and still available:
pre-2000 singles and comp tracks part one and two
For nearly a decade, Sean O'Neal's still-thriving Flowchart project has dished out countless tracks on CD albums, CD EPs, 12"s, 7"s and compilation tracks on labels from all over the world. With a discography that can fill an entire wall, many of these tracks began to disappear in the mist over the years. James from Darla Records tried to convince O'Neal that there is actually a demand for some of these forgotten tracks. After four years of pondering the idea, O'Neal finally decided to roll with it.
The Flowchart indulgence began in 1994 when O'Neal, Brodie Budd and Craig Bottel dropped their first 7", "Our Little Audio 7-Inch" on their own homegrown label, which sold 1,000 copies in only a matter of weeks. From there, the trio would continue their synth-driven, one-note space-rock frolic -- and, of course, drawing endless comparisons to Stereolab in the press (which was strange to them since they had hardly heard much of Stereolab's music at that time). In between recording a number of albums and EPs (like "Multi-Personality Vacation," "Tenjira," "Evergreen Noise Is Flexible," "The Spirit of Kenny G," "Cumulous Mood Twang," and others), O'Neal and friends coughed up a multi-personality plentitude of ditties for a ton of 7"s and compilations.
As usual from Flowchart, you'll find a wide range of sounds and styles throughout each CD -- spanning the years 1994 to 1999. This is due to the fact that O'Neal feels that Flowchart is a project without one sound -- without an identity -- without a face. Throughout the 1990's, different people have come and gone in Flowchart -- beginning with O'Neal, Budd and Bottel, then O'Neal on his own (with some occasional friends at hand), then O'Neal with Erin Anderson (a.k.a. Fidget). Styles range from space-rock to lo-fi playfulness to hi-fi indie-pop to child-like electro-pop to droning ambient.
So if you are a fan of Flowchart (or certain eras of Flowchart), then these CDs are essential for your collection. Forget about all those full-length albums and their more-recent computer-frolic sounds. This is Flowchart in raw form.
Here is an excerpt taken from the liner notes featured in the CD-booklets written by Sean O'Neal:
"...on each of these cds, the
songs range from the lo-fi/home-fi recordings done in my basement or living
room to expensive studio recordings (such as "rainbow hello" -- where
i spent a week living in studio .45 overdubbing until my head spun -- laying
down over 70 tracks of vocals and somewhere around 40 or 50 guitar tracks)...it's
a pleasure to include "flutter by butterfly" because, when we did
perform an occasional live show, it wasn't unusual to hear someone in the audience
shout, "play that butterfly song!" "lovefingers" (a silver
apples cover) is another fave of mine, and i know that simeon was really into
it. and let's not forget "ode to street hassle" (a spacemen 3 cover)
-- a song that we comically mutilated and transformed into a happy, little pop
jam while everyone else on the comp embraced 3's heroin-induced, spaced-out
sound. this track both delighted and pissed off spacemen 3 fans. "y2aok"
is another one that stands out for me because this drone-y, melancholy, ambient-ish
ditty was a result of erin and me being paranoid and depressed about the forthcoming
transition into the new millennium, and we were buggin' about the possibility
of there being no more electricity in our world -- you know, the irrational
(but these days, inevitable) fear of the world's end, etc. but basically, here
is a compilation of stuff that managed to both captivate as well as annoy the
ears of indie-music lovers all over the f'n world...are these songs timeless?
