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Matt Walker of of1000faces; Photo Credit: Derick Smith, Edit Credit:Haley Walker
Chicago’s importance in the music scene cannot be disputed. Over the over the decades, the city has indisputably produced a massive amount of great musical output, spanning from genres such as jazz, rock, pop, and house music. Today we have the pleasure of premiering a new single by a Chicago-based electronic artist, adding to the solid musical repertoire of that city.
of1000faces’ new single ‘Astronomica’ showcases the astoundingly beautiful talent of producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Walker. On this particular track, his ambient horizons fall in similarity territory as legends such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Laurie Spiegal and Tangerine Dream. The caliber of this work is no less impressive, giving cause for exploration of his past releases under this moniker.
Gorgeously atmospheric and expansive, the title track from the forthcoming album by that name, this is the first offering from his ambitious and beautifully grounding ‘MONOMYYTH’ trilogy. Exuding a terrestrial reverence, reflection and dreamery, ‘Astronomica’ uses the elements as its primary themes. The sound beholds a spiritual element, manifesting in tastefully-paced spatiality and a sense of awe of cosmic proportions.
of1000faces is the solo project of Matt Walker, who is best known for lending his world-class drumming skills to top-tier artists on the alternative music scene. For 25 years, he has toured and recorded with such icons and luminaries as Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage and Filter, all the while dedicating himself to a myriad of independent bands, side projects and film/tv work.
The current pandemic, a tenuous week in London, an inspired transatlantic flight and a cold, rainy week in Chicago provided the canvas for this new series of releases. Working steadfastly on the first of1000faces album for the last few years, this futuristic affair was recorded in dozens of locations featuring numerous guest artists.
“I work on the record whenever and wherever I can, usually while on tour. It’s a slow process. Each song feels like it’s own vision quest,” says Matt Walker.
“I was on tour (with Morrissey) when the pandemic hit full stride. Shows were being canceled as cities were shut down one after another, and we ended up stranded in London for a week, not knowing when or if we’d be going home. They were surreal and uncertain days. I started recording some ambient music in my hotel room and soon found myself completely obsessed with it. I simply couldn’t stop. Aside from seeking out food and running at night I didn’t leave the hotel room. Finally we were sent home on the last flight out before the U.S. closed its borders.”
Once home, Walker self-isolated at home. “It was difficult being segregated from my family, who I had already not seen in over a month. Fortunately, I had a self-contained living space on our 3rd floor and the isolation and dreary weather only inspired more writing. And now I was able to utilize more instruments and effects. 8 days later I tested negative, rejoined the household and had nearly 3 album’s worth of instrumental music.”
Known for his obsessive writing and recording while on tour, eventually Walker decided to pursue a more singular and personal endeavor. Thus was born of1000faces, the moniker reflecting the project’s inherit premise and, at the same time, a nod to Joseph Campbell’s Hero of 1000 faces.
of1000faces debut EP, ‘ove Imperfect, was released in 2013, featuring radically disparate musicians such as Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks) and Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Wayne Johnson. 2018 brought released two singles – the Krautrock-infused dreampop ‘MM/DD/YYYY’ featuring Brandon Robbins (The Moth & the Flame ) and the ethereal ballad ‘Sleeping’s for Dreamers’ featuring the formidable Jimmy Gnecco (Ours).
The ‘Astronomica’ album will be released digitally on September 25 and will be available across online stores such as Apple Music and streaming platforms such as Spotify. The album can be pre-ordered HERE
Music by Matt Walker
Album cover art by Gregor Huber
Video edited by Matt Walker
Additional treatments by Brian Doherty
Footage courtesy of NASA, ESA/Hubble and Impermanence (A Space Journey)
Also enjoy some of his previous offerings, featuring Brandon Robbins and Jimmy Gnecco respectively: