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Minimum Country

I had the title in mind early, and meant it both as a description of my homeland and as a program for genre. I thought there might be a kind of minimalism placed halfway between Woody Guthrie and Gang of Four, that would speak to the time as they spoke to theirs. The results don't sound much like either, but are perhaps more intelligible against those starting points.

The record was made on a laptop, the oldest computer in the house, that could barely play back the mixes in real time. It was the only machine able to run the still older audio software that I’d kept around from a time when software was still traded on CD-Rs.

Making it took just over four years. Everything except the noisy parts was done late at night, in hours stolen from trying to meet the minimum in other areas. One attempt at austerity was to leave out the keyboards. Everything’s a guitar aside from cello here and there, and the horn samples on “Wannsee.”

Whatever the value of the record, I’m happy to remember it as an act of enormous stubbornness.

Berkeley—Palo Alto—El Cerrito, 2009-2013.

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