The record is finished. It needs a proper mastering and some artwork, but it’s there allright. Expect to hear some snippets from it in the near future.
In the meantime, do yourself a favour and check out the brand new track by Truth Lies In Dust: “Sacrifice”. Truth Lies In Dust is the new project by old friend & producer Ephex Hartman, and he asked me to provide lyrics & vocals for this track. I’m more than happy with the result, and it’s great to get to be creative with other people every once in a while.
Went to see a Michael Gira solo show in Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago.
I have seen both Swans and Gira solo more times than I can remember right now. But as I’m sitting here mixing and tweaking my own songs, and inevitably hitting those periods where the music seems to go nowhere and I feel out of touch with it, I just have to look to my right (I have a framed Swans poster on my wall, you see) and remind myself how music is able to take you somewhere completely different and shake you through, if you let it.
I have a ticket stub from a Swans concert that took place in 1997 in Copenhagen on their farewell tour; I would have just turned seventeen judging from the date, and I remember knowing I had to see this band, as it supposedly was my last chance of ever doing so. A couple of years earlier I had picked up a copy of “Greed”, knowing Swans was a name I had to check out, since I was a young introvert with an attitude and a taste for the “alternative” – I was in no way ready for it at the time; but I remember it provoked me intensely. And I played it every once in a while, like there was some secret to it I hadn’t been let it on. Of course there was no secret; it was all about reaching a state of mind where you decide to let go of all preconceived notions of what music is, and how it should be executed. And at the Swans concert in 1997 that way of thinking became clear to me. I went to the show alone as I didn’t know anybody who wanted to come, and I used my meagre savings on a beer, a joint and a t-shirt and felt that was an OK preparation for whatever was about to hit me. Even though the band was breaking up, there was no sentimentality to it. As I recall Michael Gira just stated that since they had just released a new album (That would be “Soundtracks for the blind”) their set was going to focus on that material, and that was it.
That evening I got home a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a lot more confused, but most importantly, determined to never let myself or my music restrict to certain ideals or ideas about genres and what was supposedly “permitted” in music. I was able to enjoy and discover both “Greed” and the rest of the bands back catalogue from that moment on.
And when Swans reunited some years ago, I was once again impressed and struck by the lack of sentimentality with which Michael Gira seemed to move forward instead of giving people a “Greatest Hits” set.
The framed poster is actually signed by Michael Gira; it says “To Morton! – live!”.
Good advice. That I do.
Now back to the music…
The moment you’ve been working on a bass hook for a couple of hours and you suddenly realise you’ve more or less lifted it from somebody else. Then spend the next half hour figuring out who that might be. In conclusion: at least I steal from the best.
The clock at my local metro station acted out yesterday; for just a second my perception of reality was warped until I realised the clock was at fault, not me. I was reminded of the brilliant lyrics to “The Light Pours Out Of Me” by Magazine:
“Time flies, time crawls, like an insect up and down the walls, – the light pours out of me”
The song stuck in my head all day, and I got home, turned on the mic and recorded the 1st verse and chorus. Nothing more, nothing less; just a short vignette of that strange feeling that I had to get out of my system. There you go. Inspiration in all its strange glory.
2013 was a rather uneventful year in my musical life, although I did do a single live performance and released a couple of new M Blok videos along with some old Saline Gift stuff. However, behind the scenes I worked on new material more or less the whole year through, and right now I have no idea if I’m going to release a single, an ep or an album within the next few months. The luxury of doubt.
I am reading the so far wonderful book by John Higgs on The KLF “KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money” I remember hearing about it when it came out, and then I guess I forgot about it. But when Youth of Killing Joke recently plugged it on his Facebook page, I decided to get hold of a copy.
Fascinating read. I think this excerpt says it all:
Meet Glasurpinden ™ – The Icing Stick.
This little fella adds sparkle in the final stages of mixing – everything works with Glasurpinden ™.
A Glasurpind ™ puts the icing on the layers of otherwise bland tracks and transforms your petty alternative music into art. Warm, wet and sparkly art. I can only hope it will be as good for you as it is for me.
Hold on, almost there…
Here it is. A little freebie, while I work on some more studio material.
It was somewhat of a coincidence that I chose to cover this song, but I was working on a beat and some booming drum sounds that suddenly reminded me of it, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to sing it.
I remember it being played on the radio non-stop when Top Gun came out. When I got to see that movie some years later, I thought it was awful; I was definitely more of a Robocop/Terminator enthusiast at the time. But the song has stuck with me as an early childhood memory and I’m generally a big fan of Giorgio Moroder’s music, so that was reason enough for me to give it a go.
(Also, I must admit, I have kind of warmed to Top Gun on a more humorous level as I’ve grown older. There is a douchey charm to it, no doubt).
Credit must go out to my brother Thomas, who insisted I tried making a more stripped down mix, after listening to an early version. It made the difference between just being a novelty that more or less emulated the original and this final version, that actually sounds like some of my own stuff. Which is what covers should be all about, if you plan to present them to other people anyway, as I see it.
Randy video trivia:
I actually had to go over this cut several times after the first upload to YouTube and edit out some of the more spacey stuff to make sure the preview featured the exotic dancer, since YouTube won’t let you choose the thumbnail yourself and just randomly picks out 3 for you to choose from; somehow it constantly ended up with a blur not related to that fine woman at all, before I finally nailed it and got to choose a preview that worked. So you may thank YouTube/Google for forcing me to put in more of those swinging hips.
Most of the clips are edits from an old Italian thriller called Milano Calibro 9. Worth checking out.