to abandon the idea for the time being.










     As digital technology evolved, so did my ideas about this 24-Hour Psychosis, which I slowly began creating in 2001. I continued to record the original tracks on analog tape, but was able to edit the music using the latest digital goodies of the mid 0's. By 2008, I finally had all I needed to take this mad creation to a new level. I experimented with everything from electric and acoustic guitars, Moog synths, stomp boxes, field microphones, Internet, Ipods, and eventually the iPhone 4S as well. The final result is an astonishing nightmare soundscape that continually surprises, soothes and even challenges the listener and is best enjoyed through headphones. 
     The first prototype was slated for release in 2010, but again was abandoned due to personal life circumstances beyond my control. I revisited the project once again in early 2014 and made some drastic and much needed changes that took the whole thing into the direction I always imagined possible. The 24-Hour Psychosis would not have been possible without contributions from some amazing friends and musicians, including Tenno Andra, Kristjan Karu, John Starrick, Jim Vader and Amy Ferentino. 
     I am now in the planning stages for the release of this monstrosity, which, I promise, will astonish you whether you actually like what you hear or not. I will simply leave it at that and let the listener be the judge. It is important to note that this is not a 24 Hour period of experimental live performance, but rather 13 years of painstaking studio recording and experimentation complete with a 5-hour sleep music section and a shitload of various moods and movements far beyond your wildest nightmares. 
     The goal is to release a limited number of hard copies of this thing in a very special box set. I am also working on having the entire Psychosis available for limited-run Internet broadcast performances as well as the possibility of a campout style live listening event or events....
     Following is a link to the original trailer from 2010....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

the Dismemberment Tapes

 the Dismemberment Tapes

the new album is now available worldwide at iTunes, CDBaby and other fine electronic retail sites...

Friday, January 31, 2014

More Music from the Underground: the Music-Biz Post-Apocalypse vol. III

     It's a shiny New Year & my optimism for exciting new things in underground music is bountiful. First of all, the recent Shammy awards proved that the mainstream is getting weaker and relying more & more on sensationalism rather than substance to keep music lovers attentive. However, even the so-called sensationalism is becoming trite and painful to watch. The boring striptease, wedding ceremonies and circus performances would be much more tolerable if there was some sort of musical substance lying beneath the cellophane-thin surface. However, that was hardly the case.





     A similar painful reality in the world of mainstream music smacks one in the face with a wet glove on a daily basis if she attempts to scan the FM radio dial in search for something listenable. Unless she is lucky enough to live in an area that hosts interesting college music or independent stations such as NJ's WFMU and WPRB, she is going to get nothing but dry-humped by the corporate music dildo. Even classic rock stations which actually play music by diverse and passionate artists of yore have destroyed any interest in nostalgia by repeatedly beating the same 50 or so songs into our heads until we are filled with the urge to vomit up the same old riffs by Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Lynard Skynard, Rush, Queen & Clapton. Do we really need to hear "Layla," "Whole Lotta Love," "Another Brick in the Wall," or "Tom Sawyer" one more time, brilliant as these songs all once seemed to be before they were turned into earworms? It flabbergasts me to hear the djs who have been promoting this institution for decades as they manage to force out feigned enthusiasm over yet another spin of "Bohemian Frikkin Rhapsody." Even Freddie is probably rolling in his grave by now with each "Bismillah!" I can hear him shouting "Please, no more. Play "the Prophet's Song." Play "Flick of the Wrist." Play something, anything from our vast catalog of non-Bohemian Rhapsodies. Please!" What I wouldn't give to hear "Julia Dream" by the Floyd once in a while instead of another round of "Money." There are millions of incredible songs in the world. WTF??????




     Thankfully, we don't have to listen. We can shut the FM radio down and plug in our iPhones or Androids and sink our cerebrums into the vast possibilities offered by the Internet. However, some of us are screwed during our commutes as we still have to pay for our data to access all of the possibilities. However, I will focus on the positive and share with you a pair of gems I have discovered in the catacombs of the net....

