That this man is not a national treasure is one of life's mysteries that will ever elude me. For the uninitiated, this is a nice overview of his work in the past 15 years. If you are anything like me, this taster will send you down a rabbit hole...which in my case results in an effort to obtain everything he has ever recorded. I am disappointed to report that such an ambition is nearly impossible. The back catalog is overwhelmingly huge. But it sure is fun trying to get it all.....
A Collection Of Compilation Tracks, Remixed & Remastered
In 15 years of recording music as thisquietarmy, I was asked over 50 times to contribute a track for a compilation. A lot of times, the requests were for benefit compilations, with the purpose of raising money for causes ranging from natural disasters and international tragedies to social justice movements and animal rights, or simply for supporting the music community and for peer solidarity. Sometimes, they were curated under an artistic concept, following specific aesthetic sonic guidelines, while other times, they were a crossover of different genres and sub-genres. Either way, the global reach via the sum of different artists, curators and labels through their respective networks tend to help out everyone involved in a more efficient and collective way, which usually makes the endeavour worth the trouble.
A lot of these tracks were exclusive to the compilations, either by request or by choice. The process of recording an exclusive track for a compilation usually ends up being very different than for the case of an album. The context of the compilation can be as free and large as it can be limited and restraining. Oftentimes, I'd take the opportunity to try something new without hinges or barriers, that may end up as one-off sonic experiments. If it was impossible to provide original material at such short notice, I’d simply do a remix or an alternative edit of a previously released track, or I’d shape something out of forgotten jams that were already recorded and purposelessly lying around. They could also just be tracks that were left out of albums for various reasons, and these requests would provide them a new life and a suitable opportunity for release.
For "Compendium: 2005 – 2020", I've narrowed it down to 35 exclusive tracks that were specifically remixed & remastered for the purpose of this collection and sequenced in chronological order of their compilation's release. These tracks total well over 4 hours of sounds, which is a ridiculous amount of sounds that was quite easy to have missed out on, in this prolific sea of contributions over the years.
The criteria for the chosen tracks was that they had to be solo tracks not found on proper officially released albums, except for remixes and alternative edits. Compilation tracks that were released as "Hi My Quiet Tsar", an alter-ego anagram of thisquietarmy mostly used to differentiate the solo synth-based direction of thisquietarmy, were also included.
Excluded were non-exclusive tracks that appeared on compilations or promotional samplers that were either taken straight out of proper albums, or that were later released on proper albums - even though they sometimes were previously released on the compilation with a different working title, but that were essentially the same tracks. Exclusive collaborative tracks & non-thisquietarmy side-projects tracks that appeared on compilations have also been excluded.
That said, each of these tracks represents unique creative exercises of perhaps lesser importance on their own but have been contributed and used for purposes that went beyond the barriers of its singular existence. The result of all these missing fragments became an adjacent but remarkable collection of works of its own. Put together with care, this compendium completes the prevailing chapters of the TQA journey up to this point on, as of March 2021.
Thanks to all the labels and curators who previously releases these tracks, look what you’ve done!
Physical items are available in the form of USB drives hooked to custom TQA carabiner keychain, diptych postcards and/or framed prints, signed & numbered.
Click on each track for the details of the original release. EDIT - copied below. Here are the details of the original release of each track:
01. See You, Space Cowboy
Blanc: Résultat (2x 3" CD-R, 2005, Chat Blanc Records, Canada)
thisquietarmy is an experimental guitar-based project from Montreal, Canada. Revolving around improvised drone music, he
takes his sonic experimentations further by adding textural and structural elements of post-punk/shoegaze, krautrock/spacerock & black/doom metal to them. The results can be described as dark, melodic, expansive & engaging dreamscapes....more