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Archaic Signal

by Aperus

supported by
Stuart McDonald
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Stuart McDonald I arrived at Archaic signal as a recommendation from a friend, listening in it reminded me of my trips to the mid west 15 years back, those evening drives across the Rockies from Denver to Grand Junction and back. Closing my eyes I could easily reflect on those times, trying to tune into radio stations on those late summer evenings. its a pure joy, love the textures of ambient, the mood, the birds communicating, love this. Favourite track today is Archaeodreaming...love it.. Favorite track: Archaeodreaming.
Scott Vincent
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Scott Vincent Coherent enough worlds that they feel feasible, even though there is something quite different going on here. While not revealing 'the' mystery, these piece definitely describe 'a' mystery. Favorite track: New Antenna.
David Forlano
David Forlano thumbnail
David Forlano Brian has absorbed the environment of the high desert landscape and produced a gorgeous expression of it in sound. It is as if he has gathered the signals from ancient past and distant future and gently blended them with our present moment. This recording is rich with subtle textures, low rumblings and shimmering atmosphere. The most compelling track is Birdsong As Mantra. Favorite track: Birdsong as Mantra.
Eckart Bühler
Eckart Bühler thumbnail
Eckart Bühler listening through the complete with all my three ears, and wow you are a modern Stockhausen. Dig the Esperanto antenna intro into a half an hour of deepest cosmos exploration of uniquely black-holed drones only ever dreamt before, but not heard -with billions of shimmering white dwarfs about... trippy, wonderful
space music concrete with a great dose of bliss. Unique Stuff from a lot of thought and craft. Favorite track: Archaic Signal.
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<=> Transient spaces with granular textures from long ago...Brian explores the intersections of time, past and present with inspirations from his Santa Fe, NM surroundings... Highly Recommended.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This 2020 release features a 5 x 7 cello sleeve with a striking double sided gatefold cover and five double sided photo cards (10 images) created from weathered surfaces, pictographs and found objects.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Archaic Signal via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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New Antenna 05:51
Phase Shift 02:32
Silver Birds 03:24
Afterglow 06:42


We're living on the edge of town near a green belt of trees in the high desert of New Mexico. I wake up, get ready for the day, and hear a bird singing outside the window. The window's open slightly so it filters out the background noise while letting the high end pass through unobstructed. I'm struck by the beauty of the sound and begin recording. It occurs to me that the bird isn't just singing, it's trying to signal another bird as it's evolved to do over countless millennia.

We're hiking the La Cienaguilla Petroglyphs exploring a mile long section of ancient symbols. I'm surprised at how many images cover the rocks and canyon and how directly they speak to me. We move slowly from one panel to the next. You point out the highlights while I photograph them with my camera. Some look ancient while others look like the future seen through the lens of the past. The thought goes through my head – “these petroglyphs are a signal from then until now”.

I've tuned into a favorite website to work with a high powered radio antenna at a university in the Netherlands. I spend hours moving through the frequencies recording cosmic noise, news reports, and obscure number stations. A few more adjustments and the shortwave transmits a call to prayer as the audio recorder runs in the background. The needle's not quite on the frequency so the singer sounds squelchy and out of focus while a voice from another station occasionally bleeds through.

After three iterations, the title of the album becomes clear and I feel compelled to explore the ideas I've gathered.


released September 16, 2020


Brian McWilliams: shortwave radio, software sampler, ob6, wavestation, juno 106, un-o-lx, prophet 5/vs, droneo, synplant, sunrizer, processed guitar, rattles, field recordings, tape manipulation

Ivan Block: guitar on “Archaic Signal” and “Afterglow”

Karla K Mcwilliams: drum loop and samples on “Canopy of Stars”

Recorded and mixed by Brian McWilliams at the Sound Observatory. Mastered by Robert Rich at Soundscape, Mountain View (1,3,4,5,6,8), Jason Goodyear at Ice Cream Truck Studio (2,5), Brian McWilliams at the Sound Observatory (1-9). Photography and artwork by Brian McWilliams.

Thank you to the Cochiti and Santo Domingo pueblos for inspiration and visual dna drawn from the La Cienaguilla Petroglyph site; Karla K Mcwilliams, Jim Hackler, Jason Goodyear, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Ron Sunsinger, Robin Storey, David Jackson, Michelle Mcwilliams, Jaled Bahakeem and Jenna Ritter for feedback during the recording of this project. Special thanks to Ivan Block for creative dialog, photo location scouting and assistance.


Robert Rich:

Jason Goodyear:


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Aperus Santa Fe, New Mexico

Aperus is an ambient, electronic musician and photographer living in the high desert of northern New Mexico. With each recording, he explores new themes and possibilities, combining analog atmospheres, field recordings, electronic experimentalism and photographic artifacts to create unique audiovisual documents. ... more

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