24 March 2015

[DISCOGRAPHY] Boy King Islands - White Mirror

Boy King Islands - White Mirror
Format: LP, CD & Digital

1. Constellation
2. Twin Flames
3. I'm Taking Over Me
4. Crying Wolf
5. Held
6. Say It's Home
7. Mistakes to Learn
8. White Mirror
9. We Can't Tell from Where We Are
10. Echoes

All songs written between Fall 2011 and Summer 2014 by Boy King Islands (Diaspora Music, ASCAP & He Heard Himself Say, BMI). Recorded and Mixed by Boy King Islands and Dan Smart at home and at ECHO/NORMAL. Mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Company. Design & Layout by Someoddpilot.

Watch the video for "Constellation" by Alex Lewis.

[DISCOGRAPHY] Boy King Islands - Pastels

Boy King Islands - Pastels
Format: CD-R (limited edition of 9)

1. Fall (demo version)
2. Finally Home
3. Memory Loop
4. See Through Your Eyes
5. A Tear & A Smile
6. Youth Disappearing
7. Cuban Joint
8. Echoes (original guitar demo)
9. Are We Where from Tell Can’t We
10. 12 String Rain
11. Million Dollar Piano
12. Chords from Snow
13. Blue in Black
14. All Green & White (demo version)
15. Chasing Noises (demo version)
16. Fall
17. Henry Darger
18. Rise

All material recorded by Zachary Mastoon and Jason Hunt – separately or together – between 2002 & 2014. Mastered by Dan Smart at ECHO/NORMAL.

Very limited edition mix of unreleased demos and outtakes given to friends via a Kickstarter campaign. Sleeves all hand-stamped and numbered, with two sided photo insert and tracklist; CD-R is a black, unlabeled Memorex. No catalog number listed on sleeve or CD-R.

Original photography by Chris Eichenseer of Someoddpilot from the Boy King Islands' "Fall" photo shoot (2004).

From Base Lead, Now Golden: We're Revealed Again

From Base Lead, Now Golden: We're Revealed Again
Companion Book for Boy King Islands' LP, White Mirror (limited print edition of 18)

Original photography by Marc Mastoon
Scans by Jessica Pierotti & Piper Robbins
Color, restoration & layout by Zachary Mastoon

18 March 2015

Boy King Islands Interview with Brazilian Shoegazers

Check out my interview as Boy King Islands with the super cool, Brazilian Shoegazers The Blog That Celebrates Itself:

O duo Boy King Islands se auto define como pós shoegazer, ponto.

Definições a parte, White Mirror que esta em pré venda e tem lançamento oficial para o próximo dia 24 agora de março, demonstra que os caras pegam forte nas referências mais barulhentas e menos experimentais, como por exemplo o Swervedriver.

Muito do álbum remete aos trabalhos ao Swervedriver ao meu ver, com exceção da fúria do primeiro álbum, o Boy King Islands tem sim um lado tendencioso para a barulheira, mas consegue equilibrar as coisas com o trabalho de vocalização e uso de outros timbres e instrumentos.

Um belo álbum do Boy King Islands, que vive rodando por aqui já faz um tempo.

Q: When did Boy King Islands start, tell us about the history...

Back in high school, I belonged to an organization called Sound Exposure. Run by a then-employee of Elektra Records named Nan Warshaw (who went on to start Bloodshot Records in Chicago), it helped high school bands like mine organize shows and network with other kindred spirits and nerds in the high school who had basement- and garage bands; one of them was Jason Hunt (my partner in Boy King Islands).

The music we played together back then was constantly changing but, years later - when I was living with him and some friends in our hometown above this Chinese restaurant - I was asked to cover a My Bloody Valentine song for a 7" series. I wrote an original tune instead and enlisted Jason to play classical guitar on it. Boy King Islands grew from that one song ("The Girl with The Stained Glass Eyes", released as Caural on a limited 7" by Frank Wobbly & Sons) to the beginnings of an album.

When I went back to NY at the end of the year, we continued to collaborate on music. Honestly, it was a side project for him and me both, and we didn't release our first album for nearly ten years!

Q: Who are your influences?