     I am going to begin by sharing one of my favorite "secret" finds of all time. I discovered this guy while I was on tour with Miles Hunt of the Wonder Stuff. Miles bought a Killrockstars compilation disc that featured one of Mike "Sport" Murphy's songs and we immediately contacted his management company requesting to meet him. He turned out to be an incredibly down-to-earth gentleman and I am proud to know a lyricist of his caliber first hand. Thus, I am going to reprint lyrics from his most brilliant and curious album, "the Magic Beans" which I stole directly from his blogspot page, Sport Spiel, to open this whole shabang:




TREAT ME LIKE AN ARTIST!Treat me like an artist! Bend me over something! Put it to me bluntly!

I'm so glad you're handling me! I ain't misanthropic, but I must be misan-something!

Treat me like an artist! I know that I deserve it!

See, the doctor slapped my ass and said "MacBeth", and I've been skittish ever since; awaiting thy disdain with bated breath! Born to wince.

I'm way down... way, way down. Treat me like an artist.

All I am's a failure, but you can make it better: treat me like an artist! An artist got to suffer.

Treat me like an artist! Money is no object! Why dontcha wear that Sammy Glick suit... it's better when you do that.

I hate it when the clock sez "time to quit", until you give me your card.

I take it home and stare at it... real hard. I'm way down... (etc)

There must've been a trauma, something in me I'm ascared-a, 'cause I can't get off unless you tell me where to when you treat me like an artist. Artist. ARTIST!


BLACK RIVER FALLS.The broken boughs float down the stream.

We're in a kind of nowhere now... some kind of in-between.

The great commotion that left this calm has come and snapped some of the tension I've been strung out on.

Severe and still. I'm a crocodile.

Oh river, oh river, can't you move more slow, river? For a little while...

The lines are down. A welcome spell.

Shook loose from all the shapes we take for those who know us well.

I figure you for 45. There's shadows 'round your small talk; that just proves you've been alive.

Such lonesome light... ah, such a smile!

Oh river, oh river, can't you move more slow, river, for a little while?

It's getting late, but that's okay. My hurricane-eye neighbor, thanks for leading me away, with as strong a touch as I could take, this strange and temporary day





Unfortunately, I have not been successful in finding full versions of his songs to share with you here.

However, I did find some clips from Itunes. Enjoy these, but I highly recommend listening to Sport's 3 albums, "Willoughby," "the Magic Beans," & "Uncle" in their entirety through headphones.


Mike "Sport" Murphy on Itunes



     And then we have ROTTING MOLDY FLESH, arguably one of the most important, unsung experimental, dark space, horror, ambient collectives ever to record & perform. I can't say enough about this duo, consisting of two gents from Tinton Falls, NJ, Russ and Don. Their rare live performances are among the most unique, atmospheric events I have ever witnessed. They perform their music side stage in film theaters to the backdrop of horror films from the silent era. F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" and "the Hunchback of Notre Dame" featuring Lon Chaney are among some of Rotting Moldy Flesh's standout live performances. Their "Decomposition" 4-disc box set is without a doubt, one of my all time favorite dark albums. It has been a major part of my yearly Halloween tradition since 2006 to play the album while simultaneously viewing silent films of the 20s. If you can find this set, I urge you to obtain it. However, it is likely to be difficult to find. I did find a nice representation of some of their live and studio performances on their Myspace page, which I will share with you here:

ROTTING MOLDY FLESH on Myspace






   




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Michael Ferentino “Into the Hollow” diary entry #1 January 27, 2014

