Thursday, December 13, 2007

CAVITY laid insignificant final pt 2.

so, i've finally wrapped up this dang cavity layout, with band approval and everything.
for something so seemingly simple it took a lot of doing, but that usually seems to be the case... the fewer elements you choose to use, the more crucial choices about their placement and treatment become. i've posted only parts of the complete layout below as i didn't want to give the whole thing away just yet. the release date is in march, don't know the specific day, but i'm guessing in the middle of the month. excited this is finally going to see the light of day after literally years in the planning stage.

next up will be the layout for the forthcoming torche album. it will be a collaborative effort between torche guitarist juan montoya and myself. juan has done a series of 32 character drawings, for which i will create a landscape for and populate with their beings. going to be a ball buster, but should lead to an exciting end result. we shall see - just sent preliminary sketches off to the band today - hopefully they'll like the idea or i'm back at zero.

Q+A time: someone asked about training ones voice to do the type of growling/screaming that i do in isis. i have no practical advice for this.... i just started screaming one day and that's what came out. i've found that regular practice and some sort of cardiovascular exercise will help stamina and consistent performance, but beyond that there's no secret i've discovered to making your scream sound a certain way - either you like your natural sound and you develop it or you give it up - no other way to go as far as i know. i do know there are vocal coaches these days that specialize in training "screamers" but i have no idea how valid this area of instruction/expertise actually is.

someone else asked if the burial that is doing an ISIS remix on the "not in rivers..." single is the same burial that just released an album called "untrue". yes, it is indeed the same burial. now, if he'd only deliver that damn thing!

in the last couple days i have enjoyed the following: san-sui sushi restaurant, los angeles / 25 degrees hamburger restaurant, los angeles / deadwood season 1 DVDs (hooked on this shit at the moment) / radiohead "in rainbows" / birchville cat motel "astro catastrophes" 3xCDr / high on fire "death is this communion" / alcest "souvenirs d'un autre monde" / burial "untrue" / danial higgs "metempsychotic melodies" / pet genius "elvis unreleased" / etc....

CAVITY laid insignificant final pt 1.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ISIS nirbid single pt. 2

soooo, i really had every intention of getting another posting up late last week.... and then i threw out my back and spent several days in bed. this event put me behind on the cavity layout, as well as this ISIS layout for the forthcoming "not in rivers, but in drops" cd single, which is currently slated for feb. release but may be pushed back. in any event i'm getting caught up now - the ISIS single is complete, and the cavity is damn near finished as well (i should be able to post some more previews from that in the next couple days).

also, i fear i may have offended some of the polish folks with my posting of the "scary polish bathroom" photo. while the bathroom was scary indeed, i did not mean for that picture to stand as my public statement on my perception of poland. i've found many aspects of my trips to poland to be quite interesting, engaging, and sometimes beautiful, but the bathroom pic just happened to be the first one that i posted from many shot there. i'll do my best to give a more even representation next time and post something lovely along side that which is not so.

while laid up in bed i had the chance to catch up on some reading, some movie viewing, and some record listening - here is a amended list of those items which have kept me entertained/sane over the last 5-6 days: deadwood - season 1 DVDs, ocrilim "anwwn", mütiilation "sorrow galaxies", "summer blonde" by adrian tomine, "lost girls" by alan moore and melinda gebbie, bohren and der club of gore "midnight radio", "shadow of the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon, metalocalypse - season 1 DVDs, ghostface killah "big doe rehab", "it's fine, everything is fine" directed by crispin hellion glover, jesu "pale sketches", etc.....

the end.
for today.


ISIS nirbid single pt. 1

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dec. 04 pt. 2

below: more photos from isis euro tour. top - mop streaked floor in the same italian venue featured in the last photo posting. middle - mike gallagher from ISIS riding a mechanical bull at an austrian festival we played. we sucked that day as did the "crowd" that was watching us, but mike's champion run on the bull more than made up for it. bottom: scary polish bathroom - looked like a backwoods murdershack. fortunately the toilets themselves were reasonably clean....

still working on the cavity. currently stalled. i'm sure it'll pass, but frustrating at the moment. will likely move on to some other projects until i feel i'm sufficiently unclogged to return to that. the forthcoming torche album is next up on the chopping block, as well as the second of 2 forthcoming ISIS singles. the first ISIS cd/12" single for the track "holy tears" is now in production as is the ISIS 12xLP box set. we obviously didn't get either those done in time for the ISIS 10th anniversary tour, but it's not for the lack of trying. we want these things to be perfect and we hit a couple unanticipated snags. they're both really close to completion now, so keep your eyes peeled.

someone asked about old man gloom, specifically about what album to start with for the uninitiated. i would suggest the most recent full length "christmas". it runs the spectrum of what OMG was and is, and is my personal favorite...