Jason and I have very different influences, but I think where they overlap is in early nineties shoegaze stuff like Ride and My Bloody Valentine, and in classic hip-hop like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest - basically the stuff we were rocking out to on our headphones in high school when we first met. He is a classical guitarist and I have been doing experimental electronic music for years, so of course our collaboration has been shaped by quite a lot of different sounds, sights and experiences.

Q: Make a list of 5 albums of all time…

I hate this question, because it can change depending on the day; however, the albums that consistently make the list for me are, in no particular order:

1. Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
2. Herbie Hancock - Headhunters
3. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
4. Joni Mitchell - Court & Spark
5. Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album

Q: How do you feel playing live?

Since it's just Jason and me - and I play everything except for the guitar and keyboard parts he plays - we have never put together a live show as it would be too difficult to recreate the music live. But I'll tell you, I used to love performing, and hope to again someday...

Q: How do you describe Boy King Islands sounds?

Um, post-shoegaze? I don't know. Even though we were never really a "shoegaze" or "dream pop" band per se, certainly a lot of those bands were an influence on the music. I think as time went on, we kept some of the same aesthetics as far as chord progressions and harmonies go, but varied their delivery to include more diverse instrumentation. There's a quote I love even though no one seems to know whom to attribute it to: "writing about music is like dancing about architecture". I agree with that whole-heartedly, so I'd rather people listen to our music to get a feel of it versus listen to me trying to describe it.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?

Historically, it happened in one of two ways: either I started with chord changes and lyrics, or I riffed on some of Jason's changes and wrote lyrics to form a song. From there, we'd record what we could at home - usually separately - and complimented each other's ideas to a click track until I recorded final drums in a studio. At that point, we'd decide to redo stuff or add additional overdubs (with two of us, there were a LOT of overdubs!). Final vocals were almost always recorded last.

Q: Which new bands do you recommend?

Hiatus Kaiyote are hands down one of my new favorite bands. Other than them, lately I have been listening to Merchandise, Popstrangers, Mac Demarco, Diiv, Huerco S, and Tame Impala.

Q: Which bands would you love to make a cover version of?

For some reason, I have always wanted to cover an old My Dad Is Dead song called "Boundaries". People totally sleep on that guy and I absolutely love his music from the mid-eighties. Maybe a Chameleons or Cleaners from Venus song would be fun to do, but I probably couldn't cover either without singing in a terrible and fake English accent.

Q: What´s the plan for the future....

My girlfriend and I moved to California shortly after the upcoming Boy King Islands album was finished and, with Jason still in Chicago and his daughter approaching three years old, our collaboration has ground to a painful halt. However, I have a handful of new songs already written and will likely start recording in a couple months, though I have a feeling the music will continue to go in a new direction... I bought a couple vintage drum machines and a Rickenbacker bass, so maybe I'll start doing solo new wave shit. Who knows.

Q: Any parting words?

Thank you!

30 September 2013

[DISCOGRAPHY] Various Artists - Benefit for The Psycho In-Active

Various Artists - Benefit for The Psycho In-Active (Eat Concrete, 2013)
Format: Digital with Poster (hand-numbered and limited to 100)

Boy King Islands - Dead Friend (Icarus Remix)

(exclusive track)

Poster designed by Belgian designer, Oma

Watch the video for the remix by disco_r.dance

17 September 2013

[DISCOGRAPHY] Original Ultraviolets (Self-Titled)

Original Ultraviolets (Self-Titled LP)
Format: Digital only

1. Scorpio & Orion
2. I'll Turn Cold
3. Summer Sun (Original Version)
4. Los Angeles
5. Hey Johnny
6. Green Light, Don't Walk
7. Plane Crash (Demo)
8. 1984
9. Deserted
10. Let The Clouds In

All songs written and recorded between 1984 & 2006 by Stuart Bogie and Zachary Mastoon to cassette or quarter-inch 8 track. Songs 1, 3, 4, 6, 9 & 10 mixed by Dan Smart and Original Ultraviolets at ECHO/NORMAL in Chicago in 2012. Mastered by Keith Kreuser. Design by Zachary Mastoon.

