Thursday, November 16, 2023

recent reviews (relay for death, animist ark 2023+)

thanks to Frans de Waard for his recent reviews of the Relay for Death 10" lathe and the animist ark 2023+ 3 x CDR and 7" lathe release.

full reviews can be found here, but these would be my favorite nuggest from each:

relay for death: "This is quite a heavy piece of dark tones, industrial clatter and piercing statics, and I found this delightful - exactly the kind of noise I enjoy; not too loud but with enough force."

aminist ark 2023+: "there is also a lot of acoustic object abuse here, but at times, I had the idea they were in a rowing boat."

limited copies of each remain: please reach out if interested!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

ballast nvp060: animist ark + 2023 (3 x CDR, lathe, objects, supplemental materials)

some 20 years ago in 2003, the animist ark project—a collaboration by Eric Lunde and Jeph Jerman—appeared. this was a 2 x CDR set with objects in a hand-painted wooden box. the edition was seven copies, and very little information attended its release.

that same year, Jerman and Lunde released a CDR under the name “animist motors:” the edition number was not released, and again, very little information attended its release.

this ballast reissue, which comes in a painted reel to reel box with linocut stamping, contains all three animist recordings, a 7” lathe composed from original animist ark project source material (one side by Eric, one side by Jeph), objects, and supplemental items.

in the original edition, it was suggested that the CDR labeled “random” could be played back in a randomized /shuffle format. for this ballast edition, each copy of the “random” disc was shuffled before being burned to further facilitate that effort.

edition of 21 signed and numbered copies.

$36 ppd in the US: overseas, please get in touch, as I am currently completing paperwork with the US Department of Agriculture for shipping regulations.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

ballast nvp058: Relay for Death–Delta Loop/DMZ 10" lathe now available!

I am thrilled to announce that the newest lathe in the 10" lathe series, Relay for Death's "Delta Loop/DMZ," is now available!

the "Delta Loop" side was created from live sessions aboard a houseboat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta along with some field recordings and AM radio static collected whle driving along the Delta levees.
the "DMZ" side was created from radio signals (and radio jamming signals) captured on site in 2023 in the demilitarized zone separating South and North Korea. 

the found materials for each hand-assembled cover collage were sourced from a three-story family warehouse built by Rachal and Roxann's grandfather to house his cold-war era radio equipment.

edition of 25 numbered copies. each lathe in the series is $50 ppd in the US.

If you subscribe to the lathe series, the price per lathe drops drastically and guarantees you will get copies of each release in the series, which includes Aaron Dilloway, Evicshen, vertonen, Olivia Block & Adam Sonderberg, and MV Carbon.
See this post for more information.





Saturday, August 12, 2023

ballast nvp056 (olivia block and adam sonderberg 10" lathe) and nvp057 (vertonen cdr) now available

I am excited to share two new ballast releases.

first, the second lathe in the 10” lathe series is now available. “standing animals,” a one-sided lathe, was recorded, photographed, and arranged by olivia block and adam sonderberg. the release also comes with a movie on DVDr.


edition of 25 signed and numbered copies. each lathe in the series is $50 ppd in the US.
If you subscribe to the lathe series, the price per lathe drops drastically and guarantees you will get copies of each release in the series, which includes Relay for Death, Aaron Dilloway, Evicshen, vertonen, and MV Carbon.
See this post for more information.

ballastnvp057, lost in the vermilion sea, is the most recent vertonen release. the recording utilizes field recordings (raw and processed) of storms and water in conjunction with sine waves and shortwave recordings (raw and processed).








edition of 29 signed and numbered copies. $10 ppd in the US. 

if you are overseas, please contact me for shipping for any releases.
thanks as always for your interest!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Ballast NVP055: vertonen – Black Patti 8056 (10” lathe, CDR) now available.

It’s been at least four years since I first had the notion that it would be “neat” to own a Black Patti 78. It’s a select slice of Chicago recording history, they’re ridiculously difficult to come by, and they do have one of the more beautiful logos. However, they also sell for sums of money that I can certainly put to better use, so I’m at peace with a Black Patti 78 not being in my possession.
Or am I?
Black Patti 8056 is the first lathe in the 10” lathe series.
I originally thought I would build the tracks from recordings of what many consider the rarest Black Patti, 8030, because the music was not previously (or subsequently, or contemporaneously) released by any other labels. However, after some less than satisfying results, I opted to start with some piano recordings I‘d made in winter 2022 and some other permutated sample materials.
The title of side B, “frying bacon blues,” is a nod to the description frequently given to surface noise on 78 RPM shellac records.
The lathe’s labels, of course, had to pay homage to the original Black Patti labels: huge thanks are due to my friend Ryan Bahrke for his design prowess.
And finally, the hand-printed manila sleeve is my take on a “reproduction” of a Black Patti sleeve—which are actually rarer than many of the 78s.
(Also, the title, Black Patti 8056, is in reference to the last Black Patti catalog number of 8055.)
The accompanying CDR contains two pieces, approx. 20 minutes each, that build off some of the elements / themes on the lathe.
Edition of 25 signed and numbered copies, $50 ppd in the US.

If you subscribe to the lathe series, the price per lathe drops drastically and guarantees you will get copies of each release in the series, which includes Relay for Death, Aaron Dilloway, Evicshen, Olivia Block & Adam Sonderberg, and MV Carbon. See this post for more information.

10" lathe series subscriptions now available

With the 7” lathe series coming to a conclusion (almost two years after it was launched, cough cough) I figured a 10” lathe series made total sense.

the participants are as follows:

relay for death
aaron dilloway
mv carbon
olivia block and adam sonderberg

there will be 25 numbered copies of each release, with 19 available for sale.

each release will:
1) come with supplemental, complementary embellishments from each artist (be it audio, video, textural, or combinations thereof) 

2) be signed by the artist, and 

3) have packaging designed (and in some cases created) by the artist.
as with any ballast release, reflecting the artist’s vision and intention is the umbrella under which I operate.

each release will be priced at $50.

however, there is a prepaid subscription option of all six for $222, which bring the price down to $37 ea (within the US, shipping included).

I am open to discussing payment plans so as not to overwhelm anyone's bank account.

Please contact me at before arranging payment: I absolutely don’t want to oversubscribe.

if you are outside of the US, I want to avoid astronomically horrendous shipping costs. most folks who have ordered from overseas have worked out shipping plans with larger orders from other labels in the US, and I’m glad to keep on that path.

last but not least, from the 7” lathe lessons learned department, this series is operating on a much more clearly explicit timeframe.

to wit, I asked all artists to provide their lathe audio to me by April 15, and with the exception of one artist (who is on tour in europe), everyone is slated to do so. which means the prospect of this series being completed in the calendar year is much stronger.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

...and kind reviews of nvp052 and 053


Big appreciation to Bauke van der Wal for his extremely kind words on the two new ballast releases in vital weekly.


He beautifully nailed the sound poetry angle I was exploring on Parry & Eliza: “If drones are made of layers with tones instead of notes, how would compositions sound if words were chosen instead of tones? … Do incoherent words together still form lyrics? Or maybe better: Do combined words always produce a text?”

Then for the dead edits release, karaoke power electronics, he dug into some solid parsing of what exactly constitutes power electronics, concluding with, “To sum things up: You're not only getting a CDR with an hour of sounds, you're also getting a 12" with it !!! It might be made of cardboard, but it's round. It doesn't have any grooves but well... I suspect then if (when?) you play it... The record might produce some great noise.”

(plot twist, eric and I think it does.)