well, they are now." -Sean O'Neal
"pre-2000 singles and comp tracks - part one":
1. high phidelity (from "our
little audio 7-inch" 7" released under the name heroine on fuzzy box
records in 1994)
2. pronoun-u (from "our little audio 7-inch" 7" released under the name heroine on fuzzy box records in 1994)
3. acoustic ambience (from "acoustic ambience" 7" on fuzzy box records in 1995)
4. wurlitzer inn (from "acoustic ambience" 7" on fuzzy box records in 1995)
5. some air disturbances (from "somewhere / some air disturbances" split-7" with fuxa on astro lanes in 1995)
6. yellow fuzz (from "mind expansion - volume 2" 7" compilation on mind expansion in 1995)
7. ageism (from "pop american style" double-cd compilation on march records in 1996)
8. mingle (from "angelfood electronics" CD/12" compilation on kake mix records in 1997)
9. norton (from "stolen ecstasy 45s" split-7" w/ ectogram on 100 guitar mania in 1997)
10. drone au go go (from "stolen ecstasy 45s" split-7" w/ ectogram on 100 guitar mania in 1997)
11. lovefingers (from "electronic evocations: a tribute to the silver apples" cd compilation on enraptured in 1995)
12. sole qualm (from "sounds from the philadelphia low orbit lounge" cd compilation on low orbit / lounge records in 1997)
13. sideshow all the way (from "sideshow all the way" 7" on motorway in 1996)
14. dainty pilgrimage (from "sideshow all the way" 7" on motorway in 1996)
15. hollow sky (from "hollow sky" 7" on burnt hair records in 1997)
16. here's where the story ends (from "hollow sky" 7" on burnt hair records in 1997)
"pre-2000 singles and comp tracks - part two":
1. rainbow hello (from "astro
/ rainbow hello" split-7" w/ alpha stone on enraptured in 1996)
2. basement noise is flexible (from "the pleasure fair" split 7" w/ sno*boy and tugboat 3001 a.d. on motorway in 1997)
3. flutter by butterfly (from "flutter by butterfly" 7" on wurlitzer jukebox in 1997)
4. oshkosh wonderboy (from "flutter by butterfly" 7" on wurlitzer jukebox in 1997)
5. ode to street hassle (from "a tribute to spacemen 3" cd/lp on rocket girl in 1998)
6. compilation dream song (from "little darla has a treat for you vol. 8" cd compilation on darla records in 1998)
7. lettin' it snow (from "it's a blackbean christmas" 12" on blackbean and placenta in 1998)
8. seize the shit (from "solutions & remedies" cd compilation on clairecords in 1998)
9. true jersey (from "biggie's star theater / true jersey" split-7" w/ mall on the blind[tm] organization (tbtmo) in 1997)
10. icelandic telescopic lounge music (from "cooking hows and whys" 12" on blackbean and placenta" in 1997)
11. elephant boy's first day of school (from a CD compilation with lounge magazine issue #6 in 1998)
12. know your flow (from "hangin' with the homos" 12" compilation on endorphin records in 1998)
13. y2aok (from "bedroom ambience 2" cd/lp compilation on enraptured in 1999)
... made and sold by darla...
a bit of ancient press regarding some tracks featured on "Pre-2000 Singles and Comp Tracks":
"Our Little Audio 7-Inch"
7" (released under the name Heroine):
"Swooning, delicate indie-pop which swirls into a cataclysm of noise and distortion but still maintains the melodies and harmonies present in the quieter musical passages."
"Acoustic Ambience" 7":
"...highly original and engaging."
"Sole Qualm" (featured
on "Sounds from the Philadelphia Low Orbit Lounge" CD:
New Jersey's Flowchart captures everything that was great about early analog synth pop — grand symphonic riffing offset by experimental, electronic minimalism. Their track, "Sole Qualm," is simple, cheesy and, as those English music journalists might say, "Fucking Brilliant!"
"Sideshow All the Way"
"Actually, it's the b-side I like. Flowchart don't just sound like Stereolab any more, but sound different all the time...All very catchy and very nice."
"Flutter By Butterfly"
"New Jersey's Flowchart sure is playful word-smiths. Flutter By Butterfly is a rare and colorful butterfly, flapping above us in the air. With its odd rhythms, guided by children's voices in sampled bits and pieces. Naivety and simplicity for sure, but highly danceable and hummable...Imagine a lo-fi, low-budget Jean Michel Jarre with a serious dose of humor. Or a teeny-spirited Laurie Anderson. Or Philip Glass filled with helium. The melodies Flowchart let out of their nest is so light and airy, so very simple, and extremely charming. Flutter By Butterfly is like an electronic, multicolored butterfly circling and looping in a hot room just as you wake up realizing it's just a sweet dream."
