10th of Seas, David Barbe’s third solo album, and first new album in seven years, will be released on August 18, 2017 on Orange Twin Records. Barbe has been referred to as having the most widespread influence of any single person in the Athens, GA music scene due to his involvement with so many different artists and projects over the years, from his start playing with noise damaged groups like Mercyland, Bar-B-Q Killers, and Buzz Hungry in the 1980s and ‘90’s; to his stint as bassist in Sugar (Bob Mould’s legendary post-Husker Du band), with whom he toured the globe many times and released three classic records; to his work as an engineer/producer on hundreds of albums, including those by Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers, The Glands, Son Volt, New Madrid, Bettye LaVette, Harvey Milk and Muuy Biien. Many of these were recorded at his Athens based Chase Park Transduction studio. The album’s first track, “Portuguese Door,” got its premiere on Consequence of Sound.
10th of Seas marks a departure for Barbe in that he performed and recorded the entire thing by himself, playing all the instruments, all recorded to analog tape at Chase Park Transduction.
“I wanted this record to be as close to the original source of inspiration as possible,” Barbe says. “I tried recording some of the songs with other people involved a few times, and it was better in some ways, but always seemed something was lost in translation. The communication became less personal. I felt like the emotional gravy is the glue, so I reverted to working like I did when I was teenager making 4-tracks. Working fast. More feeling it. Less over-thinking it. ”
Album highlights include: “Portuguese Door,” slippery and melodically complex, and the opening burst of “Dim Bulbs,” the lyrics of which contain the album’s title. 10th of Seas is a reference to exploring the outer reaches of one’s mind. Barbe says: “The phrase ‘sailing the seven seas’ did not mean just crossing the known bodies of water, but to go around the world and back. To sail across the 10th of Seas would indicate traversing through the unknown, to have seen it all, and then some.”
Barbe has been touring America this summer continuing into the fall in support of the album backed by Inward Dream Ebb, the alter ego of Athens-based psych-rockers New Madrid, with whom Barbe has produced several albums.