Studio Release: Abaculus - An Improvisational Experience

  • Spafford released it's 2nd studio album Abaculus today and it's immediately available on Spotify for those of you who have an account.

    Give it a listen and share your thoughts. I'm certain you won't be disappointed. At first listen it sounds a bit like some of the old style deep jams that have been Spafford's signature for years. There's a depth and breadth to the jam that's a hallmark of the band's sound.

    According to HuffPost the album was "[r]ecorded in a single take at The Pound in Phoenix, AZ, [and] entirely improvised." The article is a good read and definitely worth checking out. I can totally see the guys going to a water park to loosen their minds and then producing something like this. This is the heart of the jam band. Improvisation for improvisation's sake, and it's what sets Spafford apart. They're not trying to be something... they are it.

    But don't take my word for it. Get your headphones and get to it!

    ps. If you don't have Spotify they'll be streaming the album at 12pm EST on their Facebook page. (NOTE: this time was updated. It was originally posted as 1pm)

  • Just finished my first listen. Absolutely fantastic. Highs and lows, ebb and flow in the energy and a beautiful melodic finish. This will be a great introduction for new Nerds as it really showcases what the band is made of.

  • @damian the 43 minute mark onward is straight fiya. The whole thing is really remarkable and its so cool to see it build on its way from start to finish

  • @Chris-Ogor-Lopez Yeah, I'm going to use the word "typical" to describe the album, but I mean that in the most positive way. This sounds totally in character for the band and you definitely get the feeling that you're sitting in the studio just listening to these guys play. It's very stream of consciousness which is probably the best compliment you can lay on a jam band when they're deep in the improvisational work.

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    First listen through finished, what an incredible piece of music. I can see why they wanted to release this.

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    I really love how it plays like an album. Peaks and valleys, ebb and flow. It seems to basically have multiple moving parts that could function as songs with some gentle segues in between. Im almost tempted to try and sort of track it out. Very cool piece of music and its pretty impressive that they have the ability to pick up their instruments one day and just pump something like this out in one take. I fucking love this band. Cant wait for October (:

  • @Kyle-Burbank Dude, that's a great idea. Maybe we can crowd source the movements and give them nicknames. :)

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    @damian Thats basically what I was thinking! Like a whole new level of crowd participation

  • Think we could pick a time to do a shared listen and compare notes? Like a reddit setlist thread.

  • @spiggy Definitely. Listening parties were an early idea for the site. Let's figure out how to make this happen. I think it's a brilliant idea and I think we should do it sooner than later... while the album is still super fresh on everybody's ears.

    I'm going to call out to @RadiantDarkness on this one but I'm definitely here to help. Also @spiggy if you want to take the lead on organization send me a chat message. Let's figure it out.

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    Love the idea of a listening party guys

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    I'm definitely down for a listening party as well. @damian maybe have @phattyred play it through his Mixlr channel?

  • @myanruth I had the same thought, although the sound quality on Mixlr always leaves something to be desired. Not sure that we've got a better option for coordinated listening though.

  • Maybe someone could stream it through YouTube or Facebook?

  • @spiggy Maybe, though we definitely need to be conscious of copyright here. I'm sure nobody would complain about us sharing it for a listening party but I would want to make sure it isn't left there for people to listen to later. Actually, I think that Spafford was streaming it on their fbook today. I wonder if we can ask them to do it for us at a particular time. Maybe even promote it.

    Actually, that's an excellent idea. Give me a bit and I'll see if I can coordinate this.

  • Would love a tracked out version of this. Was kind of hoping that's what they'd do but I can totally understand why it wasn't.

  • @Chris-Ogor-Lopez On second listen today I kept thinking of just calling them "Movements." I mean, we can't title them because that's dumb, and trying to say "Red's lead" or whatever is equally difficult. With Abaculus on in the background while coding I noticed 3 distinct Movements, but I didn't check the time on them or write it down. At this point it's still just for the listening.

  • @damian I agreee with that, "Chapters" was the first thing that came to my mind so they don't necessarily need proper song titles

  • I loved it! An hour of straight jamming?? I'll take that any day!! They should just release something like this every year

  • @Andrew-Hilston It's a really cool concept. It isn't a show, it's studio work. But it wasn't planned or scripted. It just happened to be captured and so it could be produced. I wonder if planning it would affect creation in the future.

    With that said, bands like Led Zeppelin have released their "studio outtakes" which are essentially just cuts from when the tape recorder was running. If Spafford made it a point to record their rehearsals it might make for these kinds of things in the future without necessarily planning to do it.

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