Wednesday, September 19, 2007


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For anyone who was aware of the existence of this recording: I know that it is long overdue for a post and for that I am sorry.

But here finally is the epic collaboration of Deth Gate and Cat People known as DETH PEOPLE! What we did was the two bands set up in two rooms in my house and with Jon Lynn conducting us, we improvised, sometimes able to hear the other band and sometimes not.

The microphone was placed in the kitchen at approximately equal distance between the two bands and although the sound bounces all over the place one can roughly discern Cat People on the left and Deth Gate on the right. I had planned for a more extensive mix of this recording, utilizing multiple mic set-ups throughout the house, but at this point some of that material has been lost. There may be another mix at some point, but for now I think this will suffice.

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Cast and Crew:

Deth Gate = Stephen Zerbe on keys and stuff and Coley Brown on drums

Cat People = Jessica Calleiro on drums and Ben Collins on guitar

Recorded by: Ben Collins

Conducted by: Jon Lynn

get it here:


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Black Thirteen - Fairweather&Tune

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Hello again,

Today I have an interesting Black Thirteen album, or albums called Fairweather&Tune. It actually is two albums but they were recorded two days in a row and on the same minidisc, so upon playback they felt like one album and so they are presented here separate but together. They are intended to be listened to as either a one album or two, it is completely up to you.

Both feature the same lineup of Wesley Rose, Simon Sharp and Ben Collins (me) which is quickly becoming the standard Black Thirteen lineup, and I'm totally fine with that.

We are in top form on these discs. If I remember correctly these were recorded in spring of 2007 and at that time we hadn't recorded in a month or two so we were pretty keen to get some stuff out of our collective system.

features both Simon and Wesley on guitars the whole time with me playing a drum and a recorder for some of it until eventually forsaking them for an acoustic guitar as well.

And Tune features all of us on acoustic guitars.

We are happy with these and somewhere I have video footage of us playing Fairweather, so maybe that will be posted as well one day.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Black Thirteen - Awake and Asong

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Ahhh, the namesake of this blog.

This album was an early record featuring the "classic" Black Thirteen lineup of Wesley, Simon and I. I think this was actually the album recorded immediately following Whiskey and Honey but don't quote me on that.

This record features the same setup as Whiskey and Honey, which is Simon in the center on the electric and Wesley and I on the right and left, respectively, with acoustic guitars.

It is a long album and mostly instrumental, but for me it is one of the most listenable albums we have. The third track is specifically of note, at thirty-three minutes it has several distinct movements beginning with Simon's solo electric guitar noise and ending with some kind of traditional sounding jam ostensibly titled "Blood-red Dress" that became the first Black Thirteen song that we were able to replicate on a later album, (the as yet to be un-posted Plate Tekroniks).

So enjoy, and if you listen to it please comment so I know if I really am talking to nobody here.


Black Thirteen - Grounds of PLEASURE

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As far as I know this is the only Black Thirteen album not featuring founding member Simon Sharp. If I remember correctly he had a test or a doctor's appointment or some thing else not very punk to do in the morning and so he couldn't play that night.

Wesley Rose and myself are on the album as is Joe McNeill, in (I think) his third Black Thirteen appearance. And joining the band for the first time is Ben Hurst. Ben is a very talented guitarist and songwriter who went to high school with us and afterward promptly moved to Arizona. He was back in town for the holidays and so we invited him to play.

With the involvement of both Joe and Ben the album has a bluesier flavor than the band has had on previous albums, to what is, I think, an interesting effect.

I'm honestly not sure who is playing what on every song. I know for certain that I played drums on the first two tracks, so based on what I hear and remember I will guess that:

Joe played acoustic on tracks 1 and 2, and electric on 3 and 4.

Wes played acoustic on tracks 1 and 2 and drums on 3 and 4

Ben Hurst played electric on 1 and 2 and acoustic on 3 and 4

Ben Collins played drums on 1 and 2 and acoustic on 3 and 4

It is a long album, but I think a rewarding experience.



