9:15 I am on the train and crossing over into Sweden soon. They now have a border control due to all the issues with migrants but strangely; they did not come into the car that I was in. I am excited to make music with my friends once again. The last West, Space and Love recordings were done in my apartment way back in October 2009. It yielded one really cool record that we pressed initially in only 200 copies with around 100 or so hand made covers and the rest with just a printed sheet in a white sleeve. IT was so successful, we pressed another 500 and they also all sold out last year.
I think we will make even a better record this time as KG has become an amazing sitar player, Love has all of his drums here in Stockholm and I have a better understanding of the OSCar now, I did not have the modular synthesizer at all last time and I also have the monotron! It will be great.
13:45 Arrived nearly on time to Stockholm. A lot of police and immigration people on the platform when we arrived. I had a family, son 17 and dad and his new wife who sat with me and they were all coming to see Motorhead tonight in Stockholm. Very cool people. The lady was a talker.. KG was on the platform and all was fine.
15 We have more or less got things set up now and Love gets out of school at 16 and will come by after that, so we are just hanging out and talking about India and Portugal, etc.. KG is a super nice guy.
Roland SH 1000
Actura mini brute
Doepfer- Dark Time
Custom Modular Synth
Fostex 8 track analog ¼ tape machine
Ibanez double neck guitar (1978)
This is a very special place, the Shadra Studio, where KG and Mats live. It is basically a basement workshop with a very small kitchen, bathroom and three rooms and no shower.Mats lives in one with his own little workshop and strange instruments and a modular synth, a bed and not much more. KG has a smaller room, which is filled with instruments and a small closet with his clothes. He sleeps on the floor. Very simple life. The other room, has a work bench, where Sam from Siena Root does his electronic works. They have a small sofa, table and chairs and way too much junk that no one will ever use.. They really need to clean up..
We had a really great time last night. After we had set up, we went out to have some pizza (not that good) and over to the store for some crackers, cheese, fruit to go along with the Port wine that Love had brought. He also brought some Gluwein or Glögg and we started off with that before we made any music. Love played mainly the gi-kongi to start, a really cool South American metal object that has these like leaves that are tuned. Sounds really cool. We started with that and then we switched over to the stomp box (cajon) with some frayed sticks and did some jams like that. For each Jam, both KG and I would try to find some different drones or things for the synthesizers. We used KG’s Doefper Dark Energy running with his Acturamini-brute and Vermona synthesizer a lot. Also we had a drum machine on about half the pieces. NO sitar at all. This will come later perhaps.
I think maybe we tried too hard to make the pieces too perfect and it sort of lost the magic. I don’t think there was really even one piece that we all thought this was really great. It will be different when we hear it all tomorrow with fresh ears. I quite like the 2nd to last one we did, which was really fast. We will see what they decide to mix. It will be a huge job as it is all on these small 25-30min ¼ tape reels. They are old from some old theatre from the 70s! KG has loads of them. Far out.
Today, we plan to over to the Siena Root studio and lay down some tracks with Love playing his new custom drum kit. IT will be the first time he records with it. We do some 4 track recordings over there and then bring them back here and transfer them to the tape machine and then we play along to those. I think that is the idea. Jonathan will come by later and get the records, etc.. Maybe he can play some violin. We will see.
We were up late yesterday and Love had already sent a lot of messages but he
was behind schedule also. We planed to meet at the Siena Root Studio (very close
by) at 12:30 and record some bass and drum tracks. We met on time but this did
not go that smoothly. The Fostex 4 track recorder that he got when he was 16
was not functioning as it should and although it recorded pretty well one of
the channels was very noisy and they needed all 4. They decided to put all 4into
another small mixer and then recorded down to two tracks on a cassette deck.
This is what worked but we were a bit more pressed on time now. Several different
drum and bass takes from 3-10mins were put down. A few in D, one in G and one
that switched from A and D and one in 6/8 timing. Love’s new drum kit
sounded amazing. This worked very well and we arrived just on time at 16 to
meet Jonathan who had arrived at KG’s door just moments before with his
We did not spend too long catching up and talking and the got right into it pretty quickly. KG transferred the drum track that we wanted the sitar and violin on to the Fostex tape and they discussed the keys and a bit of the phrasing and now they would try things. They did some tuning and practicing and then we tried it all three with my on synths. The first take was not that good. The 2nd take, was not recorded and we had discussed keeping it but we had to do another take anyway and was actually very good despite both saying they had a drunk moment and lapsed one time each but most will not notice it. Next we did a track with Love’s very special Pig drum where only Love had played the drums. Bizzare instrument and this was a very crazy experimental track. I made some crazy stuff with the Wogglebug module at the end.. We might add another guitar from KG’s room mate, Mats today. We will see. Finally, KG put some cool electric guitar on the sitar/violin track. Great way to end the day and now we had 7 tracks total. Going pretty well.
At 10, Stian and his wife Moa will show up and she will play Santoor, a 96 string Indian instrument that can sound like a xylophone or harp or piano. I am not really sure? This is for a totally different drum and bass piece. We have plans for 3 more pieces today. We will do at least one new piece with just sitar, hand drums and me on synth and then work on two others.
Only Moa showed up and she is tuning the Santoor. This can take from 30 mins to 2 hrs as you have to tune every string. It looks cool and the strings lay in layers of mostly 3 and you have these small wooden mallets you play it with. We have plans to record two tracks with this instrument and we need to be finished by 13:30. One space intro and then some overdubs on another track. This is a different way to work but really fun as well. These people are just such amazing musicians.
It took MOA over 2hrs to tune the instrument so we had to be very patient and wait and then be very quick with the overdubs. There were some ideas bounced around and then we tried them and in both cases we took a 2nd take and this was the best decision as that was better. I think they may have redone the intro piece, at least the santoor part at 3rd time.
Moa left at about 13:45 and we got straight to work evaluating the music from the first day and adding more channels. We liked and modified all but one of the long synth- cajon improves which was a bit of a beast and had not unifying thread running through it so we decided to pass on that one and focus on the others. KG played some 12 string electric and the first part of one of the jams and then 6 string on the 2nd part and this really added a lot to the groove. He did not do any solos, just riffs. The synths were still the soloists. The next track went very smooth as well and we added some monotron.
Around 17, Mathias Danielsson came by to say hello and pickup a few CDs. We got him to play some analog delays on a vocal that Love had an idea for and we experimented with. IT was fun but not sure we will use it. How knows??
Now we had only about 2hrs to work on the last 6/8 jam piece that we had not done anything to yet so this was recorded from the tape to the ¼ tape. The left channel is not sounding that good on this but the groove is fine so we went forth with some sitar, modular synth, organ and a layer of windy sound from the SH-1000 keyboard. We finished about 19:30 and were really hungry as we had not really had much time to eat anything except some fruit, crackers and cheese.
We walked to Love’s apartment and finally was able to get a shower and had some very nice vegan Indian food with his home made cider, homemade chili sauce. His girlfriend is really lovely and beautiful as well. I was not that talkative as I was quite tired now. We were back at KGs around 11 and talked a bit about the weekend and concluded it was awesome!!!
West, Space and Love II------ with special guests..