Shake This Maze
Shake This Maze is a project that started sometime around 2009 in Buenos Aires when I decided to get back into writing more personal lyrics. During this time I had the good fortune to be able to work with talented musicians both inside and outside of the city of Buenos Aires. Conversations about life in Buenos Aires can be heard on “The Villa,” which was recorded in Villa Carraza, a low-income area outside of the city. While in Argentina I also work with a woman with an amazing voice whose version of “The City,” brought out such soulful tones in the track.
After moving back to Seattle to finish school at the University of Washington I formed a group called 55thandBrooklyn, and tracks such as “Past That,” “Wake Up,” “He’s Your Guy,” and “The Christmas Song,” were part of the live set of 55th later performed live around Seattle at venues such as Fourno’s, Lucid, and Waid’s in early 2011. After graduation in March 2011, I got a job at Duke’s Chowder house, a Seattle seafood chain restaurant. The members of 55th had gone their separate ways and I focused on solo lyrics accompanied by acoustic guitar. Experiences from Seattle during this period crafted through this type arrangement can be heard on “This job,” “Making Spaces,” and “Jade Eyes.” Final recording of these later tracks was done in two different apartment studios in Madrid, Spain.
The final two tracks of the album were projects begun years before I even left for college. “Livin on the West Coast” comes from the P.Muller and Sneaky V days of 2002-2006 when V and I first started messing with composition and arranging music with Garage Band in Berkeley. In “Spark This Shit Flaming” I used a beat from Seattle that samples me playing drums from my parents basement in 2003.Then in Spain I wrote the lyrics and recorded and mastered the track.
I started out using Logic Express 8 in Argentina and finished up with Ableton Suite 8. I have used the same Apogee one interface and MXL V88 mic for 3 years.
While the tracks mostly come from me, this project is 100% collaboration between V and I. If it weren’t for his idea to start this project, there’d be no album. If it weren’t for his craftsmanship, the tracks would have no presentation.
In order to purchase the album:
-Directly from Peter in Madrid at upcoming shows, album release parties, open mics, other shows or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Directly from Vicken in the New York City area or contact V at email@example.com
-For orders not in Madrid or New York City…
Shake This Maze USA:
Shake This Maze Europa:
-8€ for European orders and $10 for orders in the United States. All other currencies are accepted.
An important idea of the album comes from the title track: “Shake this maze to the core with these chords and verses/Mix genres like cops, johns, whores, and virgins/Turn the source of hurting into a sense of pride/ Find the gold on the shipwrecks of life.” Music for me has been a main source of Reflection and Response, and the tracks on this album are just that: Reflections on everyday experience. This release is an ultimate Response.
The making of the album artwork was a handcrafted process involving 6 stages and multiple mediums. We started by ordering 50 blank recycled chipboard album covers and some CD sleeves from the good folks over at Stumptown Printers, and Shake This Maze was soon on its way…
1. Cover Art, Part 1: Acrylic paint stencil
I started the cover art by cutting a stencil of the “PM” logo that I had created for Peter about a month ago. An old-school classic stencil made from the basics: a manila folder and an exacto blade. Using red acrylic paint and a brush, I hand stenciled this first layer on the units.
2. Cover Art, Part 2: India ink stencil
Next, I cut another stencil of the lettering I drew up for the album title, Shake This Maze. Using india ink and a brush, I centered this second layer over the red “PM” backdrop.
3. Back Cover
For the back cover (not pictured) I hand-wrote some credits with a Pigma Micron #8 pen..
Moving on to the tracklists, I used a Pigma Brush pen to write the song titles. I also marked each unit with a 1/50, 2/50….49/50, 50/50.. on the right inside cover. It would be dope to see where all of these end up, so hit us up with the whereabouts.. we might have to set up a map to keep track!
5. CD Labels
I printed the “PM” logo and the “Shake This Maze” lettering on Brown Kraft CD Labels, which we then threw on each CD..
Finally, using a hot glue gun, I folded and assembled each case. Look for more goods in the inside left pocket too!!
This was a dope collaborative project to work on, and it’s amazing how each album case turns out to be unique in some way – whether it’s slightly different placement of the cover lettering stencils, or the individually numbered inside pocket…they all have their own vibe and character! I think this handcrafted approach is the only fitting way to showcase Peter’s original, honest, and raw creative talent. Reflection and Response.
Reflection and Response.