SFCD - Something Else, Something Black

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This was an album for a friend that died. It obviously has sentimental value for me, but I think it is a decent record as well.

1. Up to Some Good
2. Cooped Up
3. More Than I Meant to Say
4. Too Soon Whenever
5. My Love of Grey
6. Ride
7. 23
8. Slate Nov. 27

All songs played by me: Ben Collins

Dedicated to my friend Picasso.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Random cool news

I am very excited about music and this blog. I received this is sudden surge of excitement yesterday after I had emailed Hiroyuki Usui of the band L and he actually responded to me!

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For anybody who doesn't know Hiro was in Fushitsusha with Keiji Haino at some point and later made the album Holy Letters under the band name L. He has done a few things since, but most are difficult to find here in the states. Holy Letters was reissued recently thanks to enthusiasm from Ben Chasny of Six Organs and last year Chasny and Hiro made an album of through-the-mail collaborations under the name August Born, this album rules as well. Both of these albums have been very important to me and have certainly effected the aesthetic of this blog.

I had emailed him randomly and he responded and now he is mailing me some more records and I will be mailing him some things, some of which are things posted on this blog!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Black Thirteen - Firesteed

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Finally a new post! Well for anyone who is keeping track I believe this will be the fifth Black Thirteen album to be posted here and the second in what I am starting to consider the "classic" lineup, meaning it features Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose and myself.

The album is titled Firesteed, named after the brand of wine we were drinking while playing that night. I think it is a pretty good album, with a nice balance of different sorts of playing and singing throughout. But for me the best thing about this record is that simultaneous to our playing, on the other side of town, our friends Travis and Martina gave birth to their son Odin Benjamin Knowles. So this album is dedicated to him and hopefully one day he can listen to it and appreciate that his father had a bunch of lazy friends who sat around drinking and recording improv folk music instead of getting up at a decent hour and having real jobs.

So here's the tracklist:

1. Sing for You
2. Don't Go Down
3. Two Hand Blues
4. Call Me Back
5. Never
6. Always Dancing
7. Baby

Simon and Wesley played guitars, and I think sometimes Simon's was electric. I played Banjo. We all sing at different times.

download link


Thanks to Lars' comment on my previous entry I am currently in the process of uploading all the records on

So far I have put up two of the SFCD records, The Brood and You Don't Need To check out their original posts for the links.

Also I should say that I am going to try really hard to catch up with this thing. I was on a roll there for a while and I have neglected this blog for a few months, I'm sorry and I will try to get more albums posted up soon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007



It's been a while since I posted, and in that time most of the rapidshare links expired, so I am in the process of re-uploading all of the albums already listed and hopefully adding some new ones. Not that it really matters because nobody ever comes to this thing anyway...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Ah Dolphin Beam...

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Those were the days.

We were so young and full of energy, it feels like it all happened a year or two ago... and yet it DID!!!!

Okay Dolphin Beam was founded in one way or another by: Colin Alexander, James Chapman, Ben Collins (me), Jon Lynn and Kevin Phillips. We used to play a lot of shows and it was fun and crazy. It was all improvised, as you will certainly be able to hear.

We haven't played in a while but in total I think we did like ten or so albums, a couple of them lost forever. This record was toward the end of our time being productive as a live band and the start of time as more of an album band.

Playing on this record are:

Colin Alexander: playing mostly clarinet, I think some percussion and probably some keyboards

Jon Lynn: Singing lead, playing mostly organ, and maybe percussion and he might even play clarinet at some point.

Kevin Phillips: playing the more strummed guitar stuff and percussion

Ben Collins: playing the more lead-ish guitar, recorder, some percussion, backing vocals, and keyboard at some point.

Colin recorded and mixed it


1. Here comes the fog
2. Ride the sky
3. The Dolphin rides again
4. The Hero's journey

Maybe one day The Dolphin truly will ride again... until that day we will console ourselves with glorious abstract, improv folk-pop of this album.

