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Eponymous 4 isn’t going anywhere but isn’t staying either

If you interpret the title of this post to mean Eponymous 4 is going on hiatus or breaking up, you would not be mistaken.

On April 25, 2008, I filed paperwork to use Eponymous 4 as a business name, but I had already assumed that identity in 1999.

Which ever way you count it, it’s a long time.

In my mind, I signed a seven-album deal with Observant Records, and I’ve released all of them.

I have an idea for an eighth album, but I don’t want to work on it just yet. I spun off new projects to explore other interests that would be an uneasy fit for Eponymous 4.

And I want these projects to be heard.

At the same time, I’m not satisfied with how the majority of Eponymous 4 releases turned out. Back in 2013, I reached a point where I had been working on four albums-worth of material that I wanted them done. And I declared them done, even though they weren’t.

So I’m splitting the difference.

Eponymous 4 is not going to release a new album until the other projects have released theirs. Empty Ensemble has a number of pieces waiting to be finished. Penzias and Wilson has been sidetracked for more than 5 years.

Then there are other endeavors whose names were shit-posted on Facebook: Mine Da Gap, SERVICE PACK 3, NEMESIS VEX. Yes, my long-time Internet handle is finally forming his own one-man band.

Instead, Eponymous 4 is going to salvage the projects suffering from bitrot — many of them created before 64-bit was a reality — and give them the time, attention and proper tooling they need.

In a way, it’s fortunate Eponymous 4 has flown under the radar for most of its existence. I can pull a George Lucas and revise history.

By the time this post is published, I will have removed all my releases before 2017 from the digital services. Those versions will become archival material available only to Observant Records subscribers starting April 25, 2022. Physical versions of those albums will still be available over at Bandcamp for a steep discount.

While I work on new music for my other projects, Eponymous 4 will reissue those albums with new mixes. I don’t expect to change the underlying arrangements, but I do aim to improve the sound quality.

In fact, I’ve already remixed most of the album 健忘症, a work that suffered the most under a rush to get it out.

So no, there will be no new Eponymous 4 album in the near future, but I have no intent to keep quiet.

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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