All the music on Trickfinger was recorded live onto a CD burner, through a cheap mixer. I would sit on a Thai floor chair, in my living room, surrounded by five to 15 machines, and just keep programming and jamming with myself, until the track was ready to be recorded. There were no overdubs – it is all live. At one point I had so many machines around me that my cats could not make their way to me and I had to start leaving a space so they could walk over to me for love. I was listening on my normal stereo system, sitting in the same chair I always practice guitar along with CDs in, listening to the same sound system my friends and I listen to records on.
Stream: Trickfinger – After Below
To the best of my recollection, ‘After Below’ was programmed and recorded in one day. The instruments I used were: one stock 303, a 606, an 808, a 101, a 202, an ARP 2500 and an EMT 250 reverb. It was recorded through a 16 channel Mackie mixer, onto a Tascam CD RW-2000. There are other songs which took me as long as two weeks to make, such as ‘Sain’, where the Roland R8 drum part alone took me well over a week to program, but ‘After Below’ was me making it super easy on myself. I programmed a straight kick on a 606 drum machine, made the one bar 303 part which repeats throughout the whole track, made the main melody on some sequencer or other (probably a 202) playing the ARP 2500 heavily treated by the EMT, made a secondary melody on a 202, and made an 808 snare part which is kind of soloing over the whole thing. I also triggered a 101, set to a noise setting, with one of the 606s trig outs, and manipulated this sound throughout the recording. Sometimes it sounds like part of the kick drum, and at other times I opened up the filter so you just hear pure noise. There are no hi hats or cymbals of any kind in the track, but the noise does sometimes feel a little like a crash cymbal.
I remember ‘After Below’ as being the very easiest track to put together on the record, and I recall no complications. You can hear these funny clicky sounds, but that is just a sound 606s clock make sometimes. They are a kind of leak, and though a professional engineer would never tolerate such a sound on his precious recording, that sound just sometimes comes along with using a 606, and is audible on great raw recordings such as Drexciya, 808 State and old Chicago acid, and I see that kind of unintentional stuff as part of the fun of it all.