Performed, Composed, Recorded, Arranged, Mixed, and Mastered by Moot Booxlé at Moot Booxlé Studios, Florida, November-December 2017.
Album art by Jet Smith.
We all find ourselves in times of transition in life. Sometimes, when you are leaving one situation and mindset and going to a new one, you do not wish to leave any monuments or markers behind, as where you currently are in life is not where you will be in the near future. You're in transition.
What you are listening to is the next step in a metamorphosis that began with "Step Inside My Mind" in 2013-2014. Unbeknownst to me, it was important for me to erect this monument, because this moment is sacred and will never come again. This record began life as just a lighthearted "Jamming with myself" session, but began to take on deeper meaning for me, spiritually speaking.
You are listening to the music of my mind, but also of my heart and soul.
I invite you to take this funky journey into infinity with me!
Featuring…the Hyve Touch Synthesizer designed by Skot Weidmann.
This was literally the first "music" I made on it about an hour after setting it up.
I was attempting to harness the slightly unpredictable, retro 8-bit sound of the Hyve to create something mysterious, and slightly unsettling, as a strange sort of "fanfare" to kick off the whole thing.
The rhythmic sounds are from the ARP Odyssey.
…And some digital glitch madness that also shows up in a few other places on this record.
2. Loose Beginnings and Ends
This is the quintessential Moot jam. Smooth and funky, with a playful looseness to it. As usual, it features lots of minor 9th chords and squiggly, sultry synth leads.
This piece goes through several "movements" as leads and melodies get traded between the Hammond organ, ARP Odyssey, Minimoog, Fender Rhodes, and guitar.
I play left-hand bass in the live band that I’m a part of, and I always dream of having my real Hammond organ at the gig so I can play in a style like this jam. There ain’t nothing like the real thing. I also like not having to move my Hammond organ. Anyway…back to the music!
I started out with the drum machine pattern and the electric piano, and as I added layers, it started to remind me of "Mama"-era Genesis, so that's kinda where the title came from. You can figure out the rest. :)
4. Vapor Rub
A E S T H E T I C (tm)
idek. It just sounds like some vaporwave stuff for a minute. This is something that happens in Moot jams sometimes - there is a point at which I could have ended the tune, but got inspired to try to "branch out" with one instrument, in this case the DX7 bass, leading to this sort of anti-climactic "epilogue" that doesn't always go anywhere. You will probably never hear any of those. In this case, I thought the groove was good enough to not edit. I let it ride till the wheels fell off.
5. Homer's Boogaloo
This jam features the ARP Odyssey doing the kind of thing that it does best. Since the Odyssey is the prime mover here, I thought about Homer, you know, Homer’s Odyssey...yeah. I'm so clever. I thought the lead had a bit of a Joe Zawinul quality to it, and I almost named this tune after him. I couldn’t think of anything clever that didn’t sound corny, not that “Homer’s Boogaloo” is likely to win any prizes for Best Song Title.
This is one of the loosest jams I’ve ever done that managed to stay in the groove, despite every instrument sitting on a different “side” of the beat. Basically, the Rhodes is playing this very relaxed, loose rhythm, and the drums are pushing against it, and the guitar is pulling back in the other direction, yet everything manages to work within that organized chaos.
6. Quantum Form (Activated)
This is where this light-hearted jam turns cosmic. The entire project began to transform itself at this point into something very spiritual for me. I was visualizing certain things in my mind's eye and it was being reflected in the music. I have been contemplating some profound things recently that certainly influenced this. I’ve been on a spiritual quest these past four years, and it is leading me in directions that I never dreamed I’d go.
