Comms Is Out Now

FRIENDS: The third Album by Avvenir, Comms is now available via BandcampAmazon, and Spotify. It's the starkest and harshest Avvenir album I've made yet, and I'm really proud of it. 


Also, I've made two videos for the record—check out the glitch art–inspired visuals for the tracks "Guyton OS" and "Stadia I"

LP4 is already underway, and it's shaping up to be a weird one. Stay tuned in 2018—lots of other fun things coming from Safety next year. 


Avvenir LP3: Comms

Friends: I'm excited to be bringing you my third album as Avvenir, Comms.

It's my sixth LP when including my other projects, City States, Contretemps, and Modal Voices, and easily the most immediate. Comms strips away the orchestral flourishes that made last year's Natural Language, in the words of the Beach Sloth music blog, "a beautiful, baroque take on techno." Instead, over the course of its 44-minute runtime Comms' oscillates between industrial breakbeats and icy soundscapes, resulting in a tone that reads more claustrophobic than reflective. 

Starting around the same time as when I began production on the first Avvenir LP, I developed an obsession with contemporary art, which has only grown in the years since. The song titles of Comms reflect this, referencing pieces by Wade Guyton, Albert Oehlen, Julie Mehretu, Christopher Wool, Michael Riedel, and Corinne Wasmuht, whose works ask similar questions about how we communicate, and how our lives are shaped by the arrow of technological progress. That inspiration has motivated me to start constructing my own large-scale mixed media pieces, too, the latest of which will be revealed in just a week or two. 

Comms will be available on Friday, November 10th via iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and Spotify. More songs coming soon, but here's the first single, "Guyton OS":

New Avvenir LP: Natural Language

Friends: less than a year after the debut Avvenir album, I'm happy to announce the follow-up: Natural Language.

For those of you who loved the first LP, Glyphs, Natural Language ups the ante; once again, Autechre and Aphex Twin loom large over this new record, however the beats here are harder, the melodies starker, the textures harsher than what I've released in the past as Avvenir. I'm also incorporating hints of acid house, industrial, and orchestral music into the arrangements, making for a more unusual listen overall.

Watch the video to the opening track from Natural Language, "Jetzt":

Natural Language will be released on Friday, September 30, and will be absolutely free to all of the good people who are signed up for the Safety Records mailing list. However, my one favor to ask is that you tell your friends. Do you know anyone who daydreams about more records like Donkey Rhubarb or Tri Repetae? Send them over to the Safety Records site to sign up for the mailing list and get the new LP. Do you have Facebook friends who love Björk's Homogenic or late-period Cabaret Voltaire? Then share "Jetzt" for all of the interwebs to hear—it's the best way for people like me to reach a wider audience.

I'll be adding more tracks to Soundcloud in the coming weeks, so stay tuned, and thanks for listening.

Joel / Safety

Uncertain Designs Out Now!


After two long years of hard work, today marks the release of my fourth and final solo debut. Uncertain Designs, released under the name Modal Voices, is perhaps the most ambitious album I've made yet, and arguably the most accomplished. I'm very happy to finally be sharing it with all of you (stream the full record below, and purchase on iTunes, Amazon, or the Safety shop page).

Though I've spent plenty of time in blog posts and interviews talking about my love of art-pop, noise, and experimental techno (each of which map to my other project names City States, Contretemps, and Avvenir), in a lot of ways Uncertain is the culmination of my musical preoccupations. By triangulating the melodic, tonal, and rhythmic explorations of my previous three full-lengths, I really do believe that this record does a great job of showing the full spectrum of who am—and who I aspire to be—as an artist. Moreover, I'm finally willing to admit that I don't simply want to be another guy making records for the hell of it—I want to be doing something special, and taken as a whole these four debut records is a very intentional statement of purpose.

In any event, I hope you enjoy the album as much as I do, and PLEASE, if you like the record, tell everyone you know about it on Facebook or Twitter, at work or over a Friday night beer—it's the only way people like me find a larger audience.

Lastly, stay tuned for more: there'll be another Avvenir record before year's end, and I've got plenty more planned for 2017.

Sincerest thanks to you for reading and listening,


Uncertain Designs, the Debut LP by Modal Voices


Safety Records is excited to kick off 2016 with our first full-length release of the year: Uncertain Designs by Modal Voices.

The fourth and final of my solo projects, (the other three being City States, Contretemps, and Avvenir) this new recording should be an exciting listen for fans of Tim Hecker, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.