     OK, so this is my first entry concerning the creation of the follow up to 2003’s solo album, “Boy. Man. Robot.”, which was actually recorded during and within the months that followed the September 11th debacle of 2001. At that time, I was recently married to my former wife and living in a tiny New Jersey apartment, working in the merchandise department for film maker, Kevin Smith, and just became a recent member of the Miles Hunt Club, the break-away project for the leader of the seminal U.K. band, the Wonder Stuff. After simultaneously enjoying and enduring a tumultuous decade of touring and performing under various incarnations, returning to school to pursue degrees in neuroscience and P.A. studies, and recording a plethora of ambient and experimental electronic albums under the moniker, Bedtime for Robots, I found myself more than a decade older & arguably, wiser. I pretty much all but abandoned the idea of songwriting in the traditional sense of the word after 2006, in lieu of academics and electronic music exploration.
     Fast forward to January of 2014: I am now a father to an amazing 4 year old girl, the one beautiful result of my now-defunct marriage, and I am also a step-dad to a wonderful 6-year old girl. I live in Tampa, Florida with my life partner in crime and continue to create ambient madness with my Bedtime for Robots project while subsisting on a fledgling career as a P.A. Recently I decided to resurrect my focus on songwriting, or should I say songwriting unexpectedly decided to resurrect my interest and inspiration in said direction. I swore off all structured, guitar and lyric oriented music years ago, which only amplifies the old adage; life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans, often attributed to John Lennon.
     “Into the Hollow” started as an afterthought in 2009, while I attempted to organize my “24-Hour Psychosis” project, which was far too overwhelming to release in its entirety, into several more palatable chunks. This resulted in several cohesive and satisfying Bedtime for Robots albums and a full length curiosity I called “Into the Hollow,” which was much more a singer/songwriter album than an experimental/ambient/electronic collection. However, it never quite fit into its own niche, although it had the making of something very special. I secretly released “Into the Hollow” in its original form on LastFM and soon after began to dismantle it, incorporating the tracks “A Field of Fireflies” and “La Foresta Scura” into the 2103 Bedtime for Robots guitar-driven collection, “El Diablo Guitarra.”  

     “El Diablo Guitarra,” a departure from the way Bedtime for Robots albums were created throughout the years, incorporated more structured musical pieces, albeit without lyrics. I recorded the collection using the iPhone and iPad, along with several guitar amp and recording apps. I knew I was onto something special with “El Diablo” and soon after began picking up the guitar more often than not, re-igniting my passion for guitar-driven music, which ultimately nudged me back into the arena of songwriting. During early January of 2014, I discovered my 2-year old abandoned Blackberry and luckily I still had its charger. After kicking the outdated little fucker back into life, I discovered a wealth of guitar riffs and melodies that I had screwed around with during 2012, when I had a brief period of inspiration which coincided with a break from academic studies. I then spent a few “lost weekends” during January, 2014 rediscovering some of my most exciting blueprints for possible songs in years. Thus, “Into the Hollow” was reborn. More to come…

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Music Biz Post-Apocalypse: Holiday Edition!!!

     In this blog post, I will continue to explore some interesting and talented DIY artists of the post-apocalypse discovered on Soundlcoud and Bandcamp. In celebration of the holiday season, I have chosen 4 artists who make spirit-lifting music with a touch of darkness and quirkiness. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do. Again, I will refrain from in-depth musical descriptions. As I have previously stated, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” That quote has been attributed to both Steve Martin and Frank Zappa. Who actually said it? Who knows and who really cares, but it rings true to my ears. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Kwanza, Diwali (which was in November), Winter Solstice, New Year and any other holiday celebration I may have forgotten. Oh and for the Atheists and Witnesses de Jehova: Happy whatever!



1. Fall:

Fall~’s avatar

      Fall, aka Maury van Loon, hails from Plymouth, Britain, and has quite a following on Soundcloud and rightfully so. Her music is equal parts uplifting and dark. Her use of classical-music inspired instrumentation with a modern twist defies genre.




2. Viele Produkte:

Viele Produkte’s avatar


     Viele Produkte, aka Emmy A. from Austin, Texas makes some great technological/intelligent dance music with heart and soul as well as some beautiful ambient music. Check out the holiday mix, over a half hour of slamming, atmospheric electronic music and one of my favorite recent posts by this artist.
3. Man Under Moon:

ManUnderMoon©’s avatar


    Philip Stanford is a self- proclaimed “Bustling, Wine & Ale Swilling, Music Loving, Roman Nosed, Sword-Bearing Producer, Composer & Artist, A Citizen of The World, A Man Under Moon.” His Black Swan e.p. sets the holiday mood for me with the combination of dark wind, bells and piano which eventually explodes into a celebration! The entire e.p. is worth a good listen. Enjoy!
4. Kasper Obscura:

KasperObskura’s avatar


     Mr. Obskura, from Boston, Mass., describes his music as “Unusual sounds for unusual moods. An uncommon ambient electronic composer with a love for bringing the worlds within out.” I will not argue with that and I will also add that this music has a quirky uplifting sense to it which makes it perfect for my holiday music discovery list. Listen to his 2 Bandcamp releases, “7713” and “Kasper Obskura.” You will thank me for turning you on…

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Music Biz Post-Apocalypse: part 1 of many

