mmd_as :: The new collaborative album from Alex Strain and mr_mark_dollin
9 songs ::

EDIT: This has now been remixed and remastered! You can now get the album on Bandcamp.


Alex Strain and mr_mark_dollin are very excited to present to the world their ‘mmd_as’ collaborative album that showcases some of their best material from 2006 to 2009. The songs are the results of long winded conversations and file-swapping over the internet, separated by Australia’s tyranny of distance: one camp in Ryde, Sydney, the other in regional/rural Armidale, Australia. Alex and Mark found a workable process where Alex’s unbound creativity and melodic detailing complimented Mark’s methods of sonic polish, dubby atmospherics and avant pop leanings. The results saw the two working to break out of the boxes of their past styles and and create music that doesn’t easily fit into the plethora of trends of electronic music. Like bower birds building nests from borrowed material, the album has sprinklings of both modern and old club music styles (e.g. breaks, techno, dub, hiphop, etc) that utilizes digital approaches (such as glitch and software synthesis) balanced with 70’s analog and acoustic warmth (such as Alex’s CS-30 and Mark’s vocal and guitar recordings). Overall an album like this couldn’t have been produced by one person: so the songs have a tasteful multi-personality disorder that gives them a lively uniqueness. It doesn’t get too restrictive or academic in approach: there’s as much improvisation as there is strategizing. There’s also ample variety to keep the listen interesting: from the quiet cinematic depths of The 4th, Dharawal and Uneasy; to the pounding and fluttering beat-and-bass of Effective and Phoebe; to the art-political protests in Backdropped and Saint Santa; or finally to the purely experimental narratives created by Rare Bird and Jbhaxadi. If you’re suffering from hearing too much music that abides fearfully to the codes and strictures of fads and formats then this album could be your balm.


All music created by Alex Strain and mr_mark_dollin, except as noted: Jbhaxadi contains synth lines created and performed by Laurence Davies; Saint Santa contains free-styling created and performed by MC Wrap Present. Final mix and master by mr_mark_dollin at Galloway Street Studio 2009. All sounds arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered via Renoise. Engineering advice by Simon Floth. Thanks to everyone who gave good feedback on these tracks along the way, especially Beatslaughter.

Artwork model: Maxwell. Art and web assembled by Mark.

Dedicated to the memory of lost furry friends.

For more music from Alex and Mark, visit:


Now that I’ve left you alone :: It’s all quiet at your home :: Fear makes the madness within :: Let the delusion begin :: Bite your lip and sow your hate :: You’re so secretly irate :: This lie is all that you’ve got :: Until you eternally rot :: If only I could coax you to burst :: But delusion is forever :: In your quiet room :: In your quiet room :: Stuck in compliance cycle :: Washing their hands of responsibility :: Each of us rinsed and spun dry :: Hung out in the safe breeze of economics :: Our bodies secure we endure only to wait for the real danger :: The real danger :: We are backdropped :: We are backdropped :: An abuse more eternal than falling down your stairs :: Worse than any injury you can imagine :: It falls like night :: It’s invasion is slight :: It renders you mute :: It silences your thoughts :: And holds us in equal utility :: We are backdropped :: We are backdropped :: Dropped :: One day we will be dirty :: And we will not be cleaned :: We will not keep in line :: Your places not kept :: It will be your time to wash :: Time to join us :: We will not be backdropped :: We will not be backdropped :: We’ve only a few hours :: Before the government will find us here :: Check all your stuff :: We can’t afford to loose anything now :: This year you’re getting nothing :: This year you’re getting nothing :: Off to shop jock :: Big boy the toys the lot :: Ninety nine ninety nine :: Keep ‘em occupied :: Nine to five :: We have more presents :: Lots of tasty mmm window shoppin’ :: Window licking :: Tire kickin’ :: We could stick in :: Ninety ninety nine ninety nine ninety ninety nine :: List this :: All the presents I’ve got to get to hear this :: This Christ-miss :: Floors and floors of Santa Clause :: Licking up Torr’s :: In the red :: Licking tin tin :: Ring a ding :: Got every Christmas carol in :: Ring a ding :: A christian theory :: Bacterii :: Are you a pagan? :: I used to go down the street and buy a coupla things and then it got MORE :: And every toy I gotta get I gotta get MORE :: Bikes and carts and horses :: My house of schlock :: Doc to dot :: Bring it back The Christmas :: Ninety nine cents of every dollar goes to my Christmas present thing :: I’ve been saving all year for a hamper for the family :: Who got tinned ham and a lot of nice spam :: World spring of motivation :: Is this elation or just a MORE shopping? :: You’re getting nothing :: Waaa!!! :: This year you’re getting nothing :: Woa-oh :: And when how woke from childhood nightmare he discovered the brilliant bright orange was just as real and just as dangerous :: And he realised of all the places he could have been he was here :: He was here now :: How could it be? :: I’ve got to get away :: Get away :: I’ve got to hide away :: Hide away :: Your violence is silence and I wish to speak :: Military conspiracy the truth I do seek :: Missile telemetry sovereign soil :: I’ve got to get away :: Get away :: How could it be? :: How could it be? :: Rare bird :: Flys within :: Take a look :: Through my eyes >>

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Alex Strain for all his hard work and tolerance in collaborating with me to make this music happen. None of this was actually planned to happen the way it has from the outset, we kind of accidentally started making songs together and rest evolved from there. It has been exciting in the sense that with Alex I both connect with his creativity as well as juxtapose it with opposite directions and approaches. Some very unique compositional challenges arose because of this, and it was a lot of fun to work things out with Alex so that we were both happy with what you hear.

