Back in 2002 and 2003, my buddy Mike V (aka Young Lion Apprentice) and I would hang at his old house on random Sundays and spend the afternoon improvising ambient guitar loops together. I can’t recall how many times we managed to do this, but I want to say it was at least three to five times at his place in 2002 and once over a snowed-in weekend at my old apartment in mid-February of 2003. We managed to accumulate 4.5 hours of music.
I managed to record most, if not all, of these informal get-togethers. First, to my old Roland VS-880EX, and then, at my apartment, to my Alesis HD24 through a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro. I think that I ran DI out of the back of my Mesa-Boogie DC-3′s recording output, and Mike ran DI out of his Marshall Valvestate combo. The recordings were archived as 20-bit 48K DAT tapes later in 2003.
Loopers. I used two Line 6 DL4′s (with expression pedals) strung together, and at one point I had a Guyatone delay in there as well. I created a few effects loops on the pedal board with a Boss Line Selector pedal and a few Morley A/B pedals. And then I had a few vintage MXR and Mutron Phasers (early 80′s Phase 90 and Phase 100, and a 1976 Mutron Phasor II), a wah pedal, and my trusty modified Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer. I was playing a 1999 Mexican Stratocaster, which I heavily modified (hardware, pickups, etc).
I’ll get Mike to post about his rig, but I know that he was using an Akai Headrush, a Boss Delay, and then at some point an Electrix Repeater rack unit. Mike was playing his 1990′s Gibson Nighthawk.
The beautiful thing about these recordings is that all of it was improvised. We would just set up and play until we got something going. And we recorded everything. Some of it is great, some of it just OK, some not so great. Most of the pieces in their original form are like 20 to 60 minutes in length. I’m planning on editing the best pieces together with Mike into a cohesive record, possible a double record. Then we’ll do a digital-only release. I want to maintain the feel and flow of the Sundays that we got together to do this, so we’re not going to be overdubbing anything, or recording anything new for the release. It’ll be a snapshot of eight years ago. We have no plans to do anything like this again. I actually haven’t played like this for close to five or six years at this point. Not sure about Mike.
For an example of the original recordings, check out this ancient Impossible Gardens’ MySpace Page that we set up and then abandoned back in 2005.
I’ve been spending the day bringing everything into Digital Performer from the original DAT tapes. The plan is to listen to these recordings in February and make notes. In March Mike and I are going to start editing, arranging a playlist, and then mastering everything.