"There are no discoveries, only revelations." -Dr. John C. Lilly
John C. Lilly isn't a household name, necessarily, but to those who know of him and his work, mention of his name can evoke a strong reaction - either for or against him. To some, he was a kook who went beyond the boundaries of accepted practice in the medical community, but to others, he was a hero. Maybe he was a bit of both. A discussion of his work is beyond the scope of these little "liner notes", to use an old-school term. I don't know that I completely "buy" every idea the man ever put across, but I will say that I have found many things in his writings and interviews that resonated deeply within me, from a spiritual perspective. Certain ideas I have contemplated for many years concerning God, creation, the universe, our purpose on Earth, all that sort of stuff - those ideas are also touched on in Lilly's work, and some of the conclusions that he came to (at least temporarily), I had intuitively come to as well. Conclusions are always temporary when dealing with the infinite, because there is always a higher understanding to be gained. We reach plateaus in our understanding of who or what God is, for example, for those of us who believe in God. I find myself reaching for higher understanding at all times, obsessively. It's my passion, beyond music or anything else. Obviously, if you are a materialist, this whole discussion will seem irrelevant to you. All I can say is, be honest with yourself, be motivated by love and not fear, and keep looking…Seek and you shall find.
Enough of my philosophical ponderings...sorry for the digression!
Here's my narrative that describes what you're hearing:
This is the moment at which you become aware of your quantum form; every possibility, every potential stored within you. This is the sound of realizing that you are something much greater than just a human animal...you are spirit! Not only are you now aware that you are a spirit being, you become aware of all of the higher spirit beings that you are connected to. You feel the urge to connect and commune with your Creator.
7. Welcome to Hyperspace
Imagine that now, you are free from your human body- you are only spirit. Your consciousness is open to all dimensions - all the things that are obscured from our view in our human form. Where will you go? What will you do? The entire expanse of infinity itself is waiting for you to explore.
You've been trapped in your human form for what seems like a long time, but now you're free! You're not only free from the body; you're free from time itself. Learning this, you take all the "time" you need to contemplate this new freedom you've been given.
The ARP Odyssey solo represents the soul finding freedom. Slowly and steadily it explores its boundaries until it realizes that it is indeed free from them.
8. The Bridge to ECCO
You have contemplated your own existence long enough. You know what your soul seeks to do, so you decide to venture out to seek communion with your Creator. The first stop is the Earth Coincidence Control Office.
The E.C.C.O. is the next higher authority once leaving Earth; the governing body for all Earth affairs.
You are now able to transcend the “physical” boundaries of space and time, so you make your way into the dimensional space where E.C.C.O. is located.
9. Earth Coincidence Control Office
E.C.C.O. is what Lilly came to call the entity, or group of entities, that we would relate to here on Earth as God. I know that such a concept may raise an eyebrow or two if you are religious, but! This is what I am referring to when I speak of reaching plateaus in our understanding. This is a higher concept of God - beyond any religious depiction of God. Something like the Earth Coincidence Control Office may sound like science fiction due to the name he has come to call it, but the concept behind E.C.C.O. is worthy of consideration. Again, this is something that could be discussed, but is beyond the scope of this writing!
You’re here…By the way, in Italian, the word “ecco” actually means “here”!
You speak directly to your superiors at the Earth Coincidence Control Office and find out exactly what you were created to do, what you have been doing, and what you must do before you may leave the earth permanently. You’re terribly overwhelmed by all of this information, but E.C.C.O. keeps calling you… “come…further into the light…further into the light…further into the light…” and, filled with the love of your Creator, you fly, focusing all your energy into the very next moment, so rapidly that you completely lose your “self” in the process. You are One.
10. Keep Going
This is a message that came to me in a therapy session. I do not have a problem disclosing the fact that I see a therapist occasionally. In fact, I highly recommend it to anyone who has any sort of emotional pain. It’s amazing how many negative programs we allow to run on our biocomputer (the human body and mind) simply because we are not aware that they are running. Once we understand that we, as humans, are essentially biological computers, we can actually apply the computer realm’s logic and terminology in order to program, diagnose, debug, de- and re-program ourselves. (Again, this is a hypothesis that I have had for years, and I came to find it in the writings of Lilly, especially “Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer”)
My therapist asked me one final question before the end of the session. She said, “Do you believe in God?”, and I said emphatically, “Yes”, and she said, “Ok, if God as you understand him/her/it were standing in this room (I thought to myself, well, HE IS!), what would God have to say to you?” I froze for a second. That thought was completely overwhelming at first, but as soon as I began to contemplate it, two words came to me, and as soon as I’d uttered them, I broke out into the biggest smile…”Keep Going”.
