Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Space at the Waldorf

 I am excited to announce my new artist workspace! I am officially renting a studio space at the gorgeous Waldorf Hotel, across the hall from the Black and Yellow Gallery to work from, hang out at, and eat cauliflower in. I might also occasionally sell things there as well.

 Vancouverites can see some new work at both SPREAD and THE CHEAPER SHOW 10 coming up in the next month!

 My beloved Japanese friends can also see some new work at the CAN YOU SEE THE RAINBOW FROM HERE show in Tokyo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Mall is out now!

I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to take the few free moments that I have to let everyone know that THE MALL is officially out!

You can buy it here at the ACHE RECORDS website as a $4 download: http://www.acherecords.com

"Vancouver, BC wunderkind Andy Dixon has been a punk rocker, visual artist and record label boss, among other vocations. But it's his role as Secret Mommy that has made him a name east of the Rockies. On sophomore LP Mammal Class, Dixon began inserting found nature sounds next to samples of Pink and Shania Twain. On fifth full-length The Mall, Secret Mommy hasn't looked back, this time creating an entire album out of bleeps, chimes and faint voices mined form one of Canada's many bustling shopping malls. At eight tracks under 30 minutes, everything about The Mall works as highlights, from the elastic, spastic rhythms that accompany "Music at the Bay" to the cut/copy mash down of "Clothing Racks (Sears)" and the claustrophobia beats of "Thank You So Much (the Body Shop)." With The Mall, Dixon gives Canada its own shining electronic visionary, giving Matmos, Herbert and the Books a run for their money." - Exclaim.ca

"Vancouver’s Andy Dixon returns with yet another experimental passage of sounds set to clicks, pulses and warm chunky fart-like tones made musical. The Mall is technically a field recording of Dixon’s wanderings through a local mall, which is later chopped, sliced and diced and blended to create a rather listenable piece of music. Comprised of eight movements that blend into each other, The Mall is a landscape of emotive tunes that remind one of the Books, Brian Eno or Mr. Projectile, only more subdued.

The journey begins in an upward-moving elevator. The doors open and you are drawn into the ambience of the human beehive where we buy things en masse. Feet pad past, voices lilt and ring about and money changes hands. With this musical mosaic you are taken to a place quite different than where “normal” music can take you. After a few minutes of ambience, the electronic manipulations kick in more soundly and the flight begins, all the while snippets of dialogue and mall sounds filter through, bringing you back to earth and the present.

For a field recording set to music this is surprisingly easy to enjoy. Spazzy electronic music can be a tough pill to swallow, but I find myself grooving and weaving to this short but sweet bit of tuneful low-key ambiance. Who would have thought that IDM/glitch and a day at the mall would fit so well together?" - Discorder

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Secret Mommy's new album

I'm really excited to be putting the finishing touches on my newest audio output, The Mall. It's going to be a download only release on my own label, Ache.

If you scroll down just a little bit, you'll see the blog entry I made about a recent one-time-only performance for a symposium called Listen Again. Well, the composition I came up with for that evening ended up being something I was quite proud of. I decided to take the piece back to my lab for a bit of retooling. I edited it a little bit, adding a few new moments here and cutting a few moments there. However, I tried my best to retain a certain loose spontaneity that can only be found on "live albums". I didn't want it to lose all of the performance's spirit among too many heavy, precise edits.

The result is an 8 part piece of music called The Mall. It is made entirely of recordings I made of our culture's greatest cathedral, the mall. I travelled to 3 malls in the lower mainland here in British Columbia, capturing hours of audio ranging from intricate recordings of elevator buttons, clothing racks, and footsteps, to huge ambiences, water fountains, and underground parking lots. I then, chopped it all into little bits and reassembled into 30 minutes of "music".

The official release date is April 5th. You will be able to download it here: acherecords.com . I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

If you'd like to help me promote this album, please get in touch because, frankly, I am terrible at that aspect of making art (and, come to think of it, life in general).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Listen Again

I'm currently working on new music for a performance at the Listen Again symposium. I've been asked, as Secret Mommy, to compose and perform a piece created entirely of recordings of shopping malls. So after spending a few weeks travelling around the lower mainland, recording device in hand, gathering my ammunition I am now "hard at work" manipulating and composing.

It's been a while since I've created under the name Secret Mommy and even longer since I have created within the strict regiment of past work like Very Rec and the Wisdom EP. It's an interesting and exciting experience to revisit that path.

More on the symposium & performance can be found here.