Download it here

Friday, May 4, 2007


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Two days in a row, a guess I'm on a roll.

Anyway, this album should have been posted up sooner. It was completed almost a year ago and has been waiting to be heard since then. LIGHTSNAKE is a record of noise music performed by Travis 'TK' Knowles and myself. I put those names in that order for a reason: this record is TK's baby and I am honored to have played on it, (by the way travis does have an actual 'baby' which can be viewed here).

The material that makes up this album was recorded in a few hours one afternoon at the now defunct Atlanta College of Art. I think I was on spring break, it was my senior year of college and I was downtown in Atlanta, I think, buying the last Liars album. Travis and I made plans to record some and I went by his school, (which at the time had a great sound lab full of analog syths). We jammed for a while on computers, synths, minidisc and delay pedal, and we got "the best falafel in town" at the a place in colony square. I don't remember which came first, the falafel or the jamming. It was all over very quickly and a few months later Travis gave me this record.

Some of it was recorded by him at a later date, and all of it was edited and mixed by him. So I don't think I am stroking my ego when I say I think it is amazing. It is dynamic and well structured, especially for a noise record. If you like noise I think you will dig it, and if you don't: I think you might be surprised.


Travis 'TK' Knowles: Computer and electronics
Ben Collins: Minidisc, synth, and electronics

Recorded and mixed by Travis Knowles


Thursday, May 3, 2007

B. Davis Collins - Calm Sounds (for Molly)

So this one is a big change of pace for me. This album is one of the first of electronic compositions that I have completed in quite a while. Although electronic music was the first type of music I ever made I don't often finish an electronic album that I am pleased enough with to play for people.

But the circumstances surrounding this record are very different from other albums I have made. It all started when my friend and frequent collaborator Colin Alexander mentioned that his girlfriend Molly Evans (also my friend) had requested that he make some music for her to meditate to. I heard this and for whatever reason wanted in. Molly is a good friend of mine and the idea of making something just for her was appealing, also appealing was the idea of making music I wouldn't have made under other circumstances. And so a month later there is this album.

It is comprised of only rain sounds that I recorded and processed. I made it all on my computer, usually at night.

All sounds by Ben Collins

1. The Rain
2. The Ghost of the Rain.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Black Thirteen - Knock it off

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Here is an interesting album for you. If I remember correctly this was Black Thirteen's first attempt at what might be considered a more traditional "band" setup: one with guitar, bass, drums, and keys. This is also, I believe, Travis "TK" Knowles' first Black Thirteen appearance. For those of you who don't already know Travis is an incredible musician whom I have had the pleasure of playing with in many different settings and bands, his music can be found here.

So all in all this album features Black Thirteen regulars Simon Sharp, Wesly Rose, myself (Ben Collins) and TK. With the expanded setup we chose to play in Wesley's garage, going on the idea that his parents "wouldn't give a shit". A half hour into the session we found out how much of a shit they did in fact give, (an exchange that can be heard at the end of the second track) and we decided to take a few instruments and go into the woods where we hopefully wouldn't bother anyone.

As a recording engineer I apologize for some of the sound of this record, it was a new setup that I had never tested and in some cases the levels were not what I expected them to be. As a player however I think this record is very rewarding. So often we talk about improv music putting us in spaces that we are unfamiliar with and so often this is not exactly true. And although I had played with all these dudes before this session, this exact group had never played together before and I really don't think any of us had any real idea of what it would sound like.

As a listener I will say that probably the most interesting aspect of this record is how the changing location effects the music being played, specifically in how when we are in the garage we are playing more instrumentally and when we move into the woods we resort to more vocal driven music.

So, if you will, join Black Thirteen on this improv journey, see if you are as surprised as we were when you hear where we arrive.


