After our first experience performing songs in front of our loving friends, the buzz just wouldn't fade. On the night of 6th Sept., we headed back to Olson's apartment, where we were wildly greeted by the five cats and doggy who reside there. Half a bottle of Pepe's Haitian Rum later, and any three of us had a guitar at any given moment, any one of us was humming into a harmonica at any given moment, and any many of us were banging rhythms on anything at any given moment. And every one of us was slap-dash chatting like a loving family at every moment. It was the most intimate DiscoExperience we could've asked for. Like the reception at a confirmation for our DiscoExistence. Like an after party where the music wouldn't stop. Like the After Math of something that refused to be over in the first place. And we recorded it. Some of the most bizarre snippets of conversation were picked up amidst the jamming. We'll leave it to you to discover them. At one point, Morris was holding cell phones and TV remotes over the pickups on an electric guitar, and the sound reflected was like a mysterious, metronomic heartbeat. (Not all the digital gadgets had a heartbeat, apparently, which made it even more interesting.) There was an organic and (to us) beautifully chaotic dynamic to the entire evening, as sounds sprayed across the room, and people's words and thoughts splayed about the space. Throughout the whole thing, we were all constantly tuning, re-tuning, down-tuning, de-tuning and up-tuning guitars. Pieces of music moved this way and that, and nothing was anything but what it happened to be in that particular moment. None of us had any specific regard for a recording being made. Even during or after each 'song' that occurred, there was no express desire for do-overs, nor a willingness to make something a certain way. It simply didn't occur to us. That night, we didn't frame anything with intents. We were just - what's the word? Existing. The organic eruptions of sound, throughout that entire night, are something we will never forget. And something we will never stop being thankful for.
Eric The Dragon played Tool songs and high-up solos on the Yamaha acoustic, and talked about Stephen King and Joe Hill novels. The Faerie Dragon Queen Barabarabara kept starting to play slower, gentler songs, but was interrupted at every turn, mostly by Olson asking her to 'play an E' so he could tune to her. Both Dragons provided beauty and love at every moment. Nicko The Great dazzled with charm and 'Doctor Who' trivia (as well as a far more working knowledge of how to operate a harmonica, than we could generally muster). Nicko provided beauty and love at every moment. Pepe The Cavehunting Bandit, so relaxedly devoured by the enormous pink couch, took it all in while discussing cops and Bandits, and reluctantly accepted the acoustic guitar Olson handed him, playing a riff on it that Olson hasn't yet forgotten. The Lovelee Lee Bandit talked about Ghost Mice and a subversive presence on Wikipedia, egged on the smokers to 'have a cigarette, Yeah!' and informed us of the hotness of Hannibal Lecter. The Bandits provided beauty and love at every moment. His Royalty Alastair The Pizza King (aka 'The Man In Brown,' aka 'I've Got Loads Of Money') taught us all to say 'Chin Chin' instead of 'Cheers,' and gave us a back beat using only his hands and knees, as well as the more melodic guitar picking of the evening. King Ali provided beauty and love at every moment. AJ Thirdo talked about Chris Hedges, professed her willingness to have parts of her face bitten, chatted about jaws falling out, announced her bid to run for New York City Mayor, told us the difference between 'placid' and 'flaccid,' and informed the room that we were all being recorded, but only thirty-eight minutes in. And undoubtedly poured the most drinks. Ashley 'AJ' Thirdo (aka the ThirdoAbsurdo) provided beauty and love at every moment. Throughout all such incredible joy and happiness, all of us jammed and strummed and picked and hummed and buzzed and tapped and beat and drummed and reverberated and twanged and stretched and riffed and jangled and jammed and jammed and hummed and strummed. DiscoAbsurdo Thank You All. DiscoAbsurdo Love You All.
The following morning after we listened to it, Morris had the idea to release this loving beast as a new album, perhaps as one consecutive hour-and-six-minute track. We were pumped; we were psyched. We were thrilled about what had occurred last night, and even more excited at the chance to share it. It was Jessicat In Brazil, with whom Morris spoke on the phone, who then came up with the idea to cut the recording into separate but continuous 'songs,' making the whole recording one event composed of individual, organic tracks, each flowing one from the other, but still able to be taken as separate pieces of the whole. We were smitten. And we were game.
The following day, Morris and Olson dubbed even more guitars on top of all this. We had to count off and hit 'rec.' at the same time, because we each had the one-hour-and-six-minute track from the night before, uploaded for overdub on separate laptops, right across from each other, in the still cat-filled living room of Olson's ridiculous apartment. Morris played the same Epiphone Les Paul, up-tuned to something gorgeously eerie and alien-like and turned around for left-hand playing, and Olson abused the same Yamaha acoustic with the six-year strings that refuse to break. We improvised again, for another hour and six minutes, this time with a loose but newly deadset intent. We were conscious of what we were doing, but as per Morris' direction, we were careful not to be too conscious. We spent hours after that deciding where tracks began and ended, clarifying the audio, and adding a touch of reverb etc. on Morris' Fruity Loops program, though absolutely nothing from the original recording was left out. Everything is there. And always will be.
The final track of what became 'After Math,' while not part of either improv session, is a song we began together by email shortly before our first physical meeting. Its creation trailed into Morris' first visit to New York City; by the time it was completed, DiscoAbsurdo were sitting across from each other in the same room. We felt it a perfect magic to include this on the release.
In the same ridiculous apartment, Morris had been intrigued by the tumblr. page of an artist in Liverpool named Selina Hope Borji, who went by iamdovetailed. There's an odd profundity to Dovetail's works; she splices up and multiplies images with pictures of herself, often with purposely cryptic, poetic messages pasted into them. Morris contacted her, and to our delight, she agreed to create some artwork for the music. Deciding the intimacy would be best expressed by some physical remnant of the space in which 'After Math' had occurred, Morris took a photo of the far wall of Olson and AJ's living room, showing the purple nook and the year-round X-mas lights AJ had long before strung up with tape. There was something simultaneously cozy, awkward, and gleeful about the image he chose. Glowing in a human, rickety love, through what can only be described as visual reverb, was this after-the-dust-settled living room wall, reflecting the bursts and scrappy sparks and long, whinnying trails of melody and happy chatter. It seemed to feed us back the amplified feedback, now as a preserved memory. Morris sent the pic to Selina Dovetail, and she worked her magic with it. When we got it back, the image was cut up, repeated over itself, multiplied in fragments, and framed within a geometric wildness. Somehow she was able to preserve the calm homeyness of everything, while giving it a hall-of-mirrors feel, a kind of spatial infinity that leaps out in pieces. It was perfect.
We decided to share this as an official D/A release, partly because it's memorable as one of the first ever recordings of us in person with each other. But also because it reflects the special, unboundedly blissful occasion so well. Like a laid back, noisily joyful celebration of friendship. It's just about the most intimate gift we could offer. As you can imagine from the description above, it sounds like no other DiscoAbsurdo release before. Funny how just a few short years ago, bands existing solely on the internet seemed the most 'experimental' thing you could think of. Yet, our most 'experimental' release to date, is an organic occurrence captured while we were in the same physical room together. It seems like it shouldn't make sense. But in the most wonderfully fitting way.
Thanks to Alastair King, AJ Thirdo, Eric Dragun, Barbara Dragun, Nicko, and Pepe & Lee Bandit (Bandits Are Love).
released 28 September 2013
Artwork Collaboration Between Christopher Morris And Selina Hope Borji
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