It all started with a fan letter…
“Hey Peter, just noticed you on a Rhys Chatham link. Just want to say I adore your work, I had a release on DFA recently, and they sent me some of your releases you did with Jonathan - so brilliant! I’ve had “Condo” track for a while, this completely catches my personality and when I feel disillusioned or need comfort, I always put this on, and it makes me feel good and strong.....i will stop gushing now! Thank you!
Nik Colk Void x”
This was Peter’s reaction…
“I was quite flattered and was glad that ‘Condo’, one of my lesser-know tracks, was being appreciated. (I was also curious, because the most-viewed clip of ‘Condo’ on Youtube is actually a slowed down version: someone played the 12” 45rpm EP at 33 rpm. The result, however, is quite beautiful.)
I responded, said I hoped we could meet the next time I am in London, and Nik then suggested that she had a track that she was working on, and would I like to listen to it and possibly collaborate. I am always game for a new challenge, so I said sure and Nik sent an mp3.
I was immediately struck by the haunting and evocative nature of the track, the analog synths feeling fresh and familiar at the same time, the vocals having a primal quality of breath and phrasing. I loaded the track into Ableton and instinctively began recording some overdubs. I used analog (Prophet 5) and digital (Moog iPad) synths and a soprano saxophone. I then sent a mix to Nik.
Nik responded quite positively, and over the next few weeks we exchanged files back and forth, experimenting with different mixes and submixes. After a couple of dozen rough mixes, accompanied by email discussions among the three of us (Gabe had entered the process after the first few exchanges,) we settled on a final mix. Shortly after we had a final mix, I synchronized the track with a video that my partner Kit Fitzgerald was working on. This long extended shot fit the music perfectly, and we had a video for ‘Beachcombing’. (A still from this video serves as the artwork for the 12”.)
Initially, there was going to be a one-sided 12”, with ‘Beachcombing’ the only track. Nik then wrote to me that Dominic was also interested in working on a track, and would I be interested in working on a B-side with Dom. Of course, I readily agreed, and I received an mp3 of synth tracks. As previously, I began building up tracks, using the alto sax (rather than the sopranino used on Beachcombing) and the addition of a vintage Korg vocoder.
Once again, a series of file exchanges of mixes, submixes and discreet tracks ensued, and we finally settled on mix #26a. There is kind of a sweet quality which surprised the both of us.”
The result is before you now and forthcoming on Optimo Music. Modern collaborations with magical results!