Simon Sharp: guitar tracks 1, 2; Lead Vocals and stuff tracks 3, 4
Wesley Rose: bass track 1; guitar tracks 2, 3, 4; vocals 3, 4
Travis Knowles: keys track 1; bass track 2; keys and vocals tracks 3, 4
Ben Collins: drums all tracks, vocals and other stuff tracks 3, 4

recorded by: ben collins, all music freely improvised by the four players.


SFCD - The Brood

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Hello again,

This is another of my Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey albums. And again on this one it is me by myself playing acoustic guitar and singing a little bit. I don't really remember much of what was going on when I played this one, based on the slate info I guess I was back in Fayetteville for thanksgiving, but other than that I can't really tell you what was going through my mind at all. I do remember that I titled it "The Brood" because I thought it was maybe a little more moodier than some of the other records I had done around that time.

Once again all music freely improvised by myself, recorded at my father's house in fayetteville, GA.

1. Can't Find it
2. Someone Else's Guitar
3. Enough Anger
4. Slate nov. 20 (28)


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Black Thirteen - Winter's Sun

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There are basically three different types of Black Thirteen albums: 1. The trio of Simon Wesley and myself 2. Any members of the trio with other friends of ours who may or may not have ever played with us before and 3. Simon and I as a duo. Types 1. and 2. have gotten play on this blog already so I thought it would be nice to offer one of the duo records.

To be fair though, this record is somewhat of a departure from the norm as far as duo records go. Usually simon and I duo on accoustic and sometimes electric guitars, but on this night we thought it would interesting to change things up a little bit. So I played electric bass and simon played electric guitar. Also, rather than breaking it up into pieces we chose to play for one solid half hour, the resulting session is "Winter's Sun".

I am happy with this record for a few reasons. I don't usually get the oppertunity to play bass and enjoyed doing it quite a lot. But also, with me on bass Simon was left alone on the guitar which gave him more freedom than he usually has on the instrument. Simon is a very interesting guitar player and his playing definitely benefits from the freedom he is given here. Usually he takes a lead or solo role with Wesley and I as chordal backing but with this he really had to step out and find the music himself, where I mostly provided rhythmic structure and textural additions to what he was already doing.

The record is mostly instrumental but in the last minutes Simon's vocals emerge from the mix, as though they had been hibernating and were ready for spring time. It is a trick that maybe we pull too often, but honestly I never tire of it, bringing in vocals so late in the performace has a way of imbuing everything previous with a certain amount of importance that you didn't know was there when you listened to it at first, as though everything was building up to this.

All in all Winter's Sun maintains a fairly somber late night, reflective tone, something which Simon and I appreciate greatly on many Loren Connors albums. I hope you enjoy it as well.

As usual this was recorded by me, live and freely improvised by Simon and myself. We played in a room at my father's house in Fayetteville GA.

Winter's Sun

Simon Sharp: Electric guitar, lead vocals
Ben Collins: Electric Bass, backing vocals


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cat People - Lost in Magnus

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This Cat People album is, in many ways, very different from the previous one I posted (The Collective Memory of the Future). For starters, I do play guitar on this record, but instead of a Ray Russell free jazz skronk I do a subdued Ebow thing that serves as ground water for my fellow cats to drone on top of. Speaking of fellow cats this is the first time anyone other than Jessica or myself has played on a Cat People record. And who is this mysterious player? Why none other than Unsolved Mysteries mastermind Jon Lynn.

As I recall this was recorded after Jon, Jessica and I had a day-long adventure into the wilderness of middle Georgia. As with many of these records this was recorded by me, at my home in Savannah, it was all collectively improvised by the three people present.


Jessica Calleiro: Clarinet, loops, vocals, cymbals
Jon Lynn: Organ, electronics
Ben Collins: Guitar, vocals

1. Magnus Major
2. Magnus Minor


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey (SFCD) - You Don't Need To...

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Hello again,

This is another of my albums which features only me. It is called "you don't need to," which is something I think I remember somebody saying to me.

This album is one of two dozen or so that I have recorded, late at night, by myself with a guitar, and completely improvised. So in all honesty I can't remember too much about what was going on when I did it, or else I would tell you. In fact, I can't even remember what city I was in when I recorded it, I think it was Atlanta, but the emotions and tone of the room seem more Savannah to me.

The nice thing, for me, about these improv records is that when I listen back to them it is the closest I get to becoming you. See there is no way I could ever remember all of the stuff I play. It's totally free, I'm not even trying to remember it. So After I record it, it may months later before I hear it again, when I put it into the computer. And by that point the music is about as distant from me as it can get. Sometimes I will say, "Wow, why on earth did I play that?" or "How on earth did I play that? I don't even know what's going on here." At the end of each of them I always "slate" them, I record myself saying what the date and time was during the recording, so that I at least have some idea of what's going on. Recently I have been adding what tuning I am playing in on the guitar, so that I can at least try and imagine what it was that I was playing.

Anyway, all that said, I think this record is pretty good. I can sort of remember not thinking so much of it when I recorded it, but when I heard it for the first time I thought it was at least interesting, which is the least I can ever really ask for.

So yeah, no track titles.

All played and recorded by me: Ben Collins

Download Here

Monday, March 5, 2007

Cat People - The Collective Memory of the Future

Cat People is a Power Duo consisting of Jessica Calleiro and Ben Collins. This is the first Cat People Album, it was recorded live at Auntie-Em studios by Ben Collins

1. Dancing Music (Jess: Guitar, Ben:Drums)
2. Teeth Sinking (Jess:Drums, Ben:Guitar)
3. I love the Drums (Jess:Drums, Ben:Guitar)

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The cat on the cover is named Doyle.

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photo from cat people's recent show in savannah at the desoto row music space

download album

SFCD - How St. Francis Tamed the Very Fierce Wolf of Gubbio


Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey (SFCD) is basically just me, sometimes other people play, but most of the time I get my musical ideas when nobody else is around. This album is no different than usual except that I am using loops and amps feeding back and drums and stuff so even though it was recorded live in one take it sounds more like a band is playing it.

This is the second album I've made in this mode that I have called "metal" any of my friends who have listened to it tell me that I am not in fact playing "metal". They are probably right, so I am wondering if the compromise "noise-metal" can be reached.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Black Thirteen - The Six Hundred

This is the second album I have posted and it is another good one, some might say the best one. It is called "The Six hundred" and in the inaugural Black Thirteen appearance from both Jessica Calleiro (Uncle Owen Aunt Beru) and Courtney Burton. Also appearing are Black Thirteen founding members myself (Ben Collins) and Simon Sharp. It was a long session and one full of energy and surprises. Please listen and enjoy and post Comments to tell us what you think.


1. The Other Side
2. Someone to Follow and Someone to Lead
3. Courtney Plays Tambourine
4. True Heart
5. Jessica Plays Guitar


Courtney: Percussion, Vocals
Jessica: Clarinet, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Ben: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Simon: Electric Guitar. Vocals

recorded by: Ben Collins in December 2006



Monday, January 8, 2007

Black Thirteen - Whiskey and Honey

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Black Thirteen is a band that was started by myself and Simon Sharp in November of 2006. The band plays exclusivly freely-improvised music and always records at night. This is (I think) our seventh album, and the first to feature someone other than me or Simon in a full playing capacity, that person being Wesley Rose.


Simon Sharp: Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar
Wesley Rose: Right Channel Accoustic guitar and vocals
Ben Collins: Left Channel Accoustic guitar and vocals

recorded by: Ben Collins



Friday, January 5, 2007

In the beginning...

Hello to the nobody who is reading this!

This is a first post of what will hopefully be many more. My name is Ben Collins and I play a lot of music with several bands. My intention with this blog is to post up albums from some of these bands for people to download and enjoy. I registered here on a total whim tonight and know very little about what it takes to post albums on rapidshare ar whatever, so it might take some time or I might not do it at all. If you somehow stumbled upon this please stop by occasionally to see if I have posted any more.

Okay, good bye for now.