Saturday, January 5, 2019

Chase Wigmore's 12 EPs Of Christmas (Part 1!)

I profusely apologize for the delay in starting coverage on these, but let's finally tackle the first half+ of local experimental/metal solo artist Chase Wigmore's "12 EPs of Christmas", which began being posted on November 25th! Kicked off before December began as he was "sick of waiting", this was Chase's plan to record and upload 12 free streaming albums to his Facebook page under his own name as well as alternate project titles. As per Facebook updates, he planned to issue one bonus release on his 27th birthday last month, to total 27 canon albums that he has recorded, including prior releases with his old bands Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes, The Strange Coyotes, This Is Your Band On Drugs, and The Coyote Speedfreaks. Not all of these have seen a full paid release that I'm aware of, at least not with the cover artwork depicted on Facebook, but I recall seeing a few at Blood Shed Productions events in the past, and Chase did imply that some could get individual CD prints if there's demand.

As of this writing, Chase had only posted 8 of the above 12 EPs credited to the "12 EPs of Christmas" event onto Facebook (which he lampshaded via a Futurama screenshot already.) If he does conclude the series, the last four will be "The Mostest Awokest" by his late 2018 project Awokest (it appears "Dick Jerkins" is an alias of his), a belated(?) Smiling Giraffes release, an EP entitled "How To Totally Sell Out & Still Not Make Any Fucking Money", and an album credited to Chase & The Bastards, which is the band name he has attached to more recent plugs of live concerts, and who he has hinted will be a larger focus this year. We'll let you know if these surface! Chase had previously also indicated that the 27 canon solo albums of his will be reissued as "The CxJxWx Collection" in a flash drive collection to encompass his mid-late 2010s solo work, and it would be really neat to see that come to fruition, especially as a means of getting his solo oeuvre all at once!

As for the 8 EPs of Christmas so far, six of them are all tied to his techno/electronic moniker The Black Lodge Masters, including three linked releases ("The First Degree", "The Second Degree", and "The Third Degree"), plus three unrelated EPs ("Secret Rites", "Forbidden Sanctum", and "The Shadow Crowd".) Each runs for 15-25 minutes in length, so the EP branding is apt, but if you let these run, you'll have 2 hours of intriguing electronic action! Often dark and industrial tinged, these are more thematically heavy than instrumentally heavy, but Chase has fun with the production, effects, and musical performances within, and I like the progressively more ominous tone (on average) that the "Degree" EPs have as they go along! For heaviness, "Secret Rites" is arguably the leader in that regard, but these are hard to sum up in just one paragraph, especially without given song names. Check out "The First Degree" more, and hear much more above!

We'll close this look at (most of) Chase's 12 EPs of Christmas with "Stray Dog and the Holy Mother of Chaos Church Band", which is a 14 minute jazz EP. I can't confirm whether "Stray Dog" et al is the name of a real project of Chase's or just the EP's title, but this is definitely a departure in styles for him! The jazz influence is present, but the keyboard instrumentation gives this more of an ethnic European flair, and you do get a lot of electronic undercurrents as well. I don't know that this would be a clean fit on 98.3 FM overnight, but the experimental mashup is definitely an interesting listen, and showcases Chase's range nicely! Give this EP a listen below as well!

We have much more from Chase to cover, including the other remaining EP of Christmas (with 4 more still to come?), plus even more solo albums that he's working on that aren't attached to the 12 EP project. so stay tuned for all of that, and for more news and updates elsewhere! Thanks everyone!

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