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The best kept secret in music


"Jim Brenholts review"

"Fognode's Beat Hollow is a Brian Siskind project disguised as an electronic music CD. In reality, Siskind combines many styles and techniques and this is firmly an avant-garde effort. Using loops, delays, computer noises, sci-fi sound effects, and a rock & roll rhythm section, he has built an eclectic soundscape. The atmospheres swirl around the steady rhythm. The strange experimental sounds grate like fingernails on a chalkboard. The coolest thing is that it works. Siskind's sound design skills are flawless and there is no over-the-top sound. In other words, he did not overdo it. The soundscape elements flow in and out smoothly and seamlessly. It is a great disc, but only for the adventurous."
Jim Brenholts
All Music Guide (AMG) - All Music Guide (AMG)

"George Zahora review"

"Before I received Beat Hollow, I knew of Fognode only as a contributor to Corporal Blossom Presents: A Mutated Christmas, Illegal Art's plunderphonic-style Christmas album. He acquitted himself quite well in that instance, but you can't really suss the measure of an artist's original compositions just by listening to his cut-up versions of other people's Christmas carols, can you? You can get some idea of the extent of his abilities and creative fervor, but that's about it.
I am, therefore, happy to report that Beat Hollow is quite impressive, albeit in an extraordinarily mellow, pass-the-psilocybin sort of way. If Mouse on Mars, Amon Tobin and Labradford hooked up with a traveling gamelan ensemble, got nigh-insensate on Guinness and cough syrup and then attempted to jam, this is the album they'd make. It's filled with extended atmospheric grooves, punctuated by jazzy samples, lazy percussion loops and occasional electronic glitches; the mood alternates between a sort of bleary, numbed-up exotica and brooding, fog-enshrouded pastoral noodling. There's a distinctly agoraphobic vibe here -- a sense that you're in a place far more vast than your senses can possibly conceive, and it's gradually closing in on you.
Rich, palpable sonic atmosphere is a good thing, but it won't necessarily inspire years of repeat listening. Beat Hollow covers that base with a wealth of instrumental detail. Like the close-up photos of recording equipment that were used for the disc's artwork, these simple sonic facades conceal a substantial amount of texture. Listen for "Mandala"'s clanging bells, "The Day I Heard"'s sultry, self-assured, almost James Bondian flutes, their jazzier, more somber cousins in "Heroine", the assertive beats of "Mudrake" and the effective pedal steel accents throughout the disc; no instrument is a centerpiece, but you'd be hard-pressed to name one that's surplus to the music's requirements. Fognode has clearly realized that beyond simply rounding up an eclectic array of instruments, he must give them something interesting to do, and his compositions reflect a deliberate and detail-oriented process. The sound may be laid-back, but the musicians are never laissez-faire.
Also, to his great credit, Fognode never seems to forget that his music has an audience that might not share his tolerance for drawn-out grooves. Beat Hollow is mercifully free of nine-minute wank-a-thonic self-indulgences; with only one song crossing the five minute barrier, Fognode's ideas almost never wear out their welcome. The result of this atypical discipline is an "experimental" album (in the broadest sense of the term) that asks very little of its listener, and creates a pleasingly expansive tableau in return. And there's not a cut-up Christmas song within earshot."
George Zahora,
- Splendid Ezine

"Stephen Fruitman review"

"This is the second full-length from Nashville-based Fognode, who has previously made himself known (to the present reviewer at least) for contributing some very essential sounds to the excellent debut CD by Slang, 'The Bellwether Project' (Terminus). 'Beat Hollow' showcases the artist's personal "organica" style, processing and integrating subtle electronics with studio and location recordings of acoustic instruments like piano, pedal steel or Mark Fauver's haunting flute on the opener, "The Day I Heard".
A sort of down-home instrumental opus which brilliantly succeeds in evoking the South without resorting to one single cliche. A very subjective impression of Fognode's hometown as perceived by an early-morning wanderer (the absolutely excellent drumming throughout setting the foot-dragging pace), when the streets are emptied of human traffic but pockmarked with the debris of the night before. The twang of the guitar, the twitter of earlybirds, the tingle of the dissapating fog against one cheeks. Black and white in full colour."
Stephen Fruitman


