the christmas of 1997 was a good one. in addition to getting a four-track recorder to multitrack with, i also ended up with a jx-8p for my birthday, which is in early january. now that i could use the computer a little bit, i decided that i was finally ready to do some serious recording.
i had committed myself to reapproaching the first demo tapes and rerecording certain tracks to reflect the uplift that they got from the drum machine; that is, i had already dramatically rewritten most of the tracks around the drum machine, so i felt i should rerecord them. now, i was going to need to uplift some of those tracks a second time with synthesizer parts. i knew which tracks i wanted to approach and how, but i wanted to ease myself in a little. so, i picked a new track as my first synthesizer experiment.
that is a large part of what this track is. i had the lyrics pre-written, actually, and knew that i wanted a spooky kind of atmosphere to the track. so, i was approaching the synth with the question of how to manipulate it into sounding "haunted". that may seem trivial, but please realize that i had never seen an actual synthesizer before - i'd just always used the presets on my sister's electronic piano. it was a small victory to get the patch by increasing the sustain on the preset, but it was a hard-fought battle.
after i got the track mixed down through the 4-track and mastered into the pc by sending the signal into the back of the soundblaster, some listening had me wishing that i had slowed the tape down a little. the track is a kind of a child's understanding of the existential, which i just felt would be more aesthetically in balance if i slowed the tape down and made it seem a bit more mournful. so, i wanted to go back and remaster it with the speed set a little slower.
i decided i should test it by slowing the track down digitally, first. what i was trying to do was get an estimate to use to remaster it at a different speed. i took a guess on half-speed to try and was going to incrementally reduce the reduction through trial and error until i got to a good point. then, i could set the tape speed by ear. i did not go through that process; i stopped at half-speed. for several weeks in 1998, the half-speed version was the final product for the track. i believe i even uploaded it to mp3.com
slowed down this way.
i just instantly stopped at half-speed because, while the effect was more exaggerated than intended, that exaggeration was to greater effect than i imagined. i wasn't expecting the guitars to get that grungy, or the vocals to get that deep. when i heard it, though, i knew that this was the track.
in the end, i reverted back to the normal speed version, but this was done with much internal division. the reason that this is the last track on the demo is because i was holding out for space for the lengthier version. it was only due to a combination of space requirements and pull for conformity of sound through the demo that had me relent at the very end.
in hindsight, i do think that the short version fits better on the flow of the cd, and it will remain there - minus the vocals. yet, i also think that this slowed down version deserves it's own document. i've slowed down two other versions of the track, as well, to drag out the fun. the album version closes this collection.
originally created in 1998. a failed rescue was attempted in 2013. reconstructed in the summer of 2015 and then manipulated further in the summer of 2016. finalized on july 7, 2016. hidden track added and re-finalized on july 18, 2016. as always, please use headphones.
the album version of this track appears on my first 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 (1998, 2013, 2015, 2016).
* - download only