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Two cover albums, two languages

Back in 2009, I started work on a pair of cover albums. I already knew I wanted one to be in English and the other in Japanese. The English language album would play a game of “what if”, while the Japanese language album would sound more like a very fleshed-out karaoke album.

I made enough progress to record the easier guitar parts, but the more difficult parts required a player devoted to the instrument. My abilities are not up to task.

There was also the issue of licensing — when I saw how much it would cost to handle the administration of the various licenses, I shelved the project. I’d come back to it when I knew I could line up the funds to release it properly.

It would take 11 years before that could happen.

In that time, I upgraded my studio. I bought better plugins, and I even sank cash into a series of very convincing samplers from Native Instruments. To be honest, I don’t think I would have pursued this album if it weren’t for Electric Sunburst Deluxe.

Then SARS-CoV2 caused a worldwide pandemic, and I found myself locked down like everyone else in the country.

Some people learned how to make sourdough bread. I buckled down and remixed the two cover albums collecting digital dust.

So my lockdown project are these albums: 新曲モラトリアム日本語版 (Shinkyoku Moratorium Nihongohan) and 新曲モラトリアム英語版 (Shinkyoku Moratorium Eigoban). If you’re thinking I’m paying homage to Muzai Moratorium by Shiina Ringo, you’d be correct.

These albums will probably be the last Eponymous 4 projects for some time. I’ll be focusing more attention to Empty Ensemble and Penzias and Wilson for new works.

As of this writing, I’ve got one more track to clear for Shinkyoku Moratorium Eigoban, but for now, Oct. 30 is the target date for both albums to go out in the world. Two singles, “Hurt So Bad” and “Be My Last”, precede the album — “Hurt So Bad” on Sept. 4 and “Be My Last” on Oct. 2. I aim to make pre-orders for the albums available in the middle of September.

When exactly did Eponymous 4 form?

Observant Records turned 10 years old on April 25, 2018. How do I know? That’s when I filed paperwork for a D/B/A. I also registered Eponymous 4 on that day as well.

So from a paper trail standpoint, Eponymous 4 “formed” 10 years ago. How, then, do you explain the fact I’ve owned the domain name since 2001? In fact, the earliest trace of Eponymous 4 can be found in 1999.

I have a journal — hidden from public view — that first mentions enigmatics on June 2, 1999. Another entry mentions the completion of engimatics on Sept. 22, 1999.

Could that be the actual birthday of Eponymous 4? If so, we’re pretty close to the 20th anniversary.

All that to say I’ve been in a retrospective mood recently, between Observant Records’ 10th anniversary and an impending milestone for Eponymous 4. So I’ve made available a number of items on the web shop:

  • The original 2008 pressing of enigmatics has been steeply discounted. Many, many copies remain.
  • Work Release Program, Vols. 1-3, the original demo releases of Imprint, Restraint and 風の歌を聴け, are available for subscribers.

On Aug. 31, Work Release Program, Vols. 4-6, will also be released to subscribers. These demo versions of Revulsion, A Ghost in My Shadow and 健忘症 have never been released.

As the year goes on, we’ll unearth more flotsam, jetsom and ephemera.

Who knows? Maybe it’s time to give the discography a deluxe edition treatment.

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