since we set up this site, we've planned track-by-track breakdowns of our albums, with our thoughts and comments. herewith the first, a look back at our debut album gehenna now, released back in october 2010.
hollow hills of london
this track was created on the evening of 23rd april 2010, and was one of the first ever logos tracks. it's also still one of our favourites. we've mentioned before on our blog that the name logos had been used by darren francis for previous musical projects; in particular an early incarnation of logos in the late 1990s. sonically this bore scant relation to the current logos, and very little was recorded back then; however, that logos did have a track named hollow hills of london. the two share nothing in common other than a title, though the words on the 2010 version are taken from another late-90s track, named faerie food.
the name faerie food is also a good clue as to what this track is about; contrary to conjecture, this track is not about oral sex. it's about taking mushrooms and lying on the side of a barrow in greenwich park on a balmy summer afternoon. why the train? ghost-memories of astral London burrowings, and of sliding subterranean to places that are only between.
everybody gets elves
coincidentally another track about psychedelics; we certainly didn't intend that to be a theme of the album. everybody gets elves is another very early track, created on 24th and 25th april - the two days after hollow hills of london, in fact. it's probably one of our best-known and most-favoured tracks. it went through a great deal of subtle mixing and tweaking between then and the gehenna now release, but the final version is fundamentally the same as the april 2010 original. the voice, of course, is dr terence mckenna. this track also has its origins in a pre-logos darren francis project. we'd finished creating darren francis' spoken word with music album god thing, and were working on its (as yet unreleased; logos got in the way) follow-up. at the time df was still writing the text to go with it, so the work-in-progress music comprised long and sample-heavy instrumental tracks. one of these featured some mckenna samples and was named everybody gets elves. once we embarked on logos - indeed, spending time sculpting and listening to those long instrumental and sample-heavy tracks while df worked on the text was the inspiration and spur for logos - we borrowed the samples and title for a new track. incidentally, that original track was renamed furthur, df finished the text, and it now features entirely different music and not an ounce of mckenna. maybe one day soon df will get round to releasing it...
when the planet moves beneath us it moves through and within us. this is reciprocal.
created on 14th may 2010, this track came about by accident; while working on a sample for another logos track (we forget which now - we also forget the source of the sample) we stumbled upon these sounds, which took on a form of their own and demanded a separate life. though we were much-pleased with it at the time it's now one of our less favourite tracks on the album. that said, somebody once told us it was their favourite gehenna now track, which shows how little we know about our own music.
those three bones
the irony of jeffrey dahmer (for the sample is he) embracing personal responsibility with one hand and creationism with the other set the right tone for this track, which was created over the evenings of 6th, 7th and 8th may 2010. other voice samples - at least, the ones we can remember the sources of - include jim jones, george w bush, and abu musab al-zarqawi. walking the path to god, indeed.
the title those three bones, incidentally, refers to the ossicles, the three small bones in the human ear.
this track almost didn't make it to the final gehenna now track listing, simply because we could never get the mix quite how we wanted it. indeed, about half an hour before we released the finished album online, we pulled this track back for a quick mix-tweak. the mix still sounds weak, to us, and we know we could do it a lot better now - we really should remix it at some point.
heaven can wait
speaking of walking the path to god.... created on the evenings of 9th and june 2010, this was one of those tracks that ended up sounding nothing like we'd intended when we started it or even when we were halfway through it. most of the samples, of course, concern heaven's gate and their escape from the spading under by riding out on hale-bopp's tail. for us, heaven can wait.
listening to this now - and this comment applies to other logos tracks - we hear sounds we don't remember putting in there.
the first ever logos track, created on the evenings of 18th and 19th april. we still have a great fondness for this track, and not just because it was our first. we won't even begin to list the voice samples here; there are way too many, and we can't even remember the source of a fair few of them. rather than explain the title and how it relates to the knot of voices, we'd invite the listener to answer that for themselves.
we remixed this into a not dissimilar but condensed version, not long after the album's release, which was put out as a logos free track of the week; we sometimes prefer that mix.
volo ergo sum
another early logos track, created on 21st and 22nd may 2010. the inspiration for this was bill hicks, a shining star in logos' firmament, and his 'where's all this shit going on?', outside there are only cicadas, news skit. the overlapping media babelogue was also informed by the darren francis track god, love, money and other snares, from god thing, which we'd created a few months beforehand (listen here).
dunwich beach, september 2001 [a fragment]
created on 4th and 8th july 2010, making it not only the last track on the album but also the last to be 'recorded' (it never quite feels right to use that word in relation to our music, since almost every track is sample-based and very little actual recording is involved). as the name suggests, this track alludes to the brian eno track dunwich beach, autumn 1960 from the on land album (an album we like very much, and highly recommend). why september 2001? because of a particular evening - and its ramifications - spent by darren francis and some friends on dunwich beach at that time.
as the title makes clear, this is a section of a much longer piece. the original ran to over an hour. this excerpt is from towards the beginning (a later section was re-worked for the track hey jim, which was intended for gehenna now but didn't make the final track listing). we did toy with putting the full version out as a free track of the week; we may yet do so. would anybody want it? even we struggle to get through the whole thing in one sitting...