With an ear to the past, present, and future, Listen Again: The Changing World of Everyday Sound, Audio, and Noise, and the Future of Sound Studies is a 1-day symposium devoted to the interdisciplinary exploration of sound and the present condition of sound studies itself, offering a unique examination of art, music, culture, society, politics, and and the changing character of everyday life.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Deep Breath

It has been madness for me over the last few days. I have been preparing for the Ache Records Super sale; stickering, stuffing, and packing records; loading up carloads and unloading carloads; putting the final touches on the website, etc. What I had thought to be a 4 or 5 hour task ended up taking about 16 hours and that's with calling in some extra help for the second half of it (thanks Erin and Pops!).

But it is done for the most part! All of the participating record stores in Vancouver have the stock and the website is up and ready to process your order. Go ahead, Vancouverite, and look through your couch cushions for those toonies you lost last week and drop by any of the fine folks at Red Cat, Scratch, Zulu, Audiopile, Dandelion or Zoo Zhop for a record or two. Then go home, throw on the album and bask in the music and the feeling of supporting us.

We had the first of several events go down last night. Despite functioning on 2 hours of sleep, I managed to have a blast. Thanks to Spirals, Hari Legs, David Zoo Zhop, and my fellow band mates for knocking it out of the park.

So now I'm at home after the kind of deep sleep that one wakes up from with a feeling that he or she was in a boxing match the night before. I feel rested but dazed. The sun is shinning, I'm drinking a fantastic coffee, taking a deep breath, and stretching out my muscles which ache (pun intended) from carrying so many boxes of records. This is either the eye of the storm or it has passed by and it will be smooth sailing from here on in. Who knows? But as my friend, Luc's, ominous fortune cookie once read: Hope for the best but expect the worst.

Next up is a party at the elusive Red Gate in Vancouver tonight. Babe Rainbow and my newest band, Mt Career are playing.... and exhale. Gotta run!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


One of my newest musical projects, Caving, has a new (and debut) album out called U.S. Caves. It is technically released this Friday as a free download, but I've already put it up on Bandcamp because, well, who cares about a release date for a free download?

The album is essentially a rap mixtape. I've taken acapellas (some well known and some a bit more obscure) and created my own beats and music to accompany them using a lot of world music samples and digital tomfoolery. I'm really interested in getting involved in rap production and while such a venture is probably well beyond my social and professional reach, it was fun to come up with these tracks to share with you nonetheless.

T.I., Rich Boy, Pill, Drizzy, Weezy, Cool Kids, if you're out there: hit me up and we'll get crazy.

Here it is!

<a href="http://caving.bandcamp.com/album/u-s-caves">U.S. Caves by Caving</a>

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Busy time upon me.

Wow. Life keeps coming at us, hey?

I've been busy busy busy. The bulk of my busyness revolves around this Ache Super Sale I'm working on. Oh, what sale is that, you ask? Basically, the experimental record label I run is turning 10 years old this year! Wild. I've been running this thing for 1/3 of my entire life. What a thought!

So, to celebrate (and, honestly, to help make a theoretical dent in Ache's daunting debt) I'm throwing a sale. Not just one of those 10% off type sales, though. More like one of those liquidation sales you see when a business goes under or moves and it's completely chaotic because everything is so cheap. The kind of sale that evokes people to fight each other, step on each other's faces, and throw out their babies so they can fill up the carriage with more wares.

The label: Ache is a forum for different ideas about what music can be, and how it can function without any rules of genre or concern for commercial success. Each Ache release comes with a feeling of excitement and hope that it might move you and, if even slightly, change your idea of what music is. A point of pride for me is Ache's diversity. From African street music to beautiful drones to Japanese thrash, Ache's only ethos is that the music is challenging and does not function within the guidelines of the conventional music industry. If I believed that an artist was creating music purely to sell records (or what I call "playing the game"), I would not attach the Ache name to it. 

The sale: I'll be selling everything between $1 and $5 both in person around Vancouver and digitally everywhere else in the world (plus shipping, of course)

So if you've ever been curious about the music I put out, or if you are interested in hearing new, untainted musical ideas, now is the time to check out Ache. I have a streaming audio player of some tracks from the catalog for you to get acquainted with. Enjoy!

For those of you in Vancouver, I'm piecing together all sorts of celebratory events for the sale as well: A birthday party with Babe Rainbow and my new band, Mt Career; a DJ in-store at Zulu Records where I'll be playing only Ache stuff while people hang out, have a few drinks, and buy records; and even a weekly pop-up store at the Toast Collective! More info on each of these is available here

I also just finished my first CAVING mix yesterday! But I'll write more about that in another post. This one is already feeling like the It of Stephen King's career. Length-wise, I mean.