Negative Plus is my 14th CD album release since I began Alien Skin in 2008.
From the earlier years of moody, slow paced, atmospherics that defined what I wished to do at the time, to later works that returned me to my earlier 80s electronic roots, Negative Plus is both of these, heavily more on the later.
I fondly recall the period in the mid 2000's, just after leaving the band Real Life. We returned from a US, 2004 tour promoting the Imperfection album. In 2005 we did some local Melbourne shows but I felt it was time for me to leave the band, David Sterry continuing alone. That phase of the band had come to its natural end.
I began considering what to do next, it took time but in 2007 I completed Don't Open Till Doomsday, my initial Alien Skin album. The album was intentionally melancholic, moody, bleak. It was very much Martin Gore styled songwriting for the most part; he being a major influence upon my writing and voice, it's little wonder. Razor Arms, Saviour and Alien Skin were the 3 tracks that helped win an audience at the time. The entire album was very much a dark, sonic concept and this too helped consolidate the sound people identified with Alien Skin.
I was gratefully assisted by the power of the then formidable and first social media outlet, MySpace. Very music friendly, excitingly new, it did have power in its initial years to assist artists in breaking through the vast unknown and reach people's ears and minds.
Hampered by hearing issues I intentionally stayed away from my rhythmic, uptempo music; my ears would suffer not hours or days but perhaps months even after mild, short ‘abuse’. But after a number of releases, in 2017 I produced 1980 REDUX which had me do just what I was adverse to do - uptempo, metronomic kick drum tracks. Somehow I managed without taxing my hearing too much. I enjoyed that album as I approached it differently, with different writing methods and analogue sounds which I had all but abandoned years earlier. The albums from that period became more and more uptempo with harder, analogue sound templates.
Negative Plus is at the apex of this later day development of mine. It is the album I think I'll be most proud of for a long time. I kind of feel it may even be my last full album I may create. I don't know although at present I feel rather wasted and that I may be at an end with such protracted works. Age and personal circumstances certainly play their role. Nonetheless, if this is my final full album, all 14 tracks of it, I'm proud of what it has accomplished for me.
It will certainly be my last CD release. The format has very little support, for my releases anyhow, so whatever I do release it will not be on CD. So this Negative Plus is my final CD.
Free and paid for streaming has helped kill download sales but I still offer the album for sale to those wishing to really support what I do. Each sale is not simply a bit of money, as that's all it is, but much more importantly for me it is people providing affirmation and encouragement for me to release more music. Thank you to all of you who have and continue to support Alien Skin in this way, and/or at least be vocal on social media about my releases. It means, so much to me, it's cliched saying this, but it's truth.
Negative Plus is available on CD at Poponaut
And Bandcamp download (including cloud listening)
Thank you so much for reading and supporting!
Oh, btw, below is a YouTube playlist I have created. I set myself the goal of making music videos for each of the 14 album tracks. Most are complete, if you keep returning you will eventually see the entire album as video songs in album track order…
CD LINER NOTES:
As a maker of electronic pop music this is Year 40 Plus for me. The post punk eyeliner 80s were my vainglorious years of subculture youth, of Depeche Mode, Cabaret Voltaire, New Order. I also lived these years with the Australian synth/new wave band Real Life, the past 15 as Alien Skin.
Little propels me forward as much as creating new music of the genre I love. Now inspiration is more and more drawn from sources akin to the state of mind the years have etched. Increasing age, loss of nearest and dearest, nothing being new under the sun; all this can be a powerful director of one's focus.
"I do not believe in death I won't be around to know I'm gone" is an Andy Warhol quote I adapted for one of the album's songs. My own existential unraveling over the recent past is responsible for, "every face I see will die and every memory through my eyes will end with me" for another song.
The psyche present in these thoughts helped frame the concept of 'NEGATIVE PLUS' during months of Australian antarctic winter. Simultaneously though, I've always had a keen want to inject enduring pop melodies to balance the melancholic drama. If you can't remember the vocal tune of a song then I have failed.
Shamelessly dropping one final name: Lebanon Hanover's subversive lyric "sadness is rebellion" is one I've considered for some time. I realized this contemporary, pro 80s, darkwave/post-punk duo's epithet aligns with my own resistance to toxic positivity. And this considered attitude has resulted in the pathos drenched yet electro-humanoid Alien Skin album, 'NEGATIVE PLUS'. ~George