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