Monday, April 14, 2014

Body Hammer II: The Mechanism of Night.

Digipack CD and Cassette from The Path Less Traveled and At War with False Noise, respectively.

Artwork and Design by Viral Graphics Digipack release 5/27/14

"Teeth shatter in my mouth at the sight…"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Banishing Ritual

Body Hammer - Banishing Ritual from Name Like His Master on Vimeo.

From Body Hammer II: The Mechanism of Night. Video was shot in Maine in late December. Co-directed with Ben Doty. Special thanks to the Doty Family.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


A project I have been working on for the past four months or so.  I think that the people who were more interested in Robocop than my other bands will likely be interested. I think the band composition and my style of singing/guitar playing will probably  cause comparisons so I should probably get it out of the way beforehand.  There is a greater incorporation of electronics (on this series of recordings at least) and a death metal influence in the drumming. The demo we recently finished recording focuses on  mediation and how artifacts of mediation shape aesthetics and perception  (something that could generically applied to most of what I do).  My previous  interest in radiation has grown into a fixation (radiation could in some sense be considered a mediation artifact).  Celebrity obsession is still at a premium and  pornography is also touched upon. Ultimately I'm trying to communicate this riddle of linked symbols as far as I have been able to establish their connection.

The video below is another attempt at this.  It is a collage of pornographic video similarly constructed to aftermathematics. It has the aesthetic edition of combining video wear on tape with digital video coruption.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ethics, Preorders, Pretending to Resist the Temptation for Things I've Never Been Offered

An unfortunate, and completely self imposed, aspect of releasing music publicly in my late teens/early twenties is that I’ve had to grow up in public (or maybe more accurately; somewhat visibly in a small community). Without making too many excuses for myself (after all, these are choices I’ve willingly made), I think its fair to say without anything resembling a supportive local scene in Maine (and isolation in California), it has been difficult to make informed, ethical choices for how to deal with basic things like putting out records. I’ve never trusted that something like extreme music was supported by dogma. The reason I was initially drawn to this music was because of its ability to reject and subvert traditional viewpoints, and I don’t think I’ll come to terms with it as a tradition if that means values can’t be questioned. Often I find that, the means of argument is more important than the morals that are being argued, and I know that I am particularly put off by the groupthink that is often standard operating procedure in punk.

All of which is to say that in doing so I made choices that I now regret. I think it is important to clarify my position, and while I’m never going to erase the decisions I’ve made that have occasionally compromised my aesthetic, I can make my current perspective clear. The use of kickstarter and the choice to use pre-orders for albums on NLHM was lame and I apologize for it. While both situations were conducted as ethically as possible within those parameters, I think they ultimately structured the power relationship unfairly between the bands I’ve been in and the people that listen to them. I think I was partially blinded by the fact that most of the negative reaction to this read something like “back in my day…” which is never helpful, and fails to address the central problem of fairness. In the future, Name Like His Master will not use pre-orders and bands I am in will not use crowd funding. I really hate thinking about money, and I would much rather continue to work multiple jobs and pay for band expenses myself than associate any of this with my art. Ultimately I do question the efficacy of the decision to ignore the way money affects our music scene, but for now it will have to do.

For the record I will also never let a car company put out my record, let any of my band's music be used in commercials, and I wouldn't quit a band over it, but I have a strong distaste for corporate sponsored shows and would be happy to avoid them. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ideology as Material Force

This is the piece I composed for my master's thesis concert. It won an award from Frog Peak Collective and was performed at Cal Arts for the California Electronic Music Exchange. From my written thesis:

"Ideology as Material Force is an ongoing series of live video performances referencing concepts from Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism and derived from a system of hacked Laserdisc video players. Layers of video interfere in a similar fashion to how Reich describes the layers of the human psyche—distortions and cross channel/cross sensory interference occur as multiple audio and visual signals compete. This competition forms the aesthetic core of the work; the interaction between the competing ideologies and aesthetics represented on each disc forms the aesthetic output. The work recontextualizes each playback medium as an element of a performable instrument and reverses the expected relationship of signal and noise through the process of communicating noise unique to the media used."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Slavestate - Masochist

So the first e.p. that Luke and I worked on together after Robocop is now out. It was written, recorded and mixed in a 24 hour session where we attempted to build an aesthetic from the ground up. It was an interesting experience in DIY and I think the results are pretty unique. It is definitely not without precedent, and influences come through clearly, as always. Swans, Skin Chamber, MITB, Godflesh, SPK are all there in germinal form.

On this recording, we created our own microphones from aluminum cans and piezo discs, software for structuring lyrics, semi-working hydrophones, and made our best attempt at drowning ourselves by screaming underwater. I think part of my goal was to look at our influences, and our beginnings as a hardcore band, and try to make in unfamiliar. It really depresses me to see so many people fuck up this kind of music. It should fairly apparent what I think of ironic retro acts from the track "Screwdriver", similarly I hope to avoid the pretension of attempting to link it to whatever "high art" is in vogue. This is something that is a focus of my work lately. The past is important, but I think we should investigate how we incorporate previous perspectives rather than simply retread them. Otherwise you end up creating more material to be easily appropriated as cultural capital or trivia some ironic dick head will use to get laid.

The title 'Masochist' was provided by Luke, he said it encapsulated our working process, and reminded me of how literal that was (I used to have him hit me with a belt in between vocal takes to maintain energy).

Friday, September 20, 2013


The last year of radio silence was unfortunate. I’m not sure how I feel about keeping up something for years. I’m continually embarrassed by things I’ve said/done in the past and having a blog is a bit too clear an indicator of why that’s the case.

I’ve decided that rather deleting it, I’m going to simply update and proceed from there. I’ve chosen not to attend Columbia (for this year at least), and consequently I may potentially have more time for things like blogging.

The most important news is that the new Body Hammer album is finished. While it would be problematic to claim that something I’ve spent the past five years on is “about” something, what I attempted to construct toward the end was an integration of mythological structures and imagery into the material which has been my M.O. on the last five or so releases. I was particularly influenced by the worldview imposed by dead or chimeric media, urban legends, Sir James Frazers’ The Golden Bough, and my own mythologizing of Northern New England before and after fleeing to Northern California. The latter fits into a number of personal experiences that made their way into the work. It documents in an abstracted form, the paranoia and desperation of the short period in which it took its final form. It will be released on cd via The Path Less Traveled Records, and I am working with Viral Graphics on the packaging, we're only at the planning stage, but the ideas we are passing back and forth are incredibly exciting. See below for a track from the album.

Additionally, Body Hammer was featured on the first Monomaniac compilation from Blastbeat Mailmurder. Dog Star Man, will be featured, albeit in an altered form, on the upcoming full-length.

Similarly, Luke and I have completed the first e.p. post Robocop. There will be more information released about that soon, but expect a tape in the next couple months and a digital release via GK. This was our response to Dead Language, Foreign Bodies and my brief desire to cut punk out of what we were doing. It is also the most viciously angry I've been in years.

Other releases/collaborations include a split between Ben Tinker and The Heroic Quartet (via Tumeric Magnitudes) and a solo album from Ben Tinker (via Khalija). I mastered the split and performed on The Heroic Quartet's side.

Finally, expect a demo from a new grindcore/power electronics group featuring my shitty guitar playing in the next year. Once again, more details forthcoming.