Monday, April 23, 2007


pygmies volume 2 number 3
recorded august 3, 1981
this early track is one of the last things recorded before the making of my first solo record lone rhino. it began as an experiment in drumming. we started by recording an african log drum part in 17/8 which would run throughout. then came the"drum kit". rich denhart had a type of barcus-berry pickup you could mount on just about anything. we put it on a flat piece of plywood and plugged the pickup into an early Roland delay unit, the DC-30. I could control the delay times with a foot pedal. it made fabulous machine-like noises and scraping sounds. next to that I placed objects such as a music stand and a piece of pipe along with a snare drum and bass drum.
gary platt (who engineered lone rhino and twang bar king) had recently made a series of field recordings. one was a very scary-sounding large sow. it became part of the drum track. we had something we called "throw down cymbal" which was done in this way: I would throw a cymbal on the floor while gary would fiddle with the speed of the tape machine. the end result was a kind of "gong" sound. rich had a old beat up van with a crusty noisy door. I slammed the door on the backbeat in the middle of the song. altogether it made for an interesting start to something, but that was all we had time for.

a few months later the GaGa crew (see peas volume 1 #2) finally convened in the Bahamas for the making of lone rhino with gary as engineer and rich as assistant. one late night I grabbed my fretless guitar and asked clif and bill to improvise with me over this drum track. you can hear parts of swingline, the track we were recording earlier that day. ultimately pygmies was not needed for lone rhino, but it was always a personal favorite.

saxophone: bill janssen

bass: clif mayhugh
fretless guitar, drums, and percussion: adrian
engineer: gary platt
assisted by: rich denhart
drum track recorded at Broken Prairie Studio in Champaign, Illinois
overdubs recorded at Compass Point Studio in The Bahamas


  1. 17/8? How do you count that? 4+4+3+3+3?

    Relistening to elephant talk, finally picked up on the alphabetical structure (duh), with the "elephant talk" part after the B's then the C's, then the D's and then again at the end. Cool how the guitar solo (starting about 3:28) morphs into elephant talk.

  2. I remember when I put my lips on the top of a bottle and blow... wow!!! what a nice sensation, and then I record some "bottle-blow" sounds in my computer and make very stranged sounds with some filters LFO and a little of modulation. I have a very nice software for record the sounds of my body (breath, my blood run inside me, etc) any sound can make fantastic music, ANY SOUND!!!!! the limit is just the inspiration... tell to Bob Fripp.

    I have a nice tool for make noises, and funny sounds.
    You may check the SuperCollider software, you can have it free in thsi link:

    This is a very great tecnology for real time audio synthesis programming language, you can plug your guitar, your microphone or any sound source to your computer and make very interesting sounds, very very funny!! try it you will like.

  3. Dude, you have the BEST stories!

    To answer mark (how do you count 17/8?) ... very carefully of course. :-)

  4. I love these stories.
    I've been listening to each and every recording of yours since Shiek Yerbouti and am a large fan. Very, very sorry about Kengeneer, who I spoke with at length at your gig at Fitzgeralds. Ken will be missed greatly. I am sorry and feel bad for you.
    I love reading the blogs. I will check back often.
    Joe Horizon

  5. Hey Ade, tell us about your experience with Caifanes-Jaguares, I Kknow you have work with this guys. There are some guitars at "Cronicas de un laberinto" played by Adrian Belew?. I really enjoy your art!!


    (just kidding!)

  6. Adrian,
    (or duly-appointed representative, or astute gear-minded fan who has previously figured out..)

    Am I imagining things, or do you have a non-standard cable you use for your guitars? I seem to recall that rather than an analog audio, or midi, or Roland style 13-pin cabling that comes stock with their synths, that I've seen your guitars accept something resembling a computer monitor or 9-pin RS232 serial cable. Specifically, it seemed to be a D-sub style plug, with the pair of screws on each side to keep it firmly attached.

    I hunted around to find evidence of anyone else using something like this, but have turned up nothing.
    The reason I ask is because I'm considering making a mod to my ART Ultrafoot contoller, used with the sgx-2000 effects rack. I want to replace the pair of midi cables and wall wart power input with some kind of single cable. Also, I was thinking of additionally running an analog signal through that cable, and mounting an input jack right on the Ultrafoot.

    Therefore, I could plug directly from guitar to the foot pedal, which I am standing 'close to", and then the whole shebang goes down the big honking cable back to the rack. So, I'm curious about making use of the roland 13-pin, but I've always thought the connector ends of those were likely to break easily. I have a GR30, and that cable just doesn't seem very sturdy.
    But, I don't know if an off-the-shelf computer cable would work well when mixing analog and digital signals. It sure seems like the connectors would be sturdier though.
    I'd appreciate anyone's response who's familiar with Adrian's setup. Thanks!
    email me at:
    (at symbol)

    Pete Chady

  7. Hey Ade!!

    I'm in tour. I have arrive to Xalapa (Jalapa) Veracruz. It's a very nice place. We have learn about the "Huastecos" culture, and very much information about the "Olmecas", now I'm making music with some ethnic elements, the music of Mexico is NOT The Mariachi, Cumbia, Quebradita or any latin rhytm, the music of Mexico is laying down 20 feets under the ground... the music of Mexico has die with the arriving of the spanish invation at the 15th century.

    Now I'm making som investigation about the music of the Olmeca culture and I will incorporate this beautiful sounds at my crazuy music.

    I will record som percussive samples and will load it in the NNXT dispositive (by "propellerhead Reason"). Have you ever work with "Propellerhead Reason"? "Reason" is a great tool for making musica, you have a sequencer, sample players, synthezisers and FX boxes with Delays, reverbs, chorus/flagers, eq, dynamic filters etc etc etc, any tool to bring to life any dead culture... i will start with the Olmeca music. Thanks for read me.

  8. this was recorded on my 17th birthday. cool. i was soon starting my senior year. my favorite year. -for the most part.

    love these stories man.