this track represents my first serious attempt to break out of the synth-pop sound i'd been developing over the first half of 1998 and into the more epic electro-noise-rock that defines the next period. while i'd been careening in this direction the whole time, and the track is ultimately a failed experiment, this is really the portal i go through that ultimately opens the way for what follows.
conceptually, the track was initially meant to mock the news cycle; the circus riff was tongue-in-cheek. you can imagine wolf blitzer and judy woodruff getting out of their clown cars and reading their teleprompter, type of thing. while i've eliminated the vocals from the official release, and there were never any produced for the re-recording, the bonus tracks are both early vocal mixes. it's admittedly hard to ignore the conceptual history of the track in explaining why i have a punk song built around the circus theme, but by the time i got to re-recording the track in late 1998 i'd truly moved past the concept.
yet, i wanted to retain the musical ideas in the track and even take it to a different level. the way the track is sequenced here retains a memory of how i wanted the track to unfold into a lengthy, multi-part epic separated by long sections of guitar-effects generated and digitally shaped ambience. this is not just an idea that would resurface in my next piece, my second symphony, but also something that would follow me for my entire musical career. these collages are crude, but this is where the idea first developed.
conceptual issues aside, i also had a lot of difficulty getting the guitar tone i wanted for the track - a problem i really hadn't previously had on this kind of scale. in hindsight, i think i'd just become a little more aware of the tonal options in front of me. up to this point, when i ran into the problem of the evasive tone, putting it down for a few days and approaching it fresh solved it, but that wasn't working. this track was dragging on for months. i was lost in production...
then, out of the blue, there was a power outage that knocked my computer out as i was running a part of the track through an ambient transform. the track - and all the digital additions i had added to it - were largely destroyed. what was left was this completely corrupted wave file of disjointed guitar fragments. i've never been a religious person (obviously), and i don't want to say i took at as a sign or something. yet, i let chance assert itself; the corrupted wave file became the final version of the track, and i moved on to the next thing.
the actual, proper track was then forgotten about for years. i'm only finally dusting it off now, in 2016, and releasing it here as a single, along with a collection of experimental collages that approximate what the track was meant to sound like. this ep should really be thought of as consisting of two versions of the song, separated by the two minutes of silence after the fifth track. the track was abandoned for good reason; the motif is silly. so, my frustrations with the composition shall have to be recorded in the annals of time.
initially written in 1997. recreated and reconceptualized in late 1998. salvaged somewhat at the end of 1999. remastered in 2013. compiled on nov 13, 2016. finalized on nov 19, 2016. final album version added as a bonus track and refinalized on dec 15, 2016. as always, please use headphones.
the album version of this track appears on my second record:
the inridiculous version of the track appears on my third record:
this release also includes a printable jewel case insert and will also eventually include a comprehensive package of journal entries from all phases of production (1997, 1998, 2013, 2016).