New for 2017

I started working on a few new projects that I hope to release soon.  I've been delving into some classic old Prog music lately, including classic Yes and King Crimson, and a bit of "new" prog, like Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree.  This more "classic" style of progressive music has inspired me, and I have about 8 songs nearly complete, and would like to fill out the album with 2 more songs.

I've also been listening to a really interesting project named The Nikki Grace Experience.  This is a sort of "post-rock" meets melancholy ambient music project led by Marko Hupel since 2009. He has released a number of somewhat popular net releases (mostly on Webbed Hand Records) and some videos on YouTube. Lots of his tracks contain contributions of female singers (mainly Lotte Kestner, which is a stage name for an American singer from Seattle named Anna-Lynn Williams). Since the beginning of 2014 TNGE has added a new permanent member named Frank Lobow.  I've scoured the Internet for more information on this musical project, and the most recent "website" I can only find is a Facebook page, but the latest post is dated September 2015.  I highly recommend this band.

The Webbed Hand Records site is still active, and contains music from a whole bunch of other artists, too, so I recommend checking it out.  But the best place to find downloads of the albums is at the Nikki Grace page at Internet Archive.  They're all free and legal.  And worth it.  If you like simple, minimalist and melancholy music, this is for you.  

TNGE has really inspired me to just sit at the piano and try to come up with simple chord progressions and melodies, and then try to come up with accompaniment from bass, drums, and other instruments.  And eventually some guitar.  This is probably going to be a similar sound to my "Gothambia Redux" album, which was also based on a lot of piano rather than guitar.  I also managed to download a really good piano instrument called "Neo Piano".  It's a very good sample set of a grand piano.  With a little reverb, it sounds very realistic.

This music is a far cry from my usual metal-head tendencies, but I really like delving into different music that ISN'T metal lately.  I need to expand my horizons and challenge myself artistically. Metal isn't the only good music.

Maybe I'm just getting old? Nah.  I still have a few "metal" projects brewing, too.  But first I need to try a few other things.  Hopefully the prog album will be done soon (tentatively titled "Oakwind Hollow".)


Ghost/Echo - new album for 2017

Well that was quick - here it is, the new album from Dimaension X, titled "Ghost/Echo".

You can go to the Discography page and click on the links to download it from the Internet Archive, or you can follow the links right below:

Ghost/Echo (2017) - More sci-fi electronic synth rock madness from Dimaension X.  The titles and general themes are based on an interesting rules-lite RPG named Ghost/Echo by a game designer named John Harper.

Similar to the last two albums, there are synth-sequences, guitar melodies, a few solos, some cool drum beats, and more. 

Similar to the last two albums, there are synth-sequences, guitar melodies, a few solos, some cool drum beats, and more. 

Dimaension X - Ghost / Echo

01 - Looting the Ghost World
02 - Betrayed by Vixen
03 - Hungry Wraiths
04 - Crew Needs Metal
05 - Channeling the Ghost Field
06 - Paranormal Backlash
07 - Ruins of Undercross
08 - Blackcircle
09 - Echoes of Distant Events
10 - The Truth in the Datastream

To go to the download page to stream or download, click HERE.

To download a zip file directly, click HERE.


New album coming soon!

I am finally finishing the mixing of my new Dimaension X album! I'm just giving it a final critical listen, and will start posting it very soon.  It's in the vein of the last two albums (Brain Tree Split and Dark Spaces), very synth and sci-fi oriented, with song titles thematically created from a neat game called Ghost/Echo, which was developed by John Harper of One.Seven Design Studio.  Here's the proposed album cover, based HEAVILY on some of the images directly from the game.

  If you're a fan of bands like Zombi or Goblin, you'll probably like the music.  I wanted to keep it pretty simple, just good fun electronic rock that you can have playing in the background while you're typing away at work, or whatever.  Sounds good on long car trips.  No lyrics or singing to get in the way.  You know, typical Dimaension x music.  Might sound cool in headphones late at night in the dark, too.

