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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

27. "I've Been Duped" by The Fall

Amazing. Not that The Machine has selected a song by The Fall for me to cover... in fact, I probably have tracks by The Fall than by any other artist in my library. I spent a recent year listening to nothing but The Fall, for reasons too... too something to detail. The weird part is that out of all those Fall tracks-- 1,372 of them-- I ended up with one of the very few that do not feature Mark E. Smith on lead vocals. This song is sung by MES's current wife Ele(a)n(i)(e)(a) (usually but hardly always "Eleni") Poulou.

First temptation was, naturally, to perform it as MES might. But cooler heads prevailed, and I ended up recording this as an homage to Ms. Poulou's penchant for low-tech synthesizers and modulators. Not a single digital loop used here... all of it comes out of one of the most primitive consumer-level keyboards imaginable, with just a few filters applied for interest and in emulation of Eleni.

Rex Broome ~ Everything



I claimed on the analysis of "Egg Man" that it was probably as far as I could go with sequenced samples without knowing how to make real loops. I was wrong; this track takes it further. It just doesn't seem like it because I didn't have to wrestle with tempos.

All of the "drum" tracks were recorded right off of Gen's old Yamaha PSR-11 (see the sadly outdated Gear page) at the same preset tempo, and I simply cut between the different beats and added in fills as needed with surgical focus. The sequency-sounding bassline was constructed the same way, by micro-cutting between single bass notes I just plain played one at a time. There were no real loops nor a tempo grid or anything... it's all just cut end-to-end and synched manually.

Over that I played at least two live keyboard tracks in real time. One of them is insanely heavily treated with what, if I recall correctly, was one of the first effect filters I customized so dramatically that I saved it as a new preset, called "Eleni". It sounds cool and grimy on its own, but the best part of it was that if you were sustaining a not and then added another note on top of it, they made this kind of crackity splitting sound, like a bunch of pool balls colliding and repelling off of each other.


The kids were watching TV while I was recording the vocals to this one, and this of course being way back when my daily recording of crazy stuff still held some novelty for them. They were incredibly amused by my increasingly wacky delivery of the backing vocals on the chorus, so I played that up for their entertainment.

About halfway through it I did a few backing vocals which are intended to sound like Dalek voices. The kids had just started getting into Doctor Who at that point, so they found it very funny. It goes down in 39-40 history as, I believe, the third Who reference, and the second one in a row after "egging by TARDIS" in "Egg Man".

The cover art is part of a long standing ambition/joke I've had about releasing and album or an EP or something of my own entitled Frampton Comes Alive, with only the band's name added to the original artwork. Eventually I decided that it would also be a funny thing for The Fall to do, during a period where I was actively submitting fake Fall album titles, track listings and cover artwork to a thread dedicated to such things on the Fall Online Forum. So that cover art was already, bizarrely, lying around on my hard drive. Hey, it's me.

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