Well......this one's been a long time coming!
it's long. it's VERY long. it's really not one track any more
fuck me - this would have been one side of an LP once upon a time....no WONDER it took so long!
Looking at the file date, I actually started it in January 2012...but it got so far and then kind of stalled. every now and then I'd come back to it and add some new parts, or a new section, or do a bit of editing....but the more work i did on it, the further away the end seemed to go. it became somewhat of a mirage, one might say....
i'm still not entirely sure what it actually IS at points. as is so often the case with these kind of tunes, it's more of a zoo full of electronic animals than it is a "tune". it's definitely got its moments though, but i'm certainly not exactly speaking as someone with ANY kind of perspective on it...
right. technical details. are vague..
the main synth riffs that shuffle about doing their semi-random thing from the very start are various versions of a Piston Honda patch. the a149-1 is - as ever - providing the wonky, ponderous random pitches....aided and abetted by some (well, quite a bit...) of post-recording audio editing to make them produce musical phrases (almost), rather than directionless meandering. the a149-1 is cool though, as it has this habit of suggesting little hooks that you can pick out and hang your randomness around (for example, the little bendy bass synth motif that comes in a few times at: 04.36, 05.00)etc....). maybe "hook" is over-stating it somewhat, but it is at least SOMETHING to grab hold of every now and then!
From what I can remember, the Piston Honda's wavetables are being morphed by the a149-1 as well, and later on it is being synced by something or another i think (eg: 05.14 onwards..). the original synth/ bass parts that start the track gradually become less and less "bass synth" like as the track progresses, until they are right up into the higher registers, producing lots of strange aliasing and artifacts due to the gritty lo-fi nature of the Piston (eg: 06.20 onwards...kind of sounding like FM radio interference by this point). I kind of miss that module if the truth be told.... :(
The fast gated synth parts that come in over the top of the main Piston Honda parts at 04.00 are mainly from the Cyclebox, with some support from the e350, with progressively more FM applied to both. The Cyclebox reacts particularly well to this and gets really quite eerie-sounding by about 06.25. nice! The Cyclebox really excels at these type of sounds in my view. It also morphs from gated synth to an almost percussive sound during the preceding section - its bright tone makes it particularly suited to this role too
the moody pad sounds that creep in gradually (you can start to hear them more clearly around 01.30 or so) are courtesy of two z3000 oscillators, going through the a199 spring reverb. they may well have gone through the z2040 filter too en route.. I made the pad's chords by recording each note of the chords separately, going through its own individual filter/ reverb treatment, with manual tweaking throughout to give it constant undulating movement. the multiple notes/ recordings were then layered and panned to create one lush harmonic bed. towards the end of their first appearance (around 03.0) you can hear me driving the a199 spring reverb into feedback, which makes them sound almost guitar-like. spooky!
These recordings are used again later (09.00 onwards), but are this time gated via the stock Logic Noise Gate, which is externally triggered to turn them into a rhythmic device. their wide stereo spread makes them stand out nicely.
The peculiar distorted "lead: synth sounds that are heard from 08.37 onwards are the Piston Honda again - this time fed through the Blue Lantern LM4250 Polivoks filter clone to add a squawking grittiness to proceedings, and the Wogglebug is mentioned in the track name...but I have no idea what exactly it was doing. messing things up i expect.. They are certainly odd noises, and remind me of animal calls or something. the jury's out on whether they have any musical merit whatsoever, but that hasn't stopped me from featuring them prominently throughout the next four minutes or so, in various guises.
the barmy gated chaos that starts up at around 12.24 is from the Piston Honda again, being abused by the Wogglebug in order to create sounds that get teeth-grindingly savage at points. just silly really
so there you have it really - it is what it is, whatever that means. i did toy with the idea of dropping some solid, dubsteppy vibe into it during the middle section (10.00 onwards), but in the end I just kept it all abstract and edgy, with all the little squawking animal battling it out for supremacy. well, at least that's what's going on in MY head when i hear it - "who's gonna win??!! - the rusty baby bird robot, or the asbestos chimp?"
at least it's over now
All drums are programmed in Logic, from single hits ....with a few loops here and there, mainly doing cymbals and top end glitchy percussion. Lots of automation is going on in Logic, to bring recorded parts in and out, and dub effects onto things. the whole mix is ploughed through delays at points, and Audio Ease's Speakerphone was utilized to place some of the Piston Honda/ Polivoks squawking into various different environments, including the radio transmitter of a helicopter at one point (08.36). that particular treatment was a bit of a "late-night" effort i suspect.....
The initial drums were churned up in Logic's Flex Time, which messed with their rhythm and added various glitchy time-stretching artifacts. it's a fun technique, but again, it takes bloody ages. you gotta laugh though