Circa 1985


Original Ultraviolets is the first musical collaboration of childhood neighbors and lifelong friends Stuart Bogie (Brooklyn-based composer, Superhuman Happiness' bandleader and session musician) and Zachary Mastoon (abstract electronic producer Caural & half of the psychedelic shoegaze duo, Boy King Islands). Beginning in Mastoon's basement in 1984 with a Fisher Price cassette recorder, they captured their youthful interpretation of early 80's Hip Hop, new wave and radio hits, singing about everything from Roald Dahl's book The Twits and the benefits of smoke detectors, to Mister Rogers' character Lady Elaine and how robots like to dance - all before the age of ten.

While the two founded Transmission in 1991 and subsequently graduated to other projects as adults (Mastoon as Caural and Bogie with Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra), Original Ultraviolets was reborn when the two briefly lived together in Brooklyn in 2003. While using traditional instrumentation such as the guitar, piano, horns and a vintage Univox drum machine, they fused laundry tubs, wine glasses, toy keyboards, skipping compact discs and even the apartment's telephone into the unique palette of sounds set to tape on Bogie's Tascam 8-track.

Including the original version of Boy King Islands' "Summer Sun" - featuring their friends Colin Stetson (Bon Iver) on saxophone and Nick Movshon (Mark Ronson, Black Keys, Dap Kings) on bass - these bricolage pop songs were finally mixed in Chicago with Dan Smart at ECHO/NORMAL in 2012. Original Ultraviolets' self-titled debut collects early cassette recordings through the Brooklyn sessions from the early 2000s, leading the listener through 30 years of their shared musical history.

Recording Details

Scorpio & Orion

Stuart Bogie: Bass Harmonica, Piano, Percussion & Claps, Synthesizer & Memory Man
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar Drumming, Flanger, Claps & Memory Man
Jordan McClean: Trumpet

Recorded between March 13th and March 18th, 2004 on South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

I'll Turn Cold

Stuart Bogie: Boss Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine, Yamaha Portasound
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

Recorded roughly 1986 (?) in Stuart's basement in Evanston, IL at some point in the middle of the night.

Summer Sun (Original Version)

Stuart Bogie: Yamaha PSS-680, Windchimes
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Guitars, Univox SR55, Flanger
Colin Stetson: Saxophone
Nick Movshon: Bass Guitar

Recorded June 21st and 22nd, 2004 on South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Los Angeles

Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Piano, Memory Man

Recorded December 10th, 2004 on South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.
Interlude from ~1987 or 1988?

Hey Johnny

Stuart Bogie: Boss Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine, Synthesizer & Toy Guns; Cowbell
Johnny Crumrine: (Cowbell retrieval from Stuart's bedroom)

Recorded sometime between 1986 - 1987 in Stuart's Basement in Evanston, IL. Edited by Zachary Mastoon. 

Green Light, Don't Walk

Stuart Bogie: Percussion & Claps, Drum Sticks, Memory Man
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Yamaha SU700, Wurlitzer, Snare, Claps & Chimes

Recorded December 6th, 2005, January 27th, 2006 & February 5th, 2006 on Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY; Final Vocals recorded December 29th, 2006 in Veronica's basement in Greenpoint.

Plane Crash (Demo)

Zachary Mastoon: Guitar

Recorded 1990 or 1991 in Evanston, IL as a demo for Transmission. I don't even remember recording this at all. 


Stuart Bogie: Vocals
Zachary Mastoon: Casio PT-80

Recorded to a Fisher Price cassette recorder in my basement sometime in 1984. Originally released on Caural's "Initial Experiments in 3D" (Toshoklabs). 


Stuart Bogie: Piano, Yamaha PSS-680, Claps
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Mbira, Tambourine, Boss Metronome, Univox SR55, Claps

Recorded March 13th, 14th & 18th, 2004 on South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Let The Clouds In

Stuart Bogie: Spring, Wine Glasses, Percussion, Background Vocals
Zachary Mastoon: Vocals, Guitars & Piano, Vox Amplifier
Jordan McClean: Trumpet
Nick Movshon: Bass
Aaron Johnson: Trombone
Olia Toporovsky: Telephone

Recorded July 9th and 19th, 2004 on South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Circa 2001