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zircon - Identity Sequence - concept cyberpunk album, released!


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Identity Sequence is out now on Bandcamp!

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I thought I would share this project with you, my OCR friends, since this is after all where my career began :)

For the last five years I've been working on a new album of deep, progressive electronic dance music. Though I've had several album releases since Antigravity (my last 'major' original album) in 2007, this project - Identity Sequence - is in a separate category. It's a full-length concept album (60+ mins) inspired by cyberpunk works like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which had a big impact on me. It has an actual story and narrative, told through instrumentals and lyrics, dealing with themes of technology, humanity, emotion, and two people searching for a deep connection. Stylistically, the album features trance, house, dubstep, electro, drum n' bass, ambient, and my own blend of organic-electronic sounds.

IS_Kickstarter.png

After having invested considerable money in producing and recording Identity Sequence, collaborating with performers like Jillian Aversa, Chris Gordon, Jeff Ball and the Philadelphia Mens Chorale among others, I reached out to my fans to help fund the physical release. I did this through a Kickstarter campaign that was set with a goal of $4,000 that would go toward printing really high-quality CDs, liner notes, artwork, and bonuses like posters and hardcover artbooks.

About 48 hours later, I've been blown away by the incredible support and backing of both longtime fans and new ones who have just recently heard my music. The Kickstarter has been funded over 300% (!), but is still going strong, with rewards including digital and physical copies of the album, previous albums, signed copies, posters, artbooks, video lessons, custom songs, remixes, EPs, special liner note credits. I also plan to print up t-shirts and there have even been requests for a documentary/commentary CD/DVD, which I am now planning.

If evolved electronic music like BT and Hybrid is your thing, and you share an appreciation for great sci-fi works, I encourage you to check out this album Kickstarter. The video features an extended medley of about half the album, previously unreleased until now. Whether you choose to back the project now (essentially akin to pre-ordering the album with bonuses) or check it out when it's released later this year, I really appreciate it. Thanks OCR!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1363989456/zircon-identity-sequence-a-cyberpunk-inspired-jour

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I really loved the preview for this. I really dig Colossus, Unity, and Neurobazaar (definitely influenced by Time to Oil Up, not a bad thing at all, and I look forward to hearing how you used Jillian Aversa's vocals differently :)). The new version of Just Hold On also sounds really great. I'm looking forward to this. :-D

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The amount of money you wanted for this kickstarter was not much. I mean, $4k is a large chunk of cash, but for manufacturing hundreds of discs it seems very inexpensive and I think the reward tiers were reasonably priced. The kickstarter definitely doesn't seem like something you intended to make money from.

How does this compare to your previous albums, especially Antigravity? I'm surprised that it seems like you weren't expecting this to do as well as it did. You only needed a few hundred sales of this album to meet your goal. Antigravity has been one of my favorite albums as a whole since I discovered it here back in 2007, and I'm glad you're giving it a proper sucessor. Unearthed had a few tracks that I really liked, but I think this one is the follow-up that I had been hoping you'd do for several years now.

I normally don't buy physical albums anymore since it all goes on my phone, but this is one case where I think you deserved the extra funding. I don't remember how much I paid for Antigravity, but I know it was less than I would pay for it now, so I made up for it when I backed this kickstarter.

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Thanks for the kind words and support, all! You're right that I really did not expect this huge level of backing from my fans. I decided to set a modest goal that would cover my manufacturing cost and nothing else, thinking that I MIGHT hit it in 30 days. I'm happy I was wrong about that!

Identity Sequence really is the true successor to Antigravity, not in style per se, but because I've put so much energy into it. To put it in perspective, I've probably spent more time on IS than the last 5 albums I've done combined. It represents all my development as a musician. I've learned a lot since Antigravity about music theory, improvisation, composition, production, lyric/melody-writing, etc.

So, how does it compare? Well, there are more vocal tracks. About half the album is vocal. This also means it's more melodic overall. There are lots of great individual synth, drum and bass riffs, but I really wanted to focus more on memorable leads and hooks, things that carry the song and stay with you once it's over. It's more 'serious' than Antigravity on average. Darker, more contemplative, more atmospheric. The production is sharper. There's less of a fun/funky dance music influence (like Fatboy Slim) and more of a cinematic quality. That doesn't mean it's not extremely groovy of course! It still hits the same levels of intensity, if not way higher.

I guess the main difference would be that it's a true concept album. There's a story being told through music & lyrics, something I've never done before. Don't worry, there's no cheesy narration, and you aren't hit over the head with song meanings. It's subtle and abstract, open to your own interpretation. I want it to evoke feeling and emotion, and I think based on some feedback I've received, it will have that effect.

With that, back to work on the new edition of Just Hold On :)

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Count me in. I'm already a fan of your work on OCR, but that demo sold me even more. Between the Antigravity bonus on the FF6 kickstarter and the four extra digital albums I'll be getting here, my library is about to have the explosion of zircon originals I really ought to have added long ago.

Can't wait to hear more. =)

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Damn it! I'd really like to give you my money but I don't have a credit card... Typical european problem, it seems. ;-P

If only Kickstarter accepted PayPal ;-(

Anyone know of a way I can participate without getting a credit card (I'd have to pay for)?

Anyway, it's great to see a good musician can get good money for his work, although you seem to have put a LOT of work into this.

Cheers, NinjaN

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Damn it! I'd really like to give you my money but I don't have a credit card... Typical european problem, it seems. ;-P

If only Kickstarter accepted PayPal ;-(

Anyone know of a way I can participate without getting a credit card (I'd have to pay for)?

Anyway, it's great to see a good musician can get good money for his work, although you seem to have put a LOT of work into this.

Cheers, NinjaN

Doesn't Kickstarter use Amazon to handle payments?

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So now this is just about to break $20k (500%!) and some of the things I'm doing include:

* Large run of 'zircon' t-shirts. All backers at $30 and up will get one for free, while backers at $20 will get a discount if they want to order one after.

* Documentary/"making of" type video showing what went into the album, my own commentary, and the music that led up to it. Will ultimately be free, probably on YouTube.

* Seeking world-class pro mastering to make sure the CD sounds as good as humanly possible!

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* Large run of 'zircon' t-shirts. All backers at $30 and up will get one for free, while backers at $20 will get a discount if they want to order one after.

Inevitable meetup at your house where EVERYONE THERE wears their Zircon shirt just to see the expression on your face.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Say hello to your latest backer! As I said, I got myself a credit card and - out of sheer luck - got that last entry in the 30$ tier... ;-D

I'm looking forward to your album, I haven't listened to the preview yet and I don't intend to do so. I'd rather listen to the album as a whole, as you intended it.

Out of curiousity, how does it go on?

Does kickstarter give you my address and eMail, so you know where to send the stuff or what?

Cheers, NinjaN

EDIT:

It's good to see you have made quite the monies there. Faith in humanity restored!

And to celebrate this, I'm just now listening to some of your older tracks REALLY LOUD. ;-)

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Say hello to your latest backer! As I said, I got myself a credit card and - out of sheer luck - got that last entry in the 30$ tier... ;-D

I'm looking forward to your album, I haven't listened to the preview yet and I don't intend to do so. I'd rather listen to the album as a whole, as you intended it.

Out of curiousity, how does it go on?

Does kickstarter give you my address and eMail, so you know where to send the stuff or what?

Cheers, NinjaN

EDIT:

It's good to see you have made quite the monies there. Faith in humanity restored!

And to celebrate this, I'm just now listening to some of your older tracks REALLY LOUD. ;-)

Thank you for the support! At the end, I'll be sending out surveys to people to find out things like address, shirt size, etc.

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