metime

2008

After the Decline album I put the kettle on, made myself a cup of tea, collected my wits and decided to make a sequel. Now, making the sequel was a bit challenging since I wanted to pull some new rabbits out of the hat and make something that could tick all the boxes. Well, at least a few more of them. I think it’s healthy to counter react to your previous work. Reinvent yourself rather than repeat yourself. So this time I brought in more elements of roughness as a contrast to the majestic and divine decadence of the orchestra. On the Decline album eight songs out of the ten were pop songs. On Metime maybe four out of the ten can qualify as being pure pop. The rest has more to do with atmospheres and cinematic structures. I also changed my software program from Reason to Logic and the logical reason for that is that I wanted an open architecture for third part plug ins and the possibility of using audio within the sequencer host. Logic provided the both. Metime is conceived using Logic out of the box more or less. The only additional plug ins are: Novation BassStation (it came with the remote keyboard), a lovely freeware called Frohmage from Ohm Force and the Melodyne from Celemony of which the latter my voice came out sounding better than ever. With this new set up together with verses of poems and witticism, I was now armed to the teeth and ready to put ten new envisioned songs into reality.


Metime - Autumn 2008

The work began in November 2007 and it was quite easy to get adjusted to this new software and all. I worked on the songs intermittently because I collected four or five songs and then went to the recording studio to record the vocals. Also I engaged my old friend Chris Wolf to do the orchestral arrangements you can hear on track 01, 02 and 06. The song writing process lasted until May in 2008 and then it was time for the production phase. I like to separate the two in order for me to work with it more objectively. It was a joy the day when I could put the ten songs into the right consecutive order in my iTunes player. I always considered the running order of the songs on an album to be vital. There has to be a dynamic tension between the songs. I hope you will enjoy it!   


You And Me Time

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

...is Rock’n Roll Time. Perhaps an unexpected opening number for the album. In 1998 I was newly examined from SAE, School of Audio Engineering, in Stockholm. I got an internship at the Tambourine Studio in Malmö and the opportunity to sit in during the recording and mixing of the Cardigans album Gran Turismo. The album was made on a Pro Tools system and one of the new features was the Amp Farm, a guitar amplifier simulator that sounded incredible. It was used to fairly large extent on the GT album. When I bought the Logic Pro 8 I started to use the Logic Guitar Amp and it reminded me somewhat of the Cardigans GT sound. It’s a joy driving synthesizers through speakers, giving it edge and dimension. The over-majestic orchestral arrangement is done by my old friend Chris Wolf. The lyrics are...well bleeding obvious.


Spoiled Utopia

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Utopia, where the Utopias meet Suburbia. It’s a story about someone confronting an architect for a housing estate of condemned buildings, probably attacking the wrong person. I stumbled via the internet upon pictures from a sci-fi designed and abandoned holiday resort in Taiwan. It inspired me to write the lyrics. The name of the song came from the title of the article about these houses near the Baishawan beach. It wasn’t until a year later I brought the lyrics back up again and started to make some kind of minimal electro to it. Somehow the song reminds me of Jean Michel Jarre’s Zoolook and that gives it another dimension about a spoiled utopia. Once again Chris Wolf has done a marvelous orchestration.


Actor On the Rocks

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

The Riviera Cocktail Elegy. This song took me ten years to complete. It is based on a conversation Chris Wolf and I had back in 1998 about John Barry’s music. Chris presented me with a list of things to include in an arrangement to make it sound instant Barry. Harpsichord, timpani, harp, strings, flutes and brass. The most vital ingredient above all is that the part you want to accentuate shall be lifted one semitone. It was really tricky to make it work and I never thought I had the skills of making a orchestral arrangement authentic enough until I bought Logic Pro 8. It’s a story about a former actor who looks back on his not quite successful career, washing it down with lashings of Vodka Martini.


Cubicle Boredom

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Eleanor Rigby married William Orbit. I like to think that this song is about the same person as in The Indifferent Audience from the Decline album. But this time he has arrived at work and is contemplating his work and life situation in his office cubicle. It was the first song I made on Logic Pro 8. The initial drum set of the Ultrabeat drum machine was the inspiration of making a Prince type of drum programming and a simple, repetitive bass line. I added some down filtered, delayed and monotonous analog synths and some strings. All in the style of William Orbit. It turned out to be a very melancholic song.


Feeling Doesn’t Appear

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Olive with a Twist. Back in 1997 I was struck by lightning. Well not literally but musically. The British duo Olive released their first single You’re Not Alone and later the album Extra Virgin. This song is largely inspired by that sound and production technique. For all the synthesizer musos out there, I can tell you that there is a lot of Sculpture sounds on this track. It’s about breaking up from home and leaving for an unknown place. The search for something that at least by hearsay sounds like the promised land and the horror of finding that it’s not there at all. I remember in the early 90´s that London had a big draw and a lot of my school mates went there to find themselves in a struggling situation. Credits to my dear friend Karin Linder for the upper octave vocals and harmonies.


Day To Waste

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Quincy-Electro-Disco. It’s funny how a random event can create a song. I was flicking through some bass sounds on the BassStation software synth and reached number 02, Jacko Bass. Alright I thought, let’s program something Quincy! The orchestral arrangement is done by my old friend Chris Wolf using the Vienna Symphonic Library. He had been in Stockholm for the last couple of years and was now back in town. I phoned him up and told him about this song. ”It’s all well and good” I said. ”But it’s mainly block chords and I want some voicing and counter harmonies. Can you help me?” He agreed. Among real musicians I am always extremely apologetic about my retarded synth-pop. Anyhow, Chris and I had a laugh that day and the arrangement turned out brilliant. The lyrics are about a person who wakes up with a notion that all of his senses are enhanced and he is determined to tell the whole world about it through broadcasting.