     It is finally here and we can thank the music business itself for its inevitable commencement: The corporate music business post-apocalypse. The same music business that once helped launch and raise the public awareness of groundbreaking artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Kraftwerk, the Clash, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Public Enemy, NWA, the Smiths, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Metallica and on and on to artists who defined exciting subgenres during the latter half of 20th century, has finally destroyed the amazing artistic music machine it created. Corporate greed and mass-produced aural sludge ultimately became the focus of the industry once they figured out what fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell figured out about the masses long ago. In short, the average consumer will devour through any available orifice whatever crap is fed into said orifices if it is shoved up them often enough and with enough filler to make it stick. They also figured out that the best way to make loads of cash through the marketing of music is to spend as little as possible creating the art and as much as needed in promoting it. Again, the make-it-stick even if it is garbage theory in full effect. I could go on and on about this. However, it is likely that those of you who are reading this already know it, live it and are equally disgusted by it, so I will refrain from any further preaching to the choir. Instead I will focus on the wonderful opportunity this presents to artists who still consider the creation of music an artistic endeavor rather than a way to get laid, get out of working a day job and to immortalize themselves for 15 entire glorious minutes of fame. I won’t get anyone too excited about getting rich quick through sheer brilliance and determination, as this DIY road is a rocky one with a shitload of sharp turns, thick fog and steep cliffs at best. However, we now have at our disposal the ability to create high quality recordings, album art, promotion kits, live shows, web sites and we now have a direct outlet to fans of honest music, all for much less than it once cost musicians and bands to put stamps on and mail out their mailing lists. 

James Chadderton's Manchester Apocalypse Palace Theater
      

     I have always considered myself just as much as an obsessive music fan as a music artist and still get as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when I discover new artists that obviously love to make music as much as I do. Passion is infectious and when I sense it in a newly discovered artist, I find myself clamoring to devour as much of said artist's music as I can sink my claws into and then I love to spread the word like mother-fucking peanut butter.  

Peanut Butter: artist unknown
     

     Without spending another second of your time on anything other than listening to some honest, passionate, DIY music, I present this post's first 4 artists, all of whom have been discovered through social media and/or good old fashioned word-of-mouth. I will NOT attempt to describe any of this music. I hate that and I hate that writers actually attempt to do so. I have purchased and wasted my time on music described incredibly exciting by flowery writers who obviously do not hear things as I do and I am sure I have missed out on some great stuff written off by writers with tastes different than mine. 

1. Uncertain Reverie:

uncertain reverie’s avatar

     Katie Griesar is a sound artist from Portland, Oregon. I discovered her incredibly atmospheric music on Soundcloud and I am blown away that she does not have MILLIONS of plays, comments and hearts for her works. It would be incredibly difficult for me to focus your attention on any one or any several tracks as every-damn-thing she does is wonderful, so here is the link:



2. Raelx 2013:

raelx2013’s avatar

     Mike Mooser & Colin Gross, aka Raelx2013, are the most diverse artists I have ever discovered in the underground. Making visual art and music since the 1970s, they create their diverse works with passion, honesty and integrity. Raelx2013 music has been described by many of their peers and fans as a cross between Robert Johnson's simplicity and raw talent combined with Syd Barrett's inventive madness. They hail from Philadelphia, PA and can be found on Twitter, @mdmooser. 



3. Ideomatic: 

IDEOMATIC’s avatar


     I have spent many an autumn morning shaving and showering to the music of Ideomatic. This music evokes the spirit of some of my favorite 80s and 90s electronic music. Great melodic synths and infectious drum machines/bass sequences are the focus of this awesome stuff. Another great Soundcloud discovery...



4. Nystada:

Nystada’s avatar 


     No, I do not work for Soundcloud. It is just a coincidence that all 4 of the artists in my first installment feature their music on this great forum for DIY artists. Nystada, aka Daniel, is my bath and meditation music of choice these days. You can also find this artist, who hails from Hamburg, Germany on Twitter, @fragile. He is talented, approachable and gracious, and can be found collaborating with various like-minded artists. His sense of erratic and unique rhythms are second to none, in my humble opinion!



     Please spread the word if you like what you hear. These artists are obviously passionate about their work, probably do not get paid what they are worth and could very likely use your support in this post-apocalyptic period. Thanks for listening!