Are you on a journey? Are you looking for something you haven’t found yet? Are you willing to go anywhere to find it? Your Creator says…”Keep going.” You WILL find it!
Sending all my love to all who have taken the time to read this.
Technical Notes (For Nerds, Mostly):
The Hyve Touch Synthesizer is a new take on a “touch keyboard” which has been around for many years. What makes the Hyve unique is that there are five octaves, but they are all stacked into one – the higher up on the “key” you touch, the higher the octave. The Hyve is 60-note polyphonic, so this means that you can use your entire finger to make massive chords.
There is another section to the synth that is arranged like a honeycomb; the notes are arranged in fifths and thirds. Also, each surface is completely sensitive to movement and pressure; press more on the left side, the sound pans left. Press more on the right, the sound pans right. There is a lot of unexplored potential in this tiny synth, despite the fact that there are no filters and the sounds are all square waves.
2. Loose Beginnings and Ends
I was first going to just call it “Loose Ends” but I thought it was kinda funny to call it “Loose Beginnings and Ends”, because this jam really is “loose” all the way through. I’m really not big on “fixing mistakes” on my records – I like to leave some of them in to emphasize the human factor, that this is a human musician playing real instruments in real time. However, there were a few bits of this that required some silly edits in order to fix some very out-of-place or out-of-time notes. I liked the overall performance and the spontaneity of it. Most performances on this record are first takes, with a few stubborn sections that took many takes to get just the right part.
3. Parthenogenesis / 4. Vapor Rub
The drum machine on this record is the Roland CR-78, played back here via samples, so I don’t have to use that ridiculous programming interface, and I can pan the individual elements at will.
I played the Rhodes to this drum pattern first and then I added the DX7 bass sound. I really try to use “authentic” sounds as often as possible, but alas, I’d just sold my Yamaha DX7 a couple of months prior to making this record. Instead, I loaded the DX7 presets into Native Instruments’ FM8. It doesn’t have that “grit” like the low bit-rate DX7 digital-to-analog converters give the sound, but clean and punchy is actually better for what I was trying to achieve here.
I wanted to try and get a Phil Collins-style drum sound after the fact, since it had such a “Genesis 1983” feel, so that was what inspired the gated reverb on the drums.
The Rhodes chorus is a Boss CE-1, emulated in software. I miss having the real thing!
Another thing is that I consciously juxtaposed the very 70’s sounding muted Clavinet C with an oh-so-80’s boingy DX7 bass. Anachronism…It’s kinda my thing!
5. Homer's Boogaloo
The ARP Odyssey (this is actually the Korg reissue, which I prefer over most originals) is, to me, the most versatile analog synthesizer one can get for the price. I’m constantly getting new sounds from it that I haven’t heard on anything other than an ARP.
I mentioned in my personal notes that this jam was a really particularly loose one, and my attempts at doubling the Rhodes bass line with the Minimoog all felt forced, so I actually copied the direct Rhodes track, put a low pass filter on it, and pitch shifted it down an octave. That gave me the bottom end I was looking for, without needlessly cluttering up the arrangement.
6. Quantum Form (Activated)
This is an example of when those “extensions” to a piece are successful. The Rhodes decided to take things in a completely different musical direction abruptly, and it caused something to open up for me emotionally. I am really pleased with how this piece turned out. The pad that begins to enter the mix at this point is a sampled Oberheim Matrix 12, played back via the EXS24 sampler.
7. Welcome to Hyperspace
There's something about this piece that gives me a vibe like Marvin Gaye's "Here, My Dear" album. I think of tunes like “A Funky Space Reincarnation”, even though that was not at all my thought while creating this. The ARP Odyssey does a nice string sound that really reminds me of the Solina String Ensemble, but monophonic. I got very inspired recording that part. It’s actually the first take!
