Friday, March 23, 2012


Above: today's recording setup.

Below: Let me explain. Though he's certainly made plenty of bullshit music, I've liked/admired/been confused by Keiji Haino's guitar playing in Fushitsusha for a long time. His solos (especially in the early live recordings) are totally mystifying: definitely arranged in phrases, but in a language that is primitive and atonal to the point of sounding completely deranged or chemically disabled.

It's a style that I've tried to emulate before, but only in a kind of unconsidered, half-assed way. I'm going to try and eventually record some more fully-assed attempts here, but this is the first.

Haino Study. (2.2MB, 0:55).

Me: Guild hollowbody, Fuzz Factory, ebow.


factory of fuzz.

So after 15 years or so of coveting one, I bought a Zvex Fuzz Factory. The photo above is to document my settings for these studies. In a couple of these it really sounds like there's an effect other than fuzz involved, but there ain't: in the 1st study, the E and B string are tuned a minor second apart, so it sounds like there's a chorus or vibrato thing happening; and what sounds like a seriously damaged or unpredictable gate in the 2nd study is just the superball bouncing maniacally.

Fuzz Slide. (7.2MB, 3:01).

Fuzz Mallet. (8.8MB, 3:52).

Me: Guild hollowbody, Fuzz Factory, homemade superball mallet, glass slide.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

forked, forked, and forked again.

Two prongs to this one, thus maybe making this a mere tong not a fork, but: Prong 1: after watching way too many gear demos on YouTube in the past 24 hours, I'm getting inspired to do my own. Some vague concepts are emerging. I think the goal would be to make the format seem as "realistic" as possible (subtly annoying voiceover; camera focused on the boxes, not the guitar; any hand or foot appearing in the frame to make adjustments would be adorned with douchey rawk garb such as skull thumb rings, black fingernails, knuckle tats or snakeskin boots, possibly all of the above) until the playing starts.

From that point on, the idea would be to either A) test out gear the way I normally test out gear, which I'm sure is plenty annoying: looking for the most unattractive or least-controllable sounds; seeing what kind of piercing feedback/oscillation notes are available; etc. Or, B) play completely unrealistic things. I'll probably have to ask Grandmaster Flash to do some stunt guitar on this since he's got the most unrealistic technique of anyone I know.


Prong 2: This track has been lurking around forever, and I'm posting it now so that I never again have to look at it and evaluate its "not good enough to share" vs. "I kind of liked it when i did it" status.

I think I mostly like it because I remember when I made it it seemed like a nearly perfect encapsulation of how I was feeling at the time. And yet, I have no idea when it was actually made. I know I did it in FruityLoops, I can even picture the samples on screen (sarod samples from a SwarSystems VST and cuts from Le Samouraï), but I can't picture the table my laptop is on or any of the surroundings. One explanation is that I was kneeling on the floor in my darkened basement in Atlanta, that would make it 1999 or so at the latest.

समुराई. (5.2MB, 2:15).

Me: FruityLoops.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

saturday night.

I find myself kind of accidentally opening up for Thurston Moore next Saturday night. Not just me of course, unless something seriously accidental happens: it'll be a quartet of lovely-seeming local gentlemen, at least they seem lovely via email, we've never played together.

And thus, we shall have a week of guitar studies/recordings.

SSA. (5MB, 2:00).

Me: Telecaster, ballpoint pen, SP-404.


Saturday, March 10, 2012


I am laughably, pitifully bad about getting music off of my hard drive and into a place where people with ears might actually be able to listen to it. This one is, I believe, the first time Santiago, Dirk and I sat down together to record in a non-gig situation. It's a project whose simple goal is to play with the instabilities of aluminum foil as an instrument preparation. We usually don't sound this "produced", this mix is an experiment by me, just some dicking around with Ferox, PanGloss and Omniverb. ECM here we come.


Light Metal Trio: 1 (morsanek retro mix). (18MB, 7:51).

Santiago Botero: double bass
Dirk Bruinsma: baritone saxophone
Mark Morse: electric guitar


Sunday, March 4, 2012

sunday study.

Yeah there's a lot of synthy stuff up in this bitch lately, if you're here for manlier, guitar-oriented things, just scroll down 4 or 5 posts....


Getting ready to do some playing that looks like it will involve, electronics. Which I don't do so often anymore, and I've stopped using most of the pedals and things I used to use b/c fuck, they were all 15 years old and starting to sound like it. I mean, effects that sound 30 years old are fine, but 15...that puts us at an unfortunate moment in the evolution of guitar effects. I also just got tired of effects in general, and kind of stopped understanding the point.

But, so, now, in the interest of coming up with a new and useful effects setup that is both somehow good and also reflects my fatigue with "regular" effects, I wanted to try plugging the guitar into this Audioweevil feedback thingie I had going on. It's something I think I did with Minister Kebab once or twice but that was so long ago I don't really remember how it worked or if it was any good.

I've arrived at something that sounds OK but is logistically a bit over-complicated since it uses two amps, but it goes like this: guitar-->cube-->sampler MIC in-->sampler PHONES out-->Audioweevil in-->Audioweevil out-->sampler LINE IN-->sampler LINE OUT-->second amp. The cube wouldn't be totally necessary for live playing but kind of is for recording, otherwise you end up with a rather shitty dry direct guitar sound.

Anyway. This is a simple E-bow drone on a detuned A string, run through the harmonizer on the sampler. Then I turn up the Audioweevil and start knobtwisting.

Sunday Study. (11MB, 4:50).

Me: Telecaster, Audioweevil, feedback, SP-404 fx, reverb.