Blinds And Shutters

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Düsseldorf Lounge. I had to revise this one. I started with a light weighted pop structure but it didn’t work with contents of the lyrics. The second version became more laidback but with a string arrangement that evokes darker feelings. I emphasised that with adding some rain, thunder and an ominous, haunted wind for the intro. It’s a story of a very complicate girl I once vaguely knew. Karin Linder is once again doing some additional vocals.


No Ulterior Motives

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Laidback 8-bit Decadence. This is a collaboration with Silvia Alonso aka PS girl from the island of Tenerife and it’s a myspace connection. I stumbled upon her webpage and became really fascinated by her and her 8-bit electro music. Today music collaborations are more about LAN file sharing than about dueling guitars and adjacent microphones. As for the lyrics: in the onset of a new relationship, I was once questioned whether my intentions where real or not. This is my speech for the defence. 


Figment Of Mine

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Grillo Parlante goes Synth-pop. I was a bit puzzled about this one whether I should include it on the album or not. After doing some serious thinking over several Bloody Marys, I made the decision to let it stay. The reason is that it brings something different and has a higher tempo and lots of energy. The idea of using the Texas Instruments Grillo Parlante came from my fascination for the man/machine dialogue. I used a similar thing on Seeking Solace on the Decline album. This time it’s about a trial and error situation in a relationship and I think it illustrates the frustration and futility of that pretty well.


Stillness Is Great

Music and Lyrics: Martin Philip

Bossa in Church. So my grandfather died at the respectable age of ninety-three. It was nothing strange about it. Just a case of being old. What really made me disappointed was the vicars speech at the ceremony. Perhaps it’s too difficult to summarise a persons life, especially someone who has lived for ninety-three years. In the arrangement of the song I deliberately avoided the timbres of church music, because it’s not a requiem, it’s not a lament. Maybe just the sense of feeling inadequate.


Day to Waste - Video

This is the second video from my friend Fredrik Norrgren and I. We were filming for two days on different locations and the first session was at the Grimeton Radio Station. The station was in operation between the 1920’s and the 1960’s and is still very well preserved. We filmed the machine hall with all of the fascinating gadgets and control panels and outside with the six majestic T-shaped antennas and the futuristic looking short wave antenna. Now, using industrial technology as the aesthetics in the world of synth-pop is a dangerous business since it’s already occupied by a certain German band. Therefore it was important to add another element to counter balance that. The Morris Minor did that job very nicely, making the video more cosy and anglo and everything...

Martin: I’ve booked a British car.

Fredrik: An Aston?

Martin: No, a Morris.

Fredrik: An Aston Martin Philip Morris!

Martin: Wasn’t he a tobacconist?


Spoiled Utopia - Video

Making this video was a major undertaking. Fredrik and I wanted to explore some new gadgets and technology for our escapades in video. This time we settled for one location, an old abandoned junkyard, which we visited twice. The theme of the song Spoiled Utopia is urban decay, so this surrounding worked perfectly. At the first session we brought a five meter long rail with a hanging basket on wheels where the camera was mounted. It was a better solution than to use a track dolly. We wanted a the feel of someone or something objectively scanning the area. For the second session we used something that is called a Snorricam. This intriguing device was mounted onto my body. It gives a fixed relationship between the camera and my face, creating the notion of that I am not moving but the world is. Quite effective! However, since I walked around with this body mount for two hours my back was in agonising pain for days after. So I’m sending out a lumbago warning to anyone who wants to Snorri. The concept of the Spoiled Utopia video is that someone from the past is arriving at this horrible place forty years later to find that technology hardly never survives over nature.


Myspace Message

Published 25/09/2008 

Mr Martin Philip is still determined to occupy server space and clog bandwidth with his dreadful music and appalling pictures. Any responsible citizen must therefore react and confront him about his second album Metime.


The Obtrusive: So what is your description of the album Metime? Mr Philip: It contains ten mental biscuits of various tastes and dignities. All you have to do is to put your tea kettle on.


The Obtrusive: Which do you prefer to be given, tepid praise or silence treatment? Mr Philip: I’m having both everyday actually, washed down with lashings of Bloody Mary.


The Obtrusive: So you can never give away completely to triumph and deluge in superlatives? Mr Philip: Not to put a too fine point upon it, but it made me very conceited when I sold my first and only download and it didn’t hurt me that much when my mother told me she just bought the ”record” as she said, using the ancient tongue. 


The Obtrusive: Rumour has it that you were about to sign a record deal with a considerable amount of money involved. Mr Philip: Yes, that is correct. However I changed my mind at the last minute. It would be great to have a record deal but I never thought they were so expensive.


The Obtrusive: You haven’t realised that it is the artist who is supposed to get paid? Mr Philip: Oh sod it! I always mix things up. It’s confusing these days.


The Obtrusive: So you managed to make yet another video out of ninepence! Mr Philip: Yes, the budget was € 900 so the Sterling is still a strong currency. Besides a shoe string budget is the mother of invention.


The Obtrusive: You once said that your greatest privilege is that you don’t have to live and depend on you music. How do you finance these extravagant escapades? Mr Philip: Making the previous album I had to pawn my wrist-watch and some other family heirlooms. So for this production I sold my body to medical experimentation. Which is great, because it prohibits me from doing anything nasty with it.