In 1988 TL Goodwin was mostly focused on Oil Painting and other forms of mostly two dimensional art, save for the poetry that issued from him, and the numerous attacks of story starting and social commentary that no one would read.
He grew up listening to what is now considered Classic Rock. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Genesis and Sir Paul McCartney pretty much dominated his listening along with Classical and New Age Space Music. But as the ’80s started, things started to change. Blondie, The Pretenders, The Cars, The Ramones, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Jim Carroll, Joe Jackson, and The Boomtown Rats, affronted TL’s view of what music could be. And then came New Wave. Synths could be orchestras.
Fun Boy Three, Ultravox, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Spandau Ballet, Adam and the Ants, The Jam, The Specials, XTC, X, Japan, Yazoo, Culture Club and The Tom Tom Club and most importantly New Order and Shriekback , The Human League represented a wide range of pre-influences. This lead to a further departure from and a rejection of Classic Rock.
And Along Came Skinny Puppy! His friend said, “you gotta hear this.” Skinny Puppy wasn’t like really any of that other stuff. It’s Horror put to music. Danceable Horror Music, at times just beautiful. Driving. Hallucinogenic.
The music that TL was listening to mostly was college radio. so it was all over the musical landscape. He liked strange stuff. Laibach, an industrial band from Yugoslavia, now Slovenia, known for dressing in Slovenian World War Two uniforms and growling locals while banging on things. They recently were responsible for the music in the cult hit movie “Iron Sky” . Back in 1988 it was all about “MacBeth”. and scaring the apartment neighbors by blaring “Life is Life”. TL still enjoys listening to Liabach from time to time.
TL was particularly taken by Edward KaSpell and The Legendary Pink Dots. KaSpells humor and ingenuity weaves a masterful orchestration of all things fringy.
And still as in his youth he continued to listen to Classical Music and Easy Listening.
TL noticed in his quiet time, and in his dreams, he was listening to music in his head.
So TL spent $89 on a Yamaha PortaSound PSS-480 keyboard, $39 on a Casio SK-1, and purchased a used Teac upright cassette deck with line level fader style control and added inputs. He placed this behind another tape deck, used as a preamp and capable of playing into the Teac from his home stereo. This allowed him to play the right side while recording to the left and this recording could be played again into the Teac just by switching tapes over which new sounds could be added. Each successive layer degraded the original layer. The consequence is a blurred and subdued mutation. All of this was only ever recorded on cassette, until recently. Unfortunately, some of it is lost.
TL made music like this from 1988 to 1994 as Blind Congress. He thought of it as Art. He discovered this recording technique independently. Later he found out that the technique he used is called “ghosting”.
In 1998 TL received his first computer, a Gateway 2000 266 Pentium II. He’s been playing around with music creation ever since using what was ModPlug Tracker and is now OpenMPT. It’s a great program but he has discovered Digital Audio Workstations which are a bit easier to work compared to a tracker style program even if it’s fully VST capable. Both of these types of programs are much more expressive than layering cassette tapes.
The Computer presents a miraculous opportunity for Strange Artists like TL to contribute to the World of Music.
Blind Congress is now signed to Distrokid. TL is ready to share his music with the world.