The last post containing information about the tracks on Exiscens. Hope you've enjoyed reading these. FROM ELBOW TO CLAW: The drums for this track were recorded in New York, USA. The guitar and bass tracking was done in London, UK, all in early 2016. It was mixed in London and released digitally only before our 2016 European tour. This track, much like “The Guardsmen”, was a deliberate attempt to enjoy writing a song able to exist without the context of a record. We explored ways to make the guitar sound like anything but a guitar where possible. The core melody for the track, which doesn’t appear till around 3:23, had been kicking around since 1999, and was originally written for acoustic guitar in an open tuning. FACT: Dave’s main tracking guitar for Kerretta, a Godin LGXT, has piezo and hexaphonic pickups, as well as the magnetic ones, and its the piezo pickups which are able to output a significantly increased frequency response that are responsible for much of the percussive elements in the first half of this track (once paired with a series of melodic delays). Tapping and hitting the guitar and parts of the bridge at various points turn the guitar into a percussive ring modulating machine.
NOTHING SEISMIC: Recorded in Auckland, New Zealand at the same time as “The Trouble With Us” and during the Vilayer sessions. There is a subtle synth part that was added whilst being mixed in London 11 years later. We did some guitar overdubs in the recording by playing back the snare through the studio monitors and placing Dave's guitar in front so the pickups acted as a sort of microphone. This is most prominent at the end of the track where you can hear a slight feedback on the snare accent. FACT: The same feedback technique can be heard on the intro of “Kept From The Brilliance Of The Outer World”, the second to last track on 2011’s “Saansilo” LP.
ORNITHOMANCY Written as a contribution Pitch Black’s 2009 remix album “Rhythm, Sound and Movement”, Ornithomancy began as an experiment with the Boss SL-20 audio pattern processor pedal. Not only were Pitch Black friends with us, but we had shared at times studio space in the same building. Ornithomancy was tracked and mixed in the same live and control rooms that the Vilayer sessions would later also be recorded at. The drumkit was a 90's Pearl Session birch with it's factory steel snare. That same kit still resides at the rehearsal space. FUN FACT: There is a very small amount of 'flanger' effect on the bass guitar. "Why"??!!, some of the flange-skeptics may ask. The reason was that the bass wasn't 'coming forward' enough during the mixdown process, and the only thing that solved this conundrum was -> flange. https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/track/ornithomancy
The second half ('SIDE B') of writings containing info' about tracks on 'Exiscens'. ARE WE LOST One of the first tracks we wrote together as a band. Recorded live and this is the original mix from 2008. The track begins by the guitar recording a loop that then comes in and out, interacting with the realtime guitar. The end melodies all done via Boss PS-5 pedal which is pitch shifting the loop to create the melody. Much of the material from this time was based around a core rhythmic drum and bass idea, with the guitar trying to co-operate with loops that would function in multiple contexts throughout. We used to play this track live for years before Vilayer was released. Might have to bring it back. FUN FACT: An initial version of this song was initially tracked at the same time as the “Death in the Future / Wisnierska” 7”, and we used these three tracks together to shop out to promoters to get shows around 2007. This version was re-recorded during the Vilayer sessions. https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/track/are-we-lost
CHROMA QUEENS: This was the most recent of all of the Exiscens tracks. Based upon a guitar part written at the tail end of a European tour, this track was worked on for a few years before finally being recorded in early-mid 2017. There are no synthesisers on this track, although they may sound like it. The drums were tracked and pre-mixes were done at North-Western Studio in Auckland with Nicholas Abbott whom each of us had worked with in different bands prior to Kerretta. The guitar amps were recorded and the track had it's final mix onboard a floating studio (Soup Studio) within a boat docked off the River Thames, London, England. FACT: The bass was recorded on a Sandberg bass guitar we had purchased second-hand while on tour in Germany. We were lucky enough to visit the Sandberg factory a few days later where this amazing instrument was created.
THE TROUBLE WITH US: This was recorded during the 'Vilayer' sessions. The verses comprised of an additive 4 bar loop with the guitar being a single live take. The guitar amplifiers used were two modified Fender Blues Deville 212’s that had the amplifier sections removed and put into a new chassis with additional features. The original amplifier boxes then just held the speakers only. These were mic’d with a pair of Neumann TLM170’s and a pair of Coles 4038’s. The left side fed by a Visual Sound “Visual Metal” pedal, and the right side amp a Crowther Hotcake. This was a typical set up for all of the Vilayer sessions. The end guitar loop disappears into the wet signal of a Roland space echo. The mix for this was performed by Dave Holmes on a Calrec S2 at his studio in London, UK with the channels bussed onto an Otari MTR-90 2” 24 track tape machine. https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/track/the-trouble-with-us FUN FACT: We recorded alternative versions with the end sections being in a different key.
THE GUARDSMEN The Guardsmen was released between Saansilo and Pirohia in 2013 as a digital only download via bandcamp. We wanted to record a track to be available before our European tour of that same year. It was recorded at York Street Studios in Auckland which was a studio set up in the early 90's by Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke and was built within an old car factory. It had an incredible live room, had captured some of our favourite New Zealand records and had an amazing Neve mix console that had originally sat in Abby Road, UK. We also recorded Saansilo and Pirohia at this studio. It no longer exists as it was turned into apartments due to the real estate that it sat on was worth more in monetary value than the studio. https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/track/the-guardsmen-2 FUN FACT: The drums at the end of the track have additional percussion performed onto it to create the wider stereo field.
We thought we'd share some info about each track on 'EXISCENS' for the next few weeks. UNCAPITAL: We were originally commissioned to do a re-work of another artist’s track for their iTunes album bonus track in late 2007. The track we finished at that time didn't really resemble the original at all as they were more of a Top 40 singles artist. We’re unsure if it was ever actually officially released. We liked some of the ideas and melody lines we created for it and re-worked it for a 2017 recording with some new ideas but kept it in a similar style of the re-work. This is the most obvious mix of early and more recent ideas. https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/track/uncapital FUN FACT: The original re-work version had vocals from the initial artist.
Pre-order is now available for the digital LP of 'Exiscens'! https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/album/exiscens
Limited Edition Vinyl pre-order from: http://www.goldenantenna.com/shop/
The new merch shop is up! Tunes and cloth are, and will be hosted here for you '17 requirements: https://kerretta.bandcamp.com/merch