When the Observant Records web site first launched in Nov. 2011, it was little more than a placeholder. The shop had only one release, and the blog a mere two entries.
Now that the Ex Machina Machina Series has been officially announced, the Observant Records web site has been expanded to include a Releases section. The shop has also gone through an upgrade.
And now the blog has four entries!
More will be coming as the Ex Machina Series gets closer to release.
Starting in September 2013, Observant Records unveils the Ex Machina Series, a set of 9 releases by Eponymous 4, consisting of 4 albums, 4 EPs and a compilation album.
In 2005, Eponymous 4 sole member Greg Bueno bought a used version of a MIDI workstation he owned in the 1990s, replacing one stolen in a burglary in 1998. That purchase spurred him to finish building a bedroom studio.
A creative dam burst as a result, and it continued flooding Greg with material through 2007. By the time it subsided, he had four albums and three additional EPs of music (not including one he completed in 1999.)
Eager to bring this music to the public, Greg launched Observant Records in 2008 and released enigmatics on CD. In 2009, early demos of Imprint, 「風の歌を聴け」 and Restraint received a digital release in a series called the Work Release Program. The original plan was to release six volumes, with Revulsion, A Ghost in My Shadow and 「健忘症」 following in 2010.
The economic downturn of 2009 halted those plans, and Greg’s life underwent a number of transitions from 2010 to 2012. He switched jobs, dealt with a death in the family and moved from Austin, Texas, to Seattle, Wash.
Amplifier modeling software also changed the course of the Work Release Program. Before he encountered Native Instruments Guitar Rig, Greg fabricated his guitar parts with MIDI and sample libraries. He re-recorded a track with actual guitars and liked what he heard. A few additional upgrades to his studio, and it became apparent that his demos could sound much closer to what he had in mind.
So the Work Release Program was rechristened the Ex Machina Series, and Greg embarked on the arduous task of remixing more than 80 tracks.
He could have spaced out the work — concentrate on one album, release it, repeat — but as soon as he finished remixing a track, he would post it online. He kept working steadily until all eight original releases in the Ex Machina Series were complete. At that point, he figured he may as well just release them all at one time!
Ex Machina Series starts with a compilation, Original Confidence. Subtitled “An Overview of Eponymous 4”, this collection presents a cross-section of Eponymous 4’s diverse work. The tracks range from driving rock to jazz pop, Japanese punk covers to avant-garde electronic music. The compilation also teases tracks from two cover albums to be released at a future date.
enigmatics follows. Greg wasn’t satisfied with its original release, so he remixed the tracks to give them more dimension. enigmatics preceded the Work Release Program, so for the Ex Machina Series, it gets a volume number of zero.
The next three volumes in the series — Imprint, 「風の歌を聴け」 and Restraint — parallel the original Work Release Program order. All three releases have been extensively remixed, some tracks from the ground-up.
The final four volumes in the series — Revulsion, A Ghost in My Shadow 「健忘症」and 「光がない」 — are presented for the first time.
Original Confidence is available on Sept. 10 with each volume of the Ex Machina Series following every week thereafter. All releases in the series will be available on Bandcamp and Google Play for digital and the Observant Records Shop for physical.