Poster Children’s Rick Valentin readies debut album as Thoughts Detecting Machines

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, March 2, 2015

Thoughts Detecting Machines is the solo project of Rick Valentin, who also plays guitar in long running alternative rock band Poster Children. With the upcoming release of Thoughts Detecting Machines’ debut full length Work The Circuits set for March 16th, Valentin has released two songs for preview. The first track “New Day” is a mellower synth driven alternative rock track, while the newly released “Night For Day” uses those same synths for a much moodier and darker feeling piece. Based upon these two songs I’m getting the impression that this will a very interesting album with plenty of variety. Another neat feature is that each copy of the LP jacket was created using a pen plotter hacked and programmed by Valentin. A video is available to watch of this process along with additional details below.

“Night For Day” is the latest single by Thoughts Detecting Machines. Hear it via Brooklyn Vegan or the link below!




Each copy of the Work The Circuits LP jacket took 30 minutes to create utilizing a pen plotter hacked and programmed by Rick Valentin. See it in action here.



“I’ve always been suspicious of Ben Franklin’s maxim ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,’” says Rick Valentin, the musician behind 90s-era alt-rock stalwarts, Poster Children and his current solo project Thoughts Detecting Machines.

Valentin is discussing “Night For Day,” the latest single from the debut Thoughts Detecting Machines album Work The Circuits, arriving via the artist’s own Twelve Inch Records label on March 16th. The song was recently premiered via Brooklyn Vegan and can be heard here.

“I find it hard to believe that someone who frequented the Hellfire Club and was a writer and inventor was in bed by nightfall and up at the crack of dawn,” he continues. Ultimately, Valentin explains that the song is “about the kind of schedule musicians and coders share outside the normal cycle of day and night.”

Valentin should know as he is both.

For example, the cover art for Work The Circuits literally explores the connection between art and technology, having been created by a pen plotter that Valentin wrote new software to control. The result is each vinyl copy of the album being housed in a subtly unique jacket.

“I love the pen plotter,” Valentin explains. “It has the exactitude of a computer with uniform curves and lines but there are also imperfections. Blobs of color where the pen first sets down, ink bleeding into the paper and gaps and overlaps where the servos don’t quite guide the pen to the right location on the page. It’s like the music – a collision of digital and analog, the perfect and imperfect.”

It took about 30 minutes to print each album cover, about the amount of time it takes to listen to the record itself, which unlike the complicated explanation of the art creation (something about converting audio waveforms into Bezier curves, transforming them in 3D space, converted them into G-code, sending them to a Shapeoko 2 CNC router modified to hold pens and so on), can be summed up with “it rocks.”

Work The Circuits, the debut album from Thoughts Detecting Machines, arrives on March 16th.



Thoughts Detecting Machines

Work The Circuits

(Twelve Inch Records)

March 16th, 2015


Track Listing:

01. New Day

02. In the Right

03. The Call

04. The City

05. Bully

06. Fine

07. White Lies

08. Shine Me On

09. Night for Day

10. Say You Will



Thoughts Detecting Machines Links


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