New Music Video Out Now
As someone with a deep appreciation for film and photography, I often envision images when I am writing and recording music. Yet, for many years I resisted the idea of music videos, wanting songs, like poetry, to stay open to the listener's individual interpretation. For example, perhaps Dark Side of the Moon didn't really need to get all mixed up with Dorothy and the Tin Man. That said, we cannot rule out the possibility that, perhaps at times, we are in fact dreaming someone else's dream. Giving filmmaker Julia Patey creative freedom to shoot this video as she wished was indeed opening up my own imagination to another artist's palette. And while her adaptation comes to me like a foreign dream, it is certainly one of beauty and mystique.
The video was directed by Vancouver filmmaker Julia Patey and stars French actress Lucie Aron. The song comes off my first record, Through the Walls, originally recorded during a bout of solitude in the winter of 1999 and just recently re-released by Analog Sea on vinyl and high-resolution download.
A lot of work went into this project and I would like as many people to discover it as possible. Should you find it magical or interesting or kinda' cool, please share it with your many friends (robots and otherwise). That would be much appreciated.
Click on the image (or here) to watch. Enjoy!
Jon Simons' Debut Album Remastered and Re-released
Analog Sea re-releases Jon Simons' 1999 album, Through the Walls, April 29th, remastered from the original analog tapes for 180-gram vinyl, high-resolution downloads, and CD.
Through the Walls, originally released in 1999 by Skyscape Records, has developed a niche following in the states as well as in the UK and Europe. Jon recorded the album during a six week spell of complete solitude, using old analog gear and without the help of computers or samplers.
In March of 2013, one of Europe's finest mastering engineers, Tim Young (Metropolis, London), painstakingly remastered the record from the original analog mix tapes. The remastered album enables Analog Sea to release audiophile quality, 180g vinyl pressings, along with high-resolution downloads, and CD.
To purchase the album, visit the new Analog Sea online store (opening soon).
A Musical Descent
In 1999, I spent six weeks in complete solitude, recording what became my first full length album, Through the Walls. This was undoubtedly one of the most interesting periods of my life. Without the distractions of phones or internet (or even clocks!), I recorded the album using an old analog recorder, along with countless instruments that my friends enthusiastically lent me for the occasion. My idea at the time was to experiment with recording a record in a very organic way. So, all the sounds that you hear, up front and hiding out behind the scenes, were recording using some sort of analog instrument. There are lots of children's music-making devices that I had bought at the toy store, including whirly tubes which I cut to pitch and recorded in harmony as they spun whimsically around my makeshift, home studio. I even remember sticking my head and a microphone in a huge stewpot in hopes of recording a super-intimate yet tinny sounding vocal part (which you can faintly hear five minutes and fifty-five seconds into "Soldiers of a Kind"!) It was a lot of fun. After all the instruments and vocals were recorded, I spent a week mixing the record with Austin producer, Mark Hallman. He and I mixed in a similar way as I had recorded it, staying within the analog domain and looking for ways to deepen the record creatively. The quality of the master, analog tapes — which I had not listened to since those sessions with Mark — have such a warm and spacious sound to them. I think anyone would hear the difference if listening side-by-side. But, in the late nineties, turntables were not yet cool again, nor were iPods big enough for anything other than mp3s, so compact disc was pretty much the inevitable format of the day.
Remastering in London
Since vinyl records (not to mention high-resolution downloads) can play back so much more resolution than a compact disc, it was pretty much a requirment to remaster the record from scratch. Although this happens more than you'd believe, I was not about to release Through the Walls on vinyl but limited to CD quality. So, a few months ago, I had the great pleasure of working with Tim Young, one of Europe's most celebrated mastering engineers (having worked with such artists as Jools Holland, Sex Pistols, Van Morrison and the Beatles!). So, after dusting off the four boxes of analog tape, Tim put the first reel on the deck and pressed PLAY. What a blissful experience, listening again to these recordings off of the original tapes, in full resolution, especially after having grown accustomed to hearing them on compact disc. Tim did an incredible job, painstakingly preserving what Mark and I had done with the mixes back in the day. The final masters are stunning, especially on 180-gram vinyl!
Choose Your Format
On Monday, Analog Sea, a new label out of LA, will re-release Through the Walls. To take advantage of having remastered from the original, analog tapes, the record will be available in many formats. The vinyl LPs are true, audiophile quality, 180-gram vinyl. They were pressed at the same plant in Holland where CBS had been pressing 50 million records a year since 1958, including 30 million copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller! And since even vinyl purists likely have a computer and portable devices lying around, you will not need to purchase the record twice, once for vinyl and again in a digital format. All of the LPs include a unique download card, tucked into the jacket, good for downloading the entire album in your preferred digital format. As is the intention behind this project, even these download cards offer the option for various formats, ranging from very decent mp3 versions all the way to "studio master" FLAC files. The record is also being released on CD and the various digital downloads can be purchased separately. All of my work will be available for purchase through the brand new Anlog Sea online store. Physical media will be mailed to you from either Los Angeles, Toronto, or London, whichever is closest. So, you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Please note that online orders won't ship until May 10th.