This Saturday edition of Project: Archives takes us back to Subtle Inversion’s unreleased Prism EP for a remaking of “Gossamer.” Tipping its hat in many ways to the 1990s-era Nine Inch Nails remixes, this track employs a half-time feel, no-holds-barred use of beat manipulation, and some nicely chilly, atmospheric effects.
I didn’t have to dig very deep in the Archives to uncover this week’s offering, and it certainly wasn’t a difficult song choice, given tomorrow’s debut of Midnight Syndicate‘s completely revamped “Live!” show as part of Cedar Point’s Halloweekends. Fans of the park may enjoy this little homage to both the park’s history as well as one of its most influential historical figures.
As I’ve mentioned in various interviews with Midnight Syndicate in the past, I tend to be a rather visual songwriter in that I’ll use specific images (even if they’re imaginary) to guide how each song or arrangement is developed. With “Morning Fog,” I didn’t have to imagine very much – I simply had to enjoy the breathtaking scenes captured by landscape photographer David Muench in his book “Uncommon Places.” This song was originally penned sometime during the mid-to-late 1990s, but never recorded until 2007 as part of a remastered collection of early material.
This one certainly brings back a ton of great memories! Featherduster had arguably one of the shortest performing lifespans of any band I’ve either known or been a part of, but what we lacked in longevity we made up for in substance and enjoyment. I’ve done my share of performing over the years – from intimate solo acoustic shows in the hallways of anime conventions to an indoor hockey stadium in Edmonton, Canada that I literally couldn’t see the back of when the lights were out. This show has always been a personal favorite of mine, not because of its […]
Here’s a previously unreleased track from Parlormuse that has never seen a recorded version until just recently, despite having been performed countless times as my set opener. For those of you who listened to the podcast I did a while back about what to expect from Phase 2 of Project: Archives, this is a good example of what I was talking about when I mentioned that some tracks would be Archives related, but not quite taken from the Archives directly. “Over the Garden Wall” was under consideration for inclusion on the album very late in the recording stages, and I simply decided […]
Gather ’round, ladies and gentlemen – boys and girls! There’s a tale to be told about this one, and it involves my closest encounter with a major record label contract! twoSides was a pop/dance music project that my friend Dale Hopkins and I formed in the late 1990s following our mutual departure from SuburbanBoys. Dale took the helm on vocals and lyrics, with me manning the console, helping with arrangements, and handling a lot of the production side of things. The project was a complete blast and will easily go down as one of the least stressful experiences of my […]
Project: Archives has returned with a fresh batch of previously unheard songs from the deepest, darkest recesses of my recording studio! I thought we’d kick things off with a remixed version of one of the tracks from Subtle Inversion’s Kaleidoscope album. This version was originally going to appear on an EP entitled Prism, which would have collected several other remixes and unreleased tracks from the Kaleidoscope recording sessions, but alas – it never came to be. I kept some of the classic 1980s 12-inch singles firmly in mind while doing this one and used only the original audio tracks, which underwent some serious […]
I thought we’d bring things full circle and wrap up this half of Project: Archives the way it began – with a track from A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. This version was recorded live in the summer of 1988 at Pine Ridge Country Club in Wickliffe, OH. The recording quality is passable – there was never a studio recording done for this song, so this is the only version I have outside of an extended remix.
Back with a new Project: Archives post! This one brings a little heat to a collection that was otherwise predominantly atmospheric and pensive. Unearthed Arcana’s “Dragon’s Lair” was another staple of my live sets and has the distinction of being re-recorded and remixed on three separate occasions over the course of three years (this original version, a version I recorded around the time of Mystic Visions that features the Roland drum machine I was using for that album, and a completely rebuilt version for a compliation of new material and remixes I did in 1989).
Composed entirely around layered rhythmic patterns, Panoramia‘s “Machine” puts percussion front and center as it draws inspiration from a rather unusual source: the industrial fixtures of a waterworks facility in Holland. This is one of a handful of completely melody-less songs I wrote, but the bass line almost acts as a kind of melody, giving what would otherwise be a very noisy piece some grounding in tonality.
This week we’ll explore the third track from my 1990 demo, a song that also appears alongside “Memories of Summer” on Images of Autumn. Daylight hours growing shorter, skies dominated with turbulent shades of grey…these are just a few of the signs that the icy winds of winter will soon be sweeping across the land.
Did you know…? …that there is more music lurking in the darkest recesses of the Archives than just my early instrumental work? Take this week’s song choice as a case in point. “After The Ball” is a previously unreleased Parlormuse track as well as the very first song I chose to play through in my collection of antique sheet music back in 2007. It’s a delightfully romantic – yet ultimately tragic – piece, and the version I’ve presented here hasn’t been modernized in the way that the other songs on “It’s Not The Coat Makes The Gentleman” were. Dust off your […]