I’d like to take a few posts to go through some of my thoughts and notes for each of the tracks on Results Not Typical. Since the album has seventeen songs on it, it’s going to take a few posts for me to go through them all.
You might not have realized this, but each track has a narrative associated with it, and they can all be read on the music site. I’m not sure if the digital downloads contain this information anywhere, so I wanted to include them all here along with my thoughts on the tracks themselves.
A young boy leaves his village in search of Adventure, accompanied by his trusty sidekick. The world is a promise before them. They know not what perils and trials lie ahead, but welcome the future with great anticipation.
Like much of this album, the roots for this song are actually quite old. After having listened to Mortal’s incredible Pura album way too many times in a row, I had programmed the basic two-chord progression on my sequencer and thrown some conga drums and a noodley melody on top of it. It always felt too repetitive and sparse to do anything with, though. When I started pulling together tracks for Results, I played around with turning it into a semi-rondo, with the light ambient parts interspersed with some harder jazz/hip-hop sections in a minor blues scale. I particularly like the first drop in section with the harder drums, since it really comes out of nowhere. I’m also not entirely happy with the title of this song, but it seemed to be the best I could do.
Strength undeniable, able to be called upon exactly when needed. Unshakable grace as life hurtles you from the top of one building to another, and the resolve needed to rise to your feet again. The fact that that for a moment there was nothing but 37 stories of empty air between you and the ground seems of little consequence.
This, I think, is my favorite track of the whole disc, and it’s certainly the closest to a “normal” Psycliq track. I think I had been playing Mirror’s Edge when I started to work out the basic melody, so thoughts of leaping into the unknown with great confidence were rattling around in my head. This started as a simple and sparse piano piece, but after I added the first synth layer to it I just kept going. Interestingly, this is made entirely with software instruments; in general, I use hardware synths to do most of the noise making.
Those Born of Kings
The throne room of the palace is immense as you seek audience with the king. Pillars, stonework, tapestries — everything carefully constructed to make you feel very, very small. But while you are always in awe of your surroundings here, you do not feel the overwhelming fear this room was intended to instill in you. And this for one simple reason: it is your living room. You belong here. And you have come to bid your father good morning.
I struggled for ages to come up with a good title for this one. Most of these titles were very bad, and I never felt they captured the sense of majesty and wonder that the music was expressing. It needed something to make this whole march business make sense, and I couldn’t get away from the idea of royalty being somehow involved. I like the final title quite a lot now. This song features the same piano-and-drum-machine aesthetic of Setting Out and several others, but the “big snare” hit sound is actually something I programmed on my microKORG using hints from this tutorial.
Amid the Stacks
The corridors of the Great Library combine into a labyrinth if incredible complexity and scale, both in the physical and ideological senses. It could take you days to walk up and down every aisle of every floor without stopping, and days more for each bound volume that beckons your attention from its place on the shelf. The world has been cataloged and ordered here, you only need look.
The first all-piano track on the album, I debated adding more to it but ultimately decided against it. There’s a moogerfooger Analogue Delay on the piano that makes for some really interesting overtones if you listen closely. This track is meant to compliment Those Born of Kings somewhat– their narratives take place in the same world, at least. The connection is obvious to me now, but didn’t occur until I’d gotten the title for the other song squared away. It’s even stranger since the roots of this song are about five years older than the other, too. The feeling here is meant to be one of getting lost in endless worlds, always with something new around each corner.
And that’s the first four down. Stay tuned for more episodes of Track Notes ™, where I’ll eventually get through the whole album. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to join the Electric Goodies mailing list!