Below a track-by-track commentary from J Walker himself:
1. Love On The Vine
This one's pretty much me, though i roped in Karen Tua and Clare Bowditch
for backing vocals. It's something strange dressed up as a pop song:
a singalong chorus, lovingly presented on a crisp bed of indian percussion
and accoustic guitars. Everyone asks 'who's Lucy?'. A mutant chinese
orchestra intervenes. This song may or may not involve cunnilingus,
either way it's about sex and death.
2. Baby Architect
This song is co-written and produced with Icelandic sonic genius Valgeir
Sigurdsson (who must get very sick of people putting Bjork and Sigur
Rios in brackets after his name). We had a day in a small studio together
and this is the result. He made the rumbling percussive sounds using
shrink wrap off a blank CD, don't ask me how. He also played the beautifully
lyrical guitar line that holds the whole thing together. At first I
thought it should be an instrumental but Valgeir talked me into singing
on it. The words remind me of a Leonard Cohen song where he describes
a baby as having 'one eye filled with blueprints'....Not really about
sex or death, this one's about the birth of a new form of human being,
and everything inanimate coming to life.
3. Chinese Bride No. 9
This could loosely be described as a remix too, though the original
song never saw the light of day. This is one of those chain processes
i have been exploring - you write and record a whole song, loop the
most interesting 4 bars, cut that up and make a whole new song from
that, again loop the most interesting 4 bars and cut that up again.
My tranny radio got a good workout on this track and i think i also
read some poetry that ended up backwards at triple speed. Very arty,
but i like the way it turned out all claustrophobic and cyclical....The
original song was about sex and death.
4. Simple Shores - A Fictitious rework by Qua
This is a remix of a song off the 'Happy' album by one of my favourite
electronic musicians - he has such a melodic, organic approach to computer
generated sound. The only thing from the original song he used is the
vocal. For me, the less a remix sounds like it's parent the better it
generally is, and Qua scores a perfect 10 here - related but very original.
I was also amazed how well it fitted into the general feel of the stuff
I was working on.....Nothing to do with sex or death here. The words
are about loss and having to say goodbye to the past.
5. No Thrill At The Rodeo
This is basically an anti-remix, it's a semi-live revisiting of what
was originally a very cut-and-paste song 'No Hip' on the last record.
I've been enjoying playing with the live band so much this year and
really wanted to start getting them involved in the recordings (something
i've had trouble with in the past), so this is Kjirsten and Iain (drums
and bass) live and the rest of us overdubbing, but using only 1st or
2nd takes to try and get at what we sound like on stage. The lyrics
are completely new but reflect the original No Hip which was sung by
my computer....About death and the accompanying absence of sex and,
indeed, all physical sensation.
6. A Most Peculiar Place - Old Des Peres Remix
I'd seen a few of Old Des's live shows at clubs in the city and loved
the way he pushed his sounds really hard, but with a live player's feel
(he's also an excellent trombone player). The first time i heard this
i thought the speakers had blown on my stereo, but it was Old Des tying
the sound up in knots and throwing it against a wall. This song is about
The name of this song comes from a dream i had - it had something to
do with a particular way of using the word 'the'. Wierd huh? This piece
is really a combination of about 5 different unrelated recordings i
had floating around. It's more collage than anything else, though there
seems to be an inner logic to it....And i quote 'We unwittingly describe
in musical terms the peace and bliss that exists between conjoined planets
in the outer solar system.'