Monday, 30 November 2009

Trip Mosaic 4

So... I know I said last time I made a Trip Mosaic that the next one would follow shortly. I still had that stack of records piling up and only got around to doing it last night. So here it is. This one seems to flow like a hip-hop mixtape of sorts, although I wouldn't categorise it that way at all; it's just the flow of it.
It starts off with some Mesmerizing Eye that continues with what I call the "Valerie Suite": about 10 minutes of the main theme from "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" in different variations, including the Broadcast track of the same name that they aped from the original score, interfered with bursts of Czech numbers stations.
Towards the end you get a bit of what I like to call "New Trip-Hop". That track by Blue Daisy may be what people consider to be chilled dubstep, but I just see this trend as being a modern version of what Massive Attack were doing in the early to mid 90s, although some of that old west country shizzle has aged well, I must say.
The set concludes with an obscure "Remain In Light" outtake. I can see how it didn't make it to the album proper (a classic in every sense, if you haven't got it), but it's still a hypnotic, groovy gem.
Trip Mosaic no. 4

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Unfinished Suite

Here's an old one I came across recently. I'd forgotten about it despite all the hard work and all the time it took me when I was recording it a couple of years ago. At the time it was to be my most ambitious work. I think I'd tired of making 4-5 minute "songs" with a discernible structure, so I figured I would make an album with 4 long, sprawling, epic, proggy tracks just as a sort of "fuck you" to everything else I'd done in the past.
I think it was precisely that which put me off ever finishing it, even though it was nearly there (just some vocals, as I seem to recall). I just spent too much time and energy that I got bored of it and moved on to something else. I think now I see why we never got a follow up to "Loveless" and why the Beach Boys' ill-fated "Smile" never saw the light of day until Wilson re-recorded it about 40 years after the fact.
Moral of the story: it's all well and good to be a perfectionist, but there are certain limits. You do need to settle at some point and allow yourself to be more spontaneous.
You may look back at it in the future and say, "Oh, now I wish I'd changed that, or spent a bit more time on that bit", but at least you'd have finished something. And that's good enough for some people. It's certainly better than just abandoning the project.
Anyway, maybe one day I'll finish this. Unfortunately all the files were lost in a devastating computer crash, so there's not much tweaking I can do except maybe record the vocals on top of it. It would be a shame to just leave it in the past, as it is a worthwhile piece of work, in my opinion. It surprised me when I came across it recently, so that must mean something, right? Obviously I've changed a lot in the last couple of years and so much has happened in that time span. It's amazing what a couple of years will do to a man...
So here you have it: a sprawling epic that starts off like something Air might have done, but then gets all proggy, thus pushing my own musical abilities. Then it goes Disco: a bit funky and a wanky guitar solo like it was emanating out of Prince's purple guitar. Then you get some interesting soundscapes and you get all the elements you had heard up to that point being warped into strange new shapes, only to resolve in the last part of the suite: a pretty pop song about near-accidental death from drowning in alcohol in frustration, only to wake up in hospital bed and laughing it off. I'm not sure if it was going to be a concept album of some sort, and since I never recorded vocals for the first part of the suite, I just called it "Unfinished Suite". I never gave it a proper name. I also never came up with a good vocal melody for it, or if I did I just never recorded it and now I've forgotten it, so if anyone out there has any ideas they would be most welcome! Help me finish this and put it out there once and for all!
Another good reason to upload it on here is that it's too long for myspace (wankers!).

Monday, 9 November 2009


My mate put me on to this magnificent track by the mighty Roxy. It's the B-Side to their 1975 club-banger "Love Is the Drug". In his own words (,kind of): "an excellent Bryan Ferry electronic composition that predates the To Rococo Rot sound we all know and love". Spot on!
While Ferry is mostly known for his quirky and clever songwriting, clearly Eno wasn't the only one into Cluster, as this track proves.
So anyway, I got this 7" off of some dude on Discogs. Why he would want to get rid of such a gem is beyond me, especially at the bargain price of £4 including postage!
My mate asked me to digitise it and upload it so that he could have it.
I've always loved Roxy, but now I'm obsessed with their singles, as the B-Sides are always quite interesting. They show an expansive, more experimental side than their album tracks or pop singles could offer, as groundbreaking as they were during their first five or six albums. Check out the exquisite B-Side to "Pyjamarama" for further proof! The B-Sides gave them a chance to go beyond what the hit-parade expected of them. This is a side to the seminal glam-pop group I wasn't well aware of until recently. Bowie who? Bolan who? Fowley who? This lot are the real deal, folks. For fuck's sake, if the "For Your Pleasure" LP isn't enough of a statement to you, then you have no business even visiting this blog... ...or just dig deeper into their B-Sides. I promise these were really made "for your pleasure", so do yourself a favour.
This one's for you Paul.