First Preview from "Mourn"
Here's the first preview from Assemblage 23's upcoming album "Mourn". I'll be releasing a new one every Friday, so subscribe on YouTube so you won't miss any! PRE-ORDER "MOURN"
Pre-orders Now Open for "Mourn"
Today was a whirlwind of activity getting together a new web shop for the site. More on why that was necessary later. But in the meantime, I felt so accomplished at the end of the day, I decided to open pre-orders a day early. Pre-orders will open up on Bandcamp and Metropolis-Records on Friday (tomorrow), with other retailers following closer to the release date. The album is scheduled to be released on September 11th. Pre-orders will ship at the beginning of September, so you should recieve it ahead of the formal release date. If you are a contributor to the crowdfunding campaign, those orders will start shipping at the beginning of August. Please keep in mind that I've got something like 800 orders to fill, so it will take some time, but I expect to have everything done before the end of August. I'll have help this time, so the shipping will be much faster and smoother. Place your pre-order now! So, about why I had to re-do the store...
No More International Shipping Costs for Our Fans in Europe and Russia
I am happy to announce that I've teamed up with partners in Europe to handle the shipping of all of our online merch sales for Europe and the Russian Federation. What this means for you if you live in that part of the the world, is that you will pay only domestic postage fees on your orders. As you are no doubt aware, international shipping from the United States has become incredibly expensive in the past 5-7 years. It's become so bad that when you are shipping low-cost items like shirts, CDs, and vinyl, the shipping cost more than the items themselves. So, I hope this will make it more affordable and avoid that problem. It did, however, create a problem for me this morning when I began updating the web shop. I realized the service I was using at the time only allowed you to designate shipments to the US or "international". This doesn't make much sense since it costs a lot less to send a package to Canada from here than it would to Australia, for example. So, I set up a new Big Cartel shop which allowed me to make the new special rates to Europe and Russia possible. It definitely looks a lot cleaner than the old one and also offers a wider variety of payment options. Everything seems to be running pretty smoothly with the shop, but if you find a problem, just click the "contact" link at the top of the shop page and let me know.
The New Album is Done
I am happy to announce that "Mourn", Assemblage 23's ninth full-length album, has been completed, mastered, and turned into the record company. The release date is scheduled for September 11th. I expect to open pre-orders here in about a week. If you already pre-ordered as a contributor to the crowd-funding campaign, I expect to begin fulfilling those orders in August, so you should get your perks a bit in advance of the formal release date. I have just begun the process of fulfilling the remix and guest vocal perks, so if you selected one of those and have your material ready to go, you might want to start preparing the materials to send to me. I will try to accommodate deadlines the best I can, but please understand that I have a bunch of these to fulfill, so it might not always be possible if the date is soon. If you are one of the people who bid on the Skype call, my plan is to wait to fulfill these after the album has been released so that if you have any questions or things you want to discuss about the new album, you'll have had a chance to hear it by then. If you want to do it before then, I can do that, too, just let me know.
The album will be available in 3 physical formats: a 10-track Regular Edition CD, a 20-track Deluxe Edition Double CD with two bonus tracks and remixes from artists like KLACK, [:SITD:], and Neuroactive, and a 12-track Double Vinyl Edition which includes all the tracks from the Regular Edition, plus the two bonus tracks from the Deluxe Edition. The Regular and Deluxe Editions will also be available digitally via the usual outlets.
It's not something I often say about my own work, but I'm really happy with how this album came out. It came out of a very dark period in my life and thus is probably one of the darker-sounding albums I've released, but I think it also has moments of beauty and hopefulness. It sounds really nice on headphones, too. Anyway, what Im trying to say is that I am really excited for you guys to hear it. To that end, I will release a trailer for the album when pre-orders open (still don't know the exact date just yet, but soon) that will feature part of "Welcome, Apocalypse" as the soundtrack. I will release some more track previews as time goes on and we get closer to the release date.
A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this one. I hope you will enjoy it.
Cover of A23's "Human" Available on New Electronic Saviors Compilation.
Helix's Mari Kattman has recorded an amazing cover of my track "Human" with the UK project Antiscion. You may be familiar with Antiscion from their excellent remix on Helix's "Helix Remix" album. (And if you don't have that one yet, why not? It's pay-what-you-wnat.) You can check out Mari and Antiscion's cover here, but you really ought to check out the entire compilation. Tons of great music for a great price for an even greater cause.
Update on the New Album
Okay, time for a long-overdue update on the new album. Thank you everyone for your patience. I haven’t meant to keep any of you in the dark, I’ve just really been concentrating on working on the album.
I am currently in the home stretch with “Mourn”. While my original goal was to get the album out by June, it’s going to be a little bit later than that. The record company needs about 90 days between when all the album materials are delivered to the release date. So, while I will be turning the album into the label in June, the official release date for the album will be September 11th. Sorry to make you wait a little longer, but I think in the end the small extra wait will be worth it.
The good news is, I’m really happy with how the album is sounding - like, the happiest I’ve been with my material in a long time. I feel like this is some of the strongest material I’ve written since “Storm”. Lyrically very dark (this is not a cheery album by any means), musically very hooky with a pretty wide range of BPMs. I think (hope) that “Mourn” will become a fan favorite.
I am also currently talking with Sam Pfannkuche regarding the album’s artwork, as well as the merch designs both for the crowdfund and the “regular” shirts. You’ll be familiar with his work from the previous artwork he’s done for me for the Surveillance and Helix side project albums, as well as for A23’s “Endure”. So I have every confidence that the album is going to look as great as it sounds.
At this point, we are not anticipating that the current pandemic is going to cause any delays, but of course, that is always a possibility in these unpredictable times. I will keep you assessed of any changes that might arise from this. Assuming things stay on track, here is what will be happening in the coming weeks and months:
• I’ll be finishing the album up in the first weeks of May.
• I’m just starting the process now of reaching out to the remixers for the Deluxe Edition
• The album will be mastered and turned into the label by June 13th.
• Once the album is delivered and I know that there is nothing additional that will require my attention, I will reach out to all the crowdfund contributors who selected the remix or guest vocal perks, so I can start penciling you in on my production calendar.
• My plan for the Skype calls is to wait until the album is released before scheduling those, under the assumption that folks will probably want to discuss the new album. If I’m mistaken in that assumption, by all means feel free to reach out.
• I hope to place orders for all the crowdfund and regular merch some time in July, assuming the manufacturers are up and running.
Provided there are no unexpected delays, the crowdfunding orders will start shipping out in August. So if you have any address changes, please make sure to update it by then. Pre-orders for non-crowdfund people will open up around this same time. Please note that the crowdfund orders will ship first, with the regular pre-orders shipping as soon as all those have been fulfilled. I expect it to take several weeks to get all the crowdfund orders shipped. You will receive notification and tracking info once your item ships, so be sure you used your correct email address when you placed your perk and update it if it isn’t correct.
So, now the elephant in the room… what about touring/live shows for the new album? We do have a handful of dates that have been booked or rescheduled for the fall. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that we have to cancel those eventually depending on the status of the COVID crisis and any restrictions that may go with it. So, in all likelihood, we probably won’t be doing the main touring/live shows for the new album until 2021. To be clear, we still plan to proceed with the fall dates we have on schedule (which we will announce soon) if we can, but I don’t feel comfortable going through the significant work of booking and routing proper tours until I can feel fairly confident that we’re not going to have to cancel or postpone those dates. I know this is frustrating, but we love our fans and want to make sure when we tour, that it’s absolutely safe to do so and that no one will be in any danger by coming out to see us.
I will have further announcements in the coming week regarding the track list, remixers, and other exciting stuff, so please stay tuned!
A Free Gift for Musicians Stuck Inside Due to the Pandemic: the Waveformless Sample Library.
Many moons ago, I used to write a blog for electronic musicians called Waveformless. One of the more popular features there was something called Free Sample Friday, where every Friday I'd upload a bunch of free samples fitting a specific theme for other musicians to use freely. It might be anything from a multisampled synth sound to lofi drum sounds to field recordings of a Glasgow elevator.
These samples haven't been available online for a long time, so I thought the current pandemic having everyone stuck inside would be a good time to make them available here. And in the spirit of the original, they are yours to use free. I've made these pay what you want, so you can throw me some ducats if you wish, but you don't need to pay a thing.
Most samples are 24-bit, but Ive also included some older samples I never uploaded that are in 16-bit. I've only included the samples that I personally made and not the guest submissions, and there are a handful that were on the website that I don't have here, but it's mostly the complete collection plus a bunch of bonus material. About 750MB unzipped.
