Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many Pieces
WHAT DID YOU DO IN 2000? Avant-alt guitarist Jeff McLeod turned the year 2000 into a musical journey. The Project: record ten seconds of music or musical thought every day of the year 2000. The result: Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many Pieces, just released on McLeod's own Subversive Workshop label. Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many pieces is a musical journal of sorts. For every day of the year 2000, experimental guitarist/synthesist Jeff McLeod recorded 10 seconds of something . . . no matter where he was or what he was doing. Sounds range from complete compositions written and recorded at home to field recordings of tour performances and church bells recorded in Madison, WI. On Jan. 1, 2001 Jeff began editing these collected sounds into manageable forms. The result is this document . . . a hulking, sometimes noisy, scary creature called Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many Pieces. In addition to the year that it took Jeff to record everything, 3 months were spent simply organizing, manipulating the sound and getting all the artwork and design for the CD just right. It was a huge undertaking, but very representative of an experimentalist's year for 2000. 'This CD is the result of an entire year of daily recording. Each day, no matter where I was, I would record ten seconds of something whether it was a mini composition put together at home or a church bell ringing in Madison, WI,' says McLeod. McLeod is no stranger to the music scene. Born and raised in rural Ramer, Alabama, he's been studying and making music for over 20 years now. . . and still finds ways to deconstruct it. He has worked, recorded and performed with artists as diverse as internationally known guitarist Davey Williams, avant-folk hero Eugene Chadbourne and veteran indie-rock recording engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, P.J. Harvey, Pixies). With influences ranging from thrash metal to the avant garde and malformed noise and math rock, McLeod always strives to create sounds and textures that please his own ears . . . even though they may not seem so nice to others. Ye Shall Be Cut... is a constantly evolving piece incorporating live field recordings, innovative guitar and synth melodies as well as skillful improvisation, what McLeod refers to as 'music of the moment'. This recording also features McLeod demonstrating his prowess on the theremin, an archaic instrument where the player manipulates sound via two pitch antennae. 'I've been on the musical path toward complete improvisation and experimental music ever since the age of 11 . . . and now, I feel like I'm finally there and able to work with improvisational and strange musical forms as comfortably as with compositions ' says McLeod. 'An hour of intense soundscapes, guitar mangling and noise that will alternately cradle your brain like a baby and beat it senseless...' Red Wound Press, Feb. 2001 'For the mind unadjusted to chaos, the experience will be on a par with an absolute sonic nightmare! For those who are prepared for the millennium, however, this will be the supreme escape from reality. This not only gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, it also receives the 'PICK' (of this issue) for 'most innovative recording'. Improvijazz Nation, June 2001 'Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many Pieces' Jeff McLeod ~ Subversive Workshop AUM AUM AUMNIBUS NEWSPAPER / JUNE Ye Shall... presents the death of musical convention at the hands of a local guitarist. Jeff McLeod succeeds at popping the year 2000's eyeballs out with the help of his tape recorder. For 10 seconds every day last year McLeod recorded the bits that would make up his sonic diary. Those bits were then edited together seamlessly to create this CD. The sounds of nightmares, beauty, evil and madness mesh, and at times collide, to create a barrage of sound that is ruthless in it's attack and compelling in it's delivery. Guitar bursts through sonic chaos and concentrates the madness with sharp-edged runs that boggle and fly in the face of rock music. Even the drunken ramblings of club goers he recorded, while on tour with the Athens, Ga. based band Baghouse, made it to plastic in ones and zeros providing comic relief, and a breather from the constant shower of music disassembling. This CD is a patchwork straightjacket for those driven mad by standard conforming popular rock music and culture. After the first listen you may agree that McLeod's musical thinking is surely as complex as the collage of schematics that choke the cover art. On the CD cover McLeod offers his best advice to the listener who loathes the commonplace in music, 'Distrust, Disappoint, Destruct.' By Kenny Johnson.