Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Story of Itsuka

"Itsuka" is the title of my album on Muti Music, and it's a long time coming. I started working on the album in 2004, and contributed to it off and on over the past five or six years. Along the way, the tracklist changed some but the core feeling remained, and that's what I want to talk about.

In Japanese, "itsuka" (いつか) means "someday." All my life, I've been the kind that always looked to the future. "Never to what you are doing," as Yoda said. I like to think of myself as a dreamer, but if you were inclined to call me an escapist that might not be far from the truth too. In 2004, I dropped everything—quit my job, sold my car—and went to Japan. I lived in Tokyo for two months until the money ran out. I had intended to get a job but because I never finished college that was just about impossible.

Because of Japan, something changed in me. After 30 years of drifting through life I finally knew what I wanted. I wanted to live in Japan. But I couldn't. That pesky college degree. So I went back to school to study Japanese. Along the way, I made this album. All of my longing for Japan is in these songs. "Someday I'll be back there." I guess you could say it's a love letter to Japan. Love songs for a country.

In 2009 I gave the album to Muti Music, a label I had worked with back in the breaks days. I had no idea if they would like it, if it would fit their roster. Truthfully, I had almost given up on the album ever coming out. It was such a personal thing, I couldn't imagine anyone else liking it. Listening to it is like crawling into my head. But Muti liked it, and it's finally coming out.

I'm probably more proud of this than any other music I've ever made. I hope people enjoy it.

Here are a few video promos for the album, and here's where you can download some songs that didn't make it onto the final version.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Itsuka Extras

As with most albums, there are many more tracks for "Itsuka" that didn't make it into the final tracklist. They just didn't fit the mood, or wouldn't slot into the progression all that well.

I've made five such tracks available on SoundCloud as a set to download. Enjoy.

Itsuka Extras by kemek

Mixcloud Mixes

I spent the day yesterday uploading mixes to Mixcloud. I put up an Italo disco mix, an old school hardcore mix, a disco and funk mix, and an ambient mix in support of my upcoming "Itsuka" album. Check it out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kemek on YouTube

With "Itsuka" coming out soon on Muti Music, I thought I'd get into promotion mode and put some songs up on YouTube.

First is "Paper Deer," the lead track. The song was inspired by the art of Midori Harima, who does sculpture with paper and multimedia. Midori graciously allowed me to use some images of her art in the video.

Next up is "Train Song." It's not hard to figure out what this was inspired by.

And then we have "Living Room Floor." There's a very specific memory associated with this song but I'll leave you to come up with your own ideas.

Lastly, as I was in the YouTube mood, I uploaded two tracks from the very first thing I released professionally. Released on Silent Records in 1993, here are two tracks from "Unauthorized Acid" by the 303 Terrorists, aka myself and Thad Jones.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Itsuka Artwork Sneak Peak

Take a look at this! It's the artwork for my upcoming album, "Itsuka," being released digitally by Muti Music this spring (hopefully May).

The artwork was done by Noah Hanlon, who's also done the cover for my upcoming "Sine Language" dubstep EP. Thanks, Noah, it looks great!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unreleased Track

Just posted the track "Function" over on the SoundCloud. It's from the same sessions as my forthcoming "Itsuka" album, dropping on Muti Music hopefully in May or June.

Function by kemek

The track was built around a sample of the bass line from Fugazi's "Waiting Room." I had always wanted to use that in something. I originally tried to make it a banger but it ended up as a downtempo track. Funny how that happens. Enjoy.