Included folders: Chords and Hits (Ambient chords, Tech Hits), Drums (Snares sculpted in Alchemy, Analog Snares, Bit-reduced drums, Detergent container drums, Distorted Claps, Electronic Drum Sounds on Tape, Synth Drums from Microtonic, Phat 909 Kicks, Pre-processed drums, Reaktor Drums, Yamaha CS1x Drums), Field Recordings, FX, and Foley (Birds in Leipzig, Cars in the rain, Police scanner chatter, The wind in Reno, High tension wires, and lots more), Multi-sampled hardware synths (Access Virus, ARP Odyssey, Arturia Minibrute, Cheetah MS-6, Creamware Prodyssey, DSI Mopho, Ensoniq SQ-80, Roland Juno 60, Roland Jupiter 8, a Kawasaki toy keyboard, Korg Poly Six, Oberheim Matrix 6, Roland SH-101 w. Novamod), Sequential Circuits Pro One, Waldorf Microwave, Yamaha DX7 and TX81Z), Percussion (bottles, DIVA percussion, metal hits, etc.), and Software synths (DIVA, FM8, Sculpture, Strobe, Massive, Dune, etc.) About 1,400 samples in all.
Assemblage 23's European Tour Cancelled Due to Coronavirus
I suspect most of you knew this already, but its with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the European tour we had scheduled for next month has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We had been leaning towards cancellation anyway given the fact that we didn't want our fans to be exposed to the possibility of illness or worse, but as you probably know, a few days ago, the European Union put travel restrictions in place that prevent non-essential travel by most travelers from outside the EU. Additionally, yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel put restrictions in place regarding public events, and as it would happen, most of our live dates were in Germany. To say we are disappointed is an understatement, but ultimately, we agree that these restrictions are necessary in order for our country and others to gain control of this serious situation.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of scrambling behind the scenes right now to determine what the next step is. If you already bought tickets, please hang onto them for now. If we are able to reschedule the same gigs later in the year, your tickets will still be valid. If that is not possible, then we will provide instructions on how to obtain a refund. Please just be patient and give us a little time to work this out. Our booking agency just lost multiple tours because of this situation, so their workload is quite heavy. I can't say with any certainty when we'll have that info for you, but everyone is working hard to get a definitive answer as quickly as possible.
It is too early at this point for us to predict whether we'll still be able to come over for our Swedish and Danish dates at the end of June, but we will keep you accessed of that situation. Until we hear otherwise, we'll continue to assume those dates will still be happening.
We're sorry to disappoint our fans, but we would much rather come to visit you under better and safer circumstances. In the meantime, stay healthy, take these restrictions seriously, and be kind to others. We'll have more news soon.
Help Stave Off Cabin Fever During the Coronavirus Crisis With Some Free/Cheap Music
So with all the restrictions on live shows, club nights, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, etc, it's fair to say that a good many of you are going to be looking for something to occupy your time. In light of that, I've made the following releases "name your price" on Bandcamp. It's a good opportunity to pick up some A23 and A23 adjacent releases free or on the cheap and stave off cabin fever a bit. Please share, spread the word, and enjoy!
Assemblage 23 - Early Rare and Unreleased Volume One: https://assemblage23.bandcamp.com/album/early-rare-and-unreleased-1988-1998
Assemblage 23 - Early Rare and Unreleased Volume Two: https://assemblage23.bandcamp.com/album/early-rare-unreleased-volume-two
Nerve Filter - Linear: https://nervefilter.bandcamp.com
Surveillance - Oceania: https://surveillance23.bandcamp.com/album/oceania
Surveillance - Oceania Remixed: https://surveillance23.bandcamp.com/album/oceania-remixed
Helix - Helix Remix: https://helix.bandcamp.com/album/helix-remix
Also be sure to check out "From a Blue Room" by Thy Fearful Symmnetry, the dream-pop project from Assemblage 23's live keyboard player Paul Seegers... only $5: https://carbon12records.bandcamp.com/album/from-a-blue-room
Happy New Year from Assemblage 23!
Here's wishing a very happy, healthy, and successful New Year to our fans! 2020 is going to be a big year for Assemblage 23, with a new album, lots of live shows, and a lot more! Stay tuned!
