In 2012 I started producing a concept record that never materialized in the ideal fashion I would have hoped for — perhaps this was just as well. Much elaboration went into it, every track was supposed to be like a Lord of The Rings movie.
But this was too much for what we were doing at the time. We were already releasing a plethora of group and solo albums.
This project was an Ambient Abstractions quasi-thematic supergroup called the Mole People.
The idea for the Mole People came not only from the cheesy flick but also the entire idea of being underground, perhaps in a more literal sense.. as well as metaphorical.. It was to be a classic Hero's Journey, in which the protagonist (in this case the listener) goes into the underworld, meets the inhabitants, and emerges with an even greater understanding.
This was where the thinking was at the time. Sort of like AA's answer to Army of the Pharaohs. Except maybe more story driven.
A little over a year later the instrumentals were complete. By this point a couple of the original beats were scooped up and used for other purposes, but the original flow of the album remained the same.
Interest in the project simmered and fizzled for several years, and only one track actually ended up being recorded. Which is not to say that Mole People will never drop material. Only time will tell when and in what ways the Mole People will re-emerge..
For the present I decided to preserve those instrumentals here. Throughout the past 5 years I've dropped little snippets here and there, but I figured it was time to archive those tracks as they were originally recorded ("in situ" as the archaeologists would say), including some bonus flavor.
Making music in 2012 was like a lightning rod — many great things came to fruition. The Mole People was a rush idea that was too big for its britches. In an alternate universe or my own imagination it would have popped off simultaneously with everything else that was happening at the time, which in reality was an impossible task. It was simply too much to ask. Of anyone.
I hope you enjoy these beats, for whatever they're worth. The Mole People represents many things. The fear of the unfamiliar. The process of going through and integrating experience. And the undaunting courage of those willing to make the journey.
I recorded most of these beats on an MPC 1000 through a Mackie DFX series live mixer to an E-MU Systems PCIe card to Cubase 5. Minimal mixing was done. A couple beats were made on FL Studio. It was planned to incorporate further media samples from various sources (documentaries, etc.) as the songs begun to take further form, combined with effects. Madlib was an inspiration here, especially with the Quasimoto Unseen album.
No additional remastering was done.
Lastly, I dedicate this record to Lake Merritt and psychedelic mushrooms.
I sort of feel like these beats were a kind of magnum opus, at least at the time and for the period in which they were made, as "incomplete" as they are.
released May 29, 2018
Ambient Abstractions 2018