Wednesday, 21 February 2018

4 - 3 - Peter Gabriel

progressive… stuff


Look, I’ll be honest; there’s a lot of pretty weird stuff on this album, and I am aware that Peter Gabriel could be described as massively up themselves. However, when I first came across this album (and Security, I was an impressionable, slightly obsessive youth with a head full of magic and sci-fi. This was fuel. This fed that whirlwind. At the time, I didn’t know just how much heroin Gabriel was doing. Seems quite obvious now…

The backing tracks and effects on this album date from the dawn of synth technology, and also the beginning of some techniques like Phil Collins’ noise-gate clipped drum tracks. No cymbals were allowed during the recordimg, according to the wiki, on the basis that an “artist given complete freedom dies a horrible death,” so restrictions forming part of the creative process - a rebellion of sorts.

There’s a ridiculous roll-call of musicians on the album, including Tony Levin, Kate Bush, the aforementioned Phil Collins, Paul Weller and Robert Fripp, it’s no wonder that there are some good sounds going on. I’ve always loved Tony Levin’s bass techniques; they’re just so out there.


  • Intruder - for its gated drums and creepy atmos.
  • I Don’t Remember - I’m totally in love with the bass guitar sound on this.
  • Not One Of Us - The intro and break are just beautiful.


The version I first heard was my brother’s cassette copy of the vinyl record which had skips in places which made me think some friend of his, whacked into God-mode on acid, had put it together in a fit of genius, or it was an authentic home-run of a happy accident:

Peak-time viewing born in a flash
as I burn into your memory- skip
I burn into your memory- skip
I burn into your memory- click

Sunday, 18 February 2018

3 - 10,000 days - Tool

progressive, psychedelic dark rock

10,000 days

Tool homepage

Quite late in the Tool canon, “10,000 days” sees them in full psychedelic rock flow, with quiet, noodly, introspective sections blossoming into complex, stoned soundscapes.

I’ve only had the stand-out track “Right In Two” on my phone for years, having given the full album a listen only a handful of times in the past. However, giving it another audition yields some different bits that I’m picking up on and I have restored the full track list to my working collection. I think maybe it was the rambling intro for “Lost Keys (blame Hoffman)” that originally did it, where a Doctor tries to get a patient to talk after presenting at an Emergency Room in a silent, troubled state. I guess it doesn’t feel quite so close to the bone now, so that’s progress, right?

Sunkist and Sudafed, gyroscopes and infrared

The sound they produce is immense; signature guitar setup pervades, the drums display various complex-timing trickery, and the chunky, intricate basslines, thick with harmonics, bounce around the low- and mid- range. Get a decent copy and bathe your ears in it.


Two of the tracks - “Wings for Marie (Pt 1)” and “10,000 days (Wings Pt 2)” can be layered together to form a single song (see which has an interesting call-response thing going on.


  • Right In Two
  • The Pot
  • Vicarious


It turns out that the packaging for the CD is EPIC - with a built-in stereogram viewer and about 15 illustrations.

Showing off the cover