Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008 is HERE!

Buy it from Amazon.com:

OK, so it's April 8, 2008, the release date of my very first album The Dino Soars. I've been wanting to release an album ever since middle school, but it has finally happened.

The 10 years' worth of expectations and predictions about the day has made today sort of...anticlimactic to be honest. I was expecting all sorts of crazy parties and such, but none of that has happened.

Instead, I had a shot of booze with my housemate before I went to bed.

When I learned how to play piano and guitar in middle school, I really wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to be cool and famous. I wanted to be rich. However, my skills were never very good, and I had no idea how to record any of this stuff and make it sound good. To me, making and recording music was like working magic; I would probably never figure out how to do it myself, so better let someone else do it for me.

In high school, I finally learned about programs like FruityLoops that could let me put together all sorts of musical patterns. I could never get a band together, so I started to make trance music, all throughout high school (under the moniker of MiXCHure).

I had a band with two of my classmates in senior year of high school, and we practiced a couple of times, and came up with a couple of songs. I think we were pretty good and we did end up recording stuff into a single tape track by a karaoke mic. Unfortunately, when we left for college and split up, we never had a chance to practice together again. (Still hoping we will, though.)

In college, I was a lazy bum that first year. I didn't go to class, I was very unmotivated to go study, and since my computer burned out during the summer, I was pretty depressed about my music and decided not to do any new material.

I certainly wish that I had, because making music might have kept me out of trouble with the school. But that's another story for another time.

When I got kicked out of the dorms and began living in apartments, I began to work on the music again, going back to FruityLoops. My friends Kelly Toledano and Quy Duc Doan encouraged me to keep working, because they liked my old stuff (what they saw in it, I don't know since they were pretty awful). Daft Punk was still popular in those years (2004-2006) and all I wanted to do was house music (I explained that it was "porn music" for those who didn't really know the genre).

I was pretty rusty with my composition skills, and I really didn't want to sample anything. All I wanted to use were synths, but I realized that I was limiting myself to the types of sound generation that were available to me.

The summer and fall of 2006 was when everything began to piece together into something coherent. I used samples, synths, live instruments in ways that I never used before. The tracks that came out sounded pretty fresh, and it was so much fun to put all sorts of stuff together. I branched out from house into different types of electro, into some ambient, into a sizeable chunk of West Coast hip-hop, as well as some indie rock. I was cranking out a track a week.

I'll never forget the day I mastered the track Penumbra, in mid-late 2007. I felt like I had achieved the pinnacle of what music recording and production was about. I had successfully recorded in a squeaky-clean guitar signal, paired with recordings of my drumset. I put everything together with some synths and it sounded oh-so-good! Tweaking EQ/levels and mastering it was a joy because I got to blast that baby on my nice speakers.

In November, I released the digital-single Nowhere To Run, but it was a small release, and really not very notable.

It wasn't until mid-January when I began finally talking to Unfun Records about releasing an honest-to-God album release, printed, and distributed. I worked with Kelly on a hip-hop track (Sleep All Day) and Quy was a real pal, producing the artwork on the album.

The Dino Soars.

I love dinosaurs. I have a dinosaur mug. I have a plastic glow-in-the-dark Stegosaurus on my table. I watch Jurassic Park when I get drunk. That's why I'm Stegosaurus Rex.

With this first release, the dino sure soars. It's a leap of faith for an animal that is so heavy, but it's a leap of faith that I have to take. I hope that The Dino Soars will survive through the test of time, just as the dinosoars have, in the minds of the young and the imaginative, the dreamers and the workers, between art and science.

I hope you enjoy my album as much as I did in producing it.

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