Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve 2011 at FFS II

It's a Floating Fish Studios tradition to record some live electronic warfare to herald in the New Year and in celebration of my birthday. That's right, I'm a New Year's baby born on 01/01/70.

The evening is young and we're just getting into the swing of things but I thought that I'd share a piece of FFS New Year's history with our 2001 Overture which was recorded on 01/01/01. Enjoy!


P.S. This photo of Ttam Troll was taken on 12/31/10 while editing Any Questions? - 2001 Overture.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Loverboy Christmas!

It's been a Loverboy Christmas. Thanks Kim! ;D

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Remembering Miranda

I hope my littlest friend is still having fun at Rainbow Bridge. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas comes to FFS

It's taken 22 years but Floating Fish Studios has it's first Christmas Tree. Of course, in typical FFS style, it can't be a "normal" tree. Kim and I set up this purple 7 feet tall tree with mirror ball ornaments and LED lights this past weekend. Here's the evil picture...


And here's the non-evil one...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Space Dog turns 1!

The youngest FFS family member, Mazie Marie McConnell, turns 1 today.  Happy Birthday, Space Dog!!! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Working on a Sex Farm..."

This movie still cracks me up every time I watch it.  Better viewed with a friend!

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SASHS Jazz Band (1987)

This photo of the Shippensburg Area Senior High School (SASHS) Jazz Band was taken at the Chambersburg Mall in, I believe, Spring 1987.  Yours truly is sporting a nice gray suit and playing electric bass.  Who knows, we could have been playing the Theme from Night Court when this photo was taken.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ice Rift

Ice Rift is an audio sculpture culled from Any Questions? - Darkness. This rare 1992 release offered an early glimpse into our Imbued Vagary project and an example of the synthetic tapestries that we would weave into our future film work.

The longest of all of the songs from Darkness. Ice Rift is probably the bleakest. It's another song which I composed well past midnight and before the first rays of dawn. These hours proved to be quite fertile creatively for me while I explored some very dark corners.


P.S. This photo of Ttam Troll was taken at FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Punish Your Machine on 06/05/10.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Before Ttam Troll, there was Tan Troll

Yes, before the arrival of Ttam Troll, first mutant to ascend from the plasma pool after the Cy-Tech Wars in 1989, there was Tan Troll.  This photo was taken in the wilds of Ocean City, MD during the Summer of 1988.  Pencils should have been optional!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Terminal

The sessions for our 1992 release, Any Questions? - Prey For Death, produced many song ideas which were never fully developed. Terminal was one such idea. With it's up tempo, driving beat, it was quite different than the other tracks which ended up on the original, official product. It's sound is really more reminiscent of the style we'd explore on our follow up effort, Any Questions? - Death.

When I was compiling tracks in the Fall of 2001 for the 10th Anniversary Special Edition CD release of Any Questions? - Prey For Death, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit this once cast aside song idea and include it as a bonus track.

There wasn't much to do to bring this song to life and complete it. All of the musical elements are exactly as they were back in '92. I had the MIDI data and all of the original sounds sources so I loaded up the song and recorded it onto our 24-track ADAT system. From there, we did have to come up with lyrics for it. The original song idea had never evolved to that point so MC2P4 penned a rough draft of the lyrics from which I then added to and refined to fit my vocal style. The result is what I share with you now. Enjoy!


P.S. The photo was shot in March, 1992 at Floating Fish Studios during an Any Questions? - Prey For Death recording session. MC2P4 (left) is looking for samples to load while Ttam Troll (right) triggers a sample on an Ensoniq EPS as he controls the Atari 1040STe/Cubase system. It must also be noted that Ttam Troll is sporting some very nifty '80s glasses!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dan Jam 2010 - More Video Footage Found


Floating Fish Studios held its second in a series of Synth Jam Sessions at FFS II back on 04/03/10. In his first appearance at FFS since 1991, our special guest was Dan "The Man" Fiber.

This raw unedited video footage, shot by Scott on his Flip Video camcorder, captured part of one of our sonic experiments. The quality is questionable but it gives you an unique look inside Dan Jam 2010. The ensemble gathered included Dan Fiber (aka The Man), Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), and Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll).

The video captures a 9:24 minute excerpt from a massive 20+ minute improv titled TR-6. You can also see another previously posted video from Dan Jam 2010 by clicking here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jax and her OBO

Jax Miller (San Jose, CA) proudly displaying her copy of Obomatic - Holy Uncontrollio!!! which she purchased from CDBaby.  

