A Guide For Reason XIII – XIV (review in A Closer Listen)

from A Closer Listen:

In the digital age, one has a begrudging admiration for the few artists who still insist on doing things the old school way.  Mike Fazio (A Guide for Reason) is one of these.  After three years of commercial silence, he has returned with the latest volume of what he calls “difficult music.”  He’s correct to term it “difficult,” but only in comparison to mainstream music; there’s nothing off-putting about XIII-XIV, as it simply requires patience.

Patience is one thing Fazio has in spades.  He’s patient enough to create a worthy physical artifact for the 50 people who will be able to procure a copy of this disc (let’s make that 49, because I’ve got one).  He’s patient enough to record two slowly-developing, 20-minute tracks.  And he’s patient enough to wait for any acclaim, knowing that he’ll never be accepted by the mainstream.  Nor does he wish to be; after decades in the business, he’s content to have procuratorial control.

coverOne is never quite sure what to expect from a Fazio release.  Sometimes his albums include spoken word, other times electronic beats.  The length of the tracks often determines their internal variety.  “The Wonder Room” is a series of tonal experiments, wafting through the speakers like an electronic breeze.  If one could hear all of the circuits in one’s house as they were activated, setting and resetting themselves, it might sound something like this:  soft feedback, sine loops, perceived patterns.  When a more piercing tone enters in the 8th minute, it’s like a quiet alarm, signaling a shift to a more active segment.  And two minutes later (remember, it’s slow-developing), the scratch of a record beneath a needle launches a louder series of sequences.  Only at the very end does something resembling techno appear: the best location for a light climax.

The album’s strength is its consistency.  This time out, Fazio seems to be following a specific sonic vision, uninterrupted by the more obvious inclusions that made prior works seem jagged.  “The Road to the Beginning Again” starts with the same density as “The Wonder Room” ends before retreating in volume, allowing for a smooth flow.  At 2:40, it is nearly silent, save for an electronic current that sounds like a contrail.  That piercing tone reappears soon after, connecting the two works.  But the electronics are subtly different, sounding more like typewriters and insects than circuits and wires; and their speaker-to-speaker travels are more intense.  Again, one has the sense that something is building, but the reveal doesn’t appear until the end of the 12th minute: and true to the form of the album, the drone remains restrained even as it advances.

Nothing on the album beats any other part of the album into submission.  This tuns out to be his best set to date.  By the end, we’ve realized something new about Fazio, and perhaps he’s realized it about himself as well.  On XIII-XIV, he comes across as the opposite of The Hulk ~ the subtler Fazio gets, the stronger he gets.  (Richard Allen)


physical copy


Sonic Arts Society debuts with four releases on Faith Strange

Faith Strange presents four full length digital releases from

Sonic Arts Society

Sleepcycle – fs18


SLEEPCYCLE back cover-01

From This That Waking Is (First Movement) – fs 19

from this that waking is I cover


From This That Waking Is (Second Movement) – fs 20



From This That Waking Is (Third Movement) – fs 21



All four 16 bit digital albums can be downloaded on Bandcamp

by naming your price

for one month’s time only

then afterwards will have set purchase prices.

A very limited, expertly mastered, one time edition containing 96k / 24 bit audiophile files on 1x dvd-audio disc

with From This That Waking Is presented in its originally intended one hour and fifty three minute uninterrupted form

 and 44.1k / 16 bit cd quality files on 4x cdr’s

 housed in a handmade folio

will be available in the next few weeks for the independent film industry and interested forward-thinking electronic music devotees



faith strange recordings


est. 1992

here, in the periphery of imagination

May, 19th 2013 – Two new works on Faith Strange: A Guide For Reason – Iconography (fs16), Fazio – Interiors (fs17) released


A Guide For Reason – Iconography (fs16)

(limited edition CD in gatefold sleeve)


Fazio – Interiors (fs17)

 (24 bit digital and 16 bit digital albums)

Available for shipping the week of  May 20th, 2013. The first 50 copies of Iconography come with an insert for a complimentary download of Interiors in 16 bit FLAC or other 16 bit file formats of choice. There is a 24 bit FLAC format available as well for audiophiles, but this is not included with Iconography and only available separately.

Iconography will also be available separately in 24 bit or 16 bit digital albums as of June. The CD version in gatefold sleeve is a limited run and will not be reprinted once it is sold out.

We feel the FLAC formats have the closest fidelity to the original hi definition studio recordings and strongly recommend these over mp3’s or Apple Lossless. iTunes can play FLAC files with an easy update if your installed version does not have it already. For further information about FLAC digital files please see:


For further information, please visit:


160 kbps soundclips:

faith strange recordings on soundcloud

A Guide For Reason – Iconography – to be released


A Guide For Reason


March 23rd, 2013

The master is on its way to the pressing plant and we should have copies of the third A Guide For Reason album ‘Iconography’ in a month’s time. Originally slated as an lp release, the recording quickly changed into a double lp of 4, side-long tracks making the costs of issuing a double lp in today’s environment with out of control postage costs and more and more distributors being wary of carrying high ticket items from independent artists out of the question at this time.

The cd instead has been sensitively mastered in 24 bit / 96k audiophile fidelity using one of the industry’s best AD / DA converters to reflect the warmth inherent in audiophile vinyl pressings and to be quite honest, sounds much better than it could have on lp because of it’s enhanced dynamic field and separation sorely missing on most recent vinyl recordings being manufactured today in my opinion, but that’s the subject of another discussion altogether. It is also a pleasure to listen to these 4 tracks uninterrupted in one listen. The recording will be issued in a mini lp gatefold sleeve with a matte varnish finish, as the later orchestramaxfieldparrish recordings were. This is the 16th official Faith Strange Recording to date, not including private pressings without catalog numbers  since 1992. We have plans to issue the 24 bit hi definition recordings on Bandcamp if their extensive file size will allow them to. By releasing this material on wider distributed glass mastered cd and 24 bit files, the music will hopefully reach more people who unfortunately missed out on the limited micro pressings of the first two albums. The next release to be issued soon on Faith Strange is Gods Of Electricity – ‘Thus Spoke‘, sometime in the Summer of 2013 on 180 gram lp. The next two A Guide For Reason albums, ‘The Vast Apart’  and ‘Interiors’, also to be released this Summer, look to be FLAC only releases at this moment, but this could change.

In conclusion, this is a recording that I am immensely satisfied with as it is keeping with the tone and direction of the project as unclassifiable, challenging, non-genre specific and unlike anything being released today but if I may add, is the sexiest music I have ever produced. – MF