lastly, i would like to suggest a wonderful source of records for those mailorder junkies out there. the place i refer to is called aquarius records, is based in san francisco, and can be found here: many of you may already be familiar, but in case you're not here's my take on this place: great selection of aural oddities - everything from dubstep to black metal to minimalist composition, AQ has got some or a lot of just about everything that is good. they also have a knowledgeable and friendly staff - none of that elitist record store nonsense you're likely to find else where. they also have some of the best descriptions/reviews available anywhere, and clips of almost everything they carry. they're a bit on the pricey side, but well worth it. these bandits have made off with more than their fair share of my money, but i won't hold it against them.

people seem to be enjoying the playlists, so here ya go...
soundtrack for dec 4th 2007: nex "zero", angels of light "we are him", kayo dot "blue lambency downward", anenzephalia "ephemermal dawn", om "pilgrimage", ......

Dec. 04 pt. 1

Saturday, December 1, 2007

CAVITY laid insignificant pt. 2

below are the first few stabs at the cover for cavity's forthcoming reissue of "laid insignificant". these are rough to be sure, but heading in the right direction. probably will go through a few more possibilities before settling on something, but there's one in particular that i'm already drawn to - need to sit on it a while though...

the original version of "laid insignificant" was packaged in a multi layer sleeve with illustrations by pushead and design by hyperstoic. i knew there was know way i'd be able to surpass the original either in terms of the illustration or the custom print work, so i went the opposite direction: seeking something simple, clean, and hopefully iconic. maybe i've been looking at the peter saville book a bit too much lately... hmmnn....

in any event here's a preview of the possible outcome of all this.

today: cavity "supercollider", cavity "laid insignificant", aesop rock "none shall pass", elysian blaze "cold walls and apparitions"....

CAVITY laid insignificant pt. 1

Friday, November 30, 2007


hello again,
sorry for the lapse in posts - was away for a while, sick for a while, then away again.
now i am back. i should have some new design work posted in the next few days (including the progress on the cavity "laid insignificant" reissue). in the meantime i've posted a few photos from the last isis european tour.... i have a good number of these that work well as stand alone images, but may also be used for a layout down the road... always good to have useful working material at the ready.

...and to answer a few questions: most of the HOLC recordings are NOT computer generated. the bulk of the source material is derived from voice and guitar with the occasional synth flourish and processed field recording. some material was arranged and edited via audio software programs, but in reality only a very small portion of the total output of HOLC has been made in this way.

also, someone asked what was up with the "ugly sticker" on the front of the HOLC "housing tracts" cdr - well, it's simple: i had no aesthetically acceptable solution when it came time to somehow label the exterior of the CDR package, so i opted to use up some old stickers i had laying around that were serving no other purpose. perhaps an ill-conceived aspect of that package, but then again there were less than 30 made so i wasn't meticulous to the same degree that i would be with a release intended for widespread distribution....

someone else also remarked that the photos of the CDrs and such were terrible - well, i didn't have access to a nice camera, lighting rig, and studio - i shot these things in my bathroom with low light, hence the terrible quality. the photos are merely intended to document the actual artifacts, they are not meant to be beautiful in and of them selves. i apologize for my unprofessionalism, i guess - sorry if i offended anyone's delicate sensibilities with the hack job photos. ha.

stay tuned.
more tomorrow....

p.s. old man gloom fans rejoice for rapture will soon be upon you.....

p.p.s. the photos below from top to bottom are:
brighton, england
rest stop somewhere in italy
venue somewhere in italy (converted airplane hangar)

(current working soundtrack includes: kayo dot "blue lambency downward", radiohead "in rainbows", nihill "krach", Caarcrinolas "vargtimmen", spaceboy "getting warm on the trail of heat", killing joke s/t.....)

ISIS euro tour photos pt 1

Thursday, November 8, 2007

HOUSE OF LOW CULTURE housing tracts cdr pt 2

i'm back home - at least for a few days.
ISIS east coast shows were great - thanks to all attendees and of course the other bands we had the pleasure of sharing the stage with: oxbow, 27, clouds. west coast here we come....

in the meantime i'll try to get up a couple more posts. as i mentioned a few posts back, i have some pictures and track listing info here for a limited house of low culture cdr i produced last year in order to coincide with a few live shows i did under that moniker. the disc contained mostly previously released material from compilations and such, as well as a few unreleased bits n pieces. i would like to release some of these tracks again elsewhere as most of them haven't circulated much, and i quite like them and wish to spread them a bit further, but we shall see. for now they exist on the compilations listed below as well as on this cdr, of which i believe there were 30 or so copies made.

here's the track listing:

1. intercontinental sound drift
originally appeared on the buildings transmissions "220 v remix" compilation (curios 2002)

2. showtime at the apollo
originally appeared on the "you've got your orders" compilation (chrome peeler 2003)

3. bastard remix treatment
originally appeared on "the bastard remix" compilation ( curious 2003)

4. untitled (for 4 guitars)
previously unreleased. originally intended for release as the a side for a 7" on hydra head.

