Finally! I’m very excited for the release of “Cleanse You.” I really hope you all enjoy it. It represents the first part of a new journey for Pharmacose and for me personally. As I have alluded to in the past, the pandemic really shook this up my plans for Pharmacose. We had some shows booked and were really looking forward to getting out and promoting Prescription Fiction. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Lockdowns and quarantines made it hard for us to get together and do much. I did some work with Lu remotely, but I found it very challenging. I think now I have a handle on how we could have done it remotely, but the technical challenges we faced at the time really killed whatever vibe we had going on in the session.
Fortunately, I had been learning music production for the past 7 or 8 years prior, but I just hadn’t put it all together enough to produce my own stuff. Having spent so much time in the studio with Lu really helped me fill in my knowledge gaps, so rather than be stagnant and disappointed, I decided I was going to put in as much work as I had to in order to be able to get to a point where I could produce and mix on my own. I didn’t want it to come to that, but as the pandemic continued, it became clear that that was going to be the path forward, for the time being. I spent a tremendous amount of time in a small apartment “studio” recording stuff over and over until I got it right. The performance wasn’t the issue. I was trying the source material to sound the way I wanted it to sound. I made it work well enough that I brought the original tracks for “Cleanse You” to Lu about a year ago or so to mix. I was really happy with his mix and so I moved on to recording another song. In the meantime I had moved to a new space, so I had a better sounding room to work with.
Again, I spent a ridiculous amount of time recording another song which I also brought to Lu, and again he mixed it and I was happy with how it turned out. Toward the end of last year, I was listening to Lu’s mixes and decided I could do better. This is not a knock on Lu at all! He did the best he could with the tracks he was given, since a song is only as good as its source material. I felt I could do better job recording now since I’ve learned so much since I began this journey. So a little over a month ago I decided to at least try to re-record “Cleanse You” one last time. I somehow managed to get everything recorded and edited in a few days, and because I was crunched for time, I decided to mix it. The mix isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with how it turned out nonetheless, and the next mix I put out will be better.
This wall of text is my long-winded way of saying that because I’ve gotten to where I can do this on my own, I can be much more consistent with releasing music. Lu and I are still working together. I still have a lot to learn, and we have a lot of fun doing songs together. In fact, he produced our next song, “Obey,” which will come out next month, along with the first chapter of Ascension’s Constraint. I’m really excited to be releasing a story to go along with the music. I love concept albums, but all my favorites, like Mars Volta’s De-Loused in the Comatorium and Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero, have more of a storyline and less of a text to go along with them. I felt I wanted to take that idea further somehow. I settled on the idea of releasing a serialized novel, with each part paired with a song. My aim is to have each song share a similar theme or vibe to the book installment with which it is paired.
The first two songs may not line up entirely with the book, but they were written before the book was conceived, so I’m relying on them more to help capture the vibe of the setting than to help the story along. “Cleanse You” is meant to introduce listeners (and readers) into a world in which the government has collapsed and corporations have taken over. These days many large corporations have unscrupulous leaders, so I wondered how corporations, run by an “executive class,” would regard the rest of the population. The title “Cleanse You” is a turn on the phrase “unwashed masses,” as I felt many in executive class would might hold contempt for the rest of the population.
So, that’s the next step in the journey, and I’ll speak more on that soon in another post. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll check out “Cleanse You!”
More to come, stay tuned!