Dance, Freak

A side project based on the At Twilight Time Sessions from Autumn 1987


Running Time: 6:28

Later Released On: "Curiositas"

Label: Music & Elsewhere (M&E MB-001)

Release Date: 26th April 2020 & 5th July 2020

Format: Download

Buy Links: Bandcamp - GBP 4.00

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In the summer of 1987, with two gigs and a live tape under our belts, the original foursome that constituted Magic Moments At Twilight Time looked anxiously forward to starting work on our first 'proper' album. At that point, if you don't count taping rehearsals, the four of us hadn't made one solitary recording together, hence the anxiety, thus were invented the At Twilight Time sessions. We had been toying with the rather novel idea of working in two units for a while, the plan was to become a self-supporting 21st Century Schizoid Band; doing an experimental set under the banner of At Twilight Time, followed by a main set as Magic Moments, which we would try out with some success at The Grain Festival later in the year. In the meantime, it would give us the opportunity to learn more about the recording process in general, to make sure our debut Magic Moments Album would be the best we could make it with the resources available. We couldn't afford studio hours in those days, I don't think I even had a job at the time, but we had developed a surprisingly effective system with a NICAM (Near Instantaneous Companded Audio Multiplex) 4 track VHS machine (ask your dad). The At Twilight Sessions would be a great opportunity to test this system to its limits, learn its capabilities, work in any combination of band members, and / or invite other local musicians and see what we could learn from them as well.

The cover photo; let's just say the years haven't been the kindest to Albert...

Freak (8:39)


Stan Batcow's edit of the original 10:36 version, as released on "Designer Brain Damage" (PUMF 182, 1992)

The first of these sessions, however, was one I did alone, a particularly sinister piece called Freak. I had this vision of an outsider being chased down through a swamp, pursued by a ruthless agent of a dystopian legal system, simply for being different. Strangely, I visualised myself in both roles simultaneously, it all rather got inside my head, I seriously connected with it. From the persistent shouts of "Die!" from the pursuer, to the eventual "Dance, Freak" when he ultimately has his quarry cornered, I threw the works into this track; vacuum cleaners (well, you have to, don't you?), over-driven pre-amped synths and masses of echo. It was quite a powerful thing to listen to through headphones, I've always loved the track and long wanted to do something with it. Finally, the Magic Bullet's broad spectrum experimental philosophy presented me with that opportunity, Skit's always up for anything involving vacuum cleaners and distortion. I went back to the metal cassette master of Experimental Twilight (MMATT 25) for the best copy I had of the original, a bit hissy, but sounded pretty reasonable for a 30 odd year old home recording. We carefully selected and cut our samples, then proceeded to put take two together. From the initial groanings of the wounded prey, we added some new electronics, whilst being sure to keep the creepiness (try it through headphones, very loud, and in the dark)! The rhythm of the old version was achieved with an echoed Casio Sk1 (honestly!), so we supplemented that with a heavy bass drum and hi hat. Must say, we were both quite pleased with the outcome. I don't see it being covered by Jedward any time soon, but it's great to see it out there again and getting into peoples' ears where it belongs. Enjoy muchly, and hey...

MERRY XMAS!