5. merzbow - house of low culture remix.
previously unreleased. merzbow remixing HOLC.

6. advancing hordes (merzbow "frog" remix)
HOLC remixing merzbow. originally appeared on the "frog - remixed and revisited" compilation (misanthropic agenda 2001)

7. edward
originally appeared on the "funeral songs" compilation (relapse/crowd control 2000)

8. a.t. drone home
originally appeared on the "record of shadows infinite" compilation (crucial blast 2002)

all for now.
more soon.
time for a slideshow....

HOUSE OF LOW CULTURE housing tracts cdr pt 1

Monday, October 29, 2007

FIGHT layout pt 3

"FIGHT, or everything you ever wanted to know about ass-kicking but were afraid you'd get your ass kicked for asking", is the new book from writer eugene s. robinson, also known for his work in oxbow - he being the vocalist of said group. you can read more about eugene and the book here: i haven't finished the book yet, but what all that i've read thus far has proved quite good in my estimation...

ANYWAY, hydra head has licensed the rights from the publisher of FIGHT to release an audio version of the book, read by eugene himself (forgive me if i've mentioned all this before in a previous post). i've been working on the layout for this release, which you can view below. there are many more pieces to the layout, but i didn't want to give it all away, so this is just a small preview of the contents. i should also note that this is a work in progress and may change some before the final version is realized.

the design of the CD is based around the design of the book itself, which i had nothing to do with putting together. basically this means this layout is a reconfiguration of someone else's ideas, with just a bit of my own touch. while the design is not necessarily what i would've done had it been my project from the get go, i liked the original design, and the process of engaging with someone else's work and reinterpreting it was a good way to get out of some of my design habits/ruts...

i will be out with isis for about a week and may or may not be able to post anything else until i return.
we shall see.

come to the shows if you happen to live anywhere near, or even if you don't.
we'll do our best to make it worthwhile ....

FIGHT layout pt 2

FIGHT layout pt 1

Friday, October 26, 2007


below are photos of the original version of the drawing voices debut album, which is a collaboration between myself and craig dongoski. the album was initially intended for release in conjunction with an the opening of an exhibition of craig's, somewhere in berlin (the name of the gallery now escapes me). i didn't finish my work on the album in time to get the fully manufactured discs, so i ended up putting together 50 CDR version of the album, in it's unmastered/unedited state with alternate artwork. the package consisted of a banded digipak, with black bottom CDRs, and series of 8 vellum inserts with some video stills from craig's films, and some of my drawings. i sent the bulk of them to craig for the opening and kept a few for myself - most of which were given away... not sure if craig got rid of all of his at the opening or not. anyway, the full release of the album via hydra head materialized about 6 months or so after the CDR version after having been mastered and edited by james plotkin and revamped artwork completed.

i will be posting photos in the next couple days of a similarly executed house of low culture CDR...


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


below are images from the rosetta "gallilean sattelites" layout which i completed for translation loss a couple years back. the first three images are the original ink drawings used for the interior and exterior of the layout. the second group of 3 images is the original layout and color scheme for the project which was rejected by the band. i was pleased with the final version, but i still liked this version too, so i thought it'd be good to share it...

...and to answer another question about the layout process: some one asked if i re-traced the ink drawings in illustrator after scanning them. the answer is no. there would be no purpose in doing so, especially since part of the intent in drawing stuff by hand is for those hand drawn images to retain their organic feel in the context of the layouts for which they are created.

i'm currently at work on the cd layout for "FIGHT" the latest opus from eugene s. robinson of oxbow fame. "FIGHT" is a book which eugene has written for harper collins, to be released nov 13th, followed shortly there after by the audio version (read by the author) on hydra head. the book centers around (you guessed it) fighting, and more info on the book and eugene's other writings can be found here:

also check this:
art and news on the work of artist tom neely. more on tom and why he's cool in a future posting....



Thursday, October 18, 2007

CAVITY pattern drawing cont.

this is a pattern drawn for the upcoming reissue of the cavity album "laid insignificant". it was inspired by a similar pattern found in the background of the miles davis cover artwork for "live evil"... not sure how this will be treated in the context of the layout. still very much a work in progress.

somebody asked how i work the pen and ink drawings into the final layouts for which they are created. well, generally i just scan the drawings after completion, and then arrange and color them in photoshop and/or illustrator - illustrator being the preferred program for this purpose. depending on the project, the drawings are occasionaly altered beyond being colored and resized, but it's a rarity - when alterations do occur they are almost always quite minimal. i prefer to do as much of the work by hand as i can as it's a more enjoyable process for me, more intuitive.

heading out of town for a few days, but i should have some new postings upon my return next week...

