DIY doesn’t carry the same allure and integrity it once did. With the technology at hand, any kid can make a crisp, professional recording. What we’ve lost is a warts and all ethos, and an intangible passion that comes only from real instrumentation, coated with blood and sweat, and maybe a few tears. Enter the world of DIY practitioner Kurt von Stetten. Harnessing his love of early 90s indie rock (think Pavement, Sebadoh and early Modest Mouse) interweaved with his own insecurities, fears and passions, von Stetten’s eighth solo outing Broken, But Not Undone is his most accomplished, self-assured and revealing; a record that proudly stands alongside DIY revisionists Kurt Vile and Ty Segall, and also the seminal 90s output of his heroes.
Kurt von Stetten began experimenting with music and recordings in Boston during the summer of 1996. During this time, he began to experience terrible bouts of “self proclaimed” bromhidrosis (look it up), forcing him to record alone in his bedroom. For a period of 10 years, von Stetten holed up in his bedroom studio and learned how to play guitar and drums by recording himself over and over again. Since 2006 he has released a full-length album every year for the last 7 years on which he plays every instrument (Guitar, Vocals, Cello, Keys, Drums/Percussion and Bass).
The sounds, textures, and nuances on Broken, But Not Undone are 100% von Stetten. While he’s always done his own instrumentation, von Stetten had the last three records professionally mixed and mastered. On Broken, there’s nowhere to hide, and the results may not be technically flawless, but it’s the way von Stetten wants you to hear it. “I really tried to just play with sound on a lot of these songs,” recalls von Stetten. “I know that I mix incorrectly and that I do not know what I am doing sonically but this is the way I hear them.” The result is a gloriously chaotic, beautiful trip into the psyche of one of today’s great unsung artists.
Broken, But Not Undone is available digitally and physically today via Static Motor Recordings.
Also, check out von Stetten’s completely handmade video for “Those That Know” viaYouTube: