About This Too Is A Mystery
TTIaM was my first record that saw distribution larger than "myself and maybe a tiny amount of people I directly emailed copies to". Which is not to say it was in any sense a success either culturally or commercially, but for most intents and purposes, this was my musical debut to the world (the earlier Audacity collages Acid Rain and The Desert Burner , as well as I Found Myself In A Dark Wood, an album of Yamaha keyboard improvisations, have been lost to time, and the less said about my involvement with chuunis going through a "we're rappers!" phase Cult Of The Ape the better). To the best of my memory, I posted it publicly to the TVTropes.org
forums sometime in early 2010. Reception was, again to the best of my memory, muted, but a handful of people liked it or at least thought it was weird enough to be interesting, and to the 16 year old who at the time went by the horribly generic moniker DeWerks, it was enough.
I have, every once in a while, returned to TTIaM over the years. It is still, by an order of magnitude, my strangest album. I was a kid with a copy of Audacity (a free audio editor that is even today a favorite of all sorts of folks just beginning their musical journeys), access to now-defunct Youtube audio ripper Dirpy, and a deep, deep love of DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... Of course, as every teenager thinks of themselves, I considered myself a prodigy of the art form. TTIaM oozes over with random dialog ripped from artsy youtube videos I never bothered actually watching (several of which were actual student films), the most utterly absurd sample selection this side of a Madlib mixtape (Baile funk played at half speed! The Cowboy Bebop theme! an old Fat Joe verse! Spoken word pieces about cavemen! 70s rap group Darryl C. & The Crash Crew! Free jazz!), and just generally awful audio fidelity even by lo-fi standards (several pieces of audio here were, as I recall, recorded via my ZEN-brand mp3 player's in-line microphone, to give you an idea). Given to an editor who could've wrung the most interesting bits out of it, it might actually have been a pretty decent album.
Of course as is, like most products of 16 year old musicianship, it's barely listenable. Tracks plod for far too long, cut abruptly, and generally make zero musical sense. So why reissue it? Well frankly, part of the reason is just that I need an excuse to remind people my Bandcamp exists as I'm a bit short on money right now buuuuuut, in addition to that, there is the fact that while I would never deign to call TTIaM good, I do think it's interesting, both simply because of how strange it is--the kind of strangeness you can't willingly replicate as even a slightly older person (I think by age 18 or so I'd already moved on from what made TTIaM bizarrely its own entity), and as a sort of historical document. Almost everything else from this era has been lost to me (I recorded at least a half dozen more tapes like this, I know for a fact that Notes From Under The Stars, credited to Lightex Inc. and similarly inspired by a single specific album--J Dilla's Donuts in that case--is out there somewhere) and so TTIaM stands as a reminder of an earlier time, a strange nostalgia-inducer.
Bandcamp, Skullboy, Diamondfish, The Magic Planet, Carousel, and jaCra beats. It all started here, 7 years ago. When I think of how far I've come--and how far I've yet to go!--it makes me a bit wistful.
This Too Is A Mystery was recorded at The Columbia Street Hut on Teletraan I in 2009 and 2010, with the assistance of The Audacity Free Audio Editor, Dirpy.com's Youtube to MP3 ripper, and a ZEN MP3 player's in-line microphone.
This reissue is presented, as always, by Diamondfish Records.