listen.camp / episode 011 / 14.07.21
episode 011 is the epsisode that ALMOST DID NOT HAPPEN. As I was putting the program together the external hard drive attached to my computer tweaked, then crashed, in a very unspectacular fashion. At first, I was like- "everything is cool- i back all of my stuff to the cloud." Unfortunately, it was 6 years worth of audio material. Original pieces, favorite bands, randome stuff I've scraped from the interweb. ALL GONE. When I realized that I would never be able to recover everything in time to finish cutting this episode- I had to start from scratch- without any of my archive to work with.
and for some reason, episode 010 hit #3 on the @mixcloud noise chart- so the bar was pretty high.
So, it was time to get creative. It's all in the field notes below.
i was fucked. basically.
01. Clare Archibald (2021)
Clare consistently posts the most curious and beautiful photos and videos on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. So, naturally, in my panic, I was really happy to see her post a very short video of a train shooting by, passing into frame, and out of frame in less than two seconds. And it had AUDIO. First thing I saw had to be the first piece on the show. Clare was, as always, very gracious and generous in letting me lift the piece of audio and play with it. This is called train video clip.
02. work in progress (2016-2021)
As you might imagine- putting episode 011 together was a bit of a cathartic process. I found a drive that had recordings I made between 2002 and 2016. 99% pure crap. So it was time for a crap-fueled treasure hunt. This piece is just one track from Marshland, a piece that I recorded in 2015, the day after my cat died in bed next to me. Throughout the entire song there is a track that is just pure guitar feedback. It fades in and out of the mix. I grabbed on section of the feedback track, reversed and looped it. Very long attack and very long release.
03. Robyn Hitchcock (1999)
Jewels for Sophia is one of my favorite Robyn Hitchcock albums. Mostly because of the title track that closes the album. The Jewels for Sophia track is a work in three movements that spans over 11 minutes. Each movement is unique in its production and subject matter. The first section, which I refer to as Jewels for Sophia is a very highly produced track. Full band sound. Psychedelic. Heartfelt. Pure Hitchcock.
The second movment takes a twist. A solo acoustic piano provides the rhythm. The vocals (straight and processed) carry the melody. I refer to this section Mr Tongs. The second movement is less technical and more lo-fi. The line that kills me is, You've got to find your way around me. Brilliant lyrics. I looped the intro piano to give the piece more time to breathe. The hammering piano is a groove. The lyrics are a head piece. This is the part that you're listening to.
The third movement of Jewels for Sophia was recorded live, with just a solo acoustic guitar and vocals, that I refer to as Gene Hackman. I do not know the context of the recording. It drips in classic Hitchcock humor. He strums along on the guitar and presents a stream of consciousness imagining of the life of the actor, Gene Hackman. This is a funny and endearing song. It is also the most underproduced track on the album. A fitting bookend to a brilliant album-and a foreshadowing of Hitchcock's later, and less flashy, work.
Taken as a whole, Jewels for Sophia is a sprawling piece that transitions from lush production to the most basic form of minimalism. Fucking genius.
04. The Kanzler (2021)
I found an old track that the Kanzler recorded in her practice room at home. Recorded using a FocusRite USB interface and GarageBand . Practice Room is a manipulated rendering of just some random riffs. I found it calming- as the potential collapse of this episode loomed in the back of my mind.
05. Buzzcocks (1979)
The album, Singles Going Steady came out in 1979. That's when I bought it. This album will always be in my Top 20. Always. Every song on the album is a gem. The one thing that sets Why Can't I Touch It? apart from the rest of the songs is the drum and bass groove that carries the entire track. And then the guitars. Diggle and Shelley, and their engineers, always had the crispiest of all guitar tones on their songs. That's the best word, crisp. I wanted to highlight those two elements in this #plundercore remix of the song. No words- just groove and tone.
06. work in progress (2016-2021)
the sound of never coming back became the interstitial soundtrack for episode 011. See #2 (above) for notes and context. It was handy. And I was desperate.
07. SHR (2015)
The Suffering Silence was inspired by the Disquiet Junto project number 0142. A sound collage of 2015 telephony. We stil sound like robots.
08. Unexpected Bowtie (2011)
In 2011, Stephen McLeod Blythe released his first album under the alias Unexpected Bowtie. I found Stephen via his connection to Ash Cooke. The album, 26 hour days is a low-fi work and for some reason I latched on to one song, Sleeping Solves Nothing. I have always loved this song and have recorded three cover versions of it over the years. Simple concept, simple arrangement, simple engineering. At some point, Stephen sent me the banjo track, which really gives the melody a unique sound. This is a loop of one phrase of the banjo track. It resolves on the G note- so I added an organ drone in G.
09. work in progress (2016-2021)
Please refer to #06 and #02 above. interstitial.
10. Ash Cooke (2021)
Part 2 of the Ash Cooke interview. This was originally going to be edited down to 15 minutes, but after the hard drive catastrophe I gave the interview audio another listen. Magically- there was over an hour of material to draw from. Cooke is fucking brilliant. If anything, the crashed hard drive allowed for the interview to be expanded to 30 minutes. In this segment, Cooke talks in great detail about his improvisational guitar techniques. Fucking. Genius. In the background of the interview are select tracks from his albums Nunavik and ArZoo.
11. Ash Cooke / Pulco (2019)
The album ArtZoo was the last Pulco album (for now). Elements of this song, Legal Highs, provide a roadmap for the direction Ash Cooke was moving. Shit gets weird. Life is weird. This is just one of his many sonic autobiographical pieces. This is an off kilter rocker.