For those of you out there who might be interested in such things, this is my stream of conciousness recollection of how the "roots dub" CD came about, shedding some light on the process of the creation of the music you hear....
Naturally, the music that a musician likes to listen to influences the music they create. Essentially I decided not to just let my interest (some might say obsession) in dub influence my next project, but actually create my very own full-on dub album! My increasingly dub style of mixing is in evidence on the Perfume Tree CD's released on Zulu Records when I was in the band ("dust" (1992), "remote" (1993), and "the suns running out" (1994)). Although the music only has the slightest reggae influence musically, my main concern during mixdowns was to keep them full of changing echoes, reverbs, EQ sweeps, and things abruptly dropping in and out (thanks for putting up with me Pete and Jane!).
I also played bass in the band, and we recorded and mixed down in my studio. It's great to have your own little studio. It gives you the time you need to learn, mess about and experiment, mixing-console-as-instrument style, in a relaxed atmosphere. This experimentation continued with my "Bootsy's 400 Dubs" cassette, a collection of "alternative" mixdowns of bands I had recorded in my studio, and other miscellaneous works.
In December '96 I actually began the recording process for "roots dub", setting up a "drums and bass" recording session in my parents unfinished basement ;-). I got Brady (Secret3) to play drums on most of the tracks (I'll get you a copy soon, I promise!) while I played bass, creating the basic structures for the songs.
Quite a few months later, when I recovered from those sessions (and did some other musical projects), I continued to the next step. Through the 'wonders of modern technology' I proceeded to lay down percussion, guitars, organ, clavinet, other keyboards, weird sounds, more basslines, and other things onto the 16-track reel-to-reel tape machine. Thanks to Pete again for tha gee-tar session. This also seemed quite draining. At one point I calculated that I had just laid down about 450 track-minutes (7.5 track-hours) of music - not including the practice time to come up with the melodies. And Brady and Pete about 1 hour each. Quite a feat I thought. I set the project to one side yet again.
So I felt I was about half way done with this thing now. After doing some other musical projects again I came back to it, ready to try a mixdown. One concern of mine at this point was, how am I going to make each song have it's own sound? At this point the raw material on the tape had a same-ness, and well, was raw. So I chose my first victim, (the one that sounded the best in its raw state, which turned out to be the title track) and messed about for a few days on just getting it to sound good and heavy. I can't remember if I was sparked into action by a request for a song for a compilation, or if I had already started working on mixdowns, but a version of the "roots dub" track ended up on the Plan 11 compilation "News From Nowhere" under the name "Reclining in Dub" (Thanks D.S. Faris!).
So I ended up mixing down all the tracks (except one - more on that later) within a few months, getting a unique sound for each song, culminating in 4 hours of crazy dub on DAT tapes! I stopped here (yet again!) for quite a while. Considering the effort required to patch together "Reclining in Dub" from various mixdowns, grabbing the best bits of the song from different mixdown takes and finding appropriate pieces to cover over the live mixdown mishaps, I didn't look forward to doing the next 14 songs! This was all done by executing many tricky audio edits in the computer.
I put some of the best mixdowns onto a cassette, to listen to and pass around to friends for a while, noting what was good and what had to go. I delved into a few more computer editing sessions, and it went quite well for a while, pretty much wrapping up more than half of the songs. With the easiest songs done, and the remaining ones seeming insurmountable, some distraction took my attention away once more.
Gathering my courage again a few months later, I decided it was time to just take a listen to the remaining few problematic tracks. They sounded different, and I quickly got to work and finished them off. Except for one. Back in the tracking stage, I had run out of steam one song short. There was a track still in it's primeval form, just the drums and bass, waiting for some attention. So I put my instruments and percussion to tape for it, and it definitely sounded good. But unfinished. I decided to see if blues harp playa Anna would put down some of her magic over the track, and viola, done. Mixed fairly clean and hard, I was impressed. "Harp Dub" seems to be the people's choice.
So, apart from the less interesting details of putting out a CD, that's about it! Thanks to everyone who contributed - enjoy!
A.P.S., December 1999
Recorded and Produced by: A-Dubb
Recorded at: Noizi Studios
Mixed at: 310 Studio
Drums: Brady C, Blackbox, A-Dubb
Bass: Quaju Peg
Organ, Keyboards, Pecussions: A-Dubb
Harp: Anna F, A-Dubb
Guitar: Pete L, A-Dubb
Cover design: Krispyan
Planet E, JA, Peter C, Jane T, Valeria F,
Cameron S, John S, Rose S, Terror T, Chad,
Milena S. Livicated to Eldon D.