She saw our offer of a ***FREE*** autographed poster of the band for anyone who sent in a photo of themselves holding their Obomatic CD and was pressed into action.  Her comment in the e-mail was "I only wish there were 10 more like it!"  We couldn't agree more with you Jax!

Thank you and congratulations Jax!  Your poster is on the way!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Where's Matt" Contest Winner Chooses Prize

Kim (Scott) Hepfer was the winner of the second "Where's Matt" contest which was held on Facebook.  I don't know how she does it but this is the second contest that she's won.  She successfully identified where I was in the crowd in a dark and grainy YouTube video from the 11/08 Killing Joke concert in NYC.

For her prize, she's chosen an Any Questions? - Death (Special Edition) Jr Hoodie from our CafePress store.  Congratulations Kim!  Your hoodie is on the way!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MC2P4 Down In It

M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4) tweaking his Korg Z1 at FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Ho Magos on 09/18/10.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Ho Magos

***BREAKING NEWS***

Floating Fish Studios is proud to announce Synth Jam 2010 - Ho Magos. This impromptu session is starting now (Saturday 09/18/10) at FFS II. The line up includes Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), and Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius). A special guest visitor in attendance is, none other than former FFS recording artist, Ho Magos. Maybe he can be tempted to join in...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obomatic - Live @ The Batcave NYC (2003)



Shot during the Obomatic performance at The Batcave in New York City on 01/25/03, this video captures our cover of Animotion - Obsession.  Always a crowd favorite.  This night proved to be no different.

This was a show that almost never was.  A little over a year earlier, we had been scheduled to perform at the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC as a featured Industrial artist but the horrific events of 9/11 cancelled that show and changed the lives of a nation and a world forever.  Luckily, we later had the opportunity to go back to NYC and play at the same club which had originally booked us.

This video, shot using a handheld camcorder, is very poor quality wise but nonetheless stands as our sole document to the return of Obomatic to NYC.  I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Young Troll In Da Hoodie

Here's another photo that I recently uncovered from my Christ United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship days in Shippensburg, PA. This photo, taken early in 1986, is from a YF retreat to the legendary A-Frame cabin in Central PA. This is the only known picture that exists of me wearing a hoodie.

Pictured from L to R: Krista Miller, Jennifer Davidson, and Matt Norcross.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Obomatic - Antidote (Early Mix)

In 2000, we began recording songs for the first Obomatic CD. The first song completed was a song idea I had originally sketched together while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC in 1997 using only a Roland MC-303. Steve O took that rough sketch of an idea and turned it into a more complete song. Scottologic and I added some additional parts and the song, T3, was born. I mention this song creation process because it was anomalous to the rest of the CD.

The second song we recorded was a Steve O track called Antidote. As with the rest of the tracks for the CD, Holy Uncontrollio!!!, Steve O would bring in his rather complete song demos and then the rest of the band would add their parts to them. Here's a previously unreleased early mix for Antidote which is essentially the Steve O demo with a rough vocal track and some additional synth parts added.


P.S. Pictured from L to R: Troll IO, Timmotronic, Steve O, and Scottologic.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ChapStick

Sometimes you just need it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Youth Fellowship Volleyball

I heard rumors that some pictures from my 1985 and 1986 Christ United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship days had surfaced.  Though scared at what I might find, I went in search of these.  

What you see here from Summer 1986 is the first glimpse of the 8 photos I discovered.  It's a poor quality picture of a picture but it's nonetheless revealing.  The gratuitous "ass shot" shows me in uncharacteristic colorful clothes.  Sporting an aqua blue shirt and a rainbow striped white swim suit, I'm preparing to return a volley.  Not many photos exist of me wearing colorful clothes but click here for another one captured by Kim (Scott) Hepfer from Spring 1987.

P.S.  Pictured from L to R:  Ruby Appleby, ???, Jen Davidson, Suzie Jacobs, Matt Norcross, Dave Wolfgang, and Ann Shallcross.  The person obscured by me is most likely Pete Morgan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Need You Tonight

As Dungeon Aire, we had quite an eclectic and adventurous set list for our first and only gig on 12/31/87 at "Number 9" in Shippensburg, PA.  It included such diverse songs as Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop, The Cult - Wildflower, The Suburbs - Monster Man, Mondo Rock - Primitive Love Rights, and even two original songs (Pung and Progressions) that we had written.  Somewhere between all of that, we also chose to perform INXS - Need You Tonight.

Here is a jam box recording from the show which features Brad Shaeffer - Vocals, Matt Skirpan - Guitar, Matt Norcross - Bass, Scott McConnell - Synthesizers, and Tim Harrell - Drum Machine.  It's the only song that Tim played the drum machine.



P.S.  Pictured from L to R: Scott McConnell - Synthesizers and Matt Norcross - Bass.

Monday, August 23, 2010

In The Pools Of Blood

The Summer of 1991 was another very fertile period for Any Questions? and for me personally. After purchasing our first computer (an Atari 1040STe) for music production in March of 1991, we had left hardware sequencing behind and been working almost extensively with Steinberg Cubase software for music sequencing. This software allowed us much more flexibility in music editing and song arrangements. It also allowed us to quickly and easier save and load our song ideas so we were no longer burdened with the arduous task of manually setting all of our instruments up for each song.

This previously unreleased demo of In The Pools Of Blood is a good example of how quickly it was to sequence the music for a song idea and then work on it. For this idea, I programmed a very basic 4 bar drum pattern. Next, I layered a synth bass line, some string pads, and a reverse cymbal effect. This 4 bar pattern was repeated ad infinitum.

What makes this song idea very unique in the Any Questions? canon is that it is the only one ever recorded that captures me completely improvising lyrics. Even to this day, all Any Questions? lyrics are written out (electronically or on paper) first and then rehearsed with the music. It was very early in the morning (around 3AM) at FFS II when I began to sing (term used loosely). As usual, my Korg A3 provided me with just the right vocal effect and set the mood for me to expel my dark, introverted thoughts. Some of the classic lines from this include... "Liquid tears from placid eyes mix tranquilly", "Slowly gnawing on your flesh", "Spiraling downward you and me", and "In the pools of blood".

The vocals were purposefully recorded farther back in the mix since they were just improvised ramblings. They may be hard to decipher but, if you're up to the task, write them out and e-mail them to me at troll@floatingfish.com. If they are correct, I'll send you a ***FREE*** autographed 18" x 24" Any Questions? - Prey For Death (Special Edition) poster. Act soon, this offer ends 10/31/10.


P.S. This photo of Ttam Troll was shot at Floating Fish Studios in 2000 (approximate date).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Love Pudding

I always hated pudding until today. It took me 40 yrs to find a flavor I love.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thrift Store Obomatic

You know your band has really made it big whenever you start finding your CDs in bins at thrift stores. LOL! Kim (Scott) Hepfer came across Obomatic - Holy Uncontrollio!!! (pictured above) today while she was browsing at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter Thrift Store in Chambersburg, PA.

To prove it wasn't her copy of the CD, Kim sent me a photo (pictured below) of her copy along with the thrift store one that she so kindly purchased for $1.

Which other fans are willing to send me a photo of them holding their Obomatic CD? Post or e-mail me (troll@floatingfish.com) your photo and you'll receive a ***FREE*** autographed 11" x 17" poster of the band. Act soon, this offer ends 10/31/10.

Kim, your poster is on the way!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Another Troll Playing Guitar Photo Surfaces

Another photo surfaces of Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll) playing Alien Guitar at FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Drones on 07/24/10. Will these photos never end?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This Mistress - Live at SASHS Part 2


I mentioned in my previous post about this performance that I was hopeful to resurrect some of the very poor quality video footage from the show. Here you have it... This Mistress performing Led Zeppelin's Misty Mountain Hop sans lead singer (Brad "Chicken Strut" Shaeffer) during a soundcheck at Shippensburg Area Senior High School on 03/12/88.

The line up for this Winter Carnival show included Brad Shaeffer - Vocals, Matt "Scrap Pap" Skirpan - Guitar, Kevin "Bart the Fart" Wilson - Guitar, Scott McConnell - Synthesizer, Matt Norcross - Bass, and Tim Harrell - Drums.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Opening Drone

This opening drone from FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Drones on 07/24/10 captures a performance by Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius - pictured above) and M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4). It set a perfect tone for the sessions and, upon my arrival and a trip to Fujiyama, we delved further into atonal soundscapes.

This improv was titled TR-1.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pout for me Punky!

Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll) playing Alien Guitar at FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Drones on 07/24/10.

Some questions remain... Is Ttam Troll really channeling Punky Meadows (pictured below) and is he really "more fluid than Jeff Beck"?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Raw Video from Synth Jam 2010 - Ttam Troll Plays Guitar!


Floating Fish Studios held its fifth in a series of Synth Jam Sessions at FFS II on 07/24/10. The ensemble gathered included Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), and Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll).

