Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-03-24 - 1:48 p.m.

I wrote up yesterday’s gathering which I dignified by the name “forum” – there a lot of expertise in the room and everyone was able to learn something they didn’t know from the others. The revised Coventry proposal has arrived and I have discovered that we are going to see the Teasury. No wonder I seem to be sleeping a lot.

I fell out of bed and put something down in 7:4 on an ad hoc rig. I have decided to call the new bit of kit “the box”. I plugged the box into the Behringer simulator and mixed it with the Danelectro on a classic US amp setting. I coaxed the 7:4 out of the box and put on a guitar part which is partly about open strings and partly about the chord formed by a fifth on top of a major third sliding up a half step with a fourth note common across the progression – clearly the open strings can do that last bit. I took the result down on the MD and then started to explore some Dhorn lines. It is seasonal and I am thinking of calling it “Sodding Spring Again” if it progresses. It is easy to find lines which blend with the track – especially phrases which carry over the modulations between C E and Ab.

The piece is on the same MD as the material which I put down a couple of weeks back. I need to find space to set up the rack with compressor, ambience, range enhancer and general effects. I also need to find the patience. A year or so ago I had this stuff wired into the Tascam 4 track MD which then recorded to the 2 track but it is a mind bender getting the spaghetti straight – especially as I don’t have a patch bay. And I am running out of flat surfaces in the flat.

The thing about the box is that it is oriented towards performance and especially towards adding effects on the fly.

I listened to volume 1 of my 3 volume history of The Hacienda in Manchester. I was shocked to realise that I could hear the box effects come and go and I would say to myself – ah now their switching in the filter and now their kicking in another rhythm. This was allegedly the 1982-9 volume and it ends gloriously with a Derek May classic which is a real inspiration. I have a 3 volume history of Chicago House which covers a similar period and on that it is much clearer what is original mix and what is the editor’s caprice. I would love an equivalent on Detroit but I have yet to find anything suitable – I make do with Carl Craig’s Abstract Funk Theory which is a mannered retrospective homage.

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