My first weird crazy music, 2003.
by Dave Skipper
- Spumescent, adjective. Producing or resembling foam or froth.
- This is the name of the strangest track on my debut album Essence, recorded and self-released in 2003.
- This particular track is in 30/16 time signature; easier than it sounds as the main synth riff was programmed in 4/4 (divided into 16 semi-quavers), then set to run back and forth ping-pong fashion doubling the number of quavers to 32, except that the first and last semi-quavers don’t repeat at the extremeties, making a total count of 17. This process also makes the riff palindromic.
- The tempo is 136.9864bpm, ha!
- All synth parts were created on the amazing Alesis A6 Andromeda, my first synthesiser.
- All guitar parts were recorded on an Ibanez JS1000 BTB (burnt transparent blue), my second electric guitar.
- The guitar solo on this track took 60 takes to nail! The final version had one duff note that I removed, leaving a momentary glitch behind.
- The angular fretwork careens between various scales, including a nice whole-tone section in the middle.
- A friend of a friend played tablas for the track.
- Everything was recorded, composed, edited, and mixed on a Yamaha AW2816 – it was a right fiddly nightmare! No computers, no mouse to help editing.
- This track (and indeed the whole album) has always needed some solid drum beats to beef it up, and it is still in the back of mind to rectify that one day and re-release the album.
- My prime musical influence when creating and crafting this album was from the mighty Ozric Tentacles, British psychedelic-space-jam-rock band. Still one of my absolute favourite bands, I’ll probably write an article about them sometime.
- I was largely self-taught on guitar, and took a lot of inspiration from various shredders including the inimitable Steve Vai for his expressive, unusual, and technical approach to the instrument.
- All this was long before I leapt into noise music, but the seeds of intensity and strange sounds are right there…
Let me know what you think!
Whole album (plus various bonus tracks): https://daveskipper.bandcamp.com/album/essence