Monday, July 28, 2014

Freaks At A Wake: liner notes

In 2012/13, Keshco released a soundtrack EP entitled "Freaks At A Wake". Twice. Why?

Let's duck back a couple of years, because that's where the trail starts. In September 2010, we still had a Farfisa organ upstairs. This was before an ill-advised attempt to correct its one-tone dip, which resulted in the thing going pop (instead of producing pop), and being dismantled. But all that is for another painful release. "Freaks At A Wake" is the only complete Keshco piece to feature the thing. It's an improvised 26-minute piece which started with Robert behind both organ and another keyboard, and me balancing a guillotine on a snare drum, with a toy steering wheel and Dynamike at close quarters. The various sections overflow with hummable chordal melodies mainly thanks to Robert's neat fingerwork. The thing then sat on my multitracker for over a year, before the augmenting began - Robert's full drum kit for energetic fills and general beefing-up; Luke adding more layers of keys, flute and some fizzy-crackly lapsteel; and finally my careful doubling up of the various melody lines on acoustic guitar. That part took an awful lot of rewinding and cueing up.

A few sections on Freaks are almost pop (yes, in the chart sense), and indeed the middle section, "Tyre Dirt", has been singled out for video treatment. Really though, we'd like to film the whole thing, and we have an idea but not the time. So it'll have to wait. One film-maker, Dania Hany, has used the opening section for an inventive little piece:

Some of our sonic experiments are beyond the tastes of most mortals. That's understandable. We thought we'd test you by releasing one. Bob bought a Korg Monotron (fabulous little piece of kit) and discovered how much fun could be had routing a song into the Monotron via the microphone connection, and mixing the results through the little keyboard. Freaks seemed the perfect vehicle for a long-form exploration of this. The results are very crunchy, with a lot of harsh blips and squeaks, and most defiantly not easy listening. That said, if you stop listening after the first three minutes, you are most definitely a puny specimen and would never cope with something by, say, Signorina Alos (one of our new label-mates). Sit through the whole of Freaks and earn your stripes before moving onto harder fare.

Download and consume both of the Freaks, here:

A limited release of both versions on tape (UK £5) for Cassette Store Day 2014 is forthcoming.

Or, you may prefer some other Freaks (of the 1932 variety, and yes that is an affiliate link, meaning you can help us earn money by visiting Amazon via it - could this be our tip to the top at last?).