2012 RPM Challenge: Who Completed an Entire Album in February?

See also: 2012 RPM Challenge: Five Valley Artists (And Yours Truly) Attempt to Record an Album in One Month

With the extra day provided by leap year, four of the seven Valley artists we tracked for this year's RPM Challenge were able to record an entire album from start to finish. That would be Sha-Pink, EPISODES, one Serene Dominic, and Tannix, who completed the album but, failing to mail it into RPM Challenge headquarters, is not being recognized as a finisher (more on that later).

Among the three non-finishers were Mike Skullbuster, who groused, "I couldn't get my four track going. The good news is I have a bunch of good new songs. Sorry." QUIBIQ bowed out because of remixing obligations and the concurrent recording of this year's Sha-Pink album, Thriller. The Feisty Felines' album was a non-starter after a computer crashed and the initial work was lost. Undaunted, Andrew Jemsek made a four-song solo EP during a marathon session four days after the Challenge ended and will be on hand to share the results at the RPM Listening Party this Thursday, March 8, at the Bikini Lounge, which will give all you participants a chance to reshare some cuts and give some hastily pressed CD-Rs away.


Not profiled in an earlier recap, we found out about this side project from David Marquez (Sweet Bleeders, Color Store) and Zach Vogt. We asked Vogt's alter ego Yojimbo Billions to describe the greatest surprise and worst moment of the marathon ordeal.

Greatest surprise from the experience:

The spectrum of sonorities we had to eliminate in order for the recording to appeal to humanoid nervous systems.

Most representative track:


Worst moment of the whole ordeal?

Vox feedback distractions due to yonista pollinate infected in previous encounter.


Making good on their threat to put together an album called Thriller, the synth duo of Darrin Robertson and Jimmy Saccoman have hijacked some of the most overly-familiar pop song titles across pop history from "Spirit in the Sky," to "Rolling in the Deep," to "I Just Called to Say I Love You."

Greatest surprise from the experience:

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Darrin: "Typically when you record an album, you write and record more than an album's worth of music. The best cuts make the record, the discards either become b-sides or never see the light of day. In RPM, you don't have time to record more and discard the bad tracks. On our three previous RPM albums, there were tracks that, in my mind, would have been discards. The biggest surprise to me is that, on Thriller, there's not. I like every track."

Most representative track:

The music I listen to and the music Jim listens too is very different. Our music is diverse because our various influences intrude on each other's aesthetics in different places and at different intensities. This album we carefully planned to avoid that and create an album with a consistent sound. I think we achieved that, at least at the level we were looking to achieve that. I would say they're all representative. "Annie's Song" is the stand out track.

Worst moment of the whole ordeal?

We finished by the skin of our teeth this year. We mailed our disc at 9:12am on March 1st. On the Tuesday before the deadline, my Internet went down -- thanks to Cox Communications. I was told right away they wouldn't be able to restore access until Thursday, the day after the deadline. With my band mate across town, the worst moment was the last two days trying to finish up with my iPhone tethered to my desktop.

Andrew Jemsek

The Feisty Felines album, was sadly not to be this month but Andrew Jemsek cribbed together an EP out of some of the tracks.

Greatest surprise from the experience:

"The realization of just how many ideas for songs pass in and out of the mind everyday, and go unused. music is everywhere, and its important to take the time and realize ideas that seem promising. the challenge has definitely helped me do that. the most representative cut is for sure "High and Dry Cleaned", which is the title track of the EP. It was going to be a full length, but due to last minute technical problems our tracks could not get done in time. Thankfully a blonde stranger from way out in Sunny Slope lent a hand (and a microphone) and through the magic of Macintosh, the most suitable tracks got recorded for EP format.

Most representative track:

"You Know I Know"

Worst moment of the whole ordeal?

"Driving home from Gilbert after the first day of tracking during rush hour, running on two hours of sleep and heavy drinking the night before. It was the roughest 40 minute drive I have ever endured. "


Eli Tannix has got a lot of axes to grind. From his press release: "Eli is currently appealing the rules of completion for the RPM Challenge. While completing well over the required amount of recording for RPM, all of the final outputted music was delivered in betamax format. A format not accepted in the official rules as well as nearly impossible to find home devices capable of playback." Yet he maintains, "The Telemarathon Chronicles", his 28-day spanning continuous album recorded entirely in the month of February, is a qualifier.

Greatest surprise from the experience:

"I cannot turn a blind eye to the destruction of the analog format in any incarnation. Betamax is being squeezed out of existence and no one is saying anything. Technology-blocking legislation has gotten us nowhere. Beta needs a voice, and I must answer the call."

Most Representatibe Track:

The video offers a brief snippet of the 30 albums Tannix has not released. "Destined for the Throne" is just two minutes of over 35 hours of Tannix music, if you go by the bio.

Worst moment of the whole ordeal?

"It was difficult to not be able to align myself with the true winners of this competition due to the closed minded submission rules we encountered but we had already overcome worse. Two days before the deadline, we scrapped the entire previous 27 days worth of material and recorded it again with time to spare. Who can say that? Besides Prince"?

Serene Dominic

I made good on my threat to make a winter album called Winter Trance Party which runs concurrent with a children's story I've written also called Winter Trance Party that we're turning into an app for iPhone, a portable bedtime story. It's about some kids who try to contact the Notorious B.I.G. with an ouija board and get The Big Bopper instead. Spoiler alert: Kids gets schooled about rock, rap, and the undead all at the same time. Thankfully, that didn't have to be done all in the month of February too."

Greatest surprise from the experience:

That I can play passable slide guitar. And while this might not be my favorite album I've ever done, it's the one that sounds most like an album.

Most Representatibe Track:

"I Rebelled Last Night" where I attempted a Joe Meek production and even upturned a leather coach for a makeshift vocal booth like the eccentric British record producer did in his apartment turned recording studio. It's not the best track but it's the one that captures the creepy feel I was going for and the wintry feel that's in a lot of Meek productions (I purposely record with the heat turned off).

Worst moment of the whole ordeal?

Well it wasn't the worst moment but I almost didn't finish because a stray chow puppy wandered into my carport the last day and I had to remix some songs with a cute puppy on my lap that just wanted to play. I should also mention that this is the first RPM of the three I've done where I didn't have an emotional breakdown somewhere in the middle. That could mean I'm either getting better at these or I've turned into an unfeeling prick. How bad can I be though? I've rescued a puppy!

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