$3 minimum 12
by Halb Varas
“The Roots that Clutch” (taken from TS Elliot’s ‘The Wasteland”) is Halb Varas’ latest masterwork. An exploration of dark noise jazz, ambient tones and stunning soundscapes, the album presents the darker side of JC Riley, which – in his own words – ‘undoubtedly is a product of a world that continues to grapple with important issues and grapple with those who deny that there are issues to grapple with’.
The album unfolded over a longer period than previous Halb Varas releases. One song was improvised while watching guitarist Ed O’Brien talk about the gear he uses live. One song was composed or improvised after watching a documentary on Miles Davis. The rest of the songs are either contemplative or represent a foreboding tension that relates to the situations going on all over the world. The tracks that are more contemplative in nature or try to paint pictures without images such Daylight Watch, Shifting Slur (A Current Undersea), and Water Encroaches on the Battlements all try to give the listener and creator the space and time for solace and escape. The more aggressive or foreboding tracks such as Threnody, Armoured by the Pressure of the Air, and Creeping Whilst Looking Up in Fear are a reflection of many of our states of mind and a dark celebration of exorcising the negative through sound.
As a whole, the album is a journey of escape or an exorcising of the dark thoughts that we all have.
by Neander Hamilton
Gravewaster is Neander Hamilton’s hellbeast.
Rum Fixion Recs artists DarkEye and Feralord team up for the latest RFR release under the name ‘Tollwut’.
Collective Shadow is a gateway to the abyss; a mixture of dark ambient shadows, haunting tones, eerie beats and sonic murk carries us through the darkest corners of existence.
by Fathom The Void
This one is a weird one, what we call the official start of “Phase 2”. Due to some personal issues, we had been on a hiatus, both musically and friendship wise. I had just come off of Recording and releasing my Solo Debut “Mesolimbic Demolition” and had started getting into the local modular scene. After a few months, I got the call to hang out and music, so we did. Neither of us knew what to expect and we just gave it a shot.
The write up on this is just both of our POV of the situation and what we felt recording it and listening back. The artwork shows the middle table leaf with the Enso Circle in a garage, where it had been sitting for 6 months, a metaphor for the situation. The hard part, at least going into it, was that I had been playing a lot and recording and releasing, but Anonymous hadn’t played at all in that time frame. It just kind of worked for whatever reason, it worked surprisingly well.
In listening back the main point was that it felt like something from the deep was trying to resurface, trying to break out and we applied the deep ocean part to it. Trauma cycles, fear, all that really fun stuff, that’s what I felt. I remember that this was the first thing I had been a part of that terrified me, this release hit me really hard. I hadn’t been hit like that by my own music at that point and I haven’t been hit like that since then. This one was really powerful for me, in the reuniting of the project, to the subject matter I heard in it.
For the remaster, I mainly focused on refining EQ, Shaping tone, and utilizing the full stereo image. My problem with it was that I really scooped the lows and the mids and highs mashed together. So I aimed to remedy that with the what my skillset is today. I also moved stuff around panning wise for a different sound and feeling. -Aurick Leere
This album was really our first dive into what has become our sound. When we started this project, everything was so chaotic and disorganized and what we were creating felt very forced and rigid. When we listen back to those recordings it surprises us that at the time we were actually pleased with it. Subterranean Entity, however, had a feel of purpose and intent. Which is ironic because it was the first time we had played together in six months so we went into it without either. For once our sounds meshed together seamlessly (as much as possible for harsh noise that is) and there was purpose to it. We were genuinely impressed with what had just happened and instead of backlogging it, decided it was worthy of an EP of its own.
As we listened to the tracks over and over, the same metaphor kept coming to mind. It was as if the beginning of this project was touring the ocean aboard a ship and these tracks were finally taking a submarine on a deep dive into its depths. We have always believed that true self-awareness comes from being able to make oneself familiar not only with their assets and agreeable qualities but also their less desirable ones as well. It’s easy to attach ourselves to traits of empathy, patience, expression, etc. But to be able to honestly recognize fears, struggles, and insecurities, is equally as important. The sound we created felt like we were finally doing that on a sonic level.
