Moss, Mike Gordon's new studio album is available now on CD, LP and Download
About The Remixes...
My idea was not to remix the songs, but moments that had lead to the germination of the songs.
HORIZON LINE - This song went straight from mind to demo, and the demo is cool but not different enough from the song, so Jared remixed outtakes from the studio sessions with Scott Murawski and Todd Isler, and added many extra textures, and humming I must have done between takes.
FLASHBACK - I had asked drummer Caleb Bronz to record many different grooves for me that I'd been hungry to work with, and when he was done I asked if he'd do a bass and drum jam. While it was one of the grooves that led to the strange bass passage that begins "Flashback," it was the bass and drum jam at the end that Jared used to remix - in this case by adding textures. His goal was to keep the bass and drums simple and tight while having the other sounds cascade in juxtaposition. He imagined this juxtaposition to be indirectly "King Sunny Adeish".
SPIRAL - Not all jam session are bass and drum, but it's a mode I've liked toying with. So this one is me and Joe Russo - I think the same session led to Spiral, Morphing Again, and Babylon Baby. This is an example of being able to hear a bass lick emerge that later is used over and over for the song. After a little bit of playing, I do the mathematically ascending lick (1 12 123 sort of thing, factorial style) that became the six beats per bar verse of Spiral. We decided to leave this one "straight up" (like the Can't Stand Still one) because there is such a floaty feeling created by Joe's mesmerizing drumming, and it's nice just to share the feeling I had while floating the bass on top of that.
THE VOID - I was playing with drummer Doug Belote, and I find drummers often like to play in seven, which is good because I do too! On the album, the song morphs into an ambient section consisting of the sound of my treadmill, a synth I had played, and several other textures that Jared layered, and then suddenly we are outside listening to my propane tank being banged on by percussionist Tim Sharbaugh, and Tom Cleary plays along on a Genko Celeste keyboard, which is a row of tubular bells and piano keys. I sat in the studio for many a night wondering how I could take the original bass and drum jam and sync it up with the propane/celeste experiment despite the fact that they have different time signatures, different tempos, different keys, and they both vary in tempo as they go along. We'd only used a tiny bit of the propane jam, and the bass and drum stuff was awesome, so I kept trying and trying to marry them, and finally found a method that would allow me to stretch and squeeze the drums to match the propane one bar at a time. I brought some textures from the song, created a triplet delay on the snare drum via the hi-hat mic, and compressed the kick drum in a way that "sucked all the other drums into it," causing intentional mayhem sometimes.
FIRE FROM A STICK - This was a bass and drum jam with Doug Belote in a studio in New Orleans that was since lost in the Hurricane. I was there recording on Russell Batiste's album, and Doug was there too for some double drummin', so we stayed extra and did freeform bass and drums. You can hear the bass licks that led to the song, and we also added the same horns that had been recorded for the track, but never used, and more sounds added for the remix, and Jared and singing.
CAN'T STAND STILL - This one is from "The Meteor Jam." Page, Fish and I had been scheming for a year or so to make Trey a musical gift. It was during an era that Phish was broken up, and the jamming went down in my studio during the big meteor showers of August, 2008. Jared then made loops, and we presented them to Trey at his birthday as "Forty-three forty-three second loops for your forty-third birthday." Julia helped to make a pyramidal gift box and wrapping paper with a pattern of little Languedoc guitars. When he pulled the string on top, the pyramid opened revealing a CD with a picture of the three of us standing and looking dumb on its cover. I had seen Trey use some Garage Band loops, so we thought why not make loops of his old pals? And then later I thought, why not toy around with them myself? And thusly came "Can't Stand Still", which started as an edit Jared did that featured one of Page's clavinet melodies as a chorus, and I made up lyrics that exactly matched my attitude having to do with my solo career - wanting to run and run and really go for it. In this short excerpt from the jam you can hear the melody emerge in Page's fingers that became "Can't Stand Still."
GOT AWAY - When I started my full year of songwriting, 2007, the first thing I did was improvise some bass lines to a rhythm track. I wanted to recreate the moments I'd had before Phish shows, where I'd turn off the lines and play to a metronome. Sequences of notes come up that I wouldn't have thought of if I was using my "mind." And I thought this would be a year of mostly instrumental music, but quickly learned that I care a lot about words and singing, and this bass vamp became Got Away. I took my favorite parts and wove together a song, with a long instrumental part, and added textures as needed. Eventually the synthetic drum patter became Jon Fishman (I texted Trey during it and said I'm going on Jon Fishman tour, because he sounds so darn good - I had forgotten how much I loved his playing). And Ken Lovelet, who invented thousands of his own percussion instruments, came and played tin drum and lap drum. For this remix, Jared Slomoff made parts of the original improvisation sound more aggressive, and we added some vocals from the song and some Lovelet sounds. Now I want to grab a lick or two from the remix and make yet another song.