With the broader adoption of the internet around the turn of the century, how people would engage with and discover underground music would change forever. As a result of the new digital era, DIY was now worldwide, and no band embraced this new frontier better thanHave A Nice Life. Formed in 2000 by duo Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga, the Middletown, CT-based pair would, throughout the 00s, self-release and share a number of demos and home recordings via early social media channels as well as establish its in-house labelENEMIES LIST HOME RECORDINGS.These first steps set in motion Have A Nice Life’s rise to renown as an icon of underground music in the internet age, culminating with the release of its pivotal 2008 debut album,Deathconsciousness. Through word of mouth and online discussion,Deathconsciousness became subject to viral praise thanks to its synthesis of bleak post-punk, lo-fi shoegaze, and carpets of hypnotic drone music. Eventually, this humble self-released project would attain the status of a post-internet cult classic, amassing Have A Nice Life a fervent online following that the band would interact with in kind.
In an effort to thank and continue to engage with Have A Nice Life’s internet cult following, Barrett and Macuga would regularly share links to old demos, works in progress, and outtakes from the recording of Deathconsciousness.Over time, a group of fans would compile these demos into an unofficial release. DubbedVoids, this fan-made compilation several alternate takes of tracks fromDeathconsciousness,as well as a handful of early versions of songs that would appear on Have A Nice Life’s two following albums,The Unnatural WorldandSea of
Worry. While undeniably reminiscent of their final album version counterparts, the earlier versions of these tracks each feel distinct in a way that makes the moody, decidedly lo-fi aura ofVoidsan essential slice of the Have A Nice Life discography. Hungry for more from the enigmatic duo, fans swarmed around this compilation, accompanied by loud calls for it to receive a physical release. Seeing that demand and with the band’s blessing, a pair of fan-made tape pressings of Voids would be released viaMusic Ruins Lives, a DIY label run by Have A Nice Life superfan Thom Wasluck, also known for his bandPlanning for Burial. Between both instances of the tape swiftly selling out and the compilation’s long absence from streaming services,Voidshas historically been an elusive release to track down, only available in the obscurest corners of the internet or physically on the secondary market at eye-wateringly high prices.
Over a decade since its initial, unofficial release in 2011,The Flenser is proud to reissue Have A Nice Life’sVoids for the first time ever in an official capacity in physical form. Originally released digitally in early 2023 and freshly remastered for the occasion, this reissue of the beloved compilation will receive its first-ever wide release on physical formats (CD/LP/Cassette). This release also marks the first time fan-favorite tracks fromVoids “Sisyphus”, “I’m Doctor House”, and “Human Error” will be available on vinyl and CD. Like a symbolic passing of the torch, the physical versions of the 2023Voids reissue come with a foreword essay written by Wasluck, the previous custodian ofVoidsduring the Music Ruins Lives days.