Illusion of Consistency” is Surplus 1980’s “pandemic” album, recorded remotely between 2020-2022 at each of the various player’s homes. The music was composed using the “exquisite corpse” method—each player was provided a partially-finished track, with instructions to add their own unique musical vision. Surplus 1980 called upon musician friends across Europe and the United States to collaborate, including Fred Frith, Ajay Saggar, George Cremaschi, Aaron Novik, and many more. Once the musical foundation was completed, Staiano added lyrics. What each song would sound like in the end was a mystery, and that was half the fun!

This album was recorded from various times starting from January of 2020 through April 2022, and at various locations, mainly Oakland by Bill Wolter (with Moe, Melne, Bill, and Tom) at his home studio, good amounts at DVC College (with Moe, Melne and Bill) in Pleasant Hill by Bill Wolter, and additional recording assistance in San Francisco (with Moe and Melne) by John Karr at Ear Relevant. All other recordings were done either at home or in studio by the individual musicians themselves in Alameda (Melne), Oakland (Amy, Steve), Flowerpot Recordings in Santa Rosa (Fred) in California, Wood Hole (Carla and Matthias) in Massachusetts, Queens (Aaron), and Mountaindale (Jesse) in New York, Middlesbrough (Oli), and Kings Heath, Birmingham (Fliss and Jim) in England, Soundation Studio in Krommenie (Ajay) and Amsterdam (Andy and G.W.) in the Netherlands, Prague (George) in Czech Republic, and one location was forgotten which was either somewhere in Ohio or Brooklyn, New York (that would be Darren Johnston, he couldn’t recall which, alas). Recording engineers: Bill Wolter and John Karr. Editing and pre-mixing by Bill Wolter. Further editing and mixing by John Karr with assistance by Moe Staiano. Mastered by Ian Beabout. Cover design and photographs by Moe Staiano. Additional important layout and design by Melne. It’s important!

Produced and directed by Moe Staiano.

It should be noted that in the credits of instrumentation, you will see an instrument by the name of the “Bat.” The Bat is an Electroacoustic Percussion Board with brass bars, threaded rods, loose bolts (for squeaky bird sound effects), nails, door stopper, etc. with a number of contact mics on the bottom of it. It was designed by instrument builder Tom Nunn, who has constructed many unique homemade, crafted instruments. Tom Nunn passed away back in June, 2022. The track ‘Last’ is dedicated to him.

Listen here:

Released: 15. Dezember 2023

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