Regarding Baldessari, the new album from Virginia-based musician and illustrator Todd Webb, aka Seamonster, coming out in September on Gold Robot Records, I have to start by acknowledging one particular instance of the subtle artifice and novelty that he's built into this thing; "a freeware program called AudioPaint was used to convert the images of paintings referenced throughout the record into sounds that were then incorporated into the songs to make something new and different out of the old and familiar". The naming of the album is very deliberate; an homage to Californian artist John Baldessari, who is best known for his narrative photo-collages and multimedia projects, appropriating images and re-configuring them - often with the addition of text, etc - essentially in order to build new associations, which he pursued with as much resultant novelty as Seamonster. Even the packaging by fellow Virginian Warren Craghead incorporates "multiple references to... Baldessari", like the cover, which depicts Baldessari's 1981 video "I Am Making Art".
I should say, I helped release a 7" with Webb and Gold Robot, shortly after a short while that I'd been in touch with both parties. It was a great first opportunity to showcase the evolving dynamic he set between his recordings and production, building a lush orchestra of what I sometimes think of as "miniature noises" with less presence, but that in Webb's work gain a new potential to inform the overall system, which unfolds most spectacularly in the presence of his voice. I'm tremendously proud that we get to offer, in addition to my ponderously bloated text-block here, a song, "Vincent's Chair". Like the well articulated concepts that informed Baldessari's works, Webb's voice emerges and eventually says "follow me now", offering a first appendage to cultivate new association in whatever narrative you might perceive. Having said that, it was inspired by Vincent van Gogh. In case you wondered.
Stream: Seamonster - Vincent's Chair
You can preorder Baldessari from Gold Robot Records.