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The First Test Subject

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

by Gabriel Bugarin

Track artwork for "Resistance Sermon in Aphasia City"
Riots in Aphasia City

Originally called “Accursed Noise,” “Resistance Sermon in Aphasia City” was the first song we revisited following our reunion. How fondly I remember my sloppily recorded vocals with my cheap Snowball mic over the rough guitar track Alan laid down. At the time, Alan was the only of us who had Ableton, so I made do with the sparse tools Audacity offers. And regardless of how messy it was, Aphasia reignited something inside of all of us—and it probably has something to do with the process of its initial composition.

As Alan mentioned in the last blog post, he and Ross had long been working on music together, while I only showed up sometime later, by which time the two of them had a small catalog of songs thrown together. Aphasia, however, was one of the first wholly collaborative songs we concocted way back when. We pieced together parts of ourselves to see what would come of it. It was a song that tested our chemistry as musicians and artists, and it quickly became one of my favorites in our repertoire. So, I think when we returned to Aphasia many years after its conception, it stirred up the collaborative spirit we’d tapped into back then, and it charged a new era for the band. Hell, our original expectations when we started working together again were simply to get some rough recordings for our own entertainment. But the experiment continued to get more complex.

Aphasia challenged us to upgrade our gear, to explore introducing midis into our songs, and ultimately, to not simply record our original tunes, but to reimagine them altogether. And here we are today, one album down, roughly 70 percent of the second album under our belts, and we’re already dreaming up ideas for the third. Aphasia truly was our first test subject, and without this Frankenstein of a song, who knows what would have become of the rest of our creations?

An Echo of the Past Brought an Avalanche About

Who could’ve guessed how important Aphasia—as both a song and a place in our story—would become, and what it would mean for our future as musicians? After recording Multiple Registers and marrying ourselves to the idea of being a concept band, Aphasia City became the center from which our story emerged. The Demiurge Sodality took root in its sprawling landscape of skyscrapers, temples, and monoliths dedicated to their dominion; the Reverie Forge was erected on Aphasia’s outskirts and saw its first Origins revolt; and of course, Yevhen and Mara were born and immediately thrown into a gray-skied, neon-lit dystopia they knew little about (and if this tidbit of lore catches your interest, you can read more of our narrative stuff in our first blog).

I’ve only recently realized how much we owe to Aphasia. Just as the lyrics and narrative talk of change and revolution, these aspects permeated the band with their vitality. It is a song that both reflects and refracts the moment it was conceived; even the track art chosen for it is a modified image of the Hong Kong protests. The song bears so much of what I want to see unfold in the New Origins universe and for the band itself: tangible change that amounts to something powerful—a transformation with gravity that rallies people around it.

This song and its themes are the undertow of all the rest. It has shaped the believability of this world we’ve created. While I don’t want to actually go to Aphasia City anytime soon (well, I do, but that’s the sickness of a writer wanting to see their story realized), I’m damn grateful that it and this song about it, exists.

So, here’s to Aphasia, meteorites, and the empty space between! More on all that soon, so think about subscribing to our site to stay in the loop.

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