This raw unedited video footage captures Ttam Troll playing guitar. Yes, that's right, Ttam Troll playing guitar. This is only footage ever to capture such an event. You decide... Should this be the only footage ever to exist?

This improv was titled TR-5.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Glitter Explosion!

Some things just can't be controlled!

Friday, July 23, 2010

FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Drones

***BREAKING NEWS***

Floating Fish Studios is proud to announce Synth Jam 2010 - Drones which is scheduled for Saturday 07/24/10 at FFS II. The unconfirmed line up is rumored to include Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), and Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius). Special guests are expected and will be announced later.

Our fifth in a series of Synth Jam Sessions at FFS II will concentrate on improvised synthetic soundscapes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pumpkin Boy

Ttam Troll as Pumpkin Boy during Any Questions? performance at the Music Invasion Festival on 07/10/04.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chocolate Japanese Noodle Baby (CJNB)

Legend has it that on one early June evening in 2010, a FFS II Synth Jam was held. The ensemble gathered included Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), and Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll).

During the improvised recordings, which were dubbed the Punish Your Machine sessions, the trio of synthesists became hungry and ventured forth from the studio in search of nourishment. Their search ended in the land of Fujiyama. It was there, at the hibachi table, where Chocolate Japanese Noodle Baby (CJNB) was born.

This 11+ minute audio sculpture is our sonic representation of the experience. It was recorded on 06/05/10.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Punish Your Machine Extras

This behind the scenes photo shows M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4) capturing video at FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Punish Your Machine on 06/05/10.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fireworks!

This day was also full of fireworks both loud and soft!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Towel Please! Part 2

One more time... Ttam Troll during Any Questions? - Alive I Am rehearsals on 10/07/09. Gross!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mazie Checks In

Mazie Marie McConnell checks in before FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - '80s Style on 05/15/10 to see if she can help set up.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Behind the scenes with Obomatic

This behind the scenes photo of Obomatic at the Music Mania Studio 1 Festival on 05/17/03 shows the final 4 member live incarnation of the band. This line up included (from left to right) Troll IO - Synthesizers, Miller High Life - Guitar, Scottologic - Synthesizers, and Steve O - Vocals.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FFS II Synth Jam 2010 Inaugural Session

Here's a photo from the inaugural FFS II Synth Jam 2010 session which was held on 02/20/10.

The ensemble gathered included (from L to R) Tim Harrell (aka LTJTHC), Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius), M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4), Stephen Saputelli (aka Steve O), and Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Mistress - Back In The Carport


In this video, This Mistress performs Get It On by Kingdom Come. It's another "classic" carport performance captured during our outdoor concert in Scotland, PA during the Summer of 1988.

Not to be deterred by the lack of attention paid to us by the partygoers who were busy either swimming, playing volleyball, or feasting on BBQ, we worked through our eclectic set of originals, classic rock, alternative, and metal songs.

This line up of the band included Ken Chandler - Vocals, Matt "Scrap Pap" Skirpan - Guitar, Kevin "Bart the Fart" Wilson - Guitar, Scott McConnell - Synthesizer, Matt Norcross - Bass, and Tim Harrell - Drums.

This performance was shot and edited by our longtime videographer Steve Olsen and, if you watch closely near the beginning of the video, you'll see a young, feathered hair and toe tapping Jackey Dickey (later McConnell) sitting off to the side of the band enjoying the music.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FFS Blog Celebrates 1 Yr Anniversary!

It wasn't that long ago that we celebrated the 200th Floating Fish Studios Blog post so I won't bore you with the same celebratory banter about how far we've come or the purpose of the blog.

I'd simply like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of the Floating Fish Studios universe during our 20+ year history and to all who have contributed to the blog. Thank you for making FFS and the blog a success!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Towel Please!

OK, now that's just gross! Ttam Troll during Any Questions? - Alive I Am rehearsals on 10/07/09.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bing Boo

More from the FFS II Synth Jam 2010 - Punish Your Machine sessions which were held on 06/05/10. This piece of audio warfare is titled Bing Boo.

Bing Boo (not to be confused with Bing Boo and Tofu) was one of the earlier tracks from the sessions. Dave Chandler (aka Thee Sub One Genius) once again provided a rhythmic battery of percussion from his Ableton Live rig while Matt Norcross (aka Ttam Troll) tried to tame the runaway glide of the temperamental Minimoog for his synth bass lines. M Scott McConnell (aka MC2P4) commandeered the rest of the audio space with Korg Z1 synthetics.

Thursday, June 10, 2010