Though the record was created as a single 40-minute piece using a uniform key and tempo, I ultimately split Uncertain Designs into nine "tracks", one of which I'm happy to preview for you now. Here's a song called "A World Of Possibilities":

01. Interaction
02. Time Compression
03. Substructures
04. More Like We Had Planned
05. A World Of Possibilities
06. Space Compression
07. Here, and Not Here
08. Ex-Novo (A Reprise)
09. Uncertain Designs

Uncertain Designs will be available for digital download and streaming on Friday April 29.

Joel / Safety

Glyphs by Avvenir, Available Now!

Today's the day! Glyphs, the debut LP by Avvenir, is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Stream the record in full below.

I have a favor to ask: if you are enjoying the record and you know people who might like it, be sure to share Glyphs with friends on Facebook or Twitter (or maybe you can just talk with people about the record in person). And if you're not signed up for our mailing list, please do so via the sign up form to the right.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Stay Safe: A Free Safety Records Comp


Back in July when I had a booth at the Pitchfork Fest record fair, I made a free comp to give out to festival goers. I'm now releasing that compilation to the public.

Stay Safe, a 10-song download featuring tracks by City States, Avvenir, Contretemps, and Modal Voices, is now available for free.


And if you like what you hear, be sure to purchase a record or sign up for our mailing list via the form on the right side of the screen.


Glyphs, the Debut LP by Avvenir

Safety Records continues its busy year with another debut full-length release for 2015: Glyphs by Avvenir, an experimental techno project for fans of Autechre, Aphex Twin, and Plaid.

01. Magenta
02. Sonnen
03. International Style
04. PostScript
05. Univers
06. Prepress
08. Émigré
09. Late Modern
10. Für Immer

Glyphs will be available for digital download and streaming on Friday October 30. More details and a music video premiere will be available soon, so stay tuned.

Joel / Safety

Avvenir's Debut Single: Linotype

Safety Records' busy year continues with yet another new project, Avvenir!

I've spent the last 12 months writing lots of songs outside of my flagship band, City States, and the results have evolved into not one, not two, but three additional strains of music. Avvenir is the last of these new endeavors (the first two being Contretemps and Modal Voices), and I'm really excited to finally debut the first single, "Linotype."

Inspired by Autechre, Plaid, Conversation-era Cabaret Voltaire, and Aphex Twin, this project has me paying tribute to 90's and early 21st-century experimental techno with fractured electronic beats, sideways synth melodies, and shards of digital noise.

Download the new Avvenir single, "Linotype."

This two-track single is just the start, as I have an EP and a full-length LP coming from Avvenir before the end of 2015. In the meantime, enjoy these new songs, and if you want to stay up to speed on forthcoming music be sure to sign up for the Safety Records mailing list.

Joel / City States

Contretemps – Pronouncement

I'm super excited to announce the first Safety release of 2015, Pronouncement, an album by a new project called Contretemps. The first of several instrumental electronic projects I've been working on, this one is by far the most adventurous, a clear departure from the last 6 years of melodic pop I've channeled as City States.

If you're a fan of Oneohtrix Point Never, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II, Merzbow, or Fennesz, you'll probably enjoy it. Here's a track from the album, "Telemusik."

Available March 24th on high-quality MP3. Tracklist:
01. Maximalism
02. O'Hare
03. Noé
04. Dear Masami
05. Borderless Regions
06. Zoviet Synths
07. Midway
08. Telemusik
09. An Impasse
10. Tyranny of the Beat

A few months back I wrote a bit about the making of Pronouncement in a post on the City States blog; I'm going to elaborate on that a little more in the coming weeks, but for now, enjoy the new track (and let me know what you think!)



Our New Site!

Hey Friends:

Welcome to the new Safety Records website! I've mostly kept the visibility of the this new label under wraps in the last year (after all, Safety does only have one release under its belt, City States' debut album, Geography), but now that I'm gearing up to put more music out into the world, it seems like the right time to make this endeavor more official.

2015 is going to be a busy year for me: I'm working on three albums right now, and though I can only guarantee the release of two, I'm hoping to finish everything I've been writing before December. Fingers crossed.

Fans of my work as City States may be surprised, as well—I'm mostly focusing on instrumental electronic music via two other projects called Contretemps and Modal Voices, and the results are fairly out there. I'm going to write about the forthcoming Contretemps record in a subsequent post, but if you'd like to hear some samples of what I've been up to, head over to the Listen page.

And while you're at it, sign up for our mailing list to the right of this page. Tell your friends, too.

Thanks for reading,

Joel / Safety Records