In October 2005 I met with one of my favourite drummers, Alex Thomas, and recorded a number of drum duets from which this album is made. Alex (who has worked with the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Squarepusher and Air) and myself wanted to make some instrumental drum music, but not something specifically aimed at drummers; in other words not a showcase of virtuosity or cool grooves and licks but a creative piece of music.
To this end, we decided on a specific approach; we did not mike up the kits in the normal fashion, instead we miked the space between the two kits, outside the room and even outside the building. When it was mixed, Gary Edwards created a structure out of the many hours of
improvisations we had made. He then mixed between the various mics creating a dazzling array of drum textures.
It sounds like there has been tons of editing to the drums but the drum tracks were created using mainly gates and echo. In some places distortion and flange has been added too. What sounds like digital edits is in fact created using gates switching on and off different drum tracks.
When the drum tracks had been created, I then took these tracks and improvised, with no prior rehearsal or planning, the rest of the music using a bass, an electric and acoustic guitar, a old Casio keyboard and some effects. Gary then took this and created the final mix, crucially adding additional music and various philosophical meanderings which I think really add to the narrative structure of this music.
When I heard the final mix I must admit I was dumfounded, I didn't really get what we had created. This is perhaps one of the most experimental pieces I have been involved in, and perhaps my ego as a drummer got in the way of my judgement of this piece.
After nine years I now think it is one of the best things I have done.
I can now see that it is as much a philosophical, as a musical work. The music seems to outline various philosophical approaches and moves from a position of anxiety and angst to a place of tranquility and resolution. It is an interesting piece in that it pushes the drums to the fore, but in a way you would not expect. In some places the drums lose their rhythmical function and act as huge textural avalanches of sound, in others they sound like industrial machines clashing and bashing in some infernal factory.
Thanks to Alex for his incredible input on this project, and to Gary for stopping it becoming the muso-fest that it could have easily become.
Andy Edwards April 2014
released April 29, 2014
Andy Edwards: Drums, Bass, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Casio CZ101
Alex Thomas: Drums
Gary Edwards Recording, Mix and additional music