While working on the titles for the tracks, we came up with “Overture” as we felt it was an introductory piece, not only for the album, but for the foreseeable future of our artistic direction. Then, while listening to the second track, wanting to keep with the theme of a deep dive into the dark depths of the ocean, we realized, what better way to represent what it is that we are looking for on this dive than the Priest of the Great Old Ones himself, Cthulhu. So we pulled a line from the HP Lovecraft story “The Call of Cthulhu” and titled the second track “Through Strange Aeons.” We bound it all together with the name Subterranean Entity as metaphorically, that is what we are searching for in this artistic endeavor.
Rum Fixion Recs welcomes Kortiko to the family with Further Down The Well! The sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia shares with us two beautiful explorations of dark, deep-feeling melodic works that stretch and strengthen the meaning of strange, dark sound stories.
by Fathom The Void
Upon release of Subterranean Entity we realized we had stumbled upon a brand new phase of this project. Then, due to the retirement of the Flim and Flam, the creation of the Bürt and the Fürt and the change in sound and direction, we realized we were welcoming Phase 3 of Fathom the Void.
Memory Lane came about when Andy decided he wanted to move on from the old process and just create something new. Something spur of the moment and not steeped in personal stories or experience. Going for no concept and just do something. Trying out something more ambient after hearing The Caretakers “Everything At the End of Time”.
In true form, none of that happened. We talked back and forth a bit and threw various ideas and concepts around and over time, we eventually landed on the concept of what became Memory Lane. An objective tour through the void, the darkness, the trauma.
As we continued to flesh it out and plan it, it took many forms and ideas. We eventually settled using The Resident’s theory of obscurity to its maximum potential in our own understanding of it. If you aren’t aware, The Theory Of Obscurity states that an artist can only produce pure art when the expectations and influences of the outside world are not taken into consideration.
Always pushing to do something new in each album cycle. We decided to do recording sessions and never listen to the material until it was all done. We didn’t want the sound or feeling of any of the tracks to influence any subsequent recordings. Trying to remain as objective as possible. Waiting for a month after the last session and randomizing the tracks many times, we did a live stream to debut the material and listen to it for the first time with you guys. We then had to take the time and find what we deciphered to be the track order. Without the influence of “this track was recorded first so it should be first on the album” or any kind of plan for track listing, we allowed the songs to place themselves and tell the story on their own. Objectiveness.
In the same vain as Silent Confidant, we have our own interpretation of this journey and story but we elected to keep that to ourselves to keep it open to interpretation to the listener. Electing to only use 1 sentence phrases that popped up to us while listening to describe the tracks.
On the production side. Initial mixes showed massive phase correlation issues as pointed out to me by my friend Nathan Moody. Andy took care of that as much as possible. He brought Adam’s parts further forward to drive everything and kept most of his parts in the background for movement. Andy always tends to mix FTV stuff with a lot of things dancing on the noise floor while keeping enough in the front to focus on. It’s something he accidentally started doing in the beginning when he didn’t know how mixing worked. This album is the best he’s ever done. Keeping the majority of Andy’s stuff in the back really adds to the atmosphere and the spatial aspects of the desert of the mind. It worked beyond his own expectations on this.
by Halb Varas
As promotion goals are achieved, bonuses are unlocked for everyone.
by Neander Hamilton
Neander Hamilton is dead. It’s been a strange, dark ride over the last two or three years, but Neander Hamilton is no longer an accurate reflection of who Alex Eynstone is both musically and personally.
The name Neander Hamilton came from an unfinished story called ‘Half Alive’. While there will be no more releases under the name, you will continue to see the name pop up throughout Rum Fixion Records producer/composer competitions.
‘Neander Hamilton Is Dead’ is a collection of label founder and owner Alex Eynstone’s strangest and darkest works spanning the 2-3 year lifespan of Neander Hamilton. The release is a reminder of what Rum Fixion Records music is all about at its core - strange, dark music of all sorts. The release comes with three videos of accompanying words to Smoker’s Lung, Giants and Heart Can’t Breathe (all originally from NH’s “Home Truths” EP).