Ed Ackerson is best known as a record producer and songwriter for his bands Polara, BNLX, and the 27 Various, but he's long been an enthusiastic and prolific creator of experimental and psychedelic music. Because of the nature of his other projects, most of that experimental music hasn't had a context to be presented in, and it's remained unreleased. Susstones has decided to open the vaults and start putting some of this interesting, decidedly non-pop music up here on Bandcamp for people to check out.
In the long, hot summer of 2004, Ed was one of the first people to receive Electro Harmonix's revamped 16 Second Delay looping pedal. Based on a 70's-era pedal of the same name, the 2004 version added numerous features such as tap tempo that make it a flexible and creative tool for use on any instrument. Over the weekend of August 20-22, Ed took the new pedal into his lab at Flowers Studio and created the 10 compositions on this album. Each song is based on one (or more) loops created in the 16 Second Delay, upon which Ed added other improvised musical and textural elements.
The resulting album is a wild ride. Pastoral at the beginning ("Andromeda Farms"), the album quickly sets off on a turbulent path through various synthetic and acoustic textures. "'brovnik" comes on like a crazed futuristic spy movie chase interlude, with primitive toms beating and prepared piano bleating. "I'll Catch Up With You Later (BZ)" is a melancholy, almost free jazz tonal tribute to an old friend lost, wah guitars and piano trading sonic recollections. "Schlechte Geschichte" mixes primitive beatbox (an Electro Harmonix Digital Rhythm Matrix, actually) with downright sinister Mellotron choir and strangulated mono synth. By "Don't Push That...", the bottom falls out entirely, dropping the listener into an endless free fall. "Melkweg Bridge" and "Ford Transit, Swiss College" bring things back into somewhat more familiar territory and bring the record to an interesting conclusion.
Electronic, Krautrock, dub, postpunk and musique-concrete elements have always been audible in Ed's work, but on his pop productions they serve more to provide tension or atmosphere and are generally not in the foreground. This Tiles album almost inverts the normal presentation, bringing all of the weirdness into the foreground and leaving structure to the listener's imagination and discretion. This is an overtly psychedelic, exploratory album, very much worth a listen for anyone who is curious about what the inside of Ed's head really sounds like when it's not working in a pop song format.
released October 13, 2019
Recorded Aug. 20-23, 2004 at Flowers Studio, Minneapolis. All sounds by Ed Ackerson.
Producer/songwriter/musician from Minneapolis, leader of the bands BNLX, Polara, The 27 Various, Sideways, and The Dig. This
page collects his solo work, which ranges from acoustic-based pop tracks to abstract electronic psychedelia.