Hard to believe but I have been working on The Mechanics of Mysticism for more than a year now! Especially since I planned it as a six month project to begin with… LOL, blew right thru that deadline, didn’t I? The thing is, I felt like this batch of tunes had some real potential and I didn’t want to just push them out into the world half-formed, so… I didn’t.

Part of the reason that I have forced myself to work on such tight and strict deadlines in the past is my rampant ADHD — quite frankly, if I hadn’t held myself to those deadlines, I couldn’t finish anything. But after putting out a handful of albums and finishing something like 100-150 tracks over the past few years, I felt like I had earned myself a bit of grace and decided to take a little time to get this one right instead of rushing it. Will it be worth it in the long run? Only time will tell, but I do feel good about these tracks a year after starting them, and, perhaps more importantly, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I fully believe that, barring something horrible happening to me or my HD, these will see the light of day — and soon! (Relatively speaking)

Last night I took an hour to listen to everything back to back and give it an evaluation/progress report. Here’s the gist: I have 12 tracks that are all at least 70% complete. A couple are reaching the 90-95% complete range (in terms of writing and production; they’ll still need to be mixed and mastered after that, of course). I graded them out as ranging from C- to B+ in terms of their overall quality at this point (and to be clear, the less finished, the lower the grade; potential is part of it, but I am grading them as they exist now, not based on some theoretical final version). As it stands, I think there’s a very good chance all 12 will make the final album, but there are one or two that might get the ax before the finish line, if I can’t get them to the quality level of the rest.

Total runtime of the album looks like it will be about ~45 minutes, which is pretty reasonable I feel. Longest track is just about five minutes; shortest is just a bit over two minutes. As long as I can resist the temptation to break them all out into extended jam versions/remixes, that should be pretty close to the album’s final runtime. Titles are similarly 90% locked in, but there’s always a chance those change…

A couple of the tunes still need some writing work (the C/C- tracks) but mostly they’re essentially written. What remains is production stuff: everything from layering, orchestration and effects to tweaking the intros/breakdowns/etc — a lot of little things that contribute a lot to the overall final sound. And despite the long (for me) production cycle, I’m still really excited by these tunes (well, most of them — a couple are quite vexing, but the potential is still there). And more than that, I am excited for you to hear them!

That’s all for now. I guess this was a little light on details of my process, but I do plan on doing more of these. If there’s something you’d like to know about my process, leave me a comment or find me on social media and ask, and I will try to cover the answer in a future installment. Until then!

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