Cheers,

Michael Ferentino



Friday, October 4, 2013

New Horror-Inspired Music for All Hallow's Eve

 
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     As a kid I grew up with parents obsessed with horror, film noir & true crime films; parents who would set up my sister and me in the back of their car with blankets, pillows and snacks for jaunts to the drive-in theater to see films like The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and Carrie.


So, it is not surprising that I turned out to acquire a similar obsession with all things dark. I began playing guitar at the age of 6 and quickly blossomed into a serious musician by the time I was in my early teens. Most of the music I was attracted to and would ultimately write myself had similar themes inspired by the dark arts. Bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate and KISS were all early influences and helped mold my musical direction. In 1984, a friend turned me on to the German prog-rock/ambient band, Tangerine Dream, and the wheels in the twisted machinery of my artistic mind began to turn. I imagined a future in which music moved away from the lyric-laden verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-solo-chorus format of popular music and headed toward a more stream-of-consciousness approach. I began devouring everything I could in the experimental and electronic-driven music genres as well as the then emerging goth music of Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cure, as well as paying close attention to the soundtracks of dark film auteurs like David Lynch, John Carpenter and Bob Clark. DOG (circa 1988-1995) was my first attempt at creating an amalgamation of electronic ambient music, hard rock, goth and campy soundtrack music and became the foundation for my ultimate immersion into the darkest, most uninhibited music I could imagine. Bedtime for Robots was finally launched after several years of experimenting with various genres of music. In 2001, I finally released the first Bedtime for Robots collection, Malleus Maleficarum, which set the stage for the subsequent 20 + releases. 

                                                                     
                                                                     


     Once again, it is that time of the year when I watch at least one horror film per day to celebrate the coming of All Hallow's Eve and to take this year's celebration up a few notches I have released my darkest collection of music to date. Eat You is both a celebration of the dark music and films I have spent the majority of my life with as well as an exorcism of my personal horrors. I feel this is not only my darkest work, but one of the most challenging collections of music I have ever created in that it was created using multiple apps and sampling techniques as well as integrating live performances and all on the iPhone 4S. I am amazed at the evolution of this new technology which I have written about several times before. However, it just keeps astonishing me more and more as I learn newer and newer techniques with this portable technology, creating virtually anything that enters my mind. I realize now how limited I once was confined to recording studios, especially analog tape-based studios of the 70s, 80s and 90s. 

 "Eat You" cover art by Jennifer Lubinski


     Eat You features 6 extended-length tracks, each with its own dark personality, each using various recording techniques and each incorporating voice in a variety of ways without ever conforming to traditional sing-songy melodic structures. However, there are plenty of "hooks" to hang yourself on in this collection. This is not your typical ambient background music, the likes of which creative artists such as Steve Roach and Robert Rich have built legacies upon. Rather, this is music that touches upon ambient sensibilities while embracing the repetition and syncopation of machine-inspired beats. It is also a journey of sound with unexpected twists and turns. Most of these paths, however, lead the listener to very dark places.

 "Eat You" artist self-portrait by Michael Ferentino
                                                   

      I also had the opportunity to collaborate with a unique artist named Hanni who primarily focuses on paintings of serial killers and other morbid imagery. However, I discovered she had a unique ability to express herself through spoken word and approached her for a words and music collaboration. The result is the track "Hanging Flesh, Crawling Shadow," a purging of the nightmares she has endured since discovering her husband's body, hung by suicide 5 years ago. Her description of the nightmares is equal parts chilling and strangely beautiful. I created a soundscape around this theme which uses reverberated minor-key piano musings over a pulsating carnival organ (inspired by her obsession with cotton candy). I then manipulated her voice with various levels of effects over a crawling-spider synthesizer, creating the impression of a psychedelic nightmare. An unexpected twist occurs mid-way and then her story is told once again, this time without the wall of effects, resulting in a chilling conclusion. 

     Hanni   

     The title track, as well as the closing track, "I Was DOG" are both homages to my early days with a brand new twist, thanks to my accumulated experiences as well as the iPhone technology. I could go on and on but as a wise man once said, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture." So, I will leave it up to the listener to create her own experience through these soundscapes. May they take you to horrific and wonderful places...

EAT YOU is available now through iTunes, Amazon, X-Box Music, Last FM and many more destinations on the web...

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