Austere: Remission
(click for Discogs entry)


By 2003 we were stuck in a rut and considering retirement. The process was getting tiresome and the playfulness and invention had gone out of it, so we decided to try something new and set out to make a guitar-only album (an instrument neither of us is skilled with.) After a year's work, we released "Remission", an album of edited but mostly improvised pieces.

There were upsides to self-releasing music, at least in 2003. It had become inexpensive and made it something more a form of expression, akin to painting or writing — just about anyone could do it. It was also nice not to be beholden to an outside party who may not share the same vision.

There were downsides as well. Time and energy spent working on product rather than composing and recording, and of course, the money. More importantly, a label releasing your music is like a writer having an editor. They provide an outside perspective and feedback.

While we look back on some albums more fondly than others, we ended up disappointed by what we set out to do. We discovered another upside to self-released music: we "unrelease it" just as well. So new tracks were recorded, others finished, a few replaced, everything was remixed and remastered and "Remission" was retired and replaced by a new version called "Remittance."

From the CD packaging: "No synths were used in the making of this album."