Nebraska was first released in 1995. This newly remastered 20th anniversary edition also features all new cover artwork.
Total playing time: 60:16
Back in 1995, while finishing my Masters in Music Composition at Western Michigan University, I created Nebraska - my first full length electronic music album. The digital download revolution hadn’t happened yet (yes, there was a time before the iTunes Store!), and independent artists were making their first forays into the world of Internet distribution. Just think, it was - for the first time - now possible to create your own website and reach out directly to potential fans around the world without going through the gatekeepers (record companies)! It was a brave new world.
But albums at that time were still primarily attached to fixed media (we used to call those CDs, or Compact Discs - you may remember them). So, as an independent artist, what were the options?
There was always Disk Makers, but with (at the time) minimum orders of 1000 CDs and the need to produce a “glass master,” it was cost prohibitive for most of us. Then along came mp3.com. Here was a place that an artist could create their own artist page, upload mp3 files, and sell physical CDs using this awesome new technology concept: print-on-demand. It was great, and ‘Nebraska’ was first published there. Sadly, mp3.com was both ahead of its time and targeted by the record industry, and didn’t last very long. You can read that story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3.com
So Nebraska was shelved - for nearly 20 years. Eventually we independents got CD-Baby and iTunes and the rest of it, and I went on to produce more albums over the years.
Then, earlier this year, I was looking through my old mp3.com CDs (who knows why) and realized that 20 years had somehow gone by since I started all this! ‘Nebraska’ was virtually unknown and forgotten. I gave it a listen and decided it was time to jump on the “remaster” band wagon. I’ve actually always been very happy with the album, sonically and compositionally, and was excited to give it new life (along with new cover art and all)!
I was fortunate to have access to some great gear at the time. A Kurzweil K2000 was my main synth, and (another new concept) a collection of rack-mount modular synths: the venerable EMU Proteus, Ensoniq EPS (early sampler), Korg 05R/W. All the tracks were sequenced through MOTU’s Digital Performer (it had just become “digital”) and recorded direct to stereo DAT (Digital Audio Tape). This was all very cutting edge at the time!
For the cover art, I taught myself Photoshop (also in its infancy) and did my own photography (something I still do to this day).
I toyed with the idea of adding a “bonus” track or two from other material recorded at the time, but decided to go ahead and leave the original tracks in the original order. I did the remastering myself (I know they tell you to “leave it the pros,” but how can one become a pro without experience??). I also returned to the location of the original photoshoot to reshoot the new cover art - same location, same direction, same time of year - but 20 years later!
So, here it is. I present to you