Monday, December 3, 2007

Ringfinger's "Decimal"

#1 on!

Introducing the first recorded material from cult-worshipped vocalist Tracy Wilson of the legendary Dahlia Seed in ten years.

RINGFINGER, the aptly titled moniker for Wilson's project, and new album "Decimal," is a tricked out masterpiece featuring collaborations with members of Cave In, Isis. Sunno))) / Jessamine/ Fontanelle, Film School / N. Lannon, Dälek, Engine Down, Denali, Dead Waiter, Jah Division/ Soldiers of Fortune, Whisper & Wire, Eons/ Delegate and more, who's end result brings to mind the soul churning post-industrial dark-indie-pop along the lines of Bjork, female-fronted Postal Service or an electrocuted-Discount.

"Decimal" features production work by the legendary J Robbins and Oktopus of Dälek, a SunnO))) song you can actually sing along to, and ”Viking Funeral,” your favorite song of 2007, also a Norse tribute for the modern woman.

In the ashes one of punk rock's most important bands, rises the newest material from musician who made it all possible.

Tracy Wilson speaks on the making of RINGFINGER's Decimal:

Your survival mechanism is a curious thing. Mine chose to make a solo record after nearly a decade of musical nothingness in hopes of channeling a difficult and emotional decade into something productive and positive. After the demise of Dahlia Seed in 1996 (I was the singer) I dabbled in a few home recording projects (Souvenir and Scissorettes) and briefly sang in a band (Down with the Ship) featuring drummer extraordinaire Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Burnt By the Sun, Melt Banana, Discordance Axis). I did not formally record or release any new music during that entire time period.

I am Tracy Wilson AKA Ringfinger and this is my self released debut solo long player called “Decimal”.

dec•i•mal(ds-ml) n. 1. A linear array of digits that represents a real number, every decimal place indicating a multiple of a negative power of 10. For example, the decimal 0.1 = 1/10 , 0.12 = 12/100 , 0.003 = 3/1000 . Also called decimal fraction. 2. A number written using the base 10. adj. 1. Expressed or expressible as a decimal. 2. a. Based on 10. b. Numbered or ordered by groups of 10.

Following a laundry lists of heartaches including divorce, moving to a new city where I knew almost no one, the loss of both my parents to two different terminal diseases, and a brother who was killed in an accident (the list goes on and on) ... these events left me a shadow of a human being. At the end of it all I was desperate for something to throw myself into that wasn’t grief or self pity. My life goal slowly transformed from trying to keep my head above water to rediscovering who I was since everything that helped to defined me was obliterated in a matter of just a few years.

My sanity came in the form of 12 songs and a group of friends/musicians who probably still have no clue of the roll (heroes) they really played in my personal Greek tragedy. Team Ringfinger helped to rescue me just by sharing their creative gift. Sometimes we shared ideas via the mailbox (Postal Service style if you will) and occasionally some of us were fortunate to share actual studio time together.

I am uncomfortable drawing too much attention to the back story of “Decimal” as ultimately I would like the songs to stand on their own but the simple truth is the making of this record was a matter of life or death to me. Every record has a story to tell, a different reason as to why it was born, and this is mine. It is a tale of survival, perseverance, and ultimately the sound of friendship in all its complex and varied forms.

The blueprint of “Decimal” looks something this: I would first write a song on my Zoom Rhythmtrack RT-123 (old school!). I would then record it on 4-track (double old school) with rough vocals ultimately passing it along in Pro- Tools to friends who either expanded or deconstructed the music from there. In all cases once a song was close to being finished it was mailed back to me and then brought into a studio where I would record my final vocals. As Frankenstein stitched together the parts to these songs are, I believe there is a consistency to the material. All but one of the songs found on “Decimal” are written by me and all of the songs but one are sung by me. My audio mad scientist and final mixer was Alap Momin aka Oktopus of Dälek and it was with his genius and incredible patience that the hundreds of puzzle pieces were perfectly nestled together to form the final sonic big picture.

This epic project was finally completed in May of this year; 10 years after the idea of my solo record was hatched.

Giving up creative control was something I initially dreaded but in the end this became my favorite aspect of the recording project. It was thrilling to send off a skeleton outline of a song and then listen to it develop in a way that I could have never dreamed of. The core of this record remains rooted in electronic (occasionally glitchy) based pop but I think listeners will be as surprised as I was to discover musicians best known for heavier genres (doom, drone, metallic hardcore) diving delicately and utterly gracefully into an unlikely pairing. Dream-doom? Tweegazer? Static-pop? Fuzztronica? Quiet and loud all at once, who knew?

It should also be explained as to how the players of this record came to be. I’ve been obsessed with music my whole life. I have been collecting records for 27 years, worked in independent music for nearly 20 years, played in bands for nearly as long and in that span of time you can’t help but eventually stumble across creative talented musician types. I truly feel fortunate to have befriended so many incredibly gifted people along the way.

Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Octave Museum, Pet Genius) and I met in email pen pal form through a friend at Jade Tree records in 1996. From there we began mailing 4-track tapes back and forth and it was through these exchanges that many of the songs found on “Decimal” began to take shape. Stephen is my partner in crime for nearly half of the material found here and it was the success of our collaborations that inspired me to try partnering my material with other friends. “Decimal” is also the first time Stephen and his brother Matt have ever played and recorded together so “Pin Me Down”, sung entirely by Stephen with drums by his brother, is extra special for this reason alone.

Richmond, Virginia became my home in 2001 and it was here I met the members of Denali (Cam DiNunzio + Jonathan Fuller), Engine Down (Jonathan Fuller), Delegate (Justin Bailey - whose is now a member of Eons) and Rich Stine who plays in too many projects to even begin to list them all. These locals were my recording anchors. They play on about a third of the actual songs and it was Cam (using his home recording gear + stood at the helm during our stint at Sound Of Music Studio), Rich, and Justin (Black Iris Studio) who helped to record, edit and organize the basics to every one of my songs. (What can I say-I don’t have a personal computer and this record would have never happened without their help)

The rest of Team Ringfinger comes from all over the place. Meason Wiley of Dead Waiter has been an old friend reaching back to my days of Dahlia Seed in the early to mid 90s. Aaron Turner of Isis was first introduced to me through Stephen Brodsky but we have also had a working relationship in the late 90’s when I was selling his label’s records (Hydra Head) through my distribution job at Caroline Distribution. J Robbins with whom I recorded the vocals for two of the tracks is perhaps my oldest friend in the bunch. Jawbox was the very first band to stay at my first ever home away from my parent’s home in 1991. Rex Ritter of Sunno))), Jessamine, and Fontanelle is probably my second oldest friend on “Decimal” as we became friends while I lived in Seattle 1994-95 through the Engine Kid guys who were on the C/Z label I was a sales rep for at the time. Barry London (Jah Division, Knoxville Girls and ex-husband to be more specific) and I home recorded quite a bit in late 90’s / early 2000 and it was from these sessions that “Miss Me” came to be. It saddened me that none of our songs ever saw the light of day so when I had the chance to rework an old demo version of the song I jumped at the opportunity. It was then placed in the hands of Alap Momin (Dälek) who completely dissected and rebuilt the song from the ground up. Alap and I, both from the same post hardcore community of the 90’s in NY/NY, worked together in the mid 90’s when Dahlia Seed recorded our final material at his studio. Nyles Lannon of Film School and N. Lannon falls into the newest friend category. I was a huge fan of his debut solo record and introduced myself to him at local show he played a few years ago. We hardly new each other at the time but I had one track that screamed for his addition. I shyly asked him if he was interested in adding his talents to the mix and lucky for me he said yes.

Dahlia Seed. We were an emo/ post hardcore/ indie rock band that existed from 1992 to 1996. We put out a few records (Troubleman, Vinyl Communications, Theologian) and while we didn’t do really do the barcode thing back them (don’t ask- it was a DIY thing) I can guestimate that our combined catalog sales were around 10k. People say we influenced all sorts of bands Pretty Girls Make Graves, Rainer Maria, and At the Drive In (Omar of ATDI/MARS Volta has a Dahlia Seed tattoo) to name a few, but I am not going to claim any of that as fact, just word on the street. I will leave you with a few quotes about the band since I feel so dopey trying to excavate something that feels like ancient history to me. Now I understand why artists don’t like to write their own bios.

"Decimal" Tracklist:
1. Typewriter Tourist (Feat. Cam DiNunzio of Denali & Jonathan Fuller of Engine Down / Denali)
2. Waving Good-Bye (Feat. Aaron Turner of Isis/ Old Man Gloom)
3. Joy Lingers (Feat. Stephen Brodsky of Cave In)
4. Viking Funeral (Feat. Meason Wiley of Dead Waiter / J. Robbins’ of Jawbox/ Burning Airlines production)
5. Landing Strip (Feat. Rex Ritter of Sunn0))),Fontanelle, Jessamine.)
6. Pin Me Down (Feat. Stephen Brodsky of Cave In and Matt Brodsky of Harder The Fight)
7. (I) Miss Me (Feat. Oktopus of Dälek and Barry London of Jah Division)
8. Elegant Excuse (Feat Justin Bailey of Eons) and. Nyles Lannon of Film School/N.Lannon)
9. AWOL W/ Adore (Feat. Justin Bailey of Eons) and J. Robbins’ of Jawbox/ Burning Airlines production)
10. Mining For Diamonds (Feat. Stephen Brodsky of Cave In)
11. Four Misused letters " (Feat. Cam DiNunzio of Denali & Jonathan Fuller of Engine Down/Denali)
12. Death Star (Feat. Stephen Brodsky of Cave In)

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