Group Autogenetics II

Hey all,

Along with Group Auto I and Chain of Missing Links, this track forms the third in the trilogy of hypno-themed tracks that bookend the record. There was such an avalanche of great voices from thrift shop tapes that it was clear early on that we had to spread them out over several tracks. Thinking in reverse, we knew that the final sample on the record would be:

“and it feels so good, so relaxed and so at ease, and you’re becoming the world and everyone in it”

This, of course, is a deep manipulation of the original tape… at some point Paul took on the singular mission of turning a weight-loss record into a weight-gain record. Despite it’s overt silliness, it is a strangely apt concept. The real subliminal voices out there do exactly this, chanting the mantra ‘more’. Not to pontificate too much, but it really seems that our culture is in the midst of a pathetic consumeristic trance.

Yet conversely, this sample also represents a hopeful kind of zeitgeist. I think of music as a survival instinct. There is so much noise all the time, so much conflicting and emotionally pointed information coming from all directions, we need a strategy for dealing with it so it doesn’t drive us crazy. Unprocessed noise is a drag on the mind: it either overwhelms to the point of numbness, or it corners you into becoming jaded and apathetic. Neither are ok. Sampling is a good practice for dealing with the noise: Find a quiet spot, pop in a random tape and simply sit and listen. Whether or not you agree with the material is not important, just try to hear what they are saying and save it if it resonates and otherwise let it go forever. Over time the fragments can be reconstructed into a world that is worth inhabiting.

Part of the attraction to these hypno-tapes is their innocent positivity. “Free we are from complexity.” They seem so certain that there is a pure state to return to, and we really want to believe them, and they honestly want to help us by offering guidance. As I was saying yesterday, most of us are guarded against this kind of straightforward manipulation, so we need to find a back way around. We need to scramble the words in order to disarm the bullshitometers, and somehow the essence of their voices still come through, despite our tampering.

The music for this track was made largely through PVC pipes with small speakers mounted to the ends of them. As part of a documentary we scored about the Biophere 2 project (hopefully out this year), I recorded a lot of little clicks and pops through this series of pipes that I cut to a root, a fifth and an octave. I also recorded bursts of noise and vinyl artifacts, as well, all of which you can hear in the opening minutes of the track. There are some sweet ”sung scales” from Paul’s library, and a beautiful glass harmonica note used here and there. The Hammond Organ also returns strongly in this track.

So that’s the end. I’m glad to have gotten it all out while it’s still fresh in my head. now I can move onto new work. I’m sorry if it is a bit TMI, but I needed to do it for some reason. For those of you who’ve requested that I write about tracks from the old records, I will at some point. I’m going to take a few days off from writing for now. If there’s something you want me to write about in the weeks to come, let me know.

Thanks again, everyone. It’s a pleasure and an honor.