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Friday, March 4, 2011

351. "Carnt Sleep" by Saint Etienne

This recording really blew me away, and I have pretty high expectations for Dolph Chaney recordings. This thing starts out pitch-perfect, perhaps even smokier than the original, gets better with the vocal, then the killer synth lines, and some patented ChaneySonic stun guitar, somehow sounding a little bit Princier than usual. Some time after the second verse, family matters called me away from the computer, but I left the track running, and for a while part of my mind was distractedly appreciating the groove... but then at a certain point I realized it was still chugging along, and some distinctly weird and unsettling things were happening. When I got to take a closer listen I was admittedly almost surprised that it was in fact as crazy and excellent as I'd perceived from afar. In fact, the extended freakout ending is very much like what I've been going for every time I've tagged an extended dub-noise playout onto a track on 39-40. Having done so quite a few times, I think I have a better understanding of the process Dolph went through to realize that part of the track, but that doesn't mean I'm anywhere close to being able to do it as well.

I've known Dolph without having met him for many years. He was an especially supportive friend during the worst parts of my divorce years, which were also, coincidentally or not, the times during which I reorganized my musical identity into what it basically is today. Dolph was one of the first and few to take the new stuff I was doing as I put Skates & Rays together seriously enough to make honest and unfailingly helpful comments on it, which made me feel awfully good because the man's own music, a ridiculous amount of which is available here for no money whatsoever, is damned fine. During the same period I was listening rather a lot to Dolph's Very Just Fine, a 3-disc collection of what might be considered odds and sods, but was, to me, something of a magnum opus. It just has some the absolutely darkest (in the non-silly sense of the word) material I've ever heard, and some of the most life-affirming as well, sometimes simultaneously. It was well suited to my mindset at the time, to say the least, but it was also pretty damned staggering in quality.

Dolph Chaney ~ DR-220a, bass, guitars, Realistic Moog, voices
Recorded to Fostex MR16, 4th March 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Very kind. Glad to be part of it!

    For all this praise, however, I'm not even smart enough to remember when I submit a credits list that I record on a Fostex MR16, not a non-existent model Tascam.