Last Chance to Support the New Assemblage 23 Album
The crowd-funding campaign for "Mourn", the upcoming Assemblage 23 album, formally ended on December 10th at a mind-blowing $50,000. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who contributed. Your faith in my work means more than you can possibly imagine. If you missed the campaign, or were unable to contribute due to the holidays don't worry - you still have time to select a perk for yourself! Indiegogo has a program called "In Demand" which allows fans to select perks for a limited time even after the campaign has formally ended. So, until the end of February, you can still select a perk for yourself in case you missed it the first time around. After that date, however, you'll have until the pre-orders for the album open closer to the release date (and the exclusive items will NOT be available then, so if you want those, the campaign is the only way to get them.) RESERVE YOUR PERK.
Spring Tour Announced for Europe
I am happy to announce our first live dates for 2020. Please note that this is NOT a tour for "Mourn", which will not be released yet, but there is a pretty good chance that we'll be playing a new track or two, so if you want to hear a bit the new material live first, this will be your opportunity!
• April 11th, 2020 - Sheffield, UK @ The Resistanz Festival
• Aptil 12th, 2020 - Hannover, Germany @ Subkultur
• April 14th, 2020 - Munich, Germany @ Backstage Club
• April 15th, 2020 - Nuremburg, Germany @ Der Cult
• April 17th, 2020 - Athens, Greece @ Death Disco
• April 18th, 2020 - Rüsselsheim, Germany @ Das Rind
• April 21st, 2020 - Düsseldorf, Germany @ Pitcher
• April 22nd , 2020- Leipzig, Germany @ Hellraiser
• April 23rd, 2020- Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
Club Homepage: https://musikundfrieden.de/events/assemblage-23/
• April 24th-25th, 2020- Weissenhaeuser Strand, Germany @ Plage Noire Festival 2020
• Apri 25th - Aarburg, Switzerland @ Musigburg
Last Chance to Support the Upcoming Assemblage 23 Album!
The crowdfunding campaign only has 4 days left, so if you've been thinking about contributing, you'll want to select your perk soon! Note that if you don't have a credit card and still want to contribute, you can send me an email and we can make arrangements to do the transaction via Paypal. In case you missed it, I've been releasing sneak peaks of tracks in progress that I am working on for the album. There are 4 so far, but if the campaign reaches its final stretch goal of $45k, I'll release one more! Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed so far. Your support means a lot!
Preview #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdp2e8pmoBM
Preview #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKDeY0Zy1Gg
Preview #3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUyxKtCbJr4
Preview $4: https://youtu.be/YPFo3B-vW-w
New Assemblage 23 Album Announced
I am happy to announce that I will be releasing Assemblage 23's ninth album, entitled "Mourn" in 2020! Check out the video to hear a new song in progress and learn how to get involved with the crowd-funding campaign!
Assemblage 23 Performs Live in Germany this Weekend!
Assemblage 23 has two show scheduled for this weekend in Germany. We hope to see lots of our German friends and fans there!
August 10th @ Kulttempel in Oberhausen, Germany
August 11th @ M'era Luna Festival in Hildesheim, Germany
Download Free Green Day Cover by Assemblage 23 Side Project Helix
It’s August, and that means that Helix’s “Twin” album is one year old! In celebration of this birthday, we’d like to give YOU a present! Here is a link to our cover of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” that we performed at a few of our live shows. It’s free to download and share as you wish:
If you like what you hear and haven’t yet checked Helix out, you can check out our Bandcamp to check out our debut “Twin” and you can download the remix companion “Helix Remix” for whatever price you feel like.
Helix “Twin” - https://helix.bandcamp.com/album/twin
We’d also like to invite you to one of our upcoming live shows. If you don’t see a date near you, bug your local promoter! We’d love to come perform for you.
August 17th @ Koto in Salem, MA w/ Metamorph and FrostOfDoom. http://www.facebook.com/events/337326763620014/?ti=icl August 25th @ Dusk in Providence, RI w/ GOD MODULE, Finite Automata, Absence of Faith. https://www.facebook.com/events/1366313520166995/
September 14th @ QXT’s in Newark, NJ w/ Assemblage 23 for QXT’s 28th Anniversary (event page pending)
(Original version of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was written by Billy Joe Armstrong and performed by Green Day for their album “American Idiot” [Reprise/Warner Bros.])