Rob Crow releasing first Optiganally Yours record since 2000 (stream a track)
After Rob Crow thankfully backtracked on quitting music, he's stayed very active, and 2018 is gonna see him getting even more active. He's the 2018 Artist In Residence for Joyful Noise Recordings, and that means he'll be releasing over 300 minutes of music across ten limited edition vinyl records this year. If you subscribe, you get a box set with all the records on November 15 and downloads of the new music sent to you on the 15th of each month. (There's also a cheaper option for just digital). Each record will be from a different Rob Crow project, including Optiganally Yours, Thingy, Goblin Cock, Byre, Third Act Problems, Other, Remote Sequence Project, Physics, Anal Trump, and an unreleased Pinback single. There are also "various surprises from Rob, possibly including but certainly not limited to a karaoke DVD, cassettes, flexi-discs, zines, and other items."
The first project is the long-awaited third Optiganally Yours record, OY In Hi-Fi, which Rob began working on after 2000's Presents: Exclusively Talentmaker! but never finished until now. We're premiering "Whomever Watches You Sleep" from that record, which is the kind of bedroom indie synthpop that would have fit in perfectly with the music Optiganally Yours was making in the late '90s and early '00s, but with some more modern-sounding production that makes it fit in perfectly today too. Here's what Rob tells us about it:
Optiganally Yours started in the mid 90s when one of Rob’s housemates, Pea Hix, got obsessed with the Optigan. This was a chord organ made by Mattel in the early 70s that played back lo-if sound loops on LP-sized discs. Think of it as the 70s version of GarageBand. When Pea had the idea to start a band around these haunting sounds, Rob chimed in and said “I’ll be the singer, and the band will be called Optiganally Yours.” Two albums were released in the late 90s (“Spotlight on Optiganally Yours” and “Optiganally Yours Presents: Exclusively Talentmaker”), with work beginning on a third. This album was to be called “O.Y. In Hi-Fi” because Pea had acquired the original studio master tapes which held all of the sounds recorded for the Optigan discs, and was assembling the basic tracks from thousands of loops and samples from these tapes. These sounds were all hi-fi studio quality, in contrast to the grainy, lo-fi sound of the Optigan discs. For a variety of reasons, the project proceeded in fits and starts, never quite gaining the momentum it needed to get finished, despite the quality of the songs. Some of the songs made it into the live set, but most of the rest have remained unheard for many years. Periodically the songs have been updated and re-recorded, such that very little remains of the original recordings made all those years ago. Now, with the release of Rob’s box set on Joyful Noise, the timing seems perfect to finally bring this collection of songs into the light!
Since ending his short break from music, the past two years have seen Rob release the first Rob Crow's Gloomy Place album, the first Goblin Cock album since 2009, the score for Everything's OK, the first Anal Trump album (his Anal Cunt and Donald Trump-referencing grindcore band with Cattle Decapitation‘s Travis Ryan), and a song for Our First 100 Days. Pinback also went on an Autumn of the Seraphs 10th anniversary tour this past fall.