Category Archives: Blog

Paisley Babylon @WindyCon 2014-THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Joe Wallace Theremin Windycon Paisley Babylon

The Paisley Babylon show in Not The Film Room was a success thanks to a lot of love from Windycon convention goers, the support of the excellent Ten Wing Media folks and many others. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! WindyCon 2014 was fun, wine-fuelled and had a few surprises…especially great (performance time aside) was getting to see the  new film by Ten Wing Media, Citizen In The Temple. Sci-Fi dystopian futures as only Ten Wing can envision–Paisley Babylon recommended!

Paisley Babylon has a busy winter ahead. The next convention appearance is at Not The Film Room at Capricon 35 , which hits February 12-15 2015 at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling, Illinois.

The Paisley Babylon related project Texas Turntable Massacre will feature a full-length CD release party on Friday December 19 2014 at StudioLab located in the Fashion Design Center, 5th Floor of the Bridgeport Art Center at 1200 W. 35th Street in Chicago. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind CD which features audio insanity from heavily manipulated dollar bin vinyl records, plus theremin and vintage analog synth. You can buy a digital version of this album at the Texas Turntable Massacre site on Bandcamp.

PaisleyBabylon Windycon 2014

Music Blog Discoveries: The Styrofoam Drone

The styrofoam drone music blogBecause I make weird music in the ambient/experimental/electronic and possibly noise/drone categories, I am always on the lookout for music blogs that seem in the slightest way friendly to what I am doing–or at least potentially so.

Up to now I’d been just making notes of who these folks are and where they are located but it occurred to me that it would be a damn fine thing to actually SHARE this info so that fellow music mutants could benefit accordingly.

In that spirit, I bring you today’s find–Styrofoam Drone, which has a nice eclectic and intelligently written site full of the things I do love musically. From Styrofoam Drone, about what they are doing:

“This is a daily updated music blog based in Philadelphia generally focused on vinyl releases from only the most premium underground filth. Ranging from lo-fi psych to garage punk rock to electronic and everything in between, you’re bound to find something special. Also, if you’re a touring band looking for show dates in Philadelphia, get in touch! ”

I’m looking forward to sending material here…great site, well written, and definitely worth the daily time investment. Bravo!

Visit Styrofoam Drone with me!

 

 

Paisley Babylon Performs @ CIMMFest 2014

Joe Wallace Paisley Babylon CIMMFEST 2014

Paisley Babylon was added as a last-moment stand-in act for a group that couldn’t make the Friday night CIMMFest Shorts From The Winnipeg Film Festival show at Comfort Station in Chicago.

Paisley Babylon has been absent from the stage for a variety of reasons lately, but last night marked a much overdue return. The show included the usual theremin performance, but added spacey harmonica and melodica into the mix–something that’s been needed for some time.

PB has been active at StudioLab in a variety of ways…more on the strange intersection of art and PB music there in another blog post…

Paisley Babylon CIMMFEST 2014 show

This Is What Paisley Babylon Is About…

Paisley Babylon has been described in many, many ways. Dark ambient/goth/industrial is one of them. “A mix of Golem and Ennio Morricone” is another. I’m pretty sure that’s the German prog band Golem and not the deathmetal one.

One reviewer called Paisley Babylon, “ambient, trippy sample-laden psychedelia. If Funki Porcini is like ‘shrooming, then Paisley Babylon is like spending several hours in a flotation tank after ingesting a couple of hash brownies.”

Yet another said, “Warped, trance-inducing sounds…”

There’s a common thread running through a good deal of the comments about Paisley Babylon music. When not being compared to soundtracks by John Carpenter or even Goblin (a bit of a stretch, that one) there’s quite a lot of references to altered mental states, hallucinations, dreams and nightmares, highs of various kinds.

Paisley Babylon has always been about altered mental states. There are two or three really influential ones. A great deal of the first Paisley Babylon CD was written during sleep deprivation, and bouts of insomnia. Strange that those two would work together on the first record–you’d think that it would be one or the other somehow. If memory serves, it started out as intentional sleep deprivation and wound up turning into insomnia. Yikes.

But those strange mental places you go into when you haven’t slept properly, those odd thoughts and warped perceptions of things are what this music is all about.

To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, I would never condone using alcohol or other substances combined with extreme lack of sleep and a near obsessive/compulsive need to keep recording, playing back, and embarking on the mental flights/fugues/waking dream states this music tends to bring on…but it’s always worked for me.

I guess I am my own audience for this material. Anything that causes your perceptions to become strange, twisted, unfathomable or otherwise altered is a friend to me. Paisley Babylon could be called mushroom music, but I’d hate to be associated with psychedelics alone–ANY altered state of mind from fever dreams to near-death experiences IS Paisley Babylon, to me. The music you hear–or wish you COULD hear. What you might experience on the operating table or after a long night of tequila slammers and talk of Carlos Castaneda.

What Paisley Babylon is…is that feeling you get falling asleep at a film festival during one movie, waking up in the middle of another one, and that wonderful disorientation you have before becoming fully awake. Where you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t, what was just part of the half-dream you just had and what’s in the film itself–or even understanding which film was which.

Jet lag, drunken headphone magic, the 420 thrill of discovering new sounds in recordings you’ve heard for years, the previously mentioned sleep deprivation, the effects of fever and cough medicine, nodding and waking during all-night movie marathons, the feeling you get waking up during a sleep walking jag, highway hypnosis…all of these states and more inspire, help create and motivate Paisley Babylon music.

A really excellent example is the Paisley Babylon track titled, Ever Hear Me Screaming? This is posted in its entirety at Bandcamp and can be heard for free–all nine minutes and 59 seconds of it.

I use a variety of gear to get to these sounds, including analog synths like the Juno 106, Juno 1, Theremin, Yamaha CS-1X, MicroKorg, tape loops, turntables, found sounds, invented sounds, feedback loops and much more. In the past I’ve also taken samples of pop music, manipulated them into harsh, unrecognizable noise and played them as percussion sounds. I’ve even taken audio from old home video recordings to abuse, mangle, and turn into subliminal messages.

If you are a fellow sleep-deprived, altered state, chemically altered traveler, you’ve got a simpatico mind in Paisley Babylon.

–Joe Wallace

Paisley Babylon Single: The Phoenix Lights

Written as a soundtrack piece (hence the repetitive theme that basically tries to pummel you into submission as you listen), the new Paisley Babylon MP3 THE PHOENIX LIGHTS, is a SkinnyPuppy-inspired track which does not yet have a home.

But there is some video work being shot in the Paisley Babylon studio that could act as a vehicle for it soon unless someone scoops it up in the meantime.

This track was inspired by a conversation with Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy at a recent horror movie convention (Horror Hound Weekend in Columbus, Ohio) about the nature and origin of the infamous Phoenix Lights unidentified flying object phenomena. After a couple of good chats with Ogre, it seemed like a good time to write something aggressive, analog, and old-school.

This track also marks the first with the new Paisley Babylon theremin, which was added to the gear roster earlier this week.

A video sculpture or similarly-intentioned visuals are pending for this track, it will be posted here when it’s ready…if you’re interested in licensing this track for a film project or other visual art, please feel free to get in touch: jwallace(at) turntabling (dot) net.

–Joe Wallace