|"Saint James Station"
is a collection of ambient material I've been releasing over the past
seven years. It has one new song, the title track, but is basically over
an hour of the quietest, moodiest stuff. A fan wrote me and said he had
done one and loved it. I thought it would be a nice idea to release one
of my own. I'm not usually into compilations, but these songs did seem
to hang together well.
I'll do a little track-by-track, if you care
Recorded very late at night. Nothing looped on this one - everything really played 'live' to analog tape.
Actually, there's a track detail on this one already on the page for the individual album, so I won't duplicate it here.
I've really grown to love "Berlin Record." This was my favorite cut for a long time, but I really like 'em all. The album was exactly what was in my head beforehand. That replication doesn't happen often.
Dig the "Stormy Weather" sample. I love the slow tempo. Rick Saines is playing drums, but he's pretty buried. This song took two days to mix. Big pain in the ass.
"DISTORTION BOX CRUSH"
by TRAVEL (2000)
The only song on that album that wasn't a haze of noise. There was an intro I cut for this compilation. All improv, but somehow it sounds like Eric (on accordion) and me (on piano) know what the hell we're doing, because we switch to the same chord at the same time. Matt played little Chinese toys to get the rattle sound.
For some reason, this sounds like a flying song, even more than "Rocket From Heaven." I just always picture flying when I hear it. No clue why I called it "Goldrush" instead of "The Song That Reminds Me Of Flying."
The house I recorded "Berlin Record" in had a broken clock, so for six days it was 'forever 10 o'clock.' Yes, the children sounds are a bit of a BOARDS OF CANADA nod, so sue me. I did a mix without them, but it just sounded cooler with them included.
Another song that took a
millennium to mix. It's recorded by bouncing a lot of 'wash' tracks
together, so I had to do a bunch of different versions of the master
tape. Each time I mixed it, it turned out completely different. I think
I did 10 versions. Which, at 10 minutes long each version, took me a
year to sort through.
The original demo of this was promising, but I knew it wouldn't fly on the record. This was the last song recorded for the album, and it had Kelly Morelock, Matt Espy, and myself on percussion, with Danny O'Connor playing a melody on fretless that I originally played on guitar. I dubbed the synthesizers later. One of the better recordings on EFR, I should think.
The longest song I've ever written. However, if you have patience for it, there are some very catchy melodies in this. Some people think I played it fast and slowed down the tape, but that's not true. I just played my CP70 for 17 minutes around a modal structure. Very Miles Davis. It's not meant to be listened to in the 'traditional' sense, but played as background for your house, an art exhibit, something like that.
Short song follows long song. Hell, the title's longer than the song!
Ah, the contradiction of acoustic guitar and looping technology. Gotta love it.
Hope you dig the compilation. Get stoned to it. Play it while you eat dinner. Sing your baby to sleep. Ambient music is incredibly hard to do, despite appearances. If you doubt me, do an ambient record. It's the most challenging music I've ever done.