for years n years
i had a little home studio wherever i lived
i recorded loads n loads of songs that way
i had a teac 4 track eventually updating to 8 track in 1986
i used to write n record 2 or 3 songs a week
it was my hobby
it was my discipline
it was my calling
and i never thought any of em
would ever end up actually released
they were personal recordings
i knew the drum machine was pretty boring
but i never really expected anyone much to hear em
i was kinda like a fisherman
just chucking em back
i put the master version on a dodgy cassette
and eventually it got lost
when i first started home recording in 1977
i was pretty bloody woeful
i learnt it as i went along
i had very limited equipment
very limited options
especially compared to nowadays
so i got my studio
i chucked away my previous way of writing songs
and i began to construct songs from different angles
theres a load of pre unearthed era songs floating about
double cds full n thats just scratching the surface really
can you believe that someone who once lived in my house
tossed out my shoe box of cassettes that contained
the master recordings of hundreds of songs
ah easy come easy go
i honed my technical skills as such they were
i had no reverb but i used the machine itself to produce a characteristic echo
i found ways to make the machine feedback on itself
and then you could control that looping sound
i really knew my synthesizer inside out
a monophonic roland one of the first designed for the layman
it was originally my dads
but he never really got the hang of it
so i got it
and i figured it all out
not that there was that much to it
but i coaxed some good sounds from it in the end
anyway i had all these recordings n they started getting better n better
when i got my 8 track things drastically improved
some guys down the road had a studio called fatboys with the same machine
i could mix my stuff down there without lugging my 8 track around
we mastered onto a revox tape machine i think
fatboys also had some effects including reverb
wow where would i be without reverb i wonder
by the time of narcosis i had a twenty four track machine
it was housed in a terrace house in downtown surry hills
a busy crazy inner city suburb
where many of my extra curricular misadventures truly began
it occupied a ground floor at its heyday
and a drum kit could be recorded
and it had a real piano n vocal booth
and a few gizmos n gadgets
by dabble i have no studio
it was recorded in delaware when i was living there for a while
one can also hear the technological advancements
as i acquired new pedals drum machines and sequencers
all the albums are quite different
made under different conditions
under different influences
and a passing parade of guest stars who would come n go
i have always used this analogy so i might as well keep going
my solo albums were like my sketch pads
they were my experiments
some like remindlessness are intended as a grand opus
others like slow crack are just collections of songs with no real unity
they all have their charms n their faults
they are self indulgent to the max
oh my lord …what does that mean anyway
they were me me me
i did whatever i wanted
whatever i could think of
no one to put pressure on me
nothing to conform to
no one to compete with
just loads n loads of songs i knocked out
knocked out with love and all that
no ulterior motives really
no one making suggestions
it was in 1986 i suddenly decided to release the 1st one
it was to be understood as like a home made album
all my solo records were
i was the engineer n the producer
i was the tape-op and the roadie
i was the singer songwriter guitar bass n keyboards
i was the drum machine
i mixed it n edited it when it was done
for a while i had a good ally in john foy
who did the characteristic artwork on the 1st four records
he made the packaging super groovy
and my first four all sold kinda good for a homemade thing
enigma released unearthed in the states
then ryko released earthed
then slow crack dribbled out on some label i forget
narcosis was ignored everywhere though i thought it was really good
it didnt matter
it wasnt the point
i didnt do it to get up the charts
though it would always be nice
here it is
in this box set
the real sound of my brain
snapshots and postcards from long gone times n places
songs about all kindsa stuff
not your usual pop fodder but some of it could be whistled
i did remindlessness at the same time we were writing g.a.f.
guess which one got all my best ideas……?
i didnt have any philosophy
i just wrote whatever songs came along
i seized upon technology
i seized upon the zeitgeist
and the anti-zeitgeist
i wanted to write all kindsa songs
long ones short ones
ones that would n could never be played live
i wanted the words to be bizarre baroque extraordinary ridiculous
relieved of any commercial malarkey
i sang about amphibians angels angles and arcane arty bullshit
i sang about gods n devils n saints n sinners
and i verily did find my own sound
listen i wasnt aping anyone by this stage
this stuff ….i was making it up as i went along
pulling it out of the not so thin air
i was never stuck
i recorded it all
the glorious
the vain glorious
the futuristic retro alt. space rock boogie woogie
with a fair bit of glam n folksinger n surrealadelia
where that frickin’ drum machine relentlessly pounds
unlimited ideas
limited technological wherewithal
lots of feeling
lots of sloppy glossed over mistakes that came good
my solo albums are for the ultra sk fan
for the ones who really understand and knew all the stuff i was going on about
here i was undiluted
deluded maybe
but undiluted nonetheless
imagine it
sometime in the late eighties
me writing my stuff
in the house in rozelle
91 mansfield st in the front room
my brand new ensoniq sampler/ sequencer
i was off in a new direction
the lights are low
i sit there in the glow of the LED
fiddling with my effects units
smoking dope and going off on tangential streams
fuck it i wanted to create the sound of ancient civilisations
i wanted to create the sound of my chaotic life
i wanted to create the sound of inner city sydney
i was a bit of a genius a bit of a fool
i was often lucky in music like other men were lucky in love
i got more out than i put in
i worked short hours n i never worked hard
ideas fell into place for me following my schema which i can never explain
i always came up with something
i’d start a 7 pm n by 1 or 2 am i had put the final bit of tambourine on
mostly i worked alone on the first 4 albums
totally hands on
blasting my blasted ears in all night headphone sessions
i was obsessed
writing songs was my obsession
i needed to do it for a while
or i’d have burst
or something
so here they are