Clean Hands – Synth jam for #Jamuary2020 – shelfblack

Experimental synth jam featuring the Microfreak and Monologue entitled Clean Hands

Today is the first day of Jamuary! For those of you who don’t know Jamuary is a challenge that originated from Cuckoo on Instagram that pushes you to create 31 days of jams and post them on Instagram. It’s not about being perfect, it can be any attempt at music whatsoever. I absolutely love this time of year. As a musician, when I started making music, my goal was to create and post, to share what I love doing regardless of whether it was proper, complete, perfect. I enjoy creating flawed music. I love the responsiveness and flexibility that performing jams in real-time without a digital workstation provides.

For this jam, I started with a poppy blast of drums from the Alesis SR18 and kicked off the intro of the song with the Volca FM. Next, the Behringer Deepmind is utilizing it’s arpeggiator to create a dreamy synthscape. The Microfreak is playing the rhythm stabs and the Monologue is playing the glitched out lead. Funko figure is somebody from Mad Max Fury Road.

Hope you like the song, if you are digging it make sure you follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a new jam every single day for the month of January. Not every song will have a full version, so I only make these posts on this site when there’s a full version to be had. Thanks for the support and a happy 2020 to you all!!!

Follow SHELFBLACK on Instagram by clicking here!

Blank Stairs – shelfblack – experimental synth jam

Blank Stairs – shelfblack – Experimental synth jam – all hardware.

This is a full version of a track I have created entitled Blank Stairs. It’s a play on words of the saying “blank stare.” I named it that because of the slippery way that the lead gets bent in the song. In this song, I used the Alesis SR18 drum machine to make a pounding, minimal drum beat and I’m using the drumbrute as nothing more than a master clock. The Arturia Microfreak is making the strange gurgly sound and it gets manipulated a few times throughout the track. The Behringer Deepmind 6 is playing the strange ethereal sounding pad.

Just to update, I released a new EP last week entitled Just Burn It All, currently it’s only available on BandCamp for $1. It will be hitting Spotify and all other major streaming services on Christmas Eve, December 24. Keep scrolling down to see the post!

If you are a fan of this tune, make sure you subscribe on YouTube and follow me on Instagram. I will be participating in the Jamuary event on IG which is a fun exercise that challenges you to create a jam every day during the month of January. Also, be sure to check back here on shelfblack.com for more gear demos, product reviews, articles, and synth jams coming up!

Just Burn It All EP – Dec. 10, 2019

Just Burn It All EP – shelfblack – Out on December 10, 2019 on Bandcamp

I’m very excited to announce that on December 10th 2019 I will be releasing a new EP entitled Just Burn It All digitally on BandCamp!!!

Want to know the best part? You can pre-order it right now for $1. Yep, one dollar. Less than a gallon of gas, less than a Starbucks coffee, less than 2 packs of ramen noodles. For that price, you’ll get six songs when it releases, but by pre-ordering it you get 2 songs now!

Track Listing:

  1. We Found Our Way
  2. Blue Boxes (AVAILABLE NOW WITH PREORDER)
  3. King of No Things
  4. Command and Control
  5. Thrash Day
  6. Just Burn It All (AVAILABLE NOW WITH PREORDER)

As alway, I appreciate your support. Any money raised through album sales will 100% get rolled back into making music and the Electronic Curiosity Collective. Feel free to share this page far and wide!

I’ve been a little quiet on music releases since the Black Zinda album. This album will be my last release of the year. Going forward I’ll be gearing up for the famous Jamuary event on Instagram. Check out the site, if you haven’t been here before. You can sort articles by music, info, gear demos, and more. If you’re looking for the last article I wrote about inexpensive music gear to get for Christmas, check it out below.

Electronic Curiosity Collective – Welcome to Noisevember challenge

The November Challenge – Instagram challenge now posted

Every month on Instagram, the Electronic Curiosity Collective runs a musical challenge that is open to the public. On top of at least one guaranteed prize each contest, we also offer spots to the top five finishers on our curated Spotify playlist. Aside from the fun and prizes we also aim to develop an atmosphere of friendly, supportive competition and offer ways for other musicians to network and make connections.

For the month of November we have introduced the Noisevember Challenge. This challenge pushes entrants to find a way to create a piece of music that creatively mixes noise into the jam. While the definition of noise can be quite subjective we encourage participants to use as much or as little noise as they want but to remember that each entry will be judged on creativity, musicality, and utilization of noise!

The rules are:

  • One entry per person
  • Use the hashtag #ECC_Noisevember
  • Deadline to upload your entry is November 27th at 8pm Eastern.
  • Winner will be picked on IG Live on November 27 at 9pm Eastern

Top 5 will be chosen. 2nd place through 5th place will receive 2 spots each on the Electronic Curiosity Collective Spotify Playlist. The winner will receive 5 spots on the Spotify playlist plus a $25 Amazon gift card!

Everyone is free to join, so come find us on Instagram, browse the hashtag and get creating!

Visit the Electronic Curiosity Collective on Instagram

Black Zinda – Feature Length Self Titled Album Streaming Now!

