I’m stuck in the blue light void
with all the trendy kids from high school I tried to avoid
Buck Gooter was formed in 2005 as the duo of Terry Turtle and Billy Brett. Over the next fourteen years, the project performed hundreds of shows and released over a dozen records until Tuttle’s tragic passing in 2019. His final wish: for Brett to “keep on playing my music.”
“This is ghost-motivated electronic rock,” says Brett. Overcome with grief and sorting out life, he wasn’t able to write any music until the pandemic, which allowed for the space to experiment. One major impediment was the daunting task of combing through the archives for appropriate Terry Turtle samples in order to keep him in the band, as promised.
“I was able to set up a studio during quarantine and did a lot of musical sketching and some collaborations with pod people,” he says. “I’d never had a multitrack recording arrangement at my disposal before, and it definitely helped ease me back into the process of songwriting.” In the process, Brett figured out clever ways to keep his friend’s memory alive and continue their collaboration from beyond the grave. The result was the term “Ghost Brain,” which became the album title.
Burning Glass, from Ghost Brain. is a fiery rant about the control the smartphone has on people, and the stranglehold it has on the artistic community. Channeling Dead Kennedys and Alien Sex Fiend, this screaming tirade is the energy of someone fed up with devotion to the algorithm.
“(The song is) a rocker about modern life,” says Billy Brett. “Life spent staring at burning glass. It gets hellish sometimes… Clutching a piece of glass with fire underneath it, stroking, and staring. Us humans get ourselves into some wild predicaments. Wishing it would all turn back into sand.”
The DIY video imagines this technovoid as a Hieronymous Bosch-meets-Francis Bacon type of hellscape; demons torment our thirsty souls with tantalizing promises of eternal life in that ‘burning glass of liquid crystal.’
Oliver Ackermann at Death By Audio in Queens, NY took on mixing and recording duties. “This ritual of leaving the nest to record an album is something Buck Gooter has done for over a decade now, and I think it’s crucial and also a lot of fun,” says Brett. “We’d wanted to make an album with Oliver since about 2012, so we definitely were working close to the heart of Buck Gooter and felt Terry with us…Ghost Brain whispers something back to you.”
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