"Oshkosh Wonderboy stems from a lush loop of saccharine sweet sixties pop, flowering into spiraling, celestial harmonies. Perfect sunny-day psychedelia."
"Y2AOK" (featured on "Bedroom
Ambience 2" CD):
"Flowchart's Y2AOK is one of the highlights."
in 1998, Flowchart was featured as
one of Urb's Next 100.
Sean O'Neal's Flowchart project still thrives. However, it sounds nothing like it did during the mid-90's. While Flowchart is more based around computer-based digital frolic these days, Flowchart still seems to be more well-known for their synth-heavy, kitschy, one-note pop-rock and drone.
This CD consists of two long out-of-print EPs consolidated onto one disc. Each EP sustains a charmingly irresistible indie-pop sound. Some songs are drone-y and drug-y while others are uppity pop-jingles doused with sarcastic humor and mind-twirling spacey-ness.
Some feel that these two EPs show a more developed sound than their usual stuff, which often generated a plentitude of critical comparisons to Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine. A journalist once wrote: "Flowchart outgrew such criticisms with "The Spirit of Kenny G," which has more straightforward pop songs and floating melodies. (The 12-inch "Evergreen Noise Is Flexible," which goes for more abstract compositions, also helps.) "Spirit of Kenny G" utilizes deep vocals and a guitar wah effect for a sound between blaxploitation and marijuana indulgence."
"Evergreen Noise Is Flexible" was originally released on 12" in March 1996 on Carrot Top and Fuzzy Box Records. These four tracks consist of the original Flowchart line-up: O'Neal, Brodie Budd and Craig Bottel (along with Bill Nace on two of the tracks). The one- and two-note space-rock drones and jams in slow motion -- laced with whining organs, sweeping synths, laid-back drum-lines, and occasional breathy female and male vocals -- where your head begins to drift amidst the polished lo-fidelity. Kickin' Records in London liked the opening track, "Of A," so much that they licensed it for a space-rock compilation. Dot Allison (formerly of One Dove) sampled a hefty chunk of the second half of the song "Evergreen Noise Is Flexible" which you can hear looping underneath her lyrics and a sitar in her song "Morning Sun" from her "Afterglow" album released on Heavenly/Arista in 1999.
"The Spirit Of Kenny G" was originally released on CD and 12" in September 1996 on home-fi label Blackbean and Placenta Tape Club. Primarily performed by O'Neal, the five-track EP is happy-ish, synth-driven indie rock/pop with simple, irresistible melodies, comical wit and droning guitar brilliance. Two more radiant tracks (the title track and "E-Flare Pop" -- which features hilarious lyrics about O'Neal taking ecstasy at a rave and rubbing the shoulders of a very young girl while huffing on Vapor-Rub) -- are more upbeat-y and on a pop-jingle level. Meanwhile, "Glorious and Prosperous" is drug-y one-note drone with a funny ZZ Top-meets-Pink Floyd guitar solo that comes tearing through the ambient wash. And "Drunken Mini-Musik" is head-twirling electronic, synth-sweeping, eerie drone that was recorded live at the Knitting Factory in New York City during a show with Windy & Carl and Simeon from the Silver Apples. Apparently, the EP was quite a hit in Tokyo where it was one of the top-10 best-sellers in three different stores for a long period of time at each -- including being the #1 best-seller at Rough Trade Records.
Ahhh...So now you have both EPs on one CD. Even though Flowchart has enough releases in their discography to cover an entire wall, these two EPs seemed to have sparked more attention and praise than almost all of Flowchart's other releases. These days, nostalgia is the in-thing. Now it's Flowchart's turn to be a part of the trend.
evergreen noise is flexible / the spirit of kenny g:
1. of a
2. evergreen noise is flexible
3. euphemistic toys
4. dream song of magnetic travels
5. the spirit of kenny g
6. glorious and prosperous
7. e-flare pop
8. drunken mini-musik
9. no microchips
... made and sold by darla...
looking for more info on FLOWCHART?
Fuzzy Box questions?: Sean.