“Token Gestures” is the first single from the upcoming new album “Drowned In Meaning” by Realistic.
Following up previous releases for the Illegal Art (Girl Talk) and Seeland Records (Negativland) labels among others, Brooklyn-based electronic collage artist James Towning will release his latest album as Realistic on February 29th. Drowned In Meaning (the album title is intentionally sarcastic) features 16 tracks comprised of hundreds of samples -- some obvious, some obviously obscure -- stitched and layered with Towning’s own synthesizers, drum machines, digital effects, and keen sense of humor.
Drowned In Meaning’s first single is “Token Gestures” where the Hall & Oates hit “Kiss On My List”, vintage tape of the Mars rover lift off sequence, the sound of a fireworks display that Towning recorded in Brooklyn Heights, and a few dozen additional pieces of audio combine to form a track that sounds strange, familiar and strangely familiar.
“More often than not, I’m drawn to using samples that strike a personal or nostalgic chord,” Towning explains. “I might use two bars from a favorite Cabaret Voltaire track, a snippet from a TV series, or environmental sounds recorded around my neighborhood. Every track has undiscovered conceptual references or an abstract story that I can tell with a new sound that I have on hand.”
Towning’s neighborhood also influenced the album’s artwork. “The cover image is my photo of a garbage dump near my home in Brooklyn," says Towning. "This image resonated with me. The pile of trash reflects the pile of sounds and the glitter texture incorporated into it speaks to how I think the production techniques add a sparkly sheen to the original samples. Glitter holds a nostalgic quality for me as well – it reminds me of my childhood art class.”
Drowned In Meaning, the latest album by Realistic is set for release on the artist’s own Blackmail Electronics label on February 29th, 2012.
Drowned In Meaning
(Blackmail Electronics – Feb. 29th, 2012)
01. Math is Hard
02. Cuddle Party Headrush
03. Notes to Self
04. Token Gestures
05. Drama Distortion
06. Dot Pattern
07. Glitter and Glue
08. Moment of Realisation
09. One Hundred Years
10. Woozy Familiarity
11. Pointless Creative Endeavor
12. The Sea of Showers
13. Good Luck With All That
14. Mining for Content
15. Pursuit of Happiness
16. Late Nights and Weekends