26 August 2014

Billy Corgan - AEGEA

AEGEA by Billy Corgan

AEGEA is a private press release from Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. The version that I have is the third pressing, which is a lavender coloured 12 inch record with music on both sides of the vinyl. The third pressing is a one disc release as opposed to the a two-disc set that the previous versions where. The first two pressings where on aqua and red coloured vinyl, respectively. My third pressing of AEGEA is numbered 680 out of 1000. 

Interest in the record could be registered via the Smashing Pumpkins website, and then an email was sent to those who had registered containing a link to a webpage where the record could be ordered from. The record was sold and distributed via Billy Corgan's teashop in Chicago called Madame Zuzu's Tea House. 

AEGEA by Billy Corgan

This release really has been a DIY effort and may be a direction Billy Corgan will want to pursue for releasing music in the future - keeping the production and distribution in-house and delivering it directly to fans without the need to go through record labels. 

After placing my order I had to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive as it was being posted to the UK. 

The music was recorded by Billy Corgan in 2007 during a period of recording that took place just before the reunited Smashing Pumpkins made their first live appearance (22 May in Paris) after they originally split in December 2000. 

AEGEA by Billy Corgan

Consisting of pieces of experimental electronic music, the focus of the tracks is on creating textures and moods rather than actual melodies or what could be called 'proper songs'. It is ambient and ghostly, with notes drifting, shifting shape, before evaporating in to nothingness. There's a meditative quality running throughout and it feels like the music is moving along organically and not being forced in to any particular direction. 

Is it indulgent? Of course it is, this is Billy Corgan we are talking about. I'm not really sure who this will appeal to apart from Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins fans who want to collect everything that he puts out. This is a very niche sounding record and is far removed from his work with Smashing Pumpkins (and Zwan) as you can imagine. But I admire him for releasing something (however limited) in to the wider world that is so uncharacteristic of the music that he is more commonly known to make. 

AEGEA by Billy Corgan

Apologies for the quality of the photographs that I have uploaded here. I've posted them for reference and my iPhone lense is shamefully dirty. 

If you wanted to listen to the music of AEGEA without trying to get your hands on a copy of the record, it has been uploaded to YouTube accompanied by some appropriately murky visuals. You can view/listen below:

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