It took a long time to finish Insecurity, my latest album and the follow-up of Security. The reason behind it were issues with We Are All Ghosts, the label I’m no longer associated with – a rather sad story I don’t want to tell here. I will only say this: after all I released the new album by myself.
While the Drone Trilogy consists of songs created in two similar sessions which took place in 2012, Insecurity (as well as its predecessor) features new songs as well as some which even go back to the days of The Hard Drive.
A new thing about the album is that it is the first time I used cover art by Jürgen Heckel, a great photographer. Some of his photos were shot near the place I live and this is how I’ve got to know him (although the actual cover art shows another place). Still, I have to admit that I first found his photos on the internet – and the way he creates special dark and tense atmospheres by only capturing landscapes more or less the way they are stunned me.
I. Buried In The Past – This song took a long while to finish and went into many different directions during the whole process. The first step was recording the bell-like synthesizer track. Rhys Anslow added the distorted bass track next, completing the song’s skeleton, so to speak. I added and removed a lot of tracks (one was a guitar track by Roger Palmeri) until I recorded the Moog solo so that a stripped-down version of the song remained. The intro and outro were added later on and edited shortly before the album was complete. The song’s title is taken from Neil Young‘s Ambulance Blues.
II. Expectations – Based on a drum machine improvisation, this song became another collaboration with Roger Palmeri. He added the guitar track after I recorded the e-piano track. The whole thing is similar to Directions from Security and inspired by Miles Davis‘ 70’s music, too.
III. 67/73 – Spot the references in this song’s title: 1967 was the year Robert Moog first introduced his modular synthesizer and 1973 saw the release of Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting. This Moog improvisation was done in one take; most of the delay was added afterwards.
IV. 80/81 – A few years later the sounds changed and the synthesizers went from analogue to digital. John Carpenter‘s 80’s soundtracks are the main influence here. And no, that man wasn’t part of the Carpenters. And he didn’t work as a carpenter either, I guess.
V. Pressure Points – The background sequence was recorded live in one take until the recording software broke (I wonder why…). I reworked the ending later. Roger Palmeri added a guitar track again and it gave the idea for the song’s title which actually is taken from a song by Camel.
VI. Börde – The Jülicher Börde is the landscape I live in and certainly influences my music. Paul Grogan added a guitar track to this song which I later treated with a few delay effects. The song itself became another Frippertronics-like piece by doing so.
VII. Land Return – This rather old song was part of the first draft of Security but in the end I thought that it didn’t fit in properly. It then became the centerpiece of Insecurity after adding the intro and outro (a slowed-down edit of Roger Palmeri’s guitar track). Chris McGarel plays the drums. It is loosely based on my song On Land.
VIII. Ripple – Being one of the oldest song ideas of this album, this track took a long while to finish, even though Roger Palmeri’s guitar track was the only missing piece in the end.