Thin Faces (LP - vinyl or mp3 only)
Tennessee In Stereo (EP mp3 only)
Porch Music (EP mp3 only)
Not So Live at the Belcourt Theater (EP mp3 only)
Beat Hollow (LP - CD, mp3)
Urban Passer (LP - CD,mp3)

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Feeling a bit camera shy


"It has an immediate-to me-seductive quality," "I want to listen to what's going to happen."
Brian Eno

Fognode has performed, recorded, and/or appeared with Jeff Coffin (Flecktones), Bill Frisell, Mindy Smith (Vanguard Records), Michael Shrieve (Santana), Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jonas Hellborg), DXT, Layng Martine III, Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), and many more.

"Do you remember the day when albums functioned as an artistic expression? Front to back, each track stood on its own, yet when sequenced together they painted a compelling picture. Well, then consider Fognode's latest effort "Thin Faces" a masterpiece. Siskind makes music from the heart, his way, without contrive. Not worried about the latest, coolest and hippest he just simply and eloquently made a thing of beauty."
Bob Green / The Grassy Knoll

"fantastic ambience..."
Pat Mastelotto - King Crimson

This is the tale of a solitary traveler.
Listen: it sounds like wandering alone along fog-smothered docks; like being lost beyond the edges of civilization, your only map the moss-covered trestles of an old railroad track beneath your feet; like wandering down streets late in the verdant afternoons, and hearing the sounds of laughter and music from porches as you pass. Brian Siskind writes soundtracks for the modern wanderer, the aimless traveler who has a journey in front of him, but not necessarily a destination. His albums are instrumental collectives that are built out of the echoes which resonate in empty spaces and the lonesome call of the next mile marker.
Siskind began collecting sounds and rhythms while he was working with Michael Shrieve (original Santana drummer) in Seattle, and the lure of space drew him into other facets of musical creation-as a producer, arranger, engineer, sound designer-allowing him to build complete environments instead of just songs. Famed ambient/electronic music pioneer Brian Eno calls Siskind's work "original." "It has an immediate-to me-seductive quality," he says, "I want to listen to what's going to happen." The journey is just as important as the destination. Siskind weaves drums, bass, analog synth, hammered dulcimer, pedal steel guitar, flute and other woodwind instruments, radio transmissions, and location recordings into his arrangements.
On his first record, Urban Passer, Siskind captures the rain-drenched pavements of Seattle, Washington. For Beat Hollow, his second record, he encapsulates the bare streets and neglected parks of Nashville, Tennessee. These aren't tourist travelogues; you won't visit the glittering downtown strips or the fashionable hotels with these records. You'll wander the lost streets, hear the sounds of the cities as they sleep and wake; you find yourself on street corners where the pavement is uneven and cracked, unruly grass fighting back against the invasion of civilization.
Siskind isn't simply a musician, he is a craftsman. He works with his hands-cutting, pasting, bending, warping, molding, processing-to build compositions within compositions. He has also dabbled in video collage work for Slang and other artists. His musical contribution on the Slang record was licensed for use in an American Express TV commercial featuring Tiger Woods in 2001.
Siskind records under the name "Fognode"-a late-night summarization from one musician to another over the course of several beers in an old tavern. It was meant to be a joke for one appearance, but the name stuck. The juxtaposition of the two root words of his name-"fog" and "node"-begs of an oxymoronic state-a obscuring mist and a particular point on a geometric wave-yet, taken together, they speak of a place unrealized and unattained. The traveler's destination.
written by Mark Teppo

Siskind is currently producing/recording/ and/or playing on records for many artists the last few years (Clare Burson, Sarah Siskind, Cortney Tidwell, Oblio, Daniel Tashian, Mindy Smith and others) and is currently working on a feature film score, as well as several full length projects. Splitting time between Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York City has helped spread the word about his craft and his music.