Download: Long Mp3

The second ‘single’ from the forthcoming new album. This time things are slowly progressive: moving through a contrast of a dark soundscape with a funky house pulse, building incrementally to lush epic-pop drama. Those listening from the tracking scene might pick a certain influence of Xerxes here, and I’ve no doubt the years of listening to him have rubbed off here.

A minimal journey into the night:

It’s long…
Feels like I’ve been waiting here
Long into the night
A night that never ends
I long for you.

It’s OK
The waiting is right
A combination of choices
Turns silence to voices
But not yet
No not yet
Still so long to wait.

I can wait
For you, forever
Long quiet
Long dark
Longing, as the thunder rolls in…

In 2006 I was playing guitar for a jam band which met locally at an old and cold farm cottage outside of town. The project was roughly called ‘Unity Gain’ and never got further than some wonderful funky improv with all sorts of musical elements clashing in unexpected ways. I was on guitar, Luke was on bass and keys (and responsible for computers and recording), Dylan was on bluesy keys, and of course Iain MacKay was on his hybrid electro-acoustic drum set-up. We spent many long Autumn and Winter nights meandering through some interesting jams coming across many little gems of music along the way.

Things never got too dark and heavy as there was an agreement to keep the aim uplifting. Born out of a little frustration with the process the later jams started to wander into darker passionate places. One of these were recorded and I’d like to offer to you here as an mp3. It’s started out in our typical style moving around half formed clichés and unrealised flows, until about 19 minutes in it all starts to really come together. All of sudden a pounding sad doom started to form in Gminor and I chanced upon a simple descending ostinato rooted on the minor 1st and 3rd, while playing out the 7th, 6th and 5th. For months and months afterwards I had this little riff stuck in my head - I loved it’s ambiguous feel of longing, a paradoxical sad resolution.

I just had to make a song out of it! I wanted to make something that had the same building tension as the jam, but not using the same method to get there. I also had a strong desire to build something progressive like an Arvo Pärt piece that had a balance between mechanical repetition and organic flowing melody. But for some crazy reason a funky house beat ended up in there! So by late 2006 I had a very muted and murky G#minor build (to make use of the natural E) without much variation until the point where the chords start to really seriously shift around - and then I had to leave the project for almost a year while I went through the dramas of fixing my studio computer.

In 2007 as Winter started to make way for Spring I picked up the song and quickly hammered out the rest of the 11 minute structure. Whatever idea came to me I simply honoured by putting it in without any concerns of being reductive to any pop rule set - no fussing! With spirited focus every came easy with this song, despite the fact that months upon months of work was done on every single element. Even the vocals, which are usually very hard for me, seemed to slot into place almost too easy (Here I have to thank Ruth Strut for some serious vocal tuition to break me out of some bad long term habits). The result is a long-winded journey into a progressive dirge in the dark, mounting tension from dreamy obscurity to pounding anxiety.

Long won’t be for everyone, it’s lengthy meandering celebrates all things that gently take their time, sometimes drilling energy with hypnotic forgetfulness. Sometimes such is the nature of waiting, of longing. This song is for those waiting.

listening and waiting

I think the track is really good. But I have a problem with where the lyrics go “but not yet”. Somehow, you reduce the track too much there, without sticking in something, just something, to replace the elements that were suddenly missing. You know, it sort of had the energy level go down, which takes a while to build momentum, causing (my) listener attention to wane temporarily (well, except that I was being conscious about it)

Hey Foo?, I’ll comment as I listen.

I get a kind of Depeche Mode, I really enjoy the low whispering voice, for some reason it reminded me of Leonard Cohen.
No offense, but when you go up “a notch” on the singing, I think you should use something to straighten the notes that are off. I know sometimes, lyrics that sound a little off can sound charming and more authentic, but I don’t think it fit in here.

Again, no offense, buddy.

Also, the part between 5:46 and 6:56 could have been more “dynamic”… it gets a little too boring, you kind of wait for something, but only get a glitchy main-lead as a reward. This part I think could benefit from being “stronger”, as if to punctuate the lyrics.

I really like the atmosphere in this, it’s a bit eighties (Jan Hammer, which of course is a compliment) oh and I really like the part at 8:55 where it kinda “takes off”, it fits the song beautifully, it peaks without going too far.

Nice Tune, Foo?, more of this please!

:D More in two weeks.

I quite agree with Dufey about the little anxiety the middle part generates, but maybe is intended :)

Ok, there is some Depeche Mode flavour, but for me mr_mark_dollin is better :)

my girlfriend likes DM and Cure much, and she asked me to give her this MP3 when she listened at it on my laptop. We enjoyed our breakfast with you :)

Woohoo! What a way to … urr… start the day??? Hehe, I’ll take it as a compliment. :D

I’m nowhere near as passionate about DM as some people I’ve met. I like Ultra a lot, but I’m certainly not channeling them here (same goes for The Cure). For some reason I’ve ended up writing using parts of the pop template that they use. I don’t think it is a bad thing at all, would you prefer me to post some of my abstract noise-drone stuff instead? :P

Pop is hard, but people like it when it’s done well. :walkman:

finally got to this tune. like it! can’t provide much criticism as it’s not a style l listen to often, but i enjoyed it :) about the vocals, fuck that t-pain shit, i like where you went.

Much platonic <3 to Le Mushen + Le Kaneel.

I wish! Those little amazing creatures are really hard to find. A friend ‘in the know’ showed me a few years ago where to find one - about an hour west from here along the Gwydir. We went out and were very lucky to see one straight away! Only about 5m in front of us, bobbing about and going in and out of its burrow.

Of course we thought it would be a good idea to check back in the same spot to find it again. We’ve been checking that spot and long the river for about 3-4 years now and we’ve never seen it again. The area isn’t a protected reserve, so any risks that come from the aligned farming properties, or the river drying up, probably has driven this little one away.

Either that or it’s well hidden! You can sit silently for hours and not see a single thing. And then, all of a sudden you might see a little trail of bubbles across the water…

Hey Foo,

Very stylish.
As opposed to some opinions here, I like the pause in the middle (assuming we talk about minute 7:30 or so). I think it is expected out of an “extended edit” like this. The comeback from this silence is magnificent.

Love the vocals a LOT!
Love the flutey synth at around minute 6.
Love the real cymbals and the drumline altogether.

Is it 97.5 BPM, or did you use 195 for higher resolution?

You should change nick to “Foo!”
So I can say: Damn it Foo! this is great stuff!

Hehe, or just call me mr_mark_dollin ;)

I use lower BPMs so I can make use of tick note delays and retrigs using Dx and Ex respectively. That way I also get a condensed overview of the song data without scrolling through a massive empty data sheet.