I'm only playing a few actual guitar solos on this one.  I'm trying to focus more on a mood or atmosphere, while keeping it rocking and fun.  Maybe the next album will be more "guitar" oriented, but I really like working with the combination of synth and guitar. And trying to create "songs" where the guitar and synths play a melody together.  It's just where I am artistically.  And let's face it, I'm not exactly a "shredding" guitarist, so my idea of a solo is a bit different right now.  It's more about trying to create a "sound" that works with the music, rather than showing off my "skillz." 

I'm also trying out a whole bunch of different guitar tones on this one.  I didn't just stick to just one guitar or amp.  I used most of my guitars for different parts, and combined my various effects toys, like my Yamaha THR-10 amp, and both my Tech21 pedals (the RK5 and Cali Fly Rig).  All recorded though my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.  And I think I used my Joyo Vintage Overdrive a bit here and there to "goose" the guitar signal a bit.

So I'll post again once it's up and available for download and streaming. 

And more music will be in the works this spring.


Hibernation 2017

Yep - ’tis still the Hibernation Season for Dimaension X.  I get a lot of music recorded and done during the Spring thru Fall, but Winter is a big drop-off due to the fact that my weekends are much busier.  But Spring is coming and my weekends will be freed up a bit, so I will have more free time to get more recording done.

I just bought a new Tech 21 FlyRig5 Cali, so as soon as I get plugged into that, some more ideas should be flying out.  It’s very similar to my FlyRig RK5, but instead of the Ritchie Kotzen OMG pedal as the front end, we have the Cali/US Metal simulation preamp (which is basically a clone of the classic old Mesa-Boogie MkII C+ amplifier).  Lots of music from the 70’s and 80’s was recorded with those amps with great results (everyone from Carlos Santana, Kirk Hammett, John Petrucci, even Pete Townsend and Keith Richards used these amps), so I am looking forward to cranking up with that!

Note that I haven’t done NOTHING all winter season.  I’ve actually spent most of my time getting demos and basic song structures written and recorded, just without any guitar yet.  I probably have enough material for several albums, so it’s really just a matter of getting the time to add final guitar to everything, and mix it all down into cohesive albums.


Dark Spaces - new album for 2016!

Here is the new album for 2016 (that's two so far this year - I'm crankin' em out!)

Dark Spaces is the title.  Once again, I'm diving into the synth-rock world occupied by bands like Zombi, Goblin, Celldweller, and other similar bands.  Lots of  percolating sequences, sweeping atmospheres, rock guitars and heavy drums.

1 Galaxy Rotation Curves
2 Velocity Dispersions of Galaxies
3 Galaxy Clusters 
4 Cosmic Microwave
5 Baryon Acoustic Oscillations
6 Redshift-Space Distortions
7 Type 1A Supernova
8 Lyman-Alpha Forest
9 Structure Formation

The synths are a bit more melodic this time, though they are mostly improvised and tracked as a first or second take, and the guitars are doubling the synth melodies, or harmonizing with them.

You can go to the download page at the Internet Archive to listen and or download the album by clicking HERE.  You can also download it directly from THIS LINK.

BTW, here's the actual link to the Internet Archive page:

I also did the art for the CD covers at home on my own simple computer setup - NO Illustrator or Photoshop used.  I only used open-source software (Paint.net and Inkscape), just to stick it to Adobe and their new Creative Cloud Suite.  You don't need to fork over the big bucks to make decent art files, folks.

I really love working with the synths and guitars together.  Synths don't just have to be used in wimpy pop songs.  You can make them rock if you use them right.  I'm not even sure what the next album will be.  More synths, or will I go back to putting the guitars up front and make another metal album?

I actually have a few more "metal" songs on my computer somewhere that I recorded just before I did my "Plagues of Aegyptus" album last year, and I never got around to completing them.  Maybe I'll get them mixed and mastered, and then upload them.


