Barbed - Symbols - 1994

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alexbarbed
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Barbed - Symbols - 1994

Post by alexbarbed » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:43 pm

Back in 1994 my band Barbed released this album on These Records in London. It was all made with a Roland W30, a Lexicon LXP5 and lots and lots of reel to reel tapes and cassettes. It might have a bit of vintage interest, and I'm still very happy with it... It took five years to make and it sort of sounds like it too. You can't buy it anymore, but it's here in full...

If anyone would like to engage me in some banter about it I would be very grateful as I'm trying to get my posts up to a 100 so I can sell some gear :help:

[video][/video]

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Post by lisa » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:41 am

Fun throwback! I would have loved it in 1995-96 (when I started discovering experimental electronic music) and I like it now. There's something appealing to me about an album that changes in style and pace again and again and again.
New modular track! My first in six months. :party: Messy and unglued.


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Post by alexbarbed » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:56 am

Yes, you got a lot for your money with that one.
Thanks for taking the time to listen.

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cretaceousear
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Post by cretaceousear » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:57 am

This is great.
Did you ever hear Randy California's record Future Games ? all the tracks tied together with talking - mostly from Star Trek.
Damn I love looping things.
Some great cut disruptions - subversion pop.

What is the track at 19 mins with the coin ? Great funky stuff!

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alexbarbed
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Post by alexbarbed » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:11 am

I haven't heard Future Games but will give it a listen...
The one with the coin is called King of Rock. The voice is Ram Dass. It was the closest we got to making anything that people could dance to, thanks to that drum loop... before the loop went on it was frankly incomprehensible. I sampled it off a Sinead O Connor cassette. 8-)

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Post by alexbarbed » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:15 am

alexbarbed wrote:I sampled it off a Sinead O Connor cassette. 8-)
Now I think about it, maybe it was a Danielle Dax cassette. Apologies for the mix up.

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Post by cretaceousear » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:56 am

Listening to this again in preference to going to the supermarket - there's a back handed compliment.
Great on second listen too. Has a light touch. And some lovely mini melodies. A bit collaged like the Faust tapes - never quite sure what it will do next.

It's funny I recently found I'd heard enough looped movie voice samples in stuff, but these don't seem jammed in - they sit really well.

Am I correct this was two of you?
How did you work together on deciding where to make cuts and joins - or did you do more a thing of splitting the duties?

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Post by alexbarbed » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:06 am

cretaceousear wrote:Listening to this again in preference to going to the supermarket - there's a back handed compliment.
Great on second listen too. Has a light touch. And some lovely mini melodies. A bit collaged like the Faust tapes - never quite sure what it will do next.

It's funny I recently found I'd heard enough looped movie voice samples in stuff, but these don't seem jammed in - they sit really well.

Am I correct this was two of you?
How did you work together on deciding where to make cuts and joins - or did you do more a thing of splitting the duties?
There aren't any movie voices on there... some voices were taken from TV documentaries, via VHS, some from personal recordings on old reels of tape bought at junk sales, and some were simply recordings of our friends or people we met with interesting voices. We would write things for people to say and get them to read them out, sometimes getting them to translate into their own language. Each song had its own specific selection of sounds and voices and a lot of work went into discovering and creating those little worlds. Even down to sample-naming, everything was relevant and specifically linked to the underlying theme. Often bits of voices were turned into musical sounds and sequenced, so that everything became one coherent piece.

Yes there were (and still are, sometimes) two of us - Alex and Alex - and we worked side by side every day for many years. We spent a lot of time recording, editing, listening to footage, discussing and arguing about what things sounded like and what they would mean if we used them. When we had something good it would go into the track quite quickly and then another long period of deliberation, map drawing, collaging, recording, jamming and listening would ensue. I really miss working with Al!

If what we made sounded anything like something we'd heard before, we threw it out. That meant that (with the exception of King of Rock, which we sort of compromised on) there were actually no "samples" on that record. There were tiny fragments of sound that we used as instruments, but no chunks of other people's work. And there were no concessions to any genre or audience. Looking back though, I guess we wanted to be like an electronic instrumental version of Captain Beefheart :party:

When that record was finally released we met the electronic music people in London and entered the world of 90s underground dance music, which we really didn't have a feel for at all, and things changed after that...

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Re: Barbed - Symbols - 1994

Post by cretaceousear » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:01 pm

Up bump for a great listen in the time of the malevolent infection.
..the vessel was heavier because “dead sheep do not have the same weight as the live ones”

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