Topology of a Quantum City
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TitelTopology of a Quantum City

Topology of a Quantum City

A couple of years back, during a period of frequent relocation, and with no permanent studio set up, I came across the original DAT parts of a project I completed in 1992 just before I moved from Australia to The UK.The sessions for New Maps Of Hell evolved out of a rhythm track I’d built in my studio. I was (and still am) fascinated the twin, revolutionary, 70’s phenomena of electric jazz (Miles, Hancock, Williams, Priester) and Krautrock (Can, Faust, Tangerine Dream). I was trying as a solo artist to navigate a route into these worlds and this single track felt closer than I’d so far got.This rhythm became the foundation for several sessions at the ABC’s studios in Melbourne from which that album emerged. It was the first time I’d assembled a group of players for a solo project and the first time  I’d allowed the inevitable element of chance arising from essentially improvised contributions. 

Nowadays, armed with Logic and Dropbox, the proposition of high quality multi tracking and mixing contributions from around the globe is comfortably achievable with a laptop the size of a magazine so I fell to rebuilding the central piece from that album from its original component parts, sending that “spine” to the various contributing players and then performing the kind of surgery I’d never had the time or budget to consider three decades earlier. 

Daniel’s contributions in particular had a pronounced shaping affect on the piece as it grew. With multiple passes, ingested into the mix as we ping-ponged files for a month or so, each step bought new tonalities and unexpected harmonic light and shade. Dirk’s radical rethinking of the rhythm blew the structure open, inviting multiple levels of dynamic detail. Finally Bill (the only player present on the original recording ) carved a new bass part, providing the elastic anchor that acts as the sensual counterpoint to my machine tempos.

The two additional pieces have a newer origin, one with Philip’s drum parts as the starting impetus around which I constructed a kind of melodic breath, laying multiple guitar lines into counterpoint as Daniel sent them over, the second by atomising and refracting familiar gestures over a rolling machine rhythm  Both hold to the sound pallet of my 70’s passions while making full use of current mixing automation and manipulation. I hope they feel like a temporal cross pollination to those familiar with their roots and perhaps a lure into a period of unheard riches to those who’re yet to have that pleasure…

Paul Schütze

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