About Illinois Department of Sound

About Illinois Department of Sound

The JoesExplodingZoo.com band Illinois Department of Sound is me (Joe Wallace) and my musical partner markobarloco, and since 2022 we have been making sonic mischief and taking aural space voyages together and exploring the far reaches of sound on the fringes of the musical galaxy.

We have recorded material on a regular basis since starting in 2022 but only now do we find ourselves feeling the urge to put these sounds in front of other humans in a live setting...but now we MUST DO SO. Why?

1st Full Length Vinyl Record by IDoS

Well for a start IDoS is set to begin recording tracks for its first full-length vinyl LP. It is a VERY daunting challenge for a band to create 40 minutes (ish) of unique and vinyl-worthy material...a whole 40 minutes of all-killer-no-filler is a tough thing to do.

Most bands spend their time trying to decide how to FILL that 40 minutes, but generating the sounds has never been the problem for IDoS. Instead, we have the OPPOSITE issue. Our work has typically been long-form, and we have album releases that are multi-hour-long works.

Imagine trying to do a greatest-hits version of the Ring Cycle (all 9 hours) boiled down to its essence in a 40-minute package.

Squishing Wagner's Ring Cycle Onto A Single LP?

Probably cannot or should not be done, yes? I am guessing Chrome and Coil never had this problem. Or maybe they did and never bothered to whine about it like I am doing here.

So we decided to take a page or six from Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies and approach the recording of the vinyl record in a methodical manner...changing up our physical setups, our approach to creating the music and taking the journey.

Technological determinism? Does the vinyl record dictate the art? No, but our bleedin' BUDGET does. A double LP would cost twice as much for half the return, sadly. It's hard enough to convince strangers to take a chance on new-to-them music, let alone trying to sell them a double LP on top of all that.

The 21st Century Reality of Recorded Music

All the rambling above is, in all likelihood, meant to make me feel better about putting the record out in general, and of course to make some PR noises about it here. But this screed is also a bit of thinking aloud about where all this indie recorded music shit is headed.

Facebook and Instagram and Adobe are all conspiring to make its users surrender intellectual property rights for creative works posted on those platforms or created by people on them.

And my response to that is to withdraw from those platforms and to acknowledge that going forward, AI and IP issues are likely going to push independent music projects like mine into a place where live performances are absolutely the only way to survive.

Yes, it's been headed that way for a long time but I feel the added appeal of creative work done without the help of AI is going to result in an even larger premium polaced on live performances. Remember kids, you can't watch a computer do a drum solo.

So IDoS is headed both into the studio and onto the stage. What we LACK here as a new sonic outfit (new to the stage, mind, not the studio) are connections with fellow musical projects and likeminded artists, knowing the places to do in stores and bookings, all that brand new label stuff we will eventually come by...for now tho its very new and interim and we fumble our way toward something that makes sense.

Sustaining creative projects of any type is challenging, but an abstract one without a lot of mass appeal is, well, probably a bit Quixotic. So be it, contradictions are the name of the zen game and mine too.

Fellow Sonic Adventurers Take Note

I seek other artists similar to those already in our roster to consider live shows, collaborations, and other options with. Ditto for record store, bookstore, and gallery owners. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have notions about shows, collabs, etc. We are interested. Some we seek out, some are thrust upon us by circumstance. But we want to find the future that's free from AI intellectual property theft and full of live performances. Get in touch: jwallace242@ gmail dot com.

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