It’s almost a little sad to be calling it a day once the work is over, but time to finish other things! Alex and I may return to fun and games down the track, but for now enjoy the best of what we’ve done so far.

Stay tuned for updates on various promoting of the project around the web 2.0 world, as well as information on how you can purchase a FLAC version of the album.

ah, just woke up , finding new mark and alex album !!! perfect to start the day i expect… gets

congrats on setting it free

Of course, feedback and reactions are very much welcome! We’d both like to see what you think of our work!

Amazing stuffs so far MMD and Alex … these soundscapes are wonderfully designed… listening to Uneasy atm… I love how you’re mimicking wind chimes with the synth… this is blowing me away

What are you guys using for stereo effects?

Gosh BYTE it’s hard not answer this question without describing a lot of complex engineering detail! And every song is a bit different and every sound is a bit different. Perhaps you can draw my attention to one sound or moment within these tracks and I can better explain what we did?

In general mixing I tend to both filtered (i.e. leave only the mids) chorus or delay to get mono sounds to have nice width (never ever the ‘width’ tool in the channel fx).

With delay usually:
L=7ms R=11ms, 0 feedback, between -14db to -6db wet, swapped pan channels

With chorus usually:
0.6 speed or lower, full width, 10-30% modulation, 0 feedback, 0 delay, 20-40% wet.

On these songs we’ve employed heaps of different dub delay fx and filtered reverbs. All the settings are pretty creative and closely filtered. We’re both abusers of EchoLive and Filterbank delays.

…And on the mastering I’ve used RescueAE M/S processing to add just a touch of gain to the ‘side channel’ in order to make the perceived soundstage wider than it is, which quite a dramatic and pleasant sound.

Excellent worky guys. Glad it’s out finally.

Thanks a bunch for the feedbacks, both of you ;)

I’d be interested to see if anyone thought these songs were a little too weird to digest… I was listening to mainstream radio today thinking about our work ‘oh gosh we’ve gone out on odd limb here…’

I can hopefully rebuild my studio tonight and take a thorough listen.
It’s been sitting on my datastick for too long now.

Oh, and please don’t compare your work with the asscrack of our artform ;)

The good news is that I’ve added the new album to the mmd shop, available as a high quality FLAC download for a realistic $10AUD via paypal. Again, we wish that this could be a physical copy of a CD with cool artwork and such, so for now a FLAC version will have to do. Think of a purchase as a ‘show of support’ as any donations are halved between Alex and I. I don’t expect a heap of interested (my last album only sold about 5-6 copies), but we’ll put the option there for you just in case.

Woah, just listened to it (i just woke up after a brave night, too early in my opinion, gaaaah xD) with a good cappuccino, croissant and some cats sleeping on my knees… and yes, a coat on my shoulders. I mean, mine is the typical opinion of the old farmer grandpa xD, but still, it was a very energizing listening.

Its not my kind of music, I must admit, but maybe for that reason it was a mind clearing experience. Sounds are brilliant, immersive, composition flows while strange sounds or rythms shake it. That’s all, I’m not used to express my opinion on music with words :)

I love Jbhaxidi, Rare Bird and Saint Santa :walkman:

btw: the dog on the covers rocks!!! :yeah:

nice songs :)

Thanks for the feedback gents! :D

Nice album, I particularly appreciate the last song, which I first heard about 2 years ago when Alex Strain sent it to me or something, now that I compare it when the new version on mmd_as we can definitely hear mmd’s contribution in the mix and my ears are pleased.

The part that I liked the least are the vocals but that’s mostly because I rarely like vocals. They reminded me of porcupine tree, which is a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your creations, I enjoyed this release.

What a massive project. You can hear the love for music in the music!
I must admit it’s not my cup of tea, which makes it hard to judge from
a musical point of view, but you managed to create a unique vibe with
this album, with all tracks fitting in the same ‘concept’, without refraining
from exploring the possibilities that your concept has to offer.

Great work on the compositions and sonically very impressive!

Kind reviews both BotB and JBL. Thanks! :D

Credit where credit is due. Excellent work.

Hello Laurence! Very glad to have your little contribution to this project :D It made for quite a distinct emotional space in “Jbhaxadi”. Not a great deal of attention to the work so far, but I’m happy that it’s done and something that we can stand back from and say ‘yet that’s complete in a satisfying way’.