Brain Tree Split - the new album for 2016

Here it is y'all. Sorry I said "Y'all".  Been watching too many episodes on TV of that couple in Texas who revitalize old homes.

Anywhoo, ... here's the new album.

Brain Tree Split.

It's very synth oriented.  I've backed the guitars off a bit, and let the synths take over to create some expansive, spacey atmospheres and even some melodies here and there.  But fear not, there are plenty of crunchy rhythm guitars, riffing, a few solos, and some weird effects.

It's at the usual place - the Internet Archive - click HERE to get to the page so you can stream/preview it.

Or click HERE to directly download a ZIP file with the MP3s and the Art files.

You may be wondering about the title.  If you're from New England, you know what it refers to, but to those of you outside the New England area, Braintree is a town in Massachusetts near Boston, and the Braintree Split is "the interchange of Interstate 93/U.S. Route 1 and Massachusetts Route 3 located along the city line separating Braintree and Quincy, Massachusetts." (from Wikipedia)

I just thought it sounded cool.  Brain. Tree. Split.


New Dimaension X album for 2016!

It's nearly complete - the New Dimaension X album for 2016!  This one is a straight up rock album, not very metal or doomy.  It's more like my much older music from the early 2000's.  Lot's of atmospheric and "percolating" synths, some guitar riffs, rock drums, a few guitar solos.  Actually, if you like the band Zombi, it's probably right up your alley. All original tunes based on a 12-tone row series of notes.

The kind of interesting thing for this album is the equipment used.  I recently took the plunge and bought myself an actual USB audio interface - a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.  It's a very simple, easy-to-use interface, with two inputs that can either be used for 1/4" jacks, or 3-pin mic jacks with phantom power.  Direct monitoring of what's going into it, and either 1/4" out monitor jacks for high-quality studio monitors, or a simple headphone out (which is what I use - I send the output to my trusty Logitech computer monitors).

I also bought a new guitar pedal - a Tech21 RK5, with is the Ritchie Kotzen version of the FlyRig.  It's a Sansamp with a built-in analog Delay, Reverb, Boost, and a modified version of the Ritchie Kotzen OMG distortion pedal.  All analog (except the reverb?), no programming, no MIDI memory, just dial in your tone, plug into an amp or direct (which is what I did for the new album), and it sounds great.  This is not a "metal" pedal, but it has plenty of gain for heavy rock stuff, which is more my thing anyway.

I opted to use only one guitar - my trusty red Yamaha SJ-550 HR, which I've had since 1987, loaded with DiMarzio pickups.  That's all the guitar stuff I used.  Very simple.  Standard tuning.  No drop-tunings, no alternate tunings, just plain old E standard.

Everything else on the album are various free synths I've acquired.  I also decided to NOT use EZ Drummer at all.  All the drums are a combination of free drum samples I've collected and loaded into ReaDrum, which is a series of the Reaper software called ReaSamplomatic 5000.  Each "instance" of the Sampler has multi-layered samples of the drums loaded.  It works very well, except for a few minor glitches and drop-outs here and there, but considering it's all free, I highly recommend it to my fellow recording artists out there who don't want to pay for a boatload of drum samplers.

The other neat thing about the guitar equipment used to record this album.  It's all red.  The guitar, the RK5, and the Focusrite interface.  Red.  Shiny Red.

I'm pretty happy with the results so far.  The new equipment is VERY simple to use and sounds great.  I'm looking forward to doing more recording this spring.  I need to work on writing some new music, but for now, I'll be listening to the new album a few more times, maybe work on a few mixes of the songs, mastering, album art, and then I'll post it at the Internet Archive.  I may also decide to take the dive into the Bandcamp pool and post it there.  Maybe try to see if anyone wants to pay me actual money for it? We'll see.

Any suggestions for the next album?