Black Zinda – self-titled album streaming everywhere streams are streamed.

It’s always been my dream to be in a band. When I was in high school I would day dream about it. I tried and failed to learn a number of instruments throughout my life and never quite had the focus or ability to create music along with other people.

Sometime in late 2018, right around the time I released my second album, Happy Robot Dreams, one of the songs I pushed the hardest was called Invader X. It’s a fast paced, video game-esque ride punctuated with a crazy 16-step synth line. One of my Instagram friends who went by the name Stephen Zinda messaged me that he liked the song a lot and he wanted to use it to work on a collaboration track and add lyrics to it. I was extremely excited about the opportunity to work with a real musician and I was already a huge fan of Stephen after checking out a few of his indie/rock flavored songs he had put out.

A few weeks later, Palm Trees was delivered. I was absolutely floored with what Stephen was able to do with it. He had taken a song I loved a lot as my own creation and added his own lyrics, spin, slowed it down, and made it into something I couldn’t believe. Immediately, we decided to work on more tracks and focus on releasing an EP.

Right away, I started working on tracks to send him. I knew I wasn’t working to deliver an EP. My goal was to send him so much stuff there would be no choice but for us to turn it into a whole album. I never told him of this plan and as you can tell by the release of this album, it worked perfectly!

So here it is. Our debut self titled album. It’s available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and more. I hope you enjoy it. I’m happy to be a part of this band, thanks for making a childhood dream come true, Stephen. Now let’s get to work on the next one!


Kryptic Species – Full Jam

Kryptic Species

New jam is up and I named it after the creator of that very awesome little modded tape deck that I used for the drum track. I bought the tape deck from @krypticspeciesmutations. He creates and/or mods a lot of unconventional items and he has caught my eye on more than one occassion . Check him out on Instagram for a complete listing of stuff he currently has available.

The drum track was created by recording a 4 minute loop of a drum track from the Zoom MRT-3B drum machine into my computer and then recorded it onto a blank pink cassette. This particular tape deck has been modded with a knob that controls the playback speed. I’m running the drum loop back at a slightly lower speed. At the end of the track you can see me messing with the playback speed.

Stay tuned as I’ll probably do a gear demo video of that tape deck on YouTube in the next coming days.

Black Zinda – Coming 10/31 to Spotify, iTunes and all other streaming services!

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Black Zinda hitting all streaming sites on 10/31!

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A few months ago I collaborated with an amazing musician on Instagram by the name of Stephen Zinda. Stephen is a multi-instrumentalist, genre-hopping mastermind. He is one of the first people that I connected with on Instagram. He’s released 3 excellent albums on Spotify (Brains, King Pig, and Meat Freak.) I started chatting with Stephen early on and what really captured me about his music was his guitar playing and songwriting. He’s got that booming voice that really captures you’re attention.

Eventually, we collaborated on one song called Palm Trees. Here’s the link to the original version of Spotify. This song is included on our full release but it has been re-worked and is way more badass and epic in it’s final form.

The first Black Zinda song we created.

The goal for us originally was to create an EP. I ended up sending about 30 tracks to Stephen in my signature style, all full versions of jams in the 3 – 5 minute range. I did this over the course of a few weeks. Stephen was able to take the tracks and manipulate and flip them in ways I never imagined could be done. In the end we ended up with 9 tracks and released them on CD and Cassette on October 1st. Now at the end of the month we will be releasing our album digitally on all streaming platforms on October 31! We can’t wait for more people to hear what we have created.

Big shoutout to everyone who supported us by purchasing a CD or Cassette! You’ve helped fund the Black Zinda movement and we are currently entertaining an offer of perhaps releasing on vinyl. Anybody interested?

shelfblack – It All Started on Instagram

I’ve always been interested in making music, however, I was missing that one important skill that so many musicians rely on…talent. My dream was to be in a band, or writing songs, or creating music. As I got older, I honestly thought that it just wasn’t going to happen.

Then, in the summer of 2018, I came across some people making jams on Instagram with synthesizers and drum machines. I was enamored. It was awesome! Within the hour I was on Sweetwater and I bought my first two pieces of gear. I got the Korg Monologue and the Korg Volca Sample. The sample seemed like it would be a great way to jump into a drum machine without spending a ton of money if I didn’t like it.

With Sweetwater’s super fast shipping I got my two pieces quickly and within the hour I was up on IG posting my first jam. It was rather underwhelming but I could feel the potential starting to bust open with it. Here’s my first jam in all it’s unspectacular glory.

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First Jam.

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Since July of 2018, I have now released 4 full albums (1 as Black Zinda) and an EP. I have released music on all major streaming platforms, sold digital albums and cassettes and even shipped them worldwide. It’s been an absolute dream come true. The IG community is incredibly supportive and helpful. I have made so many real life friends and I have never met one of them in real life (yet.) If you are thinking of jumping into the electronic DAWLESS hardware game, get on there and get at me! I’m currently the most active on IG with near daily posts. I also upload full versions of the shorter IG jams onto YouTube when I make them. You can find all my links on the top or bottom of any of these pages.