This is a selection of tracks I made between the summers of 2001 and 2004.
By summer 2001, I had just finished my degree and was heavily into IDM. I had upgraded the processor and RAM in a PC I'd bought in 1998 to get started producing on, and could finally play back more than two tracks at a time in a sequencer. I'd got hold of a beta version of Audiomulch, and Cubase VST 3 had been upgraded to 3.5, the first to have VSTi support, so I finally had a synth to play with! Even if it only looked like rows of grey sliders with mysterious names like "VCF Env". Previous tracks had been done with audio recorded through a Soundblaster card, using the cheap Farfisa organ I'd blagged locally, a Watkins Copicat, and my guitar. I remember being impressed at how clean this new MIDI-made electronic stuff sounded compared to the recorded sounds, the weird glassy surface it seemed to have, with lots of high frequencies.
The opening track "Particle Spin" was made during this first summer, and is typical of the kind of thing I was into, beats made out of processed chunks of audio, and metallic-sounding effects, all rising into a trippy peak made of extreme highs and lows.
"May Garage" jumps ahead to May 2002, by which point I'd got Reason 2.5. Wavetable sounds from the Maelstrom synth are all over this track, capped off with a short guitar solo.
Back to 2001, "Methyl Orange" was my first Amen break tune, and I still get a buzz from hearing it kick in after the granulated rising Farfisa tone. The opening kick drum was my attempt at re-creating that weird squelch in "Afternoon Girl" by Ovuca, which I loved enormously.
"Summer '01" was made quickly, I'm playing bass guitar on this one, a cheap Westfield I bought in the last year of my degree.
I wrote "Evening Tune" while I was supposed to be studying for my finals in May 2001. I had to use Rebirth to get the synth sounds, programming long slide tones across 303s to get sustained notes. Features my wee cousin Sunnibha on vocals. Lots of guitar and Farfisa, and what sounds like the Bojo FFT Waveshaper on the breakbeat, which I nicked off the DJ Shadow Brainfreeze mix (the vinyl bootleg everyone had).
You can see those first five tracks as Side One, now on to Side Two, made 2 -3 years later on, when I was near the end of more university work.
"Cloud Weight" is the track that made me think of compiling this album, very Irish stuff watching heavy clouds gathering, with a tempo drop to house tempo and back up again. Some nice spectral filtering on the drums in the intro.
"Fbrmx" started as an entry for some remix competition but got worked into a standalone track. My "singing" gets followed up by a heavy amen and subtractor bass drop, using the full amen break in this one, including the intro flam. The 190bpm kept the local DJs away though, which I thought was pretty funny at the time, having zero experience behind the decks at this point.
I made "Abstract Electro '04" in one evening in January 2004 and bounced it out, then abandoned it for not sounding heavy enough. I think it sits nicely in between the other full length melodic tracks, and has some funny DSP tricks throughout.
The original mix of "Diagonal Reader" is from December 2003, very Drukqs-inspired stuff (like a lot of my tracks from this period, when I was finally getting the technical chops together enough to copy what I liked). I re-worked it again a few months later, but next up is "Theme From August '04", a track from summer 2001's MIDI experiments that I was never satisfied with, and re-worked in 2003 (the outro halftime stuff is from this point), and then again in 2004. Very obviously Squarepusher-inspired, say no more.
The last track is a bonus, the slickest version of Diagonal Reader I got up to before 138bpm started to rule the roost.
Hope you enjoy!
released August 8, 2017
Kinnego Records 2017
Artwork by Niadzi Muzira.
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