First single “New Day” brings together the guitars of Valentin’s previous band with electronics of Salaryman side project. Hear it now.
Rick Valentin as photographed by Gilman Chatsworth.
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“New Day” is the first single from Work The Circuits by Thoughts Detecting Machines. Hear it via Slicing Up Eyeballs or at the links below!
Each copy of the Work The Circuits vinyl is packaged in a one-of-a-kind jacket created with a pen plotter built and programmed by Rick Valentin. Read more about it below!
Thoughts Detecting Machines is the latest project from Rick Valentin, the man behind the pioneering late-80’s alternative band, Poster Children and its concurrent electronic side project, Salaryman.
“New Day,” the first single from the upcoming Thoughts Detecting Machines debut album Work The Circuits humorously details how supposed conveniences aren’t all that convenient after all. “This is a simple song about how things like self-help mantras, life hacks, and fad diets are supposed to solve problems, but are problems themselves,” says Valentin. “Musically, I think of it as a kind of suburban raga that gets interrupted by pogoing guitars.” The track was recently premiered via Slicing Up Eyeballs here.
Valentin’s previous band Poster Children existed at the forefront of new media, blogging, and webcasting long before these activities were even remotely commonplace in music marketing, much less in our daily human existence. The band was hosting its own internet radio show in 1997 (before there was an iPod to podcast to), and most notably, a song from the 1995 Poster Children album Junior Citizen was included with iTunes version 1.0.
Launched in the college town of Champaign-Urbana, a couple of hours outside of Chicago, Poster Children went on to release records with legendary indie imprints such as spinART and Creation, and also survived a stint with the majors on both Sire and Reprise.
Considering the band’s proximity both physically and in time to the world of filmmaker John Hughes, one wonders if there was something in water. Continuing through to Valentin’s current Thoughts Detecting Machines project, there is a sound of the era that is evoked in his music that literally feels like an edgier version of the “Pretty In Pink” soundtrack smashed together into one awesome tune.
Listening to the new material, it seems Valentin hasn’t lost his touch over the years either, though these new songs have been a long time coming. “When I started Thoughts Detecting Machines, I hadn’t written a song by myself in 20 years,” he explains. “I tried to do the singer-songwriter thing, but writing songs on an acoustic guitar made no sense to me. There’s just not enough volume.”
The songs on Work The Circuits merge the punk rock guitars of Poster Children with the electronics of Salaryman. Even the design of the physical packaging is a call back to Valentin’s eternal instincts, exploring the connection between art and technology, with custom-created covers made using a computer controlled pen plotter.
“I love the pen plotter,” he exclaims. “It has the exactitude of a computer with uniform curves and lines but there are also imperfections. Blobs of color where the pen first sets down, ink bleeding into the paper and gaps and overlaps where the servos don’t quite guide the pen to the right location on the page. It’s like the music - a collision of digital and analog, the perfect and imperfect.”
Work The Circuits, the debut album from Thoughts Detecting Machines, arrives on March 16th, 2015. Rick Valentin is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
Thoughts Detecting Machines
Work The Circuits
(Twelve Inch Records)
March 16th, 2015
02. In the Right
03. The Call
04. The City
07. White Lies
08. Shine Me On
09. Night for Day
010. Say You Will
Thoughts Detecting Machines Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion