Friday, June 26, 2009

Monster Makers Lab

In conjunction with the Nightmare Sound Laboratory,
I have just opened the Monster Makers Lab at yahoo groups:
Monster Makers Laboratory is for anyone who plays some role in bringing Horror and SciFi Monsters to life! Whether your an industry artist, media professional, or a hobbyist who likes creating monsters for fun, this is the place to be:) Every facet of Monster Making is on the table here, from creating models, sets, costumes, soundtracks, sound design, writing, acting or any other role in the production of Horror and SciFi Films, TV, Music, Comics, Toys, Literature, Art etc. This is meant to be an active forum created to pursue the mission of this group:
To keep the fine art of Monster Making alive and well by fostering collaborations, promoting member projects, exchanging tips, tricks,(and tales of our trials and tribulations along the path;), and sharing appreciation of fine works in the field.
I look forward to meeting you all and exchanging ideas.
Happy Nightmares,
T. Reed - TAO X Productions - Nightmare Sound

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

They're Here! "The Outer Space Men" in the 21st Century.

Just received this blast from the past. These are probably some of the first really cool action figures ever! Created by Mel Birnkrant, they came and went just a couple years before I would have been old enough to appreciate them, but they are cool designs even to this day. The 2nd series (unfortunately left un-produced in the 1960's) is even better! Well it appears that new blood has infused "The Outer Space Men" with a second resurrection of the line as both a Graphic Novel and a new collectible toy series. Best of luck to everyone at OSM!
You can check out their Blog at:

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Return of Blood Reaper?

Well, no, not really, But I just discovered that Unstoppable Pacific is offering up a way cool poster for a Horror film I scored back in 2002
"Blood Reaper"This Movie got some incredibly cool DVD box art devoted to it for the American, Canadian, U.K., S. African, and Japanese releases... and now this beautiful full size 40"x27" high quality 4-color process poster designed by New York Graphic Artist Brenda Trevethan. The artwork, in fact far surpasses the film, which featured Scream Queen, Brinke Stevens in a brief appearance.
This movie succeeds at being exactly what it is, and does so unapologetically, so despite it being a typical STV teenage slasher flick, for me it had a level of humor and charm others might not necessarily see.
I suppose that scoring this film, for weeks, and hearing the director's instruction in the background of the rough audio added to the humor that I alone would be in the unique position of engraining into my experience. I mean there's something hilarious about watching an actor looking at a dripping substance hitting the ground, and hearing the director in the background whispering
" You look up...and sure enough... it's blood!"
You can see a trailer for Blood Reaper here:

It was the first feature horror film I scored and I had fun doing it. I hope and believe that my music served it well. My favorite aspect of the film was probably the most understated, the scenes with a homeless woman who lived in a tent, played by Emalie Ortega.
They had a very 'David Lynchian' vibe which I attempted to accentuate with the sound/music.

I wish all the best to the cast and crew of "Blood Reaper" and the Producers at U.P. and hope they continue to put out creepy films. Their latest short film looks pretty cool!

See Unstoppable Pacific's Trailer for "Eternus" Here:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rise of the Retrobots - History - Mission -Future

TAO X Productions
Nightmare Sound
'Rise of the Retrobots'

Greetings Fellow Electrobotic Freakazoids...
As owner of TAO X Productions, one aspect of my work is to connect with excellent Artists interested in similar genres and mediums as those generated in my Nightmare Sound Laboratories, as well as other new, innovative, or just plain high caliber creativity.
Outside of composing for commercial work and other projects (when in survival mode), I feel it is my duty to keep my own music alive and to share and collaborate and bring new and interesting projects and compilations into the world. For better or worse, I also tend to have a pension for making things slightly more complicated and full blown, and spend a good deal of energy and time making sure things are clear, legally clean, and sound overall.
Around 2003 I embarked upon bringing together the first TAO X Records compilation project,
Brotherhood of the Drone - Volume I
The result of those "complicated" methods and diligence apparently paid off with an enormously cool compilation of 13 International Drone Artists whose tracks, mastered by Thomas Dimuzio @ Gench in San Francisco) all flowed beautifully together in a mentally audio-cinematic experience of amazing variations in the possibilities of Drone Music. Unfortunately, my schedule and budget made it impossible to give that project the additional care, support and distribution a work of that caliber actually deserved (albeit the small niche of style specific fans that Drone Music holds;) I send my highest regards and thanks to all the contributors to the Brotherhood of the Drone Compilation. Since that project, I've put some thought on that problem and I intend to correct that disparity for the future of TAO X Records projects, and even possibly return to do Volume II of the Drone Compilation, at which time I will probably create a special offer putting Volume I & II together, so the original CD can get it's due presentation to the World. For the time being however, I am concentrating on the "Rise of the Retrobots" Compilation (and of course, 6 other projects I am trying to wrap up simultaneously;) It is my deep love for all things Monster and Robot, make this a project that is especially close to my heart.
This compilation is even more ambitious, as I am attempting to bring Artists, Animators, Videographers, and Musicians into the tent together to stew this into an eclectic, electric, fantastic audio-visual contraption of sheer retro-future magnificence with a general coolness factor of 10x;) To this end, I am being temporarily flexible about submission deadlines and structure, because a part of what I want to achieve is to create some cross-pollinated creative collaborations, mixes, etc. to make this a unique project in terms of a good percentage of special custom tracks being created exclusively for this comp, but also because of the effort to bring it to another level with video, art and new media to whatever extent and creative design the contributors can bring to the table. I want this project to have a unique and technologically forward scope while presenting an intriguing and aesthetically appealing retro-future vibe to it.
To achieve the desired level and scope of this project, I am going to attempt to alter the course and grand tradition of all Indie Labels (at least ones run by 8 brained producer's with more ideas than hands or time to do them all, who want to put out great works no matter what it takes and simply finance it themselves). Herein I will attempt to come up with some creative concepts to finance this project properly via private and corporate sponserships, from people or companies who would benefit by advertising their "Robotic" product, art, toy, service or or biz, or who just love robots! I am also contemplating the creation of a line of merchandise including T-Shirts and possibly some other goodies as well. A selection of BAD ASS Robot T-Shirts ranging from the cute to the menacing, would probably have a broad appeal and might help offset CD/DVD production and distribution costs. This combined with special offers and pre-orders might get us to a better place to be able to produce AND promote a project worthy of it's weight in circuits and bolts;)
One thing for sure, your support and interest, whether as a creative co-conspirator or a music/art loving fan is essential and greatly appreciated!
So spread the word and please keep following the progress here. I will be adding updates, T-Shirt designs, Contests and more, some of which may be exclusive to ROTR contributors, my followers on this blog, or friends at the
Rise of the Retrobots Official MySpace page.In fact I'm feeling another Blog coming on...Yes, Yes...T-Shirts, Contests, them!...

T. Reed - TAO X Productions/Nightmare Sound

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TAO X Experimental Instrument Gallery

TAO X Productions Experimental Instrument Gallery Series
In this series I will use that Time Machine I was building to go back and document some of the musical, sculptural and experimental projects (created in my studios or in collaboration with others) from the past through the future!
For the first installation I'm pleased to present a collection of Large Outdoor Musical Sculptures created by myself and some of my partners in sonic crime and guerrilla artfare;)

Hill Iron Series: 2000 -2009
The Hill Iron series consists of several large instrument sculptures made primarily from recycled farm impliments (tilling disks, metal tubes, and fan blades, rope) stones and fallen cedar trees. I have recorded some of these instruments and will be adding sound and video clips as soon as they become available. Most of these are large 12 foot tall structures located far from my studio, that stay outside year round in Wisconsin. They require occasional maintenance and I will plan on recording some video next time I drive out to do repairs. You can get a sense of perspective from the ladders underneath the Tubular Bell frame, or the brief case and mikes that made up the recording set up.

Question: How do you scare away a marauding gang of cows like this one?
Answer: Build one of these, apparently;)

Raw Materials

Portable Recording Rig

This rig looked so 'James Bond' that I had to add the gun and stopwatch for effect;)
The cat, my now deceased but much loved Midnight, entered the picture of his own volition

Field Recording Session

Lovecraftian 1: Sounds of the Tripod Disk Gong both struck and with stones poured upon it, are reversed, timeshifted and recorded realtime and finally manipulated via a Roland DJ70 MKII w/360 degree "scratch wheel" controller, and incorporated into this short piece inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Terrible Old Man".

In addition to Instruments we also build other sculptures and various oddities.

Photographs and Artwork - T.Reed 2000 - 2009
Sculptures by:
Tripod Disk Gong - J. Kaminsky
Moth Gong - T. Reed/J. Kaminsky

Giant Tubular Bells (3 sided) - T. Reed
I Ching Chimes - T. Reed
Bell Tree 1 - P. Kaminsky
Guardian II - T. Reed/J. Kaminsky

T. Reed would like to thank J. Kaminsky and Eric K. for the space, resources, creativity, collaboration and cooperation in the creation of this series of large sculptural musical instruments built starting in 2000 and continuing through today.
The Tripod Disk Gong was conceived by J. Kaminsky and built with T. Reed.
Bell Tree 1 was conceived and built by P. Kaminsky The I Ching Chimes was conceived and built by T. Reed

Humans Only!

On a recent trip to San Francisco to do some recording, I noticed these AWESOME 'Humans Only' signs at the Bus Stops! That of course elicited a look at the D-9 website they list at the bottom of the poster. Turns out it's Peter Jackson's latest, "District 9" coming out August 14th 2009. Their website and viral campaign are pretty cool, so here's to hoping this will be a movie every bit as cool as the promotions promise.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pandora's Paint Can... Opened Again.

I recently received an email from a video producer who had shot some live footage for my band (Morpheus Sister), back in the mid nineties . Turns out he won a cable philo award in 1993, I believe, for Morpheus Sister - Live at Nitro. It was a concert in a spectacular three floor nightclub with a video system and 9 big screen TVs that formed one larger screen, (that we employed to the fullest benefit). Nitro had been a half a dozen other clubs before and would eventually usher out the big era of Milwaukee nightclubs when it became property of Brett Favre, housing his "Steakhouse" and subsequently failing. But i digress, more on all that another time...
The point is that he sent me a link to this ancient video animation test project he had once asked me to cut some music for back in 94' (I was in quite an 'industrial' way, back then). It was a short video piece shot on one of the first Sony DV cams and a Soviet 16mm Krasnogorsk camera. It featured some 3D animation of a whil 'o' whisp type creature in a Pandora's box type story.
What more can I say;) Wow! It just reminds me how much audio-visual technology has progressed in the last 15 years! Enjoy it for what it is. We can never go back to 1994!...not until I build that time machine...I know those plans are around here somewhere...ahhh! Theres that flux dimensional capacitor I was looking for... Here just watch this video while I work on my Time Machine.

Rise of the Retrobots

TAO X Productions
Nightmare Sound
'Rise of the Retrobots'.
Recently, I've been working on a number of tracks which could loosely be called 'Robot Oriented Music" (R.O.M. for short;), music one might consider, by, for, or about Robots. This has inspired me to embark upon a collaborative multi-media compilation of 'Robot Music', Images, and Video all reflecting a SciFi audio-visual venture into the realm of Electro, Experimental, Techno, Cinematic, and other such oddities that would best portray the future-retro vibe of 'Old School SciFi' meets 'New School Electronica' in an all out Robot Extravaganza !

For updates, contributors list, and additional info keep checking in at:
Robot Uprising
Kill Robots Rise (Excerpt) by T. Reed/TAO X Productions

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome to the Nightmare Sound Laboratory

I'd like to begin with a brief introduction and a story to help you make sense of the many oddities you will doubtless encounter herein. My name is T. Reed and I am a Composer, Music Producer and Artist. This affliction possessed me as a small child infatuated with horror movies, and obsessed with comics, monsters and robots (Oh how little has changed;). I believe I can pinpoint the exact moment in time when my course and purpose was set and permanently engraved upon my soul much like the Curse of the Werewolf that was placed upon Lawrence Talbot in the old Saturday Night creep shows.
At age two, I drew pictures of Batman and declared that I would be an Artist when I grew up, but it was
Kindergarten, the ultimate horror story for some, destroyer of youth and innocence, that pushed me into what I am today. In my first encounter with the agencies of conformity and assimilation, I remember nothing of note upon that day until, much to my surprise and wonder, the teacher announced that we were all going to take a trip to the laboratory. As we walked in an orderly fashion down the halls, I envisioned a room with scales, skulls and bones, vials of glowing substances, and beakers of preserved specimens and creatures of unknown origin. I could see a mad scientist suspiciously similar to Boris Karloff in appearance, teaching Mad Science 101 in the Science Lab in my minds eye. On that first day of school, I was launched into society, into the Belly of the Beast, and for one brief shining moment I had hope for a life of excitement and joy. So this was School, eh? AWESOME! This momentary ecstasy was of course merely the product of my imaginings and shattered into pieces on the cold tile floor of the hallway that we seemed to have stopped in inexplicably.
As I waited patiently, I noticed that little by little, the teacher was allowing students to use the bathrooms. "Ah, I see, I told myself, a pit stop on the way to the 'real' laboratory" but even then, a sinking feeling had begun to build in the pit of my stomach that I just couldn't shake. It was confirmed when we turned around and walked back the way we'd come. Who came up with the word 'Lavatory' anyway, and when were we, (as 5 year olds), supposed to have assimilated that word? All I know is that those 8 letters spelled my first great disillusionment. Welcome to the 'real world': disappointment, misunderstanding, boredom, and waiting in line to crap out numbers and yesterdays food products....It was then, that somewhere deep inside, I cracked and made a solemn unspoken oath to fulfill the imaginary world of Laboratories and Mad Scientists I had envisioned waiting in that hallway. That hallway that crushed my childhood and my dreams in one fell swoop, also swung wide the doorway to my imagination.
I now open that door to you.
Never again will you have to face the annoying disappointment of utilitarian blandness! Here at the Nightmare Sound Laboratory there is a monster in every room and a robot doorman to guide the way. Mad science is the only science studied here, and outlandish sonic experiments are the rule and not the exception.
Welcome to my World.

T. Reed - Composer, Music Producer, Artist
King Komodo/Cryotanks Image by Todd Tennant used with permission