Song of the Week: January 20 – “Experiment (January 2001)”

Okay, so I feel a bit like I’m cheating this week. I don’t feel too bad about it, since I don’t have the time to flesh out a new piece to keep up with my own weekly deadline. But this week’s tune is not new at all. I’m dusting off some old stuff from the closet here. Of course, no one has ever heard it before anyway, so nobody’s any wiser, right?

In fact, I wrote and recorded this 13 years ago. This is a very bad recording, since I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I think it’s a pretty good song, so I thought I’d finally share it.

Some background: this tune was recorded on a Teac 2340 1/4″ tape machine (4-track), and I never really got around to naming (hence the name “Experiment”). I used that machine to record a lot of demos, and only recently got rid of it. At the time, I had a computer, but I don’t think it even had a soundcard. I was pretty far off from getting into digital recording at that point, so it sounds even more amateur than everything else I’ve posted!

The composition is highly inspired by Dave Stewart-related Canterbury progressive rock bands from the 70’s (i.e. National Health, Hatfield and the North, etc.). I’d thought that I would flesh it out more, but there was something satisfying about writing a song under two minutes, but had a ton of crazy meter changes and parts. This is a tune that I could have seen playing with Volaré back in the day.

Having said that, there are no software synths on this song. It’s all hardware!

Instrumentation:

  • Fender Rhodes Stage 73 Mark I
  • Yamaha CS-15 (synth lead)
  • Alesis QS8 (organs)
  • Roland M-VS1 (synth chime pad at end)
  • Fender Squier P Bass
  • Alesis HR-16 drum machine (MIDI’d to QS8 to trigger DM5 samples)

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