CAVITY pattern drawing

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HOUSE OF LOW CULTURE fan myspace page....

...and there's this:

a fan-run house of low culture myspace page. i had no idea this existed, but here it is...
thanks to the person that did this... i'd be happy if you wanted to maintain this page. if you don't mind adding HOLC related news from this blog that would be great. might be cool to throw up some tracks from related projects as well? drawing voices, lotus eaters, etc.... please feel free to leave your email address so that i can contact you directly.

TUSK drawings 3

(below): some drawings from the forthcoming tusk album "the resisting dreamer". these were completed about a month ago, and they final layout was completed shortly there after. a preview of the cover for the album is on the hydra head blog....

TUSK drawings 2

TUSK drawings

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


these designs (see previous posting), are for the upcoming ISIS tour... courtesy of aaron horkey, NED, and myself.
we will launch them in the webstore after the tour is concluded.

to answer a few questions while i'm at it:

the ISIS 12 x LP box set will be available through the robotic empire, conspiracy, and isis web stores, as well as at the shows (speaking of which we may not have them in time for the east coast shows...). i don't know how much they will sell for yet.

house of low culture just released a new 12" on bottrop boy as part of the en/of series (past volumes of the series have included thurston moore, stillupsteypa (i know i spelled that wrong), merzbow, stereolab etc.). the premise of the en/of series (as far as i undertand it), is to pair a visual artist with an musician to create a a coherent whole from complementary counter parts. in the case of the new HOLC 12" i've been paired with german artist thomas scheibitz to interesting effect... there will be another HOLC 12" out on aurora borealis next year: i think. perhaps a new album as well in 2008. some other HOLC related projects in teh works, but nothing set in stone just yet.

all for today.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Friday, October 12, 2007


there is an ISIS 12xLP box set in the works to commemorate our 10 year anniversary. it will contain all our recordings on vinyl, minus the remixes and live releases. it will be split release between conspiracy records and robotic empire, with a total of 600 copies pressed. the artwork/design is in the works, and is mainly a collaboration between myself and hydra head employee james o'mara, with an additional contribution from aaron horkey. horkey's drawing will be featured on the front of the box and should look about like the jpeg posted above. this a variation of this piece is alo being used for a new isis t shirt and tour poster - hats off to mr. horkey for more fine work on his part....

the box will hoepfully be released in time for the upcoming ISIS shows in november, but we're currently running a bit behind as usual.... we shall see.....

Thursday, October 11, 2007


hi again.
glad to see some folks have already caught on...
please spread the word.
thanks to everyone who responded with offers to build a site for me.
i may very well get in touch with some of you about this.

for the time being i'll leave you with another new piece. the above is the 12" jacket for a forthcoming ISIS single for the track "holy tears". both the cd and 12" are being released by ipecac, and both contain the album version, a live version of "holy tears" (the live track features justin chacellor on bass/effects as well), and a melvins/lustmord remix of "not in rivers, but in drops". the cd version also contains an amazing video for the title track, directed by dominic hailstone. some of his work may be found online and i strongly urge you to seek it out.

you can also view a larger version of the image here:

lastly, someone asked about the cavity layout i mentioned in the last post..... hydra head will be rereleasing the mammoth "laid insignificant" album (originally released on bacteria sour) in feb. or march of 2008. so far there are only plans for a CD version, but hopefully we'll b able to do an LP as well.

that's it for today.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

and so it begins

for years i've been claiming that i would create a website to showcase my artwork and various musical projects, and well, it just hasn't happened. first of all, i have no web design skills/knowledge what so ever, and on top of that i can't seem to find anyone who's willing to build a site for me... so for the sake of convenience i've created this here blog in order to keep any interested parties informed as to my past, present, and future projects.

i don't have anything in particular to report for this inaugural edition of the blog, so i'll just post an unseen piece of work created some time last year. it was based off the art i created for the reissue of tusk's debut "get ready", and was originally intended for a line of t-shirts that never really launched. the t-shirt line was meant to be an offshoot of hydra head records call "robotic boot", which theoretically would've produced high end custom garments with artwork by folks such as seldon hunt, aaron horkey, stephen o'malley, and myself. however, due to lack of experience on our part and lack of expertise on the part of those who weren't meant to help us in this endeavor, the project never really got off the ground. there was a small run of shirts made using designs from the aforementioned hunt, o'malley, and myself, and some of these made their way to a couple retail outlets.... but most of the shirts weren't made to our specifications and as a result we shitcanned the whole program... though it may one day be resurrected. i do have a few remaining copies of the "skull-stache" shirt i designed which i will auction off on e-bay at some point, which i will announce here when it's ready to roll.

other projects currently in the works:
xasthur layout, cavity layout, new musical project with james plotkin, etc....
more updates soon....