While Toxitolerant has been doing some limited experimentation with noise and industrial influences (read: I bought a synth pedal for my bass and still need to figure out where to use it and also sometimes there’s feedback), that’s definitely not the direction we’ve been taking as of late. Our latest demo (and its outtakes) should at least be proof of how many times we’ve watched Lords of Chaos.
Still, I’ve always wanted to do something where an electronic sound is the main focus; as well as something I could do myself. And the occasional isolation caused in part by the still-going-on pandemic, plus butchering the recording of Toxitolerant demos, has given me plenty of time to learn more about LMMS and Audacity to create music. By last year, I had completed enough tracks to have more or less a full album; the first (self-titled) “album” of my solo project, Einzige.
That release, composed of entirely instrumental tracks, was more-or-less an experiment in what I could do with those tools, and it gave me ground to keep improving for my second Einzige release: Automata
And this release is really not all that different from the first.
It’s still very experimental, still entirely instrumental, and still (as described by Toxitolerant’s guitarist, Julian) “synthwave/cyberpunk as shit”, I guess. But experimentation means trying new things, so I’ve tried making more mellow tracks, tried using more samples, and tried adding more layers of noise. There will always more noise.
Then again it’s only 6 tracks compared to the previous 10, so there’s not a whole lot more time to be all that different.
Toxitolerant songs usually begin as a riff. An idea that someone (usually Julian) has. From there we all work together at practice to flesh it out into a coherent piece of music, and then someone (usually me) writes lyrics for it. The end result – the song – is something that sounds the same whether or not we’re running through it in our practice space, performing it at a show, or recording it. It can – for the most part – be reproduced over and over again so long as we remember all the notes.
I can not reproduce the tracks for these two Einzige releases from scratch like this, and that is mostly intentional. I do not ever intend to play these live.
Sure, sometimes they start out as riff ideas I have, and sometimes they don’t change much from that idea I plucked out on my bass. But other times they’ll just come about when I find a beat I like while messing around with rhythms and layer some synth tracks over it. And while I may save the masters (the LMMS project files) of the tracks (and could look over them to get an idea) I don’t save each step of the edits I make in Audacity. That would get very unmanageable very quickly even if I wanted to.
Then again, I probably do have the storage space…
And maybe I could use
git to track changes…
But like I said, I don’t ever intend to perform a show as Einzige and play these tracks live.
My fiancée loves to paint, and – at least the way I see it – these tracks are more akin to those paintings than the kinds of songs we write in Toxitolerant. They’re like sonic paintings that capture their moments of creation and bear the scars of every change. Something that cannot be reproduced.
Although, maybe that’ll change for my next release. Maybe I’ll actually sit down and write out everything. Maybe I’ll even write lyrics and put vocals on some of the tracks. Maybe what I write will sounds more like country than synth (I do love me some Mojo Nixon). Maybe I’ll play those songs live. Who knows.
Nothing’s stopping me. It’s my solo project. I can do whatever I want with it.
Working through my solo project here has also given me the opportunity to expand my tastes further into the world of electronic music. Mostly industrial/industrial-adjacent music.
Sure, while I’ve enjoyed artists like Rob Zombie and Rammstein since first getting into heavy music, and have been a fan of Atari Teenage Riot since high school, it wasn’t until quarantine that I really began seriously exploring this kind of music, and found plenty of new artists I’ve really enjoyed. Throbbing Gristle, The Beatnigs, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Filmmaker, Demolition Group, and Laibach were/are in heavy rotation for me. I was even able to find a (vinyl) copy of the The Beatnig’s Self-Titled LP on eBay, so that’s been in literal rotation on my record player. It even still had the Alternative Tentacles mail order forum (thanks Jello)!
The name of my solo project here is a blatant tribute to German philosopher Max Stirner’s book “Der Einzige und sein Eigentum” (loosely translated in English to “The Ego and Its Own”) A book which – along with Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” – has been one of the most significant influences on my outlook on life.