1918 – 2018
I’ve just released a new Twelve album on bandcamp called 1918-2018.
I’m really pleased with it. I got the sound I was looking for; a mixture of Kraftwerk, Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin.
I used one drum machine and two synths through two guitar effects pedals and played these live onto DAT tape. I then bounced the stereo mix down whilst overdubbing one more synth part. This is how I used to work a lot with Julian Cope when I engineered and produced albums with him, he mainly always recorded in stereo, not multi track. I believe CAN also never multi-tracked, they recorded onto stereo tape and then edited the mixes together.
Making music like this is challenging because there is no going back. However, after a bit of practice you get some really great results and a real live feel to the music. It took me several months to set the synths and drum machine up and practice, but then once I had mastered the control of the machines, the album was really quick to record. It was just a case of playing it live.
The sound of this album is also very warm and punchy. If you record onto DAT tape and set the speed to slow you get a really gorgeous sounding natural digital tape distortion which is very pleasing to the ear. I read in an interview that this is what Aphex Twin did with his early recordings.
No computers were used, except in the editing and mastering process. I tried to let the machines play like Can, jam out odd grooves and poly rhythmic bass lines and not be afraid to make mistakes. It’s the little mistakes that make the music. Quite a lot of the music was at times unpredictable and hard to control, that’s when stuff happens, stuff that you can’t plan and this is what makes it so lively and organic.
I’m so pleased with the results and I’m really going to try hard to get this record onto vinyl and released commercially.
Please support Twelve if you can. I’ve noticed a lot more people are supporting Twelve now and the traffic on the site has gone up a lot in the last month or so.