8. The Bridge to ECCO
The title refers to not only an imagined dimensional bridge, but to a musical bridge as well. Originally, I had done the entire record in a single Logic session, using it more or less like a tape machine. “Welcome to Hyperspace” actually went directly into the final track, “Keep Going”, originally, but my close friends that I played the rough copy for told me that it felt like something was missing. I pondered on it for a couple of days and thought of a piece that I had done at the same time as this, but in a separate session, on a different day. It fits perfectly with the theme, and was done in very much the same spirit as the rest of this recording. The only problem is that “Welcome to Hyperspace” ends in the key of C, and this piece that I wanted to incorporate begins in D, so a bridge was necessary to bridge the bridge, lol.
I tried a whole lot of different ideas before arriving at this incredibly spaced-out piano sound. I tried to subtly foreshadow some of the chords and fragments of melody from the final track of this album. It is much easier to work in motivic continuity when adding pieces after the fact!
9. Earth Coincidence Control Office
There is a mesmerizing quality to a Rhodes piano played through a tape echo device. In this case, it’s the Catalinbread Belle Epoch, which sounds remarkably close to an Echoplex EP-3. I just let the Rhodes go where it wanted to go. I’m so proud of all the colors in this tune. The Minimoog is running through AmpliTube 3 here, through a modeled pair of Leslie 122 cabinets, with a delay in between.
10. Keep Going
This was a recently acquired trick – running the Rhodes’ stereo outputs directly to the console, but on one side, inserting a Boss PH-3 phaser. The resulting sound is just a big, wide, clean Rhodes that just sounds huge.
The bass was played on the ARP Odyssey, as was the screaming wind sound.
I love strategic flanging on the drums. Sometimes even on the entire mix!
Thank you, fellow music nerds, for reading my technical gobbledygook. The following section has a whole lot more nerdular nerdence for you to nerd out on!
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered in Logic Pro 9.
Keyboards/Synthesizers: Moog Minimoog, ARP Odyssey, 1979 Rhodes Suitcase 73 (Newly fitted with all new parts, including 1971-style square neoprene hammer tips), Hammond M100 organ, HYVE Touch Synthesizer, Spectrasonics Keyscape (Clavinet C, Yamaha CP-70, Wing Upright Piano), FM8, M-Tron Pro.
Samplers: EXS24, Ultrabeat, Boss RC-20XL
Guitars/Bass: Completely pimped out Agile Les Paul copy, Peavey Strat copy with EMG David Gilmour pickup system, Yamaha BB450 bass.
Drums/Percussion: Gretsch Renown kit with 1965 Rogers Powertone and 1970 Rogers Dyna-Sonic snare drums, Zildjian and Paiste cymbals, Roland CR-78 drum machine (sampled), Other various drum samples.
Other Things: About 120 layers of vocal “ahhs” on “Keep Going”. Seriously!
Amplifiers: National GA920P with 2x8” cabinet, Roland JC-120, AmpliTube 3.
Effects: EHX Small Stone phaser, Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter, Boss CS-3 Compressor (McKinley modified), MXR Phase 90 (script logo), Seymour Duncan Twin Tube, Behringer Ultra Vibrato, Catalinbread Belle Epoch, several other things.
This album was recorded using the TASCAM DM-4800 mixing console.
Moot Booxlé proudly uses TASCAM recording gear, both live and in the studio.
I would like to thank…
Karac Howington, Jet Smith, Antonio Mejia, Sherwyn Sen, Jeff Miller, Matt Chadra, Suit and Tie Guy, and a whole host of others who have had input that ultimately helped shape the sound of this record.
…Everyone who has ever believed in me. I am truly grateful.
…Todd Rundgren…A wizard, a true star…My musical archetype, my inspiration, both in music and in life. I can see this far only because I stand upon your giant shoulders.
…The Great I AM…Thank you for allowing me to be an active participant in Your infinite act of creation.
…and YOU. Whoever you are, whenever you may be reading this, know that you